Monthly Archives: July 2012

Gojira – “L’Enfant Sauvage” Review

Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage
Genre: Progressive Metal/Death Metal

Label: Roadrunner Records

Gojira, if you’ve been hiding under a rock from metal music, is a roaming behemoth in the metal movement at this moment in time after releasing some of the most innovative and crushing albums in death/technical metal over the past few years. Continue reading

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TWO new Deftones songs appear online!

As a big Deftones fan, I’m excited to say the least. Footage of Deftones’ intimate gig at the Troubadour in California surfaced on Youtube two days ago, and two new songs were played for the first time to an audience: Roller Derby and Rosemary.

My personal opinion? I’m in love with Roller Derby already, and Chino’s shriek at one point gives me goosebumps, while Rosemary sounds so glum and hauntingly atmospheric, but I do like it. It sets a really promising preview of what to expect of the new album.

You can watch both videos here, let me know what you think!

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Tongue – “Who Fired The Workers Of Happiness Factory?” EP Review

Tongue – Who Fired The Workers Of Happiness Factory?
Genre: Rock/Stoner Rock

Label: Self-released

Tongue are a band from Serbia, fronted by guitarist and vocalist Bizic Vladimir (AKA. Ripkid), formerly lead guitarist of the unfortunately disbanded hardcore punk pushers Lets Grow, who put out a strong amount of LPs and splits from 2001 to 2010. However, Tongue sees Vladimir taking a turn to a slower, groove-orientated rock direction. Continue reading

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Gnaw Their Tongues – “Eschatological Scatology” Quick Review

Gnaw Their Tongues – Eschatological Scatology
Genre – Black Metal/Noise

Label: Self-released

Gnaw Their Tongues is the nightmarish brainchild of Dutch musician Maurice de Jong, who is known as much for his relentless output of releases per year as he is for his dark and challenging music. If you haven’t come across the project before, Gnaw Their Tongues pushes its listeners to the limits with noise and industrial influenced black metal, sometimes the former two styles fore-fronting  depending on the release. Continue reading

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Introducing: #1

In this series of posts, I’ll be making a list per month of my favourite new discoveries with bands/artists – both new and old.

HARVEY MILK

Earlier in the year, I went to I’ll Be Your Mirror in London where Slayer, Mogwai and The Afghan Whigs headlined while having a wide array of bands playing on two or three stages through the weekend. Harvey Milk were one of the bands that I had heard of but never managed to get into before, but I went to see them regardless and whether it was the beer on an empty stomach or just seeing them live, I clicked.

The riffs are beefy, lathered in a sludgy syrup while the vocals and lyrics sound like the thoughts of a man whose mind is split in two and battling with two different personalities – which makes sense when you hear a cover of the Looney Tunes theme at the end of “Life…The Best Game In Town”.

Listen to: Motown, I Know This Is No Place For You, Death Goes To The Winner.

FALL OF EFRAFA

Another band whose name I knew, but this time I had never given them a listen… Fall Of Efrafa are one of those bands that I’d been severely missing out on, and I was kicking myself when listening to Tharn, a 15-minute track (which is average for FOE) of post-rock influenced bliss.

The band gets slapped with the neocrust tag due to their mixture of soft melodies and then sometimes crushing riffs and tearing vocals. Samples are pretty common too, and shorter tracks tend to be more fast-paced and D-beat influenced. If you like your post-rock with an array of influences from hardcore punk to sludge, then this band is a must for you.

Listen to: Tharn, Pity The Weak, Republic of Heaven.

I SELF DEVINE

I Self Devine is Chaka Mkali, a socially concious hip-hop artist from Minnesota who I only heard of through the Dead End Hip Hop channel on Youtube (the exact video here). Although such political MCs can be a bit overbearing at times, I thought I Self Devine’s latest release “The Sound of Low Class Amerika” was great even on the first listen – especially the beats, which are so catchy and throws back to the classic hip-hop sound.

Although I haven’t checked any other of his releases yet, I look forward to hearing more from this guy in the future. If you like Thurz’s “L.A. Riots”, then I don’t see why you wouldn’t like “The Sound of Low Class Amerika”.

