April 30, 2012

Pornogrind Monday: Gut

Because .chester's been on the run from the police for the past few days, he asked me to write some stuff for P00rngrind Monday.

So here's Gut, a german porngrind band that, from what I heard, are credited as being the fathers of the genre or something. I guess you can consider them as the Beatles of porngrind, but whatever.   I can't give you an honest and professional opinion about them because I got scared and called my mommy in Italy 5 seconds into the first song. You can check them out here, here and here, and I'll post a random song to please your perverted minds. Mein Gott.

April 25, 2012

Burial - Burial (2006)

By now, dubstep has a pretty shitty reputation among people who actually care about this stuff, and the source of this hatred can probably be pinpointed to ϟƘƦƖןןΣx who single-handedly managed to bring the wrath of the electronica crowd (well, part of it, anyway) upon the genre. Sure, there are probably even worse offenders out there, but this guy is so big and famous that I have no problem blaming it all on him. He's a cunt and violent electronic music makes me nauseous.  

It doesn't have to be this way, though, as renowned British producer Burial demonstrates with his 2006 self-titled debut. In all fairness, Burial's music is rooted in 2-step garage and tends  to be considered more of a dubstep precursor and, as such, it has absolutely nothing to do with the modern, over-processed mess that dubstep has now become. No, this is closer to (dark) ambient as the artist is striving to create atmosphere

The music is composed of all sorts of fragmented sound bites arranged in irregular, paranoid patterns that help create a sense of unease and nervousness. The main drum beats usually feature a kick on the first and third beat, with snares, claps and hi-hats coming in at unpredictable intervals - and it sounds nothing like a typical four-on-the-floor house or techno beat. The artist then adds various bits of clanking, mechanical noises and disembodied, echoed vocal samples to the mix while saturating the background with grave synth pads, thus creating a dense, brooding atmosphere that's simultaneously enthralling and anxiety-inducing. The ambiance is meant to evoke the loneliness of walking through an urban landscape by night. The towering concrete buildings, the shining street lights reflecting in puddles of water by the sidewalk, the eerie feeling of being alone in a dark, unfamiliar place, a solitary night bus moving silently on the streets - Burial recreates these sights and sounds through his intelligent, carefully planned rhythms. 

While it's perfectly suitable as background music for when you're working or whatever, Burial truly shines when you're listening to it alone, at night, in your bed. It instantly hooks you and makes for a soothing journey towards REM sleep. Burial is an entirely different beast than his contemporary counterparts and, even after six years, the music bearing its name isn't straying from the original formula of deep, meditative sounds and unnerving drum programming. While the cool kids are popping pills and frantically dancing to that modern garbage, I'll be in my room, soaking in the atmosphere of one of Britain's most brilliant and influential producers. 

If you're into ambient music, nevermind the dubstep label and give this a spin. Your nights will never be the same again. 

April 24, 2012

Veil of Maya - Eclipse (2012)

Look, I agree that djent is a bullshit, made-up label in a genre that's already saturated with long, pointless subgenres like cascadian black metal or whatever. Going the extra mile and talking about 'djentcore' just makes you eligible for a savage beating because now you're being ultra-annoying, so please, don't go there. I'm not entirely sure when this djent fad started, but I'm just finding out about it and now I'm curious. It took me quite a lot of google searches to figure out what djent even means and I think it's a poorly-chosen onomatopoeia and whoever came up with it (Meshuggah?) should receive a good flogging.

Veil of Maya are apparently part of the djent current, toiling away for six years and releasing three studio albums, Eclipse being their latest offering. I had heard good things about this album, but the thing that drew me to them - before reading up on what djent is - was the eye-catching cover art and, well, their name, which instantly got me thinking about Cynic and hoping it would sound kinda like them. They sound nothing like Cynic. Instead, they play a pimped-up, extremely polished modern semi-technical death metal (I'm really trying to avoid saying they actually play deathcore because I feel bad when I enjoy it - TRUE METALHEADZ AREN'T SUPPOSED TO ENJOY DEATHCORE!) that caters more to the rhythmic side of things.

UGH. I hate myself. 
The music is highly percussive, often sacrificing melody in favor of CHUG, with a dual low growl/high shriek vocal attack and blasting drumming. At times, the music is gorgeous, thanks to some smooth, eerie synth pads and a few melodic guitar solos here and there. This can best be noticed on tracks like The Glass Side, with its brooding background atmospherics, and Numerical Scheme, which features one of the most beautiful intros I've ever heard before collapsing into spastic, brutal riffing and chaotic vocal delivery. Other songs, like Punisher or Winter Is Coming Soon, are straight-up bone breakers and should do a decent job of crushing your spine under a fuckton of metal.

