Tuesday, September 1, 2015

New Vreid Track Streaming: "Haust"

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Happy September 1st, mothers. To celebrate, one of my favorite groups, Vreid, has dropped a new track for us to sink our teeth into. Word on the street says that it steps back to Windir days and moves away from the rocking melodicsim Vreid has been known for in recent years. I don't necessarily disagree, but I think it subscribes to a combo of both, which makes Vreid, well, Vreid.

Either way, it's killer, and I expect another year-topping album from these Norwegians. I had the pleasure of being on the guest list for one of their shows a few years ago, and they're truly a class act, who write captivating, immersive music.

Can't wait for this one. Too bad I'm not on the promo list.

-TMA

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Status Destrose: Mardelas, Fate Gate, and Disqualia

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The demise (or supposed hiatus) of Destrose--a band I included in a piece last year--birthed a handful of acts as the membership went in different directions. Virtuoso-like vocalist Marina went on to form supergroup Mardelas with former Light Bringer members, while founding member Mina established Fate Gate, a band piggybacking off Destrose's small, but important, successes. More specifically, the band released an alleged original version of Destrose's "Romancer," which feels poorly executed and rough around the edges. The vocalist, whose name escapes me, performs adequately, though she lacks power and body to her voice.



Sunday, August 23, 2015

Cattle Decapitation - The Anthropocene Extinction (2015)

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"Streamlined" (predictable, familiar, and sticks within boundaries) is the initial thought that entered my mind when spinning Cattle Decapitation's newest effort for the first time. Monolith of Inhumanity felt jumbled in comparison, willing to branch off into weird directions, and pounce on every available opportunity to experiment, but thinking back on it, that's what that record was aiming for--a stylistic shift. Comparatively, The Anthropocene Extinction repurposes the sound, sugar coats it, and makes it accessible insofar as extreme metal can be, meaning the music simultaneously beats you up and keeps you coming back for more. But is it above Monolith of Inhumanity, a record destined to become a modern classic?

Indeed, both albums share more similarities than differences. The two are based on the same template, after all, and incorporate Ryan's first forays into cleaner vocals, giving the music massive hooks. Where they differ, however, is songwriting: yes, the riffs are similar; yes, the core concept is very much alike; and, yes, it's unquestionably Cattle Decapitation--the flow, atmosphere, and structuring is simply different.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

More New Music: Saxon's "Battering Ram"

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The new Saxon track, "Battering Ram," pretty much speaks for itself--what you hear is what you get, and there's nothing more to it. That's the way Saxon has always been, and after a zillion-year existence, it's not going to change any time soon.

The music is good--perhaps too good because it shows other veteran metal bands how to kick ass.

*AHEM*

IRON MAIDEN

This is balls-to-the-wall (Accept reference intended) heavy metal how it should be played. Andy Sneap is by no means a proper producer--everything he touches sounds sterile and similar, after all--but at least the music has the bite and pomp to it that any heavy band deserves.

Monday, August 17, 2015

W.A.S.P. Strikes Back with "Last Runaway"

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Ah, W.A.S.P.! --a band once worth their weight in gold, known for churning out classics such as The Headless Children and "I Wanna Be Somebody." Today is a different story, however--Blackie and co. continue to dig the hole they're stuck in deeper, with music that, by no coincidence, sounds the same on every damn album. From Helldorado on, I've found W.A.S.P.'s discography a chore to listen to and simply uninspiring (aside from spurts of brilliance) when spinning two or more of these records back to back. A creative rut is a better term for it, and it sucks. Hard.

But, of course, Blackie is back with more as any good rockstar should be, and "Last Runaway," as he calls W.A.S.P.'s newest offering, is a rather interesting one at that. It's got the same drum pattern and structuring as past, recent W.A.S.P. material, but by god, the key is different and so is the melody. Can we truly say this song is something fresh?