Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Extra Credit: Solbrud

Solbrud is an atmospheric black metal band from Copenhagen.  This Danish four-piece's self-titled debut gives us 4 songs in about 46 minutes.
Opening track "Bortgang" definitely has that mid-tempo, atmospheric feel to it.  It's followed by "Øde Lagt," which gets off to a much faster start after just a bit of ambiance.  At just over 7:30, "Dødemandsbjerget" almost feels short.  Closing track "Skyggeriget" begins acoustically and then blackens considerably.
Solbrud is available at bandcamp for the "name your price" option, so you can either get it for free or donate what you can to show your support.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Class of 2012: Nihill - Verdonkermaan

Verdonkermaan is the third and final installment of Nihill's extreme metal trilogy that began with 2007's Krach and continued with 2009's Grond.  Many would view this as a difficult listen, and that's probably the reaction that this Dutch band aimed for when they started this project.

Verdonkermaan starts with "Vurr: the deathwind of resurrection," a noisy and rather punishing track.  The vocal delivery is top-notch, primarily of the black metal sort with a hint of a death growl at times.

Next comes "Spiral: the tail eater," considerably slower and hypnotic for its first 2 minutes.  This song and the next ("Oerbron: returning to the primal matter") are the album's high points.  "Oerbron" is more like the first track but takes an interesting turn from about 3:30 to 7:00.  During this section of the song, you'll hear howling and growling over avant-garde noise that very nearly becomes Sonic Youth-y.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Final Exam 2012: Decibel's Top 40 Albums

It's not even Thanksgiving yet, but it looks like the end-of-the-year lists are already starting.

Decibel Magazine's list is the first major one that I've seen so far.  While I don't agree with everything on the list, they've managed to include some very good records.  I'll be posting my own top albums list later next month, so stayed tuned.

In the meantime, check out Decibel's top albums of 2012:

Monday, November 19, 2012

Class of 2012: Sylosis - Monolith

Sylosis is a British modern thrash band with hints of prog undertones.  For Monolith, the band looked to Greek mythology (Orpheus and Eurydice) for inspiration. 

Monolith starts thrashy with "Out From Below."  Just when you feel like the song can go no further and is about to end (at about 4:00), it keeps going and reaches an outstanding moment at 5:25 as it slows to eventually finish.

Clean vocals are kept to a minimum, but on the next three tracks ("Fear the World," "What Dwells Within," and "Behind the Sun"), Sylosis momentarily become a different band with the inclusion of brief points of clean vocals.  During these few seconds at a time, the songs have a very modern metal feel to them.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Class of 2012: Graveyard - Lights Out

Sweden's Graveyard plays classic-sounding, bluesy, psychedelic rock.  Last year's Hisingen Blues didn't receive the attention that it deserved (I know that it did in some circles, but...).  With Lights Out, however, Graveyard seems poised to get bigger and bigger.

Lights Out gives us 9 songs in just under 36 minutes.  Consequently, this record doesn't overstay its welcome.  Opening track "An Industry of Murder" reminds us of Graveyard's sound and at the same time lets us know that not much has changed since Hisingen Blues.  (This is a good thing.)

The slow-burning "Slow Motion Countdown" feels somewhat average until the two-minute mark when its sweeping chorus takes over.  This song turns out to be one of the record's highlights.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Extra Credit: Corrosion of Conformity

Once again, the folks at Scion A/V are offering up some free metal music.  This time it's a five-song EP from Corrosion of Conformity called Megalodon.  For the price of an email address, you can download this EP for free, or you can simply stream it here to see if you like it.

First track "Feed On" is okay, but it's followed up with "Priest Brains," which really gets the ball rolling.  "The Megalodon" comes next and has a bit of an Alice In Chains feel at a certain point.  The band may have saved their best for last with the final two songs, "Strong Medicine Too Late" and "The Vulture."

Monday, November 12, 2012

Class of 2012: Pig Destroyer - Book Burner

Pig Destroyer is an extreme metal band whose music is not for everyone.  It's abrasive, aggressive, noisy, and super fast-paced.

