SH*T THAT COMES OUT TODAY – THE JULY 19TH, 2011 EDITION
As I peel the skin off my back while I endure the summer of scenic Nebraska, metal as a whole has dropped a ton of new releases in my lap. Yes, this was a great excuse to stay in the air conditioning for a day to do my column this week, but with new releases from Hail!Hornet, Ringworm, City Of Ships and Toxic Holocaust, sitting at a laptop in the summer was a double win. Check out my anger-inducing opinions below.
40 Watt Sun – The Inside Room (Metal Blade)
Decent, standard doom metal, if not unremarkable in its approach. These songs are good, slow, sludgy doom, with vocalist Patrick Walker wailing over the tracks in a somewhat hypnotizing fashion. Walker (also the band’s guitarist) and drummer Christian Leitch are veterans of the style, having played in the band Warning, although that band is much better than their new project.
Altars – Opposition (Strike First)
Although the bulk of their songs are pretty standard hardcore/metalcore, Opposition does have a few striking moments. The addition of some technical guitar bits (and they are brief) and light use of keyboards brings the music into some interesting territory, but for the most part this is forgettable.
Avichi – The Devil’s Fractal (Translation Loss)
Blackened death metal paced at an almost doomy pace. I really can’t find any chink in the armor of Translation Loss, and this release continues the trend. Avichi appears to be a solo project of Aamonael (Nachtmystium, Lord Mantis, Unholy Trinty…etc.), and this release is fucking killer.
Chelsea Grin – My Damnation (Artery)
I have figured out one thing above all in my tenure here at MetalSucks: I sincerely hate most deathcore. This band is no exception. Seemingly going from one disconnected part to the next, leaving nothing memorable or impressive in your head once the songs are done, and oh my god those vocals…there’s just nothing here for me. This is the Salt Lake City band’s second dull-length for Artery Recordings.
City Of Ships – Minor World (Translation Loss)
Post-rock trio City of Ships’ previous release, 2009’s Look What God Did To Us, was an impressive collection of lighter tunes that tip-toe around genre clichés of metal while still maintaining the aggressive edge and songwriting to lure metal fans in. The song “Low Country” is now streaming at BrooklynVegan.
Clinging To The Trees Of A Forest Fire – Visceral EP (Prosthetic)
The Denver grind crew’s newest offering, the six-track EP Visceral, is a dark blast of fast drums, dissonant guitar parts and intense vocals. The band mixes the scummiest grindcore with elements of doom in their tunes, creating a truly awesome end result. Definitely give their teaser for the EP a listen:
Crone – Endless Midnight (Translation Loss)
A project from ex-Isis bassist Jeff Caxide, Crone has nothing easily available online to critique/review. What I can tell you is this (copy and pasted, duh): The album was mixed by Aaron Harris at Vista Studios in Los Angeles, mastered by James Plotkin (Khanate, Phantomsmasher) and features musical contributions from Harris (ISIS), Bryant Clifford Meyer (ISIS, Red Sparowes) and John LaMacchia (Candiria), as well as photo and design work by Aaron Turner (ISIS, Old Man Gloom) and Faith Coloccia (Mammifer). (credit for this goes to Waylon Recordings)
Demonical – Death Infernal (Metal Blade)
Brutal Swedish death metal, with a sound reminiscent of Entombed, Dismember and At The Gates. This band features former members of Grave and other Swedish metal bands, and it shows in the music that this isn’t Demonical’s first rodeo. This is the band’s third full-length, following 2009’s Hellsworn.
Hail!Hornet – Disperse The Curse (Relapse)
Featuring members of Weedeater, Sourvein, Alabama Thunderpussy and more, Hail!Hornet is a supergroup of loud, heavy musicians. As anyone that listened to the group’s 2007 self-titled effort knows, this band is a mighty beast of rocking tunes with a sludgy bottom and dynamic work between all the instruments involved. T-roy Medlin’s (Sourvein, Buzz*oven) vocals deliver a rasp that brings the whole package together, along with bass work from “Dixie” Dave Collins (Weedeater, Bongzilla, Buzz*oven) and the rest of the musicians of the group. I’m going out on a limb and saying I like this record better than Jason…The Dragon, although Black Fang is sitting about even with this.
I Am Abomination – Passion Of The Heist (Good Fight)
I Am Abomination is not a band I like. However, I do have to give credit for their instrumental section, which delivers a decent melodic take on metalcore. However, the second their overproduced, melodic vocals hit, you just want to stop listening. If one of the band members doesn’t own an Avenged Sevenfold shirt, then I will be genuinely surprised.
It Prevails – Stroma (Mediaskare)
In many ways, It Prevails are a melodic, post-hardcore band. However, the overall feel of this is just too much on the side of melody and just seems way too clean for my ears. I’ve been outspoken for my disdain of overproduced, melodic vocal styles, and that style makes too many appearances here for me to get into it. In general, the record seems like it has a foothold in good music, but the direction of the band is just a little too overproduced to make this worth my time.
Ringworm – Scars (Victory)
Ringworm have been delivering their blend of hardcore and crossover thrash for two decades now, and to celebrate we now have Scars. Expect the same thing Ringworm have always delivered: punishing, metal-tinged hardcore that doesn’t let up or delve into fleeting musical experimentation. The band has set their style, they stick to it and that’s really all we need.
Sarabante – Remnants (Southern Lord)
A crusty, metallic punk blast to the face emanating from Athens, Greece, Sarabante rip across 11 tracks on their debut release, Remnants. This release is yet another from Southern Lord in a year we’ve seen them release records from Alpinist, Planks, Drainland and more, and this release is just as hailworthy as the aforementioned.
The Greenery – Spit & Argue (Prosthetic)
The Greenery break no new ground on their debut album, Spit & Argue, but I can’t put this shit down. The in your face vocals, aggressive guitar and a tight as fuck rhythm section is impressing me a ton. The band hails from Long Beach, CA.
Toxic Holocaust – Conjure And Command (Relapse)
The first Toxic Holocaust record since 2008’s An Overdose Of Death… sees a major change to the “group,” as Toxic Holocaust is now just that. For the past three TH releases, the music has been mostly, if not completely, played by Joel Grind. This time around, Grind rounds out his band with Philthy Gnaast (formerly of Canadian black/thrash band Rammer) and Nikki Rage (Kingdom Of Sorrow) on drums. Listen to the preview track “Nowhere To Run” and you’ll see that this change doesn’t modify the sound of the band in the least… which is exactly the way it should be.