Children of Technology "Future Decay" (Hells Headbangers) 8/10
Fuck this is killer. Sounds like "Motorbreath" from Metallica's first album. I mean, it sounds ALLLLOT like Motorbreath. Is it ok for me to like this? Singer sounds kinda German or something....ok so I looked it up and they are Italian! Anyways, this is fucking great it just sounds like "Kill Em All" if it was recorded with today's technology.
Ok so the whole album doesn't sound like "Kill Em All" but the drums sound EXACTLY like Lars Ulrich "Kill Em All" drums. So therefore, even when it doesn't sound like Metallica, I see Lars' headband in my mind....anyway...the rest of the abum is just a fine example of what Europe has to offer and how they really embrace the spirit of classic Metal...
Singer sounds like Tom Warrior mixed with...Tom Warrior. He doesn't quite hit those "grizzly bear" notes, but has a very grizzly delivery.
Corrosion of Conformity "IX" (Candlelight Records) 8/10
COC is a very interesting band. I especially love the way they bounced around over the years from hardcore, to Thrash, to bluesy doom, and then right on into who knows the fuck where??? What I hear from the first song "Brand New Sleep" is pretty much a perfect trip down memory lane through the heavy sounds of the 80s and 90s as viewed through the eyes of COC.
One thing that bugged me about the 90s era COC is that they got a little too close to the line between "grunge stoner pop" and genuinely cool grungy underground music. Thankfully, this new album dwells in a similar area, but with much more feel and less produced sound. SO basically, this accomplishes that medium between the Bluesy Sabbath side without mocking it, yet retains the attitude and experimental feel the band has been known for lately.
The sound is VERRRY raw and dry sounding. I mean this almost sounds like it was recorded in the 70s. These guys REALLY have their tones down. I mean from the awesomely cheap bluesy leads to the vintage sonic wall which punishes you from slow down blues to up tempo hardcore. A sound like this is highly evolved in a way that is deceptive. Hats off to the effort put into this album.
I'm a huge fan of Reed Mullin's drumming, and this rhythm section really compliments him. So it's just really a pleasure to hear a band with so much chemistry jam out. It's really rare.
I wouldn't say anything here was particularly "amazing" just REAL kick ass.
Goatwhore "Constricting Rage of the Merciless" (Metal Blade) 8/10
I never really liked this band, but this sounds pretty good. It's an interesting mixture that I suppose can only be the "Goatwhore" sound.
I guess what really annoyed me about this band initially was the perhaps overly eager effort to assimulate Black Metal sounds just because it was becomming really hip in Ameria at the time. To me, it contradicted the whole "southern hearcore death" thing they seemed more rooted in. Kinda like Pantera when they went from Glam to Thrash. Well, not quite but you know what i mean...At least with regard to the singer's former band. To me it sounds like Goatwhore stopped trying so hard to be "Black Metal" and are now playing something a bit more true to their roots. So while there is a little edge of the "blackened" sound, it tends to compliment, rather than contradict the otherwise Death/Hardcore laced obscurity.
"Baring teeth for Revolt" is a very kick ass song. I mean it's just awesome fucking hardcore, with a touch of classic 80s Thrash thrown in. Very nice combination of sounds. I like this band better than I used to. Super fucking solid. Very Thrashy at times. In a VERY GOOD WAY!!!
"Reanimated Sacrifice" has a nice backward 80s Slayer riff that will have you struggling to find it on one of their albums. Shit, I did not expect a lesson in violence here, but this is a lesson in violence I won't soon forget!
Overall, more variation here than most albums. From obscure blackened passages, through a thrash metal lesson in violence, a good hardcore pounding in the way Carnivore may have resembled, and what you have is a pretty fucking nice pakkage I shall purchase!
Midnight "No Mercy for Mayhem" (Hells Headbangers) 8/10
Well Midnight delivers them goods as usual. Like a cosmic battle between Lemmy and Cronos, the music strides comfortably from d-beat death punk to classic thrash metal, ala Metallica's FIRST album. Some nice other elements are thrown in for some good ecclectic bangin throughout.
It's easy for a band like Midnight to lose their charm. But so far, they seem as strong as ever and even more classic sounding, if anything. But in a way they sound like they are progressing musically at times. However the raw nature and image of this band is going to limit how much they can experiment - so it'll be interesting to see how the next few albums are. For now, no complaints!
Sacrocurse "Unholier Master" (Hells Headbangers) 8/10
So here is some ultra satanic sonic hate noise of hell. It drones in the way Beherit does I suppose. But with more singular intent and with more of a death metal execution. This is more hateful death than it is black metal. It doesn't matter to the band I'm sure.
I'm not a huge fan of this repetitive, singular sonic delivery because it demands much of the listener. And it is rare I am in the mood, as I prefer more dynamics in songwriting. For example - "Altars of Madness" absolutely stunned me with brutality, the way this album is doing right now. But Morbid Angel manages to make it extremely musical, whereas this band is more about the "vibe" and are not as intrictate as I would prefer with regard to songwriting.
It's funny, the more I think about it, this sounds like Altars of Madness in many ways. I say that's good!
For fans of hateful death noise, this is great.
Wolves in the Throne Room "Celestite" (Artemisia Records) 7/10
I never liked this band but this is easily the best I've heard from them! It's not Metal at all, it's just spacey hippy trippy shit. But I tell you, it puts me right in that 60s-80s class Sci Fi movie head space. I mean, I keep waiting for Hal's voice to bust in.. "I'm sorry Shaxul. I cannot stop the self destruct sequence. Goodbye!"
These fuckin guys..."let's make an album that sounds like the milk bar scene in "A Clockwork Orange."" Hey, you know Master's Hammer did something like this. And I actually love that album (Slagry?) so this here is technically in the confines of "something a Euro BM guy coulda done" category, so they are good.
All bulshit aside - I actually like this. Hate to admit it. Someone kick my ass please. Cannnot...like...does...not...compute....
Wolvhammer "Clawing into Black Sun" (Profound Lore) 0/10
Fuck they still writing this shit? This fucking arty Hitler Haircut college thesis on "distressed" black metal or whatever the fuck they call it...I refuse to listen, even if it does sound nice at times!