March 28, 2013

Atoms for Peace - Amok (2013)

Amok is one of the best Radiohead albums to date.

Oh, wait. It’s not Radiohead, it’s just Thom Yorke’s side project,  Atoms for Peace. Uh-oh.  I’ve barely written anything about this album and I already spotted it’s biggest flaw: It too fucking similar to Radiohead, more precisely , to their latest release, The King Of Limbs.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an average album, but mainly because it took all the good stuff from The King of Limbs .The cryptic lyrics, minimalistic approach, the scarce number of instruments and high usage of electronic sampling are all present. The majority of the highly trained and competent experts I contacted upon listening to Amok called this dubious phenomenon a ‘’big, nasty, ball-busting, expectation-crushing fucking cop-out’’.  It’s like Thom Yorke was bored out of his ass,  grabbed his laptop, copy-pasted The King of Limbs in a new folder and named it ‘’Atoms for Peace – Amok’’.

Sorry, Thom. Maybe next time.

EDIT: How the fuck is it possible to collaborate with Flea and still screw up?

March 27, 2013

Alesana - On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax (2006)

If you didn’t figure it out by the album name/cover art, let me just confirm this for you: YES, this is a screamo band and NO, I’m not ashamed to post this on Tzeeeac. With that out of the way, here’s a list of reasons why you should listen to this album:
  • It’s a debut album and we like to give debut albums a special chance. 

  • The lyrics are a stupidly interesting blend between greek mythology (no mention of any Larissa sacrifice, though) and the standard emotional stuff that goes on any record of this type. 

  • Vocals come off like tortured alley cats left to forever fend for themselves in the highest trees, with no apparent firemen to their rescue (and exhibit a close resemblance to the sound of bears fighting with trash cans inside an electrified cage) - i.e. classic Tzeeeac material. 

  • Underneath all the vocal cacophonies, there are riffs and hooks to the songs that make it interesting enough to warrant a full spin. 

  • It’s short, just under 50 minutes; even if you don’t like it, at least it won’t bore you to death. 

  • There simply wasn’t any screamo material here on Tzeeeac, at least not that I can remember. 
Now let there be bashing!*

*of me, or the album, whatever your puny souls enjoy most.

March 25, 2013

Occultation "Three & Seven" LP (2012)

A bunch of time ago, my brother told me about some eerie compilation called "All Hallowed Hymns", with some creepy-ass music on it, ranging from atmospheric stuff to horrorpunk covered by death metal bands. Cool shit, but one song caught my eye/ears, and that was Occultation's "All Hallows Fire", an amazing, horror-inspired, 70s halloween type of song. The stuff of my dreams.

After recently reading in Chips & Beer 3#  that the female-fronted NY band had released an album last year, I was pretty stoked. But, to my utter dissapointment, it was all for nothing. You see, children, this album is soooo boooooriiiiingg. It has about 7 tracks on it, all a tad bit too long, but that's not the problem, the problem is that the band's essence, the thing that made it stand out from that compilation for me, their echoed guitar riffs and cheesy organ pianos, are played over and over again for about 40 minutes, and after the first song it gets incredibly dull. Every riff and harmony just seems like the same, even the choruses have nothing special individually.

The vocals are kinda cool, basic occult rock feminine vocals, nothing special, but that doesn't make this album less uninteresting. I really hoped to like this album, maybe even own it on vinyl, but it was not meant to be, because this album is so boring that basically my Blood Freak CD just melted. This album is also so boring that I had to listen do Judas Priest's "Painkiller" TWICE afterwards to bring ballance to the world.

Next time I make my own music, with blackjack and hookers.

