Archive for December, 2009

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Suicidal Angels – Sanctify The Darkness

December 28, 2009

Label: Nuclear Blast

I’m a great believer in evolution, and change. I rarely have the patience for any generation of music other than the current, seeing the old school largely as nothing more than a necessary step to get to where we are now. I acknowledge former glory, but actually giving it any time for simply the reason that “it’s where what we listen to now comes from”, would be like justifying recreational listening to psalms for the same reason.  Same with the Beatles and Led Zeppelin, irrelevant now, and nothing more than an obsolete part of the journey. I generally have no respect for the music taste of anyone much older than me, knowing that they will probably be clinging onto their era with nostalgia goggles, and be out of touch with the here and now. I find nothing more pathetic than young musicians playing outdated music, be it to just impress old people, or because they are genuinely some how out of touch with their own generation.

For this reason, I was extremely surprised that I actually quite liked this album. Suicidal Angels play old school thrash metal, that would be more at home in the 80’s than now. The vocals, musicality, technicality and production, all sound very dated. There isn’t a single real innovation here, yet I am still kind of enjoying this album. I probably wouldn’t give it a listen in my own time, but I can see it’s well done nonetheless. Just goes to show how good song writing can make up for all manner of other flaws. The riffs are nicely moshy and gallopy, and there are some pretty decent grooves to be found in there too.  Consistent, unvaried, unspectacular well written old school Thrash. If you dig the rear guard, I would highly recommend this.

6/10

Eyelicker

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BREAKING NEWS: METALLICA TO RELEASE FUTURISTIC ALBUM!

December 26, 2009

Coming straight from Metallica themselves it has been announced that their next album will be a ‘futuristic’ album on which they will ‘reflect upon their future sound’. After the nostalgia of ‘Death Magnetic’ drummer Lars Ulrich beamed as he announced; ‘We loved going back to 1985 for the last record so this time we’re gonna take our musical time machine [powered by excessive egoism] wayyyy forward to 2065 when we’ll all be about 100 but will still be thrashing it out like we did when we were 50!’ Lar’s hinted that the album would be ‘like nothing our fans have ever heard before! and won’t hear until at least 30 years time! When asked about the impossibility of time travel and what chance he thought the album would have of actually being released before the band were dead he replied; ‘hey man, fuck you! We’re fucking Metallica! We can do whatever we want!! Even if it does sound like a pile of shit! We released ‘St Anger’ didn’t we?!’.

Ever the innovators we wait with baited breath to hear the next update on the band’s time travelling antics. Hopefully they won’t get stuck in a worm hole and end up in a parallel universe and therefore miss out on their latest ego-trip headlining the ‘big-four’ Sonisphere in Poland. Current suggestions for potential titles include ‘Ride The Time Machine’ and ‘The ‘fromthefuturebutreleaseinthepast’ album’ with the band taking a post-thrashmetalcoremixedwithsouthernrockohshitthatfailedlasttimebutnoonewillnotice direction.

Mr Bogle

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Ihsahn – After

December 26, 2009

Label: Candlelight

Out: 25/01/10

Now I imagine that a large amount of those reading this review will be very familiar with Ihsahn’s work in Emperor. As a result anything that that band’s former frontman produces will no doubt be compared to the masterful ‘Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk’  and in there lies the issue, for Emperor will always be hailed as the definitive black metal act. This album isn’t black metal, true there are momentary blastbeats and Ihsahn’s signature scream can be heard at several points throughout it’s important to not start making comparisons.

There are depths to this record that could never have been attempted in anything Emperor did and in many ways this album is a continuation of ‘Angl’ which saw Ihsahn start to explore more varied influences and this shines through on the new record. At times sounding more like something by Cult Of Luna than a black metal legend the album showcases a number of very talented musicians and whilst it’ll be a little hard to swallow for some, it’s worth giving it a chance.

As my recent posts indicate I’m something of a sucker for fancy-pancy metal that does what things that should really be unacceptable but manage to work regardless…as a result I love this record. I’ll admit to hostile feelings at first but scratch beneath the surface and you’ll find a album that’s both brutal and beautiful, subtle and engaging. The title track highlights many of the eclectic aspects and with more than a nod to fellow experimentalists Opeth (Mikael Akefeldt appeared on Ihsahn’s solo debut).

