Thursday, June 30, 2016

LP Review: "With A Cunning Fire and Adversarial Resolve" by Athame

With A Cunning Fire and Adversarial Resolve
In this day and age, there are literally thousands of albums coming out and it gets hard to choose what to look at for coverage or for purchase.

What struck me about this album was honestly the band's name.

An athame (uh-tha-may) is a ceremonial dagger used in witchcraft. In some sects, the owner of said knife is to name it and keep the blade's name a secret, lest someone else steal its power.

Do I need to go into a lengthy diatribe about witchcraft isn't necessarily evil or should it just be left as it is because metal often times is inherently evil?

Oh well, who cares. If anyone is reading this and getting offended by the topics contained by the bands, certainly they've buggered off by now right?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

EP Review: "Phone Calls EP" by The By Gods

Phone Calls EP
Living the life of a music reviewer isn't all parties and mansions.

There's a genuine love of music involved and it's hard to keep oneself out of the ruts we all create for ourselves. Personally, my favorite tunes are metal, blues, and heavy rock.

Because those genres of music have the best guitar players.

Sorry, this is fact. Steve Vai > Chet Atkins and Les Paul. Whether or not you appreciate Vai more is your prerogative.

So, when The By Gods crossed my desk about six months ago, it was a bit hard to pull myself away from whatever crushing death metal had caught my attention.

Looking back, January 2016 was a pretty damned metal month here, but not long after dropping their record, Get On Feelings, they've returned with half an album for us to check out.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Album Review: “Encyclopedia Cannibalicium: Minimal Results with Maximal Effort” by Cannibal Accident

If you have been waiting for just the right time to get your first Cannibal Accident album your opportunity has arrived.  “Encyclopedia Cannibalicium: Minimal Results with Maximal Effort” contains all fifty one tracks previously recorded by the metal grindcore masters. 

It is an efficient and intense listen, with each track clocking in at about a minute in length, yet still managing to contain a billion notes, blast beats, shrieks and growls per song.

I have to admit, while deciding on an album to review, I was lured in by song titles such as “Hobo Lobotomy”, “Rectum Loosener”, and what can only be described as an epic 49 second ode to zombie love, “Necromutant Impregnation”.  Here is a band which is not mincing words in their mission of delivering intense metal brutality to the world, but at the same time does not take their mission too seriously. 

LP Review: "Farewell To The Sun" by Vow of Thorns

Farewell To The Sun
Simply the title of this album piqued my interest.

There are times when it is really hard to just look at what there is on the plate to consider. It's always nice when a band makes it easy for me to want to be interested in their album.

The title, Farewell To The Sun evokes many different images to me.

The first is a metaphor for death. The sun is the life giving celestial body that warms us, nurtures us, and even gives us Vitamin D.

It could also be inferred that the speaker is choosing a life apart. Humans are diurnal creatures, so active during the day. By bidding the day farewell, he becomes a hermit.

And of course...vampires.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Interview: Bedowyn

Recently we became acquainted with Bedowyn, and indie band who'd scored a record deal.

Still looking back at how beautiful their album was. It was a throwback album not made for the iTunes era.

It may surprise some younger readers that there was a time when purchasing a single was basically no longer done, but we bought whole albums just to get a single song!

I still do that, but I'm a throwback like Alexander from Plato's Stepchildren.

Let's get to know them a little bit better I think....

GM: If you had to describe Bedowyn in one sentence what would it be? Then feel free to use many sentences directly after it.

Friday, June 24, 2016

LP Review: "Beck In Black" by Left Lane Cruiser

Beck In Black
Left Lane Cruiser was discovered by this author around the release of their third record, Junkyard Speedball, and there was no going back.

Since then, every single one of their following albums has been reviewed.

Beck In Black marks the sixth time they've been featured on these pages.

What some folks might not know is that between Rock Them Back To Hell! and Dirty Spliff Blues, the original drummer and occasional washboard player, Brenn "Sausage Paw" Beck decided to retire from Left Lane Cruiser and Pete Dio, of White Trash Blues Revival, took over.

Beck In Black was originally a 2016 Record Store Day release by Alive-Natural Sound, but as has happened before, it just got too popular. So here we have this retrospective on CD and digital as well.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Interview: Lori Paradis of Sulfur City

Recently, I became acutely aware of Sulfur City. They are presently riding the wave of their debut record being released on Alive-Natural Sound.

There were a lot of things I really liked about this band, but what struck me was something a bit different than just it's the first female fronted band on the label...check it out!

Glacially Musical: Thank you for taking a little time for me today.

Lori Paradis: My pleasure, Nik.

GM: There are a few very obvious influences, but who influenced or inspired you that would surprise us?

LP: Nina Simone is very inspirational to me and everything about her floors me. Also Ani DiFranco because she’s not afraid to speak her mind and her music is amazing. 

