COREY’S FEBRUARY 2011 BLEEDERS’ DIGEST
Last year (and the year before) I got way too busy with this thing called life and missed out on a lot of quality music. I am here to rectify the error of my ways, month by month.
Here are the February 2011 releases that got under my skin, burrowed their way into my brain, made my ears bleed, or simply tickled my unmentionables:
These are the keepers. I expect to spin these throughout the year and longer.
Astrosoniq – Quadrant
This 2009 re-release combines a bit of the following — Led Zeppelin, Godflesh, The Grateful Dead, Korn, Tangerine Dream, Megadeth, Skylab, Hawkwind, Dio, The Talking Heads, Dream Theater, and Steely Dan — and, miraculously, does not suck. Actually, it’s quite incredible stonerish space rock with chameleon-like balls.
Deicide – To Hell With God
Shit, piss, fuck! Glen Benton is back, full of hatred and venom, and ready to slay your silly religious beliefs. Freeway massacre music. But seriously, don’t do that, okay? Morons would be blaming Deicide for it, me for it, and MetalSucks for it, when in reality, you were already an imbalanced, psychopathic piece of shit. Stick a Katy Perry CD in your car, will ya?
Destruction – Day of Reckoning
Old Fart Thrash that simply shows the youngsters how it’s done. Teutonic thrashback from the ’80s with fresh, crisp production, twisted guitar tones, and the unmistakable vocals of lead throat, Schmier. Sick of “core” metal? Grab the latest from Destruction and all your ails will be cured.
DevilDriver – Beast
I’ve always enjoyed DevilDriver live. On disc, they’ve never really blown my skirt up. Well, that has now officially changed. It took about four spins, but Beast is a perfect description for this truly break-through performance. There is a three-song section (“Talons Out,” “You Make Me Sick,” Cold Blooded”) in the middle that reminds me of a basketball team going on a 12-0 run to turn a game around. This album is DevilDriver’s fast break game changer.
Earth – Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I
This soundtrack to two turtles dueling OK Corral-style will definitely be on repeat while I write my next true crime book about a father/daughter team who have incestuous sex and kill together. Ominous, creepy, mind-bending. Almost makes me wish I smoked pot.
Ektomorf – Redemption
I’m sure my praise for this one will earn me the scorn of plenty of Suckalos, but I could care less. This is groove metal that truly burrows into your brain, worms itself around your synapses, and ticks you off for having permanently ensconced its presence in your life. You don’t want to like it, because it is not cool to do so. Then, you realize, you have a brain of your own, and you acknowledge that this is a great fucking album. Internet tough guys suddenly appear….
Falkenbach – Tiurida
With a name like Vratyas Vakyas, how can Falkenbach’s mainman not create epic Viking Folk metal? I usually get bored by this genre after enjoying a song or two per album. Such is not the case with Tiurida. It makes me want to hoist a beer stein, clutch the nearest wench closer to my bosom, then hop on board a sea-faring Viking ship to seek out new life and new civilizations, all the while, enjoying the camaraderie of my fellow Norsemen.
Helrunar – Sól
2011 is already turning out to be an impressive year for black metal with stellar records from Horned Almighty, Dragged Into Sunlight, Cavus, and Inquisition. Now comes this devastating 90-minute two-disc slab of blood soaked intensity from German BMers Helrunar. If you enjoyed Bergraven’s Dödsvisioner (my favorite album of 2007), you will definitely want to snatch up Sól.
Helstar – Glory of Chaos
Remember when metal bands had lead singers that sang? And they kicked ass doing it? No? Well, familiarize yourself with Houston power metallers/thrashers Helstar and lead singer James Rivera in particular. Kick ass, heavy thrash power metal with an Old Fart who has more range than Meryl Streep at an art school for foreign accents. Killer production, solid riffs throughout, and a singer who knows how to fucking sing. God, I’m old.
Infernal War/Kriegsmaschine – Transfigurations (split EP)
Not getting your Behemoth Polish black metal fix enough these days? Look no further than this split EP from two of Poland’s finest black metallers. Infernal War’s three tracks start of with slow building walls of doom and end in a riotous fury of drums, riffs, and layered vox. Kriegsmachine, here with their first music since 2006, present two songs of unrefined black metal pounding that actually eclipses their more well-known brethren.
Onslaught – Sounds of Violence
Yet, more ’80s thrashers resurrected to show the kiddies how it’s done. Loud-ass guitars, vox you can understand but are still heavy as fuck, and a modern take on thrash, are proof positive Onslaught still have what it takes to bang heads and snap necks. This is definitely the month for the Revenge of the Old Farts!
