Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, February 24, 2018

GosT - Possessor

GosT have rapidly ascended from relatively unknown electronic project to the forerunners of a genre. Their latest offering Possessor is one of the most punishing pieces of dance music that I have ever heard - pushing the boundaries of what was once called 'synthwave' with buzzing basslines, demonic lyricism and punishing beats that can't help but to mesmerize the listener and force us to choke on the glorious demonic noise. Filled with horror infused ideas, the concept of the record actually revolving around the Satanic Panic this is the soundtrack to the Stranger Things generation.

I can't help but to feel that Possessor is GosT's most massive sounding piece of musical mastery yet. It pushes all sides of the sound, touching on some of the more traditional French house and post punk vibes that shape the project but also hinting at black metal in new and terrifying ways. There is something almost existentially upsetting about Possessor. This is a recording that can bounce back and forth from the most trance like mysteries to some really fucked up and strange sonic spaces that you can't quite wrap your head around. Every track on this record builds into a larger whole, hinting at an underlying sickness that turns the stomach.

The deeply disturbing magic of this record can't help but to make me smile. The gleeful nods to 80s Hammer Horror films and the clear understanding of the cutting edge of modern electronic music serve to make this record timeless. It's an album that gives no fucks but which instead forces you to come to terms with broken unrealities. Possessor is an album that shifts and twists, yet it remains part of the same vision. The dream painted here is potent and reminds us time and time again that slasherwave is the future of dance.

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Friday, February 23, 2018

Sol Invictus - Necropolis

Sol Invictus are perhaps THE neo folk group - the sort of band who are constantly pushing the boundaries of the genre and from whose influence came groups like Agalloch amoung countless others. There brooding brand of neofolk has always been fascinating to those of us who live in the deep underground. With melancholy melodies and intense emotions throughout Necropolis is a fitting statement to the latest phase of a band who shaped the future of a genre, and whose own future seems to be in doubt. 

Necropolis captures that weirdly specific talent that Sol Invictus have always had for making massive sounds out of spares orchestrations. There are countless weird moments here and the bands willingness to push the boundaries of traditional western harmony with music that is as lo fi as it is grandiose forces us to really confront the inherent weirdness this band has always had. With the musical journey of Necropolis you find yourself wandering through mysterious soundworlds of the sort that you might have thought just didn't exist anymore. There are a lot of challenging aspects of Necropolis and it has me increasingly enamored with what the band brings to the table.

This record is fascinating, massive in scope and unrelenting in its willingness to push you to bold new heights. There is something strange and mesmerizing about what's going on here. With touches of English literature, poetry and esoterica all coming together in order to make this a fitting step for Sol Invictus it's hard to really deny yourself the majesty of this band. They have used Necropolis to weave together mythical music that we are all going to find ourselves beholden too and in love with for years to come. 

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Vomitor - Pestilent Death

You gotta love underground death metal, and no one has done a better job of keeping the spirit of the genre alive than Hell's Headbangers. The latest glorious blasphemy that they have dug up is Pestilent Death, the upcoming fourth offering from Australia's Vomitor. A record that delightedly plays into the tropes of the genre and is full f over the top death metal riffing it's hard not to smile at the gloriously demented histrionics of Vomitor. It's the same sort of face ripping and delightfully evil death metal that made so many of us fall in love with the genre in the first place.

Seemingly torn out of the musicians by force the high powered assault of this record is evident from the first. The brash sense of bloodthirst with which they dart forward is the exact kind of over the top magic that you would want from a band named Vomitor. A group who have made a name for themselves with their dedication to the cult and the exclusivity of their releases (This is their first album in 4 years) it's interesting to see how Pestilent Death stays so true to the punk rock ethos that made this band interesting in the first place. You can see the mosh pits forming in the stop start punishment of opener Tremolation and it only gets crazier from there. 

Sure the dungeon basement level production can be seen as a limiting factor, but personally I kind of dig it. The sense of 'fuck you' that makes Pestilent Death such a strong statement permeates every aspect of the record and is going to be very important to a specific subset of the metal community. Watching their apocalyptic soundtracks unfold is a lot of fun and hearkens back to that eternal 15 year old who needs to be kept alive for the spirit of metal to still matter in our hearts. Vomitor understand the youthful appeal of the genre and make sure we stay in love with the decrepit truth. 

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Inhumankind - Self-Extinction

Imagine if Mussogorsky had listened to a bunch of weird European black metal and then decided to write a record for double bass and flute. Yeah. That's what Inhumankind are doing. Their upcoming offering Self-Extinction is a fascinating musical journey, one that blendds avant garde classical music with black metal in order to create something truly weird, with all sorts of strange musical twists and turns and a willingness to keep on exploring in the name of forcing us to question what black metal really is.

With hyper esoteric lyrics focused on kabbalah, dark magic, elder gods and left hand paths this isn't exactly a walk in the park. It's in fact exactly the sort of demented musical journey that you would expect Colin Marston to produce. The strange musical explorations on tracks like Against All Odds speak to the esoteric power of the band and the brooding power of the mix, fused with the tortured and hypnotizing vocals that alternate between autotuned choral buzzings and FX'ed out black metal histrionics. There are layers upon layers here, but the orchestration is so deceptively simple that the full horror doesn't strike until the third or fourth listen.

I'm not going to lie - Self-Extinction can be a hard record to listen to. It's a record that really sets the tone for how fucked up some of the releases I, Voidhanger puts out can be. It's a record that forces you to question what you consider to be extreme and whose unique sonic profile is going to leave you digging into all sorts of 20th century masters in order to properly understand it. This is the sort of challenging and weird musical adventure that I think none of us really want to let go of and which will exist on the nebulous fringes of the underground for all time.

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Sixes - Methistopheles

Sixes have recently started to seriously make a name for themselves in underground doom scenes across the world, but also in underground black and sludge metal scenes too. this record is a hateful masterpiece, a look into the darker side of the human condition and one which forces you to choke on our own misery. There is a apocalyptic sense of evil within this band, be it in the Conan-esque riffing or the moments of frostbitten fury. This is the sort of sludgy doom metal that forces us to come terms with the darkness residing within us all.

Beyond that this is a record that sounds absolutely massive. you can feel the riffs roaring out of your speakers and falling heavily across your chest. they are brutal, unforgiving and at times simply terrifying. Methistopheles is over an hour long, but it never seems to grow dull, instead you find yourself wandering from one hate filled landscape to another, wondering when the suffering will end. The darkness that drives Sixes is at times intimidating. It allows us to come to terms with the same sort of demonic unrealities that leave so many in sheer terror. In an America defined by school shootings and division of all sorts this is the soundtrack to our apocalypse.

Featuring a variety of vocal styles (With a variety in the quality of execution) and diverse songwriting techniques, Methistopheles can feel like three records crammed into one. But the record is just linear enough that you never feel lost. Instead I can't help but to be impressed at the huge vistas that Sixes is able to conquer with ease. There is something fascinating about their approach to this whole thing and it makes me want to dig ever deeper - forever exploring brash new soundworlds and coming to a deeper understanding of the genre God forgot.

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