March 23, 2013

Steven Wilson - The Raven That Refused to Sing (2013)

I’ve come to compare the name of Steven Wilson to that of any big gaming corporations nowadays. You have many franchises (Porcupine Tree, No-Man, Blackfield etc.) which, overall, offer a great deal in terms of musical variety, yet they’ve all come to a point of stagnation. Such is the case with this latest solo release (I don’t get why they call it this way, there’s practically a full band behind it): polished to the core, incorporating different elements with the precision of swiss engineering, ‘The Raven That Refused to Sing’ runs the gamut like a well-oiled machine, delivering the sound of a tightly calculated jam session. But it didn’t impress me in any way.

With only six tracks that stretch close to one hour, what we have here is something closer to a Porcupine Tree album. Gone are the experimentations of the first two LP’s, the songs now have their precise identity within the whole, contributing to the larger image rather than focusing on themselves.

With ‘Luminol’, a strong opener, we are taken through a suite of ups and downs only to culminate with the subdued calmness of the title track, which is where we find the true monster behind this album. Whereas most of the running time what we get is straight up ‘prog’ playing, it is only on the last two closing minutes that we are treated to something that I’ve never thought I’d see on a Steven Wilson album (either that or it’s never been pushed to the front so bluntly), namely post rock style tremolo picking. And that single moment is what makes me deeply curious about what comes next, because it’s been a long time since a revelation.

To conclude, I’ll have to resort once more to a comparison like the one mentioned in the beginning of this article: you know the base formula, you find that expectations are met (but not exceeded), yet you play it anyway, nod in approval, then take your place in the sofa and wait calmly for the next release in the franchise.

Which may, or may not, bring something new and interesting to the table.

March 22, 2013

Blues Creation - Demon and Eleven Children (1971)

Upon hearing this album, you might think that Blues Creation is a bunch of happy drunk rednecks from Mississippi, doing their own version of Black Sabbath-inspired hard rock, complete with sweet bluesy riffs, a simple yet solid rhythm section, scorching-hot solos and wailing clean vocals, all of this while periodically taking sips of moonshine from dirty glass jugs inscribed with three X's.

You'd be right on the money, too, except for one small detail: these guys hail from Japan! Information on the band is very scarce, so I couldn't find any band bios, videos or whatever, but Blues Creation is one of those bands who aren't terribly creative, but are nonetheless adept at writing groovy songs with tons of enjoyable moments. They could definitely rock with the best of 'em and they would have fitted perfectly with the NWOBHM crowd. The only thing that would have given them away would have been their hilarious accents.


March 20, 2013

Necrowretch - Putrid Death Sorcery (2013)

Excellent debut full-length album from French death mongers Necrowretch. Putrid Death Sorcery features eleven tracks of rotten, horrific, old-school flavored death metal with plenty of putrid riffs and diseased vocals to last you freaks a whole day. I kinda agree with lost podcast host Radu in that it could have used a filthier production (which is weird, since I don't usually like bands whose music I have trouble actually hearing) but even so, this is a really solid album and you should give it a try.

March 18, 2013

Taddy Porter - Stay Golden (2013)

In the unfortunate case that  you live under a rock and you missed last year’s review  of Taddy Porter’s debut album, don’t worry! I’m here to remind you of it and to announce to the world that they’ve hit yet another home run with the more recent ‘Stay Golden’.

And while the self-titled was a clear nod to the 70’s yet retaining a modern sound, the current avalanche of ideas has the band stepping back in time even more and emerging with a full-fledged 60’s sound, in both composition and production:  eleven sweet tracks (albeit short) of rolling stone-ish flavor in which to delve and marvel while you take your parents by the hand and you force them to revisit their inner hippies.

Should they have added some cracks and pops over the songs I could have sworn I was listening to an old vinyl. It even ends on a gospel note, so what’s there not to like about this album?

Go check it out NOW!  

March 17, 2013

High Spirits "Another Night" (2011) a.k.a. "If GTA Vice City was an album"

Every morning I wake up a happy man-child-boy-racoon knowing that I live in a world in which both this album and its mastermind, Chris Black, both exist. I absolutely had to buy it on vinyl, but the band has a bandcamp page, so you can listen to pretty much all their stuff there. To begin with, every tiny detail about this record is pure and unbridled 80s boner food.

