Megadeth: "Super Collider"
- Created on Thursday, 13 June 2013 23:25
This album sucks. This album doesn't just suck for a Megadeth album, this album sucks for anything ever put to recording. I've made better thrash music in my bedroom with a $99 B.C. Rich Warlock with no high e string and a bowed neck.
The only reason it gets 1/2 a pentagram is because I'm too lazy to make a plain black square.
Garbage. Utter, complete garbage.
Sarah's Metalifestyle Best of 2012
- Created on Saturday, 05 January 2013 18:11
Metalifestyle Best of 2012
1. Mutilation Rites – EP & follow up Empyrean (Prosthetic Records)
After seeing Mutilation Rites crusty blend of black metal in a tiny bar in Austin back in March, I was hooked. Their four track EP – on a tape adorned with a Baphomet whose “program repeats on both sides” – has been on perpetual repeat in my shitty old Mazda truck for the past several months. Contained inside is miserable, hair raising black metal, minus the kvlt posturing and Satan worship. The four-track tape features a dose of thrash metal, rumbling doom, and sloppy crust iced with blackened screams and battering percussion. New York black metal is lame no more! To make things even better, their full-length follow up Empyrean made good on the potential that oozed from that tape.
2. Dragged Into Sunlight – Widowmaker (Prosthetic Records)
I know: Hatred for Mankind made fankids blow a collective load. Raw, primal, and evil as fuck, the record unveiled England’s enigmatic troupe to the world. Three years later, Dragged into Sunlight came back and that subterranean merging of black, death, and crusty grind was largely gone, replaced by sweeping movements, skillful transitions, and an obvious doom influence. Widowmaker is Dragged Into Sunlight all grown up, and is it ever beautiful.
3. Grand Magus – The Hunt (Nuclear Blast)
You know the type of heavy metal – often, tunes that came from the New Wave of British heavy metal in the ‘80s – to which you pump your fist, scream along, and mosh with your buddies while beer soaks everything? Grand Magus makes music like that. Although their early days were dubbed as “doom” influenced, they’ve always featured sweeping, operatic choruses and galloping leads straight from the Iron Maiden/ Rainbow/ Judas Priest handbook. To make things better, their performance at Noctis Metal Festival was perfect. BLOOD WILL SPILL!
4. Swans – The Seer (Young Gods)
In its schizophrenic opener “Lunacy”, Alan and Mimi of minimalist rock act Low chant the soundtrack to a breakdown as Michael Gira and co. lay on the atmosphere suffocating and oppressive. “Hide beneath/ Your monkey skin/ Feel his love/ Nurture him/ Kill the truth/ Or speak his name/ LUNACY LUNACY”. It’s enough to make goosebumps rise on your skin, and sets the tone for a triumphant Swans album Gira claimed was “30 years in the making.” I believe it.
5. Evoken – Atra Mors (Profound Lore)
Doom in all factions exploded in 2012, and the marriage of death/doom was no exception. Nowhere was it done as skillfully as on Evoken’s Atra Mors. The Jersey act’s fifth full length was five years coming, and worth the wait. Crushing, dirgy, glacial paced… mmm, mmm, good!
6. Deathspell Omega - Drought (Season of Mist)
This band demands your attention. Artful, original, extremely philosophical black metal with a transcendental, yet incredibly Satanist bent, their music is challenging and nearly unreachable. They don’t play live, they don’t do interviews, and they don’t release shit. Drought is part two of the EP package that followed 2010’s incredible Paracletus; though it has sidestepped the form of it’s predecessor it features all of the rage,
7. Gojira- L’Enfant Sauvage (Roadrunner Records)
Clearly, I like my metal with a slab of “pretty”. Gojira has always made “pretty” technical death, but with L’Enfant Sauvage they perfected their assault. Every song on the record is a groovy and precise with crystal clear production. Plus, I’ve finally found a metal band that cares as much about recycling and flying whales as much as I do.
8. Witchstone – Witchstone EP (Self released)
I’ve said it about 600 times, but for the sake of consistency, I’ll say it once more. Calgary quartet Witchstone sounds like the child of Black Sabbath and Sleep, and their live performances are consistently tight. Can’t wait to hear what comes next from this band.
