Chuck Schuldiner Project

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Viscera - Obsidian

I always find it interesting when bands are able to fuse clean vocals with death growls in a tasteful way. Especially when they wind up multilayered. Toss in some truly interesting guitar work and tight songwriting and you have yourself a recipe for an interesting record. Unique Leader's particular brand of deathcore isn't necessarily my thing, but Viscera are clearly a very talented band making some very solid music. The band are clearly extremely goddamn talented and it's fun to watch them showcase their chops across the entirety of a record.

The sense of swagger the band brings on a track like 'Silentium' is really fun and it's nicely counterbalance by when the group shows their more artsy side. This is a band who clearly have their guitar nerd shit on lockdown, but they don't forget to prioritize songwriting. Obsidian is a masterful release that continually seems to hint at new heights for the band and focuses on top notch execution. Viscera is not only an interesting release, it's a record that shows there is so much more to be done in the genre and that the band have the capacity to craft some next level artistry that elevates the dialogue around the genre.

Obsidian is a masterful release. It pays attention to genre tropes and builds on them. The band is early in their career and I get the impression that they could build a lot on this release. This is a record that hints at oodles of talent and which seems to suggest the group has a well of ideas in the early Fallujah or even Sylosis vein (Which would make sense given their frontman used to be in the latter band!) In brief - if you dig deathcore or even heavier prog metal, you'll find something to dig here - give it a spin.

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Monday, January 13, 2020

Slaughter Messiah - Cursed To The Pyre

Man - this is a fun one. High Roller Records has been releasing a fair amount of high powered thrash metal in recent years. Cursed To The Pyre the debut from Slaughter Messiah is the latest iteration of this. With a virile and violent approach, these 8 tracks of thrash metal mayhem are exciting, dynamic and wonderfully over the top. This is a record that borrows from countless late 80s extreme thrash tropes. The love for bands like Dark Angel and even Bathory is palpable. It makes for a rip roaring thrash metal quest.

The bands sound is surprisingly mature for a group releasing their debut. It begins to make more sense though when you find out that in the last decade Slaughter Messiah have dropped three EP's and a pair of demos. It means that the bands ability to craft songs that make sense has been finely honed. That being said - you can tell this is their first full length offering and they were trying to pad things out. A track or two here could be really slimmed down. Nothing dramatic, but it speaks to how the band is attempting to take that next step with their careers. Cursed To The Pyre is an interesting document of a thrash band finally making good.

The intensity showcased on tracks like 'Mutilated By Depths' is delightful and speaks to the evolution the band has made. The way that they go for the throat speaks volumes to the bands subtle poetry. The unholy utterances that bark their way across the record are wonderfully vile. They hint at brave new futures and remind us that there is so much more to come from these Belgian thrash metallers. Cursed To The Pyre is a wonderfully sick offering and one that is going to lead to faces getting moshed off - you know want in.

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Sunday, January 12, 2020

Earthshatter - 1135

Metalcore is interesting to me because there's essentially two different types of music that refer to themselves as metalcore. On the one hand you have the pop inspired work of bands like Asking Alexandria or A Day To Remember. On the other hand you have skronkier and more abrasive bands who are much more focused on the blend of hardcore and metal. I'm talking about bands like Every Time I Die or Varials. Yet from what I understand - no one has ever attempted to fuse these style of metalcore - until Earthshatter.

Earthshatter do a great job of fusing the new wave of hardcore of bands like Knocked Loose or Varials with the more straight ahead poppy metalcore of some of their musical ancestors. The end result is a surprisingly fun EP that shows a breadth of musical knowledge and has replayability. The way the band flawlessly moves from almost blackened hardcore into potent pop punk vocals on a track like "W.T.M" makes the band almost seem like a parody of themselves, but that's whats makes the music so goddamn compelling. Who else can counterbalance crushing breakdowns like these with moments worth of Killswitch Engage?

So yes - this is a band who have found a way to balance the vile and most devilish moments of the genre with some of its most lighthearted and portray a clear passion for both. There are moments you can two-step too and there are moments where the band is clearly more focused on making you crack skulls. This is all made possible through top notch production and a weird adulation for everything from Earth Crisis to Fall Out Boy (Seriously, listen to the track "Spit") It's a unique sound and one I can't get enough of.

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Saturday, January 11, 2020

Thy Catafalque - Naiv

Thy Catafalque have, for years now, been working on a reasonable claim as the most interesting band in Hungary. The band have a unique and clear artistic vision. Their approach is disciplined and endlessly fascinating. The kaleidoscope of sounds that they bring together on Naiv is stunning and makes this easily their most ambitious work to date. The way that Thy Catafalque seamlessly blend whole different tone worlds is thrilling and speaks to just how much the band are able to bring to the table.

Featuring a wide variety of guests Naiv revels in its multicolored soundscapes. What's fascinating is that, as much as this record is a unique entity with all its twists and turns it makes sense as a whole. There is, somehow, a red thread that keeps the entire thing together. Despite the fact that Thy Catafalque are clearly just as excited about exploring electronic music as they are jazz or more extreme metal, the overall flavor of the record remains clear. A lot of this is helped by stellar production. The brilliance of the mix is really showcased in a track like 'Naput' which eagerly melds ideas into something beautiful and poetic.

Full of distinct takes and beautiful sound worlds, Naiv is an unmatchable success. What other band would be able to implement the Slayer-esque riffage of a track like Veto with the ambient keys of
 'Embersólyomor' the mind bending psychedelic electronica of 'A valóság kazamatái'? Yet it all works together to be unleashed as something poetic and one of a kind. Naiv is a masterful effort and one that elegantly leaps from peak to peak. Thy Catafalque are clearly turned onto something deeper and it is very much worth sinking in your teeth!

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Friday, January 10, 2020

Defiled - Infinite Regress

Do you like motherfucking tech death? Defiled have always been among the best in the world at this most extreme of musical genres. The bands mind melting assaults have always been one of a kind, and Infinite Regress is simply the next step for the bloodthirsty Japanese madmen. The angular playing and pummelling drums crack skulls and routinely remind the listener that we are all going to die. Painfully. Infinite Regress is a masterful offering, a record that routinely proves that Defiled are among the best to ever do it.

The record does not really delve into the more 'meedly' portions of the tech death sphere, what Defiled focus more on tight and oftentimes jaw dropping riffs accompanied by off kilter melodies. The oh so precise insanity of a track like 'Tragedy' can't help but to be addictive. Infinite Regress sees Defiled caroming across their fretboards and dancing around all sorts of unique rhythms. Special attention should be paid to the drums which not only reflect brilliant technical skill but which are excellently produced. They provide a stunning backdrop to the record and ensure that the entire thing is able to stay together.

Infinite Regress is a stone cold stunner any way you slice it. Defiled are the best in the business, they have an unexpected way of writing songs and it continually pays off. This is the sort of record that stands as a representation of all the band has been working on for years now. A veritable tour de force Infinite Regress is bristling with energy, technical ecstasy and nary a dull moment. If you want to dive into the pit - Defiled got you covered, if you want to be wowed at shredding, this is your band. So get ready to get your face melted the fuck off.

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