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Messages - wEEman33

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Metal / Re: Negativa - Chaos in Motion on myspace page
« on: November 14, 2006, 12:01:55 PM »
I gave “Negativa” a couple of listens yesterday and it's difficult to describe just how disappointing it is. All three songs are poorly constructed, several riffs seem like reheated leftovers from "Obscura," the breakdowns are about on par with what you'd expect from a modern metalcore album, and the bass guitar sounds completely out of place tonally. On the whole, the album just feels half-baked and arbitrarily slapped together with no real purpose or intent behind the music besides fulfilling the bands' personal desires to "experiment" with their sound.

In a time where death metal most needs its true inventors to step forward and expose all the trend-whores and simpletons that are destroying the musical community, “Negativa” dampens this listener’s resolve to believe that there are still some bands out there making worthwhile material.

Metal / Re: Art & BM/DM
« on: October 28, 2006, 09:14:17 PM »
Many thanks for finding the higher-quality link.

Dore's "Pandemonium" would have been the perfect album art to adorn last year's Crimson Massacre disc. It’s a shame that they ended up going with a relatively dull John Zig illustration instead.

Metal / Re: Art & BM/DM
« on: October 28, 2006, 07:13:02 PM »
I've always found Dore's Paradise Lost illustrations to be rather apt at capturing some of the spirit of metal.

See for some semi-quality examples:


Metal / Re: Negativa - Chaos in Motion on myspace page
« on: October 24, 2006, 01:57:07 PM »
For fairly obvious reason, I was quite impressed by this track during initial listens, but upon further inspection, it just doesn’t seem as authentic or purposeful as the material on “Obscura.”

Still, I’ll reserve my final judgment until I’ve heard all twenty minutes of this EP and had a chance to peruse the lyrics.

Metal / Re: DISMEMBER/GRAVE Tour Dates
« on: September 29, 2006, 10:25:55 PM »
Anyone else going to the Marietta, GA date next Friday? I'll be there for sure barring an automobile breakdown.

Metal / Re: Cynic reunite
« on: September 29, 2006, 10:23:16 PM »
No Sean Malone = failure

I fail to see how the absence of a man who was just a session musician for “Focus”--the final piece of output from a band that had been together for six solid years--spells doom for this reunion tour. Are you really that much of a Sean Malone fanboy, or just ignorant of the above facts?

Focus was OK except for the vocals. I liked the guitar playing and some of the breakdowns but the songs were like ALL prog-metal, they had no spirit & were about nothing. No soul and no concept. I would not buy another Cynic album.

a)  Assuming that this isn’t a joke post, I can assure you that the songs on “Focus” most certainly are about something; perhaps you should peruse the lyrics next time before making silly assertions.

b) Cynic has one full-length album and five demos; in other words, they only have one album to buy.

Metal / Re: Atheist - Piece of Time/Unquestionable Presenc
« on: August 14, 2006, 10:49:51 PM »
The Relapse re-issues contain more content (liner notes written by select media/band members, added demo tracks/live recordings, and some classic band photos), sound great to my ears, and are significantly less expensive than any of the previous Atheist pressings.

As others have said, the first two Atheist records are totally worth the cash, but the third album is understandably half-baked since its existence is entirely due to a contract stipulation.

Metal / Re: Suffocation's "Suffocation"
« on: August 08, 2006, 03:33:30 AM »
Enfold Darkness / Inferi / Destroy Destroy Destroy / Sleep Terror / Suffocation

The Muse – Nashville, TN


Oh the woes of attending a non-air-conditioned club on a hot and humid summer evening in the south-eastern United States. A woe that appeared all the more painful due to the nature of this five-band concert in which four of the five scheduled performers were already known failures. So why not arrive late? Surprisingly, there is a definite draw to witnessing on-stage ineptitude: simply stated, when taking in the failures of misguided individuals, one seemingly gains a greater sense of appreciation for the accomplishments of truly successful people. Analogically (and mythically) speaking, the post-show feelings from attending such an event are like that of a man that cherishes more his stay in heaven because he has witnessed hell firsthand.

