Sunday, April 20, 2014

New Music: Vader's "Where Angels Weep"

In anticipation of Vader's Tibe Et Igni, I'm posting a song, "Where Angels Weep," below. Taken from the EP Go to Hell, which humorously dropped on Good Friday, it's one of two new tracks that will appear on the upcoming full-length.

Needless to say, I'm stoked for the record because Vader can do no wrong, and this may very well be the best album we hear all year. That's a bold statement, you say? Perhaps, but with Vader's track record, it's very possible. Welcome to the Morbid Reich bulldozed everything in its path in 2011, and if Tibe doesn't do the same, I'll be one unhappy camper.

-TMA

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Drip - A Presentation of Gruesome Poetics (2014)

"Cryptopsy, is that you?," I thought quietly to myself when opening yet another promo newly arrived in my inbox. You see, if you take a moment to step back to the mid '90s, when Cryptopsy was arguably at their best, you'll hear bits and pieces of Blasphemy Made Flesh and None So Vile upon listening to The Drip and their latest effort, A Presentation of Gruesome Poetics. And, really, that can't be stressed enough; the snare drum sound, which is annoying for some and charming for others, is that same hollow pound that I've come to love and expect of Cryptopsy--at least in the old school sense--each and every time I dig into one of their classic records.

Example: musically, the material is even reminiscent of the Canadian four-piece, with speedy, messy guitar riffs in your face every second of the EP's run time. And although the entirety of A Presentation of Gruesome Poetics  is primarily based in grindcore, the death metal influence is strong enough that you'll feel the Cryptopsy-isms creeping (pun intended) up on you with each minute you invest in the EP. In other words, it's not music for the lighthearted, and it's not easy listening, either.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

No Surprise: Snippets From Night Ranger's Upcoming Record, High Road, Sound Tired

Yeah, yeah. I know Night Ranger isn't metal in the slightest, but their last two efforts have been extremely enjoyable--Hole in the Sun was one of my favorite hard rock records of 2007, in fact, and an album I constantly played on my daily treks to high school. Perhaps I'm a little sentimental about the record, but it is what it is.

On the other hand, I'm no fanboy of Night Ranger, because let's be honest--the band doesn't exactly have a golden track record, as far as their release history goes, and their discography has a fair amount of turds. Their upcoming full-length, High Road, looks to be one of those turd-y times, too. From what I can hear of the snippets in the background of their teaser trailer, the music sounds tired and devoid of distorted bottom end; and the guys just look like a bunch of old men trying to relive the glory days.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Crawl - Crawl (2012)

With sludge and doom metal growing trendier with every waking moment, it should come as no surprise that bands are emerging faster than we can listen to, and discover, them. Like their peers, Crawl admittedly brings nothing new to the table, but do, amazingly, have one trick up their sleeves--a spicy dash of southern melody permeates their music, to the point that what should be a dark and dreary affair becomes spirited and catchy.

Simply titled Crawl, the Georgia-based act's four-track demo is a fun take on a style of music that, more often than not, drones on and on and on with less than stellar songwriting, but that isn't the case here; instead, the material feels lively, despite a murky production, and the songs are relatively short, with the longest clocking in at four-and-a-half minutes.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Beyond Mortal Dreams - Lamia (2014)

Two years ago, Beyond Mortal Dreams gave us an EP called Dreaming Death, and in 2014, they return with yet another, albeit in a much more concise fashion. Entitled Lamia, the two-track release is a blast for the first few listens, but because it appears polished and rounded around the edges in comparison with its predecessor, it feels a bit synthetic.

...and as any dedicated death metal fan knows, that's never a good thing.

At times, Lamia's resemblance to Hour of Penance is uncanny, and the plastic production constantly reinforces that. As a result, there's little new to hear here, and if you've already crossed Hour of Penance of your listening list, you're likely to tire of Beyond Mortal Dreams quickly. But not all is lost; the musicianship is top notch, just as one would expect of death metal with a technical edge, and the energy is clearly there--it's just that comparisons to Hour of Penance are inevitable and the vocals, which are relatively weak as far as death metal goes, don't do the music any favors.