Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I am infinitely sickened by how "metal media" as a whole is largely responsible for the worst fucking reviews I've ever read. I havent read a non-worthless review of anything in years! I hope you few readers can appreciate that I try to offer an alternative to what heaps of magazines, endless stupid fucking blogs, and sites have to offer.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I want you to have this...

The other day I really wanted to listen to Vorak. The CDs were all the way upstairs in my bedroom and I was too lazy to go get them. So I decided to look for Vorak MP3s. I had a hell of a time finding any on soulseek or on blogs, so I'm here today to spread Vorak MP3s to the world.

Vorak is one of the most preposterously head scratching bands in black metal. All I know is I fucking love them. Imagine chaotic all directly recorded obnoxious drum machine black metal with digital eagle screams for vocals, combined with Wagner-esque piano interludes.

Download Rhetoric of the Supermen:
and Triumph of the Will:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Heavenly - Sign of the Winner

When I first decided to review this album, the day I got it, I thought to myself "Hey, it might be a cool challenge to review the album without even mentioning Helloween!" Well I've already mentioned Helloween, and I'm not up for a challenge, so I hope you've heard Helloween, otherwise you'll be pretty much in the dark. Oh, and before I go any further, when I compare Heavenly to Helloween, I mean Helloween right around the Keeper of the 7 Keys parts 1&2.
When it comes to power metal, I like bands that do it with total authority and character, as if they are seriously convinced that they invented the genre. That's one thing that's undeniable about Heavenly, they play power metal as if they've never even heard Helloween, if you ask me Helloween invented power metal. Heavenly has the knack for great chunky bombastic yet melodic riffs that give any song its backbone. Theres an excellent use of keyboards throughout the album. There's even the fucking token Helloween parts where the keys and the guitars play the same 16th notes.
Could Heavenly's singer sound anymore like Michael Kiske used to? Actually, I'm going to give him more credit than that. Heavenly's singer, Ben Sotto takes the helm with an even stronger presence than Michael Kiske did with Helloween. Hes got an even more incredible range than Kiske, and he uses it superbly. In fact Ben does a lot less of the lower toned stuff that Kiske sometime did. Ben has obviously studied his Kiske, there's so many little tendencies that Kiske had, such as rounding off a stanza of lyrics with an extra accented word and a rhythmic delay on that word will follow.
Heavenly's drummer has a great unique style all his own, just Ingo did, hahah. He'll throw around some typical rock beat high-hat / snare stuff, but not for very long. He likes to do a lot of interesting snare fills, like Ingo always did. Hes got what I like to call a good meat & potatoes style. Meaning hes perfect at doing the regular stuff and he always nails those parts, but he goes just above that and shows that hes not there to show off but to drive the song where its supposed to go and to do so with a lot of conviction. You won't hear a lot of 16th note bridges or fills from him.
Sign of the Winner has everything a power metal fan is going to be undoubtedly looking for. Melodic majesty, scrumptious syncopation, shreddy guitar / double bass passages with great catchy vocals atop them. Its almost as if Heavenly got fed up with what Helloween have been doing since the departure of Michael Kiske and broke into their studio and recorded Sign of the Winner. One thing I cant help but laugh about is that there have been two Helloween Tributes and two Heavenly albums since the year 2000. Heavenly were not on either of the Helloween tributes. Both Sign of the Winner and "Carry Your Heart" (2000) are tributes to Helloween. To end this, I have to apologize for all the Helloween talk, but honestly, the resemblance between heavenly and Helloween is absolutely uncanny.

Deathspell Omega - Si Monumentum Requires Circumspice

Its been a very long time since I heard a black metal album this epic and sinister at the same time. This album is a very different direction for DSO, and black metal in general I think. The biggest difference you will notice for DSO is the vocals. They are a very atypical low, sort of spoken gurgling, never screaming. The drumming is a lot better than on previous efforts and add a very rich and echoey texture to all of the droning downtuned guitarwork. The overall tone of the guitars is very original. They arent high pitched super distorted walls of blood that engulfs your face. The beautifully mastered guitars (by that I mean two guitar tracks and bass) are masterfully mixed to a very unabrasive but allthewhile potent tone that makes the whole album very inviting and listenable.
This album as a whole exhudes a unfamiliar and new stench of rotteness that no other band has ever attained. Theres just no comparing this release to any other.The best part about this album, as much as I love this installment, is that this is a concept album which is the first in a three part trilogy. So we can expect two more great albums of this magnificent stature in the near future if everything goes as planned. If you ignore this release or the next two by these geniuses, you will be hurting for a long time.

