Album Thoughts | Ghost Bath: Starmourner

Ghost Bath are a band who’ve made quite a name for themselves in the last few years. A very polarizing one at that. Not only do they fall into that category of Post-Black Metal, in which most of those bands get bombarded with the word ”Hipster”, which some, deservingly so, but I think these guys are a little better than that, but also add in that fuckery that went down with the release of their last album Moonlover, where they were revealed not to be an anonymous band from China, which they initially hid behind the guise of, but just a band from North Dakota. Yeah, real mature, guys. Anyway, that also turned a lot of people off from them. I personally don’t give a shit, but that sort of thing won’t earn you any brownie points. But I digress. This is the third full length album by these North Dakotians, and much like the last one, you can expect the same style of super melodic but very Atmospheric Post-Black Metal. Sort of similar to Fen, but a lot more melodic and riff-driven as opposed to focusing more on atmosphere and creating more of a potent listening experience, which isn’t a bad thing in essence, but in this case, I have to be a little critical.

First, let me say that this is not a bad album. Far from terrible, and not bad at all. My main issue is a lot of the melodic element that they use and the tone they try to set with their sound. The way I see it, they go for the Woods of Ypres type of feel (but don’t do it nearly as well). They try to sound melancholic, but sort of uplifting at the same time. The problem with it is they try wayyyyyyyyy too hard to do so and it just ends up sounding corny. A lot of the riffs are very feel-goodish and positively-toned and it just comes off as too hippy-happy, similar to what Anathema are currently doing. Trying to incorporate a sense of optimism into the sadness and melancholy of your sound won’t exactly work unless it’s well-balanced. In this case, it’s not. The optimism outweighs the melancholy far too much and that’s what hurts things here.

On the other hand, the darker and more atmospheric side of things is really good. Underneath all the melody and riffage, we do have a very solid Atmospheric Post-Black Metal band at the core. If the melodic element were to be removed, we’d have a much better product, once again, very similar to Fen. I’m a strong believer in ”less is more” and in my opinion, that can’t be any more evident here. When you rely too much on one element while not paying enough attention to the other, things will just implode and get lost in translation. That’s what I think happened here. The other big gripe that I have with this album, and once again i’m going to bring their name up, is that it suffers from the same issue that the new Fen album does. This is a lengthy album, clocking it at an hour and ten minutes long and a majority of the songs are longer in length and as a result, it starts to get tedious and tiring to sit through. That’s another thing a lot of bands fail to realize. A shorter, easier listen will also improve an album quality-wise. Again, less is more.

Overall, like I said, this isn’t a terrible album. Not even necessarily a bad one, it just suffers from a lack of balance between the two main elements it tries to incorporate. I still like Ghost Bath and I don’t think the ”Hipster Black Metal” branding that they get is all that warranted, but this one could have been better. That’s all. If you’re a fan of them and like this album, I can totally see why, this is just how I see it. Hopefully they can improve on this and find their footing soon.

Until next time.

-Scvm

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Album Thoughts | Full of Hell: Trumpeting Ecstasy

I’ve been anticipating this album since late February. When Full of Hell release something new, you can sure as shit expect something ridiculous, and you’re usually right. You can expect some of the most vicious, chaotic, relentless and darkest Death, Black, Crust & Noise-infused Grindcore that your ears have ever had the displeasure of  having to endure. The last we heard from them was their EP Amber Mote in the Black Vault and their insanely fantastic collaborations with Merzbow and The Body. This, however is their first actual, non-collab album since 2013’s Rudiments of Mutilation, and while we got a small taste of what these guys are capable of now with Amber Mote, I was still curious with what this album would have to offer, because if you’re familiar with Full of Hell, you never really know.

