Everything that has a beginning comes with an end, and so does Metalhead Chronicles. Being a critic is not a hard job, its quite easy to shit-talk about someone else's creative work, and I've not been enjoying doing that of late.
Thank you for buying my opinions till the last review. And now dont ever come back looking for anymore here.
Good Bye and Good fucking luck.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
For starters Funerus is an old-school death metal hailing from the early nineties that flaunts some pretty wicked connections. 'The' Guitarist John McEntee hails from Incantation, while Kyle Severn handled the drums for Vital Remains and Acheron. Before you even start thinking that Funerus sounds close to the above bands, you better stop 'cause Funerus is very unlikely to beat away at the same frequency as Incantation or Remains. Playing a very mid-paced variation of death metal that trudges through your ear like bowel movements in your innards, Funerus play on-your-face no-nonsense death metal that melts your senses away with its gravelly bass lines and plucky, clearcut death metal riffs.
In fact the bass in Festering Earth, their only album till date in their 20 years of existence, mildly reminds you off the gargantuan bass sound of Rottrevore. The difference being in Festering Earth the bass sounds as though its sludging through the wayside waters of your neighborhood drain. Songs are structured in a way that the music seamlessly drifts from mid-tempo to high-tempo, walloping through the album showing their command over the music. All without getting too caustic. And credit for that must go to the drummer who pounds on the kit like a warlord waiting to slay lives to quench his blood thirst, without getting too flashy.
As you further proceed along the the album, the doom influences become all too clear when Stagnant Seas or Web of Deceit plays on the list, where the guitarist plays heavily influenced dense doomy riffs that kind of reverberates reminding you of Asphxy style playing as heard in Rack. Now if you are expecting any kind of rapidfire solos to tears your guts apart, then you would be severely mistaken to expect so, 'cause Funerus really masters in playing no-bullshitting groovy death metal without giving a damn to any of the technical wankeries. With most clocking over two and a half minutes, some of them ending rather abruptly, Festering Earth makes an interesting earth where you don't get a single chance to catch your breath.
Production is great in an album like Festering Earth striking the right chord by staying right in between. Higher quality would have killed all the delicate intricacies involved in those riff patterns or bass lines making it too pronounced. Going to the lower end would have make it come off like Rottrevore's Iniquitous whose production is nowhere near good. Festering Earth clearly shows that Funerus is, as I have rightly read somewhere is a clear paradigm of old school death metal: Deep muddy sound that permanently resides in your guts.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Good lord its raining quality death metal on me for quite some time now! And I'm surely banging my head as Satan himself does in hell. Quite to my fortune this time it's Chicago based outfit Deist whose explosive demo has once again set my balls on fire with fiery brand of death metal and I certainly won't be sedated till I get my hands on their full length(Thinking about it now, its very unfortunate for me to satisfy myself with just two of their songs). Best part about their demo is that it's free. Yes, you read it right you hypocrite! It's free!
Quality over quantity seems to be their mindset. And I must add I've never seen anyone master this term more perfectly than the guys from Deist. With just two songs, clocking over 11 minutes from their demo, Deist have shown what they're capable of. At first hear, the unstoppable blasting amidst those mammoth riffs almost make them appear as Incantation worship band. But hang on, these guys aren't that shameless. They have their own tricks and the solo at 2.47 in Lost Aspiration almost forces you to die out of the orgasmic pleasure it gives. The demo showcases every ounce of their talent that hooks you up to a wild ecstasy that you only derive from when the dissonance of Immolation rhythm pattern meets otherwordly-kind-of dense bass sounds of Demilich and Gorguts.
Right now there's a resurgence of old school styled death metal as heard from Sinister, Vore, Excoriate, Revolting and Dead Congregation. And this is only a good thing, 'cause there has been enough of mass technical wankery of death metal for quite some time. Listening to the demo is like opening the floodgates of hell. And just like how the floodwaters gushes out strikingly in a cohesive flow, brutality and melody chart out their path hand in hand in the songs. Bloody good song structure is what I mean to say. Check out the demo and don't be surprised if you find the Grim Reaper himself headbanging beside you.
Hail The Resurgence!
This is Deist
Sunday, June 13, 2010
That Abandoned Agony 'terrorize, brutalize and sodomize' their audience in their high octane live shows is a fact that every Bangalore metalhead will give a nod to with their horns raised high up in the air. They've already replicated that energy on their demo 'Infected Unborn' even though I still prefer their live performance over studio acts. And now these guys are out with their first video of their song - Deformed.
Treated in a very noir-esque way, the video is very much in the likes of Cannibal Corpse video were the protaganist is always portrayed with immense distress while the antagonist is curiously missing from the scene. The acting of their former guitarist Kiran is quite funny to be honest. But then hats off to the guys for coming out with a true death metal video in the domestic metal scene.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Hamano always had big words for Chasm. He almost seemed hysterical. Words of wild adulation flew out of his mouth as though he was possessed by an entity of another kind. I now envy that bastard for taking their first interview in over 5 years. Deathcult For Eternity : The Triumph. The album has finally showed me why Chasm turns your life upside down and changes your view on 'quality death metal acts'
There's no looking back for me now, I've already fallen into the Chasm.
