Wreck and Reference // “Abhorrence”
To be a metal band yet forego the use of guitars (or any stringed instrument for that matter) sounds crazy. And that is exactly what California experimental metal duo Wreck and Reference is: crazy. There is no shortage of creativity flowing out of the metal scene these days, but Wreck and Reference push experimentation to its extremes. These two guys are not afraid to think outside the box and it makes them one of the most exciting bands on the scene today.
I’ve been championing these guys since they sent me their debut Black Cassette over two years ago. That album showed a lot of promise but it was nothing compared to their first real authoritative statement,
YOUTH (No Youth) released last year. For such a young band still carving out their niche in the metal universe, YOUTH was a bold statement that caused shockwaves in the scene (well, depending on where your ears were tuned). Really that album was and still is mindblowing. Now the guys are back with a new 7” titled CONTENT (yeah, you got it. No Content) out soon on Flenser Records, a label which is quickly becoming a go-to spot for rich and unique metal.
Right out of the gate the guys scored a video premiere on NPR and several weeks later, a track premiere on Stereogum. Those are no small potatoes for a band that was virtually unknown just a couple of years ago. In true form these new tracks follow suit with more genre-bending and classification-resisting metal. Any harder-edged genre is fair game and the guys mix it in such an organic way. Black metal, doom, industrial, noise, drone. It’s all thrown into the pot and the result is bleak as it absolutely delicious. I don’t think I’ll ever stop geeking out over just how good these guys are. I can’t really help myself. They just make it so damn easy.
BANDCAMP | FACEBOOK | TWITTER
Rorcal // Világvége
When I think of Switzerland I think of neutrality. Well, I used to anyway. Swiss metal band Rorcal is doing their best to change all that. The band blends elements of doom and black metal (and sometimes drone) to create the perfect storm of bleakness. They know where they stand, they don’t mince words, and they are dark dark dark. Almost oppressively so. So don’t be fooled by the soft artwork, this stuff will leave you in stitches.
Apparently these guys have been at it for around seven years and it shows in the musicianship and songwriting. Their latest album Világvége is a solid piece of metal, refined in the fires of hell, and allowed to roam free on the Earth claiming victims at will. It’s a brutal exercise in controlled chaos that knows when to fire on all thrusters and when to put the cruise control on (that’s where the drone element comes in). It’s an extremely punishing album so making it all the way through in one sitting will be difficult for most, but for those who like their music raw and unbridled it’s a breath of fresh air.
The album is seeing a release through a myriad of labels and mediums. Look to Calofror Records, Sick Man Getting Sick Records, Wolves and Vibrancy Records, and Lost Pilgrim Records if you wanna get your hands on a copy. The digital album is up for free download right here, so don’t hesitate to grab it. Over and out.
BANDCAMP | TUMBLR | FACEBOOK
Ash Borer // “Oblivion’s Spring”
Last month American Black Metal outfit Ash Borer announced an upcoming 12” entitled Bloodlands. They didn’t give a release date, which might be a little frustrating for those who like to plot that sort of thing on a calendar, but today they did give a taste of the release in the form of the 15-minute track “Oblivion’s Spring.” You might wanna strap yourselves in for this one. It’s a punisher.
Ushering the track with some light yet creepy guitar work, the band establishes a sinister mood right off the bat. It’s a compelling musical theme that bookends the track and is more or less carried throughout its entirety. The band then drops the hammer down with a whirlwind of doom-encrusted guitars, pummeling blast beats, and gut-wrenching vocals. Switching things up with tempo shifts, theme repetition, and intense intermediate brutality, Ash Borer has proven once again with “Oblivion’s Spring” that they are one of America’s premier black metal bands. Highly recommended.
(via Invisible Oranges)
BANDCAMP | BLOGGER | FACEBOOK
Islands // ISLANDS
And here I already had my posting schedule set for the week. Whatever, I heard this album today and realized that it was way too powerful and beautiful a release not to share it. And so here we are at 9:30 pm and I’m sharing this gorgeous metal album. I hope you guys enjoy it.
Though the band is called Islands, I assure you that they have nothing to do with Nick Diamond or The Unicorns or anything like that. No, this name snafu is purely coincidental. Plus I’m pretty sure that what this Australian outfit is doing would pretty much scare away any average other-Islands fan. You see they play this pummeling metal which scorches the ground before shooting straight up into the blue sky. At their heaviest, the band is a doom-leaning monster with ridiculously heavy guitars, thunderous percussion, and primal vocal screams. And just when you think they are about to let the guillotine drop they pull and 180 and transition into some rather beautiful post-rock interludes. Now while I think that the post-rock ship has more or less sailed (feel free to disagree with me on this), these five guys pull the sound off in convincing fashion. It’s a great balance between the brutal and gentle and it makes for a dynamic listen. Highly recommended.