They have certainly evolved in the last few years, growing from a solid and crushing Chaotic Hardcore band into a punishing and visceral experimental Crust-infused Grindcore outfit that blends together elements of Death Metal, Black Metal, Grind, Noise and whatever other elements they can pull from their sleeve and garnered widespread awe and praise in the process. In the last few years, they’ve dabbled in Noise & Power Electronics as well, which if you know the FoH Noise stuff, you know what that’s all about. Full of Hell are basically a jack-of-all-trades type of band, which is respectable, and that absolutely shows on this album. This album further showcases how versatile these guys are with the way they can mix all these different elements together in such a unique way, without straying away from their core sound and going allover the place. Experimental done right. As far as stand-out tracks go, there are some real bangers here like the blasty, ear-shredding Deluminate, which serves as a great tone-setting opener with it’s minute-long assault of chaotic, visceral Grind, then there’s Branches of YewCrawling Back to God, which again, showcases the band’s versatility in mixing chaotic vicious Grindcore with hints of Blackened Death Metal & Noise. Other rippers like Gnawed Flesh & Ashen Mesh follow the same formula. The rest of the tracks are just as ridiculously good and pack just as much of that punch that make Full of Hell such an intriguing act.

The brightest shining spot on this album, however, is the title track, Trumpeting Ecstasy, which features guest Bassist (and album producer) Kurt Ballou, guest programming by The Body’s Lee Buford, and guest vocals by, shockingly, Dreampop artist Nicole Dollanganger (who I like). This track is easily the highlight of this album and the biggest showcasing of what the band is capable of other than the Crusty Grindy goodness that’s dished out throughout the rest of the album. It’s a mixture of nasty, muddy Sludge on Full of Hell & Ballou’s part and noisy industrial on Lee Buford’s end, laced with Dollanganger’s signature creepily angelic voice over the two verses. You wouldn’t think a dynamic like that can be pulled off, but it sure as hell was here. Excellent stuff. The album then wraps up with the 6-minute ripper At The Cauldron’s Bottom, that serves as the final assault of punishing Grindy viciousness as the album comes to a close.

So as expected, Full of Hell delivered once again and proved how much of a multi-talented beast they have grown into. They continue to be one of the best in the Harcore & Crust scene and in Grindcore and Experimental/Noise. Whether it be as part of a collaboration or on their own accord, you can always expect a fucking banger.

Until next time.

-Scvm

Random Recs | April 2017 (Plus a Quick Update)

It’s been a rough month. Once the Wrestlemania craze was over, things got hectic for me. Tons of work to do, including moving tons of heavy furniture to other rooms around the house due to getting new floors in my living room. That plus a bunch of other things I had to tend to. During this time, I did have a bunch of good stuff to help me through the ridiculousness. I started the month off re-discovering some good Gothic Metal that I haven’t heard in quite a long time. No, not the corny, overproduced, squeaky clean shit like Nightwish or Within Temptation, I mean the classic, harsher stuff like the two albums mentioned below. Also, lately I’ve been really immersed in Atmospheric Black Metal. So much so that I’ve re-discovered some good shit that I drifted away from a while back, plus cranking out some other stuff that I love and will never drift from. Plus, we got some good old Thrash to top it all off.

So, anyway, here they are. This month’s selections.

Darzamat: SemiDevilish

Starting off with this gem of the Gothic Metal variety. The early works of Poland’s Darzamat are very dark, but beautifully written pieces of Black Metal-laden old school style Gothic Metal in the vein of Diabolique or Theatre of Tragedy. The dual vocal dynamic, created by the harsh shrieks of Rafał ”Flauros’ ‘Góral and the somewhat monotone but moderately operatic vocals of Agnieszka ”Nera” Górecka coupled with some sweetly evil riffs and well done keyboard symphonies make for a really good listening experience from start to finish, as all their earlier albums do. Very dark, very well structured and highly recommended if you’re looking for quality Gothic Metal that doesn’t fit in with the polished, synthetic teeny bopper style that plagues the genre today.

Moonspell: Wolfheart

Next we have possibly the best album by possibly the most notable band within this genre. Wolfheart, the debut album of the one and only Moonspell, is one of the main landmarks within the territory of Gothic Metal and one of my go-to’s when i’m in the mood for it. Even back in the day. This album is a bleak and melancholic yet beautiful and spellbinding journey of a listen filled with great gothy riffs that would make Dracula headbang and dueling harsh, almost Death-like growls and haunting Peter Steele-esque clean vocals, all well structured and well executed. This album, as well as the three that followed it, in my opinion was Moonspell’s highest point before they sadly became a cheesy shell of their former self. This is a fantastic album and one of the very few that save Gothic Metal from being total ass and balls. Highly recommended!