Let’s talk about the album’s image for a bit. Apart from the music (we’ll touch on that later), the cover image is of the neon-soaked city of Chicago, and it looks exactly like a still from some kind of modern remake of GTA: Vice City, covered in early-Black Sabbath era purple, the greatest colour there is. 

As for the songs, I cannot stress this enough, but they're all awesome. You simply cannot listen to this album without thinking of your boyish days playing Vice City, with Malibu Club, Love Fist, Ferarris and drugs. The vocals are by far the greatest thing here, Chris Black’s soothing, clean, calm voice, combined with bitchin guitar riffs and harmonies, wrapped up in Black’s amazing bass riffs make up for one of the greatest modern metal bands. There have been bands that sound similar to the like of WitchcraftEnforcer or Vanderbuyst, but when you listen to High Spirits they really stand out, and you’re in for an amazing and delightful surprise.

Beautiful, beautiful heavy metal, buy all their shit.

Church Whip - Psychedelic Nightmare (2013)


Wanna hear some music that sounds as if Raoul Duke and Dr Gonzo made plans for a drug-fueled trip to Las Vegas but instead got kidnapped half-way there, put inside a basement, got tortured for several months, set loose and started a psychotic blackened crust punk band? Then Church Whip is the band you need to hear. They've gotten into some shit recently because they called their tour Rape the East and some people actually thought they wanted to rape women during their tour, but who cares about what stupid people think? This is great music and you must listen to it. Check dem bitchin' guitar solos.

March 16, 2013

The Cooper Temple Clause - Kick Up the Fire, and Let the Flames Break Loose (2003)

That's a mouthful, huh?

Needless to say I'm delving deeply into Marco's territory here, because this type of record is not really music I listen to on a daisy basis. But there are times when I put aside the extreme metal aggression, the eccentricities of well executed prog, the gloominess of doom and all the on-time-hit obscure albums from bands that never made it big; I put them aside and listen to an album such as this one, riddled with grunge tributes, indie flavor and electronica touch-ups.

I can't really give a proper opinion about it, just that I really like all of the things mixed up in this record and that somehow it reminds me of Placebo.

And nobody hates Placebo (I think).

March 15, 2013

Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience (2013)

It's hard to be original nowadays, especially when you have a successful career behind you. How do you release something that fans (and radios) will love AND succeed at being original? I'm not going to shy away from admitting this - Justin Timberlake is fucking awesome at this.

While inhabiting the world of robotic pop tunes for most of his career, JT managed to distance himself from the crowd and constantly release interesting material. In 2006, FutureSex/LoveSounds smashed the disco world (literally), creating plenty of memorable tunes that you might hum even nowadays. A notable one would be LoveStoned/I Think She Knows, a 7 minute and a half long jam that constantly evolves, changes, modifies its structure, absorbing you into Justin's sexy, badass world.

This is essential, because LoveStoned basically shaped the entire 20/20 Experience album. Why am I saying this? Well, basically Justin fucked the entire pop music scene and actually said "If Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin can do 10-minute songs and Queen can do 10-minute songs then why can't we?". And then he made this masterpiece.

From the moment I heard the first single, Suit & Tie, I loved it. I think everyone knows it by now. It just hit me in the head - it was perfect. Playing alongside Sly, Slick & Wicked, a soul/R&B group, JT encapsulated the Motown Sound into a delicious anthem. I'm not even going to describe this song, you have to hear it. Just look at this amazing live act:

 So this album manages to encompass plenty of deliciousness into its one hour and something playtime, remaining enchanting throughout every song. The album flows smoothly, just like a river you can't wait to skinny dip into. Fluidity is its main trait, and I have to compliment Justin for accomplishing such a thing. This is definitely his best album up to date, and I just can't wait to hear more. Sexay!