8/10

Mr Bogle

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Children of Bodom and Fear Factory Co-Headlining Bloodstock 2010, Placebo, Papa Roach, BMTH, Fear Factory, Henry Rollings Confirmed for Sonisphere Knebworth‏

December 26, 2009

The UK’s premier indie metal festival, Bloodstock Open Air, is already looking to be pretty sick next year, even though the fond memories of this summers event are still fresh. To add to the already certifiably hardcore line up including Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation and Behemoth, the nostalgia tinged metal of Fear Factory and Children of Bodom (who I saw right back at Bloodstock indoor in 2004, when I was like 15) has also been added to the pretty varied line up. Also added are Amorphis, the Finnish melodic metal band who’s debut album surprised me in that it was actually pretty good. Anyway, Bloodstock lineup so far is:

OBITUARY  :  ROSS THE BOSS  :  RAGE  : ANDROMEDA  :  BEHEMOTH  :  DEVIN TOWNSEND : DORO : LEAVES EYES : SUFFOCATION : DREAM EVIL : CANNIBAL CORPSE : KORPIKLAANI : GWAR : CHILDREN OF BODOM : FEAR FACTORY : AMORPHIS

Sonisphere, already famed for hosting “The Big Four” in Poland in 2010, has also been busy in the UK leg in Knebworth, having also confirmed Fear Factory, as well as now Placebo, Papa Roach, BMTH and Henry Rollings. Line up so far is:

IRON MAIDEN
RAMMSTEIN
ALICE COOPER
ANTHRAX
BRING ME THE HORIZON
THE CULT
FEAR FACTORY
HENRY ROLLINS (SPOKEN WORD)
IGGY & THE STOOGES
MÖTLEY CRÜE
PAPA ROACH
PLACEBO
SLAYER

We’ll keep you in the loop of any further developments.

Eyelicker

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If intelligence is over-rated why aren’t we all monkeys?

December 24, 2009

Yes it’s a monkey wearing glasses…

Now I can see where Eyelicker is coming from when it comes to enjoying straight-up brutality and considering that one of my all-time favourite death metal acts is Cannibal Corpse that becomes fairly obvious. I mean if anyone can read some sort of philosophical approach into the lyrics of ‘I Cum Blood’ or ‘Hammer Smashed Face’ then you’re clearly a twat. Because there isn’t anything in there to find. The point I was trying to get at more was that the amount of done and dusted metal that I listen to on a regular basis (this journalism lark is a real pain in the arse at times). It’s just refreshing to hear some music where a bit more thought has been put into it lyrically. I mean who listens to grindcore for the vocals? Certainly not me.

As with many things in life its about what you want out of what you surround yourself with. I love Hatebreed but I’m not about to stick on ‘Supremacy’ when all I want to do is chill, when I want to get drunk and break stuff or am just feeling generally angry, that’s when it suites. I realise that some people can listen to whatever music they feel like regardless of their mood.

Ultimately it’s an entirely subjective matter, it goes without saying that what means nout to one person will mean the world to another. Coming from the academic background that I do (English Literature) my mind at times is constantly in ‘analyse’ mode where I will try and find the meaning of life in a ‘Teletubbies’ episode and I know that it’s stupid but it’s just the way my mind decides to work on these occasions. I didn’t first start listening to Gojira for their lyrics, in fact, surprise surprise, it was the music! So after insulting that fat Slayer kid in my last post it seems somewhat hypocritical to start admitting that I first fell for the sound rather than the overly philosophical lyrics.

This is no bad thing…as I said earlier I’m not trying to say that all band’s should start reading Plato and Schopenhauer and start labelling themselves as ‘postmodernmetalancientinfluencedneurohyperrealpostrock’ just that once in a while I like to look beyond the obvious. I can only speak for myself so don’t take this as some sort of sermon by a self-righteous preacher because the people that already agree will continue to do so..and those who don’t…won’t.

Mr Bogle

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Nile – Those Whom the Gods Detest

December 24, 2009

Label: Nuclear Blast

Damn, I’m starting to go off death metal. Not only have Nile just bored the hell out of me when I could have been clocking something fun like Blood on the Dance Floor (nojoke), but the whole, pseudo-intelligence thing I mentioned in my last post is also getting to me. Why the hell won’t anyone do something exiting and powerful, something with attitude, instead of just tremming over blast beats for a while and calling it a song. To be fair, Nile have always been quite boring, so this result doesn’t really surprise me. Just would have liked some better death metal to kill half an hour with.

