Archive for September, 2010

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The Absence – Enemy Unbound

September 29, 2010

The internet has given us lot’s of things; endless pornography, instant access to the intimate details of the spotty git you hated in high school, the ability to look at other people’s lives and feel smug about our own and endless identikit bands who think that having a Myspace makes them AwEsOMe. It also allows a significant amount of fat kids with no friends and too much bandwidth to download said identikit band’s music and then prompt them to get a record deal…

I’m not saying that The Absence fall into this catagory… but they are certainly a victim of it’s effects. Despite being Yanks this band sound suspiciously Scandinavian. Right upto the point where I would be tempted to describe them as a poorer version of Children Of Bodom.

The fact of the matter is that this bands particular brand of melodic death metal is perfectly fine. But doesn’t go beyond that.

Mr Bogle

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Dawn Of Ashes – Genocide Chapters

September 21, 2010

I tend to find that most band’s who feel the need to compare themselves to the likes of Cradle Of Filth and Immortal produce the kind of pretentious wankery that fuels my dislike of most ‘Black Metal’. But don’t let that give you the wrong impression. Believe it or not, I do always approach albums with an open mind, I have to, because otherwise I’d be predisposed to hate nearly everything I hear and never have anything to say about it. Granted, that’s often the result anyway, but that’s not the point.

Back when Reverse Current was still in it’s infancy I became fond of publishing excerpts from press releases which either spewed so much shit that it bore absolutely no relation to the record itself, or because it’s really fucking funny. I feel that the following extract does both;

‘In the darkest form of incubated evil, a symbol has been born to strike immense fear into the hearts of mortal weakness. Kristof Bathory, Volkar Kael, Bahemoth and Othuum, four vile forms that control a new era where nightmares become reality and where the sounds of the macabre shall emerge from a catastrophic symphony, have resurrected the sounds and visions of horror, hatred, and suffering that is spewed forth in the form of extreme horror metal that is DAWN OF ASHES; a name that was created to reflect upon the birth of death and failure. Now the plague has come to corrupt the flesh of man.’

The truth of the matter is, the album ain’t half bad. It does become irritating at times, especially when the vocalist does that really grating ‘growl’. But anyway, I got over my hatred of symphonic keyboards and managed to escape into the blastbeats and brutality of the music. It should appeal to it’s intended demographic, and if the spotty fat kid with greasy hair likes it, that’s good enough for me.

Mr Bogle

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Elvenking – Red Silent Tides

September 20, 2010

1283634306_5555555555.jpg image by worldisbar

Elvenking are without doubt, my favourite folk metal band. As one of the only major players who have embraced the classic rock and metal sound, along with a dash of punk, as opposed to the seemingly endless carbon copy melo-death/pagan/viking/sea turtle folk that seems to crop up all over the place.

Last year’s Two Tragedy Poets was a brilliant experiment for the band, by and large bringing their sound back to a folk-rock vibe, after 2006′s aggressive The Scythe.  Cutting back the heavy over-distorted riffs benefits the record immensely, What’s Left of Me‘s acoustic intro slides seamlessly into the overdriven section where before it sounded sloppily put together. Winter Wake wasn’t entirely innocent in this, either. It seems that Elvenking have begun to deviate away from metal towards heavy rock, similar to Edguy in recent years. Not only does it make the band, and in particular this record, stand out from the pack, but Red Silent Tides is one of the best things that Elvenking has produced, more mature than Wyrd and more thoughtful than The Scythe.

As one of those bands who only just about qualify as falling into the folk umbrella, there are the usual fiddles, maybe an accordion here and there. However, things seem to be taking more an influence of folk, the lyrical content and melodies in particular. And while the singing isn’t the most tuneful you’ll ever hear, it’s honest and some surprising harmonies crop up in the choruses, see Silence De Mort, which also contains a killer guitar melody as a duet with a fiddle.

No Vikings, no Thor and no stupid facepaint and armour. Red Silent Tides is a very enjoyable, haunting and at times upbeat record from a band that have never really achieved the success as their mainstream peers. Which is a shame, because Red Silent Tides is a shit ton better than Ensiferum’s latest table coaster.

7/10

Twaddlefish

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Gristle – Cold Blue Sky

September 18, 2010

It’s not often that I struggle to genuinely have an opinion about, well, anything. Although I can doubtless be quoted as saying that I couldn’t find anything interesting or original about any one record, there’s a difference between not being bothered because it’s so awful and my issue with Cold Blue Sky.

The only real observation I can make is that its… well ok. Not great, not terrible. It’s a massive collection of over worked clichés but ultimately that’s the way most albums are made these days. The lyrics are unashameably shallow, with song titles like ‘Myself’ and (I kid you not) ‘Only Love Can Save Us Now’;

“With no compromise, when the storms arise, on the raging sea, between you and me, only love can save us nowwwww” – (Yes, that’s the actual lyrics)

So you’ve pretty much got the picture, now I can stop.

Mr Bogle

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Heavy Metal in Baghdad (2008)

September 16, 2010


Heavy Metal in Baghdad is a film that sets the bar on heavy metal films, it’s up their with Metal a Headbanger’s, Global Metal and errr, errm, well I haven’t seen Anvil: Story of Anvil, so yeah, don’t know if it’s one of the greats,if you seen it by all means give some thoughts. Any who Heavy Metal in Baghdad, is a hum dinger of a documentary that follows Iraqi band Acrassicauda and you know how bands have a rough background, well those out there in a band that has ‘back story’, go fuck yourself Acrassicauda had to be one of the worst off group of people in the world and what fucked is the fact the seem to be so cool about their situation is astounding (till thing go from fucked to worst bu t you have to watch it to get what I’m blabbering on about).

It makes me think how I would react in their situation and I came to a conclusion, that I’d react badly and I’m in a good situation at the moment, and I do nothing but bitch about everything, everyone and everywhere, I’m soft as shite essentially and I can barely last five minutes in the majority of places let alone Baghdad. The thing that I tip my bonnet to is the conditions that this film was produced under as surprisingly traveling to and thro a war zone is some what of a task within itself, oh and actually arriving there must be a bit of a “oooh fuck” moment as well as setting up camera and filming, the bass player even turns round and said that going to Iraq was a bit of a mistake, although he does so with a bit of sincerity (bless is cotton socks). They film the majority of the thing from the inside of a car surround by a security agency (a scatty one at that), it takes years for the presenter to actually meet the band, despite years of contact with the band.

Not only does the film show the plight of the band but also give the audience an insight in the Iraq war that you don’t see on the news, at the best of time it made me feel like a bell end for watching it on my fancy computer in my lovely house with a steaming cup of coco. Although Acrassicauda don’t need to rely on a guilt trip to get you to listen to them as their actually good band, there a straight up metal band but have some Arabic influence within the tunes giving it a bit more flava (know what I’m sayin’).

Though what I find the best part of the film is you don’t have to a pretty penny for it which is shit hot as it all on VBS.tv and whilst you’re at it you got to check out Vice’s Guide to Traveling to North Korea.

And before I forget here’s a link to the film: http://www.vbs.tv/en-gb/watch/acrassicauda–2

PterryPtez

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Sonishpere Schonisphere

September 15, 2010

As I haven’t written anything for a, good, long while now I figured it’s about time I wrote something about Sonisphere and, yes, I know that it’s been damn near a month so this the RC equivalent of writing about something that’s not very contemporary, or rather it’s exactly that, but fuck off I’m stuck for ideas and the band roulette udder isn’t quite ready for milking again just yet.

Sonisphere then, needless to say a hoot in a holla’, and quite a special occasion as my proverbial “festival cherry” was popped, kind of gives me fond memories of the boarding school, sleeping in a small space with a bunch of other guys whilst a cherry gets popped, but I digress. I always figured that a festival would play out like something between a Vietnam movie and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, trippy, a bit violent and filled with dutched camera angles.