Friday, June 11, 2010
For starters, Disma is the new project of Incantation and Funebrarum members. Yes, you read that right. Incantation and Funebrarum. Is the music nastily heavy as fuck? Hell yeah! When Craig Pillard, Daryl Kahan and Shawn Eldridge come together to make music after finishing crates of beer, they dont make nonsense. They churn out some crushing, straightforward old school laced death metal to show that these guys are still the front-runners of the burgeoning death metal scenes and not followers.
The Vault of Membros is their first demo release and you certainly won't be satisfied by listening to just three songs on the demo. Cleverly combining Funebrarum styled structures with Incantation's all out energy, Disma makes a strong impact in just 16 minutes of its listing. Disma's music is mostly melodic leadlines riding upon American styled frantic(which sometime tends to get too hasty) rhythm riffage, which makes the album an interesting hear. At time's the music sounds quite dense like in doom metal which suddenly caves in to rapid death metal blasting, as heard in Vault of Membros. Vocals is an interesting mix of Craig Pillard's low guttural with black metal styled background growl.
However this shouldn't allow you to mistake the band as a blackened death outfit 'cause these guys draw a clear line between black metal and death metal. Sometimes the song repeats excessively before moving on, and thats's minor glitch in the demo. Clocking them below 4 minutes instead of long 6 minutes, could've helped them sort this out. Nevertheless the demo pretty much shows Disma are a force to reckon with in the new uprising of OSDM and you sure can expect a hell lot of more skull-crushing beats from these guys in the future. Till then Vault of Membros awaits your honour.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Yes, it sure is a mad world out there. Endless wars are being fought and endless lives are being lost, all without a greater reason. But then most of these people are victims of forces beyond their control. However the guys who chose to make music on these issues are not. Expressing all these thoughts in a unusual mix of industrial and death metal, Crawlspace is Aussie act Infected's remastered release of their second offering by the same name.
The hybrid of industrial and death elements in Crawlspace is unusual to a large extent. Mostly because the songwriting is not strong enough to incorporate industrial elements to a death metal structure. Also missing is the lack of direction in the album which is clearly evident when one notes the oddly timed tempo changes and cameo-role of guitar solos which come out of nowhere and leave without a trace as in tracks like Truthkill, Assimilate and Never. But as one proceeds in the album, one thing becomes clear Infected are pretty much in the vein of Fear Factory. Except the guys in Infected have a knack of playing at a milder pace than their well known counterparts.
First half of the album is played in a morbid style of death metal where the guitarist Mathew Jefferson belts out riff as though they're coming out of a maze without any sense of purpose and direction, aimlessly colliding with an equally raw sounding basslines from John Campbell. The keyboards and the clean vocals are definitely out of the place in the album which once again gives the feeling as though the whole purpose of the album;s existence seem out of place. Industrial element comes in the latter half of the album in Assimilate and Never and its very much like early Fear Factory. Needless to say the tracks are mostly listenable in their beginning until they complicate things by making things more technical and complex.
Lyrics are truly a strong point of the album and they almost have a poetic feel to it - 'Watch the honey drip from their tongues/It will turn to shit once they've won'. In fact the high sense of despair that carries along with the lyrics almost give it a very Kafkaesque edge to it. Sadly the music wasn't strong enough to guide in that direction and Infected have truly made a glorious asshole of themselves in the album. Approach it at your own risk.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Bowing down to the chain of karma, Vishal J.Singh's gives a thought provoking insight to the concept of his next production 'Quantum Hack Code'. Living is not a futile effort where death is perceived as a final destination of its journey. Instead its a part of an already existing cosmic chain on a larger scale, where every action has a grander meaning. His music has never failed in delivering the just meaning of its composition as heard in his previous album. And I'm certainly sure he'll pretty much nail it in QHC too. Here is what he says
'There is a difference between the Sunrise and the Sunset. The one who loves the Sunrise knows there is a new mission everyday. The responsibilities aren't over yet. And the one who loves the Sunset knows that the end is near. The responsibilities are over and the Master is waiting to welcome you to another memory i.e Post-Life. As a living being, we call it "Salvation". :)'
As someone rightly said, he's a living genius. He shouldn't live any longer!
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
For the last couple of weeks I had delved in so deep into Defeated Sanity and Masachist and grind, that I had totally forgotten that some of the greatest exponents of death metal practice their craft miles away in the icy lands of Sweden. And right now I'm speaking about Aeon's new album Path of Fire, that once again reminds you why Swedes are one of the megaliths of death metal foundry. Sure these guys have always walked on the anti-religious path like their Norwegian counterparts do in their thriving black metal scene. But its their aggressive arrangements and impressive changes it has employed in those structures that makes me raise my horns to their music.
