Friday, March 27, 2009

Titan - Colossus EP

Titan - Colossus EP: I have decided to redo my initial review of this EP because it was weak. Toronto's Titan truly come by their name honestly. Colossus is awesome. It carries some of the hardcore element of previous releases but there is plenty of doom. They have such a huge sound! They have a way of transitioning between styles effortlessly. As in "Next Winter", when it's going in this heavy hardcore mode, screamin' balls off assault and then at about the 3 min mark, everything drops away but some guitar plucking, and then WHAM!! crushing doom. Like funeral doom crushing. With some of the most evil belched vocals I've heard that don't sound like someone throwing up. The vocal range is fantastic. Colossus is full of energy and even when it slows down, there is still crushing power and a different kind of energy. It's like you can hear the train coming, you're on the tracks, you can't move. It's getting closer, you're waiting for impact. Then it hits. But it doesn't hurt. I feels better than before. As the train rolls through you, it transfers the energy. Making you feel larger than life. Infusing you with a sense of power. The piano moments in "His Eminence" allow for some much needed breathing room. Having seen Titan live only enhances the feeling of heavy. I can envision them playing the songs. I'll plan better for next time. I won't go right from the tattoo shop to the show. Colossus by Titan. Titanic. Colossal.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Evocation - Dead Calm Chaos

I think I may have discussed this album before. But since I am listening to it right now I thought I would say a few words. I really like it. I realize it's nothing really unique but I enjoy it. It reminds me alot of Amon Amarth. Twilight of the Thunder God topped my list for last year so you can understand the appeal. In fact, it's really similar in almost every way to TotTG. Makes me bang my head, air guitar and drums and if I knew the words, I would growl along.

Obscura, Mastodon

Obscura - Cosmogenesis: Sorry. Not for me.Technically, sure, yeah, they can all play their asses off. But it's too much for me. It doesn't seem organic or natural enough. It's feels obvious how much planning went into it. I prefer stuff that sounds like it comes for from the heart. It's just to technical. I hate the bass tone and the vocal effects. HATE the vocal effects. That why I didn't like Cynic either. I made it through the whole album but I have no desire to listen to it again.

Mastodon - Crack the Skye: I haven't heard all of it yet. I haven't heard the 13 minute final track. I have heard alot about how people aren't too sure about it. Decibel said it's a grower, not a show-er. I agree. Even on first listen I liked it, but with each subsequent spin, it gets better. I get the feeling that if it wasn't Mastodon, I'd be reading things like "beautifully progressive", "epic post-metal" and stuff like. But since it IS Mastodon, people expect Leviathan, or Remission or Blood Mountain. Crack the Skye is different. It's nothing we haven't heard from Mastodon before, just not for a whole album. Still has the guitar work, Brann's unique drumming, Troy and Brent's dual vocals, epic passages and all that we know Mastodon for. It's just a different angle. It's a little refreshing that they are making the music they want to and not just what people expect them to. I am very interested in hearing the last track. I think it's called "The Last Baron", but without access to the Internet, I can't double check. The preorder from itunes has all 7 tracks as instrumentals, a live track and a digital copy of the booklet in addition to the 7 core tracks.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Quick Hits

Arise and Ruin - Night Storms Hailfire: Fucking awesome. Very well
produced. You can really hear the hardcore but it has a very metal feel. It
is loaded with absolutely killer riffs. Good job boys.

Wino - Puncuated Equilibrium: Scott "Wino" Weinrich is like the Lemmy of
stoner rock. You know right away who it is, but you also know what to
expect. In Wino's case, sweet riffs, sweeter tone and some good solid
stoner tunes. If you liked The Hidden Hand, Spirit Caravan, St. Vitus or
any other Wino band, you'll dig this.

I listened to The Silent Enigma by Anathema the other day. Meh, not my
thing. I listened to the whole thing so that's something but I wasn't blown
away. So I won't go looking for anything else in their discography.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sometimes you have to trust what you read

I read that the new Stuck Mojo album (The Great Revival) was absolutely horrible. Decibel gave it a zero. I used to enjoy Stuck Mojo back in the day so I gave it a shot. Well, after hearing less than 2 tracks, I NEEDED a shot!! It is really bad. Really. Worse than that Body Count album from a couple years ago. Avoid at all costs.

Hollow Crown by Architects (UK), was pretty bad too. I had to skip it. I couldn't take it. I had visions of emo-core kids karate kicking in their skinny jeans and singing along like it's the story of THEIR life.

Luckily The Ichthyologist by Giant Squid was next.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Hooded Menace - Fulfill the Curse

Hooded Menace - Fulfill the Curse: I first heard about Hooded Menace in Decibel Magazine. Apparently the band is a bit of mystery. They had no picture of the band. Just a cartoonish image of hooded druid-like figures. Cool. I don't remember what it was about the article that peaked my interest, but I managed to obtain a digital copy. I tried to listen to it a few weeks ago but gave up early. The first couple tracks are kinda boring. I knew I had punchier stuff to listen to so I moved on. But I decided to give it another shot. Glad I did. Once the album gets going, they add a few more notes to a pretty massive guitar tone. Had I been in an altered state of mind, I may have been enveloped by that tone and the somewhat hypnotic riffing. The weak point of this album may the the vocals. That typical atonal black/doom bellow (recorded in a cave) that I am sure is recreated by a litany of misunderstood, pizza-faced basement dwellers. But I can tolerate them.. I really don't know if any other vocal style would fit the music anyway. It bounces back and forth a bit between a slow dirge and a gallopy pace (dun dadada dun dadada dun.....). It serves the album well though. It breaks up what could have been a very monotonous record. Fulfill the Curse finishes with a 3 minutes instrumental piece entitled Theme From the Manhattan (something I can't remember right now), that breaks from the overall feel of the album. It seems out of place. It might even be a cover. It's not bad, it just doesn't fit. They could have left it off because the album was long enough already. Fulfill the Curse doesn't break down any walls, or blaze any new trails, but it has earned a spot on my ipod for a little while longer anyway.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cattle Decapitation and Buried Inside

