Friday, June 28, 2013

Mixtape # 2

The much promised, even much more delayed second DoC Mixtape, this time focusing on bands from Malaysia. My buddy Mike stopped by while I was in Queens and helped me discuss the Malaysian metal scene. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bandcamp picks: Hostage of Fate, Lionel Pryor, Azure Emote, Sectioned

Before my recent NY/Baltimore adventure, I was hit up by a member of the Greek band Hostage of Fate to review his band's debut. Better late than never: At First Man Tried to Create God...and He Succeeded may be an unwieldy title, but gives a glimpse into the thought process behind the similarly complicated and tangent-riddled songwriting. The album is obviously home-recorded and the drums clearly programmed, but that's a minor quibble when the talent on display is equally obvious. Comparisons with fellow Greeks Rotting Christ may seem lazy, but there is an undeniable similarity to the early work of their countrymen. For melodic death metal fans with a taste for prog and/or ADD, this is solid and enjoyable. The seven track album is available as a "name your price" download.

When I left NY in 2002, some friends of mine formed an instrumental post-rock/experimental hardcore band Burbis. Burbis are sadly no more, but from their ashes came Lionel Pryor. Their second album Azhdahak is fired up, driving heavy prog that anyone who loves late-period Death, Cynic and Green Carnation should check out. I can't remember the last time an instrumental album made me headbang this much. The album is available from Bandcamp as a $7 digital download.

"Eclectic" is featured prominently in the bio of progressive metal band Azure Emote, and with operatic vocals, a violin and some theremin-like solos, that may be the best word to describe them. In case this all sounds like "death metal Mr. Bungle", fear not - The Gravity of Impermanence is more along the lines of later Cynic, Arcturus and other Jeff Wagner-friendly acts. The album is available through Bandcamp as an $8 digital download.

If a car crash between Godflesh, Red Harvest and the Dillinger Escape Plan sounds like your thing, then you should definitely make time for Scottish band Sectioned. On their Outlier EP, they do an impressive job of bridging the gap between DEP's spazziness and cold industrial minimalism. Highly recommended, especially as it's available as a "name your price" download.

Dreams of Consciousness likes metal that stimulates your frontal lobe. Also, shameless self promotion.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Maryland Deathfest 2013, Sunday May 26

My last day at MDF. Getting out of bed and making my way to the Sonar at 1:00 pm would have been a great idea if everyone else hadn't had the exact same idea at the exact same time. By the time I reached the venue, the line had grown beyond belief, stretching across the parking lot and around the overpass. And it moved about as slowly as an Evoken song. To their credit, most in line showed amazing patience; even a statement issued through facebook that the line was flowing with no patdowns elicited more sarcasm than outright anger by people who could clearly see this was not the case (choice response: "As someone standing at the entrance, I call bullshit."). But as time began to drag through the first couple bands of the day, my irritation grew. What was the point of buying a three day pass if it meant being stuck in line for an hour? There had to have been a better way to handle re-entry for people who already had their wristbands than to force them to lineup all over again.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Maryland Deathfest 2013, Saturday May 25

Fighting a cold and a sore throat wasn't a great start to my second day of MDF. Between Baltimore being unusually chilly that weekend and my natural predilection to get sick at the worst possible time, I wanted nothing more than to stay in bed all day. But since I had missed half of the previous day's line-up, I had to make up for it; and while dragging my feet to the venue hoped coffee and orange juice would keep me upright throughout the day.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Maryland Deathfest 2013, Friday May 24

The last thing I wanted to be for my first day of MDF was late; but a gross miscalculation about the amount of traffic coming down from New York for Memorial Day weekend meant I was stuck in New Jersey for hours (tips for foreign visitors - whenever in doubt, blame Jersey). By the time I arrived in Baltimore, Benediction's set was long over. Somewhere, my vinyl copy of Subconscious Terror is judging me. I guess I can't get too bent out of shape for missing what I still think of as "Barney Greenway's old band," but I was still bummed, especially since I don't know if I'll ever get another chance to hear "The Grotesque" live.