Friday, October 1, 2010

Excruciator – By the Gates of Flesh (Heavy Artillery 2010)

I recently made the public announcement in my review of the pretty impressive new school thrash act Vindicator that I’m not big on the new wave of thrash, well…as with most things there are exceptions to the rule and Excruciator is my exception. I really like this label and many like it who prevail to release some of the freshest cuts of metal flesh, and now they are releasing their "Heavy Artillery Wax Maniax Demo Series" featuring mini LPs and cds of some of the coolest obliterating metal sounds today, so for the oldschool heads out their, check that out for sure:

Now for this release, it’s vile, aggressive, colossal and just guts you like a pig ready for the roast with it’s gruff raw death/thrash vokills and unrelenting guitar stabs and jigsaw rip cuts of chords. As with many bands on the label there’s a good amount of progressive rhythm changes to give each track a sophisticated and swerving quality as you are tossed through the tracks like breakfast from your stomach due to a bad hangover. I would be willing to actually bet a few limbs that the first listen to tracks like “Nuclear Exmortis” and “By the Gates of Flesh” you will be climbing the walls as your jaw drags on the floor behind you from your initial, FAAAAAAAAWKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!! response as this thing knocked it clean off the hinges. I HAVE to have this animal in my collection and living with a grouchy old punk, I think he’ll be more appreciative to hearing this thing alongside my Blood Feast and Nuclear Assault blaring then the doom stuff. Bow down to the power contained here, this shit will annihilate anything within 1000 miles of its sonic epicenter!!!!! You MUST have this!!!!!!!!!!!

Essential for fans of: Nuclear Assault, Blood Feast, Kreator, Celtic Frost!!!!!

Audio Samples and band contact:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Heirs - Fowl (Denovali Records)

Heirs are yet another psychedelic, instrumental rock band who are well versed in improvisation skills and the perfect use of electronic effects to create a densely sweltering environment through pure creativity and rhythmic flow. The thing that really makes this album stand out for me, aside from the amazingly tribal and ritualistic rhythm/drum patterns used throughout, is how I start the album and before I even realize it the album is over. It literally captures your mind and zaps you into its universe and you really never pause because the ride just keeps you going through turns, loops, intensity, volume, and speed changes so you never get the chance to really stop.

It’s the coolest and weirdest thing, that’s why it’s taken me about two weeks or so to write this review, every time I sit down to review it I get caught up in it and lose track of time and place. You have to hear this whole thing in one listen, you could try to break it up and it’d work, but if you don’t have it uploaded and on a sort of shuffle feature where there’s outside control you’ll never make it through only partway, it’s that solid and consistent!!!!! Seriously, for those who dig the total mind melting, heavy rhythm, jam, tripped out stuff…YOU HAVE TO HEAR THIS!!!!!!

“Dust” opens up with some ambient/moderate effects, a smooth bass line and high hat to give an almost jazzy and lounge sense to the album, but just as you think you’re safe the guitar picks up some weight and the drums bring in the stomp and pummel and before you know it, the room begins to spin and your heart pounds.

“Fowl” comes in subtly to a tribal rhythm n drums and a looming sense of entering into some unknown place, some sense of uncertainty is present and the deeper you traverse into this labyrinth of sound, the sweatier your palms get and the lighter your head gets. By about the halfway point of this elusive journey you’re fully entranced and your heart even beats to the drum rhythm. After this everything becomes one big sonic blurb of pure reverb and psychedelic textures and you really don’t come back to reality until you go down the drain at the end, aptly titled “Drain”.

“Burrow” and “Tyrant” represent the den or hive in which you’ve now entered, the clicking and echoing of the percussion and the humming and buzzing of the bass denotes that you are closing in on the central layer of this mysterious lair you’ve somehow wandered into. The buzzing of the inhabitants, alien and yet familiar to you in some way as they are just synth and guitars distorted into a new language of tones, but having the same purpose as your familiarity leads you to believe. You’re now swarmed with instrumental psychedelic meanderings and cannot see past the end of your nose form the sheer density of this audio buzz.

“Men” -Like a tornado of sound that makes the whole world spin around in a frenzied cyclone to the tribal drum beating of ones demise. The drum sound is almost hollow and ritualistic as the swirling of distorted guitar winds sweep your consciousness away into the eye of this storm.

“Mother” a laidback sonic reverberation of modern psychedelic and feedback reminiscent of Pelican and new comers Del Rey. This is where the storm has settled and you regain solid footing to find that you are unscratched from the riotous wind tunnel ride you were on only moments before, but you now have the odd sensation that you wish that it would happen again and right at that very second.

“Drain” enters with a lovely reverb guitar intro which then leads you unknowingly into a warm cataclysm of vibrating, seismic hazes of guitars saturated in effects to drown you by the end of this 6 minute throb of circular rhythm patterns. Imagine watching the water in a tub drain very slowly as it circles and spirals around the opening before plummeting through and that’s the sensation you get on here, it starts out slow bit as you get closer to the opening things speed up to a wild vortex that’ll be sure to spin your head around a few times during the listen.

There you have it, and it took me three forcing listens to break it up because I kept missing it as it just consumed my mind altogether. This is one more piece of evidence that the wave of good instrumental, effect and jam laden rock talent has not lost it’s amplitude, it’s only getting started!!!!!

Essential for most, but fans of the following will already have bought this by the time they got halfway through my dissection of it: Boris, Hellas Mounds, Isis, Neurosis, White Hills, La Otracina, US Christmas, Red Sparrows, Del Rey, The Heads, Pelican….

