Chuck Schuldiner Project

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

R.A.M.B.O - Defy Extinction


Now this one is a blast. R.A.M.B.O are Philly hardcore gods, masters of the genre back in the day who have now returned after fifteen years with what is likely their strongest record to date. Defy Extinction is a raw nerve of punk rock energy. It's a record focused on environmentalism and tearing down oppressive systems that choke all of us out. Over the top and endlessly exciting, this is a hardcore devotees hardcore record. It's proud to wear its influences on its sleeve and speak to the eternal power of this genre that we devout our lives too. 

Defy Extinction is thrilling in its delivery and audacity .Though the band don't really stray from too many classic hardcore tropes, it's clear that they are really goddamn good at what they do. This is a record that uses its primal energy as a blunt force object to crack open skulls and very deliberately force listeners to confront the environmental horrors that so many of us have to deal with every day, all with the looming understanding that it's only going to get worse. It's a record that speaks to the thrill of this music, the gut wrenching fun and the sense of chaos that defines the mosh pit as you find yourself getting lost in the madness. 

R.A.M.B.O have proven that they are still the kings of Philly hardcore. Their music is as abrasive and exciting as ever, and the intervening years have only deepened their understanding of hardcore music. This is Philly hardcore done loud and proud at a million miles an hour and guaranteed to get you stoked. R.A.M.B.O understand the eternal power of the underground and all that they have accomplished. You owe it to yourself to turn this one up!

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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

The Skyspeakers - Echo Hall


Indianapolis has one of the more interesting heavy music scenes in Pethe country. There are so many good bands emerging from the region and a community that seems genuinely supportive. So much of this is captured in Echo Hall the dynamic debut from The Skyspeakers. A record that defies easy genre categorization other than 'heavy', The Skyspeakers layer male and female vocals, sludgy riffs and creative use of saxophone and synths to create something that is wholly their own. It's a unique offering quite unlike anything else going on in heavy music right now. 

While this is very clearly a debut and some ideas are being worked out still, the overall vision behind The Skyspeakers is incredible sound and speaks to their overarching skill as songwriters. There's something really charming and powerful about bands with unique lineups, especially when they really seek to integrate the different unique elements rather than being 'doom metal, but this time with saxophone!' like so many of their peers. When listening to Echo Hall listeners really get a sense for just how talented the individual musicians in The Skyspeakers are. Be it on the singalong magic of the album opener "Learn To Feel" or the more ambient stuff on "Ghost House" there is a clear dynamic behind the music that makes it addictive. 

Echo Hall is a really powerful and interesting offering. It's a record that is going to thrill listeners of all stripes and once which hints at so much more to come. Personally I'm very excited to dive once more into what The Skyspeakers are doing when new material is read.y AS for now, this is a really unique band gracing the heavy scene with a vision that is different but never too artsy. Rather it's a sumptuous offering that fits in nicely next to high concept doom metal without ever really straying into the genre. Press play - it's an intriguing listen.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Wizzerd - Space?: Issue No.001


Every once in a while you hear a band take things to the next level in a way you weren't fully sure was possible for them. Such is the case with Wizzerd and their thrilling new record Space?: Issue No.001. This record sees them building on everything that they've hinted at in their discography before into one potent cohesive whole that can't help but to impress with its clarity of vision, inherent musicality and quality of execution. This is a stoner rock record for the ages, one that says "We are Wizzerd and we are here to shred your fucking face off." 

Space?: Issue No.001 is a thriller any way you slice it. This is a record that seems built aroudn the jam with endless fun guitar licks, shredding solos, massive choruses and an overarching sense that the band are still building towards something greater. As they build towards the final climax on "Final Departure Part I: the Intergalactic Keep of the Illustrious Cosmic Woman" (Song name brevity is not Wizzerd's strong suit) you get the impression that there is still so much further this thing could go. Wizzerd have evolved past so many of the errors of their early days as a band to craft something that is stunning. It's a long promised record that I am thrilled to see matches the expectation and hints at so much more that this band could one day be. 

Wizzerd have gone and done it. It makes me so happy to hear a record from a band this young executed with this level of maturity, but years of hard touring, constant recording and spinning apparently infinite records has put them in a place that is wholly their own, that speaks to a vision that I think is going to only get better with time, even if now, it's pretty goddamn good. With a dense web of influences and a gorgeous sounding record, Wizzerd are daring once more into the breach and I think many of us would do well to pay attention!

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Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Sarcator - Alkahest


Sarcator have been one of my favorite bands in the Swedish underground for a few years now. These extremely young blackened thrash upstarts impressed the world when they released their self titled debut as teenagers in 2020. Now the band is gearing up to release a follow up, entitled Alkahest. This offering showcases a very evolved sound for these young men, with all of the same breakneck energy matured by a few more years of songwriting experience. 

The larger spread of influences that impact Alkahest and the improved technical ability of the band members has helped move the needle of what Sarcator are capable of. The tension that brims on songs like "Dreameater" is delectable and speaks to how far these guys have evolved. That being said - at times it feels like the band needs to trim the fat. Given the stripped back nature of their debut I wasn't really expecting songs nearing the ten minute mark on the follow up. That beign said - I admire their vision and the approach they seek to execute. 

All this being said - Sarcator are still an impressive force in the underground. They are dealing death with aplomb and the level of vision and skill that they bring to their music speaks to the world of possibilities that await them. It's a delight to really immerse yourself in the crushing torment that they've painted here and the blackened thrash ministrations that thrilled listeners on the debut are evolved upon here. There's a bright future for Sarcator as one of Sweden's most exciting new bands. I advise jumping on the bandwagon before it's too late.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2022

thisquietarmy X Away - Machine Consciousness, Phase III


I've been a fan of the thisquietarmy and Away collaborations for years now. These two creators have found a way to join forces and capture the imagination in a way that I think few of their peers really grasp. The stripped back ambient and sci fi inspired sounds that shape their creations are fascinating and exciting, a testament to the creative muscle being brought to the table. To lose yourself for a half hour or so in their unique ministrations is a rare treat and one that speaks to the simple poetry of what's being done with a blend of synths and drums. 

I think what has always impressed me about this project is that despite the fact that the stripped back synth approach defines what they are doing here, there are still several genres at least hinted at. Machine Consciousness, Phase III is similar to previous releases from this collaboration in this way. You hear hints at krautrock, prog, dungeon synth and more infiltrating the music and leaving listeners in awe of what has been crafted as we delve ever deeper into the ethereal and oftentimes magical visions that these guys have been able to refine over the years of their work together. It's a delight to really get lost in in it and the simple arrangements make this surprisingly easy. 

Machine Consciousness, Phase III is a truly magical release, one that feels bizarrely real in its synthetic mastery and which paints vivid landscapes of Blade Runner-esque dystopia whilst remaining a fairly simplistic two piece that focuses more on vibes and energy than anything else. This is phenomenal music to work too and a release that I think any fan of ambient music is going to be able to get lost in as they seek to delve into ever more comforting and warm sides of the genre. thisquietarmy and Away have done something special here, dive in with me. 

Pre-order the album!