9. Napalm Death – Utilitarian (Century Media)
After over 25 years of grinding it out, Napalm Death still sounds relevant. Scratch that, they’ve made their best record since 1996’s Diatribes. A saxophone solo with John Zorn, odd vocal experiments, and metronomic blast beats sweeten the deal.
10. Saint Vitus – Lillie: F- 65 (Season of Mist)
Mournful Cries was my first Saint Vitus record, purchased on a whim a couple years back due to the fanciful cover art. Dragons are always good in my books; the music contained within was perfect and incited a pre-1988 Saint Vitus buying spree. Lillie: F- 65 harkens back to a time when Vitus was still touring with Black Flag to the chagrin of hardcore punkers; this was when Pentagram’s Bobby Liebling was snorting and huffing his life away. Actually, the opening track from the record, the haunting “Let Them Fall”, could be the soundtrack to such misery. The doom progenitors are back.
11. Enslaved – RIITIIR (Nuclear Blast)
It takes about five listens for me to stop hating a new Enslaved record. Then, as it flowers, I start obsessing over it, banging out the rhythms on my dashboard, and losing my mind over the insightful lyrics and arrangements. This extreme metal band is completely unique; RIITIIR is another part of their impressive legacy.
12. Gaza – No Absolutes in Human Suffering (Black Market Activities)
Gaza makes ugly music for an ugly world. Crusty, grindy, and full of hate. Just the way I like it.
13. Neurosis – Honor Found in Decay (Neurot Records)
Scott Kelly, Steve Von Till and co. have grown up, and channel their seething anger through subtly and nuance. Despite Honor Found in Decay being quieter than most Neurosis records, the conjuring of complex and contradictory emotions has never been so poignant. Second track “At the Well” personifies this duality; raging tribal rhythms and quiet acoustic segments play side by side.
14. Ahab – The Giant (Napalm Records)
Mad Captain Ahab’s tireless quest for the white whale has been explored countless times by metal bands, but nowhere as fitting as in Germany’s Ahab. Dubbed funeral doom, the quartet slowly rumbles, as relentless and endless as a violent storm raging through the night. On The Giant, there is absolutely no progression to be found from their previous releases, but given the tiny niche the band belongs to, that’s beneficial, rather than a hindrance.
15. Pallbearer – Sorrow and Extinction (Profound Lore)
The only reason this record is sitting this high on the list, rather than at number one, is because I listened to it too much. WAY TOO MUCH. After discovering the band in February and seeing them at SXSW, I got a bit obsessed with the “Candlemass done better than Candlemass” of Pallbearer. It seems everyone else has caught on, but I’m giving the record a rest till further notice.
16. Mares of Thrace – The Pilgrimage (Sonic Unyon)
This ferocious Canadian two-piece creates a tremendous racket. Thanks to the skillful combination of screeching noise, galloping death metal, skillful jazz percussion, creeping doomy atmosphere, and throaty howls, The Pilgrimage is simultaneously a huge step-up from their previous outing The Moulting and a huge middle finger to the naysayers who pretend women can’t rage.
17. Witch Mountain – Cauldron of the Wild (Profound Lore Records)
Uta Plotkin is what makes this classic doom band shine. Sparkling and varied, her honey soaked voice transforms from growling and guttural to soaring and clear while her bandmates crash and groove all around her. Check out “Beekeeper” and you’ll instantly understand.
18. Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind (Deathwish)
If any band is a benchmark for consistency, it’s Converge. Once again, they’ve made a walloping record. I can’t say much that hasn’t been said, so I won’t.
19. The Devil’s Blood – The Thousandfold Epicentre (Metal Blade Records)
Another record that shines on the basis of its vocal gymnastics. Farida Lemouchi, who is popularly known as "F. The Mouth of Satan", has the perfect voice to accompany her brother’s occult tinged psychedelic rock. The result of a fast aging process for the band makes The Thousandfold Epicentre the most realized album by The Devil’s Blood.