Listen to: The Origin of Urban Crisis, To Be Needed, Self Awareness.

AB-SOUL

Oh man, what to say… Ab-Soul is a member of Black Hippy, and although I’m not really a fan of the other members of the group, Ab-Soul gripped my attention with two fists when I listened to his solo 2012 release “Control System”. His odd and playful delivery is entertaining, especially when he does rising pitch.

His rhymes aren’t just about girls and drugs but socially concious too. He’s also brutally honest with his lyrics, for example: “I used to wanna rap like Jay-Z / Now I feel I could run laps around Jay-Z / Nas ain’t seen nothing this nasty / B.I.G. and Pac got it coming when I pass too”. Wow.

Listen to: Terrorist Threats, Double Standards, Pineal Glands.

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I want to do a wider variety of stuff on here

and I want you to help me!

I’ve been thinking of doing other features on here for a while, and three ideas that stick out for me are these:

– “Blast From The Past”  – a review of an album that’s considered a classic.
– “Top #”  – a list of my favourite whatevers (concept albums, EPs, themes, etc).
– “Introducing…”  – Introducing and talking about a band or artist I’ve recently discovered and like.

But I also have these ideas:

– “Most Wanted”  – if a number of people want me to review a certain album/single/EP.
– An occasional video (the fact that I have a strong Welsh accent probably makes this impractical).

So let me know which one/s you’d prefer to see on here! I’m open to more suggestions too, so let me know if you have any other ideas on what I could do.

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Baroness – “Yellow & Green” Review

Baroness – Yellow & Green
Genre – Progressive Rock/Sludge

Label: Relapse

“Yellow & Green” is the third album by riff titans Baroness, the long awaited release since 2009’s sludge-conquering “Blue Record”, which brought a lot of attention to the band. Headed by guitarist and vocalist John Dyer Baizley, who is known for his art (for other bands as well as Baroness), the band has been known up to this point as a band that changes unashamedly, and “Yellow & Green” is no different. Continue reading

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HEALTH – “Max Payne 3: The Official Soundtrack” Quick Review

HEALTH – Max Payne 3: The Official Soundtrack
Genre: Electronica/Ambient

 Label: Rockstar Games

“Max Payne 3”, a videogame released in May, is the highly anticipated follow-up to “Max Payne 2: The Fall Of Max Payne”. Unfortunately this reviewer never got around to playing that game, but scarring memories of “Max Payne” (which I’m now replaying) has always kept me interested in Max and his story. Recently, I just finished “Max Payne 3”. Continue reading

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Favourite Albums of 2012… SO FAR.

Death Grips – The Money Store

The first choice and the first one that comes to my mind, no doubt at the top of the pile for me so far this year. Even when I heard the three or four songs promotionally released before the album, I knew that I would love it, but in no way as much as I actually did – I could listen to this album over and over and over without getting bored. Not many can make me do that. Noisy and abrasive hip-hop.

Torche – Harmonicraft

Torche, in my opinion, took their “pop-sludge” from an ear-pounding hall approach to a stadium-flattening-size party beast. Some of these songs are just so BIG. Such a fun album, makes me want to drink beer and air guitar every time.

Melvins – Freak Puke

Although it’s “Melvins (Lite)”, I still class it as Melvins. I just thoroughly loved how dark and twisted this album was, really sank into new depths. Trevor Dunn is just great on it too, really brought out darkness from the Buzz and Dale.

Earth – Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light II

I’ve seen a lot of people complain about this album due to that it’s pretty much the same as AOD, DOL I… but the fact is, surprisingly overlooked, it’s a second part/half. I just really enjoyed this album and found certain moments just as chilling or mesmerising as the first.

Every Time I Die – Ex Lives

Just one of the most vicious releases that Every Time I Die has released in a few years, the anger just jumps at you and seizes you by the throat. The riffs, as usual, have a southern twinge and are just so catchy. Some tracks really do take a while to get used to, or at least it did for me. And there’s a banjo at one point, what more could anyone want?

