Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Coffins - Buried Death
Tokyo's Coffins make me think twice about Japanese death metal. I never thought it would be so good! Plodding, evil guitars roll behind a menacing death growl that would have Chris Barnes crying with musical insecurity. I have no idea what the lyrics are about but I am going to guess they're somewhere in the area of death. lmao. These guys have been busy this year too. This full length, an EP and 2 splits. It was the split with XXX Maniak that actually turned me on to Coffins. They've been around since 1996 but have only released 3 LPs. 8 Splits though so it's not like they aren't writing. I love the mix! I can really hear the rumble of the bass and no one element is drowned out by any others. Some of the best parts of Buried Death are when they slow things right down to that doom/sludge pace. Just pummelling. It would be hard to keep this one out of my Top 40. It's that good.
Century - Black Ocean
Dismember, Cursed, Children of Bodom, Coldworker, Embrace the End
Cursed - Three Architects of Troubled Sleep: Not sure what to say here, I listened to it yesterday. They aren't easy to describe anyway. Other than they rule. It's Cursed!! The last track, Gutters, is worth the price of admission all by itself. Thumbs UP!
Children of Bodom - Blooddrunk: I thought I would see what all the fuss was about with COB. Well, I won't be fussing any. Laiho is a very talented guitarist, and to sing at the same time is an accomplishment. But, I found it was too overindulgent. Pointless guitar interludes and stuff. Sounded like Satriani or something like that. Thumbs down.
Coldworker - Rotting Paradise: Remember what I said about Dismember? Well, take that and speed it up. Well done you Swedes. Thumbs up.
Embrace the End - Ley Lines: Trying to hard. To many little things thrown into the songs. They break up any kind of flow. When will metalcore end? Thumbs down.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Walls of Jericho and Bury Your Dead
Bury Your Dead - Bury Your Dead: I had a chance to see these guys a few months back but I think they rolled the van and one guy broke something. Too bad. There is something about BYD that I like. I shouldn't because I don't like many bands that have the same thing going on, but I do. Breakdowns, personal lyrics, but I still give it a Thumbs up.
I know it's been a week but it has been a very busy week. I should be able to get back at it here soon.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
ASRA and Black Elk
ASRA - The Way Of All Flesh: RIP ASRA, we hardly knew ya. Vicious slab of pure fucking agression. Music this violent sounding was sure to be volatile enough to cause the band to split. Torturer-Torturee vocals fucking kick ASS! This album is incredible. Thumbs way fucking up!! Look for this shit on my Top 10.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Quickies from the last couple days
Across Tundras - Western Sky Ride: Sets a depressing mood. I believe the lyrics are thematically tied to the album title. Gotta be in the mood for it. Thumbs up.
Agalloch - The White EP: Not sure why this is an EP. There is 7 tracks of average length (1 over 7 min). Even more depressing than Across Tundras. I didn't get all the way thru before I went to the next album so...thumbs down.
Arsis - We Are The Nightmare: Better tech-death than Abysmal Dawn. Standout track in My Oath To Madness. Thumbs up.
Belphegor - Bondage Goat Zombie: Album cover better than the album. Surprised I let the whole thing play. Not bad really but nothing to grab me. Blackened death. Thumbs down.
Fuck The Facts - Disgorge Mexico: Not cohesive enough for me as an album. I generally don't like alot of grind. I'm gonna say thumbs down but I will go see them live (they play near me alot).
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Because you are smart enough to be reading Kingdom of Noise...
been in more or less alphabetical order. That is because I am still sifting
through hundreds of albums trying to whittle it down to at least a Top 40
Albums of 2oo8 and I am going in alpha-order! Genius!!! Now,I have been
trying to review as many as I have time for but frankly, I don't have alot
of time. So if I have time and/or if the album is worth reviewing, I will
do it. Otherwise I am going to go to a thumbs up or down format for
everything else. Temporarily.
Thumbs up if I like it and it doesn't get a permanent delete, and thumbs
down if I don't really care to hear it again. With short explanations.
