Archive for August, 2010

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The Rotted- Anarchogram EP

August 28, 2010

Label: Metal Blade

The Rotted are the band that rose up from the gore inspired death metal beasts Gorerotted, having changed their name and their music the debut album they released in 2008, “Get Dead Or Die Trying” was fucking superb. That said, they still aren’t as big a prospect as they should be. Their blend of death metal and hardcore punk played at blistering speed with a hint of black metal thrown in for good measure helps to spread appeal over so many scenese that it’s genuinely shocking that they havn’t just teared themselves a new spot in the UK metal scene. Their superbly played and intense live shows could easily put them on a tour with anyone from Behemoth to Slipknot or Dying Fetus to maybe even Converge or Justin Bieber. Okay maybe not that last one, but these guys definately deserve more attention, especially if this EP is to go by.

Firstly Anarchogram includes 6 tracks, 2 originals and 4 cover songs, one chosen by each band member. The two originals continue where “Get Dead Or Die Trying” left off, with genius and a touch of insanity. The first track ‘Drink Myself To Death’ whips you up into an instant attack on the senses, a short but evil guitar solo breaks us in gently as Ben’s commanding vocals tear in over the top of an awesome punky, hardcore infused riff before the blast beat kicks in and basically removes your head. Forget head banging to this shit, you’d have put your face in a blender to keep up. The second track “Dawn Of A New Error” has definately got that hardcore stomp to it, the simple but angry guitar riff of the verse is intermittent with and almost black metal style run up that fast leads into a blast and a break down of powerfully restrained yet heavy as fuck proportions that takes us to the end of the track.

The four Covers are Motorhead’s Iron Fist, Sepultura’s Propaganda, Mayhem’s Deathcrush and Entombed’s Out of Hand. They do a fucking sterling job on all of them, not to mention getting their sound perfectly suited to each song, while still retaining that Rottedness we know and love. Special mention has to be said of Trud’s mental gritty bass sound on Iron Fist. The band have obviously put a lot of effort into these 4 covers, getting the conditions for them pretty much perfect. If this EP is anything to go by, then the upcoming album should fucking slay, and hopefully gain them the status they deserve.

9/10

NatureBoy

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On the matter of British music…

August 16, 2010

By the time this article is published its likely that many of you will have heard Iron Maiden’s latest (and probably last) album. Yes there’s all the gumpff in Metal Hammer and such about whether or not its really the end for what, is undeniably one of the most successful bands in history. The question which now occurs to me, is that of the future of British live music. Not exclusively metal, because if our entire musical future was left in the hands of carbon copy acts trying to sound like the ‘classics’ we’d be fucked. Well and truly.

I have issues with the notion of ‘classic’ as a part of the definition of a genre. I mean, Deep Purple weren’t always ‘classic rock’ that’s just a recent tag which has been attached to them. For me, two of the best British live acts currently making waves are Pendulum and Skindred. And they’re bands who, whilst their albums are sometimes mediocre, remain untouchable in the live setting. These guys are, to be frank, the future. If you can’t handle that, well, I feel for you as very soon they will more that likely be headlining our festivals and arenas.

I could spend many thousands of words explaining exactly why I am right and you are wrong. But I’ve got better things to do, like listen to Tek- One and get my Dubstep shoes on. The world is consistently changing if you can’t take that, I hear my local monastery is recruiting.

Mr Bogle

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Accept – Blood Of The Nations

August 13, 2010

I talked to Udo Dirkschneider last summer, who seemed rather dismissive of the upcoming Accept album. In his stead the band found Mark Tornillo who has provided his lungs on this record, and what can is known as the ‘classic’ Accept lineup.

Blood of the Nations is very much an album of a band from the past who’ve discovered modern recording technology, each and every track leaps off the record sound thick and full; I always found that a lot of the live energy of metal was lost on the records of the 1980s. The opening track, Beat the Bastards is a slab of classic Accept, gigantic riffs galore and a throaty voice that you can only tell it’s not Udo because Tornillo can actually sing at more than one pitch. While not the most versatile voice you’ll ever here, he’s backed up by some titanic songwriting. It’s not  often that a song can be carried on its main riff alone, yet Rollin’ Thunder among others do so with ease. The only real flaw of an album such as this is that it’s pretty much an hour of the same thing, despite Teutonic Terror trying to mix things up a bit. Despite the obligatory ballad breaking up an otherwise barn-storming pace, BotN is classic Accept from head to toe, Pandemic and  the title track itself providing giant stadium choruses with some truly memorable riffs. It’ll never stand up to the classic Balls To The Wall or Metal Heart, but that’s a given considering how engrained to metal culture the early to mid 80s era of Accept has become.

If you liked Herman Frank’s Loyal To None, you’ll like this. While BotN isn’t going to win any awards this year, it’s a very solid effort from a band who were considered to be well past it, but destined to be forgotten by festival crowds who want to hear Balls To The Wall.

