Friday, January 30, 2015

Album Review: "Theodicy" by Deivos

Today I am checking in on some Death Metal from across the pond and behind the Iron Curtin.

Poland's Deivos is releasing their fourth album on Selfmadegod Records.

Though heavy metal is originally an English creation, it's always interesting to hear the European interpretation of death metal, which is a very American concept.

It's kind of like Texas. Everything is bigger, bolder, and far more in your face.

The European sensibility is far more austere and utilitarian than that of our American one. We like things for the sake of things, but Death Metal, again, is very American. I digress, so we should move onto the music itself.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Album Review: "Time & Trauma" by 36 Crazy Fists

Time & Trauma
There are few things as cool as metal to me.

One of the reasons is because of all of the crazy subgenres of metal and how nitpicky people can get about them. I personally recognize about 10 subgenres of metal and I do not think that I take them seriously.

Today, 36 Crazy Fists has introduced me to a new heavy metal subgenre: The New Wave of American Metal.

Wouldn't that be like, well every brand of metal ever? Well I guess I do accept The New Wave of British Heavy Metal...

Look, I'm not sure if I can take that name or that subgenre seriously, but I'll definitely give the band some serious consideration. Somehow, this band has escaped me for over two decades.

I  hate that.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Album Review: Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, Eponymous

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth

Today we'll be reviewing another debut record.

I started writing these reviews back in 2012 because I'd heard so many people saying that music was over and tired and everything that could be done was done and that no one was making good music anymore.

Well people have said that every decade since forever....and today we have even more proof of it!

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth (granted, not the best name) has been kicking around Seattle, WA since 2007. Aside from their original demo and a split EP, nothing has been heard from them in the wider world.

The group is a veteran trio of hard rockers: Tad Doyle on vocals and guitar, Peggy Doyle on bass, and Dave French on the drums. Between them, they've got connections to TAD, Hog Molly, and The Anunnaki. Simply put, they know how to rock.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Album Review: "Mature Necropsy" by Putrid Offal

Mature Necropsy
A few months ago, I received Putrid Offal's EP.

It was my introduction to one of the first death metal/gore grind bands from France. It contained three versions of their most famous song and a brand new song recorded in 2014.

Needless to say, I absolutely loved what I heard on that disc, but the shortness of it really left me wanting for more.

Today I have in my hands their first full release, ever.

In the early 90's, they released a demo, an EP, and a slew of splits, but never really took off. In 1991 when their demo, Unformed, was circulating, Death Metal was still very, very new.

There were precious few record labels that were interested in the first genre of extreme metal, but thanks to trailblazers like Putrid Offal, Carcass, Obituary, Deicide, Master, and more, there is a world of death metal to explore.

Let's explore Putrid Offal's new release.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Album Review: "The Wolf Council" by The Wolf Council

The Wolf Council
From it's earliest days, metal had strong ties to blues and psychedelic music.

Black Sabbath is arguably the first metal band, but of course Led Zeppelin is also a part of this mix.

Aside from high gain guitars the only thing these two bands have in common is a deep love of the blues.

Well musically anyway, they both also had a deep love of achieving altered states of consciousness....

Looking at the path of metal from that point on, it's  hard to see the connection between Sabbath, Zeppelin, and Priest with Metallica, Cannibal Corpse, or The Black Dahlia Murder because there are about 45 degrees of separation between them, but let's look at a band that has one degree of separation from the originators...well maybe two.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Album Review: "Hidden Evolution" by Angelus Apatrida

Hidden Evolution
Today I have the opportunity to review another band from a non-English speaking country that chooses to sing in perfect English.

I'm no closer to solving this conundrum. I hope that one day I can leave behind a world in which either people feel free to sing in their native tongues, or that will die knowing that I have solved the issue that gets to me.

I also wonder why death metal bands sing in English....or if they're singing in English really. Perhaps the titles are just in English......anyway.

Angelus Apatrida is a group of Spanish thrash metallers.

Formed in 2000, Hidden Evolution is their fifth full length album and their third for Century Media. Their last release was 2012's The Call. This is the first time I've heard anything by this band, so it's all new territory for me.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Album Review: "Children of the Call" by Allan Moon

Children of the Call
Today I'm reviewing Allan Moon's latest solo record, Children of the Call. It's the follow up to his 2008 release, Song of the Wind.

Take note of the titles being a little off the beaten path.