March 14, 2013


Welcome to Bedtime Podcast Review #3, where I tell all of you sleepless ghouls about the wonderful podcasts I listen to when I'm trying to fall asleep at night or when taking long walks on a beach. You can find the previous posts here. After the excellent Hellcast Metal Podcast, it's time to go back to the movies with...

Junk Food Dinner, a cult movie podcast hosted by three geeks from Ohio with too much time on their hands, namely Parker Bowman, Mark Freado Jr. and Kevin Moss. This is one of those long-ass podcasts, with episodes frequently stretching to the 2 hour mark. Each episode features discussions about three cult movies from various genres (mostly sci-fi, horror and action flicks), plus movie news, latest DVD and Blu-Ray releases, fan mail read-outs, punk rock, witty Skype banter and lots of soundboard hijinks.

This show is ideal for picking up on new shit to add to your ever-expanding IMDB watchlist so I check out most of the episodes, especially when they happen to talk about movies I know about. New episodes come out every week and there are many special episodes during various months of the year, like Schlocktober (when they only deal in gruesome horror movies) or Sci-fi-ebruary, which is dedicated to sci-fi movies. The guys hosting it are funny and laid back, there's tons of jokes and laughter and they know the guys from Kissing Contest and sometimes cross-reference stuff that's happened on their podcast. Pretty cool, if you're an avid listener such as myself. Their website is also full of useful information, an up-to-date show archive, a list of movies they've covered and all sorts of other cool shit.

I would definitely recommend Junk Food Dinner to anyone who calls him or herself a movie fanatic. These guys totally know their cult movies and their podcast is an absolute joy to listen to. Thanks for the episodes and keep on truckin', dudes!

Useful links: 

Junk Food Dinner website:
Junk Food Dinner on Facebook:

March 13, 2013

Nasty Habit - Nasty Habit (2012)

'Once upon a time, Rock ruled the world', so begins the bio section of this band's website, and they're probably right. I wouldn't be worried though, because today metal rules the world  >:)

Anyway, what these guys set out to accomplish is to give back to the planet the days when glam was glam, boys dressed like girls, girls dressed liked grandmas, Freddie Mercury was still alive and I was barely on the verge of existence to experience all of these first hand. Ok, so I played Vice City, therefore you can say I'm a little bit accustomed to the works.

There's a couple of good tracks to be found on this album, but let's face it, this type of rock'n'roll was never something to transpire originality. Their image, though, seems to be a cross between today's emotional 2deep4u hipsters, the hair extravaganza of Lady Gaga, 80's slick leather and last but not least, a complete lack of chest hair (notice how, if you spell 'chest hair' with the letter 'h' silent, it actually sounds like...oh, well, NEVERMIND!)

Check these guys out on and for you lazy specimens out there here's a video, complete with raspy vocals and smoke machines. 

Rock on!

March 12, 2013

Byzantine - Byzantine (2013)


Byzantine are back after a five year break with a new album that instantly became one of my favorite releases this year. These guys haven't skipped a beat and they're offering us more of their signature angular thrashing metal attack that got me hooked in the first place.

The impressive, labyrinthic riffing on display here could probably fall in the progressive thrash metal genre, but there's definitely some djent elements thrown in the mix, particularly evident through the percussive rhythmic feel of the music. All of the songs are insanely catchy and have more hooks than a pig slaughterhouse, while the rhythm section is rock solid, providing a strong backdrop for Chris Ojeda's riffing and powerful, gruff vocals. This album also comes with a bit of a clean singing warning, but it's sporadic and very well done, so it gets no complaints from me.

Even though they're older (their words, not mine) now, Byzantine are still kicking major ass and they're probably one of the most creative thrash metal bands out there, so do yourself a favor and check out their new album ASAP. It's gold, Jerry! Gold!