Hovering just under the 30 minute mark, Eclipse is a an easy and enjoyable listen. Most of the songs are about 2-3 minutes in lenght, which is really ideal - you wouldn't want nine minute songs made up of samey riffs pounding you into utter boredom. This may not be trve metal and the dudes in Veil of Maya might not be hard-ass men with huge muscles, but pleasant fellows who happen to enjoy harsh sounding guitars. Either way, if you can get past the hair-dos and the stupid djent label and keep an open mind, Veil of Maya might just surprise you.

Or you can go back to listening to Metallica and Lamb of God, you boring loser.

April 23, 2012

Ian Anderson - Thick as Brick 2 : Whatever Happened to Gerald Bostock? (2012)

You might know this weird dude as the lead singer of the almighty, flute-rocking 70’s band Jethro Tull, which rocked my other-lead-instrument-than-guitar-seeking mind and universe.  Besides being the first artist to introduce the flute to rock and still look bad-ass while soloing the shit outta that bitch, he has always expressed a colorful, eccentric and playful personality which, obviously, is  heavily impregnated into his music. You could often see him apprearing on stage as a jester, a knight or a Medieval prostitute (OK, not sure about that, but you get the drift). To put it all in perspective, think about this: in that grotesquely haired chests, leather trousers wearing era of music (aka the 70’s) he was the weird one. That’s  something. 

Forty years later, he still kicks a serious amount of ass on Thick As A Brick 2. This album is the sequel to Jethro Tull’s 1972 classic Thick As A Brick, which depicts the life of fictitious schoolboy Gerald Bostock (the lyrics were credited to him), whose parents supposedly lied about his age. So what might be Gerald, aged 50, up to now? 

TAAB2, while not as deep or groundbreaking as its predecessor, is still a mesmerizing conglomerate of possible indentities, paths or choices that Gerard would have taken throughtout his life, making room for multiple twists and turns, depending  on your choice as a listener. It doesn’t offer us a clear answer (which would have been a drag, really), but lets us use our imagination. The album as a whole is a charming, witty and heartbreaking insight on life, with its hard decisions and consequences, ups and downs, cheers and sorrows.  Ever thought how your life would have turned out if you didn’t reach to pinch that hot waitress’s ass? Maybe you wouldn’t have had that ugly scar across your face.  How about that time when, as a kid, you used to shoot cats with BB guns?  Well, ok, good for you, I fucking hate cats. 

 But lets stick to what’s really important here : the flute. Although many bands followed their example afterwards and started taking this sheep-controlling  instrument more seriously , I still can’t get past the oddity of a rock band using it. Anyway, he mastered it. He’s the shaman, the priest, the warlock, the God of Flute. Pan would throw away his pipes and take flute lessons after seeing Ian performing.  

Even if the flute gets the spotlight for most of the time, TAAB2  is still a progressive rock album at its core. The songs are very well glued together, complex and intricate.  Overshadowed by the flute as they might be, the guitars still sound pretty bad ass and the drumming is top notch. Because Ian’s voice is not as good as it was in his youth, he turned to a more mellow, low tone pitched delivery and, frankly, that’s a good thing; it blends very well with the album, and it proves that Ian is the kind of artist that is very aware of his limits and writes his songs accordingly. He hasn’t turned soft, if that’s what you’re thinking, nor has his music suffered a decline in quality – it’s just a tad different from what he used to do and it suits him well.

TAAB2 is, to put it briefly, a great album and a good start for those of you who seek something different from what you’re usually pleasing your earsones with.  Flutes are awesome, man!

April 22, 2012

Arctic Monkeys - Electricity

Looks like Marco isn't going to post the new Arctic Monkeys track anytime soon, so I guess it's up to me to keep you up to date on our favorite indie rock band of all time. Electricity is the second song to be recorded for Record Store Day by the Sheffield quartet and it's great. Much like their entire output.

April 20, 2012

A Bunch of Kids Cover Some Rammstein Songs (and it's pretty creepy)

In case you haven't had the pleasure of watching these little bundle of joys yet (I saw it about four days ago, so it's old news by Internet standards), here's a video of a bunch of kids who call themselves Children Medieval Band covering a song by Rammstein.

