Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, October 30, 2020

Vulgarian - Human Scum


The whole trend of infusing sludge metal with hardcore is one that has always appealed to me. Bands like False Gods and Primitive Man execute on it with aplomb. So it's delightful to hear a band like Vulgarian perfectly weave crust punk and hardcore anger into a sludgier background. Their debut album, Human Scum stands as a cry against so much of the misery and oppression that we see, in particular going into this horrible fucking election. There is a sense of torment behind the band that makes it a delight to sink your teeth into. 

Vulgarian do a wonderful job of merching doomed and unsettling melodies with pummeling drums and tortured, Mike IX-esque vocals. A track like 'Shithole' is a perfect example of this. It's a band who deliver with punishing clarity all the same sort of madness that one might delve into time and time again. The searing power and rage behind the record only makes it more thrilling. One important thing to note is that Vulgarian have definitely leaned into the idea of 'Southern Sludge' with the bass guitar taking an especially big role in these recordings and driving listeners deeper into the realms of a crushing bottom end. 

Human Scum is a downright thriller, no matter how you slice it. It sees the band grinding towards a twisted and distinct vision for themselves. While some of the songs drag a bit ('Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death' is especially guilty of this) the bands overall ideas are solid and while I'm curious to see how they evolve further and what they do next, for now I'm pretty pleased with the overall sense of hate that they so eagerly spew. This is a potent offering and the more time I spend delving into its brutally monochromatic arrangements the more I dig it.

Find them on Facebook!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Urfaust - Teufelsgeist

Urfaust have always been dark, weird and meditative. This new offering, Teufelsgeist (Literally translating to "Devils Spirit" is an extension on that. The record documents the experience of being intoxicated, starting out almost euphoric and then ending somewhere terrible and scary. It really shows the breadth of what Urfaust are capable of and thrills the listener with an execution that is wonderfully broad and ambitious in scope. Teufelsgeist may only clock in at 34 minutes, but it is one of Urfaust's deepest works to date. 

Perhaps more 'vibey' than any of the bands previous material, there is still something to be said for the simple poetry of the execution here. It always is exciting for me to remember just how good this band is and just how much they bring to the table. Teufelsgeist impresses because of how much Urfaust are able to bring to the table here. This is an album that sees the band going above and beyond what we might have expected from them. It's not just a step up, it's a move that reminds us  just how potent and beautiful the band can be at their finest. Now as they prepare to release it on the legendary Van Records many of us just have to bend the knee. 

Teufelsgeist unfolds almost like a piece of classical music and it is such a delight to hear it play out. There is simply so much to unpack and the simple elegance of what they do can't help but to leave listeners enamored. Emotionally deep and completely willing to face some of the darkest sides of the human experience, Urfaust have once more gone above and beyond. Operatic, powerful, weirdly poetic. These are the elements that have defined the bands career and which once more come to the fore on Teufelsgeist. Drink deep from the well my friends. There are few like it.

Find them on Facebook!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Botanist - Photosynthesis


Botanist have long been one of the more interesting bands to emerge from the West Coast black metal underground. Featuring dulcimers, heavy emphasis on bass guitar and some truly unique songwriting, they have always fascinated listeners. Their new album, Photosynthesis delves deep into the process of well... photosynthesis. They approach the topic from a variety of angles, both stylistically and lyrically. This is the fourth of the bands so called, "Collective" albums, where a group of individuals composed the tracks, and while mainman Otrebor crafted the basis of many tracks the wealth of other influences brought in is exciting.

There are moments of more second wave black metal flavored stuff here as on the track 'Chlorophyll' but also of course a willingness to lean into the more weird elements. The big focus on the bass guitar is especially interesting to me as it drives the band increasingly into unexplored territory. It makes for a lot of interesting arrangements and compositions that eagerly zig when one might normally expect them to zag. There is a sublime energy to the band, and Photosynthesis sees Botanist at their finest, defying expectations and adding unique layers to black metal. Never have beings fed by the sun been so dark and grim!

Photosynthesis is a masterful offering, a fitting step forward for the band and a record that eagerly borrows from a wide variety of elements. There ability to lean into the avant garde and then dial it back with something much more classically oriented is of course inspiring. Photosynthesis is a potent offering and one that USBM fans will be sure to treasure. Thoughtful, focused and deeply interesting, this album sees the band at their finest, building on the old magic and bringing us something exciting and new. Why not immerse yourself? 

Find them on Facebook!

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Disrupted - Pure Death

Any time a band kicks off their record with dizzying Swededeath riffs and a cry of "BLOOD WORSHIP" you know that you are in for a good time. Suffice it to say - this record is a perfect example of what modern day Swedeath worship can be at its finest. It's brutal, fast and over the top. This is the sort of death metal slaughter that goes for the throat and makes listeners suffer. Memento Mori Records has found a real winner in Disrupted. Pure Death is a devastating listen and one that will crack listeners over the head time and time again. 

There is a maddening power to this band and the raw power that they seem to bleed on this record. Tracks like 'Human Stew' are rich with swagger and remind us that this is not a band to be messed with. They are coming at you knuckles dragging and heads banging. This may be ignorant and demented, but that's exactly why we love it. Disrupted aren't here to play games, they're here to crack skulls and make you wish you were dead. With flashy solos and riffs so massive they could be mistaken for the thundering feet of elephants, Pure Death is a blast from start to front. The band understand on a fundamental level tempo shifts, songwriting and how to get the pit raging. 

Disrupted are the rare band who border on the scary. You can sense their primal madness and the raw energy with which they deliver on Pure Death is almost unmatched. There is a sense of wondrous insanity that decorates the entire offering and the more time I spend writhing in the murk with this record the more impressed I am. Disrupted are death metal to grind bones and make children suffer. Pure Death is a straightforward statement of vicious intent and getting lost in the terrifying crush of what they deliver is a rare treat. 

Find them on Facebook!

Monday, October 26, 2020

Stormkeep - Galdrum

Now this is an interesting one. Stormkeep's brand of epic melodic black metal is delicious. Toss in a few dungeon synth flairs, like album closer, 'Lost In Mystic Woods And Cursed Hollows' and you have yourself a mystical journey. This is black metal at its finest, grandiose and powerful, speaking to the inherent majesty of the music. Stormkeep understand what it takes to capture the listeners imagination and their new record, Galdrum is just another gem in the crown of their label, the legendary Van Records. Getting lost in the might and mystery of this offering is a rare treat. 

Galdrum is the type of record that will thrill from the first. The cackle that kicks off the vocal line of the opening track 'Glass Caverns Of Dragon Kings' perfectly indicates the type of swagger that the band so eagerly embraces. With the black metal side of their sound, Stormkeep betray a deep love of bands like Immortal. It's energetic and powerful, the sort of fascinating listening experience that keeps listeners enthralled. These songs reflect a deep respect for the old gods of black metal but also hint at so much more to come from the bands sound. Their music is multilayered and the production shines throughout - speaking to the overarching talent the band bring to the table. 

Stormkeep have progressed masterfully as a band and this offering is a stunner. It invites you to get lost in strange and noble soundscapes. You immerse yourself in a sound that is artistic, powerful and above all magical. Their balance of light and dark is thrilling, continually impressive. Galdrum sees a band performing and executing black metal at the highest level. It's maybe not a groundbreaking listen, but it certainly is a record that continues to prove that there are ways to build upon the work of the old masters. It's thrilling.