Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, November 19, 2018

Deathkings - Ex Nihilo

Those familiar with the burgeoning LA underground metal scene are aware of countless great bands who operate within the community. One of the greatest up and comers in this community are Deathkings, a band who have been marred by strife and ill fortune but have,  instead of throwing in the towel decided to drive forward and craft incredibly compelling and powerful sludge inspired by the likes of Neurosis and Yob. It makes for a thrilling listen from a band who seem to eagerly embrace new challenges and consistently go for the throat.

This is some of Deathkings darkest work to date. Incredibly tortured and driving towards the bleaker side of the human psyche, Ex Nihilo is a record that terrifies the listener and consistently plumbs the depths of the human condition. The monochromatic assault of this two track EP's opener Absolution is like a trudging journey to the grave. Meanwhile, the elegant poetry of the guitars counterbalances the oppressive darkness, reminding us that Deathkings, despite their gritty exterior are bringing far more to the table. Crafting harsh realities through simplified soundworlds, Deathkings have fused dark and light in a twisted matrimony.

I adore the bands ability to shift from harsh single color riffage into much more elegant synth powered moments of sonic delicacy. While the recording feels a bit rough throughout, sometimes not paying tribute to the simple elegance that Deathkings are trying to achieve, in some ways this ads to the sheer punk rock fury the band brings to the table. The songwriting is clearly there, and the execution is unique, relying not just on crushing amps but also padded out synths coming in to provide life in a world of decay. Get on it.

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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Esben and the Witch - Nowhere

Esben and the Witch have been making a lot of waves in recent years, and it would be hard not be when you are as talented and prolific as this trio. A band who eagerly embrace new challenges and drown you in powerful, almost otherworldly sounds, these post rock masters have crafted something which is wholly their own and which winds up being entirely addictive, mesmerizing and impossible to escape from. A band who truly understand the zeitgeist of the genre and drive towards bold new heights, Esben and the Witch have done it again.

What consistently impresses me is just how talented Esben and the Witch are and how they are able to take their simple trio approach and turn it into something far grander. This is aband who unleash powerful and multilayered music that takes from the canon of post rock, but also isn't afraid to showcase influences from around the music world. The powerful and deeply soulful vocals of Rachel Davies are a huge asset to the band, perhaps best showcased on the records second track, Dull Gret. Suffice it to say - the deeper you delve into the soundworlds of Nowhere the more you will fall in love with the band.

A record that brings you to the edge of oblivion and encourages you to stare into the void, Esben and The Witch's fifth full length is a thrilling listen. The heady atmospheres that the band has has embraced here are a step beyond anything in their past work and hints at so much more to come. They are plumbing the deepest depths of the human psyche and the dark emotions which they overturn on Nowhere feel like old ghosts coming back to haunt us. There is something almost magical about what's happening here, something any music fan, not just post rock lovers, can enjoy.

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Friday, November 16, 2018

Antiverse - Under The Regolith

I remember first being shown Under The Regolith by the head of Tridroid Records and immediately being blown away bt the band incisive mix of riff salad, tight songwriting and straight up chunky bottom end. The crushing sense of forward motion that you get in these tracks and the overarching power of the record as a whole is impressive and speaks to the enduring power of death metal. With constant forward momentum and chock to the brim with cool ideas, Antiverse is a group at the height of their musical capabilities.

The word that keeps coming to mind as I dig deeper into Under The Regolith is 'masterful'. While this album certainly is bragging, it's definitely careening out of your speakers with a certain sense of swagger. While the band usually sticks to their tried and true brand of galloping tech death, some tracks are not afraid to embrace more 'rock and roll' elements whilst others seem to bore down entirely on the extreme side of the band. Through it all, nothing about Under the Regolith feels chaotic or unplanned. Instead this record is like watching an alien swarm coming down to earth and tearing us apart.

Frenzied at times, but somehow still always tightly controlled this is a release that makes sense from the get but also isn't afraid to expand its sound. The punchy riffage and angular assault make for exciting listening and the deeper we delve down the rabbit hole the more clear it becomes that Under The Regolith is a true death metal masterpiece. This is a band who don't need to play by the rules because they have too many good ideas, and if you disagree, they'll just choke you out with one kickass solo after another.

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Thursday, November 15, 2018

High Cost - S/T

From the ashes of Septic Rot rises a new strange and demented force, High Cost. Now with their debut tape in hand, due to be released by Tridroid Records at the end of the month these Brooklyn favorites seem poised to take on the world. Balancing a traditional grind approach with elements of noise and powerviolence, this self titled release is jarring, aggressive and over the top. What makes this offering particular interesting is that Side A hosts the EP in its original format, whereas Side B has all manner of remixes and live tracks showcasing the breadth of the bands influences.

It makes sense when dealing with a band as schizophrenic as this one that many of their songs deal with mental health issues in a brutal and straightforward manner. The demolishing heaviness of these tracks means they function on a much more primal level. While it may not be long, it is filled with energy, punishing, fast and relentless in its all out assault upon your eardrums. The bands unique breed of grind is exciting and frenetic, but the noise remixes by Rottweillin are especially interesting and really demonstrate how far this genre can be pushed. They take the heaviness to a whole new level and breathe new life into the record.

High Cost are already Brooklyn darlings and have commenced to win over the imaginations of fans across the region. Their lyrics are terse and to the point. deeply emotive and forcing us all to confront our own inner demons. When packaged with an almost painfully good remix and a visceral set of live performances, this tape becomes something truly exciting. It's hard to find grind bands with not just a unique approach but a desire to grow their sound in a meaningful way in this day and age and High Cost are among the few. Devastating and far too real, this is grind at its finest.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Sodom - Partisan

So earlier this year the metal scene was hit with a bit of a bombshell that Sodom's longstanding lineup had completely shifted and that Tom Angelripper would be the only remaining member of Sodom as he had brought in a whole new crew of musicians. This is the first time that we have heard material from this new lineup, and I have to say, not only am I extremely impressed at the over the top rip-roaring madness of the band but also hints at bold new directions for one of metals most established acts.

The traditional sodom elements are all here on this three track EP, Partisan, but the band also brings out so much more. As a four piece for the first time, it feels like Sodom are just starting to lean into what twin guitars can do without compromising their values and straying from that classic Sodom sound. Instead we find ourselves being beaten over the head with some of the most powerful thrash metal assaults I've ever sunk my teeth into. The lineup change has been like a shot in the arm for the Teutonic icons and now it feels like there is nothing that Sodom can't do, more crazed and over the top than ever before.

this has always been ab and who refused to compromise. I mean their name is Sodom for Christ's sake. It's not like there was a lot of opportunity to compromise anyway. With a mere three tracks this EP might not represent a lot of material, but it's a potent hint at what more is to come. Sodom have continued to melt faces for years now and this new record with all of its gory political and war obsessed imagery shows the band retains their relevance even as we look towards the end of all things.

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