Fate - Vultures: I think I was impressed by this the first time I heard
it. I think. Upon second listen I am not sure why I would have. Same-y
deathcore with "Look what I can do!" guitar self-wankery. Nice album cover
though. Thumbs down.
Firewind - The Premonition: I think it's Premonition, but the ID3 tag
wasn't set. No matter, the album is forgettable anyway. "We bow to thee, o,
Iron Maiden" power-metal type stuff. Would make decent background music but
why? when you could just listen to Maiden? Thumbs down.
Eternal Lord - Blessed Be This Nightmare
Eternal Lord's first band meeting:
Singer: "First order of business! What should we sound like? Ideas?"
Guitar: "Well, metalcore sells records, right?"
Singer: " I suppose it does, yes. So what would that entail?"
Bass: "Yeah, lots of breakdowns!"
Drums: " I can trigger my drums to go right with the guitars! For the breakdowns!"
Singer: "But guys, I can't do "good cop". What about death cop/black metal cop?"
Guitar: " Yeah, ok. We don't want to sound TOO much like Killswitch Engage."
Bass: "Only during the sissy parts"
2nd Guitar: "Dudes! What about riffs?"
Singer: "What about riffs?"
Guitar: "No riffs! Remember what Lars said in Some Kind of Monster? We don't want it to sound dated."
2nd Guitar: "He was talking about solos."
Singer and guitar: "Shut up! You're expendible."
Singer: "So, let's get this straight. Breakdowns, breakdowns, breakdowns. No riffs. Some KsE sissy parts. You're drums just follow the guitar. Bad cop/worse cop vokills. OH! What should I sing about?"
Drums: "Will we be able to understand you?"
Singer: "Probably not"
Guitar: "Who cares then? As long as it sounds br00tal!"
Singer: "Let's fuckin' do this shit!"
Dugga-da-da-da-dunn-dunn dun-dun-dun dugga-da-da-da-dunn-dunn duh-dunn.........
Friday, December 19, 2008
5ive - Hesperus
This 5ive is an experimental instrumental metal/sludge powerhouse. I mean it. OMFG.
I'll make it easy on you, if you like Kyuss, look no further. Just don't wait for John Garcia to start singing. No vocals. That's what instrumental means kiddos.
Ben Carr on guitar and Charlie Harrold on drums. Hesperus was released on Tortuga Records just in case you wanted to know.
I'm 5 tracks into this 7 track pack of awesome and there hasn't been a bum note yet.
I love Kyuss and I really don't mind the similarities. The guitar tone is almost spot on but 5ive take it up a level in terms of the "out there" factor. Kyuss didn't want to leave Garcia out in the cold right, so that put a ceiling on where they could go. But since 5ive has no vocals they can drift to places mortal bands dare not tread.
I dont' know what else to say other than go check this out. If you like Kyuss, or Puddy (now called Red Elite) you will seriously dig 5ive. Seriously.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Withered - Folie Circulaire
I am gonna just say what comes to mind as I listen to this blistering lab of metal called Folie Circulaire by Withered. okay?
nice dirty guitars. wailing away as the bass trudges along underneath. demonic blackened vocals. I really like that underlying bass line. very jam like. OOOOH! full-throat growls. me likey! (track 3 Dichotomy of Exile).
Track 4 - Gnosis Unveils starts off with a kinda Baroness type feel. nice intro. again with the jammy bass kinda doing it's own thing. That would be Mike Longoria. Did you know that Mike Thompson (guitar, vocals) was in Social Infestation with Troy Sanders from Mastodon? There are moments here that remind me of Mastodon come to think of it. Alot of the bands from the Atlanta area have a "feel". Like Withered, Baroness, Mastodom, Black Tusk...... Like Seattle in the grunge era. Except this is way more awesome. This track is sort of all over the place but it's tighter than most bands who do that. It's very deliberate and good song writing rather than "let's go crazy!!!"
Withered is rounded out by Chris Freeman on guitar and vocals and Beau Brandon on drums.