Aeon knows to keep things interesting and in Path of Fire they clever set in changes in the whole atmosphere of listening to them by employing wide arrays of Nil's drumming techniques or Dahlstom's clever shifting from high pitched to low pitched growls and vice versa. Guitars used in the album tend to be tilting little bit on the melodic side with the riffs and the leads mildly reminding of NWOBHM bands. But its the devastating combination of Nil's ravenous blastbeats and piercing riffs that gives the album its punch. Sure there're a lot of lead guitar lines used sporadically in the album, but before you get used to them the band directs their music in a whole new direction. And this works greatly with me goes music needs to progress to new paths and not stagnate in the same old one.
Yes the Swedes do play some awesome death metal music, but these particular bunch of Swedes seems to be held in the awe of Vital Remains and Deicide, which becomes pretty evident by the time you cross over to the second half of the album where the fully charged assault on the instruments remind of the brutal music of Vital Remains and the likes. I think thats here the Finns stand out in their music, the Finnish death metal is unlike anything you have heard before. But the same cant be said for Aeon's sound. Nevertheless the brutality of their music manages to rub on you when tracks like Forgiveness Denied and Total Kristus Invertus take the seat. The trademark Aeon features of high velocity death metal with technically proficient arrangements are characterized in tracks like Suffer The Soul and Liar In The Name Of God.
The lyrical content as I said earlier is anti-religious but it comes as a surprise to me considering vocalist Dahlstom is a member of Jehovah's Witness. And though Dahlstom's delivery could have been more intense, the album never disappoints in the spirit of its conception as the guys have charged head on against the topic rather than playing along with it. Production of the album is the best considering Erik Rutan handled it. Overall Path of Fire is a slab of solid blasphemous death metal that punches your stomach with a pack of brutality and intensity. Expect more from Swedes in the future, till then rise on your Path of Fire.
Monday, May 31, 2010
You dont speak. Not a single word. No utterance whatsoever. Not squeals or grunts or any such thing. You just listen. Silently. With patience. In awe. In amazement. You're held at the mercy of the creator's power. You dont move. You just follow. diligently. With reason and accordance.Without stopping for a pause. Yes, at times you ask yourself 'Why is this happening'? 'Is this reality?' or 'Have I stepped back in time?' And then when you're trying to search for the answer, only two words flashes through your mind - 'Defeated Sanity'. Irony.
Only once in this whole lifetime (from Big Bang till now), a Blue moon has been witnessed.Literally. Only once in this lifetime a more-than-classic death metal album gets released. Chapters of Repugnance. With a supertight song structure where every element falls into place like domino effect, it gives you the feeling as though you're re-living the classic death metal era when albums like 'And Time Begins' or 'Upon The Throne of Apocalypse' ruled the roost. But then you listen closer, and soon you notice the elements that make it more than classic. The hooks, the speed, unaccounted tempo shifts and the gravity of its complexity finally makes you realize the band has come full circle in Chapters of Repugnance. Intense.
Brutality in the album is unmatched by no other album as evident in tracks like 'Calculated Barbarity' and 'Lurid Assimilation' where all the right riffs and right drum patterns assimilate together in a perfect showcase of their brutality. Zenith of their capability. Needless to say the fusion drums are used once again by Lille Grubber and this time it sounds better than it did in Psalms or Prelude. Ex-Disgorge vox AJ Magana does the perfect vocals, shrouding the album in his guttural wails that adds up greatly to the instruments. The band have however not gone overboard with their inimitable style of technicality. And that has been an intelligent choice considering the brutal patterns in the structures are best heard without much of the technical wankery.
In all 'Chapters of Repugnance' is the only album that can safely and proudly claim the moniker 'Most brutal release' it displays on it cover. And not just that. Keeping in mind about every single element that counts in calling an album 'Death Metal', Defeated Sanity have made a magnum opus of death metal music in Chapters of Repugnance. Keeping in mind about the very fundamental essence of death metal, Defeated Sanity have set the bar high for other bands to follow. However I don't expect that to be broken in quite a long time. Like I said before, such things don't occur often, it happens once in a blue moon. And the next blue moon is pretty far away in the future, till then you have Chapters of Repugnance.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Every dog has its day. With Agorapocalypse, Agoraphobic Nosebleed have finally made their presence felt with their ear-grabbing, arm ripping and putrefying style of grind which they were till now unable to reciprocate in Altered States of America and Frozen Corpse Stuffed With Dope. I say shit happens listening to their old stuff, cause Scott Hull and Co. have made a such a remarkable turnaround in the album that, Agoraphobic Nosebleed can now be rightfully termed 'an established act' in grindcore.