Cattle Decapitation - The Harvest Floor: Pretty good blackened deathgrind album. I'm not familiar enough with their earlier work to make a comparison. It seemed really short. Like it was over before it started. But as soon as you throw a grind label on something, you have to expect a short runtime. I enjoyed it but I am going to have to give some more time. I am fairly new in my appreciation of both grind and black metal so it will take me more time to fully appreciate The Harvest Floor than if it were a straight up death metal album. I know they are a vegan band but I haven't gotten deep into the lyrics at all (yet). Maybe The Harvest Floor will be a gateway drug to their back catalogue. I really enjoy their imagery and merch, especially the "Gore not Core" shirt (possibly the best band shirt ever) which I will be buying when I see them live April 14.

Buried Inside - Spoils of Failure: Ottawa's Buried Inside are awesome. They always have been. Even though Spoils of Failure isn't a concept album like their previous efforts, it's still pretty heady stuff from what I've read. I haven't read the lyrics yet. It's pretty heavy, doom-laden. Very sonic album with that roared vocal over top. I need to really give it some more listens to really nail down the sound. It reminds of Toronto's Titan without the hardcore elements. I am sure that when I get the chance to listen to this baby at elevated decibel levels, I'll be pleasantly knocked off my ass.

Kylesa - Static Tensions basic review

Kylesa - Static Tensions (Prosthetic Records, Release Date March 17,2009): I would write a full-on review but this album kicks so much ass I would need way more time than I have right now. So, a basic review will have to do for now. I have to tell people about Static Tensions. I can't see anything (other than a new Clutch release) topping this monster album in 2009. It's perfect. Phillip Cope, Laura Pleasants and the boys have this incredible way of crafting these beautifully epic, heavy as fuck songs. But Static Tensions is more than just a collection of songs. It's a true album. While listening to it passively (while reading a book per se) the songs meld together and I hardly even notice it's a different track. Then, all too soon, it's over. So I listen to it again. It has totally dominated my ipod since I got it. I can't get over how great it sounds. Not just the songs themselves but the production. Phillip Cope is a fucking genius (He's worked with Baroness, Withered and I believe Blacktusk among others). If Kylesa had one drummer, I would sing them no less praises, but they have TWO!! It's so amazing to listen to because you don't hear the drums from the middle (of the car, of the room, of your head) but one drummer from the left and one from the right speaker/headphone. Indescribably awesome.

There are times when I can hear elements of Torche, Baroness and The Sword. There are even some black metal type drum parts that you might hear on a Withered track. Given the similar geography and the Cope factor, that is to be expected, but no less awesome. Makes you wonder though, "Did they get that from Band X, or did Band X get that from them?" I honestly don't care. There is also a vocal line sung by Laura that keeps reminding of the a couple lines in Pantera's Walk. I can't remember the lyrics right now but it's the part that ends with "...dawn of time." and then the RE - SPECT. WALK! I wonder what Laura would think of being a Phil Anselmo reminder.

Did I mention it has John Dyer Baizley cover art? Doesn't get any better than that.

There must be something in the water down in Georgia. It seems everything that is coming from down there is truly awesome. Although, I have heard the Atlanta weed is pretty good so maybe that has something to do with it.

I'll get to experience Kylesa live in May when they come to my hometown (close enough) with Intronaut. It's at a pretty small club so it should be fucking epic. I am trying to contact the band to setup an interview for that day. I hope it doesn't fall through like the Darkest Hour interview that never happened. I'd rather talk to Kylesa for my first Kingdom of Noise interview anyway.

Kylesa - Static Tensions: Fucking buy it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Because I haven't posted in a while

Kylesa - Static Tensions: I haven't even finished listening to it yet. But I know right now it's gonna be one of the best of 2009. I'll give it a full shakedown Friday or Saturday. I'm doing some driving on Friday so that's prime listening time.

Cannibal Corpse - Evisceration Plague: fucking awesome. The ipod count on this is getting up there.

God Forbid - Earthsblood: on my 4th or 5th listen and it get better every time. it's a good grower.

Giant Squid - The Ichthyologist ( I know that's spelled wrong): pretty fucking cool. I will be listening to this alot.

Irepress - Sol Eye Sea I: BORING. maybe i am missing something. I'll have to give it more spins.

Archtect - Ghost of the Salt Water Machines: I can't get enough of it. Seriously. It is solid gold. And the coolest thing is, my buddy Mark just became their drummer!

Buried Inside - Spoils of Failure: pretty good on first listen but it's not a surface record. I've got to go deeper.

Cattle Decapitation - The Harvest Floor: Certainly getting me pumped for the show in April.