Purification of Innocence is a killer track. Smack you in the face at the start, growls, fast very black metal, then it slows down into an epic sounding midsection then picks right back up again around the 3 minute mark. Does it ever pick up! mid-tempo sludgy part, banging my head at the computer. dual layered vocal slower part, then BAM with the speed again to finish it off and lead right into Drawn Black Drapes. Nice transition.
This would be very fun to scream along to if I could make out the words. Probably the fastest track of the album so far. Paul Romano did the wicked cover art.
Revealing the Essence of Suffering sounds really cool. I like the pace. gallopy. Until it slows down. haha they do that alot. but very very well. What I really love about this is how the bass doesn't just follow along with whatever the guitars are doing. (ie. Metallica) and there is no way these guys follow any kind of verse-chorus-verse structure. Like now its strummed guitar (whole notes) over a nice noodly bass line and then the rocket boosters kick in again and it's off to the races. That feels like at least 4 times changes in one song. They have really found a way to meld many styles together. They've been described (even on their own website) as Tortured Blackened Doom and that really sounds pretty accurate.
Clamour Breath has some different vocals in it. Cleaner. more punk/hardcore. It works. According to Encyclopaedia Metallum, Chris Freeman was in Social Infestation too (still is, those 3 are the band). Check out the Mastodon DVD The Workhorse Chronicles for some slips of Social Infestation. s'good stuff.
the last track is a cover of Necrophobic's Into Armageddon. Kinda makes me want to check out Necrophobic.
So basically, Withered take the straight ahead speed and tone of black metal, with all it's bleakness and blastbeats and meld it with southern sludge and blow your fuckin mind.
It's a wonder I haven't listened to this more this year. It should make my Top 40. 2006 was Mastodon at #1, 2007 was Baroness. I don't think Folie Circulaire will top my 2008 list but it has represented Atlanta very well.
I could do this same thing for Abysmal Dawn's Programmed to Consume (one of the best death metal albums of '08) but have like everyday stuff to take care of. I'll be back.
Monday, December 15, 2008
I heard people complain about the clean vocals on The Unspoken King and were really upset about it. I now know why. When the clean vocals come in, it just kills it. They are weak and unnecessary. I am all for bands evolving but it's supposed to be a step forward, not back. Or sideways. Or whatever. Oh god, clean vox again. Make it stop!! It's like Emo. Not even good clean vocals.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
All Shall Perish - Awaken the Dreamers
I don't want to label this anything else. I think the first time I listened to it I thought it was ok. But I listened to it again a few weeks later and I wasn't diggin it. It's just got nothing to offer than I haven't been fed a hundred times before.
Talented musicians sure, but that doesn't mean they can write a solid album front to back.
I managed to listen to the whole thing but I wasn't paying attention by the end. I will give them kudos for no "good cop" stuff. Other than the ballad right in the middle of the album. THAT was stupid. Save that shit for the end. I thought it was the end and was disappointed when the next track was still them. Mind you, they did have a different feel after the ballad but it wasn't enough.
I am big on riffs and there was a lack of riffs on this. I am really getting tired of the duh-duh duh, duh duh, duh-duh duh, duh-duh, duh-duh. It's like the guitar follows the drums. Breakdowns are fine in moderation but when they are the main thing, it makes me think they are just hacks who don't know how to write music. Riffs man, RIFFS!!
Speaking of riffs, I am listening to Bison b.c.- Quiet Earth as we speak. That shit is pure gold.
I'll try and review Akimbo - Jersey Shores and/or Black Elk - Always a 6, never a 9 on Monday. Good stuff just a lot to digest. Not your mindless bands.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
And as read on the Encyclopaedia Metallum, ASRA HAS split-up. Shame. Damn, bloody, fucking shame.
I am gonna listen to the 5 tracks now anyway. By the way, ASRA stands for Alleged Satanic Ritual Abuse. Wicked.
Monday, December 8, 2008
title because I didn't really plan on reviewing it.
I wasted enough time already listening to the 2 or 3 tracks I got through
before dismissing it.
It sucks. It's boring. It sounds like bad video game menu background music.
