Sunday, August 30, 2009

All Souls' Day - Into The Mourning (2001)

Genre - Traditional Doom Metal, Heavy Metal, Epic Doom Metal
Reviews - Well traditional doom is a weird genre, If you love one band, you'll probably end up liking most of them. And it is one genre which is a tough one to hate if you are true metal fan. For a while, I stayed away from it because everytime I listened to a Trad doom band, I used to get back to the real masters like Sabbath and Pagan Altar instead. It was getting repititive indeed.

Yesterday, I was busy cleaning up my Ipod, I found this album lying there untouched. and the genre of tag of Epic Traditional Doom had me all worked up. two songs into it and I was already in love. Unlike most of the heavy/doom guys, they dont use the nasal vocals, They rather focus on the use of operatic vocals in the album. And there are great use of female vocals to create a melancholic sound to the music. On the background of heavy and thick guitar sounds there are superadded melodic leads and solos which works wonders. And not to forget a sinster use of keyboards to create a gloomy atmosphere. Most of the songs are over 7 minutes long and the album itself runs for more than 1 hour. So its a complete treat for any doomster.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

docks - II (2009)

Everybody has their favorite local band.
docks is mine.

The following, taken from their page, sums up them up well-

"docks is a four piece instrumental post-rock group from northern Minnesota. They formed in November of 2007, sculpting their first songs in a wood-stove heated garage, amidst the tundra-like conditions. docks is a cosmic conglomeration of Alex Narveson (drums), Elijah Balbach (bass), Carl Goughnour (guitar), and Simon Mahlberg (guitar). During the summer/fall of 2008 they recorded their first, self-titled album with the help of their friend and fellow musician Cory Newman."

This album was sent to me by a very good friend of mine, their drummer, Alex Narveson, and he gave me the go-ahead to post it here. It is in essence a raw recording, having been done in their guitarist's basement, without mixing or mastering.
The music featured is mix of new material and reworked songs from their first album, with extra (awesome) guitarwork having been added since the inclusion of Simon Mahlberg into the band's lineup.
This is the band in all their feedback-laden, sometimes-out-of-tune, glory, and I'll be damned if it didn't come off incredibly well.




(I'll be posting more local & Minneapolis-St. Paul-region stuff in the coming days)

I've seen them live 4 times this year, and each one has been an awesome experience. The bandmembers are some of the raddest dudes you'll ever have the chance to meet.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Alchemist - Spiritech (1997)

Amazing progressive/psychedelic metal from Australia; some of you have probably heard (or heard of, at least) this band before, but for those interested this is the pinnacle of their work. Highly recommended.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Black Sheep Wall - I am God Songs (2008)

Genre - Sludge
Review: I Am God Songs is steadily becoming one of my favorite records of 2008. This record took a few listens to click, but it when did... oh my god! greatness.
Now, I'll look at the production.
The guitars have an extremely thick layer. I don't even know how they get this sound. It sounds extremely unique, but raw, but refined at the same time. absolutely crushing.
the bass is there, and to mention that, the guitar(s) are EXTREMELY down-tuned. sounds even lower than an A-tuning...but they really do pull it off.
the drums serve their purpose. good mid-tempo drums. nothing too special but good nonetheless. the vocals are rather impressive too. very tortured hardcore screams.
This is an essential sludge album. A breath of fresh air, to say the very least.
The lyrics focus on nihilism (how fitting with the first track entitled "Nihility"), hate and all that good stuff.
My one problem with it is that three of the tracks are essentially nothing. not a big deal though. they don't detract from the record at all.

-Contributed by - Mastod0nman
Get Your MP3
Flac If you are interested

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Paul Chain - Sign From Space (2001)

Paul Chain, has always been overlooked in the metal scene, right from his early days when he created the ever so influential Death SS (FeatherofHuginn: with Steve Sylvester). Being from Italy, it wasn't a surprise that he turned out to be one of the best doom metal acts to have ever graced the metal circles. However, with the release of Alkahest he gained a small fraction of his long over due fame and respect.

Ever since, his open mindedness to experimentation has led his crazy mind to wander off of the streets of doom metal and heavy metal, the very streets that gave him some of the recognition he so badly deserved, into such genres of music one would never in his wildest dreams dreamt of him to go off to. And that brings us here today with his release, "Sign From Space" which as pretty easily decipherable belongs to the space rock genre.

Heavily heavily influenced by 70's rock and space rock bands such as Hawkwind, this release has been divided into 4 tracks, Sign From Space 1 - 4. This musical journey is in fact a musical realm of bluesy guitars, the signature psychedelic chaotic calmness and wicked studio effects. If you like 70's rock with a touch a psychedelia mixed with a tad of metal influenced guitar solos, then you cannot go wrong with this release.