Moon has a very interesting personal history. He was born in Toronto, ON, but moved to Manhattan, NY where he was raised.

Later he moved again to Tel Aviv, Israel and now resides in Galilee.

In the past, I've noted that where a person lives, or has lived, leaves an indelible mark on their soul and in their art. I cannot say what kind of mark any of those places would leave, but his moving and moving would certainly leave a mark.

As someone who's shuffled around significantly, though not as far each time, I understand and empathize with that all too well.....There is a definite mark left.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Album Review: "The Revenant King" by Visigoth

The Revenant King
Let's take a crack at a different genre of metal than we normally get into around here.

Power Metal.

Every subgenre of metal is the one that someone you know uses as the butt of all the metal jokes.

Power Metal is the one that's fantastical. It's over the top. It was born and bred for very large arenas.

It's why Bruce Dickinson created the motions he he could be seen moving his arm by the people in the back row of a 200,000 seat stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Honestly, the name Visigoth attracted my attention. I love highly literate names. The album cover hearkens back to the days of kick ass Iron Maiden and Judas Priest album covers. He also looks like the dwarf played by Billy Connolly in the new Hobbit flick....

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Album Review: "Land of the Low Tides" by Howardian

Let's say you've been a musician for a number of years and have put out several albums, you tour, and you have made your hay on being post modern...


A bit out there.

What do you do when you really  have something out there, and that's even more out there than what you normally do?


For a few years, Ian Vanek of Japanther has been working on something outside of Japanther. Though this is a solo project, he's called it Howardian. I'm sure there's a great story behind that and I'd love to hear it.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Album Review: "Denouncing The Holy Throne" by Heaving Earth

Denouncing The Holy Throne
Today we check in on the Czech Republic and their native sons, Heaving Earth.

They're from the historic city of Prague, and I'd be surprised if many Americans can name another area of Czech Republic, but I'll tell you that I enjoy a good Czech Pilsner any day of the week.

In fact I recently tried Czechvar finally...but Czech Lagers are hardly metal....I think metal beers have to be like Double IPAs or that hurts to drink...


Heaving Earth has been at the death metal game for a number of years now and Denouncing The Holy Throne is their second full length album, but they've released an extended play and been part of a split since releasing their debut album, Diabolic Prophecies in 2010.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Album Review: "Death Is Righteous" by Shredhead

Death Is Righteous
Thrash metal (or speed metal) came into being after the New Wave of British Heavy Metal influenced some very metal Californians  in the early 1980's.

I'm pretty sure we all know that.

In the 90's Neo Thrash was all the rage. Or was that the 90's Thrash Revival? 

It's really hard to keep up as there's another thrash revival happening now. There are even record labels dedicated to it.

Everything is cyclical and what's once old is later new and vice versa. 

Today I'm reviewing the sophomore album from Berlin based, but Israeli by birth, metallers Shredhead. If I'm being honest, I don't think it's a very good name, but neither is The Black Keys really...or The White Stripes...and people seemed to like them ok.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Album Review: "From The Very Depths" by Venom

From The Very Depths
It's fun to think of my favorite bands and then picture them when they were very young. Many times when I do this, the picture contains them wearing other bands' t-shits.

When I picture Metallica from way back when, they're wearing Venom Welcome To Hell shirts with pentagrams as big as life on the front.

In those days, Metallica often spoke of the NWOBHM. Not many of those bands became more than someone who influenced thrash metal.

It's unfortunate. Venom is one of those bands that could not escape that movement and join the wider world.

Though they are often credited with coining the term "Black Metal," they didn't create it, but had they played black metal, would they have been pigeonholed there too?

Most likely.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Album Review: "It's All Down Here From Here" by Bo and the Locomotive

It's All Down Here From Here
Today we're reviewing the latest effort by another St. Louis band.

It's always nice when I get press emails about bands that I've heard of, at least a bit.

There was a time in my life when I nearly had my finger on the pulse of the local music scene and was a small part of it...though no one ever saw my band or at least no one ever wanted to but did because we dragged them to the shows....

Over the years the local music scene in St. Louis has really passed me by. It was never very strong in terms of metal or hard rock.

Yes Gravity Kills made it out, as did Nelly, The Urge, and some others.

Our scene has always been largely, well for lack of a better word, alternative. Ska, power pop, strange rock, avant garde music, etc.