Sunday, October 30, 2011
Xenomorph is a technical death metal band from Nebraska. They formed back in 1990 and released a demo and one full-length within their five years together. Sadly there discography only consists of an hour of material, but with that being said the stuff they recorded was, and still is, amazing. Named after the creature from the Alien series and sporting that very same creature on the album cover Empyreal Regimes is proof that astounding metal gems can be found in the most unexpected places.
The tracks on Empyreal Regimes are longer winded than your average death metal track, easily breaking six minutes the majority of the time. Xenomorph has a decent amount of technicality going for them, at times resembling a more controlled version of Disincarnate. The song structures vary greatly on each track and it helps the album maintain an element of surprise throughout. The sheer amount of twists and turns they managed to fit in such a short amount of time is stunning. For example "Subspecies" is trotting along sounding like a typical death metal track and then about four minutes in all hell breaks loose in a chaotic display of awesome drum patterns and odd timing.
The vocalist sticks to one style for the most part. He barks out his wicked snarl and it simply fits perfectly with the atmosphere of the album. The drumming is fairly intricate just like everything else on the album. Sections similar to the previously mentioned moment on "Subspecies" are enough to leave the listener in awe. Switching up tempos very frequently there is no time to get bored with any aspect of this release.
Also featured on this disc is the bands 1993 demo titled Subspecies. It consists of three tracks featuring a younger and slightly less mature sounding Xenomorph. The production on these tracks is very raw as to be expected with a demo from that era. Even on these tracks there is an extreme sense of variety. It just doesn't go on as seamlessly as the material that was including on Empyreal Regime. Even with these minor flaws the band still sounds leaps and bounds better than many bands did in their demo era.
Overall Xenomorph's discography may only be made up of ten tracks, but this is ten tracks of some of the best death metal being churned out at that time. Easily rivaling many of the bands we consider "classic". Luckily their material is finally being made readily available and this chunk of Omaha made metal won't just fade into obscurity. Fans of old school and technical death metal will enjoy this due to the fact that it puts most of the competition to shame. It is one of the few albums that manages to maintain the old school sound while incorporating a great deal of technicality. It is a shame the band didn't release anything after their first full-length, they were certainly doing an amazing job mastering the style. Get it now.
Here is an interview with the sole member of one man black/thrash metal band Agga. In this interview we discuss the future of Agga, mythology, and many other things. If you haven't already check out Agga's music here http://soundcloud.com/agga40
Foul Feast: Is Agga the first musical project you've been involved with?
Lord of Babylon: It's the first serious project outside of random jams with various buddies. I've been making music for awhile, but a big portion of the material was sloppily made stuff on a Tascam 4 track recorder using pre programmed drum beats on a Casio keyboard. I'm slowly rerecording the older stuff I'm more fond of, Flight of Suhgurim is one example of this.
FF: Most of your music deals with Babylonian and various forms of mythology. Is this something you enjoy studying and learning about in your personal life as well?
Lord of Babylon: This is very much a part of my everyday life. I've always felt if one is going to use mythological themes for their lyrical subject matter there should be a real personal connection of some sort as well otherwise it's just bullshit. I started out in my teen years being into some basic Satanic stuff but once I read the Simon Necronomicon I found myself very much drawn to that way. Granted the Simon Necronomicon is an incomplete look into a far more complex Mesopotamian mythological pantheon it does provide one with tools to begin the work. From there I learned about Aleister Crowley and found the more work I did with the Necronomicon the more I understood Crowley's writings. In time I began to come upon more actual subject matter dealing with historical Mesopotamian lore and began cross referencing the historical/archeological information with what is in the Necronomicon and found this to be vital in fully understanding the various systems/pantheons from Mesopotamia. As far as I have found, all the mythologies/pantheons are interconnected on varying levels but to see those connections helps put the missing pieces in place. It is most definitely a work in progress but an enjoyable effort.
FF: How important is the atmosphere to you on an Agga release?
Lord of Babylon: Very important. I'll go and listen to many bands and when there isn't ANY atmosphere I tend to get bored quick. Most of the guys I used to jam with never really took into account atmosphere and were more concerned with "cool riffs" but not using those cool riffs to evoke something, a soundscape if you will. Creating an atmosphere isn't an easy endevour but I feel its worth the effort once you can effectively communicate something to the listener. Dont get me wrong, I LOVE the in your face metal stuff for its pure power but that can get old fast.
FF: Has your influence shifted much since the last Agga album?
Lord of Babylon: I have to say yes. I've found myself listening more to thrashy stuff the last year or so. As far as black metal is concerned, I find myself enjoying the thrashy stuff more than your overly symphonic "epic" stuff, ironically. I guess listening to the overly symphonic stuff for many years has finally caused me to get burned out on that sort of music. Like back in the day I'd listen to some Therion, Emperor and Tiamat non-stop but these days all 3 bore me to death and instead I'll jam me some Absu (Third Storm.. and The Sun of..) or Gehennah (Hardrocker) and stuff like that. Sure, there isn't alot of what one would typically consider "atmosphere" in that stuff but in my eyes I say there is tons of emotions going on. Its a more active emotional release than what one typically associates with atmosphere. Emotions are varied so to create atmosphere one must access all the expressions of emotions from its manic peaks to its depressive valleys.
FF: What can we expect to see in the future from Agga?
Lord of Babylon: Good question, hahaha. I kind of go where I'm supposed to go. Sorry for the totally cliched answer there but it's the truth. I will say this, I am in process of applying the mythological concepts to real world happenings in order to give more life to the lyrical concepts. I find mythology was just an in depth description of the society who created the particular mythos so trying to find its core principals and applying it to modern life can be an interesting working.
FF: How do you go about writing a song? Is there a certain instrument you always start with during the writing process?
Lord of Babylon: I typically start off with a very basic drum track that is separated into individual measures. Then I begin the guitar process, slowly constructing the rhythm section, two tracks for this. After this I construct the actual drum tracks (using another drum program) to fit with the rhythm section. Once I feel this has been done to satisfaction, in comes the bass lines, since I like to have the actual drum tracks in place before doing the bass lines. Lead guitars and vocals come in after all this dependent on their need at that part of the song. So in short it truly is constructing a song from the ground up. It's a really cool feeling seeing a song manifest from random riffs and sounds. This is what I mean by kind of going where the song is taking me rather than have a rigid plan in place.
FF: Do you ever plan on branching the project out a getting together a full line-up?
