Sunday, September 30, 2012

Guest Blog: Windhand's Self-Titled Debut (2012)

Reader contributed reviews are the fruit of the earth, and the very reason we keep on spreading the music we love. I never pass up an opportunity to let a budding music enthusiast share his thoughts on one of his recent discoveries. Doom and stoner metal is somewhat of a rare occurrence on The Metal Advisor -- all the more reason to spread the love -- but I hope to throw the plodding form of metal into regular rotation soon. Let's see what our fellow metalhead has to say.

My introduction to Windhand came at a convenient time. I was in the Armageddon Shop in Providence, Rhode Island hungry for some new tunes. Working an internship in the area, I was relatively new to the place, so I walked in with the nerves of a freshman schoolgirl on her first day of class. I began hunting the shelves when the music playing over the loud speakers caught my attention. I quickly found my self alongside the regulars, nodding and tapping my feet to the heavy psychedelic beats of Windhand. If you were to look at this scene from the outside, you would have seen four guys standing in a record shop jamming, mindlessly flipping though albums, lost in the trance Windhand produces. Coming back to my senses, I realized I must have their self-titled album. Sadly, the store was out of stock, and I had to order the album online from Force Field records. The wait was well worth it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Chton - The Devil Builds (2012)

After an incredibly explosive split with sister Norwegian band Cleaver, death metallers Chton are back at it with the release of their second full-length, The Devil Builds. Indeed, this is the act's first major album in a drought-ridden eight years--certainly a welcome leap back into the metal scene--but they seem to be aiming for something higher with the record: recognition and success. No longer will a band of such caliber sit back in the shadows. After all, they have a newly reinstated line-up, the chops, and the fiery spirit of something just short of the bludgeoning death metal movement of the late eighties.

Since the split, the band's sound has barely changed. Much of the drive remains the same--chugging riffs and mid-paced tempos familiar--but since the sneak peak earlier this year, "Death Awaits," the band has upped their game. For instance, opening the record, "Faustian Resolve" chimes in with an advisory that disobeying the law leads to an unfortunate consequences; the framework this particular track esablishes holds true for the rest of the The Devil Builds, with remarkable consistency obviously Chton's strong point. "Scavenger of a Dead World," "Gods of the Flesh," and "Rise Black God" form a triple entente, pummeling listeners with sheer force through an abundance of heavily palm-muted guitar riffs and the occasional blast beat, courtesy of stout drumming, as well. As expected and unchanged from the Screaming for Death split, "Death Awaits" makes a second appearance, reminding listeners of the reason it was stuck to the collaboration in the first place: brutality.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

S:t Erik's From Under the Tarn Coming to a Turntable Near You

Coming your way later this month, Sweden's S:t Erik have finally secured a deal to press their crawling debut to an illustrious clear vinyl. From the looks of things, both the label, Spora Records, and S:t Erik appear excited to get the wax into the hands of hungry fans. But why should you, the newcomer, purchase the record? Because I told you to. That's why.

Joking aside, if you like doom metal, From Under the Tarn will be your cup of tea, the sugar sweet yet never too overbearing that you'll be tempted to spit your drink all over the pompous, pinky-hoisting freak sitting next you. Laying low in an effort to stalk its next victim, there's a plodding sense of tension that never seems to reach its full potential, quietly slipping under the rug like a dust bunny waiting to attack. But with S:t Erik, there are a series of ups and downs, both quivering, distorted guitars and mellow clean sections that flip the mood in about half a second's time.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Cattle Decapitation - Monolith of Inhumanity (2012)

Although their name suggests blood, guts, and a leisurely frolic through the depths of hell, Cattle Decapitation are actually quite the opposite of what a "normal" death-obsessed band might commit to recording. Extremely anti-human in just about every way possible, the act claim people are the scum of the earth and instead fight for animal rights with an iron fist. But against all odds, this isn't a bad recipe for a metal album. In fact, Cattle Decapitation's fifth full-length, Monolith of Inhumanity, is the San Diego quartet's best record to date, punishing, pummeling, and knocking listeners around for a mutated 43 minutes.

Depicting a half human-half monkey abomination, Monolith of Inhumanity's cover art sums up Cattle Decapitation's attitude toward humans rather nicely; the mutant ripping away its face and representing the lead number from the album, "A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat." Like maggots scuffling for the last bit of rotting trash, Travis Ryan experiments with a variety of vocal styles, most notably his rendition of traditional cleans and an assortment of conventional death metal growls. "Your Disposal" and "Kingdom of Tyrants" follow in much the same vein, but with a slight twist: not unlike black metal, one track has the guitars spiraling through the upper registers, while the other swivels back and forth between screaming chaos and a melodic midsection.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Concert Review: Harley Poe + Leopold and his Fiction + Goliathon @ Radio Radio, Indianapolis, Indiana - August 31, 2012

At what felt like the last second, a buddy and I piled into his 2006 Ford F-150 after a long day of classes and hurried our way to Fountain Square in Indianapolis. Following an hour drive and a quick bite at Jimmy Johns, we reached our final destination, Radio Radio, a bar known for its sublime mash-up of music and atmosphere--surely one of the premier places the city has to offer for lesser known bands looking to move up one ring on the musical ladder. We knew the night could go in one of two ways: either a painfully boring threehour set or we would be swept off our feet by a handful of obscure bands we had only heard of in passing. Good thing the show was free.

As my friend removed the keys from his gas-guzzling beast, we nodded to each other in agreement that the night was going to be fantastic. We had only seen the black-tinted, abyss-like windows outside the bar and a colorful sign positioned directly above two thick wooden doors, but the allure of the venue was enough to push collective excitement through the roof. The only requirement was a brief flash of our IDs, confirming we were of legal drinking age, which we did without hesitation.

Cozy and dark, Radio Radio turned out to be the perfect place to host a small concert--busy and bustling with people clamoring for their much beloved alcohol and a band or two on the side to make the night even better. Armed with glowstick bracelets, courtesy of the woman at the door, and an assortment of merch from the sales booth in hand, we found a table near middle of the floor and anxiously took our seats. It would be an hour before the first band, Harley Poe, would unleash their brand of zombified rockabilly horror rock on restless concert goers. Nevertheless, we were pumped and eyed our newly purchased loot with admiration.