Forget their older 'fuck me for a dime' kinda styled songs that hardly reaches out to you other than giving you timely doses of programmed blastbeats and cave man styled noise rambling. Agorapocalypse has gone high up in my views of respect by incorporating thrash styled riffs and an additional vocals that lends a new dissonant sound to the album. Even more impressing is the point that the album is overtly simple and yet it crushes you under its sonical weight, over empowering your senses and assaulting you senses out and out under its notes. Scott Hull once again shows his knack for playing killer riffs and all this adds up perfectly with Randall's deranged shrieks while newbie Katz provides unnerving shrieks from a different angle. The vocals match up with each other in such an amazing manner that you cant help but feel agoraphobic listening to the album.
More than all this its the drumming that totally shook me down to the very bottom of my soul. Mind numbing drumbeats that keep on pounding on and on, play an a very effective role in a lending a new sound to the album. But it needs to be noted here that the drums are not programmed to play at lightning fast speeds anymore. Its more layered and less mindless thrashing is approached in Agorapocalypse, giving it more space to breathe. The programmed drumming in the album is smart, with clever breakdowns and blastbeats employed amidst various tempo changes through put the album.Songs are wonderfully structured as the musical elements do not repeat at all.And this is the best litmus test a band can take to prove whether they are playing good music or not. Needless to say the guys in Agoraphobic pass this one with an ace.
Agoraphobic Nosebleed have finally come of their age in this album. Forget the past, start the future with a new beginning seems to be the option they are pursuing at the moment and I totally agree with that after listening to this. And its not just the music that reflects this thought but also the album cover which has cleverly designed to depict a man dying of agoraphobia. Total madness is assured listening to this album. Long Live the new Agoraphobic Nosebleed. Hail grindcore.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
With the amount of filth piling up my neck, not every tom, dick and harry in a metal band that employs distorted guitars with blastbeats and deep growls call their music death metal. The music needs to portray the meaning behind its conception and hence its consequential existence amidst so many other albums floating in the market. Death March Fury is the debut album of Polish band, supergroup in reality - Masachist. Why supergroup? Well if Pig( ex- Decapitated), Daray( ex- Vader, Vesania and Dimmu Borgir), Thrufel(ex Azarath), Heinrich(Vesania) and Aro(Shadows Land, I've never heard this particular act though) play together, you call it a supergroup you miserable penishead. Just by the virtue of being supergroup, metalheads expect some ass-ripping music from them. Such is not the case when you listen to Contraband and Damnocracy, when you realize why their music classifies them so well to be called as faggots.
However, fear not! Masachist are no cum-shitting, ball sucking faggots. They play metal. Death Metal. Good. Real good. Death March Fury is a solid death metal album where Sauron and Co. unleash their fury over seminal themes of apocalypse, rage and death. Masachist furiously pounds your senses for a good 26 minutes like a closed, tightly packed tank division decimating its enemies through and out. With meaty riffs and blastbeats aplenty, Masachist cleverly succeeds in providing a musical portrait for death,fury and apocalypse. Brutality quotient is unquestionable in the album as the nonstop blastbeats amidst the abrupt halts ,during which slower, heavier riffs take overs the furious mood of the album to explode your sickening skull to bits.
The vocals are more on the raspy side of the death metal nature rather than stressing on the growls, which would have without a doubt sounded better. However having said that I must say I liked the vocals considering that it was done by none other than the legendary - Pig. Songs are superbly structured without bothering over complexity or long structures. And with that you are never allowed notice any mis-match of musical elements in any tracks. And there's no question in doubting their technical capabilities in handling the instruments. Stick to the point, on your face seems to be the approach the members took in Death March Fury. A very effective one too without a doubt.
Having come till here, I have nothing to complain about this album. A good mashup of god old Malevolent Creation, Deicide style death meta and European metal, Masachist have done well in their debut. Without any overt usage of production skills, the albums sounds just fine. Moreover when you look at the lineup, you expect them to deliver. And they have delivered in Death March Fury. Listen to it or you're truly a well deserved dickhead.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Pig Destroyer! The name needs no introduction. Those familiar to it either swear by it or swear against it. Thats the kind of extreme response they get. And going by their music all I can say is that I pity the guy who swears against it. With such abundance of overflowing talent, the band always does justice to their skills in all their albums. And Phantom Limb is no such exception when it comes to that critical fact. Even greater is the fact that Pig Destroyer play superbly structured songs that can give most of the other grindcore bands a run for their balls.
The musical approach of the band in Phantom Limb is highly commendable as its a smart mix of their head smashing, progressive sounds in Prowler in the Yard and the equally fierce, niche sound in the Terrifyer. The subtlety of the brute force of their music is simply awe inspiring rather and not abrasively bland. And this a forte of a band solely due to its incredible song structures that're second to none. The songs have structured so well, that even the breakdowns added in their tracks(which always sound gay in other bands) are pretty much enjoyable.
