Chuck Schuldiner Project

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Dark Red Seed - Stands With Death

The Dark Red Seed is one of the weirder bands on Prophecy Productions, but largely because they don't seem to really fit in with the labels usual fair of weird ambient music, twisted black metal and underground monstrosities. Rather The Dark Red Seed feels more like a rock band who delved too deep into the magic of the art rock scene. This duo has unleashed an incredibly powerful EP, full of surprisingly rich soundscapes, stripped down arrangements and minor key vocal melodies that enchant the listener.

The almost dirge like chants that define some of this albums choruses and the dark and ethereal brooding passages that serve to expand this bands capabilities beyond the realm of most in their genre. The willingness to slip back into almost improvised feeling atmospheric passages helps to prove why so many have become so rapidly mesmerized with Stands With Death. This isn't a record that demands a lot of the listener, rather it sneaks upon you and drags you under with it. There is a far darker world hinted at within the gentle lull of this band that helps to make it all the more delightful when you dig into these powerful hooks.

Stands With Death comes from the sort of band that I fully expect to see performing at Roadburn next year. They have all the potential to be slugging it out with bands like Esben & The Witch or even Crippled Black Phoenix. They have the same transcendent potency, but without the epic arrangements. Rather in their minimalism they help to show a new way forward, tapping into the same emotions but in an entirely unique way, reminding us time and time again that there is no end to the beauty of this music. 

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Septicflesh - Codex Omega

Septicflesh, now there's a motherfucking band. It's hard to believe that these guys have put out ten records now, and furthermore, that this latest offering Codex Omega should be there best yet is even more impressive. A band who have always been progressing and evolving this latest release seems like a natural continuation on all the band has done over the years and speaks to their massive and bombastic vision, a vision that we can't overstate because there is simply so much included in their facemelting sound.

I think the beauty of Septicflesh has always been that the band perfectly balances the power of old school death metal, as evidenced in their 1990's roots with the cutting edge of death metal. The soaring keys that define a track like Portrait help to showcase the incredible magic of this band. The ethereal folky melodies of some of these tracks counterbalanced with the transcendent choruses and epic songwriting only goes to show that symphonic death metal has a sense of meaning that is impossible to match in its peers. Codex Omega is the sort of record that bands define themselves by and which will push Septicflesh into a new era of grandeur.

It's hard to fully wrap your head around all that Septicflesh have done here. While they certainly have never really been my thing I also really love their vision and the drive behind the band. There is a certain grandiose majesty to these tracks that can't help but to mesmerize the listener. With this record Septicflesh have brought themselves to a noble new level and it's easier than ever to understand why this band got so big in the first place. So come out, delve into the journey and embrace the madness that has come to define this legacy.

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Usnea - Portals Into Futility

For a minute there it almost felt like Usnea were going to be an also ran in the burgeoning early 2010's doom metal scene, the band had been quiet since their visionary 2014 release Random Cosmi Violence. I had sort of assumed they had broken up. How glad I was to be proven wrong, with their latest offering, the almighty Portals Into Futility rapidly developing the bands sound and showing us that they are far more than their roots might suggest. Powerful and melodic with swooping clean vocals and crushing minor key melodies this is a monster of a record.

Portals Into Futility regularly impresses with the incredible depth of the production. The songs here are colossal, shifting as mountains do, slowly but ominously, crushing the listener under waves of distortion and reminding us why this band came out to rave reviews in the first place. I think it's important to note though that there is something truly great about the musicianship on this record, Usnea have reached bold new heights, expanded what their band is capable of and once more risen up to craft a grandiose record that will ring across the sands of time, at least for those of us who search the underground for absolution. 

When it comes right down to it, doom metal is a helluva thing, and though it might be fading right now to the razor sharp force that is modern death metal bands like Usnea will always exist to help us achieve what the kids call 'maximum sads'. Usnea have distilled all that makes evil and twisted doom metal great in order to aurally seduce the listener and keep us entranced as their colossal chords seep forward. Usnea have unleashed a veritable cosmic force here and you can't help but to fall in love once more.

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Inquisitor - I Am Sick, I Must Die

Man, I never thought that I would see the day when there would be a new Inquisitor release, muchless a two new Inquisitor releases. A high powered metal thrashing mad seven inch courtesy of Hammer Heart records announces the return of the extreme thrash metal greats back to the scene. Coming in guns blazing with a powerful shriek and razor sharp guitars Inquisitor crafted something truly special with this release, and though it's just a taster (Hell most of the run time is covers!) I can't help but to get excited. 

So let's break this three track EP down, the only original song, I Am Sick, I Must Die is an absolute banger hearkening back to the bands grand tradition. The breakneck speeds and maniacal vocals only serve to prove as a chest thumping proclamation that Inquisitor are back and good as ever. It really sets the tone for what is to come from these dudes as they progress in their reunion. The two covers, Extreme Unction from Pestilence and Dark Angels Perish In Flames serve to provide a tasty reminder of where this band came from and are a tribute to the groups subterranean origins. It pads out the single and pushes this entire thing to strange new heights. 

The bloodthirsty magic of Inquisitor reminds us again and again why we sacrifice our lives for this musc. There is something endlessly exciting about high powered thrash metal of the sort that Inquisitor so masterfully deliver. There is a surreal and devastating beauty to what the band has outlined and if you can't dig your teeth into it then you might as well back the hell off. Inquisitor are the real deal, ferocious, angry and ready to bite your nose off. If you can't fall in love with those licks then you might be a lost cause. 

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Leng T'che - Razorgrind

There's grind and then there's motherfucking GRIND, this record falls into the latter category. Chock to the brim with insane riffs, unabashedly borrowing not just from the grindcore canon but also hardcore, death metal and even deathcore, Razorgrind is a surprisingly diverse record for something with such a straightforward name. There is a certain gleeful insanity that defines Leng T'che's work that has perhaps never been on better display than here, and it means that Razorgrind is the face melting masterpiece it was always meant to be.

The devastating interplay between guttural growls and high pitched screams is delicious and the bands surprisingly warm guitar tone serves to make Razorgrind one of the groups most tantalizing listens to date. The depth of the songwriting and the inherent complexity of a track like Cibus speaks to all that the group has been able to create over the years. There is something almost mind melting about the bands unabashed dedication to enhancing the sufering, to tearing your heart out and choking you out as you try and navigate the complex and unforgivingly sharp edges that define this release.

Still, the bands willingness to accept some slightly poppier elements is fascinating, and counterbalances some of the no-wave Napalm Death influenced stuff that makes its way into the record. Razorgrind is an absolute beast of an album and one that will shake your understanding of the genre as Leng T'che rewrite the rules in order to unleash something that will leave you suffering and trying to understand the fundamental nature of a record that, when it comes down to it, simply doesn't give a fuck.

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