Bestial Deform – …Ad Leones

This is some really solid dissonant death metal. The sort of slamish, atonal riffs are surprisingly memorable, especially the main riff on In Maxillis Bestia. I was really debating whether or not to give this a 6.75 of 7, but I’m settling on a 7 because i feel like despite it being a relativity generic album, and having a few interludel moments that I don’t think were necessary (the intro was not needed, period), it’s overall solid enough and filled with enough great riffs to rise to the ranks of the recommended.


7/10

Slave One – Disclosed Dioptric Principles

Weird as fuck album. It has some amazing riffs and composition, but then always has this random fucking shit that has nothing to do with the music in the slightest. It’ll have like middle eastern chanting, ominous Gregorian drones, african drums, and lots of other weird vocal and guitar effects that just come out of fucking no where to screw with the music. Like this isn’t even a folk album, they just put this shit in there seemingly because they could. It’d be like listening to Beyonce, and then have a 5 second tibetan throat singing interlude. It’s that off putting. I’m gonna give this a 7 anyway because I REALLY love the guitar work and riffage, and while there are some fuck bumps in the music, it’s nothing to completely take you out of the record entirely. Still worth a listen for some quality, if a bit bizzare tech death.


7/10

Irkallian Oracle – Apollyon

What the fuck was that inhale at the beginning of Elemental Crucifixion? Like I get it, it’s supposed to be all raspy and murky and weak and shit, but like nigga you inhaled for 15 straight seconds. You aren’t a vacuum, humans don’t do that. That was massively cringe but this is pretty alright. Most caverncore sounds really similar to me, and it’s getting a bit old, but that’s what happens with trends I guess. Shit’s good, but nothing you haven’t heard before.


7/10

Electric Lizard’s Shortstacks – 2/29/2016

Preface: So I’ve been thinking of ways to combat my eventually exhaustion from reviewing, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the biggest reason this happens is because I tend to feel like I have to write a master piece for every review. That includes when I simply don’t have much to say about an album. I’ll get “stuck” on an album that I feel like I should have a lot to say about, but I don’t. Simply put, I really don’t want to take an entire post for a review that’s not even 200 words long. So my solution is every day I’m going to take the albums that I don’t have much to say about, and put them in one post. That way I can get through a lot more albums much quicker, and without the pressure of having to write 700+ words. So without further adieu, here is the first ever edition of Electric Lizard’s Shortstacks.


Cover

Eissturm – The Oak

Really solid work. I love the intermixing of the acoustic guitar sections with the straight atmo black parts. It gives it so much more of a melancholy feel. It doesn’t feel repetitive and monotonous, more just relaxing and reflective. It even has some really soothing flutes on the first track Falling Snow, which I felt was a really unique addition to the music that I don’t here in black metal much. You would think with the whole winter theme that flutes would run rampant (sounding just like a cold winter wind), but alas. The production is also in that sweet spot of clean enough to not sound like shit, and fuzzy enough to make you feel warm inside. Granted, it still ultimately sounds like an amateur work, but it’s a solid amateur work that’s worth listening to. I was expecting this to be total shit, so I’m pleasantly surprised. Good stuff.

7/10


5933127

Agoraphobic Nosebleed – Arc

Really not a fan. The guitar work and riffs are just mediocre, if inoffensive. But the vocals are a squeaky, annoying piece of shit. It basically sounds exactly what a grindcore band transitioning to sludge metal for some reason would sound like: they don’t know what they’re doing, and traces of their previous genre are still laden throughout the work, to ill effect. It’s not awful, but I certainly won’t be playing this again anytime soon. A major disappointment.

5.25/10


 

5933960

Bosque – Beyond

Wow what a disappointment. I was really hoping the second funeral doom album I’d listen to this year would be a real hit. Unfortunately, this isn’t so much funeral doom metal as much as it is regular doom metal extended over 13 minute tracks. The album is really monotonous and boring without any of the charm or atmosphere of traditional funeral doom. Bosque decided to ditch the synths, ditch the death growls, and everything that gives funeral doom it’s quirky charm, instead deciding to just play slower standard doom track 3 times in a row, for 40 minutes straight. Beyond is beyond boring, don’t bother with this snoozefest.

3.75/10

 

Desolated – The End ALBUM REIVEW

I feel like the initial slight backlash at this album is simply because people are going to hate anything that has “core” in its genre tag (except grindcore for some reason) regardless of content. Because despite not being the most innovative record out there, The End is actually pretty dang good. The guitar tone is really fantastic, and I love most of the riffs, despite being chug based. The production is spot on, being extremely clean and well done, while maintaining enough fuzz to sound hard as fuck. Sure it doesn’t have the most variety in the world, but that can’t really be too expect of the genre.

But I will say that it would’ve been nice to have. While I don’t expect beatdown albums to have too much variety, I feel like the 24 minutes just wasn’t enough time with the music to make it have any impact on me. I mean yes, it’s probably good that it wasn’t 50 minutes of the same shit over and over again, but I feel like a 35 minute record with some samples, or any kind of slight genre hop would’ve hit the spot. But overall for the most this is a really solid record.

Then there are the lyrics. The very audible, cringe inducing lyrics. It sounds sort of like that one dude at the gym you know who’s trying to finally open up emotionally to you for the first time, but like he’s really bad at describing himself because he’s not used to being anything but a hunk of meat. So he keeps talking and it all sounds really stupid because he’s using really basic words and cliché phrases that he thinks he invented, but you can’t really say anything because you know he’s trying his best. And then when he’s done he asks you if you “feel him” and you just say “yeah bro, I feel ya” because even though it was really awful you know it’s a big step for him plus you don’t want to get your face beat in. Then he gives you a lung crushing hug and starts crying, which makes the whole thing really awkward because everyone else in the gym is staring and he didn’t even ask if he could open up to you in the first place, he just started talking, so you weren’t prepared in the slightest. It all ends with emotions conflicting between sympathy and embarrassment, along with a ruined workout. That’s about the gist of it.