BANDCAMP | FACEBOOK
Title: Hoarse From The Get Go
Cowards // Shooting Blanks & Pills
I have been reading nothing but glowing reviews of Cowards’ debut album Shooting Blanks & Pills, so I finally decided to check it out. Turns out that it’s a good thing I did because the album is up for free download only this month. If you’re the least bit curious I’d recommend grabbing it before it’s no longer there.
Having done time in numerous other bands, these Parisian dudes have done their homework and it shows in the confidence and brutality of this album. That being said, this is the first black metal album that I’ve heard this year that has made me really sit up and salivate. Incorporating elements of doom and blackened hardcore, Shooting Blanks & Pills will suck the breath right out of your lungs. It opens up with a track humorously titled “Hoarse from the Get Go” that sets the stage for the rest of the album. It’s a furious blast of metal that thrashes about like a wild animal complete with thick crunching guitars, primal vox, and drum fills that are absolutely ridiculous. If you, like me, were on the lookout for proof that black metal can still melt faces in 2012, then look no further than Shooting Blanks & Pills. It’s out later this month on Throatruiner Records.
HOMEPAGE | BANDCAMP | FACEBOOK
Bosse-de-Nage // “The Arborist”
Continuing right where their album ii left off, San Francisco metal outfit Bosse-de-Nage continue to resist classification with their latest track “The Arborist.” The track no doubt shows traces of black metal, doom, post-rock and even noise but the sum is so much more than the parts here.
What I love most about the band is how visceral and in your face they feel. The production is such that the music feels like it is lodged somewhere in between your ears. The guitars shred and the vocals are brutal, but the real reason to pay attention to this track is the drum work. The blast beats are furious and continue from almost beginning to end and there are some absolutely ridiculous fills in the interlude that had my arms flailing uncontrollably to my air drum kit. You best believe I’ll be looking forward to their upcoming album iii. It’s out June 26 on Profound Lore Records.
HELLO WORLD! So I decided to throw this post together for a number of reasons. First of all, I love metal (and other harder-edged music) and I’ve been trying to sneak it into my post queue here or there in an attempt to brainwash my readers into liking it too (even though some have violently protested). And second, I figured that I would occasionally cull a bunch of releases into one mega post and ironically title it “I Hate Metal.” That way any of those who wish to remain untainted can know exactly what they are getting into when they see and can skip over it. Hopefully this will be a recurring feature. I don’t know how often it’ll pop up, but it could be cool so we’ll see. Let’s start things off with a bang, shall we?
PREGNANCY SCARES // 2011 Demo
I know, I know. If you’re listening to this then you are definitely think that this is hardcore not metal. Yeah, whatever it’s frickin brutal and I’m including it. I actually found Pregnancy Scares by reading up on Motivator (one of the best hardcore bands on the scene today). Bands like these are ruling the Ottowa skate punk scene and they absolutely shred. Pregnancy Scares show no restraint as they assault your senses like two giant metallic shards gnashing their way through your ears. The demo tape came out last year, but I just stumbled upon it this week and I’m totally in love with it. You can actually download the whole thing from the band’s Tumblr site and I highly recommend it.
CONGENITAL DEATH // Demo
Here is a band that will probably leave your ears bleeding if you don’t shut it off after the first few seconds. They are called Congenital Death and they hail from (wait for it) Philadelphia. Now I don’t even know how old the vocalist is, but judging from the primal, blood-curdling screams I don’t really care. Their demo tape sounds a bit messy and on-the-spot, but that’s where the charm lies. At eight tracks long and only around 10-12 minutes, this thing is like a gunshot to the head, it’s over before you know it. Oh and they also manage to squeeze a Dirty Rotten Imbeciles cover in there. You can still buy the tape for like $4 from Philadelphia’s own Ranch Records.
CEMETERY // Demo
Here is one that I am so stoked on. The band is called Cemetery and they play some of the gnarliest goth punk I’ve heard in a while. Hailing from Chicago, the band plays some tight and reverential death rock. People have been comparing them a lot to early Christian Death and I can totally see that. So if the fact that this kind of music is still being made makes you geek out then definitely look into Cemetery. I’m still scouring the internet looking for somewhere where I can buy this thing, so if anyone happens upon a way make sure you give me a shout. And word is that their working on an album so at least we’ve got that to look forward to.
