Chuck Schuldiner Project

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Decade and Inter Arma in Philadelphia

Another night, another house show, this time in perhaps the sketchiest neighborhood I've visited yet. But that didn't keep it from being an awesome time for everyone involved. This is the kind of house show that speaks to the magic of the scene, loud and brash music from the crypt, meant to stay underground. With an opener that didn't at all seem to reflect the headliner (although both were good bands) this was another wonderful evening spent with my growing crop of Philadelphia metal buddies. Decade and Inter Arma both put on a great show, and on a rainy night like this, what more could you want?

Now, I had never previously heard of Decade, but funnily enough, I had seen their guitarists other band, Backslider, just a few days before. They play an interesting brand of new wave meets psych rock that you don't easily forget. Their set is transcendent and strange using electronic instruments to accentuate the vocals, bass, and guitar. In some ways, especially with the keyboardists strange stage persona, they remind me of Kraftwerk. The bands vocalist who seems to be a petite college girl is a master of ethereal wails that kind of give the entire sound a bizarre and beautiful twist. These guys have a very unique sound and I hope to see them again and delve deeper into it.

Then it was time for Inter Arma, oh Lord, Inter Arma. Now THIS is a band who know how to put on a show, regardless of venue, be it a large hall like the first time I saw them, or a tiny basement like tonight. They grooved and rocked from top to bottom and added far more improvisation than I have ever seen them do before. In particular the track Survival Fires was treated to a beautiful re-imagining as it soared out onto the crowd. And as always, Mike was wonderfully insane, his eyes bulging and throat roaring to achieve a triumphant effect, proving Inter Arma may be the doom metal band who carry us to nirvana.

Asides from a nailbiter of a ride home, I have to say, the evening went extremely well. Decade made a really good impression on me, their sound is truly innovative and unique. Sure, I get what some of their influences might be, but I love the way they are crafting their own path. As for Inter Arma, they put on a truly unique show, and the amount of improvisation and the extremely intimate venue made for a concert that I think no one in tonights' audience will soon forget. Now I can only twiddle my thumbs and wait for the next great doom adventure.

Find the bands on Bandcamp and Facebook!


Inter Arma:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Atriarch - An Unending Pathway

Atriarch have for a few years now been carving out their own niche in the West Coast heavy music scene. Nicely fitting in next to bands like Usnea, and Worm Ouroborus  these guys fuse a variety of genres to get the kind of music that leads to people beating their chests until their hearts tumble out. Their heavy riffs and unholy screams come together to create an enlightened listening experience that speaks to the soul of the listener, perhaps that is the true goal of An Unending Pathway unveiling the very humanity and simple beauty of this band.

The tracks on An Unending Pathway are special because they seem to shift and sway from genre to genre with complete ease. The mix of cleans and growls feels natural, they reflect a sort of pure and introspective aspect of the sound. Their are a lot of layers at play here too, and oftentimes things you might not catch on first listen. These songs go beyond what I think a lot of Atriarchs peers are trying to do with similar concepts, why? Well the answer is complicated. At the core of it though, Atriarch seem to just have better songwriting chops, at no moment listening to this record do you feel like the song just needs to up and end. Things have a powerful forward momentum here and will keep you engaged for many a spin.

As I gear up for a trip to Texas and a motley assortment of adventures to come, this is the kind of record that I want to take with me, holding my hand as I prepare my body to delve into a strange new world. The long and short of it is that Atriarch understand exactly what they want to do and how to do it. An Unending Pathway is ridiculously entertaining because it constantly throws curveballs in the form of tempo and genre changes and there's no telling where this chaotic beast of an album will go. Go forth, conquer, and enjoy, An Unending Pathway may very well give you a path to enlightenment.

Find them on Facebook!

Liv Kristine - Vervain

Earlier this year I fell head over heels in love with Kari Rueslatten's magnificent Time To Tell I think now I have finally found a record that is not only on par with that masterwork but also brings in a metal side. Liv Kristine's new effort Vervain is a record that captures the imagination with soaring aria's, top notch songwriting, and a mix of male and female vocals that is wonderfully memorable. Vervain is the sort of record that you know will be special from the first song. This is artsy heavy metal at its finest and I don't want to stop listening to it!

I think the mix of delicate female vocals and powerful guitar parts is perfectly executed here. Whereas normally this sort of thing feels forced and contrived, Kristine manages to pull it off perfectly within the confines of her work. Songs like the eponymous track Vervain are driving without sounding pretentious making her record rather fun to listen too. The ooh ooh's and aah aah's that accent a lot of the songs also come across very nicely, adding to the majesty of the soudnscape and keeping things intricate and exciting. At the end of the day Liv Kristine has a simply beautiful voice and that's what keeps me coming back time and time again

Make no mistake Vervain is a masterpiece, and the fact that I normally despise female fronted symphonic metal and yet adore this record is evidence as to how tight Liv Kristine is. These are songs that wash over you and enhance the spirit. Kristine understands what we want out of symphonic metal and she deliver it with a profound skill that I think few of her peers could even dream of matching. Let these songs consume you, here is a woman who has done something incredibly special and along with her band are worthy of much honor and praise.

Find them on Facebook!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Killed A Fox

Spring Of Sloth And Haze cover art

Nifty Croatian rock with groove, Killed A Fox are a pretty cool new band who bring in a healthy mix of influences to get at something special. Their sonic attack is fairly distinct and shows the capability of the band to come forth with a bit of everything and deliver what can only be called a startling and refreshing burst of rock 'n' roll madness. While yes, there are a lot of standard modern rock influences in the vocals, you can also find touches of Primus and other slightly 'out there' acts accentuating the ringing guitar parts and gyrating bass lines. These songs are exciting and oftentimes tumultuous, twisting and turning like there's no tomorrow. When they end in moments of triumphant and glorious rock and roll redemption you have to close your eyes and smile, this is what the lords of rock would have wanted for us. Killed A Fox have a distinct sound and know what they want to do, it's just a matter of clicking 'play'.

Find them on Facebook!


Russian folk metal that mixes female vocals with powerful growls, melodic violin lines with black metal riffs and darkness with light, Anabioz are the kind of band who get it. At it's core, Anabioz understand what true folk metal is supposed to be about, honoring our pagan ancestors and reminding us of the glory of blood. With lyrics in both English and Russian these guys are consistently interesting to listen too. Their new record There The Sun Falls is nine tracks of intricately composed and very unique folk metal. While they use all the traditional tenets of folk metal they don't sound generic. They do a good job of avoiding the 'white woman wailing' trope and place a strong emphasis on the mighty growls. They know what they want out of the crowd too, songs like Dance Dance prove that though Anabioz may be a serious band they know how to have fun. Anabioz are doing something special, and the world needs more folk metal. Hail their powerful songwriting and let it wash over you, this is folk metal at its finest.

Find them on Facebook!