New Reviews 11/21/2008
Jarboe- Mahakali-CD (The End Records)
So we have another installment of the ever flowing saga that is known as Jarboe. This is the most aggressive side of Miss Jarboe I've heard since her collab withByla. This releases has a very primitive/ ritualistic feeling to and Jarboe likes for get very loud and angry with the world here. Its the most metallic sound release I think I've ever heard from her. I like the noisy feeding backed guitars and odd percussive moments all with the electronic moments mixed in for good measure.There are several amazing guest musicians on thos from Phil Anselmo ( Pantera/ Down/Christ Inversion etc), Attila (Mayhem/ Aborym) and Kris Force (Amber Asylum/ Blood in time/ Frozen in Amber). There is a sorrow and pain that comes from this release only people like Jarboe , Julie Christmas (Made out of babies), Diamanda Galas and Kris Force create as of late. If you want to view the Darkest side of Jarboe since Swans. A must listen for any one that like there music more extreme.
EARLY MAN - Beware the Circling Fin-MCD (The End Records)
So if you mixed Metallica, Voivod and Motorhead in to one amazing kick ass rocking force you would have Early Man. I did get there full length from Matador a year or so back and it was good but not as Catchy or balls out as this. There is a very strong Mid period Voivod feeling through out esp Nothingface and Angelrat sounding. If you miss the days of thrashing guitars, thumping bass lines that done just follow the guitar and I drummer clearly trying to destroy the small kit we plays with such power and mastery. Man I love the guitar tones on here they are straight out of ride the lighting period Metallica in sound and riffage. I don't want to call this retro but this band has a huge love for 80's metal and hardrock without a doubt and I'm sure loving it. Check this guys out live I'm sure the take the house down around them.
The Answer-Never Too Late-MCD (The End Records)
The times are a changing at The End Records. Once a home for the experimental and prog metal and electronic music that others were a afraid to release and show the world. The Answer is totally in love with Arena Rock and 70's Hard Rock. This to me should like a mix of Led Zeppelin, Black Crows, Whitesnake and Bad Company. This is not anything I've heard before coming from was the best Indie label in the US for my money. This sounds like what you would have hard on Warner, CBS or Atco in the 70's and 80's . Catchy funky rock riffs, organs and one hell of a singer that can belt it out for sure. I don't hate it for a minute just very taken a back by the major stylistic changes coming from The End Records in the last yr. Tread on calm waters here as is is very very different for a label that was the underground hero up to now.
Hellveto - Neoheresy-CD (Pulverised Records)
Now we have some very amazing folk inspired Black metal from our asian friends at Pulverised Records . There is a very orchestral sound to all that is in the mix of the music. I has a familar to the style of bands Limbonic Art , Summoning and Marduk at times. This Polish unit seems to have been around for over 12 yrs and does have a very heathen or pagan outcome in there music, words and just presence. Hellveto seems to be a one man force which truly does make it all the more impressive. The production value would make bands like Dimmu Borgir, Satyricon and Emperor very proud to say the least and to top it all off it Neoheresy has an amazing video for the open track on the CD on the CD itself.
Closer - A Darker Kind Of Salvation-CD (Pulverised Records)
If you like your Gothenburg metal melodic and techincal all at the same time then your in for a ride of a life time. If you could for a moment mix Mesuggah, Opeth, Soilwork and Childern of Bodom into a single unit you would have what Closer creates on " A Darker Kind of Salvation". Closer to pay homage to the old Swedish metal guard like In Flames, Dark Tranquilty is the arrangements of the songs but never sound like the two bands directly. I do very much like the complexity of the guitar and bass line. They being Brutal, Melodic and Manic all in the same song. The vocals are more a modern Death metal style and work well with the almost industrial feeling of the bass and percussion. Closer is a band on the watch. I think Pulverised is label coming into its own and with Closer makes a powerful statement.
GUILLOTINE-Blood Money-CD (Pulverised Records)
Holy Thrash metal Batman!!!! This is the most thrashing CD I've heard in some time reminds me of the glory days in the late 80's on Combat, RC and SPV . When bands like Sodom, Forbidden, Exodus, Atrophy etc. The riffs are full on dirty , It has the leads you need that sound straigh out of the battling leads from Exodus!!! There is even a good measure of Slayer thrown in for the hell of it. The vocal's are always so important to make it thrash and not Death or Grind and Guillotine has gotten the raspy but not growled vocals or overly screaming. This pleases me more then anything the megaphone vocals add a really nice touch as well. I can see why there has been such a fanfare like wait for this release to come. Guillotine has members of Nocturnal Rites but I don't really see crossover between the 2 bands. Another winner release for Pulverised 3 in a row!!!.
Maelstrom- It was predestined-CD (Self Released)
I just don't get this band its a mix of Battle metal, Power Metal and Symphonic metal. They seem like they want to be Bal Sagoth or Slough Feg with elements of bands like Hades and Melllah Rage. These 3 songs are all over the place and the vocals at time really get on my nerves. There just so over the top and seem a bit out of key. Maelstrom seems to have a history with other bands like Soilent Green and Carbomb both Relapse bands at one time or another. I really wanted to like this but its not Iced Earth or Bal Sagoth it's something in the middle and only works about 1/3 of the time.
Romans- All Those Wrists-CD (BlackMarket Activities)
Romans is another in a long line of very interesting Post Hardcore/ Electronic/ Metallized band that have been born from the success of bands like Neurosis, Isis, Pelican, Mogwai and GYBE. To name many other. Romans like to mix the more experimental and avant with the Post Hardcore sound that gives them a very Neurosis like vibe then Mogwai another moment. Metal blade seem to have put a major focus on there partner label Blackmarket Activities) and for good reason I say as bands like Romans slay all at what they do. There are some so called Dillenger Escape Plan juggenaunt moments but they are just a piece of the full picture and thats what makes Romans all the more tasty to listen too. Vermont seems to be a very isolated realm so I would say bands like this have to make a scene all there own and that is the ultimate in impressive movements. Simply Check out Romans they will impress you.
From A Second Story Window- Conversations-CD (Blackmarket Activities)
Yes Blackmarket loves there Post hardcore with yet another release with the polished sounds of Post Punk , Metalcore and Hardcore elements the mix of Clean melodic vocals, Growls, Screams and other vocal acrobatics. They remind me more of bands like Taking Back Sunday and Hawthorne Heights. Where the mix of melodic and extreme are there. I don't know if I like or hate this as " From A Second Story Window" is a beast all its own and I think it will take me many many listens to ever make that choice. So in closing what I say is that take a chance if you can and see if " Conversations" is for you. There is a lot going on here and I think it will impress some and make others loath them and in they end isn't that what you want a reaction to your art.