Monday, July 31, 2017

LP Review: "Mother Gray" by Eshtadur

Mother Gray
The thing that makes metal one of the greatest genres in the world is that it has the ability to anger the bourgeousie while simultaneously rivaling the musical ability of a symphony.

It could be said that metal has always been the music of the proletariat and that's part of why it angers the uppers so much, but that's always been the place of art in our world.

In the years since the debuts of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Metallica, and many others, the complexity and melody has often times been left out of metal records.

Certainly there is a time and a place for extreme metal bordering on noise. There's a great many records that fit that precise description in my vinyl library, but the heavy metal arms race can get tiresome.

It's always interesting to hear extreme metal bands add something to the mix rather than the four standard ingredients.

Enter Colombia's Eshtadur. Twelve  years running and they're still pumping out some blistering death metal.

There's never any shortage of range on this disc. There are time when it feels like the band is playing the entrance theme for the Fellowship of the Ring and others where they could move into The Fur Elise, but instead they bash the listener over the head with death metal.

Either direction would have been equally valid in my opinion.

Pianos, strings, and black metal style keyboards keep the songs fresh and lucid. Then of course we have the totally rippin' guitar solos. You can't be death metal without them to the best of my knowledge and experience.

Besides, who'd want that anyway?

Naplam Death fans I guess, but let's regain the plot. The biggest knock on death metal, that's too often true, is that it's repetitive. Covenant by Morbid Angel certainly suffers from this malady. The range in the vocals and drums on that record (and thousands of others) is about nil.

The vocals on Mother Gray are different than that. Even though, it's not a constant change up, a la King Diamond, there's enough variety to carry the whole album through. Also, unlike Pete 'Commando' Sandoval, the drums aren't wholly reliant on the blast beat.

Mother Gray marries the complexity of death metal with symphonic music to an outstanding effect. This is certainly a match made in hell.

Release: 8/8/17
Genre: Symphonic Death Metal
Label: Bleeding Music

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