Sunday, April 26, 2009

Buried Inside

I just remembered that Buried Inside played in Kingston tonight. And I missed it. Because I am stuck at work. That would have been a great show. Spoils of Failure is an incredible album. Man, that sucks! Seeing as they are only a couple hours away hopefully they will be back soon.


So I'm going to see Kylesa on May 3 with Intronaut and a couple locals (P!cked On and Tubby Custard). I am so fucking excited! It's going to be a long week of anticipation. I've been pretty much vibrating for the last couple days. I've been into them since To Walk a Middle Course. Obviously I checked out their earlier releases, and was just as impressed. Their overall tone or feel hasn't really changed that much but I feel they are getting better with each subsequent release. Their latest, Static Tensions, is just incredible (read review here). I'm ready to hand over Album of the Year right now. Nothing will top it. Georgia bands have been dominating my Albums of the Year lists the past few years. Mastodon in '06, Baroness in '07, (Amon Amarth took top spot in '08, but Black Tusk put in a good showing) and Kylesa in '09. The addition of a second drummmer and Laura's clean vocals have added new elements to their already textured and distinct repetoire. They don't allow themselves to be pigion-holed into any specific subgenre. I have heard them referred to as dirty hardcore. I can't really ageee with that seeing as it's hard to me to think of them as being in the same vien as say, Hatebreed or Terror or someone like that. I have also seen them billed as doom, but while I don't really have a problem with that, they offer so much more. I see doom as being much more oppressive.Not to mention evil and depressing. Being heavy and being oppressive and two different but not mutually exclusive things.

I'll be on Kylesa overload all week. I should really listen to some Intronaut to refamiliarize myself with all their work. I'll be checking out the new Chimaira (The Infection), as well as Heaven and Hell - The Devil You Know.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cattle Decapitation/Psyopus @ Time to Laugh April 14, 2009 Live Review

Doors for this show were at 6. I didn't show up til 8. I doubt I missed much. I caught the tail end of the set by In The Act of Violence. I wasn't paying attention though. I was too busy checking out the Cattle Decapitation merch table. At which I scored myself a "We Are Horrible People" T. Awesome. Oh, and a button. Anyway, ITAOV had about 6 people standing at the stage for their set. And I have a sinking suspicion that most or all of them were from another opening band. On to the good stuff.

Psyopus was short a participating member. Vocalist Brian Woodruff had lost his voice and "won't be screaming at you tonight". It was clear that the 3 remaining members were rightfully disappointed by the turnout. Even before they said who they were, guitarist Arpmandude (Chris Arp) proclaimed, "This is a fucking joke". But the show must go on, right? Psyopus proceeded to blow my fucking mind. I had heard snippets before but not much. Even so, I knew to expect some pretty technical stuff. Technical is a gross understatement. (For those of you requiring a label, will spastic/math/techgrind suffice?) Honestly to (if you believe in a) god, 3 of the most amazing musicians I have ever witnessed. Complete mastery of their respective instruments. Touring bassist Travis Morgan had my jaw on the floor when he was warming up! Psyopus tried to put on a happy face through what must have felt more like band practice than a gig. They were able to laugh off the stupid shit yelled at them from the "peanut gallery" which I believe consisted of opening bands, me, and some chick in a Cattle Decap shirt. When some idiot told them to "play it right" or something like that, Arpmandude replied with "YOU fucking play it right!" Well said, sir, well said. That was probably the same kid who I overheard outside saying "That guy's probably been playing guitar since he was like fuckin' 2". Like I said before, the set floored me. I couldn't believe how incredibly tight they were. With all the stops and starts, the interplay between members and the unorthodox guitar tricks, I was left stunned. What I'd like to know is, how in hell do they even write that stuff? Let alone be able to play it so flawlessly?! Drummer Jason Bauers might just have the fastest left hand I have ever seen. (His right is no slouch either) Not only could he drill the snare with inhuman speed and fill with the best of them, his ability to mute the cymbals at those speeds was just awe-inspiring. Remind me again just how many fingers Travis has? He could probably teach Les Claypool of Primus a thing or two. I would really liked to have seen the whole package but their style is such that an instrumental set left nothing wanting. I believe they have played Kingston before (Ace's Top Card maybe) and I sincerely hope they are able to wash the bad taste out of their mouths that this show must surely have left. I'm telling ya, it was a sad scene to see such an incredible band play to a virtually empty club.

Psyopus' new album, Odd Senses is available now. Buy it. I know I will be.