Normally kids playing music doesn't do much for me. They're weird, uncoordinated, sloppy and they have crappy voices, not to mention they usually sing about flowers and ponies and being happy and whatever. Much of this is true of this vid as well, but then there's the added creepiness of the whole thing. The guitarist is looking into the camera like he plans on murdering me, the keyboard girl is just kinda there and that little girl on the drum... well, I kinda half-expected her to start heavily bleeding from her blank, expressionless eyes, let loose a banshee-like shriek, grow demon wings and tear out the curtain behind her.

Luckily, the occult demonic forces have stayed away from these innocent tykes and all we're left with is a pretty good, though a bit awkward, Sonne cover. About half way through it, the boy starts singing the lyrics in Romanian, so there's that, too. They've apparently been trained with EarPower, a software designed to help you mimic sounds by ear.

Anyway, enjoy the original song (by the way, I have some serious Rammstein nostalgia after watching this) and the cover by Children Medieval Band while I go see a local hardcore/powerviolence band and probably get injured in the process.

UPDATE: Wait, hold the presses! They also have an Ich Will cover and a Du Riechst So Gut cover, in which the girls provide backing vocals and the singer breaks out the Romanian lyrics again. You are going to watch all of these.

April 18, 2012

Seabear - The Ghost That Carried Us Away (2007)

Seabear is an Icelandic 7-piece indie-folk group made up of a bunch of guys and girls with unpronounceable names and these guys are seriously one my all-time favorite bands that don't sing about killing prostitutes or whatever. They basically just gather in the main singer's living room with their acoustic guitars and ukuleles and they play lo-fi, mellowed-out, hippie-hippie-shake folk music with soft, whispered vocals. Their lyrical themes mostly revolve around the beach, running around barefoot in the grass, writing poems to your perfect girlfriend and petting small furry animals - and you know what? I love it.

You know what else? Even if you don't like it, you still deserve a warm hug, because we're all under one sky and we should all be nicer to each other.


April 17, 2012


Apparently, being hungover and having a fever at the same time feels pretty bad. I've spent the whole day in a total nerd rage because I had this chunk of PHP code that just wasn't working, so after googling for about an hour and not managing to fix it, I registered on a web design message board or whatever and asked for help. Turns out I had forgotten to add an extra ' somewhere. Holy shit, I'm an idiot! Then I got some bad news about an awesome camping trip my friends and I are planning and that bummed me out completely. Then I was going to watch the new episode of Game of Thrones, but I'm too tired and my eyeballs are burning.

So basically what I'm saying is that it's been an awful day and I cannot wait for it to be over, so I'm going to bed right now, at 8PM. Here's a full Linkin Park concert shot in HD at the Madison Square Garden. Can I go now?

April 16, 2012

Pornogrind Monday: Ultimo Mondo Cannibale

I spent the whole Easter day doing nothing but eating, drinking and watching the second season of Parks and Recreation (Rashida Jones is a total babe, by the way), so thank the heavens today is Pornogrind Monday, so I can chill some more by listening to some groovy Italian pornogrind band with pitch-shifted vomit vocals in the vein of Rompeprop and Gut.

Ultimo Mondo Cannibale, ladies and gents!

April 15, 2012

Mediocracy - Asoma (2011)

Mediocracy is a bunch of pissed-off dudes from the bullshit city of Bucharest, Romania who play a highly energetic brand of crusty metallic hardcore not unlike Masakari, Converge, All Pigs Must Die and whatever else you and your friends listen to when you feel like the Man is keeping you down. They've only been around for two years and have already released two full-lenght albums and an EP and have toured intensively, so I guess they're pretty passionate about their music.

Most of their songs are blazing hurricanes of sharp, chaotic hardcore riffs, d-beat drumming and caustic vocals with the occasional melodic lead thrown in for good measure. As the band puts it, they're "opposed to fascism,state control,religion,hate,war,authoritarianism and the constant dumbing of people in this society which embraces these things", so there's really no need for me to go any further on this. Just know that if you're on the lookout for some flawlessly executed, harsh, crusty hardcore to get you through your vapid, pointless excuse for an existence, you should definitely give Asoma a spin. 

Especially that they're such nice guys that they offer their entire discography for free. Get it here

April 13, 2012

Catamenia - Chaos Born (2003)

Good grief, that's one hell of an ugly cover. What's with those yellow letters flying around? Are they supposed to depict chaos or...? And is that the Statue of Liberty behind the wolf?

