Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, May 25, 2018

Full Of Hell/Intensive Care - Split

It's that time of year, Full Of Hell have released yet another magnificent seven inch split, this time with the heavy hitters in Intensive Care, a band who are descendants of Endless Blockade. Out on Anthems Of The Undesirable this is a split that captures everything I love about this underground scene, balancing just over two minutes of unrelenting blasts from the wizards in Full Of Hell with about five minutes of pure sonic mastery coming from the Intensive Care gang. Limited to a mere 512 copies, this is what punk should be about.

Full Of Hell offer a glimpse at new ground with their longest offering on the split, Latched And Snared. It sees some angular riffs hinting at one of the bands most metal moments to date. This of course is beautifully counterpoint by the endlessly destructive assault of their first two contributions, Loom Of Jewels, a track dominated by an opening voice sample before blasting into grinding mayhem and Collateral Damage, an ear ripping four second burst of fury. Meanwhile Intensive care with their bass heavy trudge tear ears apart. This is the sort of old school grind punishment that made the genre so fascinating in the first place. There is something almost magically crushing about the punch in the gut that is a song like Cancer Causes Rats.

This is the sort of split that perfectly reflects Full Of Hell's ethos. They are giving back to their scene, shining their light on a band who they love but who many of their fans might not be aware of. They are using their place in order to enhance those around them and you gotta admire that. This is a world of self serving people and bands who never go anywhere. Full Of Hell have instead opted to go out and spread the magic of one of their favorite punk acts. This is a terrifying release and one that will tear you the fuck apart. So get on it.

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

ASG - Survive Sunrise

ASG have always been on sort of the periphery of my taste. They were a stoner rock band and a good one to be sure but I don't think I ever understood what made them truly special. I didn't quite get what I was missing about this band that they could keep growing. But now I get it. In fact I get it so hard that I am planning on spending most of tomorrow digging through their back catalog. This record pushes the bands poppier aspects but never at the expense of raw rock fury with potent riffs coming out of their ears.

There has been a clear step forward with ASG's songwriting sensibility here. A track like Weekend Money which is chock full of riffs and has quite a few potent melodic lines is the sort of thing ASG might have never previously created. What they have now is incredible multi layered stoner rock, sun drenched and full with a latent sense of evil you can't help but to love. The band has reached a point where they almost feel like a blend of Torche, Clutch and Ghost and I fucking love it. The potent forward motion and transcendent chorus of riffs is thrilling, over the top and neverendingly fun. Within it all though this is a record that is thoroughly digestible, even on first listen you'll be smiling and singing along.

This is the sort of record that you can get wholly lost in. It's a record that has layers upon layers and each one is somehow better than the last. The sublime poetry of these songs and the way that they dance across your ears is thrilling. In a world where most stoner rock falls into the same dull tropes, ASG are breaking through and turning the genre on its head to create a potent rock and roll experience that perfectly reflects the realities of 2018. Hopeful, heavy and ever expanding, Survive Sunrise is an absolute motherfucker of a listen.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Khemmis - Desolation

Man - this one feels iconic. Khemmis have been on a veritable tear for the past few years and now they are gearing up to drop their most potent offering to date, Desolation. Thing is - this isn't just a masterpiece of doom - it's like this bands version of Pallbearer's Heartless. this record represents the moment Khemmis have shifted from playing doom metal to something much more exciting. What Desolation offers is a unique brand of doom laden rock and roll and I fucking love every single  minute of it.

In many ways this transition makes sense given the bands obsession with King Diamond and Thin Lizzy. In fact - I would go so far as to say that this record might have the best guitar harmonies of 2018. Yet it's not just about harmonies and shredding. There is a breadth to the songs here that puts them far outside of anything in the traditional rock sphere. Instead this is the sort of a coming of age for the band. Shifting out of a relatively narrow scene and instead proving that they are so much greater. It proves that they have the potential to be one of the defining rock bands of the decade and things are only going to expand from there.

Desolation represents so many glorious things, from the rise of thoughtful guitar driven music to the sheer power of songwriting. Toss in some top notch musicianship, great harmonies and something that is almost always transcendent and you start to realize that Khemmis aren't just another doom band who are hip in the scene. This is the sort of group who could be opening for Metallica and slaying every minute of it before the end of the year. Get on board or get lost in the dust.

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Pre-order the record here! 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Yob - Our Raw Heart

This is one of those masterful releases that you know is the album of the year from the first time you hear it. I know that's what everyone says, it's Yob, there's been a lot of drama around this record. It's an album that was always destined to set the world on fire after Clearing The Path To Ascend found its way into being Rolling Stone's #1 Metal album of the year in 2014. But to call it highly anticipated would be facile. That doesn't really pay tribute to what Yob has done here. this is so much more than anything we have heard from the band before and it is glorious.

There is a colossal sense of forward motion to Our Raw Heart that makes this Yob's most potent release to date. That being said there's also an incredible variety of sounds on this album that serve to make it not just special but also Yob's most diverse record to date. Mike Scheidt's maniacal practice regimen has been much discussed in recent years especially given the relative paucity of Yob due to illness. Now these years of hard work are all paying off. It's clear just how goddamn talented the band has become and the sheer beauty of this band, the transcendent chorus and overwhelming heaviness shines ever brighter.

It's rare to find a record that is this straight up masterful. It's rare to find a record that has this much passion behind it. It's rare to find a record that takes a band who were already near goddamn perfect and moves them so far ahead of the curve that you wonder if anyone will ever catch up to them. That's how goddamn good Yob sound on Our Raw Heart. This is the album with which Yob become not just a great doom band, but icons. If ever there was a band who could become the next Neurosis it would be Yob.

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Monday, May 21, 2018

Closet Witch - S/T

Man - Halo Of Flies continue to knock it out of the park time and time again. Today they sent me the self titled debut LP from their dudes in Closet Witch. This is the sort of blaring and over the top grind that has made me fall in love with the genre. Say what you will but these Iowa grind freaks are tapped into something truly special. The Midwest has quite the grind scene burgeoning these days and its a lot of fun to sink your teeth into what it has to offer. Closet Witch is another potent example of the regions righteous anger.

With a perfect balance of high speed punk infused and adrenaline pumping crushers counterbalanced by moments of raw unadulterated heaviness, Closet Witch have put together an album that has flow. This is a record that bounces from peak to peak, it shows off all sides of what makes the band special and is indicative of their raw talent. It's rare to find an album in grindcore, especially a debut that is this cohesive. Frequently the raw simplicity of the music lends itself to more primitive album structures. The fact that this isn't the case serves to make it not just a fascinating listen but one which hints at great things to come.

When you need the sort of pure punk madness that only the underground can provide it's hard not to be charmed by what Closet Witch do. they are bringing us music that rips and roars its way through the scene. It crashes off of walls and smashes you in the face but seems to fight on regardless. This isn't just an assault on the senses, it's the sort of potent punishment and beautiful, almost transcendent violence that makes us remember why we fell in love with this music in the first place. Panicky, crazed and just a tad over the top Closet Witch is a banger for the modern age.

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