Deadspawn's The Source of Chaos
- Created on Saturday, 21 March 2015 22:56
- Written by Paul
Since their 1st EP This Ascension, these desert marauders have been playing a lot of shows. I believe that making your band stand
out today amongst the multitude of other metal bands is a humbling experience. But this makes you stronger. Only the strongest of
these bands rises to the top of death metal strata and remain. Thank you to all of you for working so hard to make this beautiful
music and providing motivation for not only my life but for many others. Deadspawn is one of the strongest that remain and they
well deservedly earn the praise they receive. Through their unending campaign of shows, the band has emblazoned a trail of death
metal madness and has been establishing themselves among Phoenix's death metal elite with the likes of Scattered Guts, Genocaust,
Meathook, Singularity, etc. The newest EP offers unique, cold, refreshing riffs to momentarily ease the dullness of the increased
heat here in Phoenix and your drive home in your work week
Always the fan of no nonsense technical death metal bands, I jumped at the opportunity to jam the new Deadspawn EP, The Source of
Chaos. The Beyond is the first track and there is no question that one of the highlights of this was going to be the
guitarplaying. Achieving guitar playing like this while doing vocals has always bewildered me. Massive walls of guitar wizardry
provided by Curt Durocher and Taylor Pritchard wins. Like dust flowing in the desert wind, guitar transitions flawlessly bring
this composition together. Hints of lost notes embedded in layers of guitarwork, the insignia of timeless music.
The no nonsense approach displays itself again in The Watcher. The song marches directly into the trenches' edge leaving the weak
and meager awaiting behind taking cover in whatever falseness of lesser talented bands they follow. The beginning is very similar
to Jungle Rot of which I am a giant fan of. This song has the sharpest most frenetic and dynamic riffs that I have come across and
this uptempo style allows Ryan Frech to showcase his speedy drum execution case in point at 3:18 you will hear that thundering
column of drum rolls accompanied by blackened melodies that all of us look for. The song is bolstered by Curt's vocals which are
very unique. Not guttural which is done too much by most bands. With Curt there is a howl with more range and rage.
Ignoring wounded fingers, the guitarists' shredding skills are showcased in Lord of Worm at 2:20. The shrieking guitars flow with
the calculated and precise drumwork. Yet again, the power of Chris's bass is virulent but not overpowering. Muting this power at
just the right times to allow the rest of the musicianship to shine. Lord of Worm is my favorite song on this.
The Void is a clever song containing chaotic patterns that are similar yet slightly changing like a fractal. Dusting off an old
gem, kicking your feet up, zoning out and getting up and rewinding a few seconds to discover a new note and/or other nuance is one
of those experiences that only a few of us understand. Sure all music fans can appreciate music. But most other music does not
require that specifically trained ear. We find enjoyment sifting through the chaos and finding those small embers of beautiful
musical composition engulfed by sound creating instant comradrarie with other seekers of the notes hidden within. Chris Calvert
does a masterful job of creating the presence of power here. Ryan Frech, formerly of Fran de Mork (excellent black metal piece if
you haven't had the courtesy) is more than an effective replacement for now Lago drummer Brian Miller. The progressive death fused
with melody works spendidly. The similarity is very close to well...to Death or Control Denied. You won't find another review from
me comparing a band to Death as they are untouched. However, the vocals and guitar style are very similar and the comparison truly
So Metalifestyle gives this a ten out of ten beers. Tonight at the Cornish Pasty, you can determine how many beers you give it at
the Cornish Pasty where you listen to the Source of Chaos in advance and meet these fine lads. Even better, why don't you just buy
the package- the disc, a ticket to the EP release, and a shirt for $20. That's a deal if I ever saw one. Saves you money for beer
and a pasty. Because delicious pasties are metal as fudge. Speaking of delicious pasties, Flynn works there. Speaking of Flynn, stay tuned for the next episode of Metalifestyle where we review new CaveDweller.
Post Mortal Possession's Possessing Entity
- Created on Friday, 09 January 2015 21:34
- Written by Paul
Recently, someone from California asked me what Arizona was like and asked if everyone has guns. I replied with a yes. Sometimes perpetuating a stereotype is just more interesting. In Clint Eastwood fashion, eyes narrowed and searching out into the horizon, I'm always restless and looking out for some of the best death metal out there. I can now step away from peering out into the horizon, scratch my grizzly chin, and spit out the rest of my brown rusty tobacco chew water and sidestep a tumbleweed in the desert of Arizona. Sorry, I just finished watching the classic western High Plains Drifter... Every city has their age old stereotypes. Phoenix has a plenitude of their own. some are negative some are positive. Obviously a negative here in AZ is the racism used in profiling those with brown skin thanks to recent immigration laws in Arizona. But a good stereotype is one of a hardworking city.