Pig Destroyer tear through Book Burner's 19 tracks in just under 32 minutes.  And while most of these songs range from short to very short, there's a lot packed into each one.  At times, this can simply sound like noise, but at other times, you'll hear a band at the top of its game.  New drummer Adam Jarvis plays with ridiculous skill and speed throughout the record, and it seems unlikely that guitarist Scott Hull will ever run out of crushing riffs.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Today is National Metal Day

11/11 is National Metal Day.  How do you plan on celebrating?  As for me, I'm going to finally watch Last Days Here, a documentary about Pentagram singer Bobby Liebling.  And then I'll throw on some metal - maybe some Black Sabbath or Judas Priest or Iron Maiden or Slayer or Testament or early Metallica or Bathory or Darkthrone or Neurosis or Skeletonwitch or Deafheaven or Wolves in the Throne Room or Death or Converge or Black Tusk or Ulcerate or Disma or Kylesa or High on Fire or Saint Vitus or Windfaerer.  (You get the point.)  In any case, be sure to listen to some metal today, and if you feel like watching a movie, then maybe check out This is Spinal Tap or Lemmy or Until the Light Takes Us or Metal: A Headbanger's Journey.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Extra Credit: Cara Neir

Cara Neir is a Dallas duo consisting of Chris Francis (vocals/lyrics) and Garry Brents (guitars/bass/drum programming/backing vocals).  On the Sublimation Therapy EP, the band offers up 17 tracks in about 22 minutes.  The sound is grindcore meets punk with some crust and death thrown in for good measure.  Standout tracks include "Fearless Transfixion of the Devil," "Son's Lament," "Make Room for More," "Prudent Oath," and "You Are Missed."  "Stained Bedsheets" and "Sturdy Belief in Flimsy Gods" find the band at their most accessible (and most enjoyable).
This EP is available at bandcamp for the "name your price" option, so you can download it for free or donate what you can to show your support.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pass/Fail: Chrome Waves - Chrome Waves

"Chrome Waves" is a song from Going Blank Again by shoegazers Ride.  Chrome Waves is also a blackened metalgaze trio consisting of Jeff Wilson (Nachtmystium, Wolvhammer), Stavros Giannopoulos (The Atlas Moth, Twilight) and Bob Fouts (The Gates of Slumber, Apostle of Solitude).

 The Chrome Waves EP starts off with the instrumental "Hearts Over Feathers," which is a great intro that builds as layers of guitars get added on top of one another.  It leads perfectly into "Height of the Rifles," the record's longest track.  At about the halfway point, this second song slows down and becomes Alcest for a moment.  See if you can hear what I mean.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Class of 2012: Yakuza - Beyul

Led by Bruce Lamont, Yakuza plays an interesting style of music.  Is it metal?  At time, yes, it is.  It's also avant-garde with some jazz tendencies, too.

"Oil And Water" starts with an experimental intro and then actually has a grungy feel (think early work by bands like Mudhoney and Soundgarden) at certain points.

The next two tracks, "The Last Day" and "Man Is Machine," are the album's highlights.  The former has a great moment that starts at the 0:50 mark and makes great use of instruments other than the expected guitar, bass, and drums of a metal band.  The latter has its great moment from 2:18-2:40.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Movie Day: One Man Metal, Part Three

The third and final installment of Noisey's One Man Metal documentary is now available to watch here.  If you haven't seen the first two parts, then go here for part one and here for part two.

The last part of this documentary continues its interviews of the artists behind Leviathan, Striborg, and Xasthur.  Jef Whitehead gets personal and explains why we shouldn't expect any more music from Lurker of Chalice.  Russell Menzies puts on corpse paint and turns into a totally different person.  And Scott Conner discusses why, among other things, he doesn't feel the need to dress up in corpse paint anymore.

One Man Metal is a great look into the men responsible for black metal projects Xasthur, Striborg, and Leviathan.  Hats off to Vice/Noisey for putting this documentary together.