Lord of Babylon: I'd LOVE to eventually get a group of guys together to play live, but everyone seems to want to play brootul death metal or some form of Pantera/Shadows Fall boring commercial metal worship. Also, drummers are a pain in the fuckin ass, seriously! They seem to want to dictate too much of the goings on and it invariably turns into the drummer wanting to change things to some sort of progressive music angle. I've found drummers care less about atmosphere and more about playing complex shit to impress everyone. Yawnnnnn
FF: Are the any bands in your area playing a style that is even relatively similar?
Lord of Babylon: Nope, not that I know of at least. I really wish I was around back in the early 90's as Tampa isn't too far (2 and 1/2 hrs) away from me and I think things would be a bit different. All the local metal I've noticed around here is of the commercial metal variety or death core sort. This is why I concentrate my efforts online as the scene around here (Naples/Ft Myers) blows ass nuggets.
FF: Any final thoughts?
Lord of Babylon: Other than fuck poser metal and hail true underground metal that is full of passion, real anger, and other assorted real emotions... I can't think of anything. Perhaps goto http://soundcloud.com/agga40 and check out both the 2008 self titled album there and the 4 newest songs. Also thank you jugchord07 for the interview, I enjoyed it. It's weird being on this end of the interview, haha. Keep up the good work man and everyone, turn your back on the poser rockstar wannabe metal out there. Metal is a lifestyle, not a hipster trend!
The Afternoon Gentlemen is a powerviolence band from the UK. This album is a compilation that features tracks from many of their previous splits and EP's. These guys are all about getting wasted and violent. Expect 38 tracks of pure, unadulterated chaos, all crammed into just under one hour of aural battery.
For the most part the songs here struggle to make it past the one minute mark. That is until towards the end which features the material from the Afterdoom EP. The final three songs on the disc all break one minute, in fact one of them breaks eight. When compared to the other material here the Afterdoom EP is something that definitely comes out of leftfield. It's obvious you're still hearing The Afternoon Gentlemen but rather than ripping through your ears at dangerous speeds they are trotting along at a turtles pace. These three tracks are riddled in sludge and prove that The Afternoon Gentlemen can be just as punishing using a different approach.
The riffs are very thrashy the majority of the time but there are also plenty of heavy grooves to keep things interesting. These mosh moments are sure to throw everyone in the area into an uproar. The style of powerviolence we see played here is very old school in a sense, having more in common with Spazz than newer acts like Magrudergrind. The variation of vocal styles used here is ridiculous. You've got some crazy piercing screams, gang chants, gutturals, yells, and the all too familiar Spazz "UGHSSS". This gives a slight upperhand when compared to many other modern powerviolence bands that typically stick to one or two approaches on each release.
Overall Pissedography is obviously a great way to get into The Afternoon Gentlemen. It features most of their material so far aside from live recordings and is still easy to sit back and listen to from start to finish. Even though the songs are from separate releases Pissedography still flows well as an album. Fans of powerviolence will definitely enjoy The Afternoon Gentlemen and fans of hardcore and grind shouldn't find it to be too huge leap either. Certainly one of the best powerviolence bands representing the UK right now. Get it.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
DOWNLOAD: GET IT
Compilation featuring Crust, Grind, Thrash, Crossover, Hardcore, Sludge, Death/Black bands from the subcontinent and other areas (Indonesia, USA, etc). Releasing on Friday. Features the following bands:
Jugaa - Nepali Hardcore/Metalcore (https://www.facebook.com/jugaahc)
Bonecrushing Unity - Pakistani Hardcore/Crossover
Sangharsha - Nepali Hardcore/Metalcore (https://www.facebook.com/shoutatsangharsa)
Moron Crew - Indonesian Hardcore (https://www.facebook.com/moron.bhc)
Foreskin - Pakistani Hardcore/Crossover Thrash (https://www.facebook.com/foreskinband)
Pataca - Bulgarian Death/Thrash Metal (https://www.facebook.com/pages/PATACA/161422916730)
Dementia - Pakistani Thrash (https://www.facebook.com/dementiapk)
Tormentstorm - US Thrash Metal (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tormentstorm/108669639241457)
Nuclear Winter - Bangladeshi Crossover/Thrash (https://www.facebook.com/NuclearWinterBD)
Hedorah - US Sludge/Death (https://www.facebook.com/Hedorah)
Mysois - Pakistani Sludge/Doom (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Myosis/181688655204576)
Bvlghvm - Pakistani Sludge
Bruxism - US Grindcore (https://www.facebook.com/bruxismbs)
Abusive Father - US Grindcore (https://www.facebook.com/AbusiveFatherGrind)
Chillar Killer - Pakistani Noise/Grind
Ha5h on Death Drive - Pakistani Grindcore
Masturbate - Pakistani Goregrind
Gorified - Indian Goregrind/Death Metal (https://www.facebook.com/pages/GORIFIED/187325001570)
Multinational Corporations - Pakistani Death/Grind (https://www.facebook.com/multinationalcorporationspakistan)
Unholy Sermon - Sri Lankan Black/Death (https://www.facebook.com/unholysermon)
Necroticon - Pakistani Death Metal
Sledgehammer Autopsy - US Death Metal (https://www.facebook.com/Sledgehammer.Autopsy)
Death Inquisition - US Thrash Metal (https://www.facebook.com/deathinquisition)
Takatak - Pakistani Metalcore (https://www.facebook.com/IzTakatak)
Inside 2 Stoopid Triangles - Nepali Punk/Hardcore (https://www.facebook.com/inside2stoopidtriangles)
Free music on a comp filled with kickass bands. What more could you ask for? Check it out!
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Ancient Obliteration is a death-thrash band from Canada. The band formed back in 2006 and have a demo, EP, split, and live album under their belt. This is their first full-length to date and the wait pays off. Clocking in at a bit more than thirty minutes A Menacing Reality packs in more diversity than I initially expected. This isn't your run of the mill knuckle dragging thrash album, but Ancient Obliteration isn't out to reinvent the genre either. They have a few tricks up their sleeve and it makes for an all around enjoyable listen.
Upon first listen I wasn't quite sure what to think of A Menacing Reality. That being said, after a few listens the album really begins to click. The dirty guitar tone featured on the album fits Ancient Obliteration's overall sound perfectly. When intertwined with the punchy bass it makes for nice stomach churning grooves, this is most noticeable on tracks like "Lust For The Curse" and "Professor Of Black Magic". A good portion of the guitar playing just consists of simple, catchy riffs but the players do enough to show that they know how to handle their instruments. The bass adds a great deal of griminess to the overall sound, making each note heavier than the last and the guitar hits just as hard, almost to the point where it seems as though they are trading blows.
