Chuck Schuldiner Project

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Witchcryer - Cry Witch

I think that one of the issues with a lot of the retro bands out there today is that they don't really get anywhere. They have the schtick down, but to what extent does that really benefit the music? The answer is not a lot, because a lot of these bands don't want to do the work to create something truly great. This is exactly what makes the debut offering from Witchcryer, Cry Witch so good. It's an album that touches on the trad doom genre but unashamedly borrows from a variety of other genres and because of the stunning talent of the musicians involved can't help but to stun.

The first thing that will strike you about this record is the stunning power of frontwoman Suzy Bravo's voice. Her ability to conjure up potent emotions with bombast and class is stunning. There are multiple vocal performances on this record that can only be described as jaw dropping. Tracks like The Preying Kind leave you wondering, 'How is this band not bigger?' On top of that is the simple fact that this record features tight fucking songwriting. As opposed to many of their peers who dwell too much on ponderous bridges, Witchcryer only have one song that strays over the five minute mark.

The end result of Cry Witch is an album that you want to listem too again and again because it represents the sort of high powered and fun rock and roll which you can't help but to live. Rather than try to hard to craft something that ultimately could never take off, Cry Witch inspires time and time again. It shows us the path forward and gives us reason to have faith in the modern trad doom scene. Also this band has the most unexpected Black Sabbath cover/reinterpretation ever. If you can't love a band who can cover Embryo you might just be broken.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Blackwulf - Sinister Sides

Don't you love it when a band you've followed for a while blows your face off with their best record to date? When they finally start to get the recognition they deserve, not just from general fans of the genre but also pioneers of the scene? Such is the case with the latest from Blackwulf
Sinister Sides, a record which not only features Geof O'Keefe of Bedemon and Pentagram fame but also which ominously ebbs and flows, inspiring the listener to dig deep into the surreal and powerful soundworlds that make stoner rock great.

There is something strangely transcendent about Sinister Sides that comes largely from the fact that it is so clearly a labor of love. It's records like this one, which toil over even the finest points, everything from the guitar tone to the track order have been optimized in order to best showcase what the band is capable of. The use of O'Keefe is extremely tastefully done, he rarely dominates but rather is a potent addition, and makes me wonder what Blackwulf might be able to accomplish with a twin guitar attack. Toss in a few other ragers, a stunning cover of Sunshine Of Your Love and counterbalance it with a potent ballad and you start to get a sense for how great these guys are.

Sinister Sides is a record that came right up and blew me out of the water, but it's also a record that has a lot of potent subtle touches. As much as it's easy to love the fat riffs and brash choruses on a song like Tempest there also is a very real majesty to the record, and a depth that, again, comes from the simple fact that this is a monumental labor of love. Blackwulf have taken a huge step forward with their third full length and the three year wait was more than worth it. Now I'm just stoked to see them pull it off live!

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Chaos Echoes - Mouvement

Really ferocious and fucked up atonal doom death is the sort of thing that could go in a lot of ways in 2018. There are bands that do it well with massive riffs, other bands that do it well with buzzing blasphemies and overarching senses of doom, and bands who think that a pretentious never is an excuse to put out bad music. Chaos Echoes, as far as I can tell fit into the second category, and that serves to make them not just a thrilling band, but one who you want to keep coming back too, who drive forth with twisted melodrama and grow from there.

What gets me with Mouvement is the sense of bombast that the band gleefully conjures up. But it's not the sort of bombast that happens because of twisted lyricism or operatic vocals .This comes from the demented depths of the compositions. The vocals simply act as the twisted icing on the cake, crafting some truly frightening sounds and forcing the wall of sound further down your throat. There is a blissful nihilism to the sound. They are creating elements that fell almost demonic and have that sort of antedeluvian might only found in their countrymen, with bands like Throane, Celeste or The Great Old Ones.

Mouvement is a record that ebbs and flows, which forces you to embrace stark realities and which exults in turning your former ideas of what makes an album magical on its head. With this offering, Chaos Echoes are refining something that I think not a lot of their peers could even begin to touch on. The mix of soundscapey stuff with transcendent choruses and glorious, inspiring songwriting, drenched as it is in black metal nihilism is stunning. If you can't fall in love with this, you might as well give up on the genre.

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Chronic Xorn - For These Sins Who Must die

Chronic Xorn have been grinding hard for the last decade to become one of the premier acts in the Indian deathcore scene. With their second full length and third release overall hitting my ear drums now it becomes clear why it took the band five years to put out this record. It's the sort of massive statement that crushes your skull with riffs upon riffs. There is a certain sense of swagger and authority which comes with For these Sins Who Must Die, Chronic Xorn know who they are in this scene and deliver the punishment time and time again.

I think what really gets me about this record is the mix of modern death metal and deathcore. the breakdown on a track like Justice by The Act Of Violence is an exciting counterbalance to more groove metal oriented ideas. Meanwhile there is a certain triumph to the manic almost At The Gates inspired riffing that defines a lot of these tracks. Of course -we don't have a lot to really sift through, with under thirty minutes of music and only five real songs. That being said - Chronic Xorn take advantage of the time they have to make a point about the state of the Indian extreme metal underground in 2018.

There is something about this recotrd that I think speaks to the deathcore kid deep inside me, but also elements that reflect the metal fan I am today. there is a depth to the composition here that Chronic Xorn has never before had and which deathcore as a whole doesn't really embrace. It gives you something to really sink your teeth into despite the relatively short time frame. That all being said, For These Sins Who Must Die rapidly transforms into the sort of album that you want to spin again and again. Dig it.

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Novareign - Legends

I've always been a big fan of silly and over the top shreddy power metal .Sure it hasn't defined a lot of my listening lately but it's a type of music that will always have a special place in my heard and which has a weird tendency to grown on the listener. There is something endlessly fun about listening to dudes with high voices wail over top of lightning fast guitars. This Shrapnel Records sound is one that hasn't gotten a lot of love in recent years so it's a true pleasure to heard Novareign rip it out with Legends.

There is something that can't help but to fascinate me with tracks like Heavy Heart with their high powered guitarmonies. There is a level of compositional excellence here that hearkens back not just to Shrapnel records but also the work of neoclassical composers like Paganini. Of course within this all there is a great sense of fun, padded out by fantasy inspired lyrics and all sorts of tasty little flourishes that only serve to make Legends one of the most addictive power metal records I've heard in a long time. In fact - while initially I was very turned off by the hour plus run time of the release, now I almost view that as a bonus.

Yes - this is a record that takes a little bit of patience to get through and if you're not into the silliness of power metal then you are probably going to find yourself at a loss. For those of us though who like to keep it true, who love the glorious soundscapes and triumphant worlds we will find Legends to be the sort US Power Metal classic that we keep coming back to. Novareign have hit the nail on the head with this release, they don't care about what you think - they are just here to have a goddamn good time.

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