Ab-Soul – Control System

This was my first time hearing Ab-Soul, and it took a while (mainly consisting of repeatedly listening to the Danny Brown feature track), but then it clicked. He’s really setting his own style and just really refreshing.

Joey Bada$$ – 1999

Just listen to it if you need hope that hip-hop might return to its 90’s roots.

Black Swan – Aeterna

Beautiful ambient drone but with a horror twist, like a soundtrack to a silent horror film played in slow motion. This is also a new artist to me and one of my favourite discoveries of the year.

Cattle Decapitation – Monolith Of Inhumanity

Brutal, relentless, punishing, violent, disgusting, horrifying, cruel… all you need in a brutal death metal/grindcore album, it’s right here. Travis just really outdoes all his vocals on previous albums with this, which is a bold statement to say the least, but true to my ears.

Black Breath – Sentenced To Life

I like their previous releases, but this is the first one that I find blows me away while not getting boring early on. It’s not exactly mindblowing, but I just find it a enjoyable listen. Crunchy riffs!

Clams Casino – Instrumental Mixtape 2

Just another starling collection of hip-hop beats by Clams. I never really understand why he lets people rhyme over his beats, but I’m glad he puts these mixtapes out of them untouched.

Unfortunately, there’s a load of new albums that I haven’t been able to listen to or haven’t gotten around to… there’s a lot of it out there! Especially the new Gojira album, I’ve only heard a handful of tracks so far, but not the whole thing.

Let me know what your favourites are so far.

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Cattle Decapitation – “Monolith of Inhumanity” Quick Review

Cattle Decapitation – Monolith Of Inhumanity
Genre: Grindcore/Brutal Death Metal

Label: Metal Blade

Cattle Decapitation are a technical four-piece from California, whose brutal and vivid music lives up to the name. Over the course of the band’s formation, the lyrical themes have consistently focused on man’s effects on wildlife and nature in a misanthropic light, often placing humans into the animal’s perspective to exemplify the negative results. They also focus on religion in the least complimentary way possible as well.

So, “Monolith Of Inhumanity” is their seventh album release, their fifth on the Metal Blade label, and this release is ridiculously heavy. Although the band is known for it’s extreme style and constantly changing between the face-scraping blastbeats, sweeps and riffs and the death metal breakdowns, this album is definitely a step towards a more hectic sound than the last album “The Harvest Floor”. The production is a lot better too, and makes the layers a lot more distinctive.

Dead Set On Suicide, the second track on the album, opens up with these blistering blastbeats before this short bass break which follows with the whole band jumping back in furiously. It’s also the first time we hear a new type of vocal from Travis Ryan that’s really manic and pained – you can’t help wonder just how he manages to cope with the constant changes. Then there are these insane double-kick breakdowns that just sounds like jackhammer sped up and being flicked on and off. Needless to say, this track is a personal highlight.

The following track, A Living, Breathing Piece Of Defecating Meat, also uses the new type of vocal in the oddly catchy chorus, which consists of ” A living, breathing piece of defecating meat / Two-legged massacre expressing glands in heat”. You can’t help feel like you’re on trial and being accused of some unspeakable crime by a demon god – which is probably the intent.

Sixth track Projectile Ovulation opens up with an almost old-school death metal riff, and seems a lot more straight-forward than previous tracks yet still remains ridiculously heavy, especially during moments of Travis’s guttural growls and belches.

The Monolith has a creeping sensation, mainly consisting of a clean guitar with ambient ‘booms’ and crackles of fire – almost resonant of Nine Inch Nails’s instrumental Help Me I Am In Hell. This leads up to final track Kingdom Of Tyrants, which progresses through so many stages that it really does feel like an emotional climax at times when switching between fast and slow tempos, almost orchestral at times with the interplay between the vocals and instrumentation.

To put it simply: “Monolith Of Inhumanity” is a completely brutal and relentless album, focusing less on atmosphere and more on action. While this album is completely uninviting for anyone seeking melodic and beautiful textures, this is definitely for those who like their metal punishing, violent and unpredictable. A must for grind fans.

7.9/10
Favourite tracks: Dead Set On Suicide, A Living, Breathing Piece Of Defecating Meat, Kingdom Of Tyrants.

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