March 11, 2013

Blockheads - This World Is Dead (2013)

French powergrind terrorists Blockheads return after a six year absence with a new album that's pretty much guaranteed to turn you into a wild beast incapable of doing anything else besides punching everything around you. All of the genre's classic staples are present - fast-as-fuck riffing, machine-gun drumming, demented barked vocals and socio-politically charged lyrics about corrupt governments, poverty, world hunger, prostitution, drugs, the media and everything else you despise about the era we find ourselves living in. Don't sleep on this!

March 10, 2013

Arkham Witch - On Crom's Mountain (2012)


I've been listening to this for the past two hours and it's amazing. Arkham Witch hail from the United Kingdom and they play traditional heavy/doom metal infused with Lovecraftian tales of terror, stories about barbarians and retro occult vibe. On Crom's Mountain is their debut album and it's tight as fuck. They bring the fast'n'heavy riffing, powerful vocals, groovy drumming and tons of references to Dagon, Cthulhu, R'lyeh and other bits of H.P. Lovecraft's bestiary. 

The Lovecraftian atmosphere is best conveyed through horrific ancient death metal from beyond, as far as I'm concerned, but oldschool heavy metal comes in as a close second on the list of musical genres best fitted to describe Lovecraft's twisted universe of madness. If that's something that you're into, give Arkham Witch a listen and prepare for a headbanging journey across the netherplanes. 

March 9, 2013

Environments - Fraktal (2013)

Here at Tzeeeac, we handle requests for review in a democratic and liberal fashion. Such was the case for the latest offering from Environments, a bunch of romanian music lovers with a knack for ambient/drone.

Thus, we found ourselves sitting round our virtual HQ table, trying to figure out which one merited the honor. Needles to say, we had a little bit of a struggle. Chester kept complaining he couldn’t do it because it didn’t sound anything like bears fighting with trash cans inside an electrified cage, George was not himself, but rather a hologram of his persona, respectfully informing us that he is still internetless (and kept reminding us how the only furniture in his kitchen is a neatly sharpened saw and some folded carpets) while Marco, well, he was in some sort of trance where he kept mumbling “Where should I change my name? Huh? What?” repeatedly. Gherasim was sitting on his usual throne in the sky, watching us mortals squabbling.

You can notice the predicament here. I could have just simply volunteered myself, since I dabble in this kind of music on occasion, but instead I opened my mouth and spewed out a random piece of information that would finally get the others focused and made myself the proud owner of this review that doesn’t seem to quite start yet. It was something along the lines of “Hey, I used to make fractals several years ago!”

What could that even mean? Well, let me tell you, I am a man of temporary hobbies. The most recent one is funding a mechanical project, a couple of years ago I started a self-thought process of “how to make your own music based on the use of synths” - abandoned for the sake of abandonment really, while about five or six years ago I had a deep focus on creating artsy looking fractals with the use of computer dedicated software. 

With this in mind, I thought I’d share some of my creations alongside this album, but after scouring two personal computers, several deviantArt accounts and more than five email addresses,  I realized that the pictures resulted in said creation process were just a long-lost legacy. So you’ll just have to take my word for it.  (By this time, you may have noticed I have a bit of an identity problem; it also reflects in the change of name here, on Tzeeeac; I am the one that gods and mortals alike used to call Zulu).

Now, back to the actual music. Wait, we hadn’t even started on it? Oh well, go figure…

Environments is a romanian ambient trio and Fraktal is their third album, due to be released on the 16’th of March. And they’ve been nice enough to let us have a sneak preview of it (thanks guys!). What we have here is a collection of six tracks that make a great point of blending together drones, piano, guitar and drums, creating a very organic sound that seems to go well while listened at a loud volume.

