Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, February 19, 2017

1476 - Our Season Draws Near

The world of post black metal is a weird one and the genre is still so relatively new and fertile that there are a lot of cool new directions to explore. 1476 are the latest to do so with a sound that explores the sound of bands like Agalloch just as much as it hints at more mainstream punk roots. There is something strangely American about what the band has done here, and it seems appropriate that the record this reminds me of the most, Atlas Losing Grip's Currents, also features a lighthouse on the cover.

What keeps me coming back to Our Season Draws Near and what leaves me so straight up fascinated by this bands creation is the purely epic nature of the compositions. The songs are all brilliantly constructed, immaculate in their conception and endlessly layered. The bands ability to shift from pure Agalloch worship to moments that wouldn't feel out of place on a mid 2000's emo record and then back into black metal is stunning. This is a record that in many ways I feel was tailor made for me. There is something incredibly human and very endearing about what's been accomplished here. It's a record that can't help but to keep you in a constant state of thrall.

These days I have so goddamn much to listen to that it's rare that I will go back to a record after spinning it a few times for review. Few records really reach out and touch my heart and as I get older it becomes incresaingly difficult to really want to invest time and energy into new bands. 1476 is one of the few bands that seems to cut through and speak to me. It's an album that reminds us of the burning power that these songs can have and blazes with a sort of energy that can't help but to come straight from the heart.

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Mary Todd - Bone Stock

Those of you in on the Brooklyn scene know that Mary Todd is one of the hottest items in grind right now. They are one of those wonderfully unique bands who are fully aware of how straight up mathy they are but who also revel in the scum. A group who elevate grindcore to a brave new level, their latest offering, Bone Stock is an absolute monster. The sheer aggression here tempered with songwriting elegance is delicious. The band has proven once again they fit alongside bands like Tiger Flowers and Meek Is Murder.

There is something strangely entrancing about Bone Stock. This is an album that has the unbridled aggression of Napalm Death but balances that out with a rumbling bass guitar and atypical drum beats. The sheer technicality of the music is regularly surprising, but it makes sense in the context of a band who have never been afraid to add flashy moments to straight up auditory destruction. While the band certainly has some of the common recording and songwriting limitations of younger groups there is a lot to really sink your teeth into here. The riffs contain a beautiful raw power with more than a few dirty looks to go around, and that's really all you can want.

Wonderfully ADD and chock to the brim with more than a few gnarly ass riffs there are pretty much no other groups out there doing what Mary Todd do. Sure they have peers but few are wiling to make it as purely weird and bring in so many weird and unexpected elements to the schizophrenic sounds found within. Despite this your average grindcore fan is going to get quite a bit out of Bone Stock. What makes it so impressive is that it is a record that stays intelligent without becoming cerebral, taking in all aspects of the genre and balancing them perfectly.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Obituary - S/T

Obituary have been masters of their craft for over thirty years now and as with many other bands of their generation they are experiencing a bit of a second youth. While their peers in groups like Cannibal Corpse and Deicide are putting out some of the best records of their respective careers Obituary have stepped things up yet another notch with the Tardy brothers unleashing some of the most gleefully destructive and heavy death thrash that I have heard in a good long while. Bloodthirsty and fun, this gets to the spirit of the genre.

There is something incredibly youthful and beautifully organic about this latest offering from Obituary - perhaps that's what happens when you put out your self titled record after four decades of being a band. There is a certain power behind the grooves and a manic energy behind a lot of the riffing that makes me feel like the guys are young again. A band borne out of blasphemy, these Florida titans have made a point of bringing songwriting to the fore with Obituary and reminding us that while they may not be spring chickens anymore the guys can certainly still bring it with no small measure of aplomb.

Despite perhaps being the most refined Obituary record to date there is something incredibly devastating about the twisted vocal passages on songs like End It Now. In a world that seems to be falling apart and where so often we feel like we are flailing, unable to find a path forward, Obituary reminds us that true extreme metal will never die and that despite the darkness we may think that we are facing, death metal titans will always soldier on and even thirty three years in be able to create some of their best work to date.

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Reaping Asmodeia - Impuritize

Reaping Asmodeia is one of those death metal bands who seem to tackle the modernspirit of the genre with aplomb. Their latest offering, Impuritize is electrifying, chock to the brim with gnarly solos, devastating technical riffs and a general sense of rock and roll nihilism that can't help but to charm the listener as they delve ever deeper into he sonic firestorm that is this record. When it comes down to it, Reaping Asmodeia is a band who understand the modern death metal polemic and will smash it into your face. 

There is something strangely addictive about the squirrely riffing on a track like Defenestration. In many ways it reminds me of bands like Veil Of Maya, who, back in the day were able to charm hundreds of thousands of fans with a sort of lighthearted technicality. That being said - there isn't a lot about Reaping Asmodeia that is light hearted at all. Impuritize is by and large a minor key record and one that revels in it. That being said, there certainly are moments here that don't feel quite as forward thinking as they could be and the drum tone isn't always on point. While Reaping Asmodeia may be a very good band I'm not sure they are quite yet read for the big time. 

As is though there is a lot to really delve into with Impuritize. The riffs are chunky enough as to encourage multiple listens and the sheer gnarliness of the guitar tone makes it hard to turn the record off after a few spins. There is a sort of manic, almost punk rock madness behind Impuritize that makes it hard to turn your back on what it represents. Reaping Asmodeia consistently hints at greatness and inspires curiosity. This is a record that suggests, to me at least, that this band is on the path for great things. 

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

King Of Asgard - Taudr

Viking metal is in a very interesting place these days. The genre is slowly recovering from the mess that happened due to an oversaturation of band with bad songwriting and is now pushing toward powerful new sounds that reflect ancient times and require a new level of musicality. It means that the genre is perhaps truer t its rots than ever before and certainly more interesting. This is what makes the latest from King Of Asgard, Taudr, so goddamn good. It shows us the true power of the genre, with an inherent sense of musical might that can't help but to seduce the listener.

Taudr is one of those records that really represents a full sonic experience. It's an album that burns forward with powerful Viking choruses padding out massive sounding chords. The clean vocals are reminiscent of groups like Heidevolk, hinting at a much older musical culture behind the band. Meanwhile the melody lines are totally on point, driving the band forward just as much as the riffs do, but also continually reminding us of where King Of Asgard fit into the metal map. There is something endlessly engaging about the driving guitars of a song like Death... And A New Sun especially when counterbalanced with the huge sounding choruses that pump forth.

At the end of the day, Taudr is absolutely entrancing. They are a band who have a certain internal viciousness that is only tempered by their dedication to higher, and far more ancient concepts. As you listen to Taudr you can see the unique landscape of Scandinavia unfolding before your very eyes and you start to fall into the reassuring rhythms and dominating choruses of the band. King Of Asgard are a band who are going to captivate you and remind you once more that Viking metal will never die, but only rise, harder and stronger.

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