Mini-Reviews from Around the Toilet Bowl XI

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W. pointed it out last time; you guys don’t care about the introduction, do you? It’s like the ritual intonation of Happy Birthday before consuming the cake. The guests don’t want to sing it, and the celebrantee sure as shit doesn’t want to hear it. It takes at least 10 seconds that could be better used elsewhere. Shit, people… I have 36 candles to blow out and it takes time to cut a perfect 8×8″ square out of the center of the cake for myself and leave the shitty edges for the guests.

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ra

RangerWhere Evil Dwells
Spinefarm Records | March 13, 2015

Here’s a band recommended to me by two people: a person who is a good friend of mine and a person who I wish was a good friend of mine (it’s Fenriz). Let me get this out of the way – you’re probably going to hate Ranger. But it just might might appeal to the few of you who dig old speed/thrash. Think Razor. Or maybe Exciter. The riffs are here. Holy shit are the riffs here. The catch? The vocals are idiosyncratic in a way that might very probably will translate to “really annoying” and their English is hilariously bad. I, for one, find both of those things most amusing. The experience of headbanging to a whiplash riff over an eccentric delivery of “Your faith is sealed / Welcome to nuclear age / Knowin’ that all lifes will ends” is one which I thoroughly enjoy time and time again. Blow me. Listen to “Defcon 1“. — Masterlord

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WaingroWaingroWaingro
Independent | November 30, 2014

First impressions are sometimes everything. Without knowing anything else, one would think that Waingro is a grindcore/powerviolence band dedicated to the villain of the same name from the crime epic film Heat and the album cover to their release is a black and white photo of that guy with some cheesy logo across it (Yes, the band name is inspired by that character). Then you see the cover and your thinking perhaps it’s something different but you’re not sold. Next you hit play on the Bandcamp page and the opening song “Firebird” begins to play. The music sounds more along the lines of Clutch, Torche and Queens of The Stone Age. Waiting for the vocals to arrive you’re thinking that some nice singing melody should accompany this. And for the third time you are dead wrong as Waingro hits you off with some hardcore shouting that sounds not unlike Jeff Lohrber of Enabler. Does this work? The answer is a resounding yes. Waingro rocks hard through 11 tracks of energetic stoner rock fury further intensified by the vocal aesthetic. This is recorded exactly as this genre should sound – thick fuzzy guitars, thundering bass and the drum tones to back it all up. Stab the links to start listening and you’re head will be nodding in approval in no time. — Ron Deuce

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voidceremony - dystheismVoidCeremony [sic] | Dystheism 7″ EP
Blood Harvest | June 12th, 2015

Madness often begins softly. Not the case for VoidCeremony’s Dystheism, which offers only a feedback soaked moment before pulling us headfirst into their demonic vision. VoidCeremony yank us through their ritual, a four song journey that moves quickly through black metal and death metal. Venomous tremolo chords share space with death growls that emanate from some forgotten place. The production here is not crystalline, but there is more clarity than black/death staple Weregoat, as one example. It benefits the songs, as you can breathe every chemical in this dark concoction. This is Voidceremony’s first release. I’m interested to hear what this band does next, which is a compliment I don’t pay to every band whose promo comes my way. You can hear two of the four tracks from this EP on Youtube, stab here and here. — Edward

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vermord - dawn of the black harvestVermörd | Dawn of the Black Harvest
Grimoire Records | April 14th, 2015

I’m always skeptical when lesser known bands are compared to big names in heavy metal. It generally strikes me as an attempt to cash in on their legacies. The promotional machine for Vermörd’s Dawn of the Black Harvest compared the band to iconic black metal act Emperor, as well as Behemoth and Decapitated. Big shoes to fill. Of those mentioned, Dawn of the Black Harvest has the most in common with Decapitated and the least in common with Emperor. There is way more “tech” than “black” here. Do you like Decapitated? You should dig Dawn of the Black Harvest. Check it out for yourself on Bandcamp. — Edward

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yona naivi

YonaNaivi
Kaiho Republic | April 17

Yona keeps shaking her foundations. First she traded her mix of organic chamber pop to tango and now she’s given all that up for a more electric approach. Like R&B-meets-Streng. More vivid, versatile and diverse an album than any of her previous efforts with more easier accessibility as the songs have been stripped of g- and h-parts. Liikkuvat Pilvet (her backing band) plays together tighter than ever. Check out Lintu or Syyt. — Nordling Rites ov Karhu

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gra gnosis coverGrá/Gnosis of the WitchSplit 7″
Iron Bonehead Productions | April 27, 2015

For this split, both Grá and Gnosis of the Witch bring a track each of refined yet aggressive black metal with enough interesting twists to keep the listener (mostly) engaged throughout. Those familiar with either band will find little very new but little to complain about all the same. The solemn clean guitars that open Grá’s “Valitus ja kaipuu” set the tone well enough, while Gnosis of the Witch’s “Fórn Dauðaorð” continues much in the same vein. Ultimately, neither song is essential listening and, while the split is entertaining enough for a quick listen, it fails to rise any further, content to simply be without invoking any strong reactionpositive or negativefrom its audience. — Christian

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SP040DélétèreLes Heures de la Peste and De Ritibus Morbiferis – Demo Compendium
Sepulchral Productions | April 7, 2015

Here we have two new releases from Canada’s Délétère: The new full-length Les Heures de la Peste and the compilation De Ritibus Morbiferis, which collects the Inopia et Morbo and Sacrificium Necrothytum demos. While drummer Thorleïf’s vocals occasionally leave something to be desired (especially when reaching toward the peak of their range), the music behind them is absolutely screaming. But aside from the killer, blast beat-driven riffs, what sets Les Heures de la Peste apart from the demos is progressive moments like the break halfway through “Laudes – Credo II” or the far-too-catchy-for-this-music chorus in “Prime – Exitiabilis venatus.” Such strong songwriting skills in a band this young are a rare find and just part of what makes Délétère one to watch. — Christian

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Unleashed Dawn of the Nine
Nuclear Blast Records | April 24, 2015

Going into an Unleashed album and expecting innovation is a bit like wandering into a Taco Bell and hoping for cleanliness – you’re setting yourself up to be disappointed. With that in mind, I wasn’t expecting Dawn of the Nine to be anything remarkable musically, and I was right: there are a few good moments scattered around here and there but overall it’s just alright. My main gripe with this album is its sound: while the bass and vocals are great, the guitars have one of the whimpiest tones I’ve heard all year and the drums sound just slightly better than the default Drumkit from Hell settings. It’s just way too polished for a Death Metal record, even for my tastes. Don’t mind me though, listen to it here.– MoshOff

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cloud mazeCloud Maze – Maybe, U Decide
Independent | April 13, 2015

Time for something different: Russia’s Cloud Maze. I must admit, when I saw the use of the letter “U” replacing the word “you” in the album title, I was unsure of what to expect from this trio of independent dance-rockers. But thankfully Maybe, U Decide turned out to be an absolute banger of an album from start to finish. Fusing rock, electronica, and indie music, Cloud Maze consistently nurture head-bobbing vibes while retaining enough atmosphere to captivate the listener in an odd trap of conflicting emotion. Both fun and serious, Maybe, U Decide is an invigorating listen and indicative of great things to come – and it’s name your price on Bandcamp! –– Guacamole Jim

 

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