Anyway, Catamenia are a melodic black metal band from Finland and, back when I was 15 and had no clue about metal, they were the shit as far as music that pisses off your parents goes, along with Marduk's Heaven Shall Burn... When We Are Gathered. 8 years later, it's kind of lost its appeal and the messy guitars and shitty vocals aren't really doing anything for me anymore, but I still remember them fondly.

They're set to release a new record this month, which I think is great. Rock on, dudes!

April 12, 2012

Summoning - Oath Bound (2006)

Summoning was one of the first black metal bands I ever really gotten into, in a time when I was younger and the discovery of black metal had opened up a whole new musical territory for me. I went through all the mandatory bands like Mayhem, Burzum, Darkthrone and all that jazz, but none of them has ever managed to hold a candle to Summoning as far as I'm concerned.

The band consists of just two dudes from Austria who call themselves Protector and Silenius and who are really going the extra mile in preserving their band personas, as their band photos often depict them as otherworldly wraiths enshrouded in cloaks or as dead warriors, impaled to death in some elven forest. They're total J.R.R. Tolkien nerds and it's really hard not to love them for that, because they pour their hearts and souls into making music that captures the amazing atmosphere of the Lord of the Rings books. Relying mostly on melodic keyboards, buzzing guitars that drone in the background, programmed drumming that sounds like a thousand war drums being beaten inside a cave and growling choirs, Summoning's music is the very definition of Tolkien metal.


Words like epic and majestic come to mind when trying to describe their music, but you really have to give it a spin for yourself in order to truly appreciate the authenticity of how they sound. The atmospheric keyboards, the massive drumming, the uruk'hai choir vocals, the lo-fi production, the lyrics that deal exclusively with Middle Earth lore - it's a dork's ultimate musical fantasy.

Oath Bound is my favorite Summoning album, but you really can't go wrong with any of their releases. Many fans claim that Stronghold is their best album, followed closely by Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame, but whatever. They're all exceptional and they all follow the same musical recipe, so you'd better put your mithril armor on and stand up defiantly against the armies of marauding orcs. Summoning is the best soundtrack you could ever hope for.

Oh, and did I mention they wrote a whole song in the Black Speech of Mordor? NERDGASM. Check it
out below.


April 11, 2012

No Goats No Glory

I'm bored out of my skull, I didn't really plan to post anything specific today and, although I did listen to a bunch of new stuff today, most of it sucked and isn't worth posting about anyway. Instead, I figured I'd post a bunch of goat metal bands I like and maybe see if anyone else has any favorite goat bands. This is a bad day for me and this is what we're doing, so if you're not up for it, door's over there. Okay? Good!

Goatsnake is a California stoner doom band formed 1996, after the disbanding of The Obsessed (who will reunite for this year's Roadburn festival) and it consists of The Obsessed members Greg Rogers and Guy Pinhas on drums and bass, respectively, as well as vocalist Pete Stahl and Greg Anderson, who also plays guitar in the monolithic Sunn O))). A pretty cool line-up if you ask me, especially considering that Greg Anderson probably uses the same rig he drones with to play sweet bluesy doom for Goatsnake. Also, Pete Stahl's vocals are really nice. They've only released two studio albums so far, but they're well worth checking out if the line-up made you raise an eyebrow.

Archgoat are a trver-than-thou unholy black metal outfit from Finland. There's only three dudes in the band and they go by the names of Angelslayer, Ritual Butcher and Sinisterror. Their latest offering is an EP called Heavenly Vulva (Christ's Last Rites) and the cover art depicts Mother Mary cowgirling Jesus' corpse on a mortuary table, so I guess there's no point in describing their music. The imagery and song titles speak for themselves.

I've talked about Goatwhore before, the blackened death metal band formed in the wake of sludge legend Acid Bath's demise. They're awesome, in a vitriolic, pissed-off kinda way.

Weregoat are similar to Archgoat, in that they play vicious, bestial black metal with a thrashy edge and they sport names like Indiscriminate Impregnator, Nocturnal Hellfuker and Sadoseducer. They've only released one EP so far, called Unholy Exaltation of Fullmoon Perversity. If you enjoy blasphemous black metal with vocals so drenched in reverb that they sound like a pack of hellish fiends throwing a party in a cave, Weregoat should be right up your alley.