I hear, on occasion, bits and pieces that remind me of my favorite ambient/drone project (of the few I listen to), Desiderii Marginis, yet the record still holds its own in creating a strong individual motive. The first five tracks are a bit low key and dreamy, making for a spacey listening experience, but I found myself more engulfed with the sounds of the last song, “Fathom, Movement, Field”. Its abrasive approach, with drums buried in the background, detaches a bit from the ‘ambient’ category and gives way to a completely different entity, one that unfortunately ends in an abrupt manner; needless to say, I found myself wanting for more because I felt the track was just starting to develop into something greater.

Overall, I enjoyed the album very much, the only nitpicking I could find is that it lacks in the bass department. As I turned the volume up I expected some kind of reaction in the walls and windows, yet that never (truly) happened. Fifth track, Blecher, showed a bit of potential in this area, but still fell a little bit short. I don’t know, maybe fractals aren’t so fond of annoying the neighbours :).

With that said, I’ll leave you in the company of their music. Check these guys out on the following links

and keep in mind that they’ll be touring alongside Valerinne, another romanian band we featured here on Tzeeeac. In fact, they’re even going to hit Leipzig alongside Umberto (insert a happy Chester  comment here).

March 8, 2013

Necro - The Sexorcist (2005)

Today is the International Women's Day so most of you are probably out either buying or receiving chocolates, flowers and champagne. That's fine and dandy, but, as far as I'm concerned, with apologies to all you romantic, sensitive types out there (myself included), there really is no other way to celebrate than with Necro's The Sexorcist, the most vile, criminally insane, sexist, misogynistic, perverted, offensive and downright disgusting rap album ever to be conceived.

The Sexorcist is a collection of 22 tracks and skits that all deal with the same subject - having wild, Bible-disapproved sex with porn stars and prostitutes - and I can comfortably say that there are no weak songs here. The entire album is strong from start to finish, featuring Necro's complicated wordplay on subjects like BDSM, golden showers, big butts and being an absolute pimp, with some really cool choruses thrown in for good measure. Not only is he a master lyricist, but Necro is also an accomplished musician, having produced all of the beats on this album himself. And boy, they're pretty damn cool.

The Sexorcist is one of my favorite rap albums ever (and that's saying a lot, seeing as I don't really like rap) and if you haven't heard it yet, you should definitely give it a shot and then share it with your significant other. It's got songs titled "You Bitches Love to Get Fucked in the Ass" and "We Fuck Virgins". What could possibly go wrong here?

March 7, 2013

Enforcer - Death By Fire (2013)

So this new Enforcer jam is pretty much the best heavy metal album to come out in 2013, right? Cool.

March 6, 2013

Primitive Man - Scorn (2013)

Here's some gloomy shit to fuck you up. Primitive Man hail from Denver, Colorado and play a sickening blend of doom metal, drone and sludge, smeared with some black metal noise just for the hell of it. The album opens with the self-titled Scorn, which is an almost 12-minute long piece that crawls at a funeral pace and crushes you with layer upon layer of gritty bass lines and poisonous guitar riffs.  The vocals are the highlight of this release - filthy, obnoxious, filled with dread and despair and oozing bleakness out of every growled lyric.

The first song is a good indicator for how the rest of the album sounds. The dark atmosphere just keeps getting thicker and muddier with each passing minute and listening to this in your headphones at night makes for a very claustrophobic experience. The cover artwork is suitably bleak, too. I don't really understand who that masked character is, but it's pretty obvious the other guy is in some amount of pain and/or discomfort, which is exactly how  the music makes you feel. Don't sleep on this, it's one of the best releases of 2013 so far. And you can depress yourself for free.

March 5, 2013

Echo Park

Echo Park are an upcoming band from Guildford, UK, consisting of five dudes who thought it would be a good idea to ask for our honest opinion about their music. Obviously, they were wrong. I grabbed my evil monocles and started laughing maniacally as soon as I finished reading their submission.

Oh, to be young and naive.