Another influence is Ben Harper for the way he experiments in different styles of music and the way he lets go emotionally in a song.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Album Review: "Mass Confusion" by Dust Bolt

In many ways thrash is the subgenre of music which permanently put heavy metal on the map in the United States.  Sunset Strip glam metal was hugely popular and slightly preceded thrash.  However, many argue glam metal is not true metal and it has clearly fallen out of favor.  (I believe glam metal is true metal, it has never fallen out of my favor, and I continue to worship at its altar regularly, but realize it has its detractors).   

The Florida death metal scene was also an American contribution, and has a tremendously devoted fan base, but has failed to produce any genre transcending iconic bands.  

Thrash on the other hand, having hit its peak during the height of  American metal interest in the late 80, produced some of metal music’s few undeniably metal household names, such as Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax.  In addition, thrash has remained a viable genre, with new thrash albums blasting their way into our ears regularly.

Monday, June 20, 2016

LP Review: "Great Unknown" by The Watters

Great Unknown
I'm a bit tired of beef stew.

For those readers who don't follow my twitter account, if you ask me, my beef stew is legendary.

My love of beef stew is bordering on religiosity. Far more beef stew has passed its way into my innards than is likely healthy.

Not just the canned slop, which is delicious, but I also cook beef stew at home. Over the years, my bland and tasteless beef stew has been transformed into a miso/gravy/chicken broth based culinary cluster bomb of something or other.

Heavy Metal is kind of like beef stew for me as well. My love is legendary. My devotion is epic. However, there are times when we just don't all feel like worshiping Satan and we need a break.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Double LP Review: "Live! In California" by Radio Moscow

Live! In California
The double live album.

That is about the most beautiful phrase in the whole world of music to me.

Over the course of my life, there have been hundreds of these records in my collections. Rory Gallagher, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Slash, Metallica, and countless others.

Think of how many bands have made their name on their live shows and how so few have put out the double live LP at just the right time.

Led Zeppelin's The Song Remains The Same remains the one to me that was such a disappointment, until the rest of the album was put into context making it a triple live LP. Metallica waited until 30+ years into their career to do one. Black Sabbath's first with Ozzy was actually their second, though Live Evil was amazing.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

LP Review: "Skylight" by A Devil's Din

There have been many musical movements and there will always be more.

Stoner Metal/Doom Metal is one of my favorite, or two of, genre(s).

It's interesting how these bands kind of sprang up over twenty years after they should have. When most folks think of Black Sabbath, the alpha and the omega, latter day Sabbath imagery is evoked.

KISS is kind of in the same boat as well. As much as this Ace fan hates to say it, KISS is Gene & Paul, as was their prior band Wicked Lester.

Well, most people tend to forget that KISS and Black Sabbath have influences in common, like Cream. Also lost to the ages is that both groups were hippies before they got heavy. Psychedelia and unkemptness abounded these gents.....

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Album Review: "Hibernation" by Lightsabres

Cassettes were my introduction to the world of rock.  When I first got into music in 1986, vinyl had just gasped its dying breath and compact discs had yet to appear.  This was the era of going into the mall record store, picking up Iron Maiden's "Somewhere in Time"  and slapping down your unspent lunch money so the shopkeep would free this masterpiece from its excessively long shoplifter proof package.  

Or better yet, joining one of those mailorder tape clubs, where for very little money they would send you a box of 15 cassettes of your choice, plus 4 more for signing up a friend, plus a free one with every purchase thereafter.  How did they stay in business ? Turns out it really was too good a deal, and none of them did.  

I amassed hundreds of cassettes in the last four years of the eighties, which would fundamentally alter my perception of the universe. Sure cassettes wore out way before I was tired of listening to them, sometimes played too fast, sometimes played too slow, and were prone to being devoured by the always hungry tape deck. Still, I am not alone in having a sentimental attachment to them and a regret it is no longer a viable medium.  Releasing albums on vinyl has become a trendy thing, so when will cassettes once again see their day in the sun?  Lightsabres is here to make it so.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Interview: Tom of 20 Watt Tombstone

In the not too distant past, we reviewed a split EP from 20 Watt Tombstone and Left Lane Cruiser.

Both of these acts play what I call Psychobilly Blues and it was a glorious six track ride that really pushed some limits.

It's time to get to know 20 Watt Tombstone.

Glacially Musical: It seemed like now was the right time to look back on an amazing split record. 20 Watt Tombstone and Left Lane Cruiser teamed up to make, Death Blues vs The Dirty Spliff.

I'd like to know more about 20 Watt and I'm sure my readers would to. So tell me about the band's philosophy.

20 Watt Tombstone: We just like to play, no real philosophy really. I guess you could say we like to live by the DIY code. We do everything ourselves or locally if we can. We try to use local artists and local printers for our shirts, and posters, etc. If we cant do it locally we find other DIY types or other musicians to give our money to, rather than pay some company or a person we don't know. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

EP Review: "Lord Kesseli and The Drums EP" by Lord Kesseli and The Drums

Lord Kesseli and The Drums
There's nothing more annoying to me than being late.

