Mini-Reviews from Around the Toilet Bowl: 8-5-15
Thousands of new metal albums come out every day probably. Some people have cried into their widdle blankeys that it’s just impossible to keep up with it all, but here at the Toilet ov Hell, for your convenience, we have developed a method that allows us to review every single metal album released.*
* This statement is not entirely or at all true.
Yes, I already previewed this album yesterday for Toilet Tuesday, but now that I’ve gotten a chance to listen to the beast in full, I’d like to revisit it here. Tapered Limbs of a Human Star is deceptively complex. On the surface, you have a pretty standard blend of sludge and black metal. Spectral shrieks drift in and out of the swampy rifts and drum barrages, but there’s far more to the music than that. Like a 5,ooo-year-old cryptogram, this album is impressive to behold, but finding the real value takes patience and careful attention. More astute listeners who decipher the puzzling tracks will be rewarded with arcane precision and idiosyncratic elements that make Hivelords stand well above others in this style. – W.
This album will be the weirdest thing you hear today. Joe sent it to me because he had no idea what to do with it. I passed it on to Christian to gauge his reaction; Guacamole and Stockhausen somehow got involved. All agree: this album is bizarre, but it isn’t necessarily bad. Some songs sound like lo-fi industrial black metal, like Nailbomb by way of Wold. Other songs sound like Hindi mantras played in Spektr‘s basement. It’s all unnerving. Press play and prepare for a bad trip. – W.
In my eyes Joe Satriani has been one of the most influential guitarists to the metal genre, albeit indirectly, through mentoring/teaching acclaimed guitarists Kirk Hammett, Alec Skolnick, Larry LaLonde, Rick Hunolt and more. Satch is nearly 60 years old now, and on his fifteenth studio album, it’s finally starting to show. I may have not really spent much time with his last few releases, but I’ll always give his new albums a courtesy listen as I still have a a lot of respect for him as an artist. On Shockwave Supernova however, I won’t be listening more than once. This album just seems bland unfortunately. The melodies feel somewhat stunted, the jazz has no pizzazz, the shred all but dead. There are a couple of moments of old on here, but ultimately it’s not going to salvage me from flushing this one. Oh well, I’ll always have Time. – Lacertilian
First Come, First Served was released last year to little fanfare, and the situation needs to be remedied. What Fuck-Ushima did deliver was no less than one of the very best hardcore releases of 2014. Much of the time the sextet seasons their cooking with an unhealthy dose of sickening sludge, and thanks to the (occasionally very) feedback-rich production, the only other band that comes to mind from their noisy soup is Primitive Man. However, Fuck-Ushima serves more on their HC-side and as songs like “Ulvila-blues” verify, have a twinkle of humour in their eyes. It’s always a surprise when I find myself so much digging a release that sounds like something our Glorious Editor-In-Chief, Joe Skramzandkill would dig. So go check out FC,FS on Bandcamp (Name Your Price) and grab their older, less-noisier-more-sludgier work too while you’re at it. Oh, and give them a like on Facebook. — Karhu
Necropole | Ostara
Self-released | Jan 2015
Despite their French origins, Necropole might as well be a Finnish band when it comes to the type of black metal they play. It’s that sound – very melodic riffs, but never sounding anything like Dissection, instead opting to keep things on the raw side – trademarked by the likes of Behexen and Horna that Ostara offers. And damn, does it deliver. The first thing that comes to mind is how unforgivable it is to mix the bass guitar inaudibly, for Necropole hasn’t, and it adds a whole new dimension of power to their sound. And despite its demo status, this sound isn’t any weaker than on the better full-lengths of many bands if you can handle the usual BM-levels of production, that is. Even though the production is without great change in dynamics, the songwriting isn’t as one-dimensional. It may be no more than the occasional change in tempo and from-tremolo-to-arpeggio or the occasional clash of the menacing, almost dissonant rhythm guitar and the icy leads, but for the 22 minutes Ostara lasts, it works. — Karhu
Naming your album Filth conjures up expectations that you’re going to hear some unpleasant sounding sonic repulsiveness. Thankfully Ohio’s Maranatha lives up to its billing. If Trap Them and Nails toned down the speedier aspects of their repertoire and threw in some of the dirgy elements championed by Crowbar then Filth is the album that would be produced from that mixture. While there’s plenty of faster paced material to go around, Maranatha’s bread and butter lies within their ability to craft suffocating, sludgy mid paced riffs that level everything in their path with a scorched earth policy. If you have a soft spot in your heart for buzzsaw guitars, unbridled rage, and a general dislike for everything, then this album will feed that beast. — Ron Deuce
Ego Fall/Tengger Cavalry/Nine Treasures – Mongol Metal
Mongol Metal | July 1th, 2015
This is a split compiled by Mongol Metal, a cultural organization that shows the world a mix of metal music with Mongolian folk. The three bands in this record are Ego Fall, Tengger Cavalry and Nine Treasures, and they conduct this show with master precision. Among the 12 songs you will hear throat singing in extensive passages, war drums painting pictures of the history and myths of Mongolia, and festive rhythmic galloping. At the same time, each band add their own distinction with electronic elements, Ensiferum-like riffage and uptempo compositions, respectively. Mongol Metal is a great example of how metal has become a global art, able to be to narrated and expressed in different ways. Recommended if you like folk metal or unexpected landscapes. You can stream the full album here. – Link Leonhart
Cut Up – Forensic Nightmares
Metal Blade Records | June 26th, 2015
This one will likely end up in my top 10 somewhere. This is the best straight up death metal album I have heard this year. Cut Up never lets up through the entirety of this album, and it just makes me want to mosh hard. Except I don’t go into pits because I’m a lifelover. The riffs are great, the guitar tone is sexy, the solos are sweet, the vocals are furious, the everything about this album is awesome. This no holds barred, in your face, foam at the mouth, punch the wall, face melting, limb ripping death metal. Bang your head! – Jack Bauer
Lamb of God – Sturm Und Drang
Nuclear Blast Records | July 24th, 2015
I haven’t liked an entire Lamb of God album since I don’t even know when. They were always a band that had a few songs each album that I really dug such as “Ghost Walking” or “Desolation” on the album preceding this one. Long story short, I pre-ordered this as a birthday gift for someone, but fuck that shit, it’s mine now. I really like this album. It seems like the band tried experimenting with their tried and true formula, and the results are something that I find myself enjoying. The little touches such as Chino Moreno guest appearances and different vocal approaches for Randy really add a lot to this album. I don’t consider myself an expert on their discography by any means, but I think this is their best record since As the Palaces Burn. – Jack Bauer
Balmog – Svmma Fide
Blackseed Productions | May 30th, 2015
This is really goddamned good death/black metal. I mean really goddamned good. Did I mention it’s really goddamned good? I’ve put this album on repeat multiple times now and it just keeps getting better every time. It’s evil sounding most times, really hard hitting sometimes and fucking badass all times. It’s so good that I bought the digial copy and the physical copy because Balmog. This is serious album of the year contender material, and it will no doubt have a spot in my top ten. Buy it. Buy it now. Just do it. Don’t let your dreams be dreams. Let Balmog drag you to the deepest depths of hell and bask in the void. – Jack Bauer