20. Hammerdrone – A Demon Rising EP (Self released)
Calgary act Hammerdrone makes driving blackened death. Music to mosh to, to dance to, and to kick some random stranger’s ass to. Listen up! http://hammerdrone.bandcamp.com/
Six Million Dead's Indiscriminate Misanthropy
- Created on Sunday, 28 October 2012 22:00
- Written by Paul
I saw Six Million Dead open for Eternal Decay a while ago. The band really blew me away as far as energy on stage and I'm not referring to onstage antics that seem to be the norm now. I'm referring to the intensity of their playing. You really can tell the constitution of a band by their live presence. Some are heavy because of who they are. Other times it is pretty easy to tell if they are posers (ie orange county metalcore bands). Six Million Dead's new album is called Indiscriminate Misanthropy and let me tell you, you will be left trembling in its wake.
The first track is entitled The Face of Annhilation. Most notable are the blisteringly fast drums and mean riffage that hits you right in the ballsack. What is particularly unique about this first track is that 3:42 minutes in, we are shown the most effective way to close a song ever.
The second track, Suicide Cultist showcases Hell-bert's punishingly fast battery. It is similar to a death machine that has gone out of control and whose scientists have ran for cover rather than rectifying the problem. Transitions are not crappily done. Bert blasts through the drumrolls like courtney love does with a line of coke. The attitude and fury that we as metalheads have can be felt through certain types of drumming. It's so tiring to hear all of these tech drummers out there. It is nice to hear a guy who focuses on quality rather than quantity. He is not concerned with musicianship but with punishing your ears and that is what brought me to extreme music in the first place. Ironically, only a true musician can portray this type of message with such intensity.
Consequently, this provides a lofty task for bassist Tony Garcia who keeps up in impressive fashion. Backline is tighter than screamo kids' pants at a metalcore concert. Providing the distinct SMD sound is Jose Gutierrez, a mastermind of riffage and an influential member of the underground Phoenix metal scene playing in Sadomasochist, What Dark Creates, and Black Pathology.
The third track, Abominations, requires that all treasured and memorable objects are stashed away prior to pressing play reason being that it's been known that your inner beast that has lain dormant will be awakened by the grotesque spewing of Rob Reyes' vocals. You will find your house , shit shack , studio, couch, or car left like Pamela Anderson backstage at a MotleyCrue concert. It is obvious that Rob has an affinity with crushing eardrums and trying to separate California from Arizona with earthquaking screams.
This keeps getting better and better. Indiscriminate Misanthropy is the fourth track. It highlights the creativity that Jose has. I mean this is the band's paragon of metal perfection. It has caught the attention of many and with that often comes radio airplay attention achieving exposure on Arizona's radio station 98 KUPD. Best heard live, the song has a beautiful melody and the inclusion of another guitarist (not featured on the album), Javier Sauceda (vocalist for Sadomasochist) allows these melodic parts to shine.
I will end this review with the fifth track as it is my favorite- God and Civilization. At 2:41 begins the heaviest part of the album. The main riff throughout the song is accompanied with a melody that brings tidings to all that is grave. This combined with a solid rhythm section and a naturally gifted vocalist offers a pavilion of pleasure to any metal fan.
Every metalhead needs to pick up this gem to discover what true Arizona metal is. The recording in itself is a work of art. Ryan Butler of Arcane Digital Recordings demonstrates his studio sorcery yet again and had done a superb job at accentuating each note. The album is instantly one of Metalifestyle's top albums of 2012. Six Million Dead's last show is tomorrow night at 910 Live with Septic Flesh, Krisiun, Melechesh, and Inquisition. They go on at 6:50 PM. I suggest picking up a ticket and album tomorrow night before they are the classics of yore that you wish you had.
Scott Kelly and Noah Landis of Neurosis Interview
- Created on Friday, 09 November 2012 04:21
- Written by Paul
Neurosis: One More Time, With Feeling
Honor Found in Decay
Age and experience have a way of tempering the most impassioned people. In the case of Oakland, California titans Neurosis, their personal growth seems evident when paralleled with their musical output. In the ‘90s, rumors swirled about their personal and substance abuse issues, and correspondingly all of their releases up until Times of Grace (1999) were infused with seriously repressed aggression, exercised through intellectual engagement. As a result – and I recognize the term is somewhat trite – Neurosis is transcendental.