The production on A Menacing Reality allows Ancient Obliteration to pack twice the punch they did before. The past releases had a sound that was fairly flat. Don't expect this to have an extremely polished sound by any means, in fact, Ancient Obliteration is pretty much anything BUT polished. The production fits the loose playing on the record. At times it feels as though the music train is about to derail and cause an explosion of Michael Bay proportions. Luckily this never happens and Ancient Obliteration holds it together. This feeling adds an element of excitement to A Menacing Reality giving it an uncontrollable vibe.
The vocals here vary quite a bit. For the most part they switch between mid to low growls. At times clean vocals are used and they are typically delivered in a nonchalant manner. The cleans keep the listening experience fresh and fun and often come across as playful. Ancient Obliteration's lyrical themes tend to gravitate towards monsters and other odd subjects. The first track on the album "Radiated Overlords" is actually dedicated to the old school 50's B-movie THEM! With inspirations like that and songs with titles like "Giant Devilfish" what's not to love?
Overall A Menacing Reality is a solid release. Ancient Obliteration are definitely showing some improvement when compared to their previous releases. It seems each time they put something out there has been at least a slight tweak in their sound. Fans of death and/or thrash metal will be pleased with this album to say the least. Ancient Obliteration still has plenty of room for improvement, but considering this is their debut full-length it slays twice as much as I had expected. Give this one a listen.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Brandon Mitchell just recently made the decision to part ways will Swallowed By Apathy shortly after the release of their debut full-length. In this interview we discuss why he left the band and where he is going from here.
Foul Feast: First off I'll address what is probably on everyones mind, what made you decide to leave Swallowed By Apathy?
Brandon Mitchell: I left Swallowed by Apathy simply because I was living 3 hours away from my closest friends and family. As much as I enjoyed the whole experience the distance had taken it's toll on me. I had not anticipated such an amazing following or response to the album and I will cherish every second that I spent in the band. It was my baby, I had the band formed before Kevin joined and I watched a small idea grow into a reality. After Kevin joined a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders and we worked as a team. I am happy that they will continue to carry on the legacy but I know that because of the fact I wrote 95% of the guitar parts and my vocal melodies it will have a different vibe. I can tell you from working with Kevin for a year and my time spent with Conor Sullivan that it will still be very solid and progressive musically. Conor fucking rips dude. lol After all I would expect nothing short of greatness from those two. Rob is an insane drummer and I think with him in the fold they will explore new territories. I have no regrets simply because we accomplished so much in little time. I need a little break from music but I will definitely be releasing stuff in the future. I want to make it but as of right now I need to be with family and friends.
FF: Are you happy with how Dysgenesis came out?
Brandon Mitchell: Oh absolutely, as an artist I feel that there are always ways to grow and improve so sure I may have done things differently but in the end we put it out and crafted it to be the best it could at that time. I'm thrilled by the support I have been shown and hope that people continue to support the band.
FF: Do you have any ideas of what you may do musically in the future?
Brandon Mitchell: Oh definitely, I got plans for the future. I can tell you I have always wanted to front a power metal band and fully intend on displaying my ability and range as a singer. I've been approached the past few days about getting involved with some new artists but at the moment I am taking a breather.
FF: Is there any chance of you and Kevin doing anymore music together?
Brandon Mitchell: Kevin and I are still on good terms so I would never say never but I think it's best we go our own ways and branch out with different people. I have learned a lot from him and I sure as hell influenced him so we will take what we learned and apply it to the future.
FF: What is going to happen to the material that was being written for Swallowed By Apathy that hasn't been released yet?
Brandon Mitchell: We'll considering I wrote everything on guitar and we haven't fully pieced anything together, I plan on working most of it into future projects as it is slightly more evolved and I am proud of it. It's good shit and when it gets released you will enjoy it. I am sure of that.
FF: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Brandon Mitchell: Just a big thanks to everyone who has supported me through everything and when I get back on my feet with material you will be the first to know.
Finnish progressive thrash outfit Abysmalia is back and still striving to put out some very unique metal music. Having formed back in 2007 these guys already have four full-lengths and an EP under their belt. Since 2008 they have released an album every year and somehow between the release of their amazing most recent full-length Replenish Entirety, they manage to put out something just as consistent.
The album opens with "Recollections of a Reality". A brief intro that features female vocals and does a great job at setting the tone for the record and introducing the first song "These Words are My Woes". Starting off with an absolute bang "These Words are My Woes" features some of the fastest and most aggressive moments on the album let alone Abysmalia's discography. Yet somehow before all is said and done they manage to do a complete 180 and end the track with a beautiful, uplifting solo and soaring clean vocals. Abysmalia has always been amazing at keeping the listener on their toes and when listening to the first few songs here they make it evident that they haven't quite lost their touch just yet.
Amid Adversities seems to have a stronger thrash influence than the previous album. The difference is very slight to say the least and only pops up on rare occasions, but there is enough for past fans to begin to take notice. That being said they still maintain their progressive elements and don't ever stick to one particular style for too long. Another interesting thing about the release is the bass. Abysmalia definitely has always had the bass at an audible level to say the least. On this album it sort of takes the spotlight at times. A solid example of this would be on "From a Sanguine Heart" in which the bass actually overpowers the guitar and really drives the song almost single-handedly.
The sheer amount of diversity held within these six tracks is unbelievable. The fact that none of it sounds out of place in the slightest is even more amazing. At times there is an all-out thrash assault and the next thing you know you are listening to something that has subtle pop influence. "The Mothers of Sons" gathers all of this up and bundles it up into one nice, easy to digest, eight minute track. Flipping back and forth between calming melodies and pummeling grooves, it is the best representation of what Abysmalia is all about.
Overall Abysmalia proves their consistency once again with Amid Adversities. This is their most professional sounding release by far. The influences that you could hear on Replenish Entirety are almost entirely gone and it is clear that Abysmalia have molded a sound that they can truly call their own. While the music featured here may be too spontaneous for some it seems like this is about as easy to digest as Abysmalia is going to get. Those looking to get into the band should definitely start here. Prog metal fans will not be disappointed.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Lord of Babylon is back to unleash four new Agga tracks. For those not familiar Agga is a one-man project from Florida that plays a nice blend of thrash and black metal. In my review for their debut I used the term epic metal to describe them and by the sound of these tracks that appears to still be the perfect term to describe their music. Though it is difficult to tell much from four tracks The Lord of Babylon makes one thing very clear, he is still on his game and Agga will continue to strive to be the best it can be.
One thing that has improved since the debut is the mixing. The drums aren't so high up in the mix and it really just makes the listening experience more enjoyable. Other than that this is exactly what I had imagined the new material would sound like. This is by no means a bad thing and it is not simply a carbon copy of the self-titled album. That being said fans of the first release will not be disappointed.