On to the Thrashy goodness of this month…

Municipal Waste: The Art of Partying

After hearing the latest offering by Iron Reagan a few weeks back, I decided to re-visit some of the more notable works of Tony Foresta & company in the infamous band that’s gonna fuck you up, Municipal Waste. The Art of Partying is perhaps their most recognized album and my favorite of theirs back before I drifted from them. So I gave it another shot and to my own surprise, I enjoy it again. Crossover Ministry made me realize that Tony Foresta isn’t as bad as I thought he was after losing interest in this band and reminded me why I enjoyed him in the first place. The energy he brings with his eccentric style is part of what makes the Municipal Waste/Iron Reagan style so fun. I guess I just forgot about that for a while. Whatever.

Anyway, the album itself, like I said is a very fun listen, which it’s meant to be. The lyrical content is mostly humorous and focuses on partying and getting as inebriated as humanly possible (hence the coining of the dumb genre dub ”Party Thrash”) but the music itself is good enough to still be taken seriously as quality Crossover Thrash. I’m glad to have given this another chance and I thank Iron Reagan for making me do so. This is a classic.

Merciless Death: Realm of Terror

On to the darker side of things. Here we have a serving of super old school and super aggressive and evil sounding Thrash straight outta Cali. This is a style straight from the 80s/early 90s complete with dirty production, sinister riffage and just outright nastiness all around. A straight up Thrash Metal classic that puts most of the “retro” shit to shame. Nothing fancy, just straight brutality. Highly recommended to anyone looking for something old school and true to the art and not a cheap knockoff.

Blood Tsunami: Thrash Metal

Continuing on the dark side of Thrash, we have the debut by one of my personal favorites in the Blackened Thrash department. Blood Tsunami, much like Merciless Death, offer up dark, nasty and super vicious Black Metal-seasoned Thrash that is more modern in production but classic in soul and spirit that knows how to tear a hole through you with it’s sheer ruthlessness and sinister nature. Nothing much different to say about it that I haven’t already said about Merciless Death, but it’s just as good and just as effective.

Winterfylleth: The Dark Hereafter

As I said in the intro, I’ve been quite a fiend for Atmospheric stuff in both Black and Death Metal lately. I’ve also been jamming out some Portal and Impetuous Ritual as of late, but I left them out of this one, as it would be a little too much for one post, so maybe i’ll save those for next month. Anyway, this is the latest offering by one of the more notable acts within this style. Winterfylleth bring to the table a slightly run of the mill but very well done style of dreary, hazy, nature-impassioned Black Metal that you can easily listen to around a campfire in the Poconos, the Himalayas or any other vast and peaceful location. Again, nothing too new or different than most of what you can expect from Atmospheric Black, but if you’re looking for blast beats, tremolo riffs & shrieks under dreary, epic production, this isn’t a bad place to start.

Saor: Roots

Continuing this pattern, we have the debut from one of the lesser known, but just as capable acts within the sub-genre, Saor. Again, nothing too innovative, but still very well done. This is an excellent offering of melodic and epic Atmospheric Black Metal with a little bit of a Folk influence. Not overly done to the point of overshadowing the core BM sound, but done just enough to where it adds to it. Without sounding corny too. This, just like most good Atmospheric BM offerings is a lovely yet exhilarating listening experience and if you’re looking for something that will give you that effect, this is the right place to come.

Summoning: Old Mornings Dawn

Next we have the latest from perhaps one of the most recognizable and unique bands in the genre. Summoning are known for their style of rhythmic, Folky and absolutely epic sounding style of Black Metal laced with almost cinematic soundscapes that create such an incredible listening experience, especially if listened to with quality headphones in a calm and peaceful setting. This album is no different than the rest in their catalog. If you think what Fen are doing now is unique and great (and it is), Summoning are the originators of slow, intricate and gripping Black Metal that J.R.R. Tolkien and dorks alike would fall in love with. It is a required taste and it may take some time to grow on you at first, but once it does and you get to fully grasp and understand it, it’s fantastic. Same goes for all their other releases.