Goatvomit are an obscure black metal band from Greece that sing about destroying Christianity with nuclear missiles. The video below, though, is the intro to their 2002 EP called Chapel of the Winds of Belial, and I've always had a soft spot for the cheesy keyboards and the clean, spoken vocals it features.

The ludicrously-named Goat Penis hail from Brazil and they're a bunch of guys who obsess over anything that has to do with war, so expect to find a whole bunch of songs about tanks, nuclear warheads, machine  guns and bazookas on their albums, with relentless drumming, crunchy riffage and, for some reason, ski masks.

Finally, we have Von Goat, an off-shoot of the legendary US black metal outfit, Von. Nothing too special going on here - just well-executed, thick, sludgy black metal.

This is where my limited expertise on goat metal ends. There's also Goat Thrower, Goat Eater, Goat Messiah, Goat Puncher, Goat River, Goat Skull, Goat Perversion, Goat Tunnel, Goat Terrorism, Goat Vengeance, Goat Bleeder, Goat Command, Goat Funeral, Goat Semen and a whole fuckload of other goat-something bands I've never heard of. If there's a goat band I should TOTALLY check out, give me a heads-up in the comments. 


April 10, 2012

Revenge - Scum.Collapse.Eradication (2012)

Some late nights just beg for a bit of blasphemous, apocalyptic, spine-crushing, not-to-be-fucked-with, thrashing blackened death metal. If all you feel like doing this evening is be crushed under a fuckton of skirmishing riffing and pummeling drumming, look no further than Revenge. There are no words. There is only pain.

April 9, 2012

Pornogrind Monday: Spasm

Word up, motherfuckers? Pornogrind Monday is back with its second feature, Czech grinders Spasm. BOOM!

They don't actually describe their music as pornogrind, instead saying they play drum'n'bass gigolo goregrind. But hey, they use a lot of sexual imagery and lyrics, so I think they're a great fit for our weekly gross-out. Spasm have been around for more than 10 years now and in that time have released one demo and three studio albums, the latest one coming out in the summer 2011. Musically, they stay on the tried-and-true path of disgusting, simplistic goregrind, complete with pig squeals, vomit vocals and groovy drumming. Their live shows seem pretty fun as well, as you can see in the video below, as long as you don't mind their eccentric image and the skimpy Borat attire.

Have a great Monday, everyone!

April 8, 2012

Spawn of Possession - Incurso (2012)

Were I not such a strong-willed, determined and resolute motherfucker individual, Incurso would have been the album that put me off technical death metal forever. In many ways, Spawn of Possession's latest offering (coming along a mere six years after their previous effort, Noctambulant) is a lot like that... thing on the cover: a giant, nimble, alien, monstrous juggernaut that crawls across the Earth's surface, cracking the skies and ruining everything you hold dear. And standing in front of it with your arms raised while holding a Bible isn't going to stop it, lemme tell ya!

The line-up for Incurso is quite exciting, as it features two of the original band members, namely Jonas Bryssling on guitar and Dennis Röndum on vocals (who was previously handling drum duties, now being passed on to Henrik Schönström), as well as Erlend Caspersen (Deeds of Flesh, ex-Blood Red Throne) on bass and legendary axe-master Christian Muenzner (Obscura, ex-Necrophagist) on lead guitar. With such fresh blood on the Spawn of Possession roster, it was reasonable to expect that their third studio album will be something to behold.

And it totally is, which is why I was saying it might have been the record that effectively ended tech death for me. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, is so outrageously technical and over-the-top that I am seriously wondering a) how much alien DNA do these guys have? and b) how the fuck do they even remember how to play all this?

The guitars on Incurso are nothing short of mindblowing, as these two wizards play at inhumane levels of speed and dexterity while managing to sound tight and precise at the same time. Half the time I don't even know what the hell is going on, as intricate riffs and insane harmonies fly off in all directions like shrapnel from a fragmentation grenade, while the bass lines are working in their own separate ways, often times detaching from whatever crazy structure they're supposed to follow and doing their own thing. The drum work is basically a huge blizzard of relentless blasting, grinding and highly technical fills that's equally hard to comprehend, even after multiple listens. Even the vocals function like clockwork and deliver machine-gun barks and growls in percussive patterns that add to heaviness of the songs. It's controlled chaos: a savage machinery whose inner mechanisms run so fast and seemingly disjointed that it seems like everything is about to spin out of control at any second, yet it is all somehow kept in place.

