Chuck Schuldiner Project

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Inter Arma - Sulphur English

Y'know, back in 2012-2013 when Inter Arma first started to pop and I met them, I don't think I thought they were gonna be the ones to make a huge long term impact on the scene. I mean I always liked them and I remember being blown away by Sky Burial, but I don't know if I was mentally prepared for the triumphs to come. This latest record, Sulphur English is a sort of taking of the crown. All that the band has worked on for the past decade plus comes out here and it becomes obvious that these guys are the true modern masters.

Sulphur English sees the band tkaign their massive and finely honed sound to a whole new level. It's deeply emotive and finally starts to reveal all that these titans are capable of. Rather than just being doom metal overlords, Sulphur English proves that Inter Arma are really jsut a defining force in heavy music. There is an overarching sense of terror and chaos here as the band continues to embrace new influences. The black metal assault of the title track for example is pushing the band in ways that they had only hinted at before. It makes for compelling listening from a group who seem to fundamentally understand the glory of heavy sounds.

This is one of the most emotionally deep and powerful records I have heard in a long time. The band remains abrasive and potent. Unlike so many of their peers they haven't embraced a more conventional sound. Instead Sulphur English showcases some of Inter Arma's most punishing moments yet. It makes for compelling listening that is guaranteed to keep pulling you into the pit. It's a twisted reality and one that I won't soon forget. This record is terrifying when at its best and shows us there is no stopping this Richmond force.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Arstidir Lifsins - Saga á tveim tungum I: Vápn ok viðr

I wait for Arstidir Lifsins records the way that normal people wait for Christmas. The thing is, Christmas comes once a year, Arstidr Lifsins haven't given us a full length in five. In fact not only does this upcoming release, Saga á tveim tungum I: Vápn ok viðr impress beyond any expectations I may have had, it comes with the news that the band is going to be pairing this with another record due out later this year. Who doesn't want more from one of the most grandiose and powerful bands in the world of black metal?

The thing is, Arstidir Lifsins aren't just about the inherent bombast of black metal. The way that they tell stories and incorporate all manner of traditional Icelandic instruments is truly stunning .The larger than life soundscapes that the band so easily peddles in are fascinating, treats to the eardrums and a reminder of how great this music was always meant to be. There is a certain intensity throughout this record, even in the chants that simply radiates out. It's chock full of ideas and every step seems to be a new twist in the myth. It's hard not to be mesmerized or fall in love with a band who seem to so perfectly be the next step in pagan metal.

Saga á tveim tungum I: Vápn ok viðr is a monster of a record, clocking in over an hour long and really delving into all sides of the human psyche. It can be a truly fascinating listen and it seems to push even further than its predecessors. The level of execution here is absolutely stunning and I am continually mesmerized by the bands approach to this music. It's powerful and weird, ethereal and over the top, a testament to these guys as creators. Arstidir Lifsins are going to once again blow some minds, so hop on for the ride.

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Monday, March 18, 2019

Moonwatcher - S/T

Sometimes within the world of stoner and doom you find a record that takes you on a veritable journey. A record that is full of emotional depth and weird sonic landscapes that really demands the listener allow themselves to be immersed in what is being offered up. Such is the case with Moonwatcher, whose self titled release is a veritable monster. Clocking in at just under an hour, it's a fascinating listen that clearly hopes to keep you coming back as you navigate ethereal sonic twists and turns.

This all being said, at times it feels like Moonwatcher is a little bit lost in its own momentum. While there are certainly cool ideas here, having a back to back pair of twenty minute plus tracks makes for challenging listening. While the riffs are certainly solid they don't necessarily keep you engaged throughout. On top of that the execution, especially with regards to guitar tone isn't exactly where it needs to be. This doesn't do the record any favors. It's frustrating though because there is so much to like about Moonwatcher. It's a record that seems to be very aware of its own ebb and flow. It encourages the listener to dive deeper into the filth and to enjoy the blasphemous glory this music will always bring to the table.

There's a lot to take in on this record. The vocals are monstrous and the approach to songwriting is Hawkwind-esque. It's a noble first effort and one that seems to hint at even greater things to come. When the band is on they are on. There are clearly executed ideas throughout and it's fun to dig in. Watching this band clean up the rough edges and turn into something a bit more streamlined is going to be exciting. Moonwatcher is dynamic and shows a band starting to embrace their true power, you best be watching.

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Sunday, March 17, 2019

Vesperine - Espérer Sombrer

Vesperine are a band who dive into a sort of neverending human struggle. Their new album Espérer Sombrer literally translates to 'Hope Sinks'. In fact, it gets darker, as the French word 'sombre' means dark. A possible double meaning? Given the bleak content of this record I certainly think so. Espérer Sombrer is a twisted testimony to the darkness of this music and the sort of immortal suffering we all must trudge through in this life. Inspired by the likes of Amenra and Cult of Luna, Vesperine are French post hardcore for the ages.

It's fun to get lost in the massive sonic waves of absolution that make up Vesperine's music. These are odes to the human condition and the way that we all must trudge forward, no matter what the consequence. There is something utterly mesmerizing and immaculately put together about Espérer Sombrer, and while it doesn't quite reach the transcendent levels of some of their influences, they are clearly turned on to something deeper. Vesperine is majestic and powerful, the sort of heavy music we can't quite escape.

As the soundworld comes crashing down around you on a track like Mille Couleurs I think that it becomes increasingly clear that Vesperine are ready to take the plunge and get a little bit deeper. They are a band full of potential, full of hope and with a clear drive to go further. Their aesthetic is wonderfully put together, and there is so much to pick apart here. Listening to the band as they continue to expand is going to be a rare treat. Espérer Sombrer is twisted and grim, a trip into a darker side of the human psyche, a trip that you won't regret taking.

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Saturday, March 16, 2019

Wizzerd - S/T

Wizzerd have been on my radar as a band on the rise for a few years now. They are a very young doom band who have already put in countless miles on the road. It does my wearied heart good to see bands at their age pushing like this. It reminds me that this whole thing isn't pointless. Now digging into their second full length, Wizzerd it's clear the band have reached bold new heights and are finally starting to achieve their promise and hint at great new sonic pastures to come. It's a thrilling time to hop on the bandwagon.

What's interesting here is that the band has a lot of raw talent, but not all of it is fully exploited. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but the band sitll hasn't quite found their voice. While there are diverse leements here being brought together nicely, some elements could be tightened down. While there are touches on tropes I'm not super fond of, at others they stray a bit too far from the path. Weighing in at 52 minutes (And over an hour if you include the vinyl only track) it certainly feels like Wizzerd could trim the album down. That being said - this is still a very interesting listen that makes a concerted effort to go above and beyond many of their peers in the scene.

Narrating larger than life stories and reflecting on each band members persona, it's a lot of fun to navigate what they have created here. Touches of Dungeons and Dragons inspired fantasy run up against elements of rock and roll grit. It makes for a deep and juicy listen which rewards the devout listener. Yes, Wizzerd haven't fully come to terms with their own raw skill yet, but they have put together a veritable monster of an album. Watching them trim down and tighten up is going to be exciting, they have the world at their feet.

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