Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Fiend - Greed Power Religion War

I've always loved those 'forgotten bands' acts whose influence was largely ignored and yet who predated some of the kings of their respective genres. The Fiend seems to be one of those bands to me, and perhaps that is what makes their new record Greed Power Religion War one of the angriest punk records I have heard all year. Utterly nihilistic and triumphantly destructive this is the kind of punk rock album that gets to the heart of what the entire thing is about and will speak to the ungodly power the genre holds.

The intro to the record, the unsettling Intro To War leads to the almost Carcass derived title track Greed Power Religion War. The fusion of punk and metal ideas on this record is especially interesting to me. Though Greed Power Religion War is definitely a punk album there are more than a few metal ideas that sneak in and help make this thing even more powerful. The fact of the matter is that The Fiend are still doing it four decades into their career, and if that means bringing in thrash metal ideas here and there so be it. The lyrics are spat out with an almost Tom Araya like precision and the riffs are simmering with rock and roll energy, both things that help keep this record exciting for a jaded old metal dude like me.

The way that The Fiend seem to boil over with hatred, even this late in the game is stunning and it proves to me the eternal power of punk rock. These guys understand what it means to be angry and they have a message behind their music. It makes for easy listening that gets you pumping your fist, but also thinking about larger societal issues. The Fiend are in 2015 still making hardcore punk in the grand old style and for that reason dudes like me will have to be forever grateful. Get fucked up in the pit because these guys won't have it any other way.

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Coffincraft - In Eerie Slumber

If you're at all into extreme music it's hard to dislike a band like Coffincraft. These guys are turned onto a profoundly brutal reality that speaks to the enduring power of Finnish death metal. Coffincraft, while largely groove driven definitely have a sense of what it means to create cerebral music. The angular riffs that accent the crushing guitar attack are stunning and make for music that will generate circle pits for years to come. There is something gloriously brutal about what Coffincraft do and the way that they charge forth, cracking skulls while swaggering around the pit. The kind of Finnish act who will come out and show you the true meaning of madness their new record, the almighty In Eerie Slumber is the sort of all out aural blasphemy that drew me to this kind of music in the first place. The fact of the matter is that in this genre there are far too many dull imitators so when a band stands out and delivers the kind of gut wrenching slaughter that Coffincraft do you can't help but bear a bloody grimace.

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Captain Cleanoff - Rising Terror

Rising Terror cover art

One of the things that always captures my imagination with heavy metal is how sometimes there are obvious combinations lurking just beneath the surface. Such is the case with Captain Cleanoff a band who find an unholy fusion of the most vile grind with crossover thrash riffs that makes for music that will appeal to a wide range of extreme metal fans. Endlessly aggressive Captain Cleanoff are great because it almost feels like they are the logical endgame for thrash metal meaning their new record Rising Terror is an instant classic.

The thing is, there is almost a sense of... dare I say, fun? to the Captain Cleanoff sound. Sure these songs blast forward and are wonderfully brutal, but they also have that DRI-ish sense of humor. They deal with serious topics but you can see yourself getting into a circle pit with your friends for this shit. It's a delicate balance that Captain Cleanoff find themselves in but it helps to make them great. Beyond that, Rising Terror is ruthlessly efficient with sixteen songs and only one track, the epic closer, Threads, clocking in at over two minutes. It makes for a record that never lets you get bored and instead pummels you with one assault after another.

The concentrated violence of Rising Terror is impossible to deny and speaks to the eternal power that this kind of music can have. By fusing two surprisingly similar concepts Captain Cleanoff have been able to take the music of bands like Noisem, Carcass or Repulsion to the next level. The crossover power of this music refuses to be denied and will get you pumping your fist and screaming along to the aural blasphemies that define the Captain Cleanoff sound. So get into the pit and prepare to crush some skulls, the music demands it.

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Saturday, July 25, 2015


Wrath Monolith cover art

Doom metal is probably the most popular subgenre in metals vibrant underground right now so it requires a certain degree of gall to decide to name your band Doomed. Yet it's all worth it when you have an act who deliver unequivocally as Doomed do on their latest release, the soul searching and gut wrenching Wrath Monolith. Clearly familiar wih high level songwriting techniques these guys have crafted immaculately heavy music that will leave you gazing up to the stars. Doomed deliver with a sense of beauty and power that leaves the listener grasping at the final straws of reality. Doomed understand what it means to crush the human soul and roar out of the gate, one crushing power chord at a time. Toss in a few wonderfully brutal vocals and you start to see why I'm so in love with these guys. The fact of the matter is that Doomed are doom metal of the highest caliber and will leave you gasping for air.

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Black Space Riders - Refugeeum

There is something inherently magical about Black Space Riders and their new record, the ephemeral Refugeeum. These guys are turned on to a darker reality and are fully aware of the import that their music can have. The way they have constructed their whole record is daring and charming, it proves the eternal might that this kind of music can have. By fusing traditional rock ideas with a lot of new age concepts you get yourself an album that ebbs and flows across the ear drums and leaves you questioning your very reality.

The thing is, Refugeeum charms the listener because it is beautifully constructed. The songs rise up gently, never shocking and yet always fresh. There is something inherently innovative about what Black Space Riders do, simply because there music is so spacey and adventurous. You find yourself entering musical soundscapes that you never thought to navigate before and it leaves you with a smile on your face as you try to reach out and find a way through the murk. Refugeeum is the product of musical geniuses coming together to share sublime music that reflects the beautiful triumph of the human spirit even in times of adversity.

At the end of the day, Refugeeum with its exotic melodies and dreamy majesty is the kind of thing that will keep you spinning this record again and again. They sound incredibly unique and yet never stray frighteningly far from traditional rock tropes. It proves that there is still a lot to be said in the genre and speaks to the virtuosity of the musicians that they are able to pull off something so audacious without ever coming across as flashy. Mind expanding and jaw dropping these are anthems for a new generation of rock and rollers.

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