6/10

Twaddlefish

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Limbionic Art – Phantasmagoria

August 12, 2010

Label: Candlelight

I used to have a set rule when it came to album reviews. I would listen to the entire thing with an open mind before putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) to compose a balanced and thought out reflection. Now, with the amount of utter sludge I find myself having to wade through I really can’t be arsed most of the time. If the first track bores me, its likely the rest of them will and I don’t see why I should waste my life committing self-torture.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with this album just that after two songs I felt more like driving a rusty nail into each eye before I listen to any more. Thankfully I didn’t I changed my iPod to Pendulum instead. Sanity restored I realised that I still needed to do some kind of write-up. So here we go, well as I’ve already made clear this album failed for me from the first strained note. Whilst this probably has more to do with my own personal music taste as opposed to the records musical credentials I don’t get paid to do this so I’ll be as bias as I fucking want.

On its plus side the music avoids the black metal pitfall of piss-poor production for the sake of it that doesn’t stop it being a cliché ridden mess. It does sound like at least one band is making something of an effort to keep this particular genre relevant and for that they certainly deserve praise. It’s better that Dimmu Borgir for a start.

Well there you go, my first review in fucking ages and pretty much more of the same. But for as long as by-numbers albums are produced I’m going to offer by-numbers reviews.

Mr Bogle

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Fleshwrought – Dementia / Dyslexia

August 12, 2010

It may seem incredible but the concept of ‘deathcore’ as a genre is nearly decade old. And with Despised Icon currently playing their final tour it would seem that the genre has both come of age and is in need of some new lifeblood. Whilst the likes of All Shall Perish and Whitechapel are taking massive strides forward both commercially and musically the true essence of this incestuous child of hardcore and death metal remains in American basements. And that’s exactly where Fleshwrought hail from.

Dementia/ Dyslexia is the debut album for a band that has existed in some form since 2003. And whilst all musical duties are handled by ex-Animosity drummer Navene Kopperweis, Jonny Davy (of JFAC fame) provides vocals. This is an album which demonstrates Kopperweis’ eclectic musical taste . With blast beats and breakdowns interchanged with electronic interludes and samples topped off with Davy’s phenomenal lung power, this album is one of the finest deathcore debuts in ages.

Opening track ‘Mental Illness’ is simply sublime.  It’s a technical masterpiece which stretches to just 2:08 (the album is just over half an hour) it’s spot on. The album’s length ensures it remains fresh and will easily survive 3 or 4 consecutive listening’s before any sense of lethargy can be allowed to set in. Right at the point when I was returning to (somewhat) regular writing and I was beginning to feel really sick of anything remotely metal, this was the perfect record to re-invigorate my enthusiasm for all things technical and heavy.

A fucking masterpiece. Buy it.

Mr Bogle

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Helstar – Rising From The Grave

August 11, 2010

Well, this is just precisely what the doctor ordered. A band that sounds like Venom with the vocals of Blitzkrieg. Hailing from deepest, darkest Texas the only thing that could’ve made this album any more tedious would be the staple southern twang that every muppet slapped into their sound the second Pantera got big. Well, they started out eight years earlier, so at least you can’t accuse them of plagiarism.

The album isn’t without it’s merits. The vocals do hit some pretty high notes and there is some impressive guitar work through the album, and it is admittedly refreshing to hear a proto-thrash sound that doesn’t have solos so fast that the fingertips ended up in ice packs afterwards. The nail in the coffin, however, rough occurs around the that covering He’s A Woman, She’s A Man seemed like a good idea. After that, it just goes downhill. Everything is clocking at far longer than the song needs to be, and when all the songwriting is as substandard as it is, it’s incredibly wearing. Helstar encapsulate why the metal scene needs to stay innovative and evolving; if you don’t, then you’ll end up with a whole lot of Helstar.

I’m going to be blunt, I didn’t even get through two entire spins of the album, because I don’t hate myself enough to put me through that.

3/10

Twaddlefish

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Death Angel – Relentless Retribution

August 9, 2010

DEATH ANGEL REVEALS MORE DETAILS ON

When I was first reconnecting with school friends on Facebook, I remember a girl I added who shall remain nameless and her section about music, which said something like “nothing violent and angry like heavy metal”. Ignoring the whole scene of melodic metal, but whatever. I bring this up because there’s nothing I’d rather do than happy slap the dozy bint with the latest offering from Death Angel.

Relentless Revolution starts as it means to go on, a huge slab of thrash that’s angrier than Joe Fritzl coming home to an empty basement.  Death Angel are one of the few bands that have kept to the Bay Area sound throughout their career, Metallica going country, Testament going a bit death and Slayer making the same album since 1991. There’s a few interludes of quite beautiful Latin fingerpicking, the finale of Claws In So Deep, and Volcanic is an entirely acoustic track sandwiched in between just under an hour of violent, middle aged thrash.

It’s not big, and it’s not clever, but if you like pushing people around in a mosh pit and getting your frantic air guitar wrong, you do a lot worse.

6/10

Twaddlefish