OBOLUS // Lament
Ah, now we arrive at the straight up metal. This one actually just came out this month and is available for free for a short period of time via Flenser Records. The label is getting ready to release this thing on vinyl and will pull the free download so don’t hesitate to grab it. Obolus plays some pretty bipolar black metal. There are times when it seems like their intent is to peel the flesh from your bones with their blistering guitars, crushing drums, and primal screaming. But then there are other times when the band plays the most beautiful ambient instrumentals you’ll hear from a black metal crew. It’s an excellent release that you should snatch up while you have the chance.
ROYAL TALONS // Royal Talons
If you guys only knew how merciful I was by playing you those one-minute hardcore punk tracks. Now comes the doom metal. With each of their tracks clocking in at around 10 minutes, Royal Talons self-titled album can be a chore to swallow. However, if you devote the time to it you will see expansive worlds created before you. Vast kingdoms ruled by controlling dictators intent on showing you the most stunning beauty whether you want to behold it or not. I actually found this thing through Grindcore Karaoke, a digital label with a huge catalog that I don’t pillage nearly enough. So if you’ve got some time to kill I’d suggest poking around their releases. Some good stuff in there.
Title: Madness and Civilisation
Drear // We Will Use Your Blood for Fertilizer
I was pretty surprised when this UK metal band Drear sent me this EP. First of all it’s titled We Will Use Your Blood for Fertilizer so that right there grabbed my attention. And second, I really don’t receive many metal submissions (even though I love the genre).So I thanked the band for the submission and sat down to listen to what would turn out to be a really ferocious and refreshing 25 minutes of brain-melting doom metal. Now what’s really interesting is that the band takes these long sound clips of dialogue and uses them just about as much as they use their own vocals. So when the vocalist shreds his throat for the sake of music you are really getting the full spectrum of what the human vocal chords are capable of producing. Those primal screams bleed into the rest of the music and all streams lead to a mighty ocean of brutal and excellent musical energy.
Now I realize that I don’t post a ton of metal on here, but every now and then I get the chance (and I relish them when I do). So I am not ignorant of the fact that this may not be your cup of tea. But a few weeks ago my pals at Boy Atrractions decided to give the excellent new Liturgy album a whirl and their world was all the better for it. So maybe just maybe if you give it a chance you’ll find something to like here, because I certainly did. Download this thing for free while you still can. Let the ear-hemorrhaging commence.
Check ‘em out: BANDCAMP | WEBSITE | MYSPACE
Heinali and Matt Finney // “Plainsong” (The Cure Cover)
A few weeks ago I wrote about the Ukraine/Alabama duo Heinali and Matt Finney and their electrifying brand of doom/spoken-word/post-rock. They have such a big sound and their decision to cover The Cure’s “Plainsong” is one that I couldn’t really picture until I heard it. Looking back it makes perfect sense.
The original song has a sprawling gothic feel that one might not picture being covered by a band like this. But these two maestros assemble the various parts of the song together the way Dr. Frankenstein stitched together his monster. With a single bolt of lightning the song comes to electric life. There is an addictive sonic buzz that runs through this cover that gives the song’s original sprawl an even bigger feeling. Swapping out Robert Smith’s dreamy, echoed voices for Matt Finney’s spoken word delivery helps the duo to make this song their own. I really hope that you guys check it out.
You can check out the cover below. After you do, head to their bandcamp to download it, and if you didn’t check out their stuff before make sure you do that too.
oh boy: “Plainsong”
Heinali and Matt Finney // Conjoined EP
One genre that I really love is doom, but I don’t get to blog about it much. There is just a raw power that is harnessed within the genre. And there is also a certain amount of restraint in drawing out the release of that power. It’s almost like the breathing of some heavy monster.
So I was pretty surprised when I received an email from these two artists. Matt Finney is a spoken-word artist from Alabama who works with Ukranian composer Heinali and the results are pretty stellar. Now the dynamic duo doesn’t stick to just doom, they pull in strands from all over the place. Shoegaze, noise, ambient, drone; they are all rivers leading to the ocean of sonic ecstasy that these two create. The pure energy conjured up by the music is like an electric haze, leaving you with feelings of pins and needles all over your body.
Now, the EP doesn’t officially drop until sometime in late Marc/April on Paradigms Recordings, but you can hear two tracks off it; one below and another on their bandcamp site. This is great stuff and comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Give it a listen.
yes: “Under God’s Heaven”