Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Metal Advisor Interviews Espen and Torstein of Chton


As most of you probably remember, I took a shot at interviewing Cleaver earlier this year, and they turned out to be some of the funniest guys I've had a chance to talk with. Funnily enough, the death metal band, Chton, share close ties with Cleaver and are, again, great musicians and composers that bring something refreshing to the Norwegian metal scene. Let's get acquainted with them. 

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So let’s get down to business early in this interview—did Chton ever find a label willing to release the Screaming for Death split with Cleaver on vinyl? As we all know, I’d love to get my hands on that.

The intention behind the split was to get our name out there before the album's release, which was the intention for Cleaver as well, and to give people a taste of the coming venom. So that isn't something we actively sought to get done, at least not yet. I think all we did was post a Twat on Twitter asking if anyone knew of some underground label that could just print it and push it. It is, however, officially released on Morningstar Music and distributed via loads of download and/or streaming platforms like Spotify, iTunes, 7digital, Amazon, WiMP, etc.

Still, I would really like to see that split on vinyl myself, so it isn't out of the question. It's more that we've decided to use our time on the preparing the actual music and doing some promo for now since we've been swamped with work to get The Devil Builds ready to be unleashed.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Caves of Steel - Troposphere/Magnetosphere (2012)

For ages, indie rock was a tiny, tiny speck on my ship's radar; the approaching "enemy" certainly a threat, but not one to be taken seriously. I'm typically not a huge fan of the style, mostly because I don't know where to start exploring, but these Norwegians have pushed my interest in the music to the forefront. Previous rummaging through the genre left me with an all time favorite, The Koxx, but Caves of Steel seem to have one-upped those guys in terms of instrumental skill and by mishmashing different influences from the collective rock palette. Their second EP, Troposphere/Magnetosphere, fuses both post- and indie rock to form a style I'm not too well-versed with, but find fascinating and addictive enough to keep spinning over and over.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Legionary - Arcane Divisions (2012)

Strongly linked to old school death/thrash metal, Legionary throw catchiness into the mix with their debut album, Arcane Divisions. Unlike the usual names like Morbid Angel, the band injects a dosage of melody into their music that I positively adore--"Absolute Supremacy" was crowned a favorite from my first listen of the debut full-length and remains so after nearly a dozen spins.
 
Although Legionary leans toward the death metal side of the spectrum--growled vocals, tremolo picked riffs, and blast beats--the thrash influences are all too evident and occasionally reminiscent of late eighties/early nineties dinosaurs Demolition Hammer and Morbid Saint.

But when the melodious beast comes into play, the sound changes entirely.

Not only limited to tremolo picking, guitarists Tony Barhoum and Alonso Maguiño bring a creamy, smooth lead tone to the table and decimate any lingering doubts of death metal's inability to be catchy and aggressive. The combination of intricacies and strong songwriting are indeed what makes Legionary's music so appealing but, without either of those, they might as well be another generic death metal act.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Skagos - Ást (2009)

For quite some time, I have been wanting to dig deeper into black metal, but the right act never popped up at the right time. My favorite bands proved I didn't have a favorite subgenre that held me back--Iron Maiden, Vader, Skeletonwitch, etc.--but I still never hit it off with grim and frosty style of music. Back in high school, Ceremonial Castings almost had me there with their excellent record Barbaric is the Beast, but somehow my interest dropped off as other types of metal took priority, specifically heavy, thrash, and death metal; all of which remain my favorites today.

Enter Skagos' Ást. The production makes the music feel increasingly distant. The drumming is sloppy. The songs are overly drawn-out. But fact of the matter is, it's still enjoyable--even addicting--though not in the sense where a song is impossible to turn off. Skagos' brand of black metal is very Agalloch-esque at times--not to mention atmospheric--so you, more often than not, feel as if you are floating on a thin cloud as a lonely surveyor of an avant-garde beast hard at work. In the end, Skagos are a fine example of the black metal's gradual evolution because, while you might hear generic riffing patterns, there's always something new to discover.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Metal Round-Up: Stuff that Doesn't Fit into a Full Post

Aside from a "different" band name, Decreation does nothing to separate their music from the worldwide assortment of melodic death metal bands. Subpar clean vocals, tired and chugged guitar riffs, and uninspired melodies keep the group's first demo (The Pandemonium Light) from being enjoyable and, most importantly, memorable. Ideally, a few spins should give a listener an overall impression of a band's music; however, I still feel empty when thinking back on what came through my headphones. It doesn't help that the production is an exemplary nod to fakeness and lifelessness. Normally, I would do a full review on a demo like this, but I can't bring myself to listen to it anymore. Avoid at all costs, unless you like being bored to tears.

Find them here.