Six Feet Under – Wake The Night: Live in Germany
So, if live albums are supposed to suck and Six Feet Under is supposed to suck, then why is it I totally dig this record? Is it the Kiss Alive-like studio trickery with full-blown audience participation, is it the Danny Torrance redrummy vocals of SFU leader Chris Barnes, or is it that I can easily envision myself drinking way too many rum and Cokes and yelling my head off when Barnes elicits a “Scream motherfuckers!!!” command? Who knows? But, this fucking rocks! Revenge of the Zombie!
Good points throughout the record, but not enough to make we want to revisit it.
Abysmal Dawn – Leveling the Plane of Existence; Artas – Riotology; Battlelore – Doombound; Belphegor – Blood Magick Necromance; Clandestine – The Invalid; Crowbar – Sever the Wicked Hand; Darkest Hour – The Human Romance; Dr. Acula – Slander; The Famine – The Architects of Guilt; Full Blown Chaos – Full Blown Chaos; Impiety – Worshippers of the Seventh Tyranny; Korpiklaani – Ukon Wacka; Lazarus A.D. – Black Rivers Flow; Motorjesus – Wheels of Purgatory; Neuraxis – Asylon; Tankard – Vol(l)ume 14; Thomas Giles – Pulse; Total Fucking Destruction – Hater
Not even worth selling on eBay. Do people still do that?
Allen-Lande – The Showdown; Bullet For My Valentine – Fever (Tour Edition Bonus CD); Cauldron – Burning Fortune; Crystal Viper – Legends; Elvenking – Red Silent Tides; Hour of 13 – The Ritualist; Macabre – Grim Scary Tales (Huge fan – major disappointment!); Most Precious Blood – Do Not Resuscitate; Nelson – Lightning Strikes Twice; Rabbits – Lower Forms; Sirenia – The Enigma of Life; Ten – Stormwarning
Was not able to get my grubby little hands on these platters.
Ava Inferi – Onyx; Betzefer – Freedom to the Slave Makers; The Browning – Time Will Tell; Darkest Era – The Last Caress of Light; The Defaced – Anomaly; Drugs of Faith – Corroded; Engrained – Deep Rooted; Fen/De Arma – Towards the Shores of the End; Folge Dem Wind – Inhale the Sacred Poison; Maruta – Foward Into Regression; Misery – Evil is Crowned; Necronoclast – Ashes; Noisear – Subvert the Dominant Paradigm; Primordial – Storm Before The Calm; The Project Hate MCMXCIX – Bleeding the New Apocalypse (Cum Victriciis in Manubis Armis); Scheepers – Scheepers; Spellbound Dazzle – Unreal Fairy Tales; Svaryson – Wrath Upon the Earth; The Swan King – Eyes Like Knives; Timo Tolkki – Saana Warrior of Light Pt. 1
BEST FEBRUARY ’11 RECORD
DevilDriver – Beast
“I don’t know you, but I fucking hate you!”
BIGGEST FEBRUARY ’11 SURPRISE
So many mediocre (to bad) releases from well-known artists:
Crowbar, Darkest Hour, Lazarus A.D., Belphegor, Macabre, Neuraxis, Thomas Giles, et al. are all talented bands/musicians who simply failed to grab me by the throat and shred my face off with their newest releases. Some great individual songs on display, but not one of them comes close to nailing an entire album’s worth of solid material. Majorly bummed…
BIGGEST FEBRUARY ’11 DISAPPOINTMENT
Lazarus A.D. – Black Rivers Flow
When I reviewed Motörhead’s The World is Yours last month, it was originally scheduled for a January release. It was subsequently pushed back to February, but I went ahead and included it in my January Blowers section as a warning to you, the metal consumer. Otherwise, it would be this month’s disappointment.
Alas, in a month of many disappointments, the next biggest one is the long-awaited new release from Lazarus A.D. I liked their debut disc, but really enjoyed them live. So much so that I truly expected this record to be one of the premiere releases of 2011. Wow, major disappointment. L.A.D. has almost completely erased their thrash leanings in favor of a more metalcore-meets-Swedish melodeath sound that just doesn’t do it for me. Sure, the musicianship is stellar and there are a few memorable choruses on display, but it is such a complete about-face from what made them noticeable in the first place, I find it utterly baffling. I understand wanting to spread your wings and try something different, but this is akin to me writing a book about the life cycle of the tsetse fly, but trying to convince everyone who reads my work that it is still a true crime offering. I’m sure others will dig it, but for me, as a L.A.D. fan, it is a major disappointment.
2011 TOP 15 EARLY INCLUSIONS
Let’s see if they make the final cut.
DevilDriver – Beast (Feb. ’11)
Horned Almighty – Necro Spirituals (Jan. ’11)
Tuck From Hell – Thrashing (Jan. ’11)
Metal Releases Listened to – 77
Bleeders – 22
Meh’ers – 33
Blowers – 22
Top 15′ers – 3
**Some of these releases are possibly late 2010 sets, first-time U.S. releases, or sneak peeks of upcoming albums.**
Corey Mitchell is a best-selling author of several true crime books.