The four tracks featured here clock in at just under thirty minutes. Two of the songs are instrumentals and they are both sound fantastic. The first instrumental titled "Prelude to Time" is possibly the most catchy track ever recorded by Agga. The constant stream of ancient sounding tremolo picked sections make the seven minute length go by faster than an Anal Cunt track. The instrumentals may have vocals included by the time an actual release surfaces but in all honesty, "Prelude to Time" sounds near perfect the way it is. The other instrumental "The New Age Of Tiamat" contains a bit of a surprise. The track gets very groovy about halfway in, the transition from speedy riffs to crushing grooves is done almost seamlessly. At first this moment doesn't seem to fit but upon further listening it sort of grows on you and makes for a genuinely heavy moment.
The vocals seem much more scratchy than before. They are also quite a bit easier to distinguish compared to the previous release. Aside from the chanting featured on "When the Tablets of Destiny are Broken" we don't really hear any clean vocals here. The songs are more thrash oriented than most of the material on Agga. They still maintain the unique sound that was displayed in the past, they just have more of a "full speed ahead" attitude going for them.
Overall Agga appears to be up to the task of following up their debut with something just as good, if not better. These new tracks definitely show that the amazing first impression that was given initially was not a fluke. If the rest of the upcoming album is up to par with this The Lord of Babylon will have an excellent album on his hands to say the least. Definitely keep an eye out for Agga.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
One man death metal band Black Chalice is back for their second release filled with all things ugly and rotten. While Years of Flame does still maintain the very raw tone that sets them apart, there have been quite a few major shifts in sound since the previous release. There are four tracks here (one of which was also used on Prayers For Our Lord And Savior) and the total playtime comes in at a hefty thirty minutes.
The main thing people will notice is how much things have slowed down since the first release. We got to hear this side of the band previously on the track "Infallibility of Semen" (which is also featured on this album) but Years of Flame takes that aspect of the band to new heights. There is a massive amount of melody featured here which is something that Prayers was almost completely devoid of. This is a change that is sure to split audiences that enjoyed Prayers. Fans of the track "Infallibility of Semen" will most likely be fine with the direction Black Chalice has went in, if not, you might want to look elsewhere.
The atmosphere on Years of Flame is thick as can be. An extremely haunting, depressing vibe is given off throughout the course of the album. This is the perfect soundtrack to the life of someone who always feels like they have a dark storm cloud lingering above them wherever they go. Even in the midst of all the distortion the riffs all remain lucid and fully intact. Nothing is lost is translation and all the notes float around in the head of the listener for them to savor even after the music has ceased.
The vocal style used here is very simple. They can be heard a bit more than before and aren't drenched in as much distortion. There is a major echo that makes it sound as though the vocals were recorded in some big open space, this adds to the lingering atmosphere that this album is overflowing with. A drum machine is still used but it has very little effect on the overall sound of the album. The lurking pace tends to help-out in terms of making the drums seem more realistic though.
Overall Black Chalice has taken a major risk with the release of Years of Flame. Luckily it has paid off. I can't exactly say which style I prefer them to play, mainly because Prayers was a bludgeoning effort that isn't quite so easy to come by. I wouldn't be mad if they keep putting out slow, doomy, melodic melodic music like this though, because to be honest, this is about as close as you can get to perfection playing this style. Sure, there may be plenty of bands out there churning out music like this but very few, if any, do it this well.
Mickey O'Hara attempts to strike gold by showing the obscure creature "Muckman" on live TV. The plan fails horribly when the actor in the suit falls and takes of his mask. After this the whole world sees him for the money-hungry scum he is. In a desperate attempt to redeem himself, he sends a crew out into the wilderness to try and film a new documentary fit for television. After speaking to the inbred locals it appears that the Muckman might not be a myth after all. Soon one of their own ends up dead and they find themselves in a struggle against the monstrosity that is Muckman!
Most fans of Brett Piper know he is all about the traditional effects. You aren't going to find any low-rate CGI here. The occasional stop motion effect makes an appearance here which is something I haven't seen used in awhile (that comes to mind that is...). The creature itself looks a bit more menacing than I had originally expected and when he finally makes his appearance the few shots of gore looked fairly realistic.
Overall Muckman delivers for the most part. It's a cheesy, fun filled ride from start to finish. Sure some of the gags may not have been as successful as expected but it doesn't take too much away from the final product. Fans of Brett Piper's previous work will dig this without a doubt and fans of horror that can handle a little comedy should also find this to be a decent watch.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Perversity is a death metal band from Slovakia. These guys have been pumping out solid music since their first demo in 1997. They go through members like clockwork, this album features both a guitarist and a bassist that are new to the band. This is their first release since we last heard from them on their 2008 album Beyond the Reach of Heaven. They seemed to be improving and it proved to be my favorite full-length from them thus far. Though their original demos were very appealing to me I could never seem to enjoy their full releases near as much. With Ablaze that has changed.
For the most part Ablaze is still made up of your standard death metal elements. It basically falls under the brutal category, with that being said it isn't an all out slam album. There are some tracks that stick out in a big way, one example of this is the chaotic "Devoted to Perdition". The track starts off with an extremely groggy, overwhelmingly heavy groove that slowly builds in terms of intensity. Although it may be easy to pick out the influences that inspired this track it still manages to be the best on the album, and it would be interesting to see Perversity dive a little deeper into this aspect of their sound.
The bass is audible the entire course of the record. In fact the first track even opens with a bass solo. The tone is fairly vibrant and punchy when it is called for. It is subtle enough that it shouldn't be too bothersome for people who don't enjoy heavy bass emphasis in their metal. The vocals mainly consist of gutturals. On occasion some tortured yells are incorporated that sound eerily similar to John Tardy's trademark wail (see "Merciless Messiah"). In terms of variation there isn't a whole lot to write home about here but also nothing to complain about. The growls are delivered with power and fit well with the instrumental output of Perversity.
Another thing that stands out on this record is the piano use. It is only incorporated on its own on the intro and the opening of "Necrophiliac Beast". The piece that was used to introduce the track "Necrophiliac Beast" is extremely odd sounding when put into the context of the album. The intro almost sounds like something that belongs on a pop album. Somehow, in a very strange way, it works and is a breath of fresh air that plays sort of like an intermission for Ablaze.
Overall Ablaze may be Perversity's greatest release to date. There is just enough brutality and energy here to put them above a good portion of the endless amount of bands that play this style of music. Perversity has shown that they have matured their songwriting a vast amount within the time between albums. This album may not be completely unique, but it packs one hell of a punch and definitely displays a bit more diversity in sound compared to the past releases. Fans of death metal should give this one a listen. It may not be the first album that I reach for when I go on a death metal binge, but it certainly isn't an album I'm going to let collect dust either.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Crowbar kicks off showing Wendell witnessing the violent murder of his parents. Wendell simply wanted to enjoy some candy with his father, unfortunately when he reaches his parents room he is greeted by the sounds of screams and a masked man wielding a crowbar. After the slaughter of his parents the masked man sets his sights on Wendell. Luckily he manages to get away, but the psychological damage has already set in and Wendell will never quite be the same again.
