Chuck Schuldiner Project

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Casket Feeder - Scalps

Man - this was not a record I expected to blow me away this hard. See, frequently when I review EP's it's because I'm sick or too busy to invest time in a full album. But every once in a while something finds its way into my inbox that is so wonderfully sick and twisted that I can't help but to fall in love, no matter how rough of a day I might be having. Such is the case with Scalps a record that simultaneously reflects the punkiest and most hard hitting sides of death metal and counterbalances them with the sonic poetry of the modern scene.

There is a palpable sense of groove throughout this record that serves to make Scalps incredibly thrilling. Beyond that, Casket Feeder stuns with their sheer songwriting sensibility. The crushing assault on a song like The Supremacy Of Idiocracy suggests that these guys could be the best punk infused death metal band since Noisem. Of course, they bring so much more to the table, their unique understanding of Swedish death metal and UK hardcore makes for an album that is going to drive you through the roof. Bloodthirsty and buckets of fun, extreme music fans will love the hooks, riffs and teeth shattering assault of this album.

There is an exciting new tradition of UK death metal bands with acts like Venom Prison and Ingested setting the bar ever higher for these bands. It's hard not to fall in love with the thrilling and over the top assault these bands bring to the table. The hectic solo on EP closer Replicant is a great example of this. The band brings so much beautiful raw energy to the table with every track here it's hard not to be impressed and to find yourself begging for more. This record is insanity, and I'm stoked to see what happens with the followup to Scalps!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Homewrecker - Hell Is Here Now

I love seeing the bands I came up with going to house shows and the like going on to take on the world. The wonderfully apocalyptic madness of Homewrecker has never been an exception to this and their gradual shift from straight up hardcore to something with quite a few death and thrash metal fringes has made them all the more inspiring. There is a bloodthirsty magic to the over the top and twisted majesty of this band, hinting at the power of this group and what they might be able to achieve on this, their third LP. 

It's been a long time since we've had a full length from these hard touring maniacs, and though we had a triumphant split and a stellar EP in 2016 it still feels nice to get to hear the band have the space to really breathe. The growth into something far more metal than their origins is clear here, but it's still never too hard to hear the hardcore kids who exist inside this band and their passion for a genre that refuses to rise above the basements. The chaotic sensibility that ebbs and flows throughout Hell Is Here Now can't help but to impress and the deeper we delve into their sonic blasphemies the more we stray from the light. 

With this record it feels like Homewrecker are really starting to achieve their place in the world. The band has full come into their own and with this fully realized and wonderfully unique sound, fans across the globe are going to fall in love. This is the sort of wonderfully brutal and borderline terrifying music that I think so many of us get addicted too. Homewrecker embody the hardcore ethos from back to front and it makes for a band who you can't help but want to fall in love with time and time again. 

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Cruachan - Nine Years Of Blood

It's been four long years since the last offering from Cruachan one of the most consistently highly rated bands in the folk metal genre. These Irish pagans have crafted something truly potent over their many years at this, with rich soundscapes coming face to face with powerful riffs and guiding the listener towards a sense of sonic absolution that can only come with the sort of music that is as emotionally powerful as it is historically significant. This isn't exactly an album that you can cast away lightly.

Nine Years Of Blood is a fascinating listen to say the least. It's a record that dances between all sides of the genre and which routinely visits exciting new facets that we might never have experienced otherwise. Beyond that, this feels like one of Cruachans most ambitious projects to date with a broad variety of musical stylings encapsulated as we traverse from peak to peak, continually reveling in the increased viking glory of this band. There is a strange and ample sense of poetry that makes Cruachan thrilling here. Beyond all of that, the massive riffs and primal melodies conjure up something wonderfully human and downright inescapable.

There is something wonderfully transcendent that runs through all of Cruachans greatest releases and this is certainly one of them. Now that the folk metal bubble has well and truly burst only the best examples of the genre have continued to shine through and it feels like Cruachan have the balls to continue as they always have, transcendent and glorious, reminding us time and time again of how this music can grow and refract upon itself. Getting lost in this record is a rare treat and one that inspires time and time again.

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Cist - The Frozen Casket

Death is a band that has oft been aped but rarely properly imitated. The band who perhaps got closest in recent years was of course Gruesome. However Cist have recently thrown their collective hats into the ring. With a vocalist eerily reminiscent of Chuck and a songwriting guidebook stolen straight out of the bands legendary Leprosy era there is something undeniably fun about the thrash metal inspired death metal assault of Cist. This is the sort of crazy and over the top OSDM that makes me smile, it's not obsessed with brutality but rather sheer songwriting magic.

The Frozen Casket has rapidly gotten me completely obsessed. There is a sense of true heaviness that makes it exciting and the chainsaw guitar riffs possess the same magic that made old school Death so thrilling. This is a band who are attacking a side of the genre we don't get to see as much of in an era where Gatecreeper dominates the scene. With spiraling riffs darting all across the fretboard and dance-able jams creeping into your skull with every passing second it's hard not to be in love with Cist. This is the sort of group who not only have captured a moment in time, but they do it justice in a way that is loving and exciting.

Cist are more than just Death clones, they are bringing potent elements to the genre. While there certainly are missteps (I'm looking at you spoken word bridge on Mitosis simulation) this is a thrilling effort from a band who clearly get what the genre is about. They are bringing a punchy assault to the fore with every passing moment and it's hard not to fall in love with the guitar assault. Memorable, thrilling and able to take you right back to the magical year of 1988, Cist are here to melt your face.

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Merrimack - Ashes Of Purification (Re-release)

The black metal reissue has always been a bit of a contentious point in the world of underground music. On the one hand there is the notion that 'you had to be there' and that only the biggest fans get to have the physical product. On the other hand is the simple notion that if you can let more fans have a good time checking out what you have to offer, why not do it? The Merrimack reissue of their debut Ashes Of Purification sees another 500 CD's being made on the wake of the success of their latest offering Omegaphilia and it seems to me that it nicely straddles that line.

After all - this is one of the most important and exciting black metal albums of all time. These French maniacs were wonderfully atavistic, looking back to the origins of the genre and crafting something wonderfully frostbitten. The blazing guitars of tracks like Noigel speak to the transcendent and genre defining beauty of this album. It is an album that blasts forward unmercifully, careening from strength to strength and reminding us time and time again why these guys are seen as one of the greats. Few bands capture the blazing fury of black metal the way Merrimack did on Ashes Of Purification and it makes for something you constantly want to revisit.

There is a breadth to these music that belies the fact that the band had been around for eight years prior to this release. Ashes Of Purification represented a potent culmination for the group and a hint of all of the magic to come. Truly twisted, wonderfully intelligent and obsessed with the sort of pagan devil worship that only the most inverted of minds can come up with, this is a masterful release. Easy to fall in love with and wonderfully subversive, Merrimack bring us to the brink, and then hint at pushing us over the edge with this trip back in time to a stunning debut.

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