Sunday, 17 April 2016

Go redskins!

Oppressive, brazen and grotesque - those are the three words, that describe the sound of Indian the best possible way. This band had popped up on my radar a few times in the past. I knew, that they were a big thing in the Chicago metal scene alongside Buried at Sea, but yet it never caught my eye or my ear for that matter. Some time ago I discovered Lord Mantis, and, as I was reading the description of their album "Death Mask" on bandcamp, it turned out, that besides involving the great Sanford Parker (the man is the production, engineering, mixing genius and a living legend) and Jef "Wrest" Whitehead (tattoo artist and a human orchestra in the black metal acts Leviathan and Lurker of Chalice), members of Indian were also involved in helping to craft that dreadful (in a good way) record. So one thing let to another and soon after I was listening to Indian's latest release - "From All Purity", and I was immediately blown away by it.

The band blends droning, monolithic, nearly hypnotic riffs, with black metal style vocals and intense, unsettling soundscapes. This is a recipe, that will drive an unstable or tripping person mental, and yet if you know me well enough, then you have already figured out, that this is my cup of tea, and the combination of these ingredients make me orgasm and squirt repeatedly. I don't remember myself head-banging so hard since my early twenties like I was, when I was listening to the tracks "Directional" and "Rhetoric of No". The drum sound is close to perfect on this record. Mr. Parker, I kneel before you for that! If you are interested more about, what I mean, when I talk about the proper drum sound, then here is a not so long video, where Gylve Nagell from the legendary Norwegian black metal band Darkthrone takes an in-depth tour on the subject.

I would suggest to you, my dear reader, not to just run through this album whilst skipping tracks and fast forwarding them, but instead free 50 minutes of your meaningless life, tell that annoying person next to you to fuck off for about an hour, put on your best headphones, max out the volume, lay back, close your eyes and emerge yourself into the nightmare, that Indian provides in the form of sound. 

Having acquired two of their latest releases, I just have to get my hands on the previous ones. Hopefully they're as good as their newest stuff.

Also this is not related, but the newest release "Silent Transmissions" by Sea of Bones is a piece of stinking pig shit, they've devalued themselves in my eyes releasing that crap... fuck recorded improvisations... fuck Böse!

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Quantum mystic: from roaring earth rooted riffs to sky cracking mantras

If you have ever seen Mike Scheidt of the transcendent band Yob play his stunning looking electric guitar, then, besides noticing his unique guitar playing style, you probably have noticed his hand tattoos, which he has acquired not so long time ago. A simple yet powerful message saying "stay" on one hand and "awake" on the other with a small twist to it - the words are oriented in a way, that they face him the right side up, and other people see it upside down. This was probably done with a purpose of the tattoo being readable at a glance only to the bearer, which may mean, that it is deeply personal to Mike. The exact same sentence decorate his acoustic solo album, which as you might have gathered is not only worth a listen, but is also a definite must buy release. 

Apart from being one of the most influential people in the doom scene nowadays, Scheidt, in my opinion, is also one of the best living metal vocalists, guitarists and front-men of all time, and to say, that his music hasn't influenced mine, would be a distortion of reality I live in. As well as Scott Kelly's and Steve Von Till's acoustic solo works, this album is dark, mesmerizing and heavy. And heavy in a way that was described by one guy in the documentary "Such hawks, such hounds". He essentially said, that heavy doesn't necessarily have to be visceral, evil and loud, heavy can be achieved by giving a guy, who has experienced some shit and dug deep enough inside of him in the process, a guitar and letting him play about his hardships. What sets this record apart from other records in the genre is that Mike adds his signature layer of divine abstractions, weird riffage and ethereal reverb of both guitar and voice. I would say, that this album does a good job at putting a man into a much bigger cosmic perspective and exploring the universe as the artist sees and understands it. Of course, when it comes to solo albums, they tend to suffer from the what the fuck song syndrome, and unfortunately this album has the same ailment as well. The fun part is that this major fuck up was actually written in a major scale, the not so fun part is, that it was so horrible, that I wanted to pour sulfuric acid down my ear canal not to hear this abomination ever again. I'm talking about the song "In Your Light". The track is taken absolutely out of context both tonality and feel wise from the rest of the album, and reminded me of songs along the lines of "baby Jesus, the sweet Mexican" and "Home, sweet Alabama".  If you haven't heard the album yet, then spare yourself the agony and just keep skipping the track #3 till the rest of your life, if it is on the CD, or delete it altogether even before listening to it, if it is a digital copy - some things are better left unheard. But hey, he is an artist and maybe that is, what he felt like doing in that moment. Who am I to judge, I'm just expressing my opinion - it may seem mean, but at the end of the day, at least it is honest. Given how many outstanding songs this man has written during his career, we, the metal fans around the world, are all ought to forgive him this slight misstep. 

So buy the album, support the man, and, if you have the chance, go and see him play live with either his main band Yob or any other of his side projects.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Sticking one's dick into the hornet's hive

I've been browsing the virtual shelves of Profound Lore Records on bandcamp lately. It is the record label that brought Yob's Atma, Portal's Vexovoid, Menace Ruine's Venus Armata and other great records to metal fans all around the globe. After doing some extensive listening, I stumbled upon a band, that apparently was out there for quite a while now, but I had never noticed it before. So without the further ado let me introduce you to it.  

What do you get, when you take tubes from the notorious sunn amplifiers, Gorgoroth's Wound Upon Wound track's live bootleg tape, 6 full vials of semen, add a handful of graveyard dirt, crack whore's clotted menstruation blood, a couple of cloven hooves and blend it all up in a grinder on Friday the 13th while chanting necromancy spell of the ancient ones? The answer is Lord Mantis. Their sound is the very definition of evil. It is so ugly, that you will want to have a lengthy shower after listening to it. Forget about what you've heard before from the blackened sludge and black metal bands - Lord Mantis will eat those bands for breakfast, devour their insides while they're still alive, then regurgitate the remains and serve them back to its victims on a rusty platter.

The vocals sound vile, raw and hair-raising. The riffs vary from being slow and crushing to sounding like a swarm of furious Japanese hornets, that have been disturbed by an insane man dry-humping their hive (just check the riff @ 5:33 on the "Perverter of the will" from the album "Pervertor", and you will understand, what I'm talking about - it is completely insane). Occasional Dillingerian rhythmic patterns in the riffage keep things fresh and entertaining. The drummer doesn't seem to be possessed by the rabid Norwegian blast-beating demon and instead uses sophisticated patterns and complementary fills. He builds up the tension and then releases it masterfully. All of these ingredients are delivered with the ferocity that of a wounded ox - in other words this band sounds focken amazing and is a definite hall of famer!

I have a feeling, that April 29th will turn out just great this year, as not only I'm gonna meet a long time missed friend of mine, but also receive the new record by these sludgers.

Did I forget something? Oh yeah right... ALL HAIL LORD MANTIS!

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Dying felt so goddamn good today

Some time ago I received an awesome postal package containing Acid Bath's "Paegan Terrorism Tactics" CD. For those of you, who are not familiar with their work, Acid Bath was, what I consider to be a quintessential proto-sludge metal band. Their influence on both NOLA and worldwide metal music scene is quite impressive yet surprisingly unknown in the metal community. So, if you haven't heard this album yet and you value good music, spare an hour of your life on listening to this release instead of mindlessly browsing the internet.

The guitar arrangements are extraordinary on this album, and they are done by no other that the great Sammy Duet, who has played guitar in Crowbar, Goatwhore, Ritual Killer and numerous other bands. Even though the record is 20 years old, the riffs and sluggish "chainsawy" tones stand above the musical mediocrity I've heard both in present and in past. Vocals are done by the talented Mr. Dax Riggs, who skillfully uses his voice as an instrument and applies harsh screaming only sparingly to add accentuation. A greater part of modern extreme metal vocalists could learn a thing or two from this man. I'm sorry to say this, but constant monotonous screaming just sounds like wanking. Riggs, on the other hand, makes love to your eardrums instead of just mindlessly raping them. Lyrics are poetic and just scream "doom" all over the place. That said, all of this goodness is accompanied by an artistically restricted rhythm section, that isn't out of control and isn't too held back either.

The album's artwork is a painting called "For he is raised" by Dr. Jack Kevorkian, whom the American mainstream media labeled "Dr. Death", which, I must say, is a pretty bad-ass nickname as far as the nicknames go.

Kevorkian helped terminally ill patients to end their miserable existence by using a specially constructed machine. A patient would euthanize (read "commit an assisted suicide") himself/herself simply by pressing a single button, falling asleep and letting the machine do it's work. Pretty neat! If I would be terminally ill and tired of being alive, I would definitely consider euthanizing myself in this manner as an option, simply because I'm too big of a coward to commit a suicide the more traditional way. Well maybe a shotgun to the face (read "Kurt Cobain's microphone") would do the job just fine, but then again, think about the mess it would create... and I would need to do it in secret, without the loving ones by my side, otherwise they would probably be charged with murder. It is quite an absurd situation when you think about it. Why would anyone deny you painless death with dignity and loved ones by your side? Hell, I think that all of the people living in the more or less civilized western world past the legal age or with their parents' consent should be able to end their lives, if they wish to do so. It doesn't matter, if they are terminally ill, mentally ill or just completely healthy human beings. If a person wants to end his or her life, society must respect the needs of its fellow man and committing an assisted suicide should therefore be legal. Maybe this way people would rather go to the doctor instead of jumping to death from a high building or a bridge, ruining other people's day and possibly hurting someone in the process, not to mention the chaos they would create when they would body flop on the concrete - it is quite astonishing, how much damage can high velocity and sudden stop cause to a human body. Committing an assisted suicide in a safe and controlled environment on the other hand would benefit everyone in the society, but, I guess, people haven't taken this up as a common practice yet, because the subject of suicide was centuries long taboo in the western society inflicted by many forms of Abrahamic religions, which indoctrinate that dying by you own hand is a serious sin. The main reason, in my opinion, being that an alive peasant is able to pay more yearly income taxes (tithes) to the church than a dead one. I, on the other hand, believe, that no one except you should be concerned about the decisions you make in your life, as long as you don't hurt anyone else in the process or as a result of your actions. And by "hurt", I mean really "hurt" - physically or emotionally, not that religious zealot bullshit - you hurt me, because it offends my beliefs and my god! Really? Fuck you and fuck your god. Who the fuck you think you are, that you can tell me, what I can an cannot do? If you think, that committing a suicide is a sin and you will not ever commit one, so be it, I'm fine with that, but don't tell other people, that they shouldn't do it because your imaginary friend upstairs tells you it is bad. It is like telling people, they can' t have an ice cream, because you're on a diet. Sounds retarded, doesn't it? Well maybe because it is... All I'm saying is that a decision to end your life is not that different from deciding to hop off the bus a few stops prior your destination. What is your freedom worth, if you are trapped in your own life?

Anyway besides losing his doctor's licence and being made a criminal for helping people, Dr. Death was also a painter, an author and a jazz musician - a very intelligent and a very well-rounded person.