Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, October 16, 2017

Midnight - Sweet Death And Ecstasy

Cover art

Midnight has always been a band who defied expectations, who refused to play by the rules and who constantly crack skulls with their undeniable black n roll assault. This is the sort of band who revel in the murk, love to fuck with the listener and who have the same sort of glorious satanic triumph that makes bands like Destroyer 666 so amazing. Sweet Death And Ecstasy is these madmens latest offering and one that is almost impossible to find yourself turning away from. The bands strongest release yet, prepare your body for some twisted fucking riffage.

Kicking off with the epic Crushed By Demons, it is pretty immediately obvious that Midnight have started to adopt some more of their well deserved swagger. There is a certain blunt confidence that makes Sweet Death And Ecstasy such an exciting listen. Sure the band isn't breaking new ground musically, but the songwriting is incredibly well done and the execution shockingly precise. As much as you might want to deny the twisted majesty of this band it's hard to not want to drink from the goblet of gore that Midnight paint with their crazed solos and Motorhead-tastic riffage. It's a maggot filled creation to be sure, but that's half the appeal. 

Fusing the best of old and new, tossing in classic gore charm with modern sensibilities and counterbalancing that with what feels like atavistic production Sweet Death And Ecstasy is the album we always wished Midnight would put out. It's an album that careens left and right, goes for the throat and never forgets that the whole point of rock and roll is to piss on your idols. The crazed Ohioans have done it again and made Sweet Death And Ecstasy one of the most rip roaring records of the year. 

Find them on Bandcamp!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Wojzchech/Krupsakaya - Split

Cover art

Grindcore has always had a near and dear place to my heart and the twelve inch split is perhaps the forms most notable and important format. This split, between two very exciting bands from across the pond, Wojzchech and Krupsakaya both speak to the power of the music here. Both bands, with the short time allotted to them do their best to unveil some incredibly sickening and wonderfully twisted tunes, going straight for the throat with demented licks that can't help but to mesmerize and charm the listener.

There is a stunning power to what's being done here. Both bands eschew conventional grindcore formats and are comfortable slipping into something a little bit more experimental. There is a magic that brings the groups together, because despite their genre breaking tendencies they still are capable of letting loose with the sort of crippling riffs that will break teeth. Wojzchec's portion of the proceedings is just as vile as they have always been, but they have definitely taken a serious step from previous releases. Meanwhile, Krupsakaya are intensity incarnate, pummeling the listener and forcing us to suffer on their madness.

I've always loved the split format because it can be so addictive. It's tempting to just listen to one side again and again, just as much as it is to keep flipping back ad forth like some sort of demented ping pong ball. There is a devastating sense of anger throughout this release that is fascinating. Wojzchech use their classic pedigree to set up an intimidating challenge and then Krupsakaya come through with something harsh as a a raw nerve, devastatingly too the point and unrelentingly fucking evil. Come on in, the blood is fine.

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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Complete Failure - Crossburner

It's hard to believe that Complete Failure are back, it's been five long years since 2012's insane and mesmerizing masterpiece, The Art Gospel Of Aggravated Assault. Their latest offering, Crossburner is the sort of insane politically minded grindcore that we need right now. There is something poetic, transcendent and powerful about Complete Failure's sonic assault here. It's punishingly fast and unrelentingly brutal. Crossburner cracks bones and crunches faces time after time to make a devastating release.

While on Crossburner Complete Failure certainly stick to a lot of the traditional tropes of the genre (And of the band for that matter) this record also sees the group pushing their musical boundaries further than ever before. There is an emphasis on this record of using speeches layered over insane grindcore riffs and time and time again it serves to crack the listeners skull. It's the sort of fascinating and genre breaking release that forces us to acknowledge that there is a whole mess of stuff to still be done in grindcore. Sure Complete Failure regularly build on traditional ideas, but Crossburner is the sort of endlessly addictive grindcore record you can't get enough of.

In a world where most grindcore plays on a lot of the same bland tropes and the political opinions regurgitate the same boring schlock, Crossburner comes at you fast and hard with songs that understand the crushing madness of the modern age and which forces you to ask the key questions. Complete Failure have always been a band who were not afraid to break the rules and grow the genre, and I love it. Beyond that, Crossburner has the same anarchist bloodthirst that makes grindcore so much fun in the first place.

Find them on Facebook!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Electric Wizard - Wizard Bloody Wizard

Electric Wizard are back baby, the heaviest most drugged out band in the universe have somehow gotten their shit together to do this again and we all are going to love it. Sure, it's Electric Wizard and they've always stayed true to the same basic formula, but that basic formula rules. In recent years the band has started to evolve a little bit too. They've had this wonderful sense of noisy chaos that has come to deeply impact the music. With Wizard Bloody Wizard the band takes their Sabbath obsession to glorious new levels and it's magic is impossible to reject.

I think one of the keys on this record has been the addition of the young Clayton Burgess of Satan's Satyrs. While he may not be a songwriting force in the band quite yet, the driving classic rock stomp of the opening track See You In Hell makes it obvious that the band isn't afraid to get even more musically atavistic than on previous efforts. Again - nothing here totally throws you for a curveball, but that's not the point of Electric Wizard, the point is to come into a song that has roaring riffs, undeniable swagger and a bloodthirsty taste for the flesh of innocent human females. You can't miss it.

At the end of the day, Electric Wizard are in some ways a living trope, but I think that sheer over the top majesty is what has made them so fascinating to begin with. Wizard Bloody Wizard is the sound of a band who can't help but to drive forward with the power of a crushing bottom end and weird wailing vocals. I've always been fascinated by the singleminded devotion of Electric Wizard to Black Sabbath and making an album title a pun on one of that very bands most lauded album speaks literal volumes to where they are at in 2017.

Find them on Facebook!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Tuskar - Arianrhod

Two piece sludge has always had a special place in my heart. Bands like Bell Witch, Potslammer, Year Of The Cobra and early Conan proved to me that this microgenre brings a lot to the table. Tuskar is the sort of band who come at you with a transcendent power, a grandiose vision of the sort you wouldn't normally think a genre this technically limited would have this sway over so many, and yet somehow they make it work. Arianrhod is a potent statement coming from the masters in Tuskar and it makes me hungry for more. 

Colossal riffs crash upon each other like so many waves on the shore. Tuskar have a visionary approach to how this whole sludge metal thing should work, sure it's not fully realized but there are enough interesting ideas to keep you going. Ultimately the problem with Arianrhod is that the record isn't really long enough. There isn't enough space on this record for tracks to always properly breathe and that makes some of Tuskars music a frustrating look at what could be. The band clearly knows what they are doing though, the longest track, Moon-Hooch sees the group starting to push towards something special.

That being said - they aren't afraid to mix in shorter tracks, a good call given so many of the struggles that bands in this scene face. It's rare that we find a sludge band who actually understand the need for shorter songs and the fundamental role they have in the development of any band. Tuskar are creating something here that reflects an exciting scene and one that can't help but to keep expanding in potency and building toward a better future. 

Find them on Facebook!