Recently, I've had a unique fascination with Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. while I know that the city is no longer blue collared nor
are plumes of smoke billowing from pillars, I still enjoy envisioning that because it because well it just sounds tough. The
stench of coal filling the air and embers of industrial steel welds glimmering off in the distance. Recently, Metal Devastation
radio did a poll and has ranked Pittsburgh's own Post Mortal Possession as the number one band for January. After seeing this, I
felt an inclination to delve further. This inclination turned into a necessitation after seeing that respected grind/punk/metal
website Cvlt Nation released a feature on the Pittsburgh scene last week highlighting excellent bands such as Hounds of Hate and
PA's Post Mortal Possession is imperious, cold, and defiant. Their newest EP, Possessing Entity, blasts you harder than a cat
trying to cover shit on a hot tin roof. Post Mortal Possession's guitarwork can puncture and expose bone so take caution before
exposing yourself to this music. Vocals carry a chilling tone as do the lyrics. Drumwork and bass are spawned from darkness. This
is a band that should take over control of the Pittsburgh scene and wave the death metal banner. And these boys are working hard
son. Be warned, the tide of Post Mortal Possession is coming and it will sweep you off your feet. Most death metal acts base their
melody off of scales surrounded by diminished chords and all that. This band does so in unique fashion. Harvest begins with an
extremely fast tempo and intro guitar playing. The technical solo at around 4:35 is mind blowing and i'm not really sure how
someone establishes this kind of guitar muscle memory already particularly for being a band that is relatively new. Suspended by
Nails contains some of the most lungful and brutally impressive vocals I have heard. The drum rolls and gravity blasts are
expertly done. The guitar work from 1:42 on leaves you with a gritty taste in your mouth. The taste of rusted metal. What is
equally is impressive is that though having wall of guitar work, each guitar is decipherable- an excellent achievement by Shane
Brutal. Even Tim Church's bass lines are clearly discernable. Tim recently left Victims of Contagion to unleash his basslines full
time with Post Mortal Possession. The song Death March is my favorite song from this EP and the most dynamic. I'm no musical
prodigy but there are some unique and almost Cryptopsyish time signatures. The Arrival is probably the darkest sounding song.
Drummer Nick Bentzel assails the kit on this like deathly rain. The guitar duo of Jake Sewage McMullen and Brian Cremeens is
tight. Visceral Butchery is classic metal butchery at its best with cheesegrater vocals and heavy and glorious riffage. Catch the
Visceral Butchery video below
Listen to Possessing Entity here
Twingiant- Devil Down
- Created on Sunday, 30 November 2014 02:58
- Written by Paul
Best of the Desert Wastelands 2014
- Created on Thursday, 11 December 2014 21:40
- Written by Paul
Metalifestyle has grown quite a bit in the last year. Perhaps not in traffic but it sure has in terms of creativity and probably in terms of maturity. Okay maybe not maturity. But thanks to all of you who I met and chatted with at shows throughout this awesome year in Metal. Through each of you, I have grown. Even today as I see some grey hairs in my beard I can grow. After all, growth is a continual process. This past year has shown that positivity and metal can be intertwined. Being negative all the time only alienates you and is not Metal. Its just dumb.
One of the harder working bands in the Valley and also showcasing one of the best guitarists in Jack Fliegler, Singularity's talent has taken over the number one spot. Upon first listen you will be captivated. You have now entered Singularity, a land where "stars and planets have been devoured" by white sound. In this land lies the Monolith, a giant slab of metal that aurally destroys you. Great lyrics and composition in every song.
Lusitania has been around for quite a while. I've seen them twice and each time I found their sound to be uniquely ominous. Parodixically, the very dismal sound and dread generated by black metal bands like this gives a stimulant to my spirit. I was left eager to replay this multiple times and delve further into the black metal world and find some old gems. Featuring members of Gay Kiss, Dealing, Sacred Followers, and Detached Objects this is a must listen.
3) Lago- Tyranny
With Tyranny, Lago firmly entrenches itself among the frontlines of the best death metal acts coming out the Southwest the last few years. Every time this band plays they blow everyone away. Upcoming northwest and west coast tour in 2015.
Invoking a groove that will awake even the darkest of souls, Devil Down's decision to tap into 70s era rock was a good one. Catch their record release show at Rips downtown.