Xasthur: To Violate the Oblivious

Call it Depressive, call it Atmospheric, call it both (like I do), either way, if you know Black Metal, you know of Xasthur and what he’s all about. From the late 90s up until he decided to play Dark Folk instead, he has churned out some of the darkest, harshest and most unapologetic and misanthropic form of Black Metal in existence. Similar to what Black Cilice is doing, which I talked about earlier, this guy has a nak for producing some of the creepiest, most dismal sounding form of music out there and this album is a primary example of that. It’s a Black Metal classic that every fan of the genre is bound to come across along with the other usual suspects like Darkthrone and Burzum. This album is perfectly dark and extraordinarily creepy and highly recommended for fans of anything from within the deepest, darkest corners of the genre.

Forteresse: Thèmes Pour la Rébellion

Wrapping things up, we have the latest from Canadian outfit, Forteresse. I first came across this band with the release of this album last year and the widespread praise it garnered. I gave it a listen and very much dug it. This was before I started this blog so I didn’t get to review it, so fuck it, i’ll just talk about it here. Again, we have ourselves a very well done offering of Atmospheric Black Metal, similar to Winterfylleth, but a little more on the aggressive side. Their sound is dreary and epic but vicious at times as well. The vocals are super harsh, the riffs are super loud and blastbeats galore. These guys may be one of the more underrated bands in this category. This one could please fans of both Atmospheric and straight up Black Metal, if you’re specific about style. Aside from Revenge, Canada has always been a bit under the radar when it comes to Black Metal and Forteresse could help get them over that hump if they can build enough notoriety. Hope so. Anyway, this is another excellent album by another excellent band and another reason my kick of this genre happened. Recommended!

That’ll do it for this month. I said last month that I’ll have more and better recommendations for this month, so hopefully I delivered. Things have been crazy, so I did need some crazy shit as a soundtrack. So I hope it helped. More to come in May, folks! See you then.

_________________________________________________________

Now that that’s done, I just want to give a little update on what’s to come in the next couple weeks once the chaos is all settled.

First, there will be 2 reviews of two albums that I’ve really been anticipating for weeks now. They will be revealed when they’re posted.

Then, i’ll be doing another big catch-up week with more new albums and will be posting a special two-part Quick Album Thoughts piece on those. 12 albums in all.

Plus, i’ll be reviewing 2 Horror flicks that I’ve been wanting to check out for a while now in a special double Movie Mumblings post.

Also, there will be a 2 new Sorry Not Sorry posts. I’ll keep those a surprise. It pisses people off more when it comes out of nowhere. And finally, FINALLY, I’ll be posting the latest Discography Dialogue! On whom, you ask? You shall see.

That’s all for now folks. Hope you’re all having a great month. At least better than I’ve been having. Home improvement is a bitch.

Until next time.

-Scvm

Just My 2 ¢ | United Airlines Fiasco & Mauro Ranallo vs JBL

This one is gonna piss people off.

I was holding back on writing this one. I felt like these two subjects just didn’t warrant a post about them. Not everything does. However, some people’s warped views on them drove me insane enough to write about them. So, here it is. I’m going to keep these as short and sweet as possible, unless my mind goes on a tangent that gives me more to say. So, here it goes.

The United Airlines Debacle

A few days ago, a video went viral of an elderly man aboard an overbooked American Airlines flight being forcefully dragged off the plane after refusing to leave after being asked multiple times by flight crew personnel. The outrage that followed, unsurprisingly. was overwhelming and mostly in the favor of the old man. Meme after meme after stupid fucking meme was shared all across the social media landscape from Facebook to Twitter to Tumblr to whatever the fuck else. Hearts bled for this guy as the video made the rounds, and it couldn’t have been more of an annoyance.

