Wednesday, September 20, 2017

in the nineties we loved feedback and arty record sleeves.

Almost completely forgot about this: Dragbody were a band from Florida who did the noisecore thing (a la Converge/Botch/Kiss it Goodbye) and recorded an EP at Morrisound (albeit with an engineer who was neither Scott Burns nor Tom Morris). I saw them at CBGBs and bought this 7" from them (and liked it enough to track down their full-length Flip The Killswitch a little while later).

My memory is a black hole of false impressions and mis-remembered happenings, but I vaguely recall talking with these guys after their set and their being nice to me. That's something that would stand out to a long-haired metal kid who had just started going to hardcore shows in the Nineties.

I'm not sure why Dragbody never caught on with a wider audience; I'll put it down to the innate tribal/lemming mentality of hardcore kids at the time. Most of my hardcore friends would rather listen to a mediocre band from their hometown than take a chance on an unknown band from out of state or another country. [To wit: No one I knew cared about Refused until after they had broken up and made their way to the "best of" lists of punk rock's cool kids. But I digress.] Dragbody's releases were certainly as good as anything else in the style released between Fixation on a Coworker and Jane Doe. I'm glad someone has made this available online; hopefully a Bandcamp release is in the works so their music can find its way to a newer, less boxed-in audience.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

let my people rock

Had to do some travelling recently. The long layovers and delayed flights gave me an opportunity to catch up on some cartoons. Among the most delightful was this episode of Bob's Burgers that introduces the fictional prog rock band Zentipede and their sci fi concept album/rock opera General Inzanity, complete with laser light show.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Mixtape 37 - D.O.A.

Here is the 37th installment of the Dreams of Consciousness podcast, featuring an interview with Joe "Joey Shithead" Keithley of Canadian punk legends D.O.A.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Bandcamp Picks - Inanimate Existence, Beneath, Pyrrhon, NYN

Three albums into their career, Inanimate Existence have delivered their most definitive statement. Whereas previous albums were somewhat fragmented due to an overeagerness to integrate female vocals and jazz parts with the band's djenty origins, Underneath A Melting Sky is their most cohesive and consistent album; the band has refined their style of slow, thoughtful death metal to create songs that improve with every listen. This may be the album that puts their name with Atheist and Cynic; not as disciples, but as equals. [$8]

After their last album, Reykjavík's Beneath seemed poised to be the next big thing in tech death. But Ephemeris takes a step back from the band's fret-burning past, employing more slow grooves and psychedelic interludes to reel the listener in before the blastbeats start falling like hammers. Iceland's flagship death metal act is maturing like fine hákarl. [$9]

NY's Pyrrhon have returned with more compositions of confustication. Despite their mathy reputation, What Passes For Survival isn't lacking for nastiness, built as it is on a foundation of blastbeats and discordance. A messy stew that owes at least as much to Converge and Dillinger Escape Plan as it does to Gorguts and Brutal Truth. [$7.99]

The brainchild of Virginia-based Noyan Tokgozoglu, NYN's ambitious debut is a discombobulating affair. The aptly (if confusingly) named Entropy: Of Chaos and Salt intersperses frenetic tech death with seaboards and theremins, as well as Eastern melodies and percussion. Noyan is similarly eclectic in his vocal performance, ranging from growls to power metal histrionics with Mike Patton-esque abandon. The approach doesn't always work - in particular, the last track "Taken Away By The Tides" feels like being locked in a room with a particularly obnoxious Nintendo fan - but the talent on display is undeniable. [$7]

Thursday, August 24, 2017

an interview with VÖLUR

I can't think of another band like Toronto's Völur. Though multiple bands through the years incorporated strings with metal, the Toronto-based trio distinguish themselves by eschewing guitars entirely. Their latest album Ancestors shows just how very heavy their violin-centric vision of doom can be. Since there's nothing this blog likes more than risk-taking iconoclasts, I reached out to the band to find out more. Vocalist/bassist Lucas Gadke (also in Blood Ceremony) was kind enough to answer my questions.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Thursday, August 3, 2017

An Interview with Ingurgitating Oblivion

Germany's Ingurgitating Oblivion released one of the most entrancing albums I've heard this year. Ambitious in its scope, Vision Wallows in Symphonies of Light branches out from a doomy death metal base, employing jazz and classical influences, along with unorthodox song structures and instruments. Knowing that this is an album I'll be digesting for years to come, I contacted the band to find out more about the album's creation and the band's history. Founder/guitarist/vocalist Florian Engelke kindly took the time to answer my queries.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Long Hundred 004/100: OLD - Formula which one of Earache's least popular albums might be one of their best.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Bandcamp Picks - Bliss of Flesh, Tchornobog, Wode, Execration

France's Bliss of Flesh are a band keeping their eyes on both the past and the future. Drawing lyrical inspiration from Dante's Divine Comedy, Empyrean's black/ death swagger is very much influenced by Behemoth, though the blast-centric modern production also brings Anaal Nathrakh to mind. Sometimes darkness needs a sheen to it. [€7.99]

Tchornobog is one of several musical endeavours of prolific multi-instrumentalist Markov Soroka. A study in contrasts, the debut morphs from churning claustrophobic death metal to atmospheric doom and back in its 4 churning compositions, the shortest of which is 12 minutes. Like the similarly chimaeric (and similarly awesome) Abyssal, Tchornobog shows the limits of the genre(s) have yet to be reached. The album is available as a "name your price" download.

Don't be fooled by Wode's English origins; the Leeds band eschew the twee leanings of their countrymen for something much closer to Dissection and Necrophobic. If the title weren't a hint, Servants of the Countercosmos is very Swedish in its approach, delivering catchy hooks at no-nonsense speeds and hammering away at black metal conventions along the way. The cosmos should consider itself warned. The album is available as a "name your price" download.

Sometimes there's no escaping your nationality; though the band labels themselves "death metal", at their core Oslo's Execration are true and black. Return to the Void has enough blackened thrash mixed with heavy prog to seal it as Norwegian through and through. Even so, with its avant dissonance and Lovecraftian themes, I have no problems with describing the album as "R'leyan". [$8.99]