Chuck Schuldiner Project

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Rotheads - Sewer Fiends

There is something endlessly appealing about dungeon death metal. I'm talking about the stuff ripped straight out of the basement, ghoulish art, lo fi production, throat crunching riffs and all. This is the stuff of dreams - sure a lot of it isn't great but it's the aesthetic that it conjures up which really gets me going and the face melting, bone tearing assault of the music as you find new and innovative ways to piss off your parents with it that makes it exciting. Rothead's debut Sewer Fiends has this wonderful death metal malodour and so much more.

When it comes down to it - yes there are a lot of limitations to this record. The production isn't great and the songs could do with some trimming. That's just the nature of a lot of these young eath metal bands just starting out and trying to make their way forward in this crazy old messed up world of ours. I'm used to that madness and so are you. Again - what makes Rothead special is their ability to conjure up an aesthetic and create music that really just takes you back to a point in the early 90s when nothing about death metal was 'okay' and you'd be consistently struggling to deal with the blasphemous noise coming out of your stereo.

The sense of fun that you get as you dive into songs like From The Glowing Goo Rise with its Hammer Horror-esque imagery and conjurations of satanic imagery and monstrous demons is a special thing. Getting lost in this brand of face crunching metal is just something that nerds like me like to do. It's about the experience of pulling apart a record and sinking your teeth into every riff, even if not every riff is a winner. Yet Rotheads are hitting all the right notes and leaving me thirsty for blood.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Somnuri - S/T

Somnuri have rapidly made a name for themselves as one of the most intense and fascinating bands in the varied Brooklyn metal scene. These sludge 'n' roll masterminds have unleashed track after track of bludgeoning, riff filled goodness, featuring a variety of vocal styles, potent song structures and so much more. Somnuri's self titled debut is the sort of thing that you can really sink your teeth into and which will remind you again and again why we spend so much time digging into what the underground music scene is all about.

There is something strangely addictive about this band, the way that they careen forward and their sort of carefree ability to simply crush it. There is a pummeling beauty to the sonic assault of theese tracks and an unrelenting ability to crack skulls one punishing riff at a time. Yet despite the depth of the songwriting on this record there is also more than enough to take in on the first listen. In fact, the potential here seems to be that if the band could spend even more time in the studio then they could put something together so wonderfully multi layered that there would be no real escape from the beast that they have unleashed.

The fact that songs of this depth are crafted with such simple poetry and have such wonderful mass to them makes me realize that these guys are tapped into something deeper. There is a sublime crush to what Somnuri holds for the listener and while it may not be as developed as it could be yet you get the sense that there is so much more to come. I'm curious to hear these guys grow their work as we delve ever deeper into the punishing sonic graveyards of sludge metal and find strange new paths forward.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Bunkur/Mordor - Split

Man - this is one of the weirdest splits I've heard in a long time for so many reasons. First off of course it's always fascinating to listen to two of the worlds most longstanding extreme bands to come out with a split together, even stranger still when each side of the split is a cover. Toss in the fact that both tracks are intensely elongated versions of the originals with all sorts of reinterpretations and ideas thrown into the mix and you find yourself digging into something that is as fascinating as is it is demented.

There is an intensity to this record that I think few splits coming out these days reflect. It comes from both the passion of building on past achievements and walking where giants once stood. It also comes from the sheer dorkery and insanity of these reimaginings. Bunkur pretty much double the length of the original in their cover of Carnivore's "The Subhuman" and give it all sorts of twisted lamentations. Meanwhile Mordor turn Venom's "In League With Satan" from a punchy fucked up rocker to a tortured doom metal epic that will make you question your sanity, even going so far as to redub it "In League With Wotan".

This is a record that can feel like a slog to get through but also a record that rewards those who spend the time. Intentionally alienating and wonderfully dense it's a pleasure to really sit down and try to sink your teeth into what Bunkur and Mordor have unleashed here. This is a release for die hard fans who are going to really spend time with this record. For me this is a dream come true, a twisted masterpiece that seems to just keep getting better - take it as a challenge and see if you can ride this one out - it's a hell of a trip.

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Druid Lord - Grotesque Offerings

Druid Lord are a helluva band, after an eight year wait since their last full length and five years since their last EP the group is preparing to unleash their most punishing offering to date and one that shows how incredibly well the band has matured and what they have come to mean to so many of their adoring underground fans in the past few years. There is a demented magic to this band and Grotesque Offerings is the gnarly, Acid Witch-esque masterpiece that us die hards always expected the band to unleash.

What really gets me with Grotesque Offerings is the twisted sense of forward motion that has come to define it. This is a record that ebbs and flows to be sure but throughout all of it there is this sort of strangemenacing crunch that just seems to continue propagating throughout, as you feel yourself continuing the descent into madness it becomes ever more clear exactly how sick and twisted Druid Lord have become. The death doom ministrations of these Hells Headbangers signees only continue to twist and turn, becoming increasingly vile but also fascinating the listener with the sheer sense of depravity that has come to define them and all that the band has always stood for. It's borderline impossible to escape.

It makes sense that this sort of vaguely cinematic brand of death doom would come from not only the same place as Disney, but also the same place Chuck Schuldiner grew up. When it comes down to it just as much as their are moments of wonderful bombast on Grotesque Offerings (The cry of "You'll never leave here alive" on the lead track is a perfect example of this) they also are unafraid to dip into the old school death metal glory that made this band so goddamn appealing to so many of us in the first place. Come on in, the sewage is fine.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Bind Torture Kill - Viscères

The world of chaotic hardcore is losing one of its shining stars at the end of this year with the planned breakup of Dillinger Escape Plan looming over all of us like the inevitable execution of an old friend. Fortunately there is no end of bands trying to pick up the mantle ranging from God mother to Plaque Marks to of course Bind Torture Kill, one of the most interesting post hardcore bands to come out of France in a good long while. With truly powerful songwriting and a visionary approach to songwriting this is something you can really sink your teeth into. 

Starting off with the ominous intro of Fléau before diving into one of the most intense and pummeling records in the genre that I have heard in a minute it's clear that Bind Torture Kill did their homework writing Viscères. Elements of Trap Them and even Converge bleed into an attack that can't help but to fascinate the listener. The driving force of these tracks is undeniable and there is something strangely addictive about them, the fact that only a couple of them bleed over the five minute mark is a huge selling point too - this is intelligent post hardcore driven by an ADD generation. 

Bind Torture Kill is a monster of a band who just dropped an utter teeth gnasher of a record. The madness and mathiness that defines this album is precisely calculated and it's clear from top to bottom that Bind Torture Kill have the forward thinking vision that it takes to really drive things to the next level. I'm curious to see how these Frenchmen develop as they continue to refine their sound and find new ways to tear throats out across the globe. Fascinating, rapidly evolving and worth many a spin, Bind Torture Kill have started something monumental. 

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