Flash forward 15 years. Alex and Veronica are a young couple starting their life together. Unfortunately they picked the wrong neighborhood to call their home. It may seem calm and peaceful, but little do they know Wendell lurks somewhere in the area and he has more than a couple screws loose. Slowly, things come to light and the plot thickens. Will Alex and Veronica be able to make it through this alive?
Crowbar is director Scott Phillip's first feature length film. He does a good job at directing here. There isn't anything here that will really have your jaw dropping, but he did a solid job without a doubt. His effort here is enough for me to keep a lookout for any of his future projects. Potential is shown here and it wouldn't be too crazy to imagine his name being attached to a great film in the near future.
Not long after the opening sequence is over Crowbar gains a strange quirkiness. This quirkiness isn't present throughout but when it does come up it works. A good example of this would be during the scene were the old man is warning Alex about the house. Moments like this, whether intentional or not, tend to keep the movie moving along at a nice pace. The gore is the film is minimal. That being said it does have a fairly high body count and when the gore does make an appearance is looks fairly realistic.
The acting is decent in some cases and horrible in others. The main characters performances are passable but many of the supporting characters were very far from believable. This kind of adds to the quirkiness that was previously mentioned though, which, in many cases doesn't seem to be intentional. I could care less about what happened to the majority of the characters in the movie but to be honest anymore character development would have only hurt the film. Crowbar knows what the audience wants and it caters to them. The film has a throwback vibe going for it, tracing back to some of the golden era slasher flicks of the 70's and 80's.
Overall Crowbar isn't a bad effort. It doesn't necessarily shoot for the stars, but in the end it falls slightly above the average. Hardcore fans of slasher films and low budget cinema should give this one a watch if they have some extra time on their hands. You aren't going to find anything new in the contents of Crowbar but the entertainment value is there and there is definitely small fun to be had with this. Rent it.
Looks and sounds good.
Behind the Scenes
Avulse is a one man black metal band from Maine. I Am The Liquor is their second full-length since the project started in 2009. It features ten tracks of relentless, fast paced black metal. Clocking in at just over thirty minutes I Am The Liquor gets straight down to business. Though the album features a few subtle moments, the chaotic moments outweigh them by a long shot.
The guitar playing on this record is full speed ahead for the most part. The distortion seeps from the speakers in heavy doses and the alcohol fueled riffs come like constant waves of attacks. The delivery is fairly sloppy and blends well with the raw production. The riffs are simple and repetitive for the most part, creating a hypnotic blast of pulsating distortion at almost every turn. Though the sloppy playing works for the most part, on the track "Naked In Flame/Black Heaven" it doesn't fare quite as well. The track is by no means bad, in fact it may be one of the best on the album but the long sequence where the guitar plays solo would've been much more effective if it was played with precision. Still it remains one of the best moments here and I can only imagine what it would be like played cleanly.
The shrieks and wails of Diseased fade to the background on I Am The Liquor. This contributes to the hypnotic feel that was previously mentioned. They also seem to be a bit distorted, which makes them blend in really well with the guitar tone. One of the only gripes I have is that some tracks end very abruptly. An example of this would be "I've Lost the Stars". Right when the song seems to be getting started it just stops. This issue is a little detrimental to the albums flow, luckily this is the only section featured that stands-out much.
Overall I Am The Liquor meets my expectations. This is a solid black metal album with a few surprising moments to keep you interested. If you can't handle lots of distortion or a drum machine than this may not be for you, but if you can deal with that than this is definitely worth a listen. Some potential is certainly shown here. Recommended for fans of the rawness.
Death Inquisition is a thrash band from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Listeners that go into this release expecting a fun, polished thrash record will be thoroughly disappointed. While it can be fun at times, Death Inquisition plays an evil brand of thrash that could throw your average Christian into an epileptic fit. At times their sound features tinges of some of the more extreme subgenres of metal, giving them a sound that is fairly reminiscent of bands like Venom and Voor. Prepare for nearly twenty minutes of thrashy goodness.
The sound of this demo is simply filthy, there are absolutely no frills to be found. Death Inquisition has that certain special rawness that isn't achieved very often within the realms of thrash nowadays. The tracks here are very straightforward for the most part. That being said they are well written and are filled with riffs that make you want to bang your head until your neck despises you. The solos here can get a little sloppy at times but it sort of fits with the overall sound. The most effective track on this releases proves to be the longest. "Reaper of Faith" is definitely the best representation of the bands overall sound. It clocks in at nearly six minutes and features some of the most impressive guitar playing on the release. It puts all the main things that Death Inquisition utilize in their music on display and works as the centerpiece of the demo.
The bass is high in the mix, which gives this a different feel than a good portion of the thrash bands out there that have a very thin, one dimensional sound. Depending on your perception this could be a good or bad thing, some may find the bass too high in the mix. The vocals featured on here are barbaric to say the least. McDuffie sounds like a man on the brink of insanity. His wails definitely won't please everyone but there is a certain charm to be found within his raw, "I don't give a fuck" delivery. It may be all over the place but it works and that is all that matters.
Overall Death Inquisition's demo delivers. They capture the sinister old school thrash sound successfully without sounding forced like many other bands. We'll have to wait for a full-length to see whether they can utilize their sound and shape it into something amazing. That being said they are certainly starting off on the right track. Fans of thrash and the first wave of black metal should give this a look. It's the second wave of evil metal (Voor reference, if you're confused you can deal with it). Definitely recommended!
Sunday, October 16, 2011
After nearly 40 years of being stuck in VHS purgatory MYA has finally taken the liberty to give Death Will Have Your Eyes a legitimate DVD release. The film was directed by Giovanni d'Eramo, this was his second attempt at directing (the first being a movie titled "O.K. John " which seems to be just as obscure). The film follows Louisa (Marisa Mell) who moves to Rome in hopes to find a solid source of income and Mr. Right. One thing leads to another and she ends up being forced into prostitution by a wealthy man. It turns out Louisa gets a strange sense of enjoyment out of her new lifestyle. Things get a little hectic soon after and, to put it simply, the shit hits the fan.
