Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, September 21, 2018

Un - Sentiment

Un, one of the best doom bands in the world is back baby. After blowing us all away in 2015 with The Tomb Of All Things the wait is over. Translation Loss has delivered us with one of the most potent doom records of the year, a record as epic as it is beautiful, as terrifying as it is tear jerking. Falling into a musical universe alongside Forn, Bell Witch and Lycus there is an amazing power to this band few of their peers will ever match. The overarching power and heartwarming strength that has come to define The Tomb Of All Things is exciting and hints at so much more to come.

The most important thing to note about Sentiment is that it builds upon the sounds of The Tomb Of All Things in a big bad way. While the musical direction is still the same, and you can still expect the same monster riffs, soulful melodies and incredibly powerful growls, the band has grown up. Kelly Schilling of Dreadnought's haunting vocals color one track, and the songwriting has become much more dynamic. Project mainman Monte Mcleery's time in Samothrace has clearly contributed to his growth here, but it's also a product of maturity and drive. The tracks rival Saturnus or Pallbearer at their finest and speak to a band who seem committed to taking the world by storm.

Their is a sense of potent forward motion that defines Sentiment and the bands ability to craft melodies that come crashing down, like waves on a shore is unparalleled, save for perhaps Bell Witch. This is a monster album that has no problem reminding you that it's a monster album. Wonderfully bombastic and unafraid to hearken back to the musicians more punk derived roots there is something wonderfully real about what has been accomplished here. Emotionally destructive and impossible to turn off, Un are well on their way to becoming doom metal royalty.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Author & Punisher - Beastland

It's been really exciting listening to Author & Punisher evolve over the past few years. There have been a lot of interesting and exotic musical twists that have defined his career and which make Beastland his most defined work to date. The industrial doom of Author & Punisher has received high praise from institutions far loftier than this one, but I gotta hand it to the guy, he deserves it. The mesmerizing power of Beastland borders on the intimidating and hints at a band who can achieve bold new levels.

What gets me the most about this particular record though is that it feels like Author & Punisher is pushing towards a new set of influences. While this record certainly feels like previous efforts in the catalogue, this is perhaps the sludgiest and darkest offering yet. Rather than focusing on the sheer industrial power of the machines harnessed by this visionary one man band, instead we are drowning in the raw volume and an overwhelming sense of control. There is a precision here , an almost workmanlike assault that leaves you with an overarching sense of dread that despite all hope, this could be the end of all things.

Beastland is another step up for this mechanical engineer cum visionary. IT's wholly different from its peers and it seems to unleash pure aural devastation time after time after time. It's hard not to fall in love and be enamored with the breadth of the sound here but things have gotten out of hand. This is a record that can't help but to intimidate and one that is going to leave us choking on the bitter pill of noisy doom metal desolation. Weird, over the top and endlessly exciting, Author & Punisher might very well be the future.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Owl Maker - Sky Road

It's rare that I find a band who I thoroughly enjoy as much as I thoroughly enjoy Owl Maker. That is to say they aren't necessarily a band I go back to a lot, but they are a band who I find to be a whole lot of fun. Owl Maker are like a good meal. You dig in, you revel in it while you're there and afterwards say to yourself "Wow that was really special." Their Thin Lizzy by way of Dio romps have always put a smile on my face and this latest two song EP, Sky Road is no exception. It's a straightforward and workmanlike rock and roll assault you gotta love.

There has always been something wonderfully anthemic about Owl Maker despite the fact that they rarely rely on big choruses or other tricks to get you singing along. Rather they just come out with an exciting assault that, while certainly rooted in stoner metal isn't afraid to branch out. As opposed to many of their more diverse peers though rather than sounding like a hodgepodge of ideas they have a very clear vision. In fact it might be that more than anything which I enjoy about Owl Maker and their approach to rock and roll, despite the fact that they only have eight songs together as a band, they are already pushing towards their own sound.

In this modern stoner rock scene I guess I frequently get frustrated that more people aren't just playing straight up rock music with a heavier edge. This is what differentiates Owl Maker. They aren't trying to soak you in pot scented riffs or drug addled dirges. They are instead a band who clearly just like to have a good time, let their hair down and embrace the wild party of it all. Owl Maker is an absolute hell of a ride and while Sky Road may be a mere two songs, it's two songs that you'll enjoy the hell out of.

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Monday, September 17, 2018

Idle Hands - Don't Waste Your Time

Out of the ashes of Spellcaster comes Idle Hands, a band who take all the promise of Spellcaster and form it into their own triumphant new idea. As the band crosses new frontiers in tight jeans with goth rock fringes these guys are unleashing something truly fun and powerful. These Eisenwald signees understand the beautiful and raw power of the NWOBHM but they bring in a variety of other ideas in order to craft a sound that while full of retro flourishes feels wonderfully 2018. Flashy and yet strangely restrained, Don't Waste Your Time is a powerful rock classic.

I think the moment the band really came together for me was watching their video for I Feel Nothing, shout out on the salt flats. There is an incredible sense of fun with the bands look, but they tie it into something far more occult. The group doesn't seem to want to throw their entire souls into maddening rock and roll damnation. Rather they seem to enjoy reveling in a mid tempo punch. The way that they crunch forward, one sneer at a time is fascinating, but tied into that is the bands flair for the dramatic. The soaring vocals, and potent, almost AOR-esque guitar solos speak to the bands ability to truly understand a decade.

Idle Hands understand the magic of the eighties but they are unafraid to infuse it with modern sensibilities and clout. They get what makes for a great song but they enhance it with bold new ideas. While it would be easy to dismiss Idle Hands as just another NWOBHM flavored band coming out in 2018, they bring so much more to the table. Even their most galloping moments are counterbalanced with an almost The Cure-like sense of deep and fragile emotion. This is an emotionally complex and incredibly interesting listen. Dig in.

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Sunday, September 16, 2018

Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want

Daughters are a very weird band. Not only that but they are a band who seem to play by their own rules and relish in it. This is a huge part of why it makes sense that these dudes have signed to Ipecac, and that their Ipecac debut You Won't Get What You Want is in fact one of their weirdest records to date. These Rhode Island freaks have always had something special and different about their sound. Now they have broken all the old rules to unleash something more potent and exciting than ever before, going further than many thought possible.

What fascinates me about this band is the fact that while there are some of the obvious influences present, bands like Swans or Dillinger Escape Plan the band is also eager to sink their teeth into a much weirder noisier spectrum. The throbbing pules of a track like Less Sex speaks to how much the band has grown. While they are all over the place on You Won't Get what You Want they also have a clear sense of direction The deeper you dive and more to investigate it becomes increasingly obvious that Daughters are pushing to break any barriers. It makes for a record that you want to listen too time and time again and which freaks the HELL out of my poor cat.

The quality of the songwriting on this record is on a different level. Rather than the sprawling odes that define a lot of bands in this genre, Daughters have crafted something tight and punishing. On this fourth record the band unveils crisp and monochromatic sonic landscapes that they then go back and color with a sense of tortured fantasy. The creaking doors on the track Daughter the perfect counterpoint to sludgy and in your face riffage. This isn't a band for the faint of heart, it's a band for people who want to go beyond no wave on choke on the bitter pill that is the end of music.

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