Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, May 2, 2016

Katalepsy - Gravenous Hour

Unique Leader has been putting out some of the coolest technical death metal bands lately, they've manage to curate a very specific sound of super busy sounding bands who blast out of the gate and smash you with chugs, squirrely riffs, and a sense of sonic blasphemy that will impress even the most jaded fan. What I'm trying to say is that their latest signing, the almighty Katalepsy is just another example of this. These Russia merchants of death and destruction have come together on their second full length to make you suffer with a balls out attack that is only for the trve.

The simple fact of the matter with Katalepsy is not so much that they are a great band, but that their sound is so dense it's going to be hard for people who aren't devout death metal fans to get into them. That being said - I'm pretty sure they realize this and actually use this as an excuse to go whole ho - and by god is it righteous. The devastating assault of a song like Blindead Sultan only serves as a taster for what the band are able to deliver on Gravenous Hour. Their bass heavy sound (But seriously... those lines) and manic drumming twist the knife of riffy goodness and force you to genuflect in honor of these geniuses.

Gravenous Hour is a powerful statement, a tribute to Katalepsy's unwillingness to compromise and theri desire to put out some of the most face melting riffs known to man. The production, songwriting and execution of this record are all top notch, it just is an incredibly angular listen. There is something wonderfully visceral about the experience of listening to Gravenous Hour though and as the chugs resonate across your speakers and into your heart, you will find yourself raising a fist in honor of the true masters.

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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sanzu - Heavy Over The Home

Blackened death metal is one of those things that is always going o interest me. The latest offering from the almighty Sanzu, Heavy Over The Home, a re-issue of their 2015 self release is absolutely stunning. This is a band who understand the sheer bombast that this kind of music is supposed to have, and the twisted might of their attack is guaranteed to hold you in thrall. There is something utterly monolithic and transcendent about Sanzu, as if there face melting riffs an devastating growls will pin you to the ground and eat you back to life.

Few bands out there today are as unapologetically heavy as Sanzu so fearlessly are. The crushing bass lines and balls out stomp of these riffs is the kind of thing that you are almost forced to come back to time and time again. Sanzu, while never too technical, prove the importance of strong songwriting in extreme music. Even their chugs, which at times feel standard issue contribute to a larger narrative and help to evoke a cycle of chaos from which there is no true escape. Sanzu crush with every new side of their sound and as you navigate the nightmare hellscape of which they are the masters the more you fall in love with there Bosch-esque reality.

At the end of the day, Sanzu have captured my imagination because of their ability to invoke a sound that simply can't help but impress. This is the rare band who go for the throat and then maintain the chokehold. Rather than trying to stun with crazy riff after crazy riff they have cultivated a slow burn and their gradual devastation is going to leave you suffering, a slave forever wanting more from the lords of a genre that perhaps is only just now coming of age. Heavy Over The Home may have been out for a while, but you shouldn't dare to ignore it.

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Gruesome - Dimensions Of Horror

Gruesome burst into our hearts last year with their high powered sound featuring an all star lineup and a whole lot of death worship. Well guess what? They are back and better than ever. He band who blew us away wit an album that could have been a sequel to Leprosy have returned with yet another release that serves as a proud tribute to the original masters. As easy as it might be to poopoo what Gruesome have done here, you've got to give it to these guys, they are great performers and are capturing the magic of a sound that changed our lives.

Asides from the fact that the musicianship and the songwriting is top notch, you've got to give Gruesome points for enthusiasm. Not only are they prolific as hell, but they understand metals youthful love of death. The grinding magic of these songs an the perfection of the guitar tone only serves as the first level of heavy metal madness to be pouring out from these geniuses. Beyond that, the band has figured out the perfect execution that gives them just enough of their own flavor to keep things interesting. The level at which the members of Gruesome have digested Schuldiners teachings is endlessly impressive and will get your head banging and horns waving.

Dimensions Of Horror is an EP that you are going to want to come back to time and time again because it is fun,powerful and concise. Every riff fucking slays and every guitar solo has that wonderful singable quality that made Chuck's playing so great. Mat Harvey and the gang have outdone themselves with music that reminds us just how far of the game Death was at every phase of their careers. So dive on in to the rip roaring good time presented here, and try and tell me that you're not totally in love with the sound.

