Once in a while, Crom decides to slip on a pair of shorts and just hang. You know what I mean. And every once in those whiles, we mortals get a glimpse of his balls hanging out of those shorts. And this is what’s called a solar eclipse.
Anyway, during these rare occurrences, he burps out some bile about the music he’s most recently heard. Enjoy!
ENEFERENS – In the Hours Beneath
LP, 2017, Nordvis Produktion
One-man black metal from the States starts off with some kind of countryish shoegaze post-indie stuff, like ALCEST mixed with DIRE STRAITS. Soothing and everything, but what about- ohh, thank you. There are the shrieks and buzzsaw riffs and blast beats and mournful melodies. Some of the more melancholic passages remind me of old KATATONIA, and the triumphant melody of closer “Ascension” makes me think of “Orchid” and “Morningrise”-era OPETH. Not bad.
SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE – Vagabond
LP, 2017, ViciSolum Productions
When you’re feeling overly pretentious, and want to start your album like some fairytale audio book for (adult) children – don’t. I nearly vomited from the rainbowy überprogness at first, but luckily these international progsters blend their light-weight stuff with heavy metülz, including some ripe and raw growls, that really tickle my fancy. During the album’s course I wax off, wax on, in true Karate Kid style, and can’t quite decide if I dig this or not. Probably dig.
DESTRUCTION – Infernal Overkill
LP, 1985, Steamhammer
Just revisited this beast. Mike’s guitar playing was miles ahead of most thrash six-stringers at the time, and it certainly feels like he’s the star of the band. Schmier and Tommy have a hard time keeping up at times. All in all this is one of Germany’s finest efforts, and a true thrash metal classic.
SECRETS OF THE MOON – Sun
LP, 2015, Lupus Lounge
Schizophrenic is the word. First we get served some monotonous and dull black metal, to be followed by goth rock. And the eyeliner stuff is infinitely better. Go figure.
BALL – Ball
LP, 2017, Horny Records
If you’d like to be taken by the ball, this band just might be your choice of soundtrack for that moment. Extremely dirty, bluesy and funky cock rock of the more weird and psychedelic kind. I’m not sure if my balls are aroused, but they sure ought to be. Try at own risk.
ASHCLOUD – Kingdom of the Damned
LP, 2017, Xtreem Music
CHAAAAAAAAAAINSAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAW GUITAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARS and not much else. What a fucking terrible mixing job. I get it, the riffs are fucking paramount in old school death metal, but what the fucking fuck. It’s a pity, as the songs I barely discern somewhere in the background seem to be of the pretty great, rocking yet eerie type of Swedeath that for example DISMEMBER did so well. Ah, well. Next time, fuckos.
ALTARAGE – Endinghent
LP, 2017, Season of Mist Underground Activists
The cover art is fucking fantastic. Absolutely gorgeous. It also reflects the music pretty well, with some monolithic riffs being dragged down into the murky deeps by otherworldly tentacles of mindless horror. Lovecraftian much? Not one song, or even riff, crystallize out of the depths as anything to latch on to (with your tentacles) – it’s the whole album that makes an impression as a mammoth of a slab of chaotic black/death.
PROCESSION – Doom Decimation
LP, 2017, High Roller Records
No, the hype doesn’t really win me over. I like the vocalist, he knows where he sounds good (mid-range) and he has conviction and honesty in his voice. Those will take you pretty far. Alas, the first couple of tracks really separate themselves from the rest of the album. Doom of the classic CANDLEMASS type, yet not very original. And if you write a riff that employs the minor second chord, don’t fucking sing the major second over it. Dewd.
ALPHA TIGER – Alpha Tiger
LP, 2017, Steamhammer
If IRON MAIDEN wanted to go bro. Fuck off.
NIGHT VIPER – Exterminator
LP, 2017, Listenable Records
I really wanted to like this Swedish retro heavy/speed/thrash metal outfit, what with them being feminists and all, but I’m sorry to say it all comes down to vocalist Sofie-Lee Johansson not having any kind of power or overdrive to her voice. More nerve, more danger and more fucking savagery is needed for vocals in this genre to work. The melodies aren’t very imaginative either, and neither is her pitch control. The riffs, arrangements and drum performance are all commendable, but when the tip of the iceberg is missing, all you see is nothing. Yeah I don’t understand that metaphor either. Just trust me, this ain’t cake.
SCOUR – Red EP
EP, 2017, Housecore Records
Phil Anselmo. The Jarvises. All in all, people from CATTLE DECAPITATION, MISERY INDEX, PIG DESTROYER, DECREPIT BIRTH, HATE ETERNAL etc. And this is NOT grindcore/death metal. What the fuck. The only thing that correlates with the protagonists’ current and former main bands is the short song durations, as this furious black metal assault employs epic and ethereal lead guitar melodies and an absolutely beastly delivery by *gasp* Phil Anselmo. The range he displays is impressive, to say the least, and gives a razor-sharp edge to this relentless barrage.
Stan Bush – Change the World
LP, 2017, L.A. Records
No, Stan, we don’t need another version of “The Touch”. The original will do just fine.
BLACKFINGER – When Colors Fade Away
LP, 2017, M-Theory
Doom is where the heart is, except when it’s done with no energy and no hooks.
APPICE – Sinister
LP, 2017, Steamhammer
Why. Why do people come up with these kinds of stupid ideas. One brother playing drums to the left. One brother playing drums to the right. Should’ve written songs instead. Bye bye APPICE, never to be heard in my house again.
VOODOO GODS – Shrunken Head
EP, 2008, Misanthropica Enterprises
Fuck, this is some nice death. A really lo-fi/retro production highlights the musicianship as there’s no gloss under which to hide. Nergal’s growls fit in nicely in the mix, and the imaginative riffs and melodies, sometimes bordering on fusion/prog territories, really add some uniqueness to the VOODOO BOYS’ sound. Mad props to bassist extraordinaire Jean Baudin for blowing some minds, as per usual.
WATAIN – Nuclear Alchemy
EP, 2017, Century Media Records
Yeah. We’re looking forward to the new album. Like some hungry mofos at KFC. This first outtake shows a pretty savage and, yes, hungry side of Uppsala’s finest. Thrashy and mad, bloody froth in the corners of their mouth. The cover song choice might be a bad one, as TORMENTOR’s “Beyond” is a classic of 80’s black and really overpowers WATAIN’s new song. No matter, expectations are high for January.
All righty matey, that’s it for now. Keep your eyes and other orifices open, you don’t want to miss the next time Crom drops his trousers!