Mini Reviews From Around the Bowl (6/16/22)


A little afternoon snack never hurts.

SyberiaStatement On Death
Metal Blade Records/Blacklight Media Records | May 6, 2022

Statement On Death is Syberia’s fourth album, but the first I’ve experienced. The Barcelona-based post-rock instrumental band crafts a beautiful atmospheric sound that can shake listeners to their emotional core. Though there are no lyrics, the album shapes a narrative focused on the current racial, social, and economic struggles embroiling the United States. Each track is like a dream, full of love, hope, and fear. Chords, riffs, and electronics float in and out with forceful drums that compel us to go into that frightful unknown. This album serves as the soundtrack to a nation, and a world, on the precipice. Do we fall off the cliff into the great, dark void or do we have the strength to pull ourselves back? Only time will tell. If you dig mid-00’s instrumental post-whatever bands like Red Sparowes, Russian Circles, Pelican, Explosions In The Sky, and Windmills By The Ocean you’ll like Syberia’s Statement On Death. Here’s hoping by the time their next album comes around, it’s songs of a better today and not a fearful tomorrow. — 365 Days of Horror

Shooting DaggersAthames
New Heavy Sounds | May 20, 2022

London, UK’s Shooting Daggers are not here for any of your bullshit. Athames is a six song hardcore punk feminist/queercore EP that tears down the walls of an oppressive world that wants women to be seen and not heard. Each song is a stomper in that it makes me want to stomp the heads of every misogynist, racist, and bigot. Vocalist/guitarist Sal channels Made Of Out Babies‘s Julie Christmas Simple with a raw, aggressive bark. Bassist/vocalist Bea and drummer Raquel give us a pummeling, driving sound reminiscent of 80’s DC hardcore combined with NYHC-style aggression. Not overcomplicated, but highly effective, Athames makes each point like a sharpened knife, cutting through the lies of a society that refuses to change. Put Shooting Daggers on This Is Hardcore or Black N Blue Bowl and watch some old jaws drop. — 365 Days of Horror

GWARThe New Dark Ages
Pit Records | June 3, 2022

They are GWAR and they will still go far. Bohabs rejoice, for the Scumdogs have returned once again to destroy the pitiful human race. On The New Dark Ages, the band sounds more like the earlier days of GWAR. There’s still plenty of metal, don’t get me wrong, but there’s more of that old-school punkish Oi sound that old time fans love. As brash and in-your-face as ever, GWAR rips, shreds, stomps while still maintaining their sick sense of humor and, dare I say, groove. Blothar’s vocals really come into their own on this album, sounding more definitive and confident than ever. The New Dark Ages fits comfortably in the pantheon of GWAR, appealing to both old and new fans alike. It’s always a fun time with GWAR… even if they do want to cover us in horrible fluids and kill us. — 365 Days of Horror

Tishina – Uvod…
Hypnotic Dirge Records | May 30, 2022

Uvod grabbed me with that cover alone, and true to the label, it is hypnotic enough that I no longer remember how or where I heard about it. I feel like I’ve been inducted into an occult society and need to await further contact. For the record itself, ’tis a syncretic little tablet of morosity, with some goth rock melodrama listing about suspended in the haze of funeral doom hymnal and melodic black metal séance. The twin-toned guitar approach, qua overtly shimmery and airy contra stringent and stern, eschews the drifting dire of Doom 101 and lays its foundation on melodies both pensive and persistent. When the smoke starts to swirl you’ll recognize the silhouetted forms of Ahab and Katatonia swinging the censers, with the tiniest brimstone whiff reminiscent of whichever Batushka you prefer. I am not gifted in the Serbian tongue, but I’m sure the lyrics cribbed from some poet I’ve never heard of are suitably dour to the spirit. From my first glance, I took Uvod to be a particularly esoteric art project, but it’s grown on me very quickly as an enticing emotional doom release, seizing on depth and dimension to be. — A Spooky Mansion

Terminal Nation/KrueltyThe Ruination Of Imperialism
20 Buck Spin | June 3, 2022

You know who I wouldn’t want to be right about now? The Establishment, man. Two of modern death metal’s hardcorest join forces to force hardcore death on modernity. Both bands came crashing through the starting gates with a killdozer of a debut in 2020, so this team-up doubly accentuates their mirror of styles. One is crushing, but wicked, the other wicked, but crushing. TN‘s first three tracks are a single-minded onslaught of chug-ugly stompage, sprinkled over with some light disso sliding up and down the strings. “Curators Of Brutality” has a breakdown that is absolutely blotto, just fuckin sloshed, but the real climax is in “Sacrificial Capital”, with brick-on-brick arrangement that piles more weight and emphasis on each riff with each slamming placement. If Terminal Nation is the hammer, Kruelty is the sickle. They step up to the plate with doomier energy, hanging on the fat, fuzzy chords, but also cranking up the speed with seizures of energy, cranking up in “Suppression” until it heaves into a Sepultura-level groove stampede of a riff. Born to die, world is a fuck, 410,757,864,530 Ruinated Imperialisms. — A Spooky Mansion

Unique Leader | June 10, 2022

Groove is an oft-forgotten writing element in the tech death sphere; if not for GorodSoreption here would be in possession of damn near the entirety of the genre’s stank-face riff reserve. And they’re nothing if not dedicated to it the band has been doling out spidery fretwork and gnarly syncopated beats for around 15 years now. One could accuse them of being repetitive, but their entire stated goal is to stick to what they’re good at and continue to get better at it. To that end, I’d contend Jord is a perfect album: this is the tightest the band has ever been with the most complex riffs they’ve written. The album has this almost insectile quality to it, each song seemingly skittering from one moment to the next with their prickly, unsettling melodies. The band also recruited a plethora of guest guitarists from acts such as Inferi and Archspire to add their own unique flavor of solos to the songs, and it’s pretty cool hearing these musicians bringing their own take on the sound to the table. As pure tech goes, it’s hard to get any better than this. — Spear

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