Apart from that there's nothing much left to mention about Pig Destroyer's individual musical capabilities because they've already proven their mettle. With Phantom Limb, Scott Hull has once again hammers mashed our brains with his riffs. Coming up with layers of riffs for Harvey to follow while making up for the lack of bass in the band is very much interesting to hear. While Harvey's brutality in drumming follows up perfectly in sync with Scott's riffing, its JR Haye's animalistic screams and growls that brings the band together as one helluva tight unit. No matter how old these guys get as time passes by, you can always count on them to deliver some head pounding music.
Loathsome,Machete Twins, Jupiter's eye are some of the outstanding tracks in the album. The Girl in the Slayer Jacket displays the band's experimental side with oddly timed, bizzare technical riffs. Lyrics have a very poetic tint to it as its not all about gore, politics with an unrequited love story being the central theme. The production is chunky and focused and delivery is intense to the point. With Phantom Limb, Pig Destroyer have delivered another masterpiece, the third time in a row. Phantom Limb is a true grind magnum opus and if you have not heard then its simply because you lack the brains to understand true good music.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Grindmeister Mieszko A. Talarczyk's unparalleled aggression continues into Nasum's second production Human 2.0. Overflowing with all the violence and antipathy from their previous,debut album Inhale/Exhale though not in its entirety, Human 2.0 is still a very destructive album. In spite of inclusion of more melodious presentation of their sounds with a considerably higher groove factor than their previous outing, Human 2.0 is still a very brutal,savage album from Nasum. Because end of the day you still get to hear those pissed-off growls from Mieszko with those equally malicious buzzsaw riffs.
Though they have musically experimented with their music, Nasum have stayed true to their grindcore roots employing heavily distorted guitars at high tempo alongside maniacal blastbeats. Vocally Mieszko once again balances evenly between his low growls and high pitched screams, that nevertheless to say goes perfect with the grinding chaos. Songs are structured in a more crispy manner than a technical one, as heard in Inhale/Exhale. And as stated earlier about the presence of melodic components, they all feature in the first half of the album.
However in second half, things get back to hell mode where the band once again unleashes its fury with all its grinding might. The production is a bit too over the notch in the album ,as in making it picture perfect the band's savagery has tad a reduced. If you don't get what I mean then give Inhale/Exhale a hear before checking Human 2.0. The latest album is a lot less dense and at times sound a bit atmospheric too. But these are not the details that would piss you off, as end of the day Nasum can still beat the shit out of any motherfucker who come on their way and leave them spastic with their malevolent sounds.Lyrically, the band still is politically aggravated and let out their frustration against the system in their songs.
Human 2.0 is still a classical grind album with plenty of a-song-a-minute moments. And with its unmatched brutality Nasum still decimates any other grind band's claim to 'the best ever'' tag no matter what changes they make - minor or major. At the end of the day you get your dose of grind as you expect it from these Swedish masters in Human 2.0. And you can let out all your frustration by simply headbanging to it. Its a tragedy that Mieszko was wiped off this face of earth in the tragic 2004 tsunami incident or we would have get to hear more grind from one of the best grindcore bands the planet has ever seen - Nasum.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Coming across this album is like finding a coin of gold in your shit. This might sound a bit exaggerated but then I cant help mentioning it because the album deserves applause from every single guy who calls himself metalhead. So apart from the kickass combination of Alex Webster, Ron Jarzombek and Charlie Zeleny, what makes this album worthy of such great amount of adulation is the simple fact that Blotted Science never go over the top in the album yet keeping their music flowing at a virtuous pace. And this a key point of the album as its very hard to find good technical metal albums who play their time worth the substance without approaching breakneck pace.
Ranging from slow to mid-tempo to even high tempo, Blotted Music plot a very progressive path for their music in The Machinations of Dementia. And I'm not just saying this going by the tempo changes and time signatures employed in the album but also by the incredible usage of such large and more importantly varied arsenal of riffs from Jarzombeck that explodes on your ears song after song with its effect inducing tones, making you feel lobotomized at his sheer musical capability. Amazement. Thats a word that is bound to enter your mind when you reach the a third way down the playlist.
Alex Webster is not far behind either. With his thumping basslines, Webster matches up pace to pace with Jarzombeck, at times matching notes with notes in a very harmonious way too. Charlie Zeleny's no hold barred approach with oddly timed percussion to blast beats amidst constant barrage of double bass hammering, shows his creative effort on the album too. Another important thing to be mentioned here is that the entire album is instrumental. No traces of cleans,growls or rasps shroud the album keeping the sounds very clean. In fact its better that way as I dont think the album would've sounded the way it sounds now. Asskicking it would've become than the kickass tag it carries proudly now.