~ Vaibhav (formerly: SpectrumOfDeath)


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Leviathan [NY] - Legions of The Undead (1987)

I've been meaning to upload this little gem for about three months now, and have only just now gotten around to it. Goddamn, I'm a good procrastinator.

Leviathan (Not to be confused with the 11 other bands of that name also listed on the metal archives) was a short lived American thrash metal band formed in Buffalo, New York, by a young, pre-Cannibal Corpse Chris Barnes, guitarist Mike Green, a drummer by the name of Angelo Lococo, and a few guys who later went on to play for Malevolent Creation. On this demo they played relatively brutal, death-ish, thrash much in the vein of contemporaries Morbid Saint and Dark Angel, without perhaps the maturity of either band. Yes, I just invoked those names, but that's not what's really important here.
What *is*, are the riffs- the riffs are what make this little morsel release one of my most-played thrash demos of all time. They are energetic. They are heavy. They are catchy. They are intense. And they are fucking everywhere.
Oh, and chances are you've neeeeeever heard Barnes like this. [*waits for Don Doty comparisons*]

(If there is a better rip of this anywhere on the internets, I've not heard it.)


Friday, August 21, 2009

Dãm - The Difference Engine (2007)

Dãm (Hebrew for "blood") is a Progressive Death/Black Metal band from the U.K. that has remained perplexingly unrecognized by the metal-loving-masses since their inception in 1997.
Their 2007 album, "The Difference Engine" (taking it's name from the 1990 steampunk novel by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling), is indicative of this apparent quandary.
In it, the band manages to take influences from later Death as well as some of the musical tendencies and verbosity of fellow countrymen Carcass, borrow themes straight from the playbook of Philip Glass's 'Koyaanisqatsi', and filter it all through the veneer of forward-thinking Norwegian Blackmetallers Emperor WITHOUT sacrificing cohesiveness- a problem all too common with genre-hopping metal bands today.

Check them out. You might be pleasantly surprised-
Buy (C'mon, you can spare 3 euros)


Monday, August 17, 2009

16 Horsepower - Sackcloth 'n' Ashes (1996)

Personally I like the fact that the AotW somewhat forces you to listen to stuff you otherwise wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole. And since none of you bothered with this even after me raving about it at least 3 times, I can now force you to listen to it. Some probably expected some obscure old school death metal from a country no-one had even heard of, but there are other threads/groups for that shit.

Onto the music. Banjos are mostly associated with happy jangly music, but these guys do something completely different. They create a haunting atmosphere and combined with the deeply religious lyrics, I must say they leave an impression on me which only a handful of other albums can match.
The vocals are also very special. Like them or not, you'll definitely have an opinion on them. I think this is what the widows that were hired to cry at a funeral in ancient Greece must have sounded like. It is essential to learn to appreciate them in order to like this album.
A lot of people complain that it drags a bit near the end, but I don't agree. The more upbeat banjo driven songs between the more "doomy" songs succeed in keeping my attention.

So I hope you will approach this with an open mind and enjoy this quite unique piece of music.

[Explode Computer]

Deadguy - Fixation on a Coworker (1995)

Deadguy are an interesting beast. They're somewhat difficult to classify. The most noticeable thing on first listen is their heavy Today is the Day influence. Aesthetically they are distinctly American featuring heavy metallic guitars mixed with highly dissonant accents and harsh intense vocals. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what metalcore should sound like.

Makeshift Atomsmasher, nothing dangerous sounding about that...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Angelo Badalamenti - Soundtrack From "Twin Peaks" (1990)

Genre - Soundtrack, Ambient
Review -
1.)Absolutely must for people who have watched even a single episode of this epic series.
2.)Recommended for people who havent seen it yet.

Nice ambient, dream pop stuffs with hints of jazz here and there.
Get It Here!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mitochondrion - Archaeaeon (2008)

Contained within the meager frame of this 70 minute long album is a barrage of sound, fury and calculated aural abomination which puts the previous efforts of many bands to great shame. Twin vocal attacks bludgeon and pierce as a wall of dissonance and percussion paint landscapes of torment and decimation. Fleeting acoustic passages create contrast and offer slight respite from the wailing, atonal opuses, and indeed on first listen this album seems almost entirely and incomprehensibly chaotic, drawing equally from Canadian War Metal and the unique, horrific soundscapes of Portal, but after prolonged exposure patterns begin to appear, not just within the songs themselves but their progression throughout the album. The first several tracks are whiplash assaults of sonic violence, offering little breathing room for melody or tonality. "The Eternal Contempt of Man" marks a shift in Mitochondrion's attack, slowing down to assail the listener with truly twisted riffs which harken to the likes of Ved Buens Ende or Enslaved, and by the time "Oath in Defiance" rattles its dying breath, a near total transformation has occurred. "Wraithlike" relies less upon the constant cacophony of the earlier tracks, and more upon the build and release of epic, melodic crescendos. Still other tracks showcase such influences as doom metal and harsh noise, to one extent or another.