Listen, and this especially goes out to the moral-devoid degenerate misfits of the millennial crowd: If you’re on a plane and the crew POLITELY asks you to exit it due to whatever kind of issue, you do it. The same goes if you’re on a bus, train, uber, whatever, if there is an issue that needs to be resolved that requires certain orders to be followed, follow them! It’s that simple. If you don’t, you’re going to be physically forced to. They have EVERY right to do it. I have plenty of experience riding the bus and having to be somewhere (school work, wherever) with some asshole holding it up by misbehaving and causing a scene then refusing to get off when he’s ordered to by the driver. It’s not pretty or fun and everyone on that bus has to get to where they’re going and wants to kill you. Especially here in New York.

That old man was no different and got what he deserved. He was asked to do something and he refused so that’s what he gets. He was holding up and disrupting an entire flight that has an issue that needed to be resolved and couldn’t just wait for the next flight to where he was going. Simple. Done. Period. You don’t have the right to be a disruptive shithead and fuck things up for other people around you. I know the cool thing to do these days is to be a “rebellious” fuckwad, but laws are laws and if you don’t abide, there are consequences. Same goes for old fucks like that man. No one has to kowtow to you just because you’re old. You’re just like everyone else and your actions have consequences. Again, simple. Everyone is now treating this guy like he’s the next fucking Rosa Parks, which he’s not. He was a disruption and an asshole, just like Rosa Parks was a fucking disruption and an asshole.

There, that’s the first one.

Mauro Ranallo Quitting WWE Over JBL’s “Bullying”

Next, we have the latest debacle to hit the world of WWE. No, no sex tapes this time, just more good, old-fashioned alleged ”bullying” by John ”Bradshaw” Layfield, as we’ve been hearing about for years now. This time, at the expense of esteemed commentator Mauro Ranallo, who has missed the last few weeks of WWE TV due to bouts of depression, that he has been suffering from since his teenage years. However, there appears to be more to the story, as this all seems to stem from some crude remarks from JBL on Twitter towards Mauro, which apparently set off his recent depressive patches. And now as a result of all this, Mauro’s status with the company is up in the air.

Now, let me preface this by saying that I am a fan of Mauro Ranallo. He’s probably the best commentator WWE has had in the last 10 years. I’m also not accusing him of what i’m about to talk about. It’s just something that has annoyed me for the last good number of years now. Also, I know JBL is an asshole behind the scenes. He has a record of it and i’m not dismissing it at all. This is also not what this is about. ALSO, I know mental illness is a real thing that people struggle with, and it does suck. So i’m not berating anyone who has it. Got it? Good.

Again, I know mental illness is a real thing that people struggle with. However, there’s something that has been going on over the last few years that I, myself have experience with that needs to fucking stop. It’s this trend of using mental illness as an excuse to either be weak and avoid life’s responsibilities or to be a total asshole to everyone around them. Especially coming from those who either fake being mentally ill or think their mentally ill when their just self ”diagnosed” and assume so.

This may not be a popular sentiment, but it’s the truth. When it comes to certain things, mental illness is NOT an excuse. It’s not a green light for you to treat those who are there for you like shit and to push them away and bring them back whenever you feel like it and it’s not a green light for you to avoid the simplest tasks of your everyday life and get by from it. It’s simply a condition that needs to be treated, not a complete life-blocker. You’re still perfectly able to do things.

Now on to Mauro Ranallo. WWE was supposedly his dream job. He finally got it and did well for over a year. No signs of having to take time off throughout that time. Then all of a sudden, Big Bad Bradshaw makes a stupid, harmless asshole comment and he’s gone for good. Dude, you’re a well-respected announcer and were well liked by fans worldwide, and you’re going to piss that all away because one asshole makes a snide remark? Fuck that. No matter where you go or what you do in life, there will always be some asshole who wants to ruin your day. If there’s an issue, grow a backbone and a nutsack and either take it up with the higher ups or as Jim Cornette said, get a baseball bat and kneecap the motherfucker. Or just knock him out like Joey Styles did. Instead, you just quit your supposed dream job and now you’re taking shots at it while doing an MMA broadcast. Classy, my friend.

Again, i’m not condemning mental illness at all. I’m just stating my feelings on how things should have been handled in this situation. There are other ways to go solving problems without using it mental issues as a scapegoat to run away from them. It’s no excuse. Plain and simple.

Until next time.

