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Sunday, 2 October 2011

Weekly album analysis, week two

Continuing from last week's start. Once again, I'd like any feedback. I haven't actually heard very much at all new this week, and nearly all, if not all of it is new releases (or at least from this year), so you could treat this as sort of a 'buyer's/downloader's guide'.

Absu - Abzu [2011]

This, my friends, is a triumph. Having only listened to it for the first time yesterday, I have no hesitation in saying this - all the riffs are perfectly written, the blasts perfectly timed, the rasps perfectly placed, and even some French-like dissonance just ameliorating the album's overall feel. A contender for album of the year, and I'll listen to it again now in celebration.


Alcest - Le Secret [2011]

So this is the rerecording of Alcest's famous EP. As Alcest are far from my favourite band of the blackgaze thing (although I do enjoy them), I'm not best qualified to judge this; especially as I didn't hear it first time around. However, I'll say now: I do prefer the original tracks. Alcest's dreaminess over the years has extended to the point where it's pretty damaging to the overall effect of the music, much like constant blasting.


Anthrax - Worship Music [2011]

Oh dear. It would appear that Anthrax have released yet another poor-to-fair album. This is very 'modern' - its production is overly saccharine at times, in addition to what sound suspiciously like -core beatdowns (COMPLETELY out of place) - but the major thing lacking is speed. This is not a thrash album as we know thrash - I'll accept that thrash doesn't have to be blazing all the time, but this is midpaced. And midpaced is very difficult to pull off. Belladonna's usual annoying vocals don't help either.


Deiphago - XCIII [2011]

Before you listen to a new Deiphago release, you know what's coming, more-or-less. This three-track EP, however, is more like a one-track EP - after the pointless intro (it's an EP, for fuck's sake!), there is a track which is particularly boring - at least for me, it was just bland. However, closer 'Hail Mary Inanna' is a saving grace - it could fit quite comfortably on Satanik Eon, and dare I say it, is even catchy (but only in that cool, bestial black metal way). I wouldn't pay for this though.


Gripe - The Future Doesn't Need You [2011]

Highly promising start from this new powerviolence band - over eight tracks and ten minutes, it ripped me several new arseholes. I may have to upload this, as it's pleased me quite a lot. You heard it here first (unless you're an avid follower of several other blogs) - Gripe are going to be... well, not big - this is powerviolence - but well respected.


Machine Head - Unto The Locust [2011]

Machine Head were a favourite of mine, back when I was just starting to get really into metal and The Blackening had just been released. It's not so much anymore, but is still good for a bit of fun nostalgia. This, on the other hand, is weak. Opener 'I Am Hell' is promising (once their chugging at the start has made way to some solid thrashing), but the rest of the album gives way to thuggish, unwelcome grooves and sickly emopoppy choruses - the title(ish) track is a good example. They do know how to target a market.


Mastodon - The Hunter [2011]

Mastodon's clean vocals are frankly uninspiring. So why have they chosen to make them the focal point of the album? Technically, it's poor, but I've got to say, much like Kreator's Hordes Of Chaos, it sure is good at incorporating a catchy poppy hook into its runtime. Compositionally, Twisted Sister it fortuitously ain't, this is pop metal done right.


Morbus Chron - Sleepers In The Rift [2011]

So, this time last year we were sick of all the new wave thrash bands - and that effect is starting to happen with the OSDM revival. Not here though - this is surprisingly melodic (and thus reminiscent of Intestine Baalism), and is a solid effort. It won't change your life, but for a death metal fan, it's more than worth a listen or several.


Nicole 12 - Black Line [2011]

Terror Noise Audio said it was good. And it is. Italian power electronics, with paedophilic lyrical themes, is certainly an acquired taste - and a niche genre - but I like this. More than a hint of old-school industrial to it, I find little fault with the way this is done. Perhaps one for new contributor fpastilhas to check out; I think he'd like it.


Persecutor - Bestial Overkill [2011]

Wow. Many bands sound like this nowadays, but it's a fucking awesome sound. A favourite band of this blog is Vomitor. Well, spiritually and on record, this is essentially Vomitor's aspirational little brother. They don't quite have the razor-sharp edge yet, but Persecutor have served up a more than worthwhile offering of blackened thrash here.


Running Wild - The Final Jolly Roger [2011]

I can't get enough Running Wild. I rue that I missed the chance to see them in concert, but this release helps newfags like yours truly at least experience a little of that. This is, in sound and in songs, a perfect Running Wild gig; my one complaint is its length. Sure, it would be great to be there at a farewell gig, but any album which is spread over two CDs is pushing it - this falls into a melange after a while.


Taake - Noregs Vaapen [2011]

Controversy follows Hoest like ... I don't know what like, but rest assured that his very existence is somewhat controversial. Don't detract from his music though, and this seems to be his best effort yet - whilst past albums have suffered a little from bouts of monochromaticism, this blends melody and ice cold, almost recent Immortal-esque blackness to joyful levels.


Unkind - Harhakuvat [2011]

I was keen to get my hands on this after reading a very positive review in Zero Tolerance (something I trust now more than Terrorizer, my previous rag du choix), but I'm disappointed. This is pretty much crust by numbers - perhaps with the odd unusual structure or longer song, but there's little about this which makes it stand out.


Warbringer - Worlds Torn Asunder [2011]

Eh. Warbringer are a modern thrash band who have never clicked with me. I couldn't resist giving their new release a cheeky (heh) listen, and nothing's changed. It's fast, but not truly pacy. It's aggressive, but not violently so. Riffs are well-written, but less original than most modern thrash bands - a feat indeed. American thrash is seriously overrated, something for which this is apt testimony.


Weather Report - Black Market [1976]

Jazz fusion. With lots of rocky edge to it. This was popular in the 70s, and I quite like it. I'm unlikely to listen to it very often - it's simply not my genre - and I'm not knowledgeable about the style, so I can't say too much about it, but it's good. I'll give you that much information.


White Medal - Alone As Owt [2011]

'YAAAARKSHIRE black metal'. How could I resist? There's nothing particularly distinctive about this album, save for perhaps its short running time, but it keeps coming back to me (perhaps because of that title). Consider the sound of Winterfylleth mixed with a Mayhem demo. There, you've pretty much got White Medal down to a t.


1 comment:

  1. totally agree with your thoughts on Absu. This album could go down as their greatest. I will have to check out the new Taake...didn't really like the s/t before it.


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