There’s two ways to look at sanity.
If I’m starting a band, and I’m a realist, I see a bleak future. Thanks to technology, life always gets more expensive. You have tools to save time, but they cost more, so you either earn cash or go into the ghetto and work food service for the rest of your life. So if you’re starting a band, it needs to be a career. Make songs many people want to hear. Make money from those songs. Then you can be a musician your whole life.
On the other hand, there’s another kind of sanity. If you’re going to be a musician, you recognize there’s two levels to that: being able to play music, and being able to create — write — music that is evocative and powerful. Of course, the masses want distraction from living in ghettoes, so you’re not going to demean yourself by making that. Instead, you’ll make great art, and feed your soul if not your body. You might even find a way to sell enough of it to live on the fringes of the ghetto.
Both perspectives are valid. However, the first leads to a society chasing its own tail in decline, and the second leads toward building something greater which will continue to get better, and may transcend its meanspiritedness enough to no longer be a ghetto/rich whore division. Metal is fundamentally geared toward the latter because metal is about taking something that is offensive to most people (loud noise, heavy dark topics, bassy violence) and making it into something beautiful, even if most people are blind to that beauty because they fear it. The metal way is nto following the sheep.
Now do you see why there’s such a binary division between true bands and sell outs?
Hod – Cry and Piss Yourself
A fusion of Mayhem and Satyricon with impulse-driven American turbo death metal like Angelcorpse, Hod brings zero surprises but keeps the power of momentum balanced with an ambiguous lightly dissonant harmony. It suspends belief with single-string riffs which turn opposite views of a note cluster into an ambience, then launches into Gorgoroth-style additive chord progressions that end in obscure suggestions of direction which never materialize. The object of this band appears to be the contrast between mood and adrenaline, and if it does so without any particular deviation from the past, it also does so well. Its strength is this balance, and its weakness is a tendency to fall into variations of patterns that Destruction and Kreator made cliche long ago, but there is potential here for development if the band is able to flesh out its repertoire of riffs without losing the single-mindedness of its songs. Sometimes this band is like listening to someone’s metal collection; for example, the song “Demoralizer” could have come from a Master session outtake. But what’s with the 89-IQ-point, Pantera-inspired title?
Fetid Zombie – Pleasures of the Scalpel
Once upon a time, a lonely genre called death metal thrived, and people liked it because its message “only death is real” cut away the illusion of a world obsessed with social status, self-serving morality and trends. Then, some trendy fratboys put together a band called Cannibal Corpse and made the first real parody of death metal, except that they seemed serious, and people bought it in droves. Soon many imitations burst fully formed out of the garage studios of the world. Fifteen years later, Fetid Zombie skewers that tendency with a parody that takes the most simplistic aspects of death metal and blows them gloriously out of proportion. Guitars ride the downbeat of a chant synchronized to basic drums, hammering out the most linear riff patterns possible, on absurd topics of carefree infection, happy mutilation and joie de mort. It’s unlistenable but delivers a message the death metal community needed to heed long ago.
Apparently, the fragile but adept partnership that was Celtic Frost has dissolved with the departure of lead conceptualizer Tom G. Warrior. The other members will carry on as they were. From the official website, “Celtic Frost singer and guitarist Tom Gabriel Fischer has left Celtic Frost due to the irresolvable, severe erosion of the personal basis so urgently required to collaborate within a band so unique, volatile, and ambitious.” From all of metal: we are not glad to hear this but if it’s what all members must do to keep creating, do it, and keep creating ambitious metal. Ignore whores, hipsters, ingrates and Jesuits.
So we’re lazy around here, but it doesn’t mean the metal has stopped flowing. We fed our metal-chain a high colonic and found ourselves listening to the latest from Florida’s Resurrection. In short, it’s good — but there’s too much Exodus/Pantera/Exhorder style bounce riffing. We’re hoping they follow it up with something even more ambitious because the moving songwriting is still there. Check out the review;
Resurrection – Ritual Slaughter
With MP3s, and newly fragmented civilization, it’s harder to sell music. See how black metal will react to the new music market.