Production on the album is phenomenal, making sure that you dont fail to register even a single note. That they manage to hold the listener's attention in a good 57 minutes while the album lasts is very commendable, considering their shit is all instrumental. With such truckloads of tremendously awesome musical skills thrown to our ears in Machinations Of Dementia, the album is sure to go down as a classic album both in instrumental as well as in a general metal category 30 years down the line. And if it fails to do so, then it would only be because they would have come up with an even better album.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Keeping aside all the exaggeration of the technical wankeries exhibited by droves of technical death metal bands these days in their neighbourhood garbage dumps, French tech-death band Gorod have walked tall amidst all the sub-par acts with their brand of death metal which draws quite a pull on the technical side, keeping their death metal roots intact and fist-packed. Here's an exclusive though a bit outdated interview with Mathieu and Arnaud of Gorod.
Hi! How are you guys doing at the moment?
Mat: Fine, thank you! Well, we're preparing the future shows, rehearsals, management,...we're pretty tired but it's a pleasure to take time to talk about us and the new album!
Your new album Process of new Decline sounds brilliant. How do you feel about it?
Mat: We're really proud of this album, and relieved that it's finally out, 3 years after "Leading Vision". It's the first album that will be promoted in Europe, US, and worlwide at the same time and in an efficient way by Willowtip and Listenable together.
What was the inspiration behind it?
Mat: Nothing in particular, I don't have a huge metal background, except 90's period maybe. Some riffage is inspired by Coroner style, technically. Rhythms and grooves are most inspired by the 70's music, jazz-funk, prog-rock, while melodies and chords progressions are directly borrowed to latin-jazz artists like Al di Meola or Chick Corea. I rarely realize that when I work on a new song, but it's something I hear later, when I listen to all of the songs. My purpose is only musical, I can't tell you I'm inspired by nature, birds, the darkness of the human spirit, satan or whatever...Music is the only thing that is important to me.
Is there anything you would like to change in the album?
Mat: Well, I wish we could have more time to work on the vocals maybe. Lyrics were written during the recording process so everything has been set up in a short period. We couldn't stand back and have an overall listen on them. I realize now that maybe there's too much voice...Anyway, things are set now and we can't roll back! Next time I hope we can anticipate and keep some time to get a more objective point of view on our songs.
How does it differ from your previous releases?
Mat : The new album is more direct and is a logical evolution of what we did with the two older albums, but it's also an improvement. Sound is more powerful, drums hit harder, music goes faster! Song structures are more direct, efficient, where the older maybe were too convoluted. I tried to get the songs immediately understandable, so that the listener shouldn't be lost at any moment. Of course, we haven't made any compromise or tried to follow the mainstream, this album is pure Gorod and we still do Death Metal. But sometimes when you hear DM, especially Tech DM, you can't bang your head and you have to be focused on the music to get it. Where is the pleasure? So we're done with asymetrical patterns and unremitting tempo changes. On the new album, there's way less riffs or parts, but they are more developed. The sound on this album is the best we ever had and the best I ever produced, it's very accurate and chirurgical but "wild" and natural at the same time.
A lot of technicality has gone into the making of your songs, how do you come up with he music?
Mat: Usually, I write the whole structure of the song (drums/guitars), with computer drums and an amp simulator, testing and exploring many possibilities to retain a few.If everyone is ok with that , we go forward. If not, we try to improve the structure, add or remove a part, etc... Then Benoit comes with his bass part, which we finalize together. As I said, lyrics are constantly written later, or at the studio. I'd like to tell you we spend a lot of time on rehearsals, but it's wrong. We try hard to play together once a week but it's difficult because of everyone's jobs, families etc...Everyone works on his parts at home with differents playbacks and when we meet, we just perform the whole set-list to be ready for shows.
How has your new drummer Sam fit into the lineup?
Mat: On July 2008, Sandrine announced to the band that she wanted to leave it because of her job as a psyhchologist. This job took her so much time, she didn't want to slow down the band. Also, she wasn't sure to be there for gigs, tours, etc...We spent this summer finding a new drummer. We wanted someone that would be excellent on drums and as a musician, available, and someone that we would know personally. Sam has recorded an album with Zubrowska on 2003 at our studio, he was already impressive at this time. So we contacted him by October 2008, and he rapidly accepted. During approximately 3 weeks we worked on the songs all day long, everyday, and then he recorded the album in only 4-5 days...wow! We're very happy to have met him. He's a solid drummer that plays many styles of music, but he's also a good guitarist, with a large rock background, not just a groovebox with two legs! I hope he will participate more on the future songs that he could do on POAND.
What hapened to Sandrine? What is she upto now?
Mat: Well, now she focuses on her job, maybe she will come back later with a new band, but now she hasn't enough time...We really thank her for this decade of drumming and friendship, she's still our friend and we sometimes play together for fun...
You just did a tour with Immolation recenty. How did it go?
Mat: Honestly, it was our very first real tour ever. And we really enjoyed it. Immolation are very cool guys, and the tour was a pleasure, even if it was quite short. Our music is aimed to be played Live, we are really into our music when we perform and always try to share our passion to/with the audience. Even if the sound looks a bit difficult to render, we can make it while moving crazy, giving the people what they come for. Of course, the conditions are sometimes not pretty good, bad sound, bad organization, static people, and that's what stressful for me. But most of the time things went well and I hope we can make bigger tours in the future.