The main gripe I have with Death Will Have Your Eyes is that it has a sort of identity crisis throughout. It can never decide what it wants to be. The movie also bounces around quite a bit, this makes things hard to follow at times. It is slow and uneventful at the beginning, but once things begin to pick up shortly after the hour mark the movie gains a pretty dark atmosphere. Stelvio Cipriani's score compliments these moments well and adds a little to the overall atmosphere. If the atmosphere that is displayed later in the movie could've have been used effectively throughout it would have been to the films benefit.
Overall Death Will Have Your Eyes is far from being a masterpiece. It isn't horrible by any means but it can get rather dull at times. I'm a fan of slow burning movies but this one dragged a bit too much for my taste. That being said, I'm glad it has finally gotten an official DVD release being that it is such an obscure/sought after movie. It certainly has an audience and I don't regret watching it, but it isn't something I can recommend to everyone. The bottom line: Death Will Have Your Eyes makes for an interesting watch and although it isn't exactly flawless it is still worth a watch for hardcore Italian cinema fans.
DVD Contents:The picture quality looks just like what it is, a low grade VHS transfer. It is a slight step above the horrible looking Mill Creek release of Curtains. It is watchable but not the nicest thing to look at. The sound is another story, it's not bad at all and has no real background noise for the most part. In terms of special features there is next to nothing on the disc. The only extras you get are the trailer and a poster gallery. Although this may be a no frills DVD release you can't complain too much because it is a miracle that this flick is getting the DVD treatment at all. Hopefully MYA will continue releasing films of this nature. They definitely have room to improve on their releases but making this films readily available is really what is most important.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Bone Fragments is a black metal band from the US. They recently released their second full-length Too Gruesome To Be Real. We had the chance to discuss the history of the band, the process of making a Bone Fragments album and much more with Tormentor (one of the two founding members). Enjoy!
Foul Feast: If you can, explain a litlle about how Bone Fragments formed.
Tormentor: Bone Fragments formed in 2006. At that time, it was just Phthisis and I. Our first demo was a four-song clown-themed black metal stint (Circus Maleficus) with two guitars, a drum machine, and an 8-track tascam in his basement. The initial idea behind the band was to fuse our two favorite things: black metal, and weird clown/circus music. Since then we've expanded and sort of ventured into other horror-esque themes.
FF: Too Gruesome To Be Real is in a sense, a concept album, where did the inspiration for this concept come from?
Tormentor: I've really gotten into the idea of concept albums because we are huge King Diamond fans. I love how he can tell a story with the lyrics and create the perfect music to match, so that's what has really inspired me to write lyrics that way. Our first full length, Dark Amusement, was a true concept album. We didn't really want to do that again, but the songs on Too Gruesome carried a similar vibe, so we wanted them to relate in some way. We knew this was going to be our "castle" album, so we decided that each song would represent some demonic being inhabiting this castle. Kind of goofy, I know, but it lends itself to a lot of creativity in the writing process, which makes it more fun.
FF: Bone Fragments has always had a unique sound, is this something that you strive to achieve with each release?
Tormentor: I don't think we set out with the intention of making an album weirder than the last, but we don't like to do the same thing over again. When the writing process starts we say, Ok, what sound do we want to achieve this time? I think we're just as surprised by the result as everyone else is. It has a lot to do with what kind of music we are listening to at the time, and what "mood" fits the time period. We've started talking about our next album, and I think it's safe to say it will be something we haven't done before. It's hard to establish any sort of fan base because our style doesn't stay the same. Like, we have some people who love Too Gruesome, but we also have a lot of people who have been following our stuff since Circus Maleficus and are disgruntled by the new album because it's not as raw. We never really plan out what we're going to do, it's always an adventure haha.
FF: The band started as a duo and has grown to a full lineup. How has this changed the writing process?
Tormentor: It really hasn't changed anything. The core of Bone Fragments is still the same - Phthisis primarily writes the music, and I do the lyrics. We kind of decide together how we want the sound to be. We both have a vision for the music, and together we make it take form. Then we share our ideas with the others who help us to round out the sound and bring it to completion. They pretty much let us do whatever crazy shit we want haha.
FF: How important is atmosphere to you when it comes to music?
Tormentor: Atmosphere is everything! When we do a CD, we are completely engulfed in that CD until it comes to completion. And when people listen to our CDs, we want to make sure that they are experiencing what we experience. Also when it comes to listening to other bands, we think the atmosphere is what either makes or breaks a CD. The music should make you feel something that you have never felt before, or take you to a mental place that you haven't been in a while. A rich atmospheric CD can be a total mind fuck.
FF: The album art on Too Gruesome To Be Real looks amazing, how did the concept of the Octobunny come up?
Tormentor: Haha, well, the song was originally just called Clawtooth, and was supposed to be about a demonic guardian beast prowling the woods outside the castle. As is typical metalhead style, one day we were having a super boring and nerdy conversation about how the plural of octopus is octopuses or octopodes, and I stupidly blurted out "Clawtooth the Octobunny". Anyway, it stuck, and we ended up corresponding with an artist in the U.K. (The Misnomer - awesome work check her out!!). We sent her some song titles to draw up some sketches, and she ended up coming up with the kickass pictures of the Octobunny and Dr. Slaughter, both of which we used in the booklet. Why a bunny? I don't know, we like them. We actually got a rabbit mid-way through making the CD and named him Goblin.
FF: Have you been pleased with the feedback you've received for the album so far?
Tormentor: Our feedback has always been very mixed, and we can appreciate that. Overall, I feel that Too Gruesome to be Real hasn't been as well received as Dark Amusement, but that doesn't bother us too much. Like I said, each album is going to be different from the last, so it isn't going to discourage us from doing the next one. It's funny because a lot of reviews from our earlier albums said the music had potential but the poor production held us back, and on Too Gruesome we really made some strides production-wise, and some people complained that we had lost our raw, unfiltered atmospheric sound. We just hope that people can see in our music what we see in it - a journey to a place more interesting than the bland existence that we live in, no matter how weird the music may be.
FF: Have you guys had the chance to do any shows since you've formed? It must be hard to find a lineup that your odd sound fits well with.
Tormentor: Yeah, live shows are pretty much impossible. We would love to do shows, definitely, but we would need some serious backup. Our recordings are very layered, with Phthisis on about three layers of guitar, plus keyboards, and I do bass and a layer of rhythm guitar. Without all the parts, the songs would't sound right, so we would need to look into getting a couple more people on guitar. I hope that in the future we can work something out to be able to do some live shows.
FF: Has any thought been put into the next Bone Fragments release yet?
Tormentor: Yeah definitely, we have been thinking about it, but we tend to have a long time between releases, so I don't expect to start any recording on it until next fall. Too Gruesome kind of burned us out, because we wanted everything to be perfect. We might try to do a old-skool style throw back EP to our earlier stuff before we do another full length. It's hard to tell - once we get involved in a CD, it will consume us until we finish it.
