Tuesday, October 6, 2015
The most striking feature are the vocal gymnastics of Taito Halonen and they hit you on the first dirty sludgy track, "Tyrant Pleasures". He goes from raspy grunts to clean singing to breathless growls. It'd be easy to compare him to Mike Patton but Halonen's vocals have a dirtier feel at times and sometimes remind me of a Chuck Mosley with wider range. "Coffinborne" moves from slow sludger doom into a faster pass and whips the listener thoughout regardless of the speed. Put your dirty mind at rest, "Seamen Swallow'd" is actually a rollicking track about sailors being swallowed. "Warwhore" is menacing with its catchy chorus and doom metal underbelly dragging through the slimiest sludge. "Pile of Tongues" has a death metal edge but heads in a rock 'n' roll direction and the vocals even take a short turn towards the very melodic edge of the Messiah of Candlemass. "Knight of a Bent Lance" sounds messy at times due to the drums shifting tempo but the band keep it together and if it wasn't originally intended, it's a fabulous disaster.
"Whispers of the Worm" lets you know that Grave Siesta keep their Black Sabbath and Candlemass albums close to the heart but when the vocals take a turn, you realize just how much these guys also treasure death metal.
While there are some clean vocals on this record, "Piss and Vinegar" is a dirty album and Grave Siesta offer up far more than retrodden Black Sabbath riffs. This band are treading some interesting ground that the more adventurous music fan will appreciate.
Listen to the album on Grave Siesta's bandcamp page
Grave Siesta on Facebook
Monday, October 5, 2015
The EP format is usually a great thing as it doesn't contain the fat that an album and it's over quickly. Brond are a post-hardcore band from Sofia, Bulgaria, which have chosen to release an EP entitled "Feint".
Brond's music is heavily influenced by the likes of Fugazi and Helmet. The first track has a lot of throaty hardcore shouting and a great start/stop dynamic. "Build Re Build" features some quick drumming and vocals which are a reminder of Fugazi. There's a progressive type feel to the music as it is difficult for a listener to guess which direction the song will take. Despite that, there's definitely not a lack of focus as Brond sound super-tight. While it falls between the post-hardcore of Fugazi and the more stripped down metal of Helmet, "Atlantic Empress" employs a tasty and fitting jazz-punk type direction. "Lava Divers" features the strong pound drumming that Helmet are known for and clear hollering over the music.
This is the sort of release that kicks a slacking off reviewer in the ass and leaves drool stains in the floor. There's mopping to be done shortly.
Check out the Feint EP on bandcamp here
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Here's some Canadian Stoner Rock for you. We Hunt Buffalo hail from Vancouver and put the hunting weapons down and picked up a joint or two along with some musical instruments.
Despite the influence of the likes of Kyuss, at times it is easy to imagine We Hunt Buffalo being played on your local rock radio station. The melodies are there, the fuzzed-out guitars come through strongly and the vocals are easy to listen to and likely to have a mass appeal, and the songwriting is strong especially in tracks like "The River".
The band describe their music on their facebook page as "Dirty, Grimy, Fuzz-Rock" A track like "Hold On" works against them as despite the fuzz, the band sound like they showered many times during the day. It's all a little too clean. "Prairie Oyster" does contain some dirtier parts with hoarse shouted-type vocals that border on hardcore or metal. The band do seem aware that they're not really treading any new ground as Guitarist/Vocalist Ryan Forsythe sings "I've been here before. I know I've seen this place over and over again". I know I've seen this face over and over again" "Comatose". "Fear" is an interesting offer with the Alice In Chains vocals but sadly the song is too short. "Looking Glass" contains a slow building progressive rock edge, mixed with bursts of psychedelic guitar and the song is easily the strongest on the album
"Living Ghosts" sounds polished and it's not hard to imagine this band gaining a huge audience in the very near future. Sometimes the radio-friendliness makes it difficult not to think of a hugely successful Canadian band that many people love to hate simply because others have told them too. Although "Looking Glass" is a great song, there's not enough here to capture this jaded reviewer for a lengthy amount of time.
Don't take our word for it. Check out the band's album on their label's bandcamp page. Write a comment and let us know what you think.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Here's a band who may or may not be named after a Metallica song. It'd be an easy assumption to make as Blackened do have some of the Bay Area sound in their thrash metal mix. However to my ears, it sounds more Exodus than Metallica as there aren't a whole lot of lengthy songs with classical leanings unless you're talking about classic 80's American thrash. The songs here all fall well under the five minute mark.
These boys from Brazil aren't metal purists as they're willing to go in the crossover mode. Just by looking at the cover, it's clear that D.R.I are a huge influence on Blackened and it comes through in the vocals although personally I find it hard not to think of Mark Salomon of The Crucified when listening to "Underground Attack". It's definitely due to the music rather than the lyrics as all the chapters in the Blackened bible only cover thrash metal. The song slows down so a quick and slower guitar solo can be played before the thrashing commences again. "Extreme Violence" has an early Metallica style intro but gets nastier and is closer to Exodus in style. The vocalist spits out words in "Psychopath" which has a punked up metal feel akin to some Suicidal Tendencies. The gang shouted vocals create a hardcore sound although the band still grip the metal firmly with all hands as there's no way they're letting go to slide fully into the hardcore.
There'll be some that complain that Blackened really do sound like an eighties thrash band when really that is admirable. This rules and in a dark room with a number of beer cans the band themselves have those important three words to say to you all in TxNxD, "Thrash Never Dies".
Blackened on Facebook
Witches Brew records
Monday, March 9, 2015
This slab of post-metal comes from a small country that you might have heard of called Russia. As N.Tesla clearly take their moniker from the Serbian American inventor so you either expect the band to be inventive or to be heavily influenced by the American metal band. N.Tesla are much further to the left of than the American band with a similar name and are far more creative.
N.Tesla move from ambient to more avant-garde metal to black metal with barely a whimper and often on a single track. The bands vocalist is definitely a huge talent as the man can do more than just scream as the times where singing is called for he handles the situation with aplomb.
There's a lot of black metal running through the music on "Lux Manifesto" and a little bit of Pink Floyd in the album's title track. Rather than comparing N.Tesla to other post-rock bands Agalloch seem a fairer comparison as the music and creativity both bands have are similar. The blues guitar on the album's closer, "Here Speak Only the Birds" is a nice surprise although it's nearly a little too short and sweet.
N.Tesla have recorded a metal album that clocks in at a little over thirty minutes instead of the usual full hour so that's a huge thumbs up here as we hate time-wasters.
Check out the title track below. Then go and click on the bandcamp link below to hear the full "Lux Manifesto" album.
N.Tesla on bandcamp
N.Tesla on facebook
Sunday, March 8, 2015
After the speed of Reign of Fury and Drones for Queens, here's a real change of pace as Italian band, Necropoli are deathly slow and describe their music as funeral doom.
While the band play long doom metal songs there's definitely a death metal influence in their musical stew. David Unsaved vocals are slow death style grunts which are placed atop the haunting sounds of guitar, bass, synth and programmed drums. It's a real credit to the band that it's not really noticeable that the drums here are programmed. There's a Godflesh style industrial feel running through the mix too. Check out, "Curriculum Vitae" the shortest track on the album below.
While the length of the songs may be off-putting to many, Necropoli have produced an interesting and innovative debut.
Listen to "I" on bandcamp
Necropoli on facebook