Headliners Cattle Decapitation were subject to no less idiocy during their set. Yelling the band's name when there is only about a dozen people just doesn't have the same effect. Sounded like the same guy that yelled "Decapitate some cows!!" Right. Because that's their M.O. Senseless animal slaughter. Their M.O., is laying down a blistering set of black-death-goregrind. I was warned before the show that I might get spit on. Apparently vocalist Travis Ryan likes to spit up in the air and catch it in his mouth. I saw him attempt it once. Epic fail. Maybe the bad Indian food threw off his aim. (Curry in a Hurry?) Whatever the case, it had no effect on his ear-piercing, throat-shredding vocal acrobatics. From high pitched witch-demon howls to from-the-sewers-of-hell growls and back again in an eyeblink. Amazing. I kept waiting for one of two things to happen; the vein on his forehead to burst and splatter the faithful, or for him to throw up. At least that's same sounds and face I make after a hard night of drinking. Although, if he had simply passed out from lack of oxygen, I wouldn't have been surprised. Guitarist Josh Elmore had one of the most beautiful guitars I have ever laid eyes on. If I knew more about guitars I'd tell you what it was. But I don't so trust me, it was sweet. No "Save the whales" stickers on that baby. But it's not like he treated it with kid gloves. Oh no, he destroyed it. Not an inch of the fretboard was left free of his wrath. With an array of pedals laid at his feet, he proceeded to rip us a new sonic ass. When I saw bassist Rahsaan Davis on stage, something struck me as unfamiliar. Since I've never seen CD live before I had very little knowledge of what the band members looked like. What little knowledge I had as to their appearance would have come from myspace. So when I checked their myspace page the next day and saw Troy Oftedal listed as the bassist, I realized I am not as well read as I would like to be. My research dug up that Rahsaan is the international touring bassist, and as such he makes a damn fine replacement. Seeing as this show was in Canada, that would explain it. (Plus, he handled my transaction at the merch table. Thanks dude.) He was able to rip through the set like he'd been there since Day 1. And made me realize I need to practice more. Drummer Dave McGraw was a force behind the kit. I could barely see him for all the gear, but I could see the deep rooted intensity on his face. Someone in the crowed yelled out a song title and Travis asked Dave if it was okay. He replied in the affirmative with a kind of shrug that seemed like " Ya, why not? I know them all! What a silly question." In fact, all four members played with a fierce intensity. And it showed. Nowhere to be seen was any relaxed attitude. Metal and all it's fury was in their veins and on their faces. Too bad everyone missed it.

As sickeningly small as the crowd was, they stayed true to the "Gore not Core" mindset. I didn't see any karate kicks or combovers. No breakdowns or scene. No windmills or air-boxing. No skinny jeans, cocked hats, or two-steppin'. It was nice for a change. I really hope both bands decide to come back because I was really impressed . Psyopus made me a believer (sorry I didn't have enough available dough for a disc) and Cattle Decapitation made want to see what kind of Karma Bloody Karma and Humanure I can find under The Harvest Floor.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Who is reading this?

I track my blog and I know people are reading this. But who?
Could y'all do me a favour and "Follow Me". Like at the right side of the blog?
Or at least write some comments?
I know someone from Kingston is, some people in Toronto are, and I have 3 hits from Savannah as well as reads from 15 other countries but I don't know who.
Knowing who is reading it isn't going to change anything I am just really curious. AND I like to discuss metal so having people to talk to about it would be awesome.

Just a fave.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I had a revelation!

Years and years ago I had a copy of Piece of Mind by Iron Maiden (I think I did). I got it from Columbia House in a 5 CD Metal Pack. I also got a Hendrix disc, Mass Slaughter, a Metal Blade comp and one other one. Maybe Vargas. At the time, I listened to it, didn't like the vocals and pawned it. None of my friends were into classic metal (Black Sabbath excepted) so Maiden went forgotten for years. Then I got Guitar Hero and played "Run to the Hills" and "Wrath Child". I really liked it. Then my buddy gave a bunch of his old cassettes for me to listen to in my van. One was Piece of Mind. Months went by when it was over looked. Being usurped by Nirvana, Black Sabbath and Metallica. Back in February I found a pair of Iron Maiden "The Trooper" Vans high-tops at a clearance store. I bought them because they were wicked cool. (I still hadn't listened to the tape). Every time I wore them I felt like a bit of a hypocrite. Like I was only wearing them to look cool. It reminded me of the "Take off your t-shirt" video. But I COULD name a song, so I wasn't that big a poser. Then, this morning, when my wife borrowed my iPod dock from my van, I threw on Piece of Mind. Hells yeah!! What the hell was wrong with me back in '95?! Why did it take another 14 years for me to check it out?! (Granted, I did listen to A Matter of Life and Death several times and enjoyed it very much) It's awesome!! I think "To Tame a Land" is the best track. The B-side is just amazing. I doubt I will be buying their back cat tomorrow or anything, but if I see one, I'm snatching it. Steve Harris is incredible.
So, the moral of the story is: Sometimes awesomeness has to wait, but given enough time, the proverbial "palm slap to the forehead" moment will come.

N.B. I have been checking out older bands that I never gave a chance to over the last few years. Motorhead for example. Haven't been disappointed yet.
P.S. I bought Metal Health by Quiet Riot on cassette today. I doubt it will have the same effect on me as Piece of Mind. But it was only a buck.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Sepultura - A-Lex

Sepultura - A-Lex: The Seps will just never be the same without Max. And now that they are Igor/Iggor?-less as well, their cause is not helped. This is one of those situations that has two sides. Side A: Knowing what Sepultura has done, it can be judged against that. Side B: Just look at the album as a stand alone.
Unfortunately, Side B just doesn't happen. Ya can't. So, compared to previous Sepultura efforts, it kinda blows. Compared to previous Derrick Green led Sepultura albums, it's kinda par for the course. It still carries a certain element that is unmistakably Sepultura but it doesn't hold a candle to anything done with Max.
I don't pay too much attention to lyrics for the most part (and I've never seen A Clockwork Orange. Sue me) so I don't get the concept of the album. Which if you haven't figured it out, is a concept album about A Clockwork Orange. I do know that the gang chant part during "Moloko Mesto" is annoying. I doesn't fit the pacing of the song. It sounds like someone was messing with Pro Tools and they didn't catch it before pressing. Also, I'm not a big fan of the little interlude type dittys between songs.
I do like this album, I may even buy it (I have them all). Don't think for a minute that a Cavalera-less Sepultura is anywhere near as good as classic Sep though. It's alot better than most of the stuff I've listened to lately (new Pestilence and Satyricon. First listens). Standard post-Max Sepultura.