-Scvm

Quick Album Thoughts | Black Metal Catch-Up

I’m gonna start this one off the same way I started off the last one: with the phrase “it’s been a while”. No, i’m not quoting that shitty Stained song, I actually mean it. It’s been a while since i’ve talked about anything put out within the genre that matters to me the most: Black Fucking Metal. Well, that changes now.

This edition of Quick Album Thoughts is all about that very genre. Over the week, I caught up on these 7 albums that I really wanted to listen to, but had trouble finding the time to get around to until now. Needless to say, it was a week well spent. So, let’s not waste too much time and just dive right into this abyss of blackened goodness that these bands have to offer.

Goatmoon: Stella Polaris

Capture

Starting things off we have one that i’m kind of late for, but here for nonetheless, the latest from Finland’s Goatmoon. Stella Polaris is an album that I thought could have gone either way judging from the cover art, but wouldn’t have known for sure until I gave it a listen, which I finally did. Now, while I wouldn’t say this is the strongest release by Mr. BlackGoat Gravedesecrator (Death Before Dishonor & Finnish Steel Storm are my personal favorites), but this is still a pretty solid album overall. It’s what you would expect by Goatmoon and bands alike; catchy and folky (but not in the corny way most Folk Metal bands do) in parts with tracks like Kansojen Hävittäjä & the instrumental Sonderkommando Nord and aggressive and harsh in parts like Wolf Night & Conqueror. He does both styles very well and keeps the balance level without doing too much of either. This is also an easy, quick listen, clocking in at only 35 minutes.

Like I said, I wouldn’t call this my favorite Goatmoon album, but it sure is a good one. Thumbs up and recommended!

Clandestine Blaze: City of Slaughter

On to the harsher side of things. The latest by one-man project Clandestine Blaze, also from Finland, has been out since mid-February and I’ve only now gotten around to giving it a listen which is why it’s part of this post. I know, shame on me. Anyway, as expected, this album brings forth 38 minutes of dirty, raw, harsh and visceral Black Metal that ravages you from start to finish. The first thing that attracted me to this band when I first discovered him some time ago was the visual aesthetic, but the music sure as fuck fits the artwork; gritty, bleak and harsh, just how old school Black Metal should sound. Great album by one of the best one-man acts out there today.

White Death: S/T

Next we have the debut from an up-and-coming band from… you guessed it, FINLAND!

This is an album that has created somewhat of a buzz in recent months, garnering quite a bit of praise from many people I talk to. So I finally gave it a shot, and it’s pretty good, but did I enjoy it as much as the others did? Not quite. It’s a pretty standard Black Metal album that reminds me of early Immortal and Gorgoroth, but really doesn’t do much too different or outside the box. It still is a fun listen with some really good riffs and the vocals are great, but aside from that, it’s pretty formulaic. I’m not knocking it, I still enjoyed it, but if you’re looking for something more out there and unorthodox, this might not be the album for you. I’ll continue to follow these guys to see if they have any tricks up their sleeve in the future, but for now, meh.

Fen: Winter

We finally take things outside of Finland for this next one. Onward to the United Kingdom.

Fen have been around for just under a decade now and have generated a fair amount of buzz over the years. They’re part of the group of bands who play a complex, intricate and sophisticated style of nature worshiping Atmospheric Black Metal that people fawn over, along with the likes of Agalloch, Wolves in the Throne Room, Drudkh, Negură Bunget and so on. They do it, however in a more unique way than most of those other names, injecting more of a Post-Black Metal influence into their sound, which works greatly for them. It’s a bit of a different take on the sub-genre that incorporates familiar elements that you would hear in bands like the ones mentioned above, but make it their own (and sometimes better) with their own unique style and form of songwriting. My only complaint for this one is, with the length of each song and the length of the album overall, it can get a little tedious to sit through, as good as it is. I got through it and enjoyed it, but it required some strong coffee beforehand. Just a minor complaint. That’s about it.

Overall, this is an excellent album by a group of excellent musicians. This one will likely be on repeat for the next couple months.

Förgjord: Uhripuu

Ahhhh… back to Finland. Last one, I promise. This wasn’t planned!