What is your take on the current technical death scene?
Mat: Optimistic, I guess...There's many bands to come out these days and we are proud to be a part of this movement.
How do you get along with other metal bands from France?
Arno: The French metal scene is moving. There is many new young bands growing like Hacride or Trepalium which is preety cool! There also bands like Gojira of course or Scarve that we really like for years now.
As a death metal act, what would you prefer more - technicality or brutality?
Mat: Well, we don't do Brutal Death Metal. Agressiveness comes from vocals mainly but I try to feed it with high tempos, fast drumming and guitar techniques. My aim is not to be always brutal, cool and progressive parts are necessary to accentuate the hard ones. A whole brutal album is maybe too boring and linear in my opininon. You can't keep the attention of the listener beyond 3 or 4 intense songs. Sometimes, a groovy or memorable part, a cooler song, can ease the audition and helps the listener to keep the songs in mind. Some people told us that we could actually be an instrumental band, that vocals maybe being unecessary, but we still do Death Metal and to agree with you , I'd say that our music is better with strong vocals because they push the sound and make the structures of the songs clearer.
Is there any particular band/musician you would like to go on tour with or collaborate with?
Mat: I don't have a precise line up in mind. All I want is to tour with cool and kind people, whom I like the music or not, people with a regular ego and a some sense of teamwork. But a North American tour with Megadeth would be good too ;) Joking aside, the point is rather "where" we are playing than "with who" we are playing. Of course, it would be beneficial for us to share the stage with the great masters of technical death metal, like Necrophagist, Decrepit Birth, Cryptopsy or if they were still available Death and Decapitated. But we just want to make many good shows, no matter with whom.
Any chance of catching you guys in India?
Mat: I hope so! Your country is very far from here and I hope one day we can make a huge world tour, including india and East Asia, we know that we have many fans around there!
Any final words for your fans?
Mat: Thank you for the support and the questions!! I also want to thank all our indian fans that appreciate our sound and DeathMetal in general. That means a lot to us and demonstrates that Metal is worldwide and doesn't know physical or administrative borders!!
Monday, March 22, 2010
Its always better to be jack of one trade than be a jack of all trades. Thats how the saying goes so. However it doesn't apply to Grimness 69 at all, considering the fact that they play a hybrid of death,grind and thrash. Managing to fuse the sounds of these genres brilliantly into a giant collosal grinding soundwave, Grimness have portrayed grindcore in a new light.
Their new album ill Heaven Hells rides on a groove that's maintained through out the album whcich at times aptly reminds you about Pungent Stench. Fascinating punk riffs and a technical yet rapid drumm battery are some the aspects of the album that can be held in high regards. Vocals are performed in form of growls, a good stomach-y growl minus the cookie monster feel. And inspite the use of distortions on voice, the growls remain clear and audible.yrically, the topics covered in the album are bizzare like angelwhores of which I have no clue about.
Melodic contents have been upped by Grimness in the album and this factor plys a spoilsport. And due to this it sometime makes you wonder that maybe the band would have sounded more brutal and gore-ish had the amount of melody put into the record been reduced exponentially. However there are tracks in ill Heaven Helss that churn your biles instantly giving you a solid headbanging experience like PostMortem Blues, The Infernal Dancefloor and Grimness Avenue 69, with the later being a bloody good instrumental track.
The album also packs some extra punches due to the good production quality, without which half the gut-wrenchinf feel would have been lost. And though the more-than-normal/usual-use of-melody-in-grind tick your consciousness off your mind, on the whole ill Heaven Hells is one solid grindcore album that manages to mix up the gastric and the pancretic juices in your belly/guts, satisfying your deepest gore needs.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Not even in my darkest dreams had I ever imagined that some day I would listen to black metal combined with avante-garde style. However Mick Barr and Co, envisioned such a sound by thinking out of the box, and successfully succeeded in creating a more progressive style of black metal as heard in their band Krallice. And Dimensional Bleedthrough, their second studio effort is a perfect example of their anti-stereotypical, megalomaniacal style of handling instruments that simply leaves you in awe when you first hear them.
Lacking almost, all the customary undertones of Norwegian influenced black metal that sharply relied on blasting tremolo lines, Krallice incorporates elaborate song structures that are held together by their mind-bending riffs played at fast tempos. Inspite of breaking away from the usual black metal musical style, Krallice maintains a n atmospheric ambience through out the album like a buzz of primal fear and chaos waiting to envelope you within itself and plunge your persona into the void. Drums, however aren't all that different from their guitarist counterparts.Sticking to the same old hard hitting blast beats with regular breaks in the rhythm, the drummer doesn't take his performance over the top and plays just the right beat for the hypnotic surges of the guitar tones.