Despite this staggering sum of influences, Mitochondrion manage to create one of the most cohesive listens in recent memory, stringing together riffs, songs and styles as expertly as French innovators Magma did when creating the genre of Zeuhl. My only hope from this point onward is that more begin to pay attention to this and other bands, not content with perpetuating the same tepid sound until no one remains who is willing to pay attention. Without innovation or progression, the essence of art is dead. I for one hope this to mark a new beginning, rather than be a tragic swansong, falsely prophesying what could have been.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Morbid Scream - The Signal to Attack 1986-1990 (2007)

This is pretty much a compilation of their demos, and a few live recording.
Morbid Scream was a kvlt death/thrash band. They were active from 1986-1990, til they changed their name to The Morbid and released one more demo.
Anyway, this is pretty much death/thrash goodness, it has some pretty memorable riffs and the vocals really stand out. They're like some sort of proto-growl/yell.

Tracks 1 & 2: From Demo I (1987)
Tracks 3 - 6: From Demo II (1988)
Track 7: Unreleased Studio Track
Tracks 8 - 12: Live 11/11/87
Tracks 13 - 15: Live 6/3/88
Tracks 16 - 19: Live 10/28/88


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Demolition Hammer - Tortured Existence (1990)

This one is a classic, so some of you probably know it. This is heavy as fuck death/thrash, with an emphasis on the thrash. They also have some of the best lyrics, haha.
Not much I can say about this one, you'll just have to check it out yourself.


Weapon (Can) - Drakonian Paradigm (2009)

Be prepared to have your mind blown; Weapon has delivered perhaps one of the greatest albums of the year with Drakonian Paradigm, an odd mix of Rotting Christ, Hellhammer and The Chasm. Mid-paced, riff heavy black metal would be the best way to describe it, but there are also elements of death metal, and quite a few melodic flourishes throughout, giving each song a memorable place on the album and the album itself a personality of its own to stand out above the waves of metal releases that have been coming this year. Highly recommended.


Wolfbrigade - Prey to the World (2007)

I'm not too familiar with Crust Punk, but this is by far my favourite release out of what I've heard. What more can I say besides the fact that it's a fuckin' riff-monster? Check it out now, if you're a fan or at all interested in the genre.


Convulse - Reflections (1994)

Alright, I'm sure most of you old school elitists are considering Convulse's first effort, "World Without God", a nut-crushingly heavy misanthropic beast of an album, one that's pretty much finnish death metal canon by now. But what about their second one? Well, "Reflections" is one catchy motherfucker; they've cleaned up the production and opted for a less iconoclastic lyrical theme, and spawned some goddamned awesome death/thrash - some might even say death'n'roll. The album's not that agressive, but what it lacks in balls, it makes up for in riffs.
I'm almost tempted to label this as "technical", but it's not really on the extremely progressive side of things, they're just a band with fresh riffing wanting to make a fun record, and succeeding in spades. Enjoy.


Download (sorry for the rapidshare link, couldn't find anything else)

Flames of Hell - Fire and Steel (1987)

I'm not really digging this one as much as some of you here probably will, but the best way to describe it would be to steal what someone else said in a forum, and say that it's what Cirith Ungol would've sounded like if they were black metal. The bass is very, VERY loud on this record, so you may have trouble deciphering some of the riffs, but so far it's looking quite promising.


Assassin (US) - Blitzed Resistance (1985)

Genre - Thrash Metal
Review - Want a piece of thrash metal with tons of riffage and balls? Well!Here they are. You know about Assassin? Probably you do, or probably you do not. Well, let me put this in a better way. Do you know the US thrash band Assassin? Every thrash fan knows about the German stalwarts with the same name that came up with one of the most landmark albums in thrash metal "The Upcoming Terror" in 1986. Well, the US band I am talking about came up with a 3 track demo way back in 1985. I just stumbled upon this band while searching some music on some random blog. There was something about the demo's title "Blitzed Resistance" that prompted me to have a go at it. I at once googled about the band in search of band's history and other albums (if any) released by them. Well, I was a little disappointed not to find anything about them. Still I got it, and thank god I did! Ahem, I have already finished listening to this for the fifth time while I write this review.
So what we have here is a more primitive form of "Bonded By Blood" styled thrash mixed with aggression of early Sepultura. Three tracks of skullcrushing riffs that will probably leave you wanting for more!



Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fate - Odyssey (Best of/Compilation)

Genre : Experimental Brutal Death Metal

Country : France


Well, that pretty much sums up why this band is labelled 'Experimental'. But I must add the scratches are added tastefully and not overdone so it merges with the riffs and does not stick out like a sore thumb. This is a compilation and the Dj was only for one album so don't expect scratches on every track.

As far as the BDM part goes, there's nothing ground breaking happening here. The riffs sound similar to say Devourement and Dying Fetus but they do pull off quite a few surprised by doing so. The vocals are quite strong and mainly grind influenced. Get this album if you'd like to hear something new that hasn't been done bad.


Putrevore - Morphed From Deadbreath (2008)

Jesus Christ, wanna talk about heavy? One of the more pleasant surprises I've come across recently, Putrevore make their own brand of sludgy, brutal (not the genre) death metal that is reminiscent, strangely, of the more recent Denial, except with a much more prominent bass sound. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it does smash it to pieces and burn the remains rather efficiently.


Serpens Aeon - Dawn of Kouatl (2003)

All I can say about this one is RIIIIIIIIFFFFFSSSS. But seriously, this is some awesome death/thrash in the vein of The Chasm's Procession to the Infraworld, only quite a bit thrashier still, which makes sense since membrs of the aforementioned Mexican legend are involved with this Seattle based band.

Rapidspread (choose a link, any link)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Shub-Niggurath [France] - Les morts vont vite (1986)

This ain't the Mexican death metal band, but an actually quite awesome Avant-Prog band from France. This album is all kinds of amazing, featuring tons of strange quasi-melodies, unearthly chanting vocals and some great percussive sections. It has a shitload of atmosphere, the demented, Obscura-esque kind atmosphere that gives the album a strangely alluring aspect. Highly recommended for progheads, but it's also a great transition record (at least for me it was).

Megaupload (sorry for the, not my idea)

Oh, and thanks to Adam (AGreenman) for giving me the rec ;)

Iniquity - Serenadium (1996)

Sublime Danish death metal that no self-respecting metalhead should live without hearing at least once. Heavy as fuck, with plenty of influence from both Autopsy and Suffocation, which creates an odd (but awesome) blend of doominess and chugging riffs. The production is both relatively clean and bass-heavy, so I'd reccomend some powerful headphones or a good subwoofer for maximum effect ;)


Cephalectomy - Eclipsing the Dawn (2004)

This awesome death/grind band from Nova Scotia, Canada, has put out perhaps the funnest album in the world, Eclipsing the Dawn, which could most easily be summed up as a mixture of the craziness of !T.O.O.H.! and the epicness of Lykathea Aflame, but simply putting it that way would do the band a massive disservice.

The album's forty minute runtime is split into eight songs, all of which are written in a more or less linear fashion, much like Deathspell Omega or more recently Ulcerate. But where those bands used that technique to create unnerving soundscapes, Cephalectomy uses it to cram as many jaw-droppingly awesome riffs into every song as humanly possible, and are unafraid of shifting gears before the listener really has time to readjust to what was just being played a few seconds earlier. It takes a few listens to really absorb, but it's well worth the effort in the end.


Akphaezya - Anthology II: Links from the Dead Trinity

Genre : Avant-garde Gothic/Progressive Metal with Jazz and World Fusion influences.

Country : France

Hailing from the highly innovative French Metal scene is Akphaezya combining Progressive Metal with some very enjoyable soft Jazz, samples of instruments from across the world and some harsh vocals for aggression and packing it all tight into one album. The album almost effortlessly shifts genres, be it piano driven easy listen jazz to distorted guitars with harsh vocals and back, every track on this album has something new to offer.
One of the reasons why this album is so interesting is the vocalist and painist Nehl Aëlin who can pull of growls, extemely fast high pitched singing, operatic yet non sopranoish vocals, broadway vocals, eastern tone and whispers and utilizing them at precisely right time to perfectly complement the music played.
As far as the music goes, at some points your not quite sure which instrument is being played and the transitions between some bass and drum thumping to a sweeping melody with piano and guitars to a very catchy chorus is executed flawlessly. The inclusion of samples from various cultures to their music has not been overdone and is an added advantage to their music. Well fitted and memorable solos, a very clear bass tone, joyful piano and complementing drums make this album a memorable listen.
Approach with an open mind and you should love this.