And so the hellions took to the stage, as the show began with what was apparently a “best of” offering from the middle Tennessee metal scene (at least, this author assumes so, given the fact that both Inferi and Destroy Destroy Destroy fulfilled the “local bands” role at the Nashville, TN stop on a Cryptopsy/Suffocation tour that took place last Thanksgiving). Sonically speaking, this pathetic triumvirate seemed content in pumping out ample amounts of regurgitated, sugary-sweet melodic hooks--as popularized by bands like Children of Bodom and In Flames--while also making sure to throw in one or two trite breakdowns/mosh riffs for all the scene kids sporting trendy haircuts and -core band shirts and the wiggers wearing wife-beaters and backwards ball-caps. Embarrassingly, all three bands displayed an egregious sense of showmanship, with Destroy Destroy Destroy--the last and least technical of the three bands--even going so far as to set up their own light/fog apparatus and dress their sword-wielding singer in a bullet-belt-supported loincloth and studded wrist-bands as a part of what appeared to be a calculated attempt to hide their musical inability. Not surprisingly, the between-song banter from these three scene-monkeys was spent either reminding the crowd to ironically “buy our shit” or simply slandering those of us in the audience that stood stoically, unimpressed with the silly stage antics and recycled Gothencore crap that these bands were attempting to pass off as purchase-worthy music. Essentially, the elated reactions from the hipsters and high-school kids that made up these bands’ small but loyal followings seemed to indicate what some of us in the crowd surely suspected: this group of musicians were not artists, they were performers attempting to hide their complete lack of artistic vision by pandering to the less-demanding audience members among us with their uninspired, overly simplified, and sickeningly saccharine melodies, Neanderthal mosh breaks, and superfluous stage-show.

Thankfully, there was but one musical element from the opening bands that would carry over into the first set from this tour’s two national acts: specifically, it involves the ease with which the majority of the audience members were impressed and pleased by not-so-simple acts of instrumental prowess. Of the three local bands, only Inferi seemed to possess the musical skill necessary to incite idiotic rushes of flailing fingers into the personal space of guitarists whenever a “shredding solo” or silly, sweep-picked/arpeggiated portion came up mid-song. With Sleep Terror, such moments did not simply occur in the middle of every song, but almost entirely throughout songs. For the uninformed reader, Sleep Terror, is the latest addition to a long list of trendy, highly technical, and “experimental”/”progressive” death metal bands who disguise their lack of true musical talent with a flamboyant, self-indulgent veneer of meaningless, musical complexity. To go into greater detail, this Seattle-based, instrumental duo typically juxtapose three different types of passages to form their songs: circuitous, highly hollow “death metal” riffs, haphazard “jazz” interludes, and humorously dumbed-down “mosh riffs.” Naturally, this mishmash of musical ideas is so spiritless and incoherent that the music itself should have no chance of impressing any listener that possesses a speck of intelligence and/or musical standards. But of course, with a musical approach that’s built around a “something for every-idiot” mantra, it was not surprising to see so many people speaking positively about Sleep Terror and/or rushing down to the merchandise table to scoop up a self-esteem-boosting CD/t-shirt in the post-set setting. With that said, this audience member has to admit that, if nothing else, it was somewhat refreshing to watch a pair of honest musicians perform a “metal” set with zero posing/posturing and some semblance of ambition, regardless of how horribly misguided that ambition is (as an aside, the character of modern metal is clearly on life-support when such a spiritless performance can elicit any type of positive response from an enlightened onlooker).

Performing last and representing the pinnacle of professionalism was the mighty Suffocation. Having just snapped two large bones in his right leg on the night of 6/6/06, the band’s bassist, Derek Boyer--who hobbled around the venue on crutches since he cannot and will not be able to walk for another month or so--impressively performed the entire set seated in an uncomfortable-looking stool-cum-chair, playing his bass in an upright, cello-esque style, with the base of its body resting on what appeared to be a cinder-block. Along with the audience, Boyer and his band-mates sweated through an hour-long set in borderline-unbearable heat, performing with a passion and sincerity that was noticeably absent in all three of the local acts. Ears throughout the venue were ringing with ecstasy, as Frank Mullen’s vocals felt much more forceful in this live setting than they have been on the last two Suffocation records, while the two remaining founding-members, Terrance Hobbs and Mike Smith, pounded out interlocking drum/guitar rhythms with a powerful precision. Hobbs in particular was a pleasure to observe, as his hands moved hypnotically over a sweat-soaked guitar while his head swayed and bobbed in-time to the intricate, percussive attack. While watching this ensemble perform, it was easy to see the shared, spiritual connection between each of the individual band mates and the energy waves emanating from the band’s various amplifiers--something that was sadly missing from their peers that night. Shameless, repetitive self-promotion, foolish rock-posturing, and other types of childish, on-stage behavior were appreciatively absent from Suffocation’s set. In fact, the lone flaw in Suffocation’s performance was the fact that their set list was seemingly too extensive, with only two/three songs each coming from the band’s “classic” albums (i.e., “Effigy of the Forgotten” and “Pierced From Within”), a single selection from the overlooked masterwork (un)known as “Breeding the Spawn,” and one/two songs coming from the band’s remaining, less-menacing material; ideally, songs from the band’s rushed 2004 release “Souls to Deny” should have been excluded, but then again, I suppose it is a bit of a bore for a band as long-running as Suffocation to play the same “classic” songs at every show for over fifteen years now.