It sounds like elevator music for the under-30 crowd. OH! It sounds like
that G3 album. You know, that Satriani, Vai and Eric Johnson concert from
way back? That was ok the first couple go rounds, but it got boring quick.
You want good instru-metal? Pelican, Irepress, Capricorns, The Bakerton
Group, Electro-quarterstaff... I could go on all day.
Canvas Solaris sucks. IMO
5 Reasons Blood Ceremony is delightfully awesome
2. Lyrical content: witches, magic, drugs. "Smoke the black drug from
Saturn's bong. I see witches in the sky. Turn a blind eye toward the
3. Silky smooth female vocalist.
4. She also plays the flute. Including solos!!
5. Fucking FLUTE solos!! How badass is THAT!!!
Full review later. When I have time. One of the few albums that I am really
interesting in reading the lyrics to. I have a feeling there is some pretty
fuct up shit in there.
Black Ships - Low (EP)
Right out of the hole I am going to give this a 9/10. It only loses a point because it's an EP. At the end of the 4 songs, I really wanted more. I will be ALL OVER a full-length.
The vocals are full on, man. I lost my breath just listening to it. I can't imagine there is much left for the vocalist. Intense, anger-fueled screams. It reminds me of Destroyer, Destroyer's vocals but the difference is, on Low, I can actually make out some lyrics. The bass is dirty enough that I can't tell if there is two guitars or not. (I really need to do my research before reviewing, or at least make sure I have internet access) It's a really full, distorted sound that would translate to a live setting really, really well. It would be an intense fuckin' show, I'll tell ya that! I can just picture the vocalist throwing himself around with reckless abandon. On the drumming side of things, I am gonna use the word dynamic. More than just keeping the beat, they fill the spaces where they need to and leaves other places open where you think there would be something. It really gives me the feeling that the band is inside eachothers heads, that they can play off eachother and feed off eachother.
This baby's gonna fight for the top EP of 2008 in my books, if it hasn't won already.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Sunday night Quick Hits
Metallica song. So I switched over to cassette (YES, cassette) and Children
of the Grave'd my way in the rest of the way.
I can't get songs from Amon Amarth's Twilight of the Thunder God out of my
head. That's a good thing.
I will have to listen to At The Soundawn's Red Square: We Come In Waves and
Always a Six, Never a Nine by BlackElk a few more times before reviewing
them. They are pretty complex and will take time to digest.?
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Annihilation Time - III: Tales of the Ancient Age
This review of III: Tales of the Ancient Age by Annihilation Time will not be long and complicated. Much like the album itself. Pretty straightforward. Fun party-punk that is still accessible to the metalheads. I wouldn't call it crossover because it is still on the punk side, but I'm not much of a traditional punk fan and I really dug this.It's got a standard punk drum beat for the most part and the bass is very audible. I can hear some southern touches in the guitar and the vocals are tastefully raw. The production sounds very live and unpolished which gives the recording the feeling of sincerity that it deserves. I think AH is not out to make a ton of money. They play for themselves and to help other people have a good fuckin' time.
The next album I listened to was The Way of All Flesh by ASRA (yes, Gojira also has an album by that name) but I am not ready to review it yet. It is SO fucking awesome that I need way more information to write a review that would do it justice. I think I read somewhere that ASRA broke up though. If they did it is a tremendous disservice to the metal community.
All That Remains - Overcome (album review)
Every once in awhile you come across a band that really stands out. That brings something new to the table. They don't have to invent a new genre, or even re-invent a genre, but they punch some uniqueness into it. It could be a interesting mix of styles, a unique vocalist, and totally out of this world drummer, ya know, something to really distinguish them from the rest of the pack. Unfortunately, not of that applies to All That Remains. Overcome isn't a bad album per se, it's just nothing special. Nothing that hasn't been done a thousand times before. They seem to have graduated from the Killswitch Engage taught school of Overdone Wave of American Heavy Metal. In fact, I should check the liner notes on this because it sounds like this has Adam D.'s fingerprints all over it. Good cop/bad cop vocals, but the good cop doesn't go to church as often as he used to and the bad cop has a family now and is getting a little soft. I can't really comment on the lyrics because I don't have the luxury yet of only listening to the album. I am almost always doing something at the same time. Besides, I don't like to analyze lyrics anyway. I was never very good in English class.