Regardless, I had fun with this, despite it being an album with relatively low scope in what it does. Desolated does a good job with an overall trash filled genre, and I think that anyone with an open mind about genre labels can enjoy.


7/10

Mourning Beloveth – Rust & Bone ALBUM REVIEW

Funny story, the only album I had previously listened to of this band was their debut, which, not knowing anything about death doom metal, I thought was boring and snooze worthy, being way too slow and samey. Fast forward a few years and funeral doom is my favorite metal genre. Funny how things change.

Anyway, Rust&Bone is a nice album, but I really feel like Mourning is trying way too damn hard to make the listener feel sad. Certain elements are really nice, like the doomy acoustic bits, and the fantastically beautiful choir that backdrops the music on occasion. However I really feel like this is too tonal and obvious for me to really enjoy fully. I kinda have this thing where if death doom / funeral doom has too much tone and melody to it, I tend to lose interest. I’m the kinda guy who loves shit like Mordor, and Esoteric’s early work, melody doesn’t really affect me as much. Personal taste aside, I do feel like Rust rides along the line of a bit too much cheese pretty tightly, crossing over into the danger zone a few times too many.

There’s also the aspect of time. The album clocks in at 37 minutes, and with only 3 of the 5 tracks having meaningful length (the others being interludes), it feels like as soon as the album arrives, it disappears, without really leaving a trace of its presence, or any impact on the listener. I feel like one more track would’ve made much more of an impression on me, which is weird to say, as I normally prefer albums to be on the short side.

Negative criticism aside, this is a very decent work. I feel like Rust & Bone is at its best when it steps away from traditional death doom, and goes the more melancholy, acoustic rout with clean vocals. The interludes are absolutely fantastic, and I loved the intro to the album, but I feel like the meat and potatoes of the album just tires too hard for my liking. That being said, I can see why many other persons would love this, so I still fully recommend this album to anyone looking for some high quality sad thoughts time.


7/10

Dark Buddha Rising – Inversum ALBUM REVIEW

For the record, I’m a huge DBR fan. They’re one of the first metal bands I ever listened to, even before I really got into it. This goes back to high school, when I thought that the subgenres of metal were basically just labeled how hardcore they were, and me thinking Mayhem was some of the most evil shit I’ve ever heard. DBR was a good medium between super scary evil, and just dark enough to peak my interest. Eventually, when I stopped listening to music through youtube videos, I went through their whole discography to an ultimately pleasant outcome. Good stuff all around, nothing super elite. But I did discover one thing: DBR is one of those bands who in order to get the most out of their music, you need to listen to high. I’m not the kind of person who thinks that all music is better high, or that you need to smoke weed whenever listening to stoner doom. But there is a very clear difference in experiences of DBR music in the two states. Sober DBR is great to good music depending on the album, has nice climaxes, but doesn’t blow you away, especially if you’ve heard their music before. High DBR is a life-changing experience that transcends you to another realm, and might also cause you to create a war between the cheetos and the cherry tomatoes (which is kinda messy but very entertaining).

However I did review this sober, so I’ll be writing on that front. This was one of my most anticipated albums of this year, as I was hoping they would fix their problems of their last album, namely length and creativity. I’ll give them a 1.5/2 for this album. Length they certainly fixed, being at a very reasonable 47 minutes, compared to the over 70 minute time of their last album. Creativity is a bit of an issue. Inversum is split into two tracks, ESO and EXO. ESO sounds like a stereotypical DBR track, with all the same buildups, riffs, and samples that have been repeated in their previous albums multiple times. It sounds decent, but after so many albums of a similar sound, it starts to lose it’s luster. EXO by comparison, is a infinitely more interesting track. And strangely enough, this is because it shows that this band has a soft side. The opening to EXO is actually quite calm and atmospheric, something you don’t normally hear in this bad at all. Of course in the latter bit it builds up to the strong, dark, crushing climactic riff, but the buildup feels so much sweater here as there was actually some contrast. Turning up the volume from 60-100 isn’t going to create nearly as much of an impact as going from 20-100 after all.

I really think the next step in DBR’s evolution is to fiddle around with different dynamics throughout the ENTIRE song, rather than just building up. Maybe having multiple climaxes throughout the track, variations, or heck at least something other than the 3-4 riffs they play. Basically just some variety would be all they needed to be one of the best doom metal bands out there.

In short, if you’ve heard their last few albums, you’ve heard this album. I’d really only recommend this to those who are unfamiliar with this band, or someone who has some high quality weed sitting around their house. Otherwise, DBR certainly doesn’t drop the ball in the slightest, but they don’t really do anything they haven’t done before.


7/10

Phantom Winter – Cvlt ALBUM REVIEW

Slow, dark, punishing, heavy. That’s pretty much all I need to sum up this album, but I’ll type more because I like reading my own words. The atmosphere is like a dark wall of sound and punishment. The album is a little long, but nonetheless there is just enough variety and tension building that it’s ok to listen to. There is however one little problem. For the first time, I feel like I listened to an album that was a generic epic atmo-sludge album. I didn’t even know epic atmo-sludge was a trope, but it feels like this album fits the bill of it. The sweeping fuzz drones of the guitar, the tension building, the vocals that seem more like just yelling than actually singing. It’s good music and all, but I feel like I’ve heard this before. The spoken word samples also completely detract from the atmosphere of the album, and seem a bit cheesy. So yeah, this is a good album, but at it’s core it’s really nothing special, just good atmo sludge. Nothing wrong with that obviously, just not something I say a lot, and not something that’s going to get an amazing score.


7/10