Raging Speedhorn – Lost Ritual

A LIST OF GENRE COMBINATIONS I’VE NEVER HEARD, AND DON’T WANT TO

  1. Gamelan Slam Death Metal (no, it would suck and you know it)
  2. New Age Groove Metal
  3. Blackened Twee Pop
  4. Post-Disco (another one that sounds interesting, but deep down you know it would be awful)
  5. Post-Vaporwave
  6. Post-Trap
  7. Post-Any genre invented after Twitter became popular
  8. Funeral Melodic Metalcore
  9. Literal Meme Rap (No, I’ve never listened to Childish Gambino and don’t plan to for this very reason)
  10. Crunk Jazz
  11. Conscious Black Metal
  12. Swans albums made into nightcore (I lied, I’ve actually heard this, it’s just as bad as you think it is)
  13. Chopped and Skrewed / Vaporwave made up of segments of Alex Jone’s radio show
  14. Ambient Grindcore
  15. Ironic Neofolk
  16. Chiptune Drone
  17. Symphonic Miami Bass with Devin Townsend-like Prog Metal elements
  18. Caverncore Detroit Techno
  19. Caverncore Detroit House
  20. Caverncore plus the sounds of Detroit’s decades of financial suffering
  21. Meme-Djent (so basically modern djent in general)
  22. Waaam

Lost Ritual is much less of an ambitious combination, being a combo of heavy Stoner Metal and Groove Metal. What you get is disappointingly everything you would expect; monotonous, repetitive, and very mediocre heavy stoner riffs, that go nowhere, and don’t even try to. I’ll give the album that it’s heavy, but lots of things are heavy. I’m an American, as a people we’re pretty heavy, but that doesn’t mean we should all just fatten up on garbage, nutrition-less foods all the time. This album is basically just junk food that fills the gap of silence. It’s just satisfying enough to not be annoying, but is useless for anything beyond pointless (because let’s face it, metal fans don’t exactly exercise beyond walking around the house a few times a day) carbo-loading. I filler album if I’ve ever heard one.


4.25/10

Ferium – Behind the Black Eyes

To be honest, for the large majority of this record, I feel like I just don’t have too much of an opinion other than it sounds great. I was really trying to determine what kind of hardcore this is, or if it’s just groove metal. In the end I figured it doesn’t matter, although I guess it’s more groove metal. In general it was just a good album that had some good riffs, good vocals, and was solid all around, but the tracks were a bit too short, and there wasn’t too much meat here. And then A Free Man happened. That is legitimately the greatest groove metal track I’ve ever heard. That main riff still haunts me as I write this. I didn’t think it was possible for chugs to make me nearly cry, but fuck it happened man. It’s like super emotional, but it doesn’t seem forced like so much else that has any sort of core or groove influence in it. I really wish the rest of the album had more longer, a bit more emotive tracks that feel like the band put their heart and soul into it. Right now it’s a good record with solid musical material, but I don’t think it’s really super special in any way, other than being groove metal that isn’t shit. Still worth checking out I think.


7.25/10

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.


6.25/10

Megadeth – Dystopia ALBUM REVIEW

Well let’s start out with the positives; it’s not a complete disaster like I thought it would be. Anytime an old school band tries to revive its sound through a concept album, normally things start to go arye pretty quickly. In fact, for much of the album, Dystopia is actually quite good. Really good in fact. The main riff from the title track is one of my favorites I’ve heard in this young year. The lyrics are shit, sure, but nobody would expect anything else, instead you just enjoy how fucking groovy and head-bang worthy the tracks are. The fact that an aging old man is desperately trying to sound edgy doesn’t dawn on you as the riffs and solos caress your ears like a mother feeding its baby some spiked milk. Sweet, with a bit of a kick to it.

And then they just… stopped. Like, Death From Within comes on and the entire rest of the album is complete mediocrity with good solos. There’s lots of chugging sure, but there some good grooves there, nothing really awful. At some points there are tracks where it is actually just a bunch of chugging until the solo, Post-American World being an example of such. It is literally just absolutely fucking nothing until the solo hits, then the song ends. And this isn’t the only track like that. But again, that’s generally forgivable.

What ISN’T forgivable is what I mentioned before, those god forsaken vocals. It’s just so damn obvious that this is sung by an old geezer, and it really takes you out of Megadeth’s aesthetic. You know that scene in 30 Rock where Steve Buscemi infiltrates a high school, arrives is dressed up in teenager cloths and goes “how do you do my fellow kids?”? That’s how I feel when I hear Mustaines voice. The dude is desperately trying to remain relevant and just can’t fucking do it, not only to a failure, but to a complete detriment of the album’s quality. The culprit of all of this is how precisely and clearly Mustaine states every single word, when it would be a really, really good idea not to.

Terrible lyrics in metal is not so uncommon. In fact, I’d even say it’s the norm. Metal is unlike most other genres, in that the lyrics are normally quite unimportant, which explains why much of the most highly acclaimed metal albums of all time have rather lackluster lyrics. Part of that is because you literally can’t hear them, which is I guess one way to mask being a shitty writer. In black metal, death metal, and even some sludge metal, it’s very normal to not be able to hear a single word spoken in the entire album. It’s why there is actually a distinction between vocals you hear and vocals you can’t, called “clean” vocals. Now I know pretty much everyone who is reading this knows this shit, but I feel like there is a lesson to be learned here. Even in bands with clean vocals, normally the lyrics aren’t that great, but it’s masked by the fantastic musicianship and melodic playing, with riffs and all that good shit. A lot of people only listen to metal because of those riffs in the first place. Basically, this is a very roundabout way of saying if you’re going to have shitty lyrics, have something to distract someone, or make sure they can’t hear them anyway.

Megadeth doesn’t do that. Instead they let their 9th grade reading level fupa hang out. And when it hangs, it pours. Because what they do is instead of masking their poor writing, they actually strip down the music so that you can’t focus on anything other than the lyrics. There really isn’t a eloquent way I can put it that’ll take up text space, this is just pure trash. The Emperor in particular is some of the cringiest lyrical garbage you’ll hear out of a major band. Not that there isn’t any other cringe on this album (the end of Poisonous Shadows gets a solid B+ in that department), but I think The Emperor easily tops them all, which is saying something.

I really wanted to like this. For the longest time I was holding on to the fact that this was a 7/10 and a great comeback. And I do think it’s a step in the right direction. But a step is just a step, and where they’re stepping from is one of the worst records in recent memory. In reality, while I dissing this a bit more than it deserves, Dystopia really is just average overall. If I was a major Megadeth band, I would really hope this would be their final record, because if this is all they got, there’s nothing left in the tank.


5.5/10

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.


6.25/10