Thursday, April 9, 2009

Metal Hammer Razor CD

Also in the same issue of Metal Hammer was a compilation that unlike Brutality 101included a write-up in the magazine.

Kicking it off is Deathstars. The band's album scores an 8/10 in the magazine's album review section but to me this track just sounds like Rammstein. Gothic metallers Lacuna Coil have a live track of with female vocals. It doesn't sound that heavy to me partially due to the female vocals. Unearth start with heavy as hell guitar leads and hardcore type shouted vocals. The leads come in and out within the track. The track's not too bad. The Exodus re-recorded track "Metal Command" follows with their brand of butt-kicking Bay Area thrash. Darkthrone's "Grizzly Trade" has a black metal crossed with Motorhead edge so is a great follow up.

Nevermore's track has an 80's Queensryche/Helloween feel largely due to the slightly operatic vocal approach. Edguy play a track that sounds like it could have come Helloween's "Keeper of the Keys" album. The first time I heard of this band was when they played while I was living in Asia. Pretty enjoyable power metal, I missed seeing them but probably would have enjoyed their live output. Sylosis have a vocalist that bring Heartwork era Carcass to mind. The music sounds near death metal but not quite as there's a fair amount of power metal in their mix.

Spylacopa start out sounding like a metalcore band but have some 30 Seconds to Mars type singing in between yelled parts. It didn't surprise me to find out members of The Dillinger Escape Plan are involved here. The Hollow Earth Theory are more of the same but have a more melodic approach. Firebrand Super Rock play ballsy Judas Priest influenced metal with female vocals nearly as strong Doro's heavier Warlock material. Green River Project have Alice Cooper vocals but the song really shows off the guitarwork of Mick Priestly. The Enforcer track "Black Angel" is fast metal and made me think of actually listening to the fairly forgettable Vicious Rumours "Digital Dictator" album for the second time in years.
Diamond Drive sound like Rock Radio fodder as does Six. The true test of a compilation is both whether the listener would seek full albums out and if it gets another listen. Out of all the artists on the disc I'd only seek out Exodus and Dark Throne albums if I was unfamiliar with them. I might play the Green River Project again but I'm not convinced enough to dig further.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Brutalism 101

The latest issue of Metal Hammer (February here) on the shelves comes with two free CDs. The CDs are twofold in that they are vehicles for the magazine to sell more issues and to get bands known. Like most compilations they're a mixed bag. The Brutalism 101 CD is largely death metal as the title states.

First band up The Breathing Process are generic noisy death metal with grunts. Next up are the clumsily name Annotations of an Autopsy who sound like they're huge Morbid Angel fans but they also come across as bland. The Red Shore were fairly recent visitors to New Zealand. Pig grunts are laid on over the top of well played metal with varying tempo changes. As a counter too this, The Irish Front's track starts with melodic vocals but then grunts enter the fray. A Girl A Gun A Ghost have an emo-band type name but it's metalcore that uses "Far Beyond Driven" as a blueprint but lurking in the background there's a symphonic metal band with melodic girly vocals that really wants to get out.

Forever Never have an incredibly boring name. The vocals are the good cop/bad cop variety with melodic clean vocals and then gravelly shouting. The yelled vocals are an asset because the band's going through the motions without any real enthusiam. Glamour of The Kill starts off much better and sounds like an intensely brutal death metal band during the intro but then end up sounding like a lot of the melodic pop punk that Epitaph Records was pushing during the nineties.

(The) Plasmarifle start out as a brutal yet mid-paced killing metal machine but the song tapers off towards the end. The band are fond of overlong titles. The song is called "Haunted by the Ghost of a Dead Actress" and their album is mindbogglingly titled "The World Forever Changed in an Instant". Why not just go with "The World Instantly Changed" or better still, "The World Changed".
The vocalist on the Last House on The Left track sounds like a hissing snake and apart from the drum clicks the song is more in line with mainstream metal. Post-Mortem Promises have a more deathly metal feel and there's a hardcore lean with grinding guitars. I wouldn't mind hearing a full album from this band. The Red Death aren't bad either with thrashy with accessible throaty vocals. The last track "Set A Fire In Our Flesh" by Martriden is the highlight with its quiet intro building up to a well controlled blackened death metal finale.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Seaweed 1990 EP

Washington, Tacoma band Seaweed's Weak album was recommended to me a while back. I checked out and while it wasn't a bad album, it wasn't one I was going to rush back and listen to. My analysis was that it was a well titled album. According to Wikipedia (which is often as useful but less truthful than the instructions on a shampoo bottle) the band mix grunge and punk. I just hear Cruz records Big Drill Car type melodic punk on this EP which isn't bad but isn't great either. Maybe your opinion differs. Write a comment and let us know.


High Priestess - High Priestess

Record Label: Ripple Music High Priestess are a recently new Los Angeles trio who play heavy psychedelic music. The band was formed...