Devil To Pay – A Bend Through Space and Time

Decent, not amazing. The tribute to lemmy song was pretty great lyrically (at least in an amusing way), but nothing else about the album even ventured above “it’s alright”. I honestly think the cover is the best part about that. How do you hate giant alien tits, in any context?


Gilded Lily – Mongrel’s Light

Ok, but nothing great. The industrial influences are just not nearly as pronounced as they should be I feel. It’s got this weird sound combination of dirty and slightly melodic that doesn’t quite come together well. It’s also just way too short, i think an added 10 minutes with like an 8 minute track or something would’ve been great. As is nothing is memorable enough to stick at all. I didn’t grow tired of it at least, the sound was unique enough to warrant some of my attention. Just not unique enough for me to give it ALL of my attention.


Lord of War – Suffer

Surprisingly decent techy deathcore. The breakdowns are generally not too obnoxious (with the exception of Carbon Based Genocide), and some of the chug riffs are not bad. I like that much of the technicality isn’t just sweeping, there is some actual riffing. The extremely edgy “kill all humans, alien lifeforms rule the world” theme is executed on a high school level of authenticity, but it’s deathcore, what do you expect? It’s not amazing, but I’ll take what I can get in a genre this deprived on anything remotely resembling quality.


Baptism – The Devil’s Fire

Man this feels good. I’m reviewing a black metal album that isn’t post-black, blackgaze, orthodox black metal, or caverncore. This is black metal the way it was meant to be played. And I have to give a shoutout to Baptism for doing it the right way for all these years. They’ve managed to put out decent material while staying somewhat underground for years now, and never succumbing to the black metal memes that all the other bands do. So big props for that.

That only gets you so far however. The Devil’s Fire is decent, but really nothing spectacular to write home about. Baptism creates this blend of traditional black, melodic black, and even atmospheric black metal that does a bit of each but none extremely well. I feel like the only part of the album that really made me excited was towards the end of Satananda, where there are these clean vocals that make me think of a wise sage, singing about how he longs for when times were simpler, and black metal was not seen as a fashion accessory.

Other than that however, there isn’t much worth talking about. Nothing in particular stands out about this album, so other than the bonus points for going against the grain by staying true to their roots, I can’t really give this record a remarkable score. It’s a relatively nice listen, but nothing beyond that.


Cobalt – Slow Forever

You know like when you’re about to hook up with a nice 8/10 chick at a party? And like she’s not a super model but she has all the parts of someone you can get with. And then you get a bit frisky, you’re about to go at it, and then like you can’t get it up. Like there’s this beautiful chick in front of you, all naked, which should make your dick fucking cement. But nothing happens. For some reason, you can’t get it up. That’s this album to me. I love Neurosis-style hard atmo sludge, and I love black metal. So you would think this thing would be a slam dunk for me, right? Well no, not really. Throughout the whole 80 minute endeavor I felt like there was a distinct lack of variety, the only break coming with Breathe, a 2 minute, folkish acoustic guitar track, which I felt this album needed much more of. Besides CD 1 being mostly atmo sludge and CD 2 being mostly black metal (though both CDs have elements of both), I thought that there just wasn’t enough creative content other than “muh atmosphere and hardness” to justify a full album’s worth of music, let alone basically 2. It’s perfectly nice to listen to, but nothing so supremely great that I need to fuck this album right now. I really wanted to like this record a lot, but I ultimately couldn’t get more than a half-chub out of it.


Orbit Culture – Rasen

It’s pretty much impossible to make melo death, groove metal, and a touch of djent to come together into an outstanding work of music. But bless their hearts these guys try. The odds are so stacked against them that they don’t succeed in making this album anything more than listenable, but I’m giving them some bonus points for effort. For free on bandcamp cancer metal, this is pretty dang good.


Shortstacks – 3/3/2016

Only got two for you guys today, I’ll see if I can do more tomorrow. One of them was almost a full review, but I figured it was just a bit too short to warrant a spot. The batch today doesn’t really have any stinkers, just complete mediocrity, and one band that has potential, but hasn’t quite realized it yet. So without further adieu, here’s today’s Shortstacks.


