Chuck Schuldiner Project

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Come To Grief/Fistula - Split

Two of my favorite heavy sludge bands have come together on one motherfucker of a split to crack skulls and remind us why we all fell in love with this music in the first place. This is a release that can't help but to impress. Though the tracks aren't perfectly matched, both are just unreleased pieces from the past, it's still a pleasure to get new material from these bands and unpacking it as it washes over you is a listening experience of the sort that only the truest of sludge metal fans is going to be ready for without at least a little emotional preparation. That being said - this is a monster split and one who you just can't stop sinking your teeth into.

Come To Grief kick off the split with the sort of goodness we have come to expect from the band. There is something truly transcendent in their heaviness that is nicely contrasted with the drag you to hell histrionics of Fistula. That all being said, this is a track that has a punishing forward momentum and you can sense the deep sorrow that follows this band at all times. Fistula come at you hard with a piece titled 'Contusion' a word that I think very accurately describes what this band has always sounded like. Their monochromatic scraping and abrasive destruction of all you hold sacred as a listener is delicious and makes for a release that you can't help but to spin as you fall deeper into this masterful hellhole of an album.

For the doom and sludge nerds out there this record is like a godsend. With just seven inches of wax these bands say more than almost all of their peers. In a crowded genre it is reassuring to have something so unabashedly heavy and balls out devastating to point to and say "That - that is the sort of heaviness that I love" Come To Grief and Fistula make for a potent pairing and one that I think we will be digging into for years to come. It's a powerful and to the point release that we won't be forgetting any time soon.

Find the bands on Facebook!

Come To Grief:


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Hyborian - Hyborian Vol. 1

Stoner rock has obviously always fascinated me but simultaneously it's easy to feel that the genre is hitting a dead end of Kyuss worship at times and that gets really fucking frustrating when you want to just sit back and enjoy riffs upon riffs upon riffs. And that's what Hyborian bring on Hyborian Vol. 1. This is an absolute monster of an album that dropped earlier this year and is getting reissued in February on Season Of Mist. This is the sort of stoner rock you can't help but get lost in because God DAMN!

From the first it's apparent that Hyborian are something different. They are executing stoner rock with a distinct flavor, with the sense of fun that made the genre so great in the first place balanced with a sublime darkness that hints at the ties to doom metal that this music has seen time and time again. Toss in some wonderfully intelligent lyrics counterbalanced by guitarmonies upon guitarmonies and you start to get a sense that these guys are writing some of the most put together stoner rock I have heard in a good long while. A genre that seems to almost glorify slacking it can soemtimes be difficult to really sink your teeth into one of these modern stoner rock records, but Hyborian make it wonderfully easy.

Hyborian Vol. 1 is a cut above its peers in so many ways, with everything from the production to the guitar tone to the songwriting proving these guys are the real deal. At first I was surprised to see that Season Of Mist had picked up a stoner rock band, an unusual choice for such an esoteric label. But when it comes down to it, Hyborian Vol. 1 speaks to so much more than stoner rock, it's really just an amazing rock record from a band who have the potential to reach Baroness-esque heights and take on the world with a grimace.

Find them on Facebook!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Spectral Lore/Jute Gyte - Helian

Man - this isn't a split that I ever thought would happen or that I would even get to hear. Jute Gyte and Spectral Lore are both incredily unique bands with prominent [places in their respective scenes as leaders of the genre. Jute Gyte has a place as one of the most interesting acts in the avant garde metal world, bringing in all sorts of weird outer influences to create truly unsettling black metal. Meanwhile, Spectral Lore are getting to a point where they need no introduction. Theyt are the sort of band who have a divine poetry defined by Ayloss's masterful playing.

Right off the bat it becomes clear that Helian s something that you are meant to get lost in. you find yourself immediately falling head over heels into the twisted world that Jute Gyte paints for us with powerful soundscapes capped with all sorts of weird ambient frills. It makes for an A side that you can't help but feel a little bit terrified by. Meanwhile, Spectral Lore's contribution is a step removed from stuff he has worked on previously, or at least his recent material. While it's certainly still got that magical vibe this is some of his doomiest work to date and touches on a sense of heaviness not seen in his music since III came out a little while back.

Helian is a powerful release focused on expressionist poetry and concepts of death and man (Embodied by the cover art, whose title, translated is of course "Death and Man") It means that this record has the same sort of sublime twisted majesty that only your favorite acts are going to really be able to call up. Helian is an album that inspires and encourages you to dig deeper, to explore bold futures and sink your teeth into the world of black metal. You can't help but to be fascinated, and though this is a dense listen, it's an extremely rewarding one. 

Find the bands on Bandcamp!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Accuser - The Mastery

Accuser have always had a special place in the metal canon as a band who perfectly represented all that made the later period of German thrash metal so great. Having penned classics like Who Dominates Who the bar is always fairly high when it comes time for a new record from these Teutons. This is a huge part of what made their latest offering, The Mastery so interesting to me, it's a slab of unpretentious, face crushing German thrash metal that perfectly understands the power of the genre whilst simultaneously giving more than a nod to the Bay Area scene.

That's really the thing with the later German thrash bands, the Bay Are influence had sunk in and that made a new space for bands like Accuser to come out and dominate. So here we have come face to face with "OOGH"s reminiscent of Kreator sitting alongside big choruses and solos with all of Kerry Kings trademark bite. Toss in more than a little shredding and you start to see why The Mastery is worth picking up. It's a record that calls up that intensity and forces you to come to terms with the darker and more prominent side of the genre, encouraging us to delve ever deeper into the world of old school thrash. 

With more than a little bombast and unafraid to push things over the top, The Mastery makes you want to mosh your fucking face off. There is a sense of swagger on tracks like The Real World that reminds us that these guys are the real deal and have been around the block a time or two. It gives the album a sense of authority you don't get with the younger bands which makes up for its tendency to fall back on tropes. The Mastery is everything you want from an Accuser record in 2018, so sit down and dig in, and try not to get hurt in the pit! 

Find them on Facebook!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Orphaned Land - Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs

I've long championed Orphaned Land as one of the most unique and best bands in metal. They are a group with a distinct vision and their fusion of sounds and ideas is one that is full of peace and love without ever feeling hackneyed. In a climate where more and more bands are coming out with staid and political opinions Orphaned Land manage to remain extremely smart and relevant, using powerful imagery to force us to come to terms with the power of Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs. This album is unique and beautiful and we can't help but to fall in love. 

The beauty of Orphaned Land is simply that there is so much to unpack in any given song because the compositions are so perfectly put together and authentically done. Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs is a masterful take on metal songwriting with disparate elements brought in to songs that are polished and in a strange way beautiful. This is heavy metal anyone can get into because it has a potent sheen and an intelligence about it that is simply undeniable. This is the sort of metal that kids dream of being able to make one day. It's important to the world at large and miles ahead of so many of the bands folk metal peers. 

Digging into the rich symbolism and articulate lyrics of this band has always been engaging, but this album, perhaps the bands most important to date given the political climate is more relevant than ever. These guys have obviously grown in leaps and bounds in the quarter century that they have been around, but this is a record that I see myself coming back too time and time again. There is a lot to pick apart and if you can't help but to fall in love with it then you need to step back and reevaluate your priorities. 

Find them on Facebook!