Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, July 20, 2018

Violation Wound/Cliterati - Split

Any day with new material from Cliterati is a good day! Their latest split, this time with the impregnable Violation Wound is an absolute blast of a listen. It's exciting, over the top and endlessly potent. There are rare times that you find a punk record that is this self aware but also this angry. Yet with this album the two bands seem to perfectly understand what they stand for and what punk rock can be. Smart and avoiding a lot of the cringier cliches of the genres modern wave, this is what political punk fans have been looking for.

Cliterati are leading the charge on this one with five tracks that deliver the selfsame angry queer feminist punk rock that has made the band so consistently fascinating. The driving power of vocalist Ami Lawless is a sound to behold. She guides her hard grooving rioters into a place of pure punk rock violence and once you get going it's impossible to turn your head away. Meanwhile, Violation Wound come out swinging with their track Victimizer. Their five song offering to the album sees Autopsy's Chris Reifert guiding his band of madmen across demented vistas and reveling in the unholy murk of their brand of DIY mayhem.

You can see the mosh pits opening up for both sides of this split. This is the kind of punk split I enjoy, in large part because the sides don't mimic each other as much as they compliment each other. There is a chaotic and maddening power here, the blazing might of a track like the 25 second long Worthless Figurehead, one of my favorites from Violation Wound, that speaks to how insane this album is at its best. Cliterati are embracing new heights, and it's exciting to see Violation Wound still cracking skulls five years in, what more could you want?

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Violation Wound:

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Sandrider - Armada

Last year we were Hype-borian on Hyborian as one of the best stoner rock bands to come out, now I gotta say I'm feeling like riding with Sandrider. (Do these jokes make sense? Am I senile? Someone please - I'm so alone) These Seattle natives are stoner rock royalty in the making. They have crafted one of the most fun and potent records in the genre I have heard all year. Unabashed rock and rollers these heavy metal madmen go for the throat even from the first and it is a fucking blast any way you want to slice it.

I think what gets me here is a combination of the sense of forward motion that you find throughout the music paired with the melodic sensibilities fueling the songwriting. This is a band who don't always play by the rules but they don't need to. Even their chilled out moments are merely gasps for air before another colossal riff comes crashing down. What I like about this band is they cut all the bullshit, they are purely here for the music and they know it. It's been almost a decade that these guys have been around and they seem content to chug along at their own pace and in their own way. Decorating their sound with potent drum splashes to fight against waves of distortion and triumphant vocals, Armada is a fascinating listen.

What gets me, at the end of the day, is the sheer diversity of sound here. You can get anything from powerful cleans almost reminiscent of Wishbone Ash to hard rocking Motorhead moments, doomy progressions and straight up desert rock fury. This is an addictive listen that does a lot in a fairly short time. I mean, it's gotta, the band likes to take their time. Of course this means that what we've been able to dig into is absolutely flawless and it's going to be hard to tear myself away from this stunning example of raw rock fury.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Skeletonwitch - Devouring Radiant Light

It's been a long time since I was this hyped on a death metal record. Hell, it's been a long time since I've heard a death metal record that is this compelling. When it comes down to it, death metal is not a genre that has seen a lot of forward progress in recent years, but every once in a while it spits up something great from the abyss. Devouring Radiant Light is a monumental statement from a band who needed to make it or break it. Of course Skeletonwitch are longtime road warriors, but this record sees them taking things to a whole new level.

Rarely do you see a death metal record with this type of hype. The best part is that Devouring Radiant Light doesn't do the easy thing and hop on the trend of OSDM style bands creating wonderfully heavy music. No. Instead Skeletonwitch lean ever further into their thrashy death metal sound but have advanced the songwriting to a point that it is almost cinematic and extremely bombastic. It is a record full of color and unique sonic explorations. It makes for a listening experience that is not just immersive but also which leaves you begging for more. This blows down the doors for extreme metal in a way that hasn't really happened since Vektor's Terminal Redux and it only gets better from there.

This is an album that seamlessly fuses brutality, melody and pure sonic fucking poetry. It's an intense listen but also one that you can sit at home and really reflect on. Rather than playing into standardized or boring tropes of the genre, Skeletonwitch only seek to up their game, to create even more powerful thrashy death metal and to leave us all in awe of what they have been able to create. Anthemic and powerful this is already the death metal album of the year for me. Sure what those OSDM guys is doing is cool, but this is a game changer and world breaker.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Integrity/Krieg - Split

I love it when older, brainier and generally more interesting bands get involved doing a split. Such is the case with the latest combo deal from Integrity and Krieg. These two bands have both been making significant moves in recent years and so this split effort feels sort of natural. Not only that though but in both cases we are digging into bands whose deep understanding of their respective genres has brought their music to brave new levels. Integrity lean gleefully into the weirdness and sonic poetry that has made them legends, and Krieg seem more bitter and nihilistic than ever.

The tracks on Integrity's side of the split feel like a continuation of the madness that was Howling, For The Nightmare Shall Consume. They build on the dense metallic madness that blew so many critics and fans out of the water. That's not to say this excellence is unexpected though, in some ways this feels like a swaggering addition to a thirty year history of excellence. Meanwhile, Krieg come out with an evil 'blech' to kick off their side of the record, and it only gets more twisted from there. Occasionally settling into traditional USBM grooves and at other times pushing for utter sonic annihilation there is a twisted balance here that speaks to what makes Krieg so great.

There is a twisted sense of unity that has come to make this a thrilling record. Not only that though, but both bands are building on collective histories for  collaboration that feels strangely natural. The sense of forward motion both bands bring to the table and the inherent poetry of their music is thrilling. Sure this isn't for everyone but it's fucking extreme metal. For those of us who live and die by this music and who are passionate about the power that the genre can bring, it's hard not to be mesmerize and enamored by a split that will ring forth for generations.

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Monday, July 16, 2018

Mutilation Rites - Chasm

Mutilation Rites have always been darlings of the Brooklyn black metal scene. I have always felt that not only does this band have a ton of potential but also that they never really figured out how to tap into it. Then they recorded Chasm. Holy shit. The black metal magic of the previous records is still here but more than ever the group has added in touches of death metal to fill out the sound, add a level of danger that hadn't been there before and remind us just why so many local die hards are obsessed with this group.

There's been a few shifts in lineup since we last heard from Mutilation Rites, mostly notably with the addition of drummer Tyler Coburn, but that seems to only add to all that Chasm brings to the table. There is a breadth to this record that is communicated within the opening salvo. It is such that by the time you get to the epic closing track, Putrid Decomposition, you have been taken on an epic and rip roaring ride from roaring heights of guitar driven fury to almost meditative black metal fjords. There is something almost terrifying about how good Mutiliation Rites are on this album. It doesn't come of nowhere, but it certainly feels like a bold new level has been achieved.

The swaggering stomp of this album is thrilling. It speaks to a band who continue to grow and refine their sound with every passing record. While you definitely hear touches of Darkthrone here, the band uses Chasm to pay homage to a much broader variety of extreme metal heroes. Black metal nerds are going to fall in love with this album, but death metal freaks are going to be right there with them. Perhaps the bands most over the top and in your face recor to date it''s going to be hard to turn this one off.

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