Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Loud and obnoxious Scottish slam from a band who don't care about your rules, by Odin are we off to a good start. Party Cannon are one of the most amusing slam bands I've come across in recent years. But don't let song titles like Tyrone, You Put That Sugar Down, fool you. Party Cannon are legitimate musicians, and though there message may be silly, there are certainly a blast to listen too. A band who understand the glory of the pit as well as that of the party, soon you too will want to be Partied In Half.
The thing about Party Cannon is that right off the bat they prove that they can lay down some truly sick grooves. Tracks like Duct Taped To A Flag Pole (They have awesome song titles I know) show that the band have what it takes to make it as songwriters. On top of that, the growls are simply unholy. They usually rely on a lower bestial state, but there are plenty of ripping passages that will simply tear your head off. The riffs are often very technical, which is a bit surprising for a slam band. In fact, it brings in a hint of death metal which actually helps to broaden the appeal of the Party Cannon sound.
So, if you want a record thats going to make you crush some skulls, but also give you a luagh or two, this is the album for you. Distinct in its conception and immaculate in its destruction, Party Cannon have proven that they are more than just a gimmick. These guys are a very legitimate death metal force, and you can't take that away from them. As you feel the wrath of these six hyper speed songs bearing down upon you, you are left with one choice. Join the party, or get torn apart. Partied In Half is not for lightweights, but those of us who know how to rage may very well find redemption.
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Seeing a band with a refreshing take on another stale scene gives me hope that the fusion genres of underground music today are not doomed to failure. Toronto-based Mirrelia have stepped up to the hypothetical plate to undertake the revival of Post-Hardcore with their three-track EP, The Actor. And thank God they have, because boy, did this album surprise me.
There's a definitive set of influences here that all come together in an interesting amalgamation that makes the corner of your mouth curl up into a smile unconsciously every so often. Protest The Hero will peak their head through occasionally with some technical solos and riffing (not to mention that guitar tone) only to be overtaken by fast moving hardcore riffs a moment later. The clean vocal style is also akin to Protest The Hero but maintains a welcome alternation with raw, harsh vocals (not to mention a beautiful and breathtaking female guest appearance on Six Over Seven). Thankfully, the similarity with PTH ends with drawing influence. Mirrelia don't meander through long and unnecessary instrumental passages that have no influence on the scope of the album as a whole and instead show off their musical proficiency in small bursts to capture the listener's attention and hold it with impressive vocal delivery.
I would not say I've really heard too much Experimental Post-Hardcore that truly captures the essence of experimentation. My exposure is sort of limited, as I feel the genre of Post-Hardcore encompasses a vast swath of musical influences that cannot easily fit into that one label (which is both its greatest strength and its greatest weakness). Mirrelia happen to fall into the "greatest strength" category of Post-Hardcore, providing a short, succinct EP that delivers satisfying primal energy and groove coupled with celestial moments of calm.
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Monday, September 15, 2014
It's been a long day, they didn't tell me it would be like this, but now it's almost done, and it's time for 65 minutes of pure black metal. Such is the power of Ordinance and their new record Reliniquishment from their erudite (and X-rated) cover art to their epic and oftentimes highly intellectualized compositions, this is not a band to be trifled with. There is a certain atavistic might to this record that a lot of modern black metal doesn't touch on. The slow croaks that introduce the albums first track prepare you for the madness to come.
Relinquishment never really roars, but that's not the point of this kind of record anyway. Instead, it's a slow burn, the band drives their way home, right into your heart. Their is a meditative kind of magic to these songs that allows us to fall deep within and perhaps find something better within ourselves. See, Relinquishment is the kind of black metal record that opens the eyes of the listener and prepares them for a brave new world. The droning guitars and surprisingly gentle, yet still very distorted riffing of these songs helps to capture the listenr and carry them off to grey soundscapes that I'm not quite sure what to make of.
It's impossible to sum up a record of this magnitude in just a few words, but know this, Ordinance have created something far beyond the ken of mortal man. There is a power here that speaks to something greater, be it in the haunting melody lines or twisted vocal passages, Ordinance have come out and created a strange sort of head space. One where you can close your eyes and revel in some oftentimes terrifying music, and yet still find peace. This is the kind of black metal that relies on pure vibes, and by god is it good.
There are defining moments in your life where you discover - sometimes entirely on accident - the albums and artists that will shape you as a person. You are captivated - that record you bought on a whim from the band you caught just at the last song of their set turns out to be the foundation with which you will build your musical taste going forward. There are also defining moments in your life where you discover the albums and artists which will forever remain locked away in the dark recesses of your mind because of the severity of the horror they've unleashed upon your ears.
I am Dead, the 5-track EP from Dead Dark Slide, is one of those albums. There's a part of me that really wanted to like this release if only for the sheer purpose of liking one of the only industrial-electro-goth-art-death metal bands out there at the moment. Alas, I could not bring myself to have that kind of dedication to this album. The production on the guitar (while most definitely purposeful) detracts immensely from the possibility of enjoyment. With a tone like crinkling plastic, it overshadows the drum and key tracks and makes the Gollum-esque vocals of Ryan Michalski that much more grating. While there are some interesting haunting keys in Your Blood Runs Red, the album overall wanders in circles, repeating the same riffs over and over with very little variation in each track.
After awhile, I Am Dead begins to sound like white noise. I actually started to close my eyes in the middle of the album, and am still having a hard time wrenching them back open thirty minutes later. I've got to say, I first started playing the album and was concerned that my speakers had blown out. So I plugged it in to the auxiliary, just to be certain, and was deeply let down by the horrendous quality of work that Dead Dark Slide delivered. I have no idea how this could translate to an atmosphere conducive with enjoyment while being played live, and I certainly am praying I never have to subject myself to that. I sincerely hope that Dead Dark Slide are successful in what they do in this arena, because nobody deserves to have their passions thrown back in their face if they're doing what they love, but this is just not for me.
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Sunday, September 14, 2014
I'm still not sure what I think of mathcore as a genre, but I do know that some bands can take the chaotic and often highly technical basis of the genre to strange new realms that can really speak to the listener. There is a strange profane beauty to the music of Polyphony. The band comes in at a perfect intersection of technical madness, hardcore destruction, and local scene magic. The end result is something very human coming from some top notch musicians. The use of dynamic contrast fits in nicely with some tormented vocal passages that aren't going to let you rest easily. The demented vibe that many of these songs seem to revel in only adds to the glory of the band and speaks to the power of local scenes to push forth some truly exciting music. Delving into the bands EP Jazz Lingo has certainly been an enjoyable musical voyage, sure many of the songs are chaos embodied, and I don't quite get the lyrics, but man, if you want something otherworldly and a little bit mysterious, this is the album for you!
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