Next, we have the latest from Finland’s Förgjord. This is the third album by these guys and if you’re familiar with their first two, you know what you’re in for. Much like their fellow countrymen, Clandestine Blaze, they offer a serving of raw, dissonant, vicious old school style Black Metal that packs enough of a punch to have you totally invested from start to finish. The raw ferocity that they dish out is anything but generic and even has an interesting Thrashy Punk feel to it. Nothing fancy or new but nothing dull or boring either. This a really fun and super aggressive album that I recommend to anyone just looking for a good, dirty Punk-infused slab of Black Metal to jam out to. Give it a listen!

The Committee: Memorandum Occultus

Next we go to… uhh… okay.

This is a band that features 4 anonymous musicians from 4 different unknown countries collaborating. The collaboration is this project in question, The Committee. They play a pretty standard style of Black Metal, but with a nice bleak atmosphere around it. The most interesting thing about this band is the lyrical content and the mystique surrounding them. It’s an interesting concept, and this is coming from someone who isn’t a fan of silly ”gimmicks” in music (looking at you, Ghost). Bands like this and say, Portal can really pull off something like this and give it some sort of intrigue without it being corny and appealing to teeny boppers. So, gimmicks aren’t always a bad thing. They just OFTEN are.

Anyway, this is a pretty good album, overall. A little on the generic side, but it’s made up for it in substance. The music itself also isn’t bad. I still recommend it.

Black Cilice: Banished from Time

Wrapping things up, we go to Portugal. Here we have a one-man project that has generated quite a buzz in the last few years with his first three albums. With good reason too. The style that Black Cilice offers is an extremely dark and extremely raw, atmospheric and dissonant style of Black Metal that can be compared to the likes of Orgy of Carrion or Vetala. What’s different about it, though, is the overall vibe it gives off. As soon as I pressed play and this album began blasting into my ears through my earbuds, it gave me this sense of uneasiness and even dread, almost. The raw production and overall sound of the music itself combined with the cold, hazy atmosphere creates this very creepy feel that I haven’t felt from a Black Metal release since perhaps the last Gnaw Their Tongues album. The distant, echoy, yelled vocals also add to this. They aren’t exactly shrieks, but just plain yells that sounds like a man going insane and screaming into the void. Very well done by the mysterious mastermind behind this project.

Overall, this was a great experience of a listen. Even with the short running time. I without a doubt recommend this one to fans of Atmospheric or Raw Black Metal or anyone just looking for a good listening experience. This one should sure as hell do the trick. I definitely picked the right one to end this with.

That’s all for now, folks. Pretty damn good week. There will be plenty more Black Metal on this blog going forward, I can assure you. There are a lot of other Black Metal releases that are coming out in the next couple months that i’m looking forward to. Stay on the lookout for reviews on those. I highly recommend all seven of these albums, so enjoy these for now if you haven’t already.

By the way, I wasn’t at all complaining about all the Finnish blackened goodness that I indulged myself in this week. It’s one of the best countries breeding it today. So yay, Finland! I love you.

Until next time.

-Scvm

Quick Album Thoughts | 4/4/2017

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. The reasons for that are because firstly, I decided to try my hand at full individual album reviews, which I’m sure most of you have read by now. I know they suck, but i’m trying to get better at it, so bare with me there, and secondly, I haven’t really heard that many albums in the last month.

However…

As I said in my last post on this blog. Wrestlemania was this past weekend, and leading up to the event I caught up on some new albums and movies I had yet to check out. These 5 albums were the ones I was the most intrigued by, thus why I chose them. They were mostly met with a positive reception by me… mostly.

Well, here are those albums.

Iron Reagan: Crossover Ministry

Starting things off with some more Retro Thrash! Iron Reagan, the side project of Municipal Waste voice Tony Foresta, is another product of the ‘Retro Thrash’ craze of today. Does that mean it’s bad? Surely not, because this is a very fun album. This is an excellent offering of fast, loud, energetic and relentless Crossover Thrash that doesn’t sound like a cheap imitation at all. Old school at heart but loud and young spirited, super aggressive and unrelenting, non-stop riffs and grooves and just balls to the wall crazy. I will say that it is a little weird for an older fellow like Foresta to be talking about partying at a house and pissing off the neighbors, but hey, that’s what this is all about; channeling the spirit of fun 80s Thrash and they do that well. Awesome track, by the way (Fuck the Neighbors). Highly recommended of you haven’t heard it already!

