Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, December 11, 2017

Spectral Lore/Jute Gyte - Helian

Man - this isn't a split that I ever thought would happen or that I would even get to hear. Jute Gyte and Spectral Lore are both incredily unique bands with prominent [places in their respective scenes as leaders of the genre. Jute Gyte has a place as one of the most interesting acts in the avant garde metal world, bringing in all sorts of weird outer influences to create truly unsettling black metal. Meanwhile, Spectral Lore are getting to a point where they need no introduction. Theyt are the sort of band who have a divine poetry defined by Ayloss's masterful playing.

Right off the bat it becomes clear that Helian s something that you are meant to get lost in. you find yourself immediately falling head over heels into the twisted world that Jute Gyte paints for us with powerful soundscapes capped with all sorts of weird ambient frills. It makes for an A side that you can't help but feel a little bit terrified by. Meanwhile, Spectral Lore's contribution is a step removed from stuff he has worked on previously, or at least his recent material. While it's certainly still got that magical vibe this is some of his doomiest work to date and touches on a sense of heaviness not seen in his music since III came out a little while back.

Helian is a powerful release focused on expressionist poetry and concepts of death and man (Embodied by the cover art, whose title, translated is of course "Death and Man") It means that this record has the same sort of sublime twisted majesty that only your favorite acts are going to really be able to call up. Helian is an album that inspires and encourages you to dig deeper, to explore bold futures and sink your teeth into the world of black metal. You can't help but to be fascinated, and though this is a dense listen, it's an extremely rewarding one. 

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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Accuser - The Mastery

Accuser have always had a special place in the metal canon as a band who perfectly represented all that made the later period of German thrash metal so great. Having penned classics like Who Dominates Who the bar is always fairly high when it comes time for a new record from these Teutons. This is a huge part of what made their latest offering, The Mastery so interesting to me, it's a slab of unpretentious, face crushing German thrash metal that perfectly understands the power of the genre whilst simultaneously giving more than a nod to the Bay Area scene.

That's really the thing with the later German thrash bands, the Bay Are influence had sunk in and that made a new space for bands like Accuser to come out and dominate. So here we have come face to face with "OOGH"s reminiscent of Kreator sitting alongside big choruses and solos with all of Kerry Kings trademark bite. Toss in more than a little shredding and you start to see why The Mastery is worth picking up. It's a record that calls up that intensity and forces you to come to terms with the darker and more prominent side of the genre, encouraging us to delve ever deeper into the world of old school thrash. 

With more than a little bombast and unafraid to push things over the top, The Mastery makes you want to mosh your fucking face off. There is a sense of swagger on tracks like The Real World that reminds us that these guys are the real deal and have been around the block a time or two. It gives the album a sense of authority you don't get with the younger bands which makes up for its tendency to fall back on tropes. The Mastery is everything you want from an Accuser record in 2018, so sit down and dig in, and try not to get hurt in the pit! 

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Orphaned Land - Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs

I've long championed Orphaned Land as one of the most unique and best bands in metal. They are a group with a distinct vision and their fusion of sounds and ideas is one that is full of peace and love without ever feeling hackneyed. In a climate where more and more bands are coming out with staid and political opinions Orphaned Land manage to remain extremely smart and relevant, using powerful imagery to force us to come to terms with the power of Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs. This album is unique and beautiful and we can't help but to fall in love. 

The beauty of Orphaned Land is simply that there is so much to unpack in any given song because the compositions are so perfectly put together and authentically done. Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs is a masterful take on metal songwriting with disparate elements brought in to songs that are polished and in a strange way beautiful. This is heavy metal anyone can get into because it has a potent sheen and an intelligence about it that is simply undeniable. This is the sort of metal that kids dream of being able to make one day. It's important to the world at large and miles ahead of so many of the bands folk metal peers. 

Digging into the rich symbolism and articulate lyrics of this band has always been engaging, but this album, perhaps the bands most important to date given the political climate is more relevant than ever. These guys have obviously grown in leaps and bounds in the quarter century that they have been around, but this is a record that I see myself coming back too time and time again. There is a lot to pick apart and if you can't help but to fall in love with it then you need to step back and reevaluate your priorities. 

Find them on Facebook! 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Mark Deutrom - The Silent Treatment (2000)

Mark Deutrom is one of those guys who has been everywhere and done everything. Perhaps best known as the classic era bassist in the classic era of The Melvins and as the co-founder of Alchemy Records he also has collaborated with Sunn O))) and is in the band Bellringer. His solo work though is exceptionally interesting, diverse, and full to the brim with all sorts of fascinating musical twists and turns that I don't think any of us really saw coming, but which, given the mans musical pedigree, can't help but to make sense. Point being - this reissue is the kind of thing you want to spend time with.

The overarching theme in this record is a desire to create weird and powerful downtempo music. While there are chaotic and faster bits interspersed the overall mood of this latest record is remarkably chilled out and relaxed. What excites me throughout the album is his willingness to experiment, not just with genres but also with sounds and electronics. There is a certain fascination that any music nerd is going to have with these tracks simply because they are a unique insight into the mind of a mastermind who can't help but to give you a lot of mind melting content to sit back and chew on.

The Silent Treatment is a strange name for a strange record, but it's a record that makes sense. This isn't a mere hodgepodge of ideas thrown together at the last minute by a guy who is used to coasting by on his name. No this is a powerful statement from an artist with a deep understanding of the alternative music world who in fact shaped a lot of this world and inspires us all to regularly drive forward and find out more about how this whole thing develops. sinking your teeth into this album is a treat, so brush up and dive in!

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Monday, December 4, 2017

Diablo Swing Orchestra - Pacifisticuffs

Diablo Swing Orchestra is one of the most interesting bands in the world of metal these days, and not just because of their weird lineup featuring a cello, a violin and a horn section. Self described 'riot-opera' there is a sense of crazed fun about what Diablo Swing Orchestra are doing and their latest offering, and their first in five years Pacifisticuffs is a huge step forward for the band hinting at weird new futures and proving just how goddamn good these guys were in the first place. It's good to have them back!

Diablo Swing Orchestra has always made a name for themselves as one of the weirdest bands in the scene, but with the rising of bands like Kontrust they are suddenly no longer alone. What they did with Pacifisticuffs though was to realize emphasize the bombast and the inherent silliness of their music, upping the honky tonk elements and adding some more crazed dance parts. The bloodthirsty magic of the bands male and female duet attacks are delicious. There is an inspiring push within every song here and a simple poetry that makes the timbre itself distinctly Diablo Swing Orchestra, even from the first.

It's rare that you find a band who get an idea this good and then execute well on it. Rather than so many other 'metal with X' bands where X is some godawful random element not well implemented, Pacifisticuffs proves that Diablo Swing Orchestra are talented songwriters who have a deep understanding of the more traditional music they borrow from as well as the metal that forms the basis of their sound. Exciting, over the top, and really goddamn fun, I'm curious to see where these guys shake rattle and roll next!

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