It's been a long time, but an indelible lesson was burned into my brain:

On time is five minutes early.

That's such a great creed to live by, sadly, some of the closest folks in my life don't always adhere to this. It's also very hard going to parties.

When I arrive spot on start time, well before the ???'s that it goes to, there's no one else there yet.

So, it's our wont to review and get the word out on new music at least two or three weeks ahead of time normally, because that's my schedule. This is one that slipped my fingers, but a well worded email reminded about this Swiss Psych Duo's upcoming debut...

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Concert Review and Photos: SUNN O))) at the Ready Room St. Louis June 6, 2016 -by Danny Nichols

Monday night’s Sunn O))) concert was unlike any I have ever attended before. Fifteen minutes before the band took the stage fog machines pumped a steady stream of fog into the audience, stopping only once the lack of visibility made it impossible to tell you were in a concert hall.  The band has only three members.  Two guitarists and a vocalist took the eerily backlit stage wearing hooded robes and never appearing as more than a silhouette.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Album Review: "Terminus" by While Sun Ends

I was recently contemplating the demise of nu metal. 

I understand why it has come to be reviled, as many metalheads regret the intrusion of funk, rap and grunge into metal.  Still, I think it is to be commended for bridging the gap between more prolific periods of metal history, and for giving Americans some version of metal shows to attend during a ten year span when there was not much else happening in the American metal scene.Plus, there were a lot of excellent bands from this era which do not get the credit they deserve, such as Coal Chamber, Sevendust and Godsmack.  I also secretly like Limp Bizkit, but know better than to admit this in a public forum.  

“Terminus” by While Sun Ends is not nu metal, and  hopefully no one reads this paragraph and avoids the album thinking it is.  Being an Italian band, and nu metal being an almost uniquely American phenomenon, it is unlikely While Sun Ends were even influenced by nu metal.  Yet when I first heard the album to me it sounds as though While Sun Ends have managed to take all the best elements of the nu metal subgenre, eliminated all the elements which derailed it, infused it with traditional progressive metal and created something new and interesting.  

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Album Review: "Sins of the Elders" by Conclave

Sins of the Elders
What causes a genre of music to go out of fashion?

What made disco a fad rather than a revolution? Grunge? New Wave?

How is it that millions of listeners could suddenly become fed up with a style of music that they had loved so very much? This is something that makes very little sense to me.

About two years ago, a mix tape that I had made in the past surfaced. Shocking to no one, I still loved all of the bands on that tape and still owned most, if not all of those albums.

That's kind of a long way round, or off course way of describing doom metal. Well actually it's much. Doom Metal or Stoner Metal is the logical next step of metal evolution from Black Sabbath, but that style of music never took off, until much later.

Monday, June 6, 2016

EP Review: "To The Depths" by Lucis Absentia

To The Depths
"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.

In 2016, nearly every great band name, in English anyway, has been taken. This blog has reviewed several bands that have had to add and addendum to their name, a suffix, or the definite article in order to legally differentiate themselves from the other roses in the garden.

Today's subject, Lucis Absentia, is formerly known as Gomorrah, but not that Gomorrah.

This is the first time I have reviewed an album by a band who used to use the same name as another band that I have also reviewed.

In the end, bands are like roses in a garden. What sets them apart from the other flowers swaying in the breezes isn't how cool their name is, but how they make their consumers feel.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Album Review: "Enter The Sentai" by Pseudo/Sentai

Enter The Sentai
Lately there has been a lot of travel in my life.

Travelling is a great and fun thing for me, but not when it's always on an airplane.

Let's face it, flying sucks. It's the greatest indignity that we force upon ourselves in the USA. It might not be so bad if the seats were a little bigger or if we could go to the bathroom when we need to rather than when we're allowed to.

It's nice being able to see out the window and seeing the changing of the landscapes though. One of my favorite hobbies on planes is to see if I can find sports's yet to happen properly though.

More fun than flying is the road trip. You pack up your car and stop at gas stations along the way. My personal solo record is St. Louis to Buffalo. It's a 12 hour drive. Instead of seeing the landscapes change as you pass above, they are experienced.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Interview: Jon of Monsterworks


It's always a pleasure to get the thoughts and things out of some of my favorite artists.

Once again, it's my honor to speak to Jon, the Principle Songwriter of Monsterworks.

Glacially Musical: Well, it's been a little since we've heard from the weird factory of Monsterworks. How are you?

Monsterworks: Very well thanks.  It has been relatively busy in our camp getting this album ready for release and working on two others simultaneously.  

There were delays in post production this time around which lead to a longer than usual gap between releases but, jeez, if we are getting shit for taking 16 months between albums what can you say about Metallica?  

8 years between proper studio albums for an active band is ridiculous.