With so much bundles of creative talent in these members, Krallice have almost built themselves their little own corner in the black metal musical world. The songs in the album once again take a week long to end, however the sheer labyrinthine efforts gone into linking several equally complex riffs and patterns to create one large scorching track, makes listening the album a very different experience of the positive kind. Autochthon, the title track and Intraum are some of the tracks that clearly speaks in favor of the band's brilliant dexterous skills.
Nonetheless, had the tracks been composed for a shorter time, then maybe the understanding of the tracks of Dimensional would've been achieved much earlier. And to be brutally frank, at times you do lose touch with the epic feel of the guitar lines amidst the growls and blast beats. However these matters are very trivial, and the achievements of these top-notch musicians breaking frontiers in black metal genre with more progressive infusion definitely deserves proper praise. So listen to Krallice's new album to check out black metal with some unique flair.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
If I am ever asked, how I prefer my plate of death metal, brutal and crushed, the old school style, is what I would say. And thats exactly what Rottrevore delivers in their album Iniquitous. As soon as the album plays, it feels like a bulldozer treading waist deep over your guts, crushing your innards and what nots along with it. And play the album on the loudest volumes, only to let the humongous basslines in the album explode your brain right out through your eyesockets. And all this is achieved without the blastbeats,drum triggers and that truly shows that Rottrevore are truly, one wicked old school brutal death metal act.
Rottrevore may not be playing death metal, lightning fast pace, but they strike the right note with their brand of slow yet heavy,raw and dark music in Iniquitous. Also you get to hear the raw, primal energy of the band in its truest form through the not-so-great sound production of the early nineties era. And that works just perfect, as the album would have lost its appeal had it undergone a more modern treatment in the studios. The bass is a tad too high, as noted from the starting track Jesters of Recession where it thumps into your skull. In fact the bass is louder than the drums, and at certain times the drums are lost behind the basslines. However this particular point doesn't make much of a difference in the entire album.
Moving on to the vocals, one thing which is clearly distinct about it is, the growls are tremendously low-pitched and at times you lose hold of the lyrics. In fact the vocals are very similar to Immolation vocals, and on an offbeat mood you'll be surprised to note that the logo of Immolation was designed by none other than Mark Mastro who does the vocals for Rottrevore in this album. The riffs in the album too aren't anything great to rave about, as they are simple and no where in the album do the guitarists go over the top with their solos. Action For Loss and Unanimous Approval are some of the best tracks in the album.
To sum it up plainly, the guitarists stick to simple,easy riffs which happen gel perfectly with the basslines and drumming, to create the the perfect heavy ambience of an old school era of bygone times. Iniquitous is pretty much an example of the death metal albums of the early nineties era, when sound production was a rudimentary issue and the brutality in the music was amplified by the not-so-perfectly-mastered discs which in fact lend an extra dose of credibility to its crushing sound. So if you ever want to hear some brutal, crushing death metal minus the enhanced sound effects, checkout Rottrevore's Iniquitous.
Before starting the review I must add that I am a novice when it comes to listening avant-garde metal. With so many nuts and bolts spinning around death and black metal, I never bothered to check this relatively untouched genre till I came across Rat King. When I first heard Plague of Hamelin, I was visibly taken aback by the mixing of varied styles ranging from industrial to classical and even jazz to folk in the album. But the amalgamation of these varied choice created a perfect blend of ambience in the album, which left a dying urge in me to check their next album Larva.
If Plague of Hamelin was about a distorted version of the famous story Pied Piper of Hamelin, then Larva is about ''a man's unremitting dream and his crawling descent to his physical disintegration, through a series of horrifying phantasmagorias''. Sounds a bit too far fetched at first, but then it sure does leave a horrifying imprint in your mind when the opening track Egg's sonic burst of dark ambience ridden sounds sparsed with drumming fills your ears. And thats how the album proceeds over the next thirty five minutes. Larva is a very conceptual album as it lacks a vocal support just like their previous album, and yet they manage create a vocal impression with their dexterity in instrumentation, which clearly shows how clever the band are.
Drumming plays a very important role in the album, as the maniacal blast beats heard in Larva perfectly sums up the the frantic horror going through the man's mind. Guitaring too is cleverly done as heard in tracks like Hour of Wolf, where the guitarist cleverly changes gear from soft acoustic to a more industrial black metal side and in Wake, where there's a canny interaction between acoustics and electric guitars. All through these sounds, the orchestral elements play an equally effective role in maintaining the perfect dark ambience for the theme, through out the album just as though you're experiencing your worst nightmare.
In short, with Larva, Rat King have come out more matured than before with greater expertise in instrumentation and an even greater knack in songwriting that manages to conjure the perfect horror-imagery in mind which perfectly conforms to the album's storyline. And the fact that they have done this without lyrical support once again and yet adding to a good listening experience, deserves a commendable applause from the listener. So if you ever want to knowhow the soundtrack to your worst nightmare would be, then check out RatKing's Larva to get those shivery spine chills.