New Music Roundup: Harms Way, Satyrasis, Voivod
Hang on to your butts, folks, cuz we have some killer new jams for you to jam in your jam-hole and jam.
“Law Of The Land”
Harms Way is probably one of the best hardcore bands out there right now. This new track starts right off with bludgeoning bass and their signature chunky guitar tone. It busts into a deathy chug section with grimey hardcore screams – I’m guessing from the title and some of the lyrics (such as “paving the way for capital gain”) that this song is criticizing the government. And once my head started banging at the double bass driven outro riff, their message was solidified – FUCK THE FED!
…Of The Dead
Thrashy, proggy awesomeness from Michigan! On their sophomore release, …Of the Dead (gotta love that ellipsis) Satyrasis brings a heaping helping of Coroner style schizoid riffs, thrash oriented dueling solos, and a science-fiction vibe. Seamlessly transitioning between blackened Voivoid-esque maelstroms of tremolo picked chordage to horns-raised moshers, they pull no punches and have more tricks in their bag than CRISS ANGEL, MINDFREAK. It also hints at melodic Swedeath, Dissection- style guitar harmonies. The vocals remind me of a thrashier Rob Flynn without the cheese. Also noted is the creative use of sampling and synths- gotta love those industrial CLONKS of steel bars, the wailing keyboard lead in the latter half of “Waltz of a Marionette,” and the awesome 8-bit Bomb Drop into a fucked up synthesizer nuclear reactor meltdown solo in “WarWhore,” which is probably the craziest and most intense moment on the album.
They have a great website where you can download the album in any format AND an instrumental version in any format. There is also a PDF of the lyric booklet and tablature for the entire album. More bands need to hop on that. My favorite thing about this band, however, is that while thrash in nature, they don’t use a single god damn cliche. Not one. They are composers that really know how to make it their own – and make SONGS – which is important in a genre filled with re-hashers, one-off snoozefests, and a sense of xenophobia in regards to moving outside the box. For these thrash masters, there is no box.
“We Are Connected”
For bands as prominent as At the Gates and Voivod, it almost seems backwards for them to put out a split. Why, might you ask? Well, typically, a split is between two (or more) bands, usually of similar sound or aesthetic, and usually each band benefits off of the other’s fanbase. These bands do not need that benefit. They are both well established. They have their fanbases, and they will likely never change. To me, (and forgive me if I’m wrong but I own a few myself) splits are collector’s items; a conversation starter, a coffee table book. And that doesn’t give them any less merit, but to me, a split is something you pick up for a few bucks at the merch table at a show. It’s not the masterwork of an album you cherish and hold dear to your
heart. A couple one-off songs, maybe a cover or something, and it’s done.
So to me, it is very interesting that Voivod and ATG are dropping a split 7 inch turd instead of each dropping a full length fudge funnel, but I’m thankful at least that neither is completely incontinent yet. The cyclical revivalist aspect of the metal scene is alive and well! But – excuse me – let’s get into the music!
“We Are Connected” hit me right off the bat with an almost rockabilly d-beat, and twangy melodic guitar lines drive the first few passages of the song as vocalist Snake croons gravel over a layer of shimmery atmospheric chords. I was immediately aware that this song is very different than their last work – strikingly emotional. This is chock-full of melancholy. Voivod can be a bit campy at times (“Ravenous Medicine,” anyone?) but this song seems to have a stern sensibility. No comic book crap. Austerity creeps its way into the atmosphere. A segue into a sludgy section brings an ethereal vibe and a very tasteful solo then follows – Chewy knows his fucking shit. A brief transition and we’re back into familiar Voivod territory once again. This composition is flawless, as is the execution. New bassist Rocky fills in Blacky’s shoes quite well, supplying a melodic backbone to be filled out by Chewy’s proggy leads. A final chorus trickles down to white noise – and that’s it. Excellent song! I’m hoping their next full length will be more like this for sure. Also, I wonder if the At the Gates side is to be immediately flushed… or if they will triumph over “At War With Reality” which sucked IMO. But hey, they can’t all be Slaughter of the Soul.
New songs for you to enjoy. Are you not entertained?