Nah, I'm just fucking with y'all. They're pretty cool. One thing that I liked about their music was that I couldn't really label it - it's too pop for rock, and too rock for pop. Firstly, you got the powerful and raspy vocal delivery typical for a pop-rock band. Kay, not bad, not bad. Really digging it. But then it starts with bad-ass guitar solos and violent drumming and I go whaaaaat? Did I accidentally click on a different YouTube video?  And then I see it's the same band and I suddenly feel fuzzy on the inside. Their style lies comfortably in the limbo of genres, and that ambiguity kept me hooked until the end. That is, until the end of their third and final track, because that's all they've released to date.

Fortunately, the guys are working on their debut EP as we speak, so be sure to give it a listen when it comes out. Until then,check out their Facebook page for stalking purposes and their YouTube channel for new releases.

March 4, 2013

SHOW REVIEW: Umberto / Mechanimal

I've been a huge UMBERTO fan ever since I did that piece about carpentercore and I was super stoked to find out he would be performing live in the little corner of the world I live in right now. So last Friday, after spending the whole day eating souvlaki, drinking beer and chillin' in the sun, I put on a hipsterish shirt, my favorite jeans, grabbed my iPod and sailed off into the night, ready to live inside an old horror movie for a few hours.

I showed up at the venue at nine thirty, just like the poster said, only to find out the place was deserted. Turns out the tickets aren't ready yet or something, so yadda yadda yadda, come back later. I was a little bummed, but a small delay was better than having the show cancelled for whatever reason, which I had feared was the case.

So instead of waiting outside in the cold like an animal, I decided to check out a promising looking metal bar I had passed by on the way over, about 10 minutes away from the club. Its windows were covered in a sticky wallpaper featuring skulls so I wondered if maybe it was actually a tattoo parlor, but whatever, I tried the door anyway. As it opened, I saw a rather small rectangular room, with a long bar on the left side and the right wall covered in concert posters. Death metal was blasting out of every speaker and there was a painted Lemmy icon on the wall, so I knew I had come to the right place. Turns out, it was actually the bar/clubhouse of the local motorcycle gang and they were pretty cool guys. I had a nice Greek microbrewed beer (indie as fuck!) and chatted with the bartender about Rotting Christ and various concerts and festivals they have in Greece.

But alas, I didn't want to miss the show, so after about an hour, I bid the MC'ers farewell and made my way back to the venue, which got pretty crowded in the mean time. I barely had time to get a drink, because Matt Hill got on the stage, fired up the laptop and the video projector and started doing his thing. I was surprised, because I thought Umberto would be the headliner, not the opening act. I'm not sure the audience knew him very well, either, because for half of his set, I was the only guy standing right near the stage, taking in the whole experience. And what an experience it was! I already knew his music had that delicious vintage synth vibe I love, but the video collage that ran during the set really tied everything together. It blended together cool scenes from a ton of well-known campy 70s/80s horror and thriller movies - Halloween, Final Destination, The Thing, Re-Animator, Begotten, Silence of the Lambs are just a few of the movies featured in the ever-changing projection. It really added a new layer of flavor to Umberto's retro horror-inspired soundtracks and, needless to say, I enjoyed the set immensely. I even chatted a bit with Matt Hill after he finished and the subject of John Carpenter and his movies came up in literally 2 seconds. He's a cool guy.

I was tempted to go home after Umberto's set and skip Mechanimal's show (I had to get up extra early for school), but I decided to stay after he told me he liked them and that they were really good. I didn't know what to expect when the three members of Mechanimal took the stage behind a guitar, a microphone and a keyboard rack, respectively, but I was kind of excited. What followed was a mix of theatrical poetry reciting, expansive ambient guitar soundscapes, vintage drum beats and weird/disturbing visuals which confused me at first, but got me sort of dancing after a while. Their songs were pretty damn catchy and I really enjoyed the show, even though I got pretty upset because of all the circus training/torture footage shown during the set. I fucking hate the circus.

All in all, it was a fantastic night and I'm really glad I had the chance to experience Umberto's sounds in a live setting. Below you can find some relevant Bandcamp links and some footage I shot during the show. Peace out!

