Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Cognitive - S/T

New Jersey is a distinctly hateful place. I would know, I go to a school that has a bunch of these demons running around. So it makes sense that any tech death band from that blasted part of the world would be distinctly evil and come roaring out of your speakers with a dedication to brutality that is by and large unparalleled in the world of metal today. See, Cognitive, with their first record have managed to come out, tear your hair out and beat the listener into the ground with an attack that will not be soon forgot.

When the bottom end crunch of these songs kicks in along with hyper-powered vocals and incredible riffing you know that Cognitive are in it for blood. Their slam derived riffs are a lot of fun to listen too and provide a fitting contrast to some of the more flashy moments on the record. This bands obsession with death is fairly standard death metal fodder, but the way they go for the throat is rare to find in the modern scene. Sure, Cognitive can get very cerebral, yet they always bring it back to the basics, gut wrenching vocal lines that leave the listener gasping for breath in a world that seems to have failed them.

New Jersey is not a happy place, or so I've been led to believe, I spend as little time as possible there. In a world of basic bitches and frat bros those who have been cast out have to resort to extreme measure to fully communicate the darkness of their own morbid realities. As you delve into the stripped back and violent soundscapes that Cognitive provide it's hard not to have a bloody grin decorate your visage. This is a band who are in it to kill and soon your life too shall end at the hands of a down tuned riff.

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Acid King - Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere

Riff masters born of thunder who came to earth to deliver a crushing dose of beautiful and primal sound, Acid King were legends in their own lifetimes. Now they are back with their first original material in a decade and it is even better than before Herein is a band who have managed to take all of the magic that made them so special in the early 2000's and channel it into a world where doom has risen to the fore and thousands of bearded freaks around the world have started to worship at this bands altar.

While I'm not entirely sure if Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere counts as a comeback record, it certainly feels like an extension on the bands previous work. It guides you through strange worlds that rise up and then fade away, almost Debussy-like at times. Yet there are new elements here too, the band has seemingly taken note of the rise of female fronted doom bands and here and there you get vibes of bands like Subrosa or even Jex Thoth. As with those bands, digging into this record is easy, but it becomes even better with repeated listens. From the slow build of the intro to the epic choruses and crushing riffs that define the rest of this record, we see that Acid King are back and reigning proudly once more.

So hold your breath and dive in, try to see through the murk and uncover the raw power of the riff, after all, that's all that matters. Acid King understand the spirit of doom in its most stripped back form, and yet also know how to add in all sorts of unique layers to get a distinct sound. The duality of this band is endlessly fascinating to me and the more I dig in to what they're all about the more I fall in love with them. Sure Acid King fell of my radar for a little while there, but it seems like the doom lords are now here to stay.

Find them on Facebook!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Skyforger - Senprusija


Skyforger have always been a little grimmer and angrier than many of their pagan metal peers. They have the touches of Northern epics, but that is not the only key element in their sound. It's not necessarily for every fan of pagan metal, yet over the years they have started to hone it into to something truly special and their latest offer, Senprusija due out April 6 sees the band at their finest. A group who have a wholly satisfying sound, digging into this latest work from Skyforger is a grand and noble adventure.

Perhaps the most notable thing about Senprusija is the powerful guitar lines that add mighty melodies under gritty vocals that are almost reminiscent of old school Teutonic thrash bands. Songs like Divi brali see Skyforger at their finest, bringing in the darker black and thrash metal touches that makes their music so unique while also using folk-derived melodies to keep things sufficiently grim and biting. There has always been a confluence of styles in Skyforgers music, and that's part of why I never got to deep into them, this new record though seems to suggest that they have found their path creating masterpieces that carry you away and then punch you in the gut.

No longer reliant on any real tropes and not afraid to make daring musical moves, Senprusija is worth many a listen. The viking cries and danceable melodies interact with more stripped down tracks that are almost straight up thrashers. There is a sense of power to Skyforgers music that shows how far they have come. Rewarding and yet also fairly accessible, Skyforger have proven themselves worthy of a place in the pagan metal pantheon and I have never been more excited for the future of these Latvian longhairs.

Find them on Facebook!

Boom! Bap! Pow!

It's a rare and special occasion that I deviate from my doom metal dorkery to write about a pop band, but every once in a while I find one that merits it. Today I bring you Boom! Bap! Pow! who are the kind of act who lend legitimacy to pop by showcasing the musicianship behind it. There is something fun and organic about Boom! Bap! Pow! that goes beyond their whimsical name. The self-applied genre tag "Rock 'n' Soul" seems to sum the band up pretty accurately. Sure, these guys are lighthearted and even a little bit silly, but at times we need that to maintain sanity. There is a sense of serendipity and joy that permeates the upbeat splashes of guitar on songs like Suit. Toss in some spectacular drumming and occasionally sassy vocals and you have yourself a band who it's hard to stop listening too. Delve into Boom! Bap! Pow!'s fairly simplistic soundworld and you will find yourself feeling better about the darkness that threatens to consume us all. Boom! Bap! Pow! get what pop music can be, and they bring it hard, dealing in raw emotion and poetic song structures that rend the heart.

Find them on Facebook!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Upcoming show: Wovenhand + Marriages (12.04 Paris, 14.04 Tourcoing)

Returning to European soil for us eager fans, experimental rock band Wovenhand will be granting us another opportunity for us French fans to see them perform on their upcoming tour promoting their latest record Refractory Obdurate, which includes a date in Paris @Le Trabendo (April 12th) and in Tourcoing (April 14th).

Starting out as a solo side-project to his work with the now-disbanded Alternative Country act 16 Horsepower, musician and lyricist David Eugene Edwards founded Wovenhand in 2001 and has been consistently showcasing and expanding his immense creative talent through each of the bands' records. The Denver, Colorado based band draws influence from a large variety of different musical genres ranging from neo-folk and country music to gothic americana and desert rock, fronted by Edwards' dark, soulful voice and adding up to the organic and truly unique sound that is Wovenhand. With their latest album Refractory Obdurate released last year, the band took a step towards further harnessing the louder aspects of their sounds, showcasing some hints punk-rock spirited compositions while remaining true to their original formula.

Joining the band for this upcoming tour in april are yet another act you won't want to miss out on. After releasing one of our favorite albums of 2014 with her solo effort Some heavy Ocean, frontwoman Emma Ruth Rundle, teamed up with her Red Sparrowes bandmate Greg Burns, will serving as a support act for this European tour with her somber post-rock inspired band Marriages. The band will be supporting the release of their debut full-length release, titled Salome, scheduled for release on april 7th. (The first track to drop off of this upcoming release, Skin, is linked below). Hinting at some influences coming from Shoegaze (Slowdive, Cocteau Twins...) and metal as well as Emma Ruth rundles' back catalog from her other projects (Red Sparrowes, The Nocturnes...), the three-piece act from Los Angeles take a cinematic, dark yet beautifully melancholic route with their songs, as demonstrated on their excellent debut EP Kitsune, released back in 2012.

This upcoming Parisian concert is definitely one I urge any fan of dark-tinted alternative music to check out. These are 2 top-notch acts whose artistic singularity and appearance on E
uropean soil are hard to come by lately. Whether you're familiar with these artists or musical universes at all, I can only recommend you come out to the show and check them out for yourself; I doubt you'll regret it.

Links to the event (with links to grab some pre-sale tickets)

This gig is brought to us by My Favorite.
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Official Website