It’s not even been a year since last time, so I’m sure y’all are shocked that Crom’s new shorts are already on display! Here you go, feggers:
Burning Witches – HEXENHAMMER
Album, 2018, Nuclear Blast
This thrashy heavy metal platter has its moments, but is very uneven in quality. Some of the heavier riffs remind me of melodic death metal bands such as Arch Enemy or even Death, and the vocalist’s high notes are quite impressive. Unfortunately, many songs just plod along, most of the lyrics are extremely corny, and the ballad “Don’t Cry My Tears” is one of the biggest cringefests this side of “How to Be a Latin Lover”.
Lillasyster – 3
Album, 2012, Ninetone Records
Every country needs a Disturbed (not really), and Sweden’s is Lillasyster. Awkward lyrics about being pissed off and not taking any shit, in Swedish of course, permeate the disc and make a good job of sucking. Fortunately, some of the riffing is groovy as are the rap-like vocals. Both of these elements harken back to the band’s former existence under the moniker LOK, when they sucked much less. Sadly, the modern pop metal choruses etc bring back the tribal tattoo vibe aaaaand I’m out.
The Bad Plus – For All I Care
Album, 2008, Heads Up Records
The Bad Plus is a new acquaintance to me, but the love is strong from the start with this one. This album in particular, with Wendy Lewis on vocals, is filled with fantastic renditions of music by Nirvana, Pink Floyd, U2, the Bee Gees and other luminaries, as well as the likes of Igor Stravinsky and György Ligeti. The Bad Plus’ sound is chaotic, yet melodic and groovy, and manages to dig deep in both accessibility and boundless cacophony and artistic freedom at the same time much better than essentially any other modern jazz group. Wendy Lewis’ voice tops it all off in a most delicious manner, and “For All I Care” is a masterpiece from start to finish.
Excrementory Grindfuckers – Rampampampamm! (Weihnachten mit den Grindfuckers)
Album, 2014, UR-MUSIC
There are Christmas records, and then there’s this fucking slice of madness. “Antichristmas”. “Glocken Ball Torture”. “How to Make a Christmas”. “Totenstille Nacht”. “Weihnachten bei Rainer”. A “Roots Bloody Roots”-inspired rendition of “Rampampampamm”, aka “The Little Drummer Boy”. No Christmas is complete without this German grindcore/comedy gem. All hail the Grindfuckers!
V/A – The Transformers The Movie: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Album, 1986, Scotti Bros. Records
The greatest toy franchise of all time, the love for Transformers is as ingrained in my DNA as it is for Metallica, Satan, and pizza with ham and pineapple. The 1986 movie is one of my most cherished releases regardless of media format, I mean, fucking UNICRON is in it! And Megatron turns into the greatest badass of all time, Galvatron. How much awesome can one movie hold?! One aspect that certainly heightens this classic into the stratosphere and beyond is the absolutely fantastic soundtrack, that features great melodic rock, hard rock and AOR songs by Stan Bush, N.R.G, Spectre General, and of course the greatest theme song of them all, courtesy of Lion. Vince DiCola’s epic instrumental pieces contrast with more moods and atmospheres, and gives a colder setting to some of the magnificent battles and events in the movie. The only song dragging down the verdict is Weird Al Yankovic’s “Dare to Be Stupid”, which is just that – stupid. Otherwise this soundtrack is solid gold and should be in everyone’s collection. Go Decepticons!
Metallica – Kill ‘Em All
Album, 1983, Megaforce Records
If there’s one band that formed my music taste more than any other, it’s Metallica. They were my gods from the late 80’s to the mid-90’s, and “Kill ‘Em All” is where it all started for the Metallicats. The raw and unbridled passion here is infectious and exhilarating, and I’m amazed at how the energy is kept at such a high all the time without the album becoming boring or monotonous for a second. There’s great variation in the arrangements and tempi, and the songs have fucking massive hooks. My favourite songs are, apart from the classics “The Four Horsemen” and “Whiplash”, the less heralded “No Remorse”, “Phantom Lord” and frantic closer “Metal Militia”. I fucking love Metallica, and so should you!