Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pig Destroyer - Phantom Limb

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

Nasum - Human 2.0

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

Blotted Science - The Machinations Of Dementia

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

Interview With Mathieu and Arnaud From Gorod

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! 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!!