Overpowering and uplifting, with soundscapes that crash and lumber, driving tribal drum displays contrasted against angular riffs and lion howl vocals… it’s no wonder they launched a thousand imitators. With age came a calmer side, and after 2000 the band’s releases indicated that personal demons were being conquered. A somber and mature side of Neurosis emerged.
Over 25 years of active engagement has resulted in the band’s tenth full length, the cathartic Honor Found in Decay. On the record, they’ve cemented their 2000 era musical “formula” that utilizes gloomy folk passages and purposeful sampling. Here, the integration of beautiful and ugly is seamless, and emotionality cascades through every note. As a result, Honor Found in Decay is Neurosis’ best album since 2001’s A Sun That Never Sets.
A track-by-track review is hardly necessary. Neurosis has never been a band that changes dramatically; instead they’ve developed organically. Correspondingly, their lyrical focus features natural themes. Musically, the listener will hear what has now been dubbed “post metal”, but given that the band originated the genre (which peaked in mid 2000 and has since tapered off considerably), they’ve never been entrenched in its standardized quiet/loud dynamics. While it can be said a few tracks on the record suffer from unnecessarily long lengths, the idea here is the slow burn, the eventuality of a crescendo that incorporates more than your standard guitars, drums, and voice. No track better embodies this aberrant method than centerpiece “My Heart for Deliverance”. The aching spoken word interlude brings the pace to glacial as a woman speaks, “We follow the earth. The earth follows the stars. The stars know their way. And though the body dies, the stars will remain, like the waves of the sea and the restless wind”. With that, crashing percussion, wavering violin samples, and billowing guitars that interweave throughout are unleashed.
Writing about Neurosis is always a difficult task because of the band’s ability to evoke emotion. The adjectives in this review are flowery with good reason. Everyone will internalize the tunes contained within Honor Found in Decay differently, but the point is you’ll feel something in your heart or gut.
RATING: 4 out of 5 Deschutes
Neurosis new album available via Neurot Records and Relapse Records
Film by Lena Haberberger
Review by Sarah Kitteringham
Interview by Paul
Denial of God: Death and the Beyond
- Created on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 05:59
Denial of God
“Death and the Beyond”
Hell's Headbangers Records
“Will you think of me when you are underground?”
Danish band, Denial of God, mark their return to the living world with their newest release, “Death and the Beyond”. Their slow, gloomy black metal sound was forged during the early 90's. They made it almost two decades only releasing EPs before releasing a full length album, 2006's, “The Horrors of Satan.”
“Death and the Beyond” was recorded in analog at Berno Studio in Sweden, the same studio used by Amon Amarth, The Crown, God Dethroned, Vomitory and more.
This newest offering kicks it off with a mellow piano piece named, “Veni Spiritus”. It's a simple track with a spoken word verse over a sweet melody. A fitting introduction for what is to come.
The next track “Funeral”, is one of the slower tracks on the album, nonetheless, heavy as balls. With raspy vocals being laid down by Ustumallagam and an eerie opening riff on top of slow pounding drums, this song sets the mood as to what Denial of God is all about. Doom, morbid fantasies and darkness.
Track 3, “ Behind the Coffin's Lid” is a 9 minute assault on your ears. It comes out the gate fast and furious. Sprinkled with melody and a piece that sounds like the sad music from Top Gun, when Goose dies, (seriously, fast forward the track to around the 3:50 mark, tell me I'm wrong) this track has it all, black metal, thrash, doom and 80's Hollywood blockbuster soundtrack sounds.
Another stand out track is, “Black Dethe”, a 9 minute song that takes you on a journey reminiscent of old Bathory and a little Mayhem. Good, solid metal.
The album closes with a track named, “Pendulum Swings”, an epic track including violin and harpsichord sections. Definitely a great track showing the band's diversity. Grasping for motivations from first wave of black metal and symphonic black metal, this track closes the album properly.
With all but 2 of the 8 tracks coming in under 6 minutes, this album is actually easy to listen to. Denial of God sticks to their winning formula and carries it out for 62 minutes. This album conveniently took 13 days to record and was released on Friday the 13th. Only to add to the lore of this album for generations to come.
Sparky gives this album 4 out of 5 pentagrams.