Sh*t That Comes Out Today: March 5, 2013
Hardream? Naughty Whisper? Sexforce!? This week’s STCOT sounds like a Balkan porno! Vulgarities and nocturnal emissions notwithstanding, ’tis a splendid spread! Enjoy!
On a playlist with: Mors Principium Est, Insomnium, Edge of Sanity
Listen Beyond full stream (here) “The Unknowing” (here)
Read Dave Mustein MetalSucks review (here)
I should’ve been drooling over Omnium Gatherum’s grandiose, Finnish melo-death, but they’ve never clicked with me. Their attempts at being proggy were unoriginal, and that blunted the heaviness necessary to back tar-mouthed vocalist Jukka Pelkonen. But not anymore: Beyond maintains their signature wall o’ sound interplay between lead guitar, acoustic guitar, and keyboard, and backs up the beauty with punchy chug and thrash parts that match Pelkonen’s impossibly brutal growls. Add songwriting that is epic without shoving elves up your ass, and you get fantastic modern melo-death!
Head With Wings
Living With The Loss
On a playlist with: Porcupine Tree, A Perfect Circle, Oceansize
Listen “Time Will Never Leave Me Be” (here) “Harboring The Disease” (here) “For When You’re Gone” (here)
New Haven, Connecticut, isn’t a Mecca for music lovers, but now some greats are emerging from the murk. And I am beyond delighted to call Head With Wings my neighbors there. From the same pit of English dispair as Steven Wilson, Anathema, and Radiohead — plus some very slick Tri-state vibe — the quartet creates dense, chilling clean guitar soundscapes to gel beautifully with the ghostly wails of vocalist/guitarist Josh Corum. And y’know how progressive bands use odd time signatures to mess with your head? Well, HWW does that a bit, but goes a step further and switches tempos on the fly — to really cool effect. The maturity and memorability of their writing is unreal — and they’ve been together barely a year.
It seems like Greece is quite the dark horse in extreme metal: In 2011, Septic Flesh swept me off my feet with The Great Mass, and Rotting Christ continues to punish with epic extreme metal for their cash-strapped masses. Kata Ton Δaimona Eaytoy — haven’t even tried to pronounce that, but it means “Do what thou wilt” — is another amibitious work, with lyrics in several languages and layers of orchestration and samples over walls of tremolo-picked, grade-A riffage. There’s still a subtle gothic-ness via vocalist Sakis Tolis’s baritone cleans and mid-tempo respites from the chaos. Want a good example of tasteful use of symphonics and folk instruments? See: Rotting Christ.
The Living Infinite (Nuclear Blast)
On a playlist with: Textures, Scar Symmetry, Mnemic
Listen “Long Live The Misanthrope” (here) “Rise Above The Sentiment” (here) “Spectrum of Eternity” (here) “Momentary Bliss” (here)
Having heard The Living Infinite many many times now, I am still mind-boggled that Soilwork’s ace hooksmen just wrote 90 minutes of awesome, catchy, filler-free modern metal after having lost a vital founding member (again). And not only is The Living Infinite consistent, much of it is their most ambitious and memorable shit ever! Singer Bjorn “Speed” Strid is a bottomless well of earworm choruses, and the other guys — like guitarist David Andersson, who makes his recording debut on Infinite — deliver on the prog promises of 2010’s The Panic Broadcast. And what an apt title: At 20 songs, it’s an all-you-can eat buffet of sweet Swedish metal.
Jolly deserves some major props: After losing their rehearsal/recording space and a lot of equipment to that nasty Hurricane Sandy last year, they’ve come back with the strength of a hundred very happy oxen. See, this second part of the New York art rockers’ half tongue-in-cheek/half pretentious The Audio Guide To Happiness set aims to deliver happiness. And for a listener, Jolly accomplishes just that — but probably because TAGTH2 is their most beautiful, harmonically engaging work, not because funny frequencies are floating around in the mix and into your subconscious.
On a playlist with: Hypocrisy, Decapitated, Obscura
Listen “Sexforce,” “Birth Through Loss” (here)
Well, this is unexpected. Last I heard of Norway’s Okular, the tech-death metallers were being slept on despite impressive melody and a knack for being kind of … strange. Now, it seems like they’ve moved to capitalize on that … strangeness via their sophomore album, Sexforce. Yep. Sex. Force. To answer your first question, I’ll say that it’s not very sexy, but it is indeed forceful. And aside from the over-the-top, cartoony … strangeness of the title track, Sexforce is tight and refreshing for its refusal to conform to genre standards. So yeah, Okular is still weird and still pretty cool.
OTHER SHIT THAT COMES OUT TODAY
Coilguns Commuter (Pelagic) listen
Danger Angel Revolutia (Perris) listen
Enforcer Death By Fire (Nuclear Blast) listen
Eremite Dragonarious (Taxi Driver) listen
Execution Perversions And Blasphemy (MetalHit.com) listen listen
Fetid Zombie Holy Destroyer (MetalHit.com) listen
Hardreams Unbroken Promises (Perris) listen
Hatchet Dawn Of The End (The End) listen
Horn Of The Rhino Weight Of Coronation (Doomentia) listen
How To Destroy Angels Welcome Oblivion (Columbia) listen listen
Krokus Dirty Dynamite (The End) listen
Lifeforms Multidimensional (Lifeforce) listen
Lifeless Godconstruct (FDA Rekotz) listen
Neaera Ours Is The Storm (Metal Blade) listen
Naughty Whisper Addicted To Decadence (Perris) listen
Paganland Wind Of Freedom (Svarga) listen
Pathogen Miscreants of Bloodlusting Aberrations (Dunkelheit) listen
Polluted Inheritance Ecocide reissue (Vic) listen
The Prowlers Point Of No Return (Perris) listen
Pyro Ohio Before The Sun Sets EP (At Your Command) listen
Shannon Circus Of Lost Souls (Mad Association) listen
Starkill Fires Of Life (Century Media) listen
Toxic Rose Toxic Rose (Perris) listen
Upon Wings Afterlife EP (Sword Of The Spirit) listen listen
Valor The Yonder Answer (Pitch Black) listen
Vreid Welcome Farewell (Indie) listen
White Widows White Widows (Sacrament) listen listen