Mini-Reviews from Around the Bowl: 10/12/17
Once again, pea-sized reviews for pea-sized brains and attention spans!! Individual peas from FM2000, Dom Zly, Dark Waters End, Horse Head, Angel Vivaldi, Asagraum, NevBorn and Ruin.
KYS. You don’t have to read any further than that. That’s the single best approximation of FM2000 and their latest album. Gone are the days when I had the energy to pretend this joke was even mildly funny, not to mention when I actually chuckled at it. But here we are – FM2000 picks there influences from just about everywhere and chucks them together in a fashion not entirely unlike System of a Down. The problem is they haven’t been able to fill their album with much memorability, leaning on “humour” to fill in the gap. Actually listening to this album (which was an effort) reveals a heavier and more concise melding of metal and punk, with few outsider influences, than I’m used to. If it wasn’t for it’s tacky storytelling, Hubba Bubba Rehab would be one of the most unremarkable albums I’ve heard this year – the aggressive “Härän Veri”, also a reminder that FM2000 is capable of making good, fun genre-benders when they feel like it (which isn’t often), and the annoying “Tissit” as the only exceptions. But in all fairness, at least I can believe in their potential again. – Karhu.
Dom Zły (“Bad House” in Polish, roughly) is a brand spankin’ new band from Poland who refer to their music as crust. I must not know shit about crust because, upon first spin of their self-titled debut EP, all I heard was black metal. And hardcore. And a pinch of atmospheric sludge. The production is hot and loud and all the instruments are right up in your face. It might almost sound like a live performance, except everything is so tight and clean. The hoarsely shouted and spittingly rhythmic vocals are pretty standard for Polish extreme metal, yet the adrenaline-spiked riffs and blunt percussion remind me more of certain blackened permutations plied by American bands. It all sounds rockingly good if not at all unique. FFO: Woe, Terzij de Horde… maybe also Odraza? – Richter.
As Spear told you about a few weeks ago, Dark Waters End are definitely a band to keep on your radar. Prog/Tech Death with a sprinkling of Metalcore is the rule of law on Submersion, with melodic guitar leads and heavy riffing up against shouts, growls and even some cleans here and there. The record, like its title suggests, is what I imagine a journey along the bottom of a deep sea trench is like (and I’ll probably never have such an experience so I’m going to assume it’s exactly like this). Overall, Submersion makes for a very consistent and immersive experience, and while quite a long album, at no point does it feel like a chore to listen to. In short, it jams gud. – Moshito.
Two years ago, the mighty Dagon wrote a full review for an EP from these dudes. I’m not quite that ambitious, but I am equally as impressed by these Arizonans. The two-faced vocalist is what impresses me most, with his shrieks rightfully high in the mix, there’s just an insane power behind them. Actually, there’s a ton of power behind everything. The bass and guitar are jumbled mass of fantastic fuzz and the drums are a thunderous rumble. It’s sorta a metallic hardcore through the lens of doomy sludge. It’s uncompromisingly fast, abrasive in all the right ways, and something I’d love to get destroyed by at a live show. Be sure to keep an eye out for them, desert dwellers. The only thing wrong with this EP is that it’s too short. – Joaquin.
You might be familiar with the name Angel Vivaldi if, like me, you enjoy extremely guitar-centric music and not leaving your room for days at a time. Written and recorded having painted the studio walls in a different color for each track, Synapse is a guitar shred-a-thon for you to wax out with your axe out. Here we have an instrumental concept album where each track is inspired by a specific brain chemical, and the music reflects that by conjuring appropriately colorful images in my, uh, brain. My one complaint with this album is that I find the drums to be a bit too artificial, but I’m always picky with that, so ignore my complaints and check the actual music out for yourself. – Moshito.
The Dutch-Norwegian duo Asagraum has gathered a bit of a buzz around their debut, and not for nothing. Where it riffs, it riffs cold and sharp – but with faint hints of psychedelia as the arpeggios meld into each other, reminiscent of not only some past acid trips, but also of a certain Omniabsence. It rips and tears at blastbeats, slows down to brood in melancholy and spends a lot of time in mid-tempo, offering ominous progressions and cutting melodies. Potestas Magicum Diaboli has many forms and faces, it’s vivid and rich in emotion, from longing to mechanic, inhuman rage – considering it’s songs don’t generally differ from one another in head-turning abundance, it’s an accomplishment like few others. Asagraum’s reign does not end at it’s material, though the production is loud, and sound modern and clear – it is by no means clean, retaining the raw atmosphere the best black metal albums so deeply celebrate. Obscura‘s stringent vocals represent the trade’s better half and Potestas Magicum Diaboli easily challenges many a classic in their own game. And I didn’t even mention Asagraum’s a two-woman duo, I wonder if I was first. Wait, no… damn. – Karhu.
This EP from Nevborn is an interesting little project. It’s sort of a genreless progressive, mostly non-djenty, metal with equal parts clean and harsh vocals, some of which are provided by The Ocean’s Loïc Rossetti. The rest of the band, a 5-piece from Switzerland, creates some really excellently layered heavy grooves and atmosphere. It dips into some pretty rad metallic hardcore with a strangely simple transition, then floats back to an ethereal post-rock with no warning. Oh yeah, did I mention that it’s all just one 19-minute track? It’s very well paced, full of surprises, and leaves you NEEDING more. With how well the vocals match the tone, I hope they can manage to get Rossetti to pitch in on future releases as well. – Joaquin.
This release goes to show that the brevity of sifting through the new(-ish) releases on Bandcamp on a whim is sometimes rewarded (to be fair, I’ve since found that it had already been posted in the FB group by the coolest mum around). Ruin most indisputably play straight-up death metal, no ifs and buts about it. However, the record sounds at least as filthy as song titles like “Crawling Through the Vomit”, “Sewer”, and “Rancid Death” would have you believe. Often leaning on the doom end of the speed spectrum, boasting a dirty sound and vocals that resemble a bubbling mud pit, this feels so ridiculously grimy that no decontamination procedure in the world could cleanse you of the muck. And when they do decide to speed things up, I can’t help but think of a blender struggling to grind bones and muscle tissue. Yum! – Hans.
Hey you. Yeah YOU. Want to contribute to mini-reviews? Find an album you’ve dug (or not) that preferably hasn’t been reviewed on the blog yet and has been released recently (within the last few months, or year if you’re so inclined), write around 100-120 coherent words about it and send it to toiletminis[AT]gmail[DOT]com. Please include the album’s release date, title, label, a link to the band’s facebook (if they have one), another one to their bandcamp (or any other place to listen to/buy the album if they don’t have one) and any other information/links that you think are relevant and want to include.
Don’t do it for me. Do it for the ghost of the MasterLord.