For all the mind-bending technical sorcery, I do have one major gripe with Incurso, and that is the songwriting. Simply put, no song managed to stick with me, even after a dozen listens. It's almost as if the musicians were so busy playing at breakneck speeds and cramming in as many riffs per song as possible, that they forgot they're supposed to be crafting songs, not technical exhibitions. So while I stand in awe of their technical prowess, their latest album is more of a carpe diem affair: get hyperblasted now, remember none of it later.

Nevertheless, Incurso stands as a megalith of modern death metal and a genre landmark, offering astonishing technical wizardry that, right now, seems impossible to match, let alone surpass. It does lack a bit of feeling and some people will quickly dismiss it as "technical wankery" - and they're not totally wrong. But if you call yourself a tech death fan, you are not allowed to miss this.

Over and out.

April 7, 2012

Powerglove - Saturday Morning Apocalypse (2010)

Hey, you know what was great? Waking up at 7 AM as a kid on Saturdays to catch all those awesome cartoons on TV like Pokemon, X-Men, Batman, The Flintstones, Transformers and all that good stuff.

You know what's also great? Metal.

You know what would be the greatest? If there was some way you could combine those two...

Actually, it already happened, and it's called Powerglove, a GWAR-ish band from Boston who plays speed/power metal covers of saturday morning cartoon themes as well as video game themes. So if you've always wanted to hear a metal version of the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers theme song, you're in luck. Saturday Morning Apocalypse is a glorious celebration of the good old days, when you were a kid and the biggest disaster that could happen in your life was spilling cereal on the carpet. Their rendition of  the Pokemon song is particularly exquisite, with Tony Kakko of Sonata Arctica fame handling vocal duties, delivering the well-known lyrics:


Nostalgia hit hard, man.

April 6, 2012

Shiny Finnish Ass Hair

No, this isn't another pornogrind post. I'm actually here to turn you on some brilliant Finnish thrash metal - Stam1na. These Finnish metallers have five studio albums under their belts and, simply put, they kick ass.

I'm kinda in a hurry so I won't go on any further about them, but you should check out the video below. Not only is it a catchy beast of a song with a great chorus, it's also one of the most twisted videos I've ever seen. Who knew Finnish dudes were so resilient? Not to mention watching this will reveal the meaning of this post's title.

April 5, 2012

Wolfmother - Wolfmother (2005)

I’ve always had an on-off relationship with stoner-rock. Back in the day, I used to consider it bland, superficial and annoying as fuck.  As each season and natural catastrophe came and passed, stoner-rock was attracting more fragile minds in its groovy seductive rhythms than a light bulb hanged in a swamp swarming with flies. I soon found out that it can reproduce; hordes of incestuous children started spawning from all over the world, creating a mesmerizing diversity of demented stoner-related bands, whose purpose was none other than to spread the Word. Be it stoner metal, psychedelic stoner, Bedrock stoner,  albums of each of these genres were handed to all people, regardless of age, gender or sexual fetishes…  Then I got hit by a metaphorical brick in the form of Queens of the Stone Age’s debut album, joined the hoard and stopped being such a pussay.

Because QOTSA deserves a much longer and bombastic introduction, I’ll just write about Wolfmother and call it a day. Wolfmother is an Australian group of guitar-savvy kangaroos formed in Sydney, in the I-can’t-believe-it’s-been-more-than-a-fucking-decade-ago year of 2000. Unfortunately, the band has suffered a ton of line-up changes (being Australia, I guess that they were frequently engaged in epic battles with giant spiders while touring), so I won’t bother with it. Knowing that Andrew Stockdale is the lead singer is enough.

Giant spiders get caught in my afro.

The subject of today’s analysis is Wolfmother’s self-titled album (why the F--- no, I’m not going through that rant again), which, frankly, I fucking hated at first.  How I had the will to listen to it even after I almost set my house on fire is beyond my reckoning.  But after a while, it grew on me. And I mean, IT GREW, man, like my grandmother’s plants after a hellish summer.  That’s also when I realized that I was taking it too seriously and I fucking hated myself for this.

Basically, Wolfmother is an energetic, booze filled epic journey of badassness.  The album opens with Colossal, a not-so-suggestive-at-all-named track which sets the tone for the entire record. You know from its first chords what to expect, and that, in my opinion, is a pretty fucking nice thing for an album that is not meant to be taken seriously. I like my things neat and clear. 