Afterlives - A Ticking Clock I Couldn't Stop

Genre : Ambient/Rock/Experimental

Coming from the eccentric ENEMIES LIST HOME RECORDINGS label, this project appears to be a mellower expansion of the more ambient tracks from Have A Nice Life. Combining acoustics with some noise influenced ambiance and sorrowful vocals and by adding some drony atmospheres and psychedelic components, this album leaves you gloomy and oddly refreshed at the same time.
The album is mainly driven by seemingly loose, lazy strumming but when combined with some percussive beats and other added effects,this album gives much more for the listener to divulge in. Best enjoyed on a cloudy day when everything around appears to be moving at a lower pace than it should.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Randy Holden - Population II (1968)

Genre - Hard Rock
Country - USA
Here we have an obscure 60's gem of proto-metal/hard rock. Randy Holden was pretty much a Guitar God, back in the 60's. You'll probably most remember him from his brief role in Blue Cheer, or The Other Half, if at all.
Anyway, this album is pretty much riffs and some fantastic drumming by Chris Lockheed, with some breathy singing by Randy. But don't be fooled, the focus is on the guitar playing. In short, Randy Holden > Jimi Hendrix



Recalcitrance - Demo (1989)

Country - USA
Genre - Technical Thrash Metal

Recalcitrance was a thrash metal band from Virginia active in the active in the late 80's and early 90's. They went through a few lineup changes, and recorded two demos before breaking up. Little of this really matters, though. Why? Because the important thing here is that their '89 demo f***ing RIPS!
Four songs of technical-bordering-on-chaotic dynamic and aggressive old school thrash metal with tempo and time signature changes that destroy faces and solos that come out of nowhere to absolutely slay all things in their path.
Oh, and Mike Smith of Deceased played guitar on this release.

"Knowledge is nothing,
The laws of science are false,
Pleasure is pain,
Life is death,
What is now
is what was meant to be-
All that is certain
is the inevitability of the end!"
- Recalcitrance, 'Destined to Die'

Get this shit NOW.


Full Blown A.I.D.S. - s/t [2008]

According to Wikipedia: "The band is mostly known for making songs an octave lower than most bands."

That is actually a surprisingly good description. Full Blown A.I.D.S. is a musical project by none other than Seth Putnam of Anal Cunt fame. Vaginal Jesus this isn't, this is finally a serious project by the man everyone loves to hate. This album was supposedly recorded between 2003-2004 and released on Limited Appeal Records, but I don't really know. Why he waited so long to let this see the light of day while releasing lackluster AxCx albums I have no idea.

Full Blown A.I.D.S. is the aural equivalent of the worst toilet in Scotland from Trainspotting; this shit is filthy. The guitar tone is one of the worst I've ever heard (in a good way). People familiar with Accept Death should be right at home with this. The guitar on this album is like a prolapsed rectum, the strings are so loose you can practically hear them flopping in the breeze. Putnam's vocals are true to form, and he turns in a good performance if it is a bit monotonous. I've always thought his distinctive screams were wasted in his joke bands. The drumming is adequate, but has a loose organic quality that suits the music. The songs here vary from thrashy uptempo grind, to droning sludge. There is even an AC/DC cover included for good measure.

Check it out if you like stupidly heavy things.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Xysma - Above the Mind of Morbidity (1990) and Swrming of the Maggots (1989)

Country - Finland
Genre - Death/Grind
Review - Now we are talking grind here. This is one of the sickest EP you would ever listen to! Right from the opening madness of Foetal Mush to the outro of Cranial Cradle, this EP is the epitome of relentless brutality that would force you to pick a sledgehammer and make you fee like smashing the skulls of everyone in your way. Too bad this bad chose to remove a lots of punk and grind influenes from their full lengths otherwise they would have given Impetigo and Carcass a run for their money. The earlier demo "Swarming Through the Maggots" represents the raw version of band, Full of ultra short tracks and hyperfast grind. (Only if you can handle a bit raw production, You will adore it.)

Get It Here

Xysma - Yeah! (1991)

Country - Finland (Hell Yeah! motherfuckers)
Genre - Death/Grind
Review - Along with Repulsion, Brutal Truth, Terrorizer and Impetigo, Xysma were one of the pineering grind acts from old school scene. While their earlier demos and EPs were more grind than death while this one has more of old school death sound than grind. Full of pumelling riffs after riffs (while still maintaining that finnish DM guitar tone), sick growls and nice production (I actually wanted to put their "Swarming of the Maggots" demo here, but some of you may not be very comfrtable with bad production, Or may be I will upload that too). Most of the hardcore influences are missing here but still a great record. It was recorded in the legendary sunlight studio in sweden.
Oh and ignore the "worst possible" album art on this one.
Get It Here