Heirs contact:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Theologian – The Further I Get From Your Star, The Less Light I Feel On My Face (Crucial Blast 2010)

Theologian is the newest artistic skin being worn by power electronic artist Leech, infamous for his long-standing project, Navicon Torture Technologies, which has now been laid to rest. The unmistakable brilliance found in NTT is still present here, the very same industrial dronescapes of dense electronic layers that seduce the listener into an unrelenting state of hallucinogenic ambient.

At times the sound of Theologian is urban, sort of like the sound of a freight train or subway passing through the tunnel very slowly and almost warm, as heard and felt on the title track and “Almost Gone”. The metallic subtleties like clanking along old train tracks and the white noise reminiscent of a drizzly urban twilight as the city slows down for a few short hours and is reduced to just environmental sounds…machinery… almost void of human life as the concrete jungle speaks for itself in these daily slow moments from the havoc of inhabitant clutter and clamor.

The trademark of Leechs creations begin to unfold a new chapter, still very surreal, but the sound manipulations in spots are further venturing beyond rigid mechanical to fluid and loose ambient fuzz, like an abstract and fabricated form of a field recording. Although there are moments of warmth and drone, there are still the traditional power electronic tracks present such as “The Fragility of the Male Ego…” and “Zero”, and even symphonic almost purely ambient experiences through “In Times of Need, we all go against our nature” and “Unfamiliar Skies”. In one single artists I can hear resemblances to Phaenon, Steel Hook Prostheses, and Rasthof Dachau, set against a backdrop of modern urban inspiration.

Set for release October 26th by the Crucial Blast Label, Theologian is a guarantee to raise the bar even higher as he bestows upon us the next progression in purely mechanical and electronic audio. By far one of the best releases of the year!!!!

For info contact the Crucial Blast webstore and label (click on the log up top of the page and it'll direct you to it)

Secrets She Kept - La Fin Absolue Du Monde (Metal Messiah Records 2010)

Armed with malicious intentions, sheer brutality, and seething fury, Florida based Secrets She Kept, will be sure to sever some limbs. With SSK you’ll hear elements of Kult ov Azazel (Destroying the Sacred) fused with Incantation and even Dissection, to wield a savage axe of blackened death metal. Having started out back in 2002, this band has toured on it’s own terms and support and shared stages with well respected acts like: Horna, Nachtmystium, Dark Funeral, 1349, and Goat Whore, and now are unveiling their sophomore full length of viciousness and contempt with La Fin Absolue Du Monde.

This album opens up with the vicious and menacing assault of “Legion 666”, which wastes no time shrieking at you over this wicked guitar bit that almost sounds like the horns of an approaching army of mercenaries and the percussion bangs and pounds like a full blown artillery shower!!!! It’s clear form track one that this stuff is meant to take a thunderous dropped D tone and skin you alive with it’s speed and signature guitar shreds.

“Carrion Soul” keeps you under siege with a moderate hint of thrash riffing speed and the chaotic ramblings of what sounds like an exorcism on speed. Make no mistake…you get some dropped d bombs and concrete riff layers complete with the idyllic “squeel” of the classic death metal sound, the nihilistic hatred and blood thirsty quality of black metal, with some spiraling thrash overtones and this is not just in one track but the whole album!!!!!

The production is clean like a surgical incision and the layers of each track have a 3D effect where they really bring the full force of the SSK storm down upon you like Hells fury and scorn!!! Set to detonate in October, this one will surely be one to make an investment in, these guys blend a good amount of metal styles into a cohesive, skilled, and completely brutal holocaust on your senses!!!!!!

A definite look into for fans of: Drawn and Quartered, Kult ov Azazel, Book of Black Earth, Incantation, Morbid Angel and all things heretical and violent,

SSK contact:

Horse Latitudes - Gathering (Aurora Borealis 2010)

Horse Latitudes are a new chapter in the aptly named N.W.O.F.H.M (coined by the awesome Jussi Lehitsalo of Circle/Pharaoh Overlord) bringing us doom heads a trippy, unique and ultra heavy take on doom. For starters the band is a three piece consisting of two bass players and a drummer so that alone generally points to HEAVY and according to the label, they are a blend of epic sludge and the more leftfield bands like Ride For Revenge and Urfaust with a hint of doom in the vocals. What variables in that equation don’t add up to completely fucking wicked!!!? And this is also one of the few times that the general description fits.

Several things upon listening stand out: the vocals are very much doom styled vocals, not sludge at all actually; the Sabbathian riffs being played out on a bass, more than likely also tuned down, give the muscle and impact needed to carry this heavy lethargic beast across it’s 50 minute span; and the production is deliberately minimal giving an almost genuine live feel but not poor demo quality lo-fidelity. At times I’m reminded of recent Aussie sludge act Atollah, where you can hear the actual pluck of the bass notes from underneath a film of sonic doom haze and the maze of effects glowing and echoing as they spiral about your consciousness.

The vocals are absolute lethargic and epic doom, but are spoken word in rhythm with the riffs and bass almost poetically, so if you were groaning a the sludge part you’ll be glad to know that this is more a of a psychedelic doom trio than stoner doom. Don’t get me wrong though, there’s definite similarities to Electric Wizard, especially in the almost spacey tripped out effects behind the basses, some of the vocals get raspy and almost whispered in spots adding an extra dimension to this fairly complex and surprisingly solid album. I guarantee that many of you will find much to enjoy on this 50 barrage of doom and LSD, so be sure to check them out and look for the album release in October.

For fans of:Ride For Revenge, Electric Wizard, Burning Witch, The Body, The Bottle Doom Lazy Band, Fall of the Idols, Saturnalia Temple, and even some SunnO))) but not any excessive drone; just epic, trippy, and lucid distorted visions of doom…absolute rumbling from the decrapitated bowels of doom.

Band site with audio: