Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, February 27, 2017

Pain Tank - 97,901,726 Confirmed Kills

You know exactly what you're going to get with a band named Pain Tank - punishing, unforgiving utterly nihilistic grindcore. Their latest offering, 97,901,726 Confirmed Kills, a reference to the number of people killed in all US wars is delicious, nihilistic, stripped down and fully aware of its own bitter and demented majesty. Pain Tank is the sort of gritty Baltimore grindcore record that defines the genre and reminds us time and time again of the burning, and quite frankly terrifying power that this music can have. 

Pain Tank play a wonderfully primitive brand of grindcore, replete with noisy breakdowns, tormented vocals and blasting drums throughout. The primal punch of a track like A Sheep Just Like The Rest is something you can really sink your teeth into. It makes all the more sense when you consider that the band recorded all thirteen tracks in a mere eight hours live in the studio. It gives the music a sort of primitive intensity that many of bands peers could only dream of and pushes you forward in your listening from track to track in a way that reminds us why we all got involved in grindcore in the first place. 

There is something utterly entrancing about 97,901,726 Confirmed Kills. This is a band who unleash pure cosmic hatred upon you, the sort of anarchist despair driven forth by a band who find themselves in an America that clearly just doesn't give a shit. Strangely multilayered and wonderful to sink your teeth into and just suffer with I desperately hope that Pain Tank rapidly rises above the level of being a mere side project and comes into full forth as a band worthy of their undeniable sound.

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Aluk Todolo - Archives Vol. 1

Aluk Todolo are one of those bands that seem to exist on the periphery of a variety of scenes but seem hard to nail down to just one - and I get the impression they like it that way. I mean they are instrumental and largely experimental, and I guess a little spacey, but that doesn't seem to impact their desire to play with everyone from black metal bands to weird outer sound acts. That's a huge part of what makes this release of archives so fascinating. It's a glimpse into the world of a band who are endlessly delighted in picking apart the rules and pushing for bolder and more exciting futures with every passing track.

With a band like Aluk Todolo it's typically all about the experience of complete records or the immersive live show. That's a huge part of what makes this archival release so interesting. While it certainly was carefully curated this is still a rather different take on the presentation of the group. It's a take though that doesn't alienate everyone but superfans. I only have a passing familiarity with the band having hardly listened to them in recent years but I still found it to be a fascinating glimpse back into what they have developed over a decade of hard work. The way their sound absolutely runs the gamut is endlessly endearing and pushes you to continue to develop your own work and fall ever deeper in love with the treasures hidden within.

While this certainly may be a bit to dense for your conventional music fan for those of us who like to take a trip on the other side and discover a section of the music world that is often ignored there is something utterly entrancing about Aluk Todolo. This is a band who get their own inherent dorkiness and want to share the thousands of hours of their travails with the world and I can't help but to love that. Getting lost in these rarities, demos and work in progresses is magical and something any true music lover can embrace.

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Disperse - Foreword

Disperse is one of those bands that evidence exactly why Season Of Mist is such a goddamn good label. This is a group who borrow at once from Dream Theater and Abba. While they certainly are tied into many classic prog elements Disperse aren't a band who are afraid to experiment. They are a band who know what it takes to develop exciting and powerful prog in the modern era. They are a band who push things to the next level time and time again, reminding us that as corny as it might be prog will never die.

While I don't think this is a concept record thee is a lot dig in to here. The songwriting takes precedence over all things and that's what makes this record so addictive. While many of the bands peers get lost in their own wankery, Disperse provide a different kind of prog. Thy focus on top notch songwriting and developing tracks that can't help but to envelop the listener. Even as this record broke through a sick mental haze today I couldn't help but to be impressed by the burning magic of Foreword. It's an album that demands your full attention and encourages you to come back to jam it time and time again.

When it comes down to it - it's bands like thisone that will carry the torch forward. While there certainly is a market for the more pretentious brand of prog that dominates the metal media so often it's bands like Disperse that I really care about. This is a band who get the burning power of this type of music and who simply create great art. It's so easy to find youself swept up in the potent soundworlds that define this group and which punish us as we navigate these wretched times and hideous measures.

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Hark - Machinations

Their are few bands who show massive career changing development by their second album. Their are few bands who have such a pure understanding of songwriting that you can't help but to love them from the first song - even if their sound is a general mishmash of genres. Such is that case with Hark's Machinations. While the bands debut, Crystalline was certainly a solid release, I can't help but to feel that the dudes have gone above and beyond with what they are bringing to the table on this motherfucker of a record.

What I love about Machinations is how it immediately captures your attention from the get go. The riffs throughout are extremely solid and the bands ability to craft powerful soundworlds with multilayered guitars and top notch vocals leaves you in utter awe of their unholy creation. This is what rock and roll should sound like, innovative, powerful and just a little pissed off. There is a lot going on with Machinations - so much so that at times it feels overwhelming. The production is strong enough though that when it comes down to it the overwhelming moments encourage repeat listens rather than alienating the listener.

When it comes down to it, this is the sort of album that requires a handful of listens to even start understanding. While it generally fits into the stoner rock polemic to refer to it as just that would be inappropriately reductionist. Instead you need to see this record as a sort of step forward in the world of heavy rock and roll. This is an album that balances Motorheads magic with Hawkwinds beauty. It's an album that will let you get lost in it and then it will turn around and crack your skull open with riff on top of motherfucking riff.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Warcrab - Scars Of Aeons

Longtime readers know that I've been following the career of the UK's Warcrab for years now. This stunning sludge death unit has always prided themselves on a sound reminiscent of bands like Bolt Thrower and Soilent Green. Their slowed down vibes and powerful songwriting comes to the fore with their latest offering, Scars Of Aeons. A band who kicked it for a long time at the underground level, it finally feels like the guys are getting their due and pushing for a far brighter future as lords of the genre.

It's easy to get lost in what the band does here. Primal riffs are accentuated with potent melodic guitars. Devastating death growls are laid overtop of  potent drums. While the group is still at times definitely struggling with lifting themselves above the morass of local scenes and growing their sound to a truly top level. While Scars Of Aeons is certainly miles above anything the band has done in the past there are times where I wonder if Warcrab are quite ready for the big time. What I can say though is that there is something totally punishing about this band that you can't help but to end up enamored with.

Warcrab is one of those bands who could represent an exciting future for a struggling UK metal scene. When they are on top of it they are truly on top of it, and their logo can't help but to be badass. They are a band who are clearly pushing as hard as they can to develop something transcendent. The guitars on a track like Destroyer Of Worlds communicate a sort of Crowbar-esque potency that simply can not be ignored. Warcrab understand what it takes to get to the top - and I think they just might make it.

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