Although many label them as a ‘’hard rock’’ band due to their obvious Black Sabbath and AC/DC influences, I tend to disagree.  That’s not even supposed to be a genre; what’s that supposed to represent? The decibels? The intensity? Racist views? Is it sexual? Anyway, you get my point: it’s a too-general term and the people using it should be stoned to death.  I won’t label them as anything and I’ll take them for what they are:  a flamboyantly loud band that knows how to satisfy its fans.  Bad ass riffs, chaotic drumming, simplistic but thrill-inducing bass lines and shrieking, complex guitar solos are the elements that draw adrenaline-junkies like me to a band and they fucking know it. 

Analyzing the lyrics would be like putting ketchup on pizza (you don’t do that. Ever.), so I’ll have to skip to the delivery.  Andrew Stockdale proved that he is an excellent front man and spits his lines with the utmost intensity. Up until Wolfmother, I wouldn’t have believed that a front man can be so intense without being in a death metal band even if my life depended on it.  Songs like Woman, Joker & The Thief, Pyramid and Dimension are perfect examples of Stockdale’s talent and dedication and you should listen to them until you collapse of exhaustion. 

Other than being the album that made my week, Wolfmother is a 12 track record that every person with a sense of adventure could enjoy. If you’re not a fucking asshole, of course.

LABEL HIGHLIGHT: Grindcore Karaoke

Since I mentioned it in my previous post, I couldn't help sharing Grindcore Karaoke with you. Basically, Grindcore Karaoke is web-only label run by Agoraphobic Nosebleed's J. Randall, who just sort of scours the web for obscure grindcore bands, gets in touch with them and, should they accept (and what idiot would turn down J. Randall?), their shit will be promoted via this label.

There's a truckload of great grindcore to be found here, as I managed to count just under 200 albums that you can stream and download for free. Most of it is pretty obscure, but I have managed to find some stuff that even I have heard of, like Gigantic Brain, hip-hop juggernauts Death Grips and, uh... no, that's pretty much it.

Anyway, I'm sure you can trust J. Randall's impeccable taste in music that sounds like robots and wolves fighting over lit firecrackers, so get in there and start ghettoblasting. HATE YOUR NEIGHBOURS!


The Brain Is Alive!

Those of you who have been following us since TZEEEAC's inception are probably familiar with Gigantic Brain, an insane one-man drum machine futuristic cybergrind project of US musician John Brown. I've reviewed the entire discography and even provided download links (courtesy of John Brown, who releases all of his music for free). It's great and you should check it out, in the event that the apocalyptic alien invasions described in his music actually become reality. You'll be fully prepared for our planetary genocide and you'll be able to die a calm and dignified, albeit pulverizing, death.

Until the alien hordes descend upon our planet, however, it seems that the Brain has awaken and will yet again deliver more messages of cosmic terror, as this recent Facebook post states:

As a loyal servant of the Brain, all of this sounds unreasonably good. Mix of various styles? Sweet! New elements? Awesome! Another mastermind in addition to John Brown? Fuck me sideways! To be released this year? SHIT YEAH.

This is extremely good news and I am genuinely excited, as should you. Head on over to the Grindcore Karaoke bandcamp page and check out Gigantic Brain's work. You'll be obliterated.  

April 4, 2012

Cynic - The Portal Tapes (2012)

In the fall of 1994, after the transformation of Cynic, Paul Masvidal, Jason Gobel and Sean Reinert started a new project named Portal. The band name was Sean's idea and was inspired by a Robert Venosa painting which the band loved, entitled "Portal". The new band's music, however, was far from the technical metal that Cynic fan's had come to know. It was more in the style of Dead Can Dance and My Bloody Valentine meets a jazz fusion group, but still a complex and layered sound without the heavy guitars and fast tempos. Portal was a five piece, consisting of the above three ex-members of Cynic and completed by bassist Chris Kringel, who had toured with Cynic pre-post Focus, and lastly, by singer/keyboardist Aruna Abrams who came from Berkeley College of Music to join the band.Portal demoed a total of ten songs, which were never officially released. There wasn't any form of packaging or artwork for the demo other than the Venosa painting entitled "Return To Source" (used unofficially), as a black and white CD imprint for promo copies. The ten songs were recorded in two five song sessions, first in late 1994 and early 1995 which ultimately became one big demo under the name Portal.
- via The Cynical Sphere 

So, after almost 20 years, Cynic have decided to give their Portal demo a proper official release, gathering all ten songs on a single compilation called The Portal Tapes. Pretty cool, huh?

Check out Sean Reinert's sweet vest. 