Assimilation: The Laws of Power

Holy fuck!

This is the debut album by these Canadian Death Thrash monsters and it is a fucking ripper! The best way I can describe this one is if you take Cannibal Corpse’s Eaten Back to Life & Tomb of the Mutilated and Death’s Human & Individual Thought Patterns, sprinkle a little early Slayer on top and put it into a blender, you get this. This album is a fithy, disgusting, extremely brutal and absolutely ruthless slab of Thrash-driven old school Death Fucking Metal. Raw, dirty production, sounds like an album straight out of the late 80s/early 90s, and just kicks you in the face from start to fucking finish. Easily the best 40 minutes of my 2017 thus far when it comes to Death Metal. Nothing much else to say about this one, really. Just a brutal fucking masterpiece. Give it a listen! I implore you.

Darkest Hour: Godless Prophets & the Migrant Flora

It’s been quite some time since I’ve even thought about listening to anything put out by Darkest Hour. The style of their last number of albums just doesn’t do it for me. It’s just your typical Metalcore that can easily be heard on the Jamie Jasta-hosted Headbanger’s Ball from the mid 2000s. I am a fan, however, of their more aggressive earlier works like So Sedated, So Secure & Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation. Undoing Ruin was the last album that had me interested in these guys, everything after that one I just can’t get into. Then I found out about this album being released and heard a track from it by chance, I dug it! Then I found out it was produced by Kurt Ballou. Anything he touches has a good chance of being great. Just look at his resume. Anyway, I gave is a listen and alas, it’s their best one since Undoing Ruin!

This is the most aggressive and intense they’ve been in years and I was pleasantly surprised at how good it is. It still has your usual Metalcore tropes; Melodic Death Metal-ish riffs and a breakdown here a and there, but not overly done and therefore, I can look past it. This is a surprisingly good release by these guys and I recommend it to the open-minded! Well done.

Obituary: S/T

Now on to the disappointment of the bunch…

There’s a reason I said these were mostly met with a positive reception by me. This was the reason. We all know Obituary are a fantastic band who have released some of the most recognized and celebrated classics in the entire history of Death Metal. Cause of Death & World Demise are two of my all time favorite albums in the genre. The ruthlessness and ferocity those albums brought to the table is stuff of legend. Most of their albums after that, spanning the mid to late 90s and the 2000s are also really good. What they have released so far in the 2010s, however, has been far from their best work. The only tracks on this one that I can say I really enjoyed were A Lesson in Vengeance and Kneel Before Me. Those two songs have the really dirty, intense and super brutal feel to them that embodies the Obituary of old. Unfortunately, that’s where it ends.

Overall, this isn’t necessarily a terrible album. It’s just very underwhelming. Even more so than Inked in Blood. Aside from those two bangers of songs that save it from being a total disappointment, that’s really all I can say about this one. Not Obituary’s best work by a longshot. Still love ’em though.

Pallbearer: Heartless

Closing out the weekend on the music front, we have some high quality, riffed up, groovy, catchy, old school stonery doomy goodness. Pallbearer return with their 3rd full length album and one of the most anticipated albums of the year thus far among many, with good reason too. If you take Pentagram and inject them with the majestic crushing heaviness of Candlemass & Solitude Aeternus and the sweet, dreamy flow of Windhand, they will become Pallbearer! These fellows bring to the table the perfect combination of crushingly heavy and harmonious and epic that creates such an eminent dynamic that allows you to just sit back, relax and just soak it all in and it holds your attention and awe from start to finish. Excellent album by an excellent band that gets better with each new release.

And those were this weekend’s listens. I’ll be back with more in the coming weeks. I have a SHIT ton of new Black Metal releases to catch up on and that will probably be the next Quick Album Thoughts post. So keep an eye out. I hope everyone had a nice weekend. Here’s to the future!

Until next time.

Scvm