COREY’S MARCH 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 March 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.
American Heritage – Sedentary
I grew tired of Mastodon after witnessing their less than stellar live performance at the 2005 Ozzfest in Houston. In fact, I haven’t really cared for them since Leviathan. Thank God/Satan for the rise of American Heritage. They do what Mastodon used to do — rock the fuck out with full-tilt boogie, smashing guitar riffs, and minimal proggy elephant stomping madness. This is a beautiful record that simply destroys most anything else I’ve heard so far this year (save for Horned Almighty and SubRosa). Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher plays bass on one track (he’s one of several guest bassists to appear).
Benighted – Asylum Cave
A true crime-based concept album that incorporates Reetcore, death metal, and grind samples…how could I not love this album any more? Though this is the sixth release from the French grinders, it is the first time I’ve ever been exposed to them. I am happily infected. And Slipknot fans, be sure to check out the track entitled “Fritzl.” Sound familiar?
Born of Osiris – The Discovery
My only prior experience with BOO was seeing them come on AFTER Hate Eternal on the Hatebreed/Cannibal Corpse tour a couple of years ago. I was truly embarrassed for the BOOboys with their deathcore fashion clichés, pointless keyboard player, and silly ass breakdown vomitus. Wow, what a difference a couple of years can make; in addition to getting schooled every night by a far superior band. This album is beyond impressive. Great guitar leads, lots of Meshu-chugga, and meaningful keyboard passages by a much improved Joe Buras. Less bro-down, more tweedily-tweedily, and heavy as fuck. Tasty.
Children of Bodom – Relentless Reckless Forever
I have never cared for Children of Bodom. Of course, I appreciate the true crime-based moniker; but I have always despised the overblown keytarisms and have never been seduced by Mr. Laiho’s alleged musical prowess — too OTT for my tastes. RRF sees the man-boy from Finland, however, reign in his masturbatory wankery with solid results. Nice interplay between Laiho, fellow guitarist Roope Latvalo, and and keys man Janne Warman. Vox and words leave much to be desired, but I’m willing to overlook such shortcomings.
Condemned? – Condemned2Death
Old school hardcore band digs up the dead bodies with the names D.R.I., Black Flag, Cro-Mags, D.O.A., MDC, et al. stamped across their foreheads and pulls off a top-notch Dr. Herbert West reanimation. If you’re looking for forward thinking innovation, look elsewhere. But if you’re looking for smashed beercan to the forehead hardcore, look no further than C2D.
Havok – Time Is Up
I was blown away by Havok at the MetalSucks South by South Death party at last month’s SXSW music festival. Thankfully, they rip things up on record nearly as well as they do live. Re-thrash – bah!! They are merely another band carrying on a fine tradition of kick-ass fuckin’ heavy metal and I am grateful to have witnessed their attack in the flesh. Zetro-era Exodus leaps to mind, as does Slayer worship/homage, but never to a degree of merely being a rip-off. Solid drumming, precision guitars, and understandable vocals coagulate together to create a formidable amalgam of heavy goodness.
Pop-gressive metal with beautiful song structures, clean vocals, and enough weirdness to keep me going from one track to the next. The amount of influences here are overwhelming: Dream Theater, Tool, Alice in Chains, Kings X, Porcupine Tree, Queensryche, Soundgarden, NIN; but somehow they all come together to create a satisfying sound that takes the listener across the musical landscape from ragtime to pop-lite to industrial to prog metal. Intriguing; however, I can do without the
marketing ploy happiness sound study.
This Kurt Ballou (Converge) produced masterstroke brings to mind the best of Helmet (Strap It On, Meantime), Quicksand (Slip), and Poison the Well (You Come Before You). Alternative noise metalcore (not the bastardization the subgenre has evolved into over the past five years) that rumbles rafters and unsettles neighbors. Aggressive, precise, and one mean bitchin’ Camaro of an aural onslaught. Can’t believe I missed these cats at SXSW!