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Nightcrawler, Mary Todd and Tiger Flowers at The Acheron

The Acheron is and always will be one of my favorite New York City venues. That special mix of crusty magic, good food, and an intimate performance space that allows the audience to see the band from multiple angles is incredibly rewarding. This is made all the more so on nights like yesterday evening, when the sheer extreme energy of the music being presented forces you to fall deeper in love with the space. As a matter of fact, the show itself may very well have been my favorite grindcore shows that I have ever been to.

Nightcrawler were up first, and performed an absolute monster of a set. The bands vocalist has one of the most impressive stage presences and vocal performances that I have witnessed in a while. His whole approach to the genre makes it easy to fall in love with what Nightcrawler do. That being said - the band as a whole has a crazed energy and a sense of devilish magic to them that makes you want to come back again and again. Grind bands that comprehend the importance of a solid stage show as Nightcrawler so evidently do are few and far between. It makes it hard to turn away and holds you in thrall to the music, even if just for a half hour.

Up next were Mary Todd, one of my favorite groups on the beautiful modern New York City grind scene. Their wholly unorthodox sound remains ungodly heavy and reflects the true burning power that this kind of music can have. Mary Todd are the kind of band who have the potential to turn the whole world of grind on its head with their twin vocalist attack and truly different sounds. This is a band who reek of live energy too, every time I have seen them I fall deeper in love with their twisted dancing and deep internal pain. Few bands reflect the internal, mind melting sense of madness that Mary Todd so easily invoke.

My roommate is really into Tiger Flowers and he got me very hyped to see them, and with good reason. The bands insane stage presence, anthemic gang vocals and raw energy had them borrowing from the best of both grind and hardcore. Their charismatic frontman delivers growls of a sort that transcend the common limitations of the genre. Layered on top of a band who deliver on a truly profound level it's hard not to be charmed by the burning majesty of what this band has been able to conjure up. Despite how grandiose I might make them sound there is something wonderfully raw about this band, preying on the weak and forcing you to reflect upon the burning might of Tiger Flowers.

And so the night cam to an end, we wandered home, reflecting in the power of what we had witnessed. Few shows speak to me like this one. Far too often largely local shows leave fans bored with bands they have seen dozens of times, not tonight. All of these groups are bands who jive with the fundamental power of grind in a way that gives me hope for the future of the genre. Sure it's a music in transition, but it is bands like these who are responsible for leading the hyperspeed revolution.

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Mary Todd:

Tiger Flowers:

Sylvaine - Wistful

Powerful and ambient, Sylvaine is a multi instrumentalist who crafts the sort of music that you can get lost in. Her beautiful vocals are layered on top of lush arrangements, creating a sound reminiscent of Les Voyages De L'ame era Alcest. What I'm trying to say is that Sylvaine is more than just another post metal act. This is a musician who lays hr heart out with the music and forces you o reconcile the incredible, overarching beauty that her work has been able to create. Wistful is what the future of music should sound like.

What captures my imagination with Wistful is Sylvaine's unique approach to songwriting. Her use of keys and synths in conjunction with a rather distinct guitar style have set her up to be one of the more interesting artists of her generation. Her powerful voice gives the album a sense of transcendence, the layers found within are endless, but are quickly picked apart, rewarding the listener right away, but then enticing them to come back for more. Though the timbre stays rather similar throughout the album that's kind of the point - it gives you something to meditate on, an album to get lost in and to remind you why you fell in love with music in the first place.

Wistful is an absolutely monumental travail. The sense of forward motion Sylvaine's music has in conjunction with the power of the compositions is going to keep even the most pretentious music nerd wrapped up in the sound. She's one of those artists who has an understanding of music that seems to be almost spiritual. Wistful tugs at the heart strings and its constant magic is going to make you tear up in recognition at what the band has been able to do here. So turn it up and tune out, this is how you want to be spending your Friday evening - trust me.

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