March 3, 2013

Riverside - Shrine Of New Generation Slaves (2013)

It’s here, minions, and it’s good!

Following their 2009 release, Anno Domini High Definition, polish masters from Riverside return with a long awaited LP aptly shorted out as SONGS. Now, I tell you, these guys have a knack at finding abbreviations for their albums that sound even cooler than the actual names. I mean OOM, SLS, REM (hey there!), ADHD and now SONGS! Can you get more trv than that?!

While ADHD received mixed reviews based on the fact that it didn’t sound anything like their previous efforts (What?!? And you call yourselves prog lovers? Let me remind you what progressive music should sound like: remember this? Yes? Now go buy me a six-pack, infidels!), SONGS lays back on the metal side and opts for a more groove oriented sound, gracefully taking on hard-rock, blues and jazz influences in a mix of eight tracks that are bound to get anyone’s attention regardless of their music taste.

Personally, I enjoy everything Riverside has put out so far and while SONGS is not as powerful as any of their previous releases, somewhat lacking in those wow moments you expect from them, it’s still one of the better albums around.  You can definitely tell they had a blast recording this.  

Check it out for yourselves.

P.S: One of the comments to this video states “Sounds like the guys had been listening to a lot of Clutch during the recording sessions”.

You know what? He’s right! Maybe more bands should do the same.

P.S.2: They’ll be hitting Bucharest on the 26’th of May and be sure I’ll be there to support them since one live show from two years ago is nowhere near enough to satisfy my Riverside musical wants. Expect a show review, I tell you!

March 2, 2013

Nonsun - Good Old Evil (2012)

One word: focused song-writing.

Ok, so maybe it was more than one word, but these guys really had me going cherry-picking here, because this EP was a bit hard to review. I’d like to say I’m familiar enough to all the styles that are blended here, yet it all comes out as something of a “love it or hate it” kind of thing, while I found myself strangely stuck in the middle. 

Let me just go about recognizing that the start point of this recording is an absolute monster. I think I’ve never heard such mammoth riffing since Jesu’s Heartache EP (any connection to the title track? because it’s too good of a pun…), but I feel the extended droning parts are distracting and take away the whole cohesion of the song. That, coupled with the lack of a real climax (or one that comes about way too late to in the song) made for a jarring listening experience, as I found myself liking only the sludgy moments of it.

The second track, however, is what the first one should have been all along: clear passages, good flow and rhythm, a perfect placement of a guitar solo (which sludge records aren’t exactly known for) and overall a great listening experience. This one reminded me of Year of No Light’s “Nord” album, and that’s saying a lot.

Message Of Nihil… goes about like a standard drone piece. I can get what they’re saying in relation to the title, it’s meant to be something unworldly, but it dissipates to just background noise. I guess it lacks the atmosphere to back it up (which can be a pain in the ass when one opts to record a drone track).

The closing piece, Forgotten Is What Never Was, plays out with a bit of everything but the general focus here is on doom. Long, sustained notes, minimal and somewhat tribal sounding drums, scarce vocals; it fades out to a wall of sound that, oddly enough, reminded me of Opeth’s “Hex Omega”. And we arrive to that conclusion that I’ve opened this review with:

Focused song-writing.

While this is a great debut all around, it lacks individuality. I feel it borrows too much from all the bands that have influenced it, without actually creating something of its own. But that, as they say, only time and experience can define. I hope that Goatooth and Alpha can gather what they have learned with this recording and make something truly unique when they’ll follow up with another release, because the talent is there and it would be a shame to go to waste.

Anyways, because I’m starting to get all melodramatic and all, I invite all thee to check-up on these two ukrainian brothers in metal and have a listen for yourself at And if you like them, go to their page and say hi. They’re definitely worth it.

P.S: Guys, if you happen to hit Romania, give us a shout, maybe we’ll be able to attend the show.