5) Funerary- Starless Aeon
A dark atmosphere where the night is so dark that there is not a star to be seen. The intertwining of gnarly guitar accentuations and unusual time signatures creates a unique twist in the celebration of emptiness. This band employs more than just tuned down guitars. There is some mindboggling guitar effects including clever manipulation of gain and distortion and string sliding at just the right times which creates a tension effect akin to a rope being tightly drawn. For fans of Asunder, Cough, Graves at Sea, Wolvhammer, and Locrian.
6) Godhunter City of Dust
The band with infinitesimal riffs, Godhunter assails you with masterful guitarwork, deep vocals, and tight basslines. All of the songs on this album are very catchy and easy to hum a long to. What is interesting about this band is the ability to incorporate elements of the southwest into it. Tumbleweeds in the background, ravens pecking on a dead mule carcass in desert wash with pink in the horizon is the visual I get among many.
7) Gatecreeper self titled
Gatecreeper reps Sonoran Desert Death Metal. Drawn swords uplifted, knobs cranked and ready to deliver, Gatecreeper's self-titled debut delivers furious blows to maime and mutilate. Catch them live on the 27th with Lenguas Largas.
8)Take Over and Destroy Vacant Face
Take Over and Destroy did Phoenix a solid in picking up the legendary Dylan Thomas. In Vacant Face, TOAD taps into their primordial ooze. Vocals seep out of the blackness of this ooze like its seeping out of a void of the abyss. Okay, that's just weird. Anywho, I really appreciate the goth/deathrock vocals thrown in there occasionally. The guitar solos are spectacular also. Click below to buy the new album.
9). Goya Satan's Fire
I listened to Goya whilst taking a stroll through the desert and I thought this band represents exactly the type of stoner doom rock that I would expect from the desert. The title of the album resembles the backdrop of the Valley sullied with smog and all. Tons of dissonance and driving bass combined with creative guitar playing evokes a hallucinatory effect. The talent of each musician shines but Jeff Owen's clever guitarwork takes you further into a world of dreams and fire. Its been said that certain music if properly played can allow one to transcend the current state to feel a connectedness to another realm. Goya does this.
Phoenix has an excellent grind scene with the likes of Godawfulnoise, Biocidio, Sorrower, Dusted, and a multitude of others. A constant clash between generation Y and the police state is evident daily. From this land rife with corruption and the home of Sherrif Joe Arpaio would you expect anything less furious sounding? Straight out of the land of gangs, fangs, cactus, and spines Woundvac delivers.
Gatecreeper- Sonoran Desert Death Metal
- Created on Thursday, 30 October 2014 01:54
- Written by Paul
In Gatecreeper's self titled debut you will not find undiscernable technical noise and leads galore. But you will find the most pummeling riffs you will ever hear. That's what I want. A sign of a killer album is when you play it 12 times and then feel reinvigorated as a whole in the genre. Last night I did just that. I blasted this album and then I pulled some old gems from the crate (Clandestine and Left Hand Path from the almighty Entombed).
The first song is Void Below. Like a warrior preparing to enter the front lines, Void Below is the perfect introduction. Drawn swords uplifted, knobs cranked and ready to deliver, Void Below delivers furious blows maiming and mutilating. Void Below has such intense swedish death distortion sound akin to bands like Dismember and Carnage. I would be eager to see what pedals this band uses to accomplish such nasty tone. One of the more dynamic songs on the album, Force Fed, pummels you with a mixture of guitar buzzsaw distortion and a schmidge of just enough harmony. This creates a very groovy death metal and an ease to knod your head to. A review of this album couldn't be left without Chase Mason's excellent vocals. Delivered with such gravity and force the guitars could not have been complemented by better vocals. One moment please..... Okay I'm back. I had to put the album on pause to get some gauze for my eardrums which which suffered a great deal of blood flow. Overdose is probably my favorite song on here. Its got just enough melody. And I love the guitar solo at around 1:25. Fits perfectly! The album ends with Slave. Very Dismaish. What I really like about this song is the focus on heavy as opposed to crunchy fast tremolo picking that is typical of a lot of new death metal.
Tomas Lindberg once stated, "I don’t think anyone who wasn’t there in the late 80’s can ever understand the feeling, the honesty, and the energy of the early death metal scene. As the 90s came, death metal turned into big business and that initial feeling was lost forever”. Well Gatecreeper's new album encapsulates this same energy perfectly.
It is essential that you catch Gatecreeper's album release with Lusitania, Biocidio, and Kashykk on Nov. 1st at 51 West. Be warned though, there is a a disclaimer for attending a Gatecreeper show. You may or may not be dismembered during the course of the show.
Tomas Lindberg quote from Swedish Death Metal
By Daniel Ekeroth