Oddly enough, The Portal Tapes sounds like a logical evolution of Carbon-Based Anatomy, even though the former was created in 1994-1995. There is virtually no "metal" in Portal's sound - it's more of a progressive rock-jazz fusion affair, seamlessly blending together futuristic synths, jazzy keyboards, liquid bass lines, laid-back guitars, singer Aruna Abrams' ethereal vocals and Sean Reinert's complex, yet delicate drumming into an otherworldly sonic experience that's fascinating and enthralling. Some of the songs have almost of a pop-rock vibe to them, which probably sounds like blasphemy to hardcore Cynic fans, but to me, it's just another angle of this amazing band that has never ceased to evolve, constantly exploring and trying new things with their music.

Thanks to the magic of Bandcamp, you can stream the entire album right here and get a taste for yourself. I'm a Cynic fanboy and I cannot be trusted. I also found this professionally-shot video of Cynic performing one of these Portal songs, so I'll probably spend the rest of evening watching it over and over again.

Peace out, bros.

April 3, 2012

Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Bestial Machinery (2005)

Hey, does anyone else feel like listening to this 136-track compilation of rare/unreleased Agoraphobic Nosebleed material? Well you're in luck, because now it's available on their bandcamp! I'll also embed the whole thing here, just because bandcamp lets me. What a nice evening this has turned out to be.

April 2, 2012

Pornogrind Monday

I don't really plan on making Pornogrind Monday a regular feature, it's just that today happens to be Monday and I'm too tired from wrestling PHP code all day to be able to come up with any sort of meaningful content. I really don't feel like babbling on about some tech death album after nearly exploding with rage like in that Courage the Cowardly Dog episode, so I guess I'll just take the easy way out and post some awful music I found the other day. I don't wanna go into a long-winded rant about this microgenre because I really don't care enough, but I feel pornogrind is a lot like pretty much any other music out there: some of it is shit, some of it is great, and a whole lot of it is mediocre and forgettable. You don't have to like it, but if you spend countless hours leaving angry comments about it on youtube, you're a loser. At least these guys are having a blast, going out, meeting people and doing what they love.

So anyway, Urtikaria Anal is a Mexican pornogrind band that I happened upon while I was searching the web for something school related. I get easily sidetracked. There's not a whole lot of info available on the band, except that they have a 2008 album called Divine Depravation and they play songs with names like Sifilis, Deformed Penis and Elektro Orgasmo. Still, this is some pretty groovy shit, especially as far as the drumming goes, so I feel vindicated in wasting 6 minutes of my life watching the video below.

Check out the singer's sweet moves starting at 0:15.

April 1, 2012

OM - Pilgrimage (2007)

It's rainy and muddy and windy outside but, despite being Sunday, I'm keeping it pretty chill. And few things are more chill than OM.

OM (as in the sacred Buddhist/Hindu syllable) is the band formed in the wake of the demise of the almighty Sleep, when Al Cisneros (bass, vocals) and Chris Hakius (drums) decided they wanted to keep playing stoner doom. So you might assume that OM is just Sleep reloaded, but you'd be wrong, as the rhythmic duo went in a completely different direction, incorporating a lot of influences from Tibetan and Indian music and thus crafting a unique sound that's labeled as stoner doom only because saying ambiental mystical meditative chanting droning doom would take too much time.

I guess you could call OM a drum'n'bass outfit, if you would happen to be an asshole, and you'd be right (although you'd still be an asshole). The music is minimal and stripped off of all unnecessary additions, using the bass and drums to create a strange, reflecting atmosphere that wouldn't feel out of place in a spiritual healer's hovel. Al Cisneros' vocals have took a turn for the sacred, as he's chanting mystical lyrics about the sun and the practice of reincarnation in true new-age hippie fashion. The bass lines have a trance-inducing quality to them, while the drumming is similarly hypnotic, employing steady rhythms and tambourine hits to lead the listener into ever-lasting bliss. Even with so few instruments at their disposal, OM's music manages to be surprising and dynamic, as the songs flow through various territories: you've got quiet, contemplative pieces such as Pilgrimage and you also get more upbeat, chaotic compositions like Bhima's Theme, with its unnerving, distorted bass lines and menacing chanting.

Don't be put off by the angel depicted on the cover, Pilgrimage is still metal as fuck and OM has proven to be a fascinating evolution upon the heavy doom roots of Sleep. Give this a listen and, as long as you don't expect to find a Dragonaut cover in there, you should be fine.