I have to give Overcome credit for at least keeping me interested up to about track 6, but by track 8 I had skipped to the next album on my player. There was just nothing I hadn't heard before (and heard done better). That, and I was looking forward to listening to the next band on my list, Annihilation Time. So when I turned my player back on, I just skipped the last 3 songs.
So if you live and breath KsE and their ilk, go buy All That Remains - Overcome. But if you want to listen to a band that blazes their own trail, go buy anything by Clutch. I should actually make that my blog signature, Go buy anything by Clutch.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Agenda of Swine - Waves of Human Suffering
I just listened to most of Waves of Human Suffering (I think, I really wish I was at home at my computer. and that I didn't have to sit on my mp3 player to get the earphones to work) by Agenda of Swine. Knee-jerk description: stretched grind. What do I mean? Well, grind in respect to viscious, mostly unintelligible vocals, delivered very raw and with obvious conviction; a drummer with a serious case of lactic acid buildup (blast away my friend, blast away) and the band name and album title sound like grind. I say stretched because with only 13 songs and a runtime of over 40 minutes, it doesn't really follow grind ratios for song length and total runtime. 13 songs at 17 minutes or 45 songs in 40 minutes would be more likely. I very much enjoyed listening to Waves of Human Suffering. Although, I must admit that I did fall asleep briefly while listening. That is not a reflection on the quality of the album, but rather due to the fact that I was also reading a boring book at 5:30am and I have been up for almost 24 hours. You do the math.
Because I don't like EVERYthing
way sometimes. At the same time, as Cronos from Venom said in Black Metal:
A Documentary, (basically)"If I had to listen to the worst corpse-paint
metal band in the world or fucking Britney Spears, I'd listent to the
fucking worst corpse-paint metal band in the world. Because I fucking love
Where am I going with this anyway? Right. Metal is better than everything
else but just because it's metal doesn't make it good.
That being said, here's some shit I listened to within the last 24 hours
that was exactly that. Shit.
Abigail Williams - In the Shadow of a Thousand Suns ( or some such bullshit
name, I forgot it already).
I am trying to like Black Metal, I really am but it's band like this
that turn me off of the sub-genre. I can handle the screechy vocales but I
can't do the theatrical, atmospheric shit. Too many keyboards and strings
(other than guitars). Can't do it. Turned it off after 2-3 songs.
After the Burial - Rareform
Better than the above but still shitty. First song, maybe 2, was kinda
deathcore/metalcore/whatevercore. Well executed but stale. Then I thought
my player went to another band. I checked, nope, still ATB. They went into
full-on Meshuggah-clone mode. Same choppy rhythms, exact same guitar tone.
Note to bands: You cannot do Meshuggah as good as Meshuggah, so stop trying
and get your own sound.
Cynic - Traced in Air
I don't even think I finished listening to 2 songs. Can't stand the
vocals. The high ones anyway. The low growls weren't too bad but I just
couldn't handle the high stuff. If it's another 15 years before they
release an album, that would be fine with me.
On a positive note.....2 bands I heard one song from today that I MUST
listen to the whole album: Zozobra and Helms Alee.
Bison b.c. - Quiet Earth mini-review
This is my first "remote review" for this blog. i.e not at home, not at MY computer, no internet, just email. Therefore, details will be sparse so bear with me. A full review will come along eventually.
In case you aren't familiar, and because I was unable to use italics in the subject, the band is Bison b.c. and the album is Quiet Earth (Metal Blade, 2008). They used to just be called Bison but had to add the b.c. for "logistical reasons". My guess is there was some other (much shittier) band out there with the same name that put up a fuss. Happens all the time. And it's always the good band that has to change their name. Fuct.
