Mini-Reviews from Around the Bowl: 10/26/17
Hot damn it’s basically November. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA [Editor’s Note: What the fuck?] to some Gnaw, Devangelic, All Pigs Must Die, Korrupt, Siberian Meat Grinder, Buried and Gone, Mist of Misery and Mar.
I once heard that “Hell isn’t fire and brimstone. Hell is the absence of God”. Neither is quite right. Hell is Gnaw Cutting Pieces. Picking up where their great sophomore album Horrible Chamber left off, New York’s Gnaw, now joined by Dana Schechter (Insect Ark), deftly create a landscape of haunted noise and uncomfortable disdain on this new album. Every note, every chord, every electronic blip and scrape drips with a sinister, unworldly feeling that makes me simultaneously want to live and die. Alan Dubin (ex-Khanate, O.L.D.) continues to have the most terrifying vocals in all of metal as the only thing more disturbing than his pained shrieks are his devious, clear vocals. The next time someone says “I listen to everything,” play them Cutting Pieces. – 365.
Just about the worst thing a piece of music can do is make you feel like you’ve wasted your time listening to it, and that’s exactly what Devangelic have done to me. Let’s be clear: Phlegethon is not an incompetent album. The band is tight, the songs flow logically, and the riffs are complex; it’s just aggressively mediocre. I would describe it as brutal death metal, and… that’s it. There’s no substance here, no risk, no attempt made whatsoever to distinguish themselves from any of the other ten thousand bands doing exactly the same thing. It’s vapid, boring, and entirely pointless. I’ve listened to outright bad albums that have kept me engaged, waiting to see where the trainwreck was headed next; this just made me space out for 40 minutes. With so many other bands out there experimenting and advancing the genre, there is simply no room for this bullshit anymore. Flush this album. – Spear.
There are certain things in life you just know. Like that rain falls downward, Bobby Liebling is a shithead, and new All Pigs Must Die music is always a good thing. Also, it is never a bad sign when an album starts off with blastbeats and dissonant tremolo riffs, because it’s all but a subtle hint that you will have little room to catch your breath until it’s all over. Hostage Animal won’t really hold many surprises to those familiar with APMD, but I wasn’t expecting it to so it didn’t take away from the fact that these 10 songs alternately (quickly) ground and (slowly) crushed the group of cells formerly known as my reproductive organ to the point where it is no longer useful for its intended purpose. Help me. – Moshito.
Korrupt play straightforward and metallic hardcore with few frills, though their riffing does go beyond the most usual and simplistic power chord barrages, with both thrashy and blackened influence raising their heads every now and then. Vocals are mostly performed as gruff, strained shouts interjected with some clean, but hardly melodic, sections and obligatory gang vocals. Lyrically, Preachers and Creatures deals with “finding your own path, building resistance” and other such topics you’d expect from a hardcore band, especially one hailing from one of Norway’s more religious areas. You’ve heard it all before, but Korrupt does it well enough, and doesn’t fall into copying any particular band or playing too much to a certain influence. If metallic hardcore, largely stripped from the tough-guy & mia famiglia aesthetics is your thing, give ’em a shot. – Karhu.
Hardcore? Punk? Thrash? A little bit of hip hop? Moscow’s Siberian Meat Grinder has got it all. They’ve got the shredding riffs, the squealing solos, the driving drums, and the intestinal fortitude. They also have, arguably, the best album art of the year. I don’t know much about Russia’s hardcore and punk scene, but from what I’ve heard, this genre blending is common and I think some American hardcore bands could learn a thing or two from Siberian Meat Grinder. Metal Bear Stomp is undeniably aggressive, but still has room for fun with gang chants, call-and-responses, and enough anthems for Donald Trump to get a raging 1-incher. Put on your dancing shoes and welcome to hardcore heaven. – 365.
Buried and Gone call themselves alternative metal, maybe that’s right, maybe that’s not. It’s crunchy but clean radio metal, with a focus on the chorus that leads into mostly interchangeable riffing that switches between low-rumbling groove and winding power chords, every now leads loaned from The National Bank of Finnish Melodeath (TM) appear to spruce things up. The songs are different enough from each other, building a bit of character and the album isn’t squeaky clean and sterile – even Markus Orava‘s singing has some rougher edges, and the lyrical cringes are kept to a minimum. For fans of catchy, modern metal The Final Hour will most likely deliver that sweet feel-good saccharine in a feel-bad box, but I find it mostly unremarkable. – Karhu.
Mournful and melancholic. Those words best describe Mist of Misery‘s latest “mini” album Shackles of Life. Lying somewhere between symphonic black metal and DSBM, the songs on Shackles of Life are painfully beautiful . Whereas some DSBM songs become an unlistenable mass of wails and shrieks over a worn-out Casio, Mist of Misery create a well-crafted balance of tender melody and blasting anguish. It’s like living inside a Tim Burton movie, but with less Helena Bonham Carter and more gloom. Toss on your dustiest cloak, grab your candelabra, and head out to the graveyard when the clock strikes midnight. Or just listen in your one-bedroom apartment with the lights off. Both ways work. – 365.
Providence, Rhode Island has a great, if underappreciated scene. I mean, when it’s not being exploited and ensconced in bullshit. The small, but powerful scene that has given us bands like The Body, White Mice, and Dropdead has now given us Mar. This two-piece bring the fuzzed-out riffs and the sludged-up aggression on their latest album Fill Your Lungs. Vocalist Kay Belardinelli spits venomous words while drummer Eiríkr Åsheim weaves the tempo between doom to punk. Satisfyingly aggressive and perpetually pissed-off, Fill Your Lungs hits all the right (and raw) spots. This is music for people that want to feel bad. Tune in, turn on, and drop out of life with Mar. – 365.
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.
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