Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Cel Damage - No Volume


 Anytime you've got 12 songs in under 20 minutes you know you're in for a wild ride if nothing else. Such is the case with Cel Damage's new record, the mindblowing mathcore masterpiece that is No Volume. This is a challenging and intense offering from these High Desert freaks. There is a wonderful madness to their music, with its skronky performances, screamo influences and unrelenting wall of sound assault. Cel Damage have found a way to make listeners choke on the overwhelming abyss of noise unveiled on No Volume and it is glorious. 

While No Volume is certainly a challenging listen, for a certain subset of fans enamored with grindcore and mathcore, then Cel Damage are hitting all the right notes. It's a record that is abrasive, but that uses these abrasive elements to become deeply engaging and fascinating. No Volume eagerly chokes listeners on bitter pills and repeatedly reminds them of the insufferable rot that we all have to come face to face with every day. The thing that really strikes me here though is the production, there is a massive scope to this record, best captured on tracks like "I Was Catfished", the album closer, which nicely showcases interlocking waves of sound choking listeners out. 

No Volume is a delightfully in your face listen, a record that is unapologetic in how weird it is and seems to embrace some of its darkest moments eagerly. Cel Damage is the sound of a band who understand just how bleak their music is and the weird soundworlds that they inhabit. No Volume is the chaotic sound of creativity running unfiltered and for those of us who are emotionally ready for the blitzkrieg it's going to be hard not to fall in love.

 Pre-order the album!

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Seek - Kokyou De Shinu Otoko

Kokyou De Shinu Otoko translates to English as 'The man dies in his hometown.' It's also the debut full length from Seek, who have finally unleashed this first album after twenty years as a band. It's a mosnter effort though, a record full of raw emotion and rich in its production. There are some truly impressive performances shaping this album, and the deeper one delves into Kokyou De Shinu Otoko the more clear it becomes just how special this project is. It's more than just black metal to sooth the savage beast, it's an aural assault to haunt the mind. 

Perhaps what's most engaging about Kokyou De Shinu Otoko is the intensity of the album. The drum performances in particular are stellar. Tracks like "Ikyouto" are sparkling in their bombast and the athletic drum performance really adds to the relentless blasting of the music. This is only augmented by a very strong mix which not only gives the individual instruments to breathe but also ensconces the listener in a veritable wall of sound. It's black metal done with a spirit of punishing darkness fascinating listeners and encouraging them to delve ever deeper into the profane sound world that they have created for devotees to immerse themselves in. 

Seek have gone above and beyond on their debut and the years of experience that went into crafting this record have clearly paid off in a big way. Kokyou De Shinu Otoko is an emotional listening experience, dragged forward by the intensity of the vocals and brought to crashing conclusions by thrilling drum performances. It's a record that reminds us exactly why Japanese black metal is so exciting and forces listeners to come to terms with their own inherent darkness. Grab a copy today because this is going to be an underground favorite. 

Pre-order the album!

Friday, May 26, 2023

Porta Nigra - Weltende


Blazing avant garde extreme metal madness has long been Porta Nigra's mandate. Their apocalyptic sound and obsession with war has made these deeply theatrical and wonderfully bombastic German metal masters favorites within the scene for those who love stentorian and distinctly martial music. The bands fourth album, Weltend is a fitting development on a sound that has been germinating for a decade now, and this release is their most dynamic and deeply, fascinatingly engaging offering to date. It's intimidating and gloriously blasphemous. 

Porta Nigra's willingness to immerse themselves in darkness is impressive. The German language voice overs that intercede on many tracks of this album only add to a sense of almost autocratic terror looming over the project. One gets the sense they've been locked up and are desperately trying to find their way out of the madness. Weltende speaks to the terrifying power of war, and the crippling sonic blows that Porta Nigra deal left and right only add to the death defying assault that has helped to define what this band is all about. Weltende is black metal done to make listeners confront their own darkest aspects of their humanity, and it is glorious. 

Weltende is the distinctly martial, surprisingly adventurous offering that you need to get you through to the weekend. Porta Nigra have a very clear warlike and dystopian vision on this album and as you hear the world collapsing around your ears under a storm of riffs and blast beats, it becomes increasingly clear just how talented thesem usicians are and exactly what their execution has been able to unveil. If you're looking for black metal that nicely builds on so many demented visions behind the genre, then this is for you.

Pre-order the album!

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Thy Catafalque - Alföld

For a quarter of a century Thy Catafalque have crafted some of the most interesting and mind bending black metal known to man. Their ability to blend new wave, jazz, neo folk and so much more into their unique black metal vision has always been a fascinating piece of the bands vision, and Alföld only builds on that legacy. This is a record that proves once more just how talented Thy Catafalque are and the scope of the vision that they bring to the table, leaving all of us devotees in awe once more of what has been accomplished. 

Alföld songs are as multi layered as ever and presents the same dynamic and multifaceted vision that we have come to expect from Thy Catafalque. The Hungarians find new ways to intermingle their unique swathe of influences into something marvelously musical and oftentimes wonderfully weird. This is perhaps one of their less 'out there' releases though, and the album certainly offers something that fans of Ulver or Solefald will want to hear time and time again. It's a record that has a wonderful dynamic range and immersing yourself in that vision is a delight. Gorgeously produced and flawlessly paced, this is a bold and beautiful take on black metal.

It speaks to just how talented Thy Catafalque are that every release is utterly thrilling and something that you can get lost in for spin after spin.The way that Alföld so eagerly twists and turns is delightful. One moment you're indulging in blast beats and another there's a wild jazzy synth solo blowing your mind, or avant garde strings leaving you in awe. Thy Catafalque understand the inherent beauty of black metal and all that it can and should be. Letting yourself experience the wizardry of this next phase of their career is a must.

Pre-order the album!

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Tsjuder - Helvegr


Thirty years into their career and eight years after their last full length, Tsjuder return with Helvegr the bands sixth album, and one that proves once more just how talented and visionary these Norwegian black metal masters are. Helvegr is a clear evolution on Tsjuder's sound, a record that builds on the twisted vision of the band as they continue to crack listeners skulls with raw energy and unyielding sonic offerings. This is black metal done to leave listeners suffering and shivering in the wake of their dedication to blasphemy. 

Helvegr is an impressive offering to say the least. It's a record that builds on so many of the past excellent elements of the Tsjuder sound and makes them all the more impressive. Tracks like "Gods Of Black Blood" are surprisingly melodic and showcase a breadth to the songwriting I don't think we've heard before from Tsjuder. Meanwhilethe drum performance on this album by Jon Rice (Who weirdly is the drummer of Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats) is breathtaking. This is all rounded out by some truly excellent production, Pal Emanuelsen, who at one point was actually in Tsjuder does an excellent job handling the mix here. 

Tsjudger have proved that they are still growing and becoming even more wonderfully twisted decades into their career. This is a monumental offering from the band and a record that I think black metal devotees are going to find wonderfully exciting. It's an album that has all the old intensity but benefits from years of work and musical growth. Helvegr is bitterly blasphemous, and for those of us who are enamored with that kind of thing there's few records that will come out this year that can top what Tsjuder are about.  

Pre-order the album!