Mouth – Mouth

I feel like there’s a lot of potential for greatness here, but some things just hold them back. Mouth shows they have a fantastic knowledge of riffing in the first two tracks, but that doesn’t show up anywhere else on the album, offering instead of put out very droney, sludgy tracks. During those tracks they also demonstrate they can build an atmosphere, but especially on From Room / Communion of Her it just goes on way too long.

The shorter tracks are definitely the strengths here. They mostly consist of forward moving, muddying tracks that you can bob your head to, coupled with absolutely fantastic drum work. The drums really are the best aspect of this album. When used right, beyond having finesse, they move the pieces forward, to the point where every beat feels like one giant step, creating a driving force. However the guitars are more inconsistent. While yes, there are some pretty good riffs to behold here, the guitars mostly drone on one chord / “riff” (if you can really call it that). That can work in many circumstances, but in an album where half of its length is basically dedicated to those drones (over half actually), and the fact that in many cases they’re coupled with these softer vocals make the whole thing sound more lazy than atmospheric.

I enjoyed this, however I think the band has some growing up to do. This is only their debut, so I’m sure if they continue they’re grow into a fantastic sound. For now Mouth has potential, but is still largely an obviously amateur production.



Typhus – Typhus

You know an album is gonna be good when one of their track titles spells fixation with two Xs. Basically just generic deathcore with djent shit thrown in so that the band can call it “progressive”. It’s got this pseudo Egyptian thing going on that I don’t really get, but it doesn’t matter because it’s never visible on the album for more than a few seconds at at time. Inoffensive, but not worth anyone’s time.




The Lion’s Daughter – Existence is Horror

I really wanted to like this, because really aggressive noisy sludge is a favorite of mine. However somehow, I leave listening to this completely unimpressed. It has some good riffage, the vocals are great, and the musical texture is exactly what I love, but I feel like this album just lacks so much personality. It feels like the band created this with the idea of mixing black metal and sludge, and then didn’t actually think of what else to put into the album. It’s like the entire purpose of this record is just for its genre mix, nothing more. It doesn’t help that this record is extremely short, meaning what value you do get from listening is not prolonged at all.

Existence is Horror, and also occasionally very bland and unmemorable. There’s a lot of good here, but none of that is expanded upon or added to anything. In the end, The Lion’s Daughter created a record that just goes in one ear and out the other, a passing experience in a lifetime of many others.


Anthrax – For All Kings ALBUM REVIEW

On initial reaction, it would seem like Anthrax managed to do the impossible and make a good album. In other news, hell froze over, North Korea remained their country “Happy Hugs and Chocolates Land”, and Chris-chan gained some self-awareness. And it’s really done by doing what they promised not to do in this album, by abandoning their thrash metal roots. Sure, it has elements of that in here, but for the most part, the album is full of heavy metal epics.

The music is mature, varied, and actually interesting to listen to. Breathing Lightning gave me CHILLS listening to it. Anthrax did that! Breathing is an uplifting, soaring, real POWER metal ballad. Not in the “lets sing merrily about Vikings and DnD” power metal, but in the way that it has power to give you positive energy and will. It’s an inspiring track and easily the best on the album, and the previous three aren’t slouches, being of similar inspiration levels.

And then track five hits and the album just… falls apart. Maybe that’s a little harsh, the rest of For All Kings isn’t bad. But it’s much more like their previous album, which was to be blunt, and steaming pile of concentrated misery, with some shit thrown in for flavor. They certainly upgraded their sound to a bit above tolerable, but nothing exceeds the level of “this isn’t that bad”. It was as if Anthrax spent months working on the first four tracks, and then realized “shit, we need to finish this album fast” and cashed it in for the next 30 minutes.

Disappointment does not even begin to describe my feelings towards this. I was actually a bit hyped to be that one guy who gave Anthrax a 9/10. It would’ve been cool for a band often forgotten, despite how well known they are, who others constantly dismiss even amongst their success, revitalize to create their strongest album almost 40 years after first started up. Of course, seeing as how they decided that quality really isn’t important enough to make an entire album of it, this was not meant to be. So once again, despite Anthrax showing that they are indeed capable of good music, Anthrax ironically “mails” it in, giving some hope, but nothing more than enough to hype up the “next time” for their next album.