Hailing from Italy, Final Fright play ripping speed metal right out of the mid 1980s. Established in 2010, the band played covers, released the demo Abusive Grindhouse in 2012 and now in 2015 present us with their first full-length album, Artificial Perfection.
Unabashedly retro in their choice of style, Final Fright feels completely at home and does not try to impose modern conventions on the language of this particular brand of speed metal. Neither is the band copy pasting from particular acts. Artificial Perfection sounds like a someone learning and dominating a foreign language. When this happens, the music does not come out sounding like a cardboard front disguising something else, but the artists are able to express themselves as native speakers in the lingo of the genre.
But speaking a language does not necessarily imply you have something worth saying. So it is that the honest and proficient handling of the musical language by Final Fright is satisfactory and even enjoyable but unexceptional all the same. People looking for bouncy, authentic speed metal in a different mouth and voice but offering nothing different will find this is a fantastic release for them.
I wrote an article about the cross-influence between hacking and heavy metal. It covers the use of alternative media, like BBS and AE lines, to convey a hidden truth that is shared between metalheads and hackers. The article is entitled “Hacker Metal” and it is published in Perfect Sound Forever webzine.
For those who remember the early web, Perfect Sound Forever is an e-zine that started in 1993 and has run continuously since. It derived its name from an early Sony/Philips ad designed to convince people to switch to compact disks, and covers all forms of music including a fair amount of metal.
The mainstream media finally asks a good question:
People love to talk about music. A story about Ken Caillat’s new book covering the inside story behind the Fleetwood Mac album, “Rumours,” had several readers gushing about their own favorite albums. Seems there are all kinds of “perfect albums” for all kinds of tastes.
Take a look at what readers said, and then let us know what “perfect albums” pop up into your mind. Do people still think albums are still a big deal? And, for that matter, what are the qualities that make a great album? – CNN
Other than the fact that I agree with Paul Ledney that perfection does not exist (or rather, to be perfect must be imperfect) I’ll bite. A perfect album is one with a concept that holds it all together, consistent songwriting, good quality and that takes on important topics or emotional changes. It has to be something you can throw on again and again and not get bored.
Morbid Angel – Altars of Madness
Slayer – Hell Awaits and South of Heaven
Deicide – Legion
Sepultura – Morbid Visions/Bestial Devastation
Incantation – Onward to Golgotha
Pestilence – Consvming Impvlse
Celtic Frost – To Mega Therion
Enslaved – Vikinglgr Veldi
Summoning – Dol Goldur
Beherit – Drawing Down the Moon and Electric Doom Synthesis
Demigod – Slumber of Sullen Eyes
Bolt Thrower – …For Victory
These are the kind of albums that people should aim to emulate, not the trendy flavor-of-the-day black metal or indie rock hybrids!
Justin Broadrick demonstrated through his early works a desire for that moment of unitivity when the conscious mind and emotions synchronized. Through Godflesh, and later Techno Animal and Final, he showed a passion for bringing colossal structures to bear on moments of quiet contemplation. With Jesu, he resurrects his music outside the ghetto that extremist offerings can be, and melds into post-rock disparate influences from industrial, shoegaze, noisepop, and so forth. Jesu, protean as all Broadrick projects are, in turn twisted from more radiantly noisy to its current softer state. On “Why Are We Not Perfect” Jesu moves the slider closest to shoegaze and pop, losing much of the more complicated structuring and sound that made earlier Jesu challenging. This gambit may prove risky: many in the post-rock fanclub would like to leave behind what so rigidly defines rock and brings the moths to its one-size-fits-all dose, and “Why Are Not Perfect” drapes its nearly ecclesiastical encompassing layered sound over the exuberant shuffle beats of rock/pop. Song structures are not linear but follow a verse chorus pattern culminating in a serenity like the moment after a surf crashes on the beach when water lapses into absorbent, silent sand. Less jagged distortion and cleaner, plaintive emo vocals guide each song and sounds elide smoothly from abrasive feedback to silken, reminiscent of shoegaze classics like Medicine and My Bloody Valentine. While this EP satisfies as a taste, and an exploration, this reviewer hopes Broadrick abandons the past — and doesn’t relapse into his influences — so he can keep exploring the seemingly erratic, intense jigsaw song structures he served up on the self-titled Jesu debut.
Every once in awhile us vile black metal badasses need to suit up. Maybe it’s to please a family member at a wedding, maybe it’s to respect the dead at a funeral, maybe it’s because the soul was sold to embrace the nihilistic corporate world once sworn against (ugh). Nevertheless, life in the first world necessitates this occasional cleaner cut image and perhaps this projection may even impress some strangers in open territory. But deep down underneath this fabrication lurks that sadistic primal savage that lusts for chaos, destruction, and pure fucking mayhem.
Incantation‘s debut and best work, Onward to Golgotha, remains the deepest death metal album I have ever experienced a quarter century after its release as of today. With material (“Unholy Massacre” and “Profanation”) dating back to the initial founding of Incantation by guitarist John McEntee and drummer Paul Ledney, Onward to Golgotha was a record influenced as much by Bathory and Beherit as it was Morbid Angel and Autopsy.
Sepultura‘s Morbid Visions is my favorite thirty year old album. Released in Brazil on November 10th, 1986, Morbid Visions saw Sepultura slither past the primitive Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, and Sodom worship of their initial Bestial Devastation extended play (included as a bonus on almost all CD versions of Morbid Visions) and into ultraviolent, progressive but still primitive, death and black metal.
Blood must be shed to atone for the sins of these mostly horrific recordings. Every single person who thought releasing these was a great idea should attempt to give themselves a self-swirlie while under the influence. Banging their head on the porcelain toilet tank lid will knock some sense into them or crack their skulls open. Hopefully the latter.
As part of our Retro Reviews series, DMU looks into one of those classic bands that was on every Gen X death metal fan’s shelf, but probably never made it out for repeated playing after the early 1990s. Some bands just seem to fade… into the background.