Although It was a little while ago now I can still remember the parts that weren’t a blur (or rather slighty less blurry than the rest of the weekend) with some clarity so I figure it’s best to start (que the harps) on the thursday (and add an echo effect on the word “thursday” for good measure). It all started in a town called Fareham inside a Burger King, we were enjoying the fabulously tasting breakfast menu as well as rejoicing at the incredibly reasonable prices. Then my understudy Mr Boggles walked through the door and it was clear that I was defiantly an alpha amongst delta males. Although I had already started drinking at this point, my guess is that memory of the moments before the coach trip would be slightly different to the actual goings on, but as any friend of Ptez will tell you that I rarely drink and if I do it’s all in moderation.

The coach journey went off without a hitch, if you don’t include the whole breaking down on the side of motorway a hitch, and the  fact that the second coach smelt like clungey piss it was all in all a perfect journey.We then arrived at the festival and minus the two hours of queuing, we all got into the festival quite promptly. Naturally after setting up the tent we went straight to bed, not before going over our briefing about the dangers cannabis (a plant with roots… in HELL!).
It was the first day of music and although we still had till the evening to see the acts we got up early and read from our bibles and of course cleaned up our litter. We then  discuss why drinking is silly and why we wouldn’t do it ever again. The day passed by and it was time for the first act of the evening Turisas, clearly I must have had my cup of tea spike with some kind of drunkifying substance cause I regret to inform my readers (or rather all two of my readers) that Turisas is a bit of a blur, a fun red-faced blur that wears fabulous fur coats but a blur none the less.

6/10

I stumble around trying find another act, I went to the Jaeger stage only to find a band sound like a cross over of a torn anus and ripped arsehole (well in vocal terms at least.), then found myself at the Strong Bow tent, at this point Deaf Havana were playing. Deaf Havana were a band I’ve seen before so I knew that I’d be in for a musical treat. Again the blurriness will affect my judgment somewhat but this is what I remember, they were fucking awesome and like 90% of people who see Deaf Havana live I only really came for Friends Like These and shucks did they deliver and the audience were brilliant and a pleasure to be with.

8/10

Numan next and I was in for a big shock as like 100% of everyone my only impression of Gary Numan is Cars, I found to my surprise that Numan is pretty fucking heavy. He’s got this great industrial sound, the secret is the use of two Synth players one for typical synthy stuff and one to play along with the guitar riffs, which makes the riffage sound fat and when I say fat I mean PHAT (for are dyslexic readers).  Gary Numan a bit of a shock but a good shock that pleasantly surprised me.

8/10

Finally Alice Cooper, well what else can I say it’s Alice Fucking Cooper, I mean for fudge sake of course it going to be good if there something the man can do, it’s put on it’s a spectacle. Theatre of Death is incredible and there is no point in me reviewing it, there’s no point in talking about him dying Umpteen times or any of the classics featured in the set. In fact I might as well write the words Alice Cooper over and over and over again on the outside of your house and I don’t think that would do the show any justice.

9.9998/10

PterryPtez

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System Divide – The Conscious Sedation

September 14, 2010

The opening track of this record is as brutal as Whitechapel and all and sundry sound suitably impressive, and this is true up until… the female vocal :/now I’m no fan of Lacuna Coil but I have seen them live at numerous festivals and know that whilst System Divide may copy their formula, the heavy parts of this record are distinctly heavier than their (likely) idols.

However listening to this record reminds me of exactly why it is that I can’t stand Lacuna Spoil except when extremely pissed (at which point they just become a minor irritant, much like having itchy balls which you can’t scratch). The deathcore aspects of this record are superb and for that, they deserve praise. But why oh why do they have the Nightwish-esque vocals??!! I’m speechless…

I think in actuality, it’s the poor writing that causes this annoyance with the mix of styles. Had it been done well, with a smooth progression from heavy to melodic then, whilst I still wouldn’t like it, there would at least be some complete songs. Instead, they feel like some fucking YouTube mash-up made by a fat kid with long greasy hair and a tendency to masturbate over pictures of Tarja Turunen before telling the world why she’s a goddess who should never have been kicked out of the band.

Mr Bogle