As a humbled servant of God might return from a trip through hell with a hearty thanks to extend towards his overlord, so to must I offer my gratitude towards the saintly members of Suffocation; your presence at this show certainly shone the light upon all the unrighteous individuals in attendance (both on and off the stage) and was truly an inspiration to this devout follower of the true metal cause. Carry on, gentlemen. Carry on.

« on: August 05, 2006, 12:51:21 AM »
I feel like the DLA logo that sits atop the front-page of this site makes a much better banner:

« on: July 31, 2006, 01:33:00 AM »

Never thought I'd see a major metal tour come through Marietta, GA.

Surprisingly, the new Dismember album sounds like it was being played with a bit of the spirit and vigor found on the band’s more classic releases (specifically, from their demo days on through the “Pieces” EP), so I suppose I'll be there to support them on that Oct. 6th date.

Metal / Metal By Numbers
« on: July 30, 2006, 10:05:51 PM »
A parody of today's popular metal, which is surprisingly spot-on, especially considering the source:


Metal / Re: The changing entertainment industry
« on: July 30, 2006, 08:54:22 PM »
This was a good read and yet another example of how the traditional corporate forces in the entertainment field are completely clueless when it comes to handling both the business and artistic ends of their chosen realms of entertainment.

Metal / Suffocation's "Suffocation"
« on: July 24, 2006, 05:56:33 PM »
Suffocation has posted the first sample track from their forthcoming self-titled album:


Aside from a totally cliché breakdown bit, the song sounds alright, but as a band that has not released a worthwhile album since 1995, it's hard to tell if Suffocation still have something fresh and meaningful to say with their music or if they are just content to regurgitate and repackage their old material like all the other Suffocation-clones currently on the market.

Still, since the quality of their last album (supposedly) suffered severely from being rushed out the door by Relapse records, I suppose I’ll remain somewhat optimistic because the band claims to have had the necessary amount of time to tweak the songs to a superior level of quality.

Regardless of how the new album turns out, I’ll be seeing these guys live with Sleep Terror in Nashville, TN on the 31st of July, so hopefully their live show remains as tight and powerful as it has historically been.

Metal / Re: Celtic Frost tour
« on: July 12, 2006, 10:28:26 PM »
Man I wish they were coming to Nashville. But my town is cursed to only have posercore bands tour here.

Suffocation will be playing at The Muse on the 31st of July, but you'll have to sit through a bunch of -core crap to see them.

Metal / Re: Lyrics as narration
« on: June 03, 2006, 07:15:05 PM »
Regarding vocals:

Curiously enough, even though the harsh vocal approach is a more subjective singing style than clean singing--for instance, harsh vocalists are not open to criticism for singing off-key or being unable to harmonize with backup singers or keyboard/guitar melodies--in truth, like any vocal style, it is possible to make objective distinctions between a “good” / “bad” harsh vocalist.

By my estimation, there are approximately three key, objective criteria that a listener can justifiably use to judge the inherent worth of a harsh vocalist:

Phrasing - i.e. the places where the vocalist chooses to insert his/her lines and its relative affect on a song’s points of emphasis and overall sense of balance; also, the rhythmic style(s) in which the words are sung. For example, because death vocals are a primarily rhythmic instrument, these techniques become a critical part of a band’s success, as death metal in general is mostly a rhythmic/percussive form of metal (appropriately then, bands like Atheist, Cynic, and At the Gates are often considered “progressive,” partially because they chose to place most of their musical emphasis on intricate, interweaving, dual-guitar melodies while placing their respective rhythm sections into a more supportive role).

Emotion – Sticking with the previous example, death metal is intrinsically an intense form of music; therefore, a death metal vocalist must match the emotional intensity of his/her band-mates via the utilization of sounds that more suitably express man’s more viscous and primal emotions (basically, harsh vocals are often the best musical tool for transmitting feelings of vitriol, insanity, torment, etc. whereas clean vocals mesh well with feelings of contentment, calamity, love, etc.)

Relation to musical/lyrical themes – This is the primary, style-related reason why most extreme metal vocalists don’t sing cleanly; again, death metal deals not with the frivolous humanist themes that have historically dominated listener-friendly rock music, but rather, explores--through a primarily nihilistic viewpoint--themes that are typically thought of as taboo in contemporary Western society. Specifically, death metal tells tales of societal corruption, unimaginable violence, and unspeakable evil in an attempt to emphasize the ungoverned brutality of (human) nature. Stated plainly: extreme music demands an equally extreme vocal approach.

Virtually every other aspect of proper, harsh vocal evaluation is related to the personal preferences of the band and its listeners. For instance:

Decipherability/enunciation – Contrary to common opinion, this stylistic decision is a purely subjective aspect of singing, