GIBSON IS DOOMED!

Gibson Guitars are on the verge of bankruptcy per an article in the Nashville Times.  The famed company is currently in a shitload of debt and its bondholders are panicking as their CFOs are abandoning ship. Despite bringing in a billion dollars last year, the prospects of Gibson are uncertain which begs the question: What future do high-end guitar brands have in a world that’s gravitating towards electronic music? And more importantly- is the death of electric guitar closer than we think, like many are claiming?

(more…)

15 Comments

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Phil Anselmo’s Newest Solo Endevour Bombs

On a recent episode of “The Classic Metal Show” burnt out Pantera vocalist and famed roman-saluter Phil Anselmo admitted that his newest album Choosing Mental Illness as a Virtue was “only going to appeal to X amount of people, and that’s going to be a small amount of people.”  By X amount, Phil was likely referring to the roman numeral for the number 10 as that is about the number of fans his band of soon-to-be deported illegal immigrants has.  The album currently has a 46% score on Metal-Archives (already a low medium of standards) and virtually no one has professed a fondness for the album outside of the journalists who were paid to.

(more…)

7 Comments

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

“It’s Okay to be White” – The Metal Song

Political YouTuber Finntronaut has uploaded a silly new metal song and video themed after the “It’s Okay to be White” prank that violently triggered thousands of snowflake liberals earlier this season.  While the song is not exactly good, it’s a pretty funny take on how ridiculous this culture war has gotten lately here in the U.S.A.  Thematically the video takes no political position- it’s just a bunch of goofy satirical visualizations overdramatizing the racial/cultural tensions of this age.

(more…)

12 Comments

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Dave Mustaine Wants One More Big 4

Megadeth guitarist Dave Mustaine has been vocal these past few weeks of pushing through one final Big 4 tour before Slayer hits the nursing home. He believes, however, that there’s no chance Metallica will be in. Mustaine, committed to getting a piece of the Slayer retirement pie, goes on to say he’ll headline a big 3 tour (minus the big 1) or perhaps start a new big 4 with two other thrash metal giants….
(more…)

14 Comments

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Retirement Tours are Now a Trend

With Ozzy Osbourne announcing his second retirement tour (the first being with Black Sabbath) in 2 years, Slayer retiring, Satyricon retiring (from touring the US, the only country that matters), etc we can safely conclude that retirement tours have quickly become a trend.  This beckons an interesting question- are record execs pushing these as an attempt to cash-in on aging metal bands?

(more…)

5 Comments

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Dark Horizons: Upcoming Metal for 02/09/2018

As we predicted at the close of last year, a storm of power metal is coming at last and replacing the soon to be dead genre of post-metal.  With beta-male hipsters turning toward retro rehashes of classic metal they are at last abandoning the pretentious nasalings of post metal.  Let us rejoice in the death of post-black metal!

With Fridays becoming the new Tuesdays for metal releases (for reasons unbeknownst), let’s turn our attention to the next meaty drop of 2018 extreme metal.
(more…)

12 Comments

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pestilence Attempts Comeback But Forgets What Makes Death Metal Great

Listen to a track from the upcoming Hadeon from longstanding Dutch band Pestilence, one is immediately struck by the similarity to late-1990s Morbid Angel: the riffs are there, albeit a bit impatient and tightly circular, but the whole experience is not. What is missing? To understand this, we must go to the core of what made death metal what it is.

If you wanted to explain to a normal person what death metal is, looking at the core of its spirit, you might haul out Slayer Hell Awaits, Hellhammer Apocalyptic Raids, and Bathory The Return… because these influenced the techniques, composition, and spirit of death metal. From Hellhammer and Slayer, it got its song structure and aesthetics; from Bathory its themes and riff technique.

Death metal took the original idea of metal, formed when Black Sabbath and others began using power chords to make phrasal riffs instead of harmony-oriented open chord riffs, and developed it further. This is different than doing something “new” or “progressing” because it means undertaking the much harder task of developing an idea further at a structural level instead of just changing aesthetics.

With the rise of underground metal, death metal adopted chromatic riffing and made the interplay between riffs form a narrative to each song. This abolished typical rock song structure and, because the guitar served as a melodic instrument instead of a harmonic one, forced vocals, bass and drums into a background role. How well the riffs fit together and portrayed an atmosphere, idea, or sensation defined the quality of the music.

Pestilence came from a solid death metal background with Consuming Impulse but showed a speed metal styled approach on Malleus Maleficarum, and this tension has stayed with the band for its entire career. The speed metal style of verse and chorus built on a singular theme that is present in the music is easier to jam on and use harmony to complement, where death metal rarely explicitly states its theme, only silhouetting it in the interaction between its many riffs. With speed metal, bands can set up a chord progression and develop it in layers of internal commentary like jazz, and this puts vocals back in position number one among the lead instruments.

“Non-Physical Existent” is a two-riff song with both based on the same note progression. It creates its intensity through the clash between a ripping circular high speed riff and a slower chromatic riff that uses odd harmony to distinguish notes in an otherwise linear theme. The song breaks into a solo section over one of the riffs, and has a type of turnaround the drops into the faster riff as a return. But there is no real interplay nor any narrative.

From the riffs themselves, this is a good song, but unfortunately, it is not death metal. Nor will it last because essentially it is a closed-circuit video of itself, a riff commented on by another, without resembling any particular experience or emotion, therefore being a null journey, more like stasis in space while riffs loop. It is better than not bad, but still not of real interest to the death metal fan.

22 Comments

Tags: , , , ,

Defeated Sanity – Disposal of the Dead Dharmata

This band from Germany has been around in one form or another since the 90s.  Besides having a reputation as an under-rated act, they actively tour and record.  They are considered technical/brutal death metal.  I would probably count them as old school death metal.  Several releases are available, and it feels somewhat unfair to look at just one release and judge, but lets try.
(more…)

11 Comments

Tags: , , , , , ,