I really don’t get Nile’s appeal and apparent reputation, especially when there are plenty of better death metal bands out there. I’m pretty sure the drumming isn’t as good as it used to be either, and not once did I really feel drawn in. I have enjoyed Nile in the past, and can even admit that they’re pretty decent live, but this CD didn’t really touch me at all. Pretty confident that they’re past it now.

If you’re a fan, you’ll be disappointed, if not, this would be a pretty bad starting point.

4/10

Eyelicker

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Intelligence is over-rated

December 24, 2009

Origin, about to hit the encyclopedias…

Reading Bogle’s piece yesturday on France, Gojira and “intelligent” writing, I couldn’t help but think “hold on, everyone’s trying to write like they’re intelligent now”, after peeping some Gojira lyrics and finding they meant more or less fuck all to me. The days of straight forward brutality are long gone, as most bands these days seem to choose to write about their poor grasp on science, drown everything in ham fisted cryptic metaphors, or speak out their ill informed opinions on politics. Much like the annoying dorky kid who will tell you at great length about how “metal bears more resemblance to higher music forms like classical music and jazz than standard rock” and other such boring pseudo-revelationary crap, every band now seems to be out to prove how intelligent they are, and shake of the already long shaken off image of “stupid metalheads” (everyone knows that we’re massive geeks and dorks). The result, meaningless lyrics seemingly written by a thesaurus and random number generator.

The point is, it’s hard to really connect with or give a shit about lyrics if they mean nothing more than patting yourself and the collective scene on the back and congratulating everyone on how clever we’re all being. And generally they are actually quite simple cliche meanings such as “everyone in society is a sheep”, or “war is bad”, but dressed up in cryptic bullshit.

A favorite of mine is Origin, death metal probably being the worse culprit of this. They have many choice passages of meaningless, but here’s one of my favorites, from the song “Antithesis“:

Opposite, inversion, polarize, ostracize
Counteract, rise against, oppose all, agonize
Opening our path to ending, contravene in antipathy
Kill to, breed peace, death to, all war
Unordain, opulence, to install, turbulence
Infamous, oration, to dispose, all of us
Confronting our worst enemy, sub-atomic anatomy
Methods, implode, doomsday, explodes

I mean what the fuck is that man!, it’s just words…seriously. What the fuck. This is all completely redundant, plus implode and explode mean the opposite, so having them in the same line, separated only by “doomsday” means even less. Is this thing exploding or imploding!?!? cos it can’t do both! Ok, I’m guessing it’s probably about some kind of nuclear doomsday. Expressing this in a list of words that are kind of peripherally relevant though is not the best means of expression. They do this too in “Ubiquitous“, the entire lyrics of which are pretty much just explaining what the word means, in a similar, dead pan, list like way:

One, in all, things, everywhere
One, presence, exists, omnipresent
Haunt, disturb, dwell, in us all
Look, onward, to, ubiquity

Epoch of all time
Instant judgement finds
Face to face with gods
Everywhere at once

They could have saved a lot of space by just using the last line. After all, that’s pretty much the only really straight to the point bit (yes, that is what ubiquitous means). TBH Origin aren’t the worst or best example, but a favorite, as everyone seems to love them about now, just peep the lyrics of any recent death metal band and you’ll find something similar.

This becomes particularly hilarious when the people writing aren’t actually that clever, see the much mocked (and rather dated) “Droid Sector” by Nocturnus.

Cybernetic crafts approaching
Through skies lit with fusion discharge
Androids from the gamma quadrant
Moving at the speed of death

WTF?!? “Speed of Death”!?!?

When stood next to something typically crass and “dumb”, like “Porn Store Stiffi” by Bloodduster, I’ll take vulgarity any day. At least I can get what they’re saying, and it kina means something in the context of actual life. Bonus points for not being all serious and shit.

I’m catching the bus,
to go down to my favorite place,
it’s not the nicest,
but its where i like to show my face,
I like them porn stores
there’s nudes and it’s all free,
I like to wonder round,
rubbing my stiffie.

I may be standing there and a mag will take my fancy,
i will rub myself to cum still,
its quite relaxing

I’ll cum on you

LOL

Actually, “We are the word police” kind of sums it up even better:

Cunt I think is fine
It is my favorite line
We spent our time saying cunt
And finding words that rhyme
Go!!
Swearing all the time
And finding words that rhyme
I love to shout and scream
Mostly the obscene
I love to swear and spit and cuss
And cause a nasty scene

If you think about it, this kind of ironic self awareness and just being obscene for the fun of it is surely more intelligent (or at least entertaining) than a long word pissing contest…

Eyelicker