Anyway, Bison b.c. is from (duh!) British Columbia. Vancouver, I believe. They've some killer beards and play some seriously kick ass metal. The guitar tone is a bit stoner but leaning to the sludge/doom side. Alot of the time they sound tonally similar to High on Fire. Which is a good thing. There is actually a riff in one song that you would swear IS High on Fire. While the Matt pike influence is obvious they also mix in some punk/hardcore/crossover riffing. When they speed up you can really hear the punk/thrash aspect of their sound. There is even some gang shouts thrown in for good measure. Not like hardcore (Hatebreed/Biohazard type) gang shouts though. More of a crossover/neo-thrash sounding shout. Cross Examination and DRI come to mind. Vocal wise, sound pretty raw. Almost like if you took the Lemmy out of Matt Pike and added some more phlegm. Sounds pretty awesome if you ask me.
I have only listened to Quiet Earth twice so far but I know that the more I do listen, the more I will like it. I'd love to give a more detailed review but like I said, I'm not at my computer and I am not listening to it right now. So I am just going by (my shoddy) memory. It wasn't even the last thing I listened to so that makes it even worse.
Don't hold your breath for a full review though. Just go check them out. I've started the long and tedious process of compiling my Top 40 of 2008 list so I will be rather busy. I missed their live show last month and I've been kicking myself ever since.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Do you like death metal?
Can you speak Finnish?
Neither can I. But that doesn't matter if you put the two together.
What the hell am I going on about? Sotajumala, that's what.
Basically an awesome death metal band from Finland. Sotajumala is Finnish for "wargod".
Since it's crushing death metal, you can't understand the lyrics anyway so the fact they they "sing" in Finnish is not a problem at all!!
They have been around for 10 years but I just found out about them recently. They don't try to be overly technical. Vokills are pretty straightforward death growl. Not too much screeching. These Finns are really good at what they do. Catchy, little bit of groove. Little faster than Six Feet Under and the vocals are better than Chris Barnes anyway. Speaking of Chris Barnes, Sotajumala did a split with Torture Killer. Barnes' other band.
Their most recent album was 2007's Teloitus. If this had come out in 2008 it would be vying for a spot in my Top 10. I am listening to 2004's Death Metal Finland right now and it is just as awesome. I have this feeling that they would be killer live.
Drummer is lightning fast.
I don't know what else to say other than Sotajumala could be my new favorite death metal band.
GO!!! Check them out!! NOW!!!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
New Sepultura tunes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Derrick sounds better on these songs than he has so far I think. He sounds a little more scathing on The Treatment than before and that is good.
We've Lost You has that mid-paced groove that makes you want to bang your head. It's pretty typical of Max-less Sep but good nonetheless. I will admit that I have loved Sepultura all along anyway.
I'm really liking The Treatment. It's mostly fast throughout but it it drops a few bpm every so often. Air drums are happenin. He's no Igor but he's not half-bad. HE is new recruit Jean Dolabella smashing the skins. Igor left giant shoes to fill so I don't expect anyone to actually fill them.
These 2 tunes have a real scream along quality to them. Maybe it's because I think I could scream about as good as Derrick Green anyway or maybe it's because Andrea Kisser still writes kickass tunes. I still need to check out his solo stuff, Hubris I & II.
I am definitely going to try and find a pirated copy of this (A-Lex btw, Russian for "no law") before the January 27 North American release date. Which has some killer artwork too.
I can really see myself making this a staple in the car. Oh yeah. If it came out before X-mas, it would be on my list. But, since I don't have Dante XXI either, I'll put that on my list.
I am gonna try and find a copy right now. Laters!!
The Inaugural Post
This is the first post of my new Metal blog, Kingdom of Noise.
To start things off, I love metal. DUH!
What I will be writing about here is stuff like album reviews, metal related movie reviews, metal related book reviews, the occasional concert review (stay tuned for Cancer Bats Dec 19) and what I have been listening to recently.
I LOVE to talk about metal so PLEASE feel free to bitch at me about my opinions and/or suggest a better band.
So, today, I well, it was a slow metal day. I, ah, listened to a few songs of the new Soulfly album, Conquer. I love that album. I am gonna head over to myspace and check out the 2 new Cavalera-less Sepultura tunes. I'll let ya know what I think.