Deteriorate - Rotting In Hell

Holy crap this is an absolute lost classic. I hadn't heard of these champs until I got the JL America comp called "Brutal Aggression." What I love about a lot of JL America's releases is that they captured a very specific era in death and black metal that was and is very representative of the past and the future of what would become of the genres and bands that JL America represented. Back when JL America seemed to clamor to get these releases out, it was a level playing field between bands like Immortal and Goatlord, or Masters Hammer and Nokturnel. In addition, it wasn't only the label that was representing the US and European scene so honestly, but each of the bands represented their own niches within a plethora of genres in such a remarkably bold manner that each JL America and Turbo USA release still stands as a pertinent bookmark in the timeline of metal. Immortal's "Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism" represented the budding Norwegian scene that would grow to dominate the black metal scene. Let me get back to Deteriorate. What my point boils down to is that "Rotting in Hell" stands as a good example of what a lot of great underground death metal bands were doing in 92 / 93.
To start things off the right way, "Rotting in Hell" opens with a morbid intro of distorted screams over an ambient death wind. After about a minute of this the pummeling death machine that is Deteriorate rolls into town. The excellent production on this is immediately evident. The drums are clear as a bell, the guitar tone is thick, crunchy, and powerful. The vocals are artfully given a great stereo trick here the left speaker is a millisecond delayed from the right. It does for the vocals what reverb or delay does but without compromising any clarity and the decay is immediate. For the rest of the album you're going to bang your head the entire time as "Rotting in Hell" offers up a bottomless bucket of chunk, sludge, and sick melody. Your dinner also comes with a complementary choice of blastbeats, skank sections, or hooky breakdowns.
All in all I think its sort of redundant for me to dissect this album and tell you all about every single second of it. Its just an absolute death metal classic and you'd be a total fool not to pick it up if you ever get the chance. The chance might be rare because JL America stuff is sort of rare, but right now Deathgasm Records has a ton of JL America stuff on sale after he unearthed a bunch of it in a recent buyout. Also I don't have a weblink for an official Deteriorate site but I recently heard they are still together with a different vocalist.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Blut Aus Nord - MoRT

I like to think of Blut Aus Nord as a monstrous creature living beneath the surface of a blackened lagoon. Each time it rears its head at the surface we see an even more decayed, bloated, pallid and disfigured being, going back down to the depths to further erode what was never a holy being. The last time Blut Aus Nord reared its head we were blessed with "The Work Which Transforms God," a ghastly album of black metal with strange bending and contorted riffing coupled with percussive fury and eerie enigmatic vocals. "The Work Which Transforms God" is almost a pre-requisite to "Mort." If you picked up "Mort" without ever hearing black metal, it would be like sending a blind child into a dark cave to look for a dead bobcat made out of clouds.
"Mort" is a vague and complex menagerie of asymmetrical tones, discordant tangents and constantly diverting elements whirling about. There are no stable or solidified elements here. Lazy drum patterns pan from the every direction while unfamiliar vocals noises emerge from beneath your cerebral cortex. The loose fitting textures and almost serene anti-harmonies weave one of the most intricate and spacial listening experiences I have ever witnessed with an other-worldly authority. Each track on this album could be described as an instance of conversion. Non-chalant guitar noodling, unmusical ,all too unhuman percussion, and ghastly vocals float about in your mind until they converge in one axis causing the aural havoc that is "Mort."
"Mort" is an album that you need to prepare for in order to truly digest it. Actually I'm not so sure that it is you who does the digesting, this album has digested me every time I have listened to it.