FF: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Tormentor: Well, I guess just that we know our stuff is kind of weird, but we want people to know that our music is very important to us. It is not a joke, it's just a way for us to escape and express ourselves, just like any other form of music. We really like feedback, love it or hate it, we like to know what people think. Thanks so much for the interview and review!
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Tormented is a Swedish old school death metal band that formed in 2008. They are fairly new and have only released this full-length and a split. With that being said Axelsson and Karlsson make up half of the band. Given their past endeavors in death metal it should go without saying that these guys know what they are doing. This is clear when listening to their debut full-length Rotten Death. Clocking in at just over thirty minutes, Tormented will have you begging for more when all is said and done.
The album is filled with awesome riffs and lyrics. Hellish tremolo picked sections show up quite often and stick in the listeners head long afterwards. The thick, heavy production on Rotten Death just screams evil. This fits perfectly with the style being played here. Infectious tracks like "Tomb of Corpses" and "Come Back From the Dead" will have you shrieking along in no time. A large portion of Rotten Death is face paced, but slower tracks like "Blood of the Undead" prove to be just as effective. The heaviness of that track is earthshattering to say the least, making it one of the highlights of the album.
Axelsson's vocals are nasty and demanding. His vocal approach makes every single lyric easy to decipher and it really adds to the catchiness of the album. Every time I listen to this all I can imagine is a big crowd of people chanting the choruses. This really adds to the overall "fun factor" of the album which to be honest is a huge part of what makes this release so great. The replay value is through the roof and it is simply because you have a blast every time you play it. None of the tracks get old, and they all have their own set of qualities.
Overall Rotten Death is a solid old school death metal album. Tormented didn't set out to create anything groundbreaking with this release, they set out to create a fun-filled death metal album. In my eyes they were very successful. Fans of old school death metal should definitely check this out. Don't go into this album expecting anything similar to Edge of Sanity or you will be severely disappointed. To put it simply Tormented play a raw, no bullshit brand of death metal. Hopefully Tormented's next release will be up to par with Rotten Death. If it is it will most definitely have a place in my collection.
Harpoon is back and they are just as noisy as ever! The band formed back in 2007 and since they have put out a demo, a full-length, and popped up on a couple splits. Their sound is pretty "all over the place" to say the least. At one moment you may find yourself in a massive whirlwind of feedback filled, grind/powerviolence and the next you are hearing some very enthralling doom. Deception Among Birds clocks in at just under forty minutes and within that time Harpoon is going to do anything possible to win you over.
The guitarwork featured here varies quite a bit. Many sections on the album are very fast paced and filled with adrenaline and fury. This sections are great and these dudes definitely have the ability to thrash your face off, but when they take the time to slow things down things get very interesting. A prime example of this is the epic "Troglodyte's Delight". The track breaks seven minutes and is without a doubt one of the best things Harpoon has ever recorded. The slow, hypnotic riffs ring throughout the head of the listener for what seems like an eternity, which is by no means of bad thing. "Troglodyte's Delight" could be the soundtrack of my life and I would live on with no complaints.
Things get a little experimental at times. One example of this is towards the end of the title track. A brief moment of feedback hits and then you are sent flying into a wall of odd noises. This goes on for a few minutes and throughout that time the layers of noises dissipate slowly to reveal a simple acoustic melody to close out the album. The vocals are filled with hate and are very in your face for the most part. Toney takes every opportunity given to assault your ears and he is successful 100% of the time. At times some clean vocals come into play, this happens most during moments that can almost be classified as drone. It adds a nice chunk of diversity and keeps things from growing stale in the vocal department.
Overall Harpoon have really tapped into their sound with Deception Among Birds. This is by far their most mature release to date. Deception Among Birds shows that Harpoon isn't afraid to experiment and also shows that they can do so without losing their vicious sound that we had heard on previous releases. Fans of grind, doom, drone, death, oxygen, and thrash should give this a listen. You won't be sorry, and the play count will shoot up like a rocket.
The schizophrenic duo from Portugal is back again with their first full-length. This album is nearly twice as long as their debut demo. Those familiar with the demo will be happy to know that they are still churning out some very odd sounding metal. After listening to Despair As You Stare one thing is certain, Deep Coma is one of a kind. This is what I imagine a tweeker hearing in their head when they withdrawal after a week long binge.
Overall Despair As You Stare is an extremely aggressive album. While it does still feature plenty of the eerie calm moments that made Down the Gutter so interesting it tends to focus much more on angry, pounding moments. At times tracks will break into a disorienting rage. The previous demo had some moments like this but it no longer seems forced like it did before. One of the highlights of the album is the very interesting cover of the Sepultura song "Refuse/Resist". Deep Coma definitely gave the track a completely different sound. Imagine Sepultura having a recording session shortly after taking an assload of downers.
For the most part the guitars bring forth plenty of chunky grooves. There isn't as much chugging used here as there was on Down the Gutter. The variation of riffs keeps the tracks from dragging like they did previous. This definitely is one of the biggest improvements when comparing this to Down the Gutter. Another major improvement is the vocals, my previous review mentioned that they sounded a bit forced at times. That problem is completely gone on Despair As You Stare, they sound very natural and angry as hell from start to finish. The production on this album is very similar to Down the Gutter. The drums are a bit loud in the mix and the guitar gets drowned out at times. The drums being so loud can be a bit much at times but it doesn't take too much away from the overall quality of the album.
Overall Despair As You Stare is a solid full-length. I can't necessarily say that Deep Coma creates music that is for everyone, but if you are looking for some very odd metal that features a little bit of everything than this is worth a listen. Deep Coma has been working at mastering their sound and Despair As You Stare is without a doubt a step in the right direction. Fans of the previous release will not be disappointed.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Ghoul is back again to release their first full-length in over 5 years! Transmission Zero is getting released November, 8th on Tankcrimes and even after being together for 10 years it is evident when listening that all of the energy is still there. We had the chance to ask Digestor a few questions about the new release and the future of Ghoul.
Foul Feast: How are things in Creepsylvania?
Digestor: Cloudy with a chance of MURDER!!!
FF: You guys just recently kicked off the tour in support of the new album, how did that go?
Digestor: We were recently kicked off the tour?! Why weren't we notified?! Oh, for fun. We actually have not left for tour yet. We leave Oct 12th.
FF: What other bands can we expect to see joining you on this tour?
Digestor: We're going out with the legendary Gwar, Every Time I Die, and we will be joined on the last couple shows of our leg of the tour by the stellar Warbeast.
FF: Has Ghoul ever done a big tour like this?
Digestor: No, the biggest tour we've been on was a tour of the Schlitz brewery. We were kicked off that one too, incidentally. Hey, if they don't allow swimming in the fermenting tanks they should put up a sign. I'm not a mind reader.
FF: Explain a bit how Transmission Zero differs from the past Ghoul releases.
Digestor: It has a different cover, different lyrics, and a different title, but I have to admit it has a lot of the same riffs. Again, I kid you! It's certainly a good companion to Splatterthrash, but I think the music is more aggressive this time out, and there are a few curve balls thrown in there that people will have to discover for themselves.
FF: Who did the amazing coverart for Transmission Zero?
Digestor: A wonderful artist named Bill Hauser who has done work for many, many other great bands. We were so lucky that he agreed to work with us after only three hours of hooking him up to a car battery and electrocuting his bathroom area. Mainly we were lucky because the battery was about to run out of juice when he agreed. If only he had the willpower to hold out a few more minutes he could have avoided this whole mess.
FF: A few years back you did a split with Brody's Militia, do you plan on doing any splits in the future? And if so who are you wanting to do it with?
Digestor: I believe there is a split planned in the future with a certain band on a certain label. I can't elaborate any further, as I signed a non-disclosure agreement and I take those things really seriously.
FF: Do you have a favorite track from the new album?
Digestor: I really like them all, but if I had to pick one I'd go with the title track. That and the secret track. Oh, I gave away the secret! Me and my big mouth...
FF: Do the hoods help with your thrashing abilities? I'm just trying to wrap my head around the mystique behind Ghoul.
Digestor: I'd like to wrap your head around something... The hoods only serve to hide our hideous visages. The cocaine is what helps us thrash.
FF: What kind of shenanigans was Ghoul up to during the 5 year break between albums?
Digestor: A little of this, a little of that. Hiding from cultists, burning down orphanages; you know, the usual.
FF: How did your deal with Tankcrimes fall into place?
Digestor: One day we were loping through the catacombs and saw one of his "Tankcrimes" stickers stuck on the skull of a small child. This showed an impressive lack of taste, respect, and common sense. We knew right then that he was our kind of clod. Though he's a bit of a recluse and more or less stays off the grid we managed to track him down, and after a lengthy and detailed description of what we would do to him if he didn't put out our albums he agreed that it was a good idea.
FF: What was your biggest influence musically going into this album?
Digestor: The last Ghoul album. We don't get a lot of new music in Creepsylvania.
FF: Any final words?
Digestor: If I have one life to live, let me live it as a blonde!
Sunday, October 2, 2011
If you are a seasoned metalhead you are most likely no stranger to Ghoul. These guys have been consistently tearing it up since 2001. It has been five years since their last full-length and they have finally returned with their long awaited album Transmission Zero. In between albums Ghoul made the switch from Razorback to Tankcrimes but they haven't changed much musically. This is still the same vicious thrash that we've come to know and love from the band, and let's face it, does anyone really want it any other way?
The riffs on this album are beyond amazing. You could be sitting in the waiting room at your dentist office awaiting a root canal and immediately when the first riff kicks in you'll go into full on numbskull mode and start a moshpit with the two elderly people sitting beside you. This is Ghoul doing what they do best and that consists of them breaking out of your speakers/headphones and sending you into a heavy metal fog. Enough with these stupid references, the bottom line is that this shit slays.
For the most part Transmission Zero tends to be more of a straightforward thrash album when compared to the previous Ghoul releases. There is a great deal of energy put into every track and tons of catchy gang shout sections. As usual all these tracks have the perfect sound to throw an audience of metalheads into a moshing frenzy. With that being said there are a few surprises on this record as well. One of which is the track "Morning of the Mezmetron" which takes a slower approach and breaks eight minutes. The track gives off an eerie vibe and is a great change of pace for the albums overall flow. The old school sound shown on tracks like "Death in the Swamp" and "Transmission Zero" are extremely entertaining and make you want to go out and ride a tidal wave of blood.
Overall the five year wait paid off. Ghoul has done it yet again and it is beginning to seem like they are unable to release a bad album. This has been in constant rotation since I received it and it may very well be my favorite Ghoul album. Not many new albums come to mind that have a replay value quite like this one. Each track stands out and they all have their own qualities that separate them from one another and it all flows together seamlessly. Fans of metal in general should get this along with all the other Ghoul releases. They are growing to be one of the most consistent bands in the metal scene today and this album is just another perfect example of that. Old fans will not be disappointed, newcomers will be amazed, everyone wins. Get it!
Kon Hex is drone/doom band from Canada. The project consists of one sole member and is completely instrumental. Since the creation of Kon Hex in 2010 there has been an EP and a full-length released. Magnetic Sun makes up the second full-length, it contains four tracks and clocks in at well over an hour. The intro even goes longer than seven minutes, so for those of you seeking a short listen, look elsewhere. Those in search of an album filled with downtrodden drone will get exactly what they expect.
Magnetic Sun has a very solid flow throughout it's playtime. All four tracks almost have to be listened to together to be fully appreciated. For the most part the music is very gloomy and dismal. The sound is huge and when the guitar comes into play it rings on for long periods of time with power. The album really doesn't tend to focus too much on riffs or a solid song structure but rather on creating a strong atmosphere. While the atmosphere is achieved throughout, at times things drag on too long to hold the listeners interest. This doesn't occur often enough to prevent Magnetic Sun from being an enjoyable listen but it does prove to be detrimental in some ways to the overall replay value.
Magnetic Sun's greatest moment is the intro. It is a great way to start off this album. It is almost reminiscent of a Jorg Buttergereit soundtrack (Schramm, Nekromantik, etc). It sets the perfect attitude for this release and is one of those pieces that is the perfect soundtrack for sitting in a dark room in complete solitude. Sadly, the intro sets the bar high and Kon Hex struggles a bit to recreate the atmosphere quite like they did with it. The second track "The Uncharted Notice" comes close with its booming, monumental guitar sound, which truly gives off an almost cataclysmic vibe. While these two tracks work relatively well the other songs don't do quite as well. "In the Seas of Darkness" has its moments but "MSun" is far too drawn out to be very effective. The tracks length could have easily been cut in half and then some, the forty minute length just doesn't seem justified.
Overall fans of drone should find some enjoyment within Magnetic Sun but it is by no means groundbreaking. Some of the ideas on this release stick and some of them don't. The flow of the album and the dreary atmosphere definitely work on a grand scale but there are plenty of things that need to be tweaked in Kon Hex's sound before they can stand out from countless other drone releases. While Magnetic Sun is by no means bad it also doesn't have a great amount of content that will have people coming back for more. If you just can't get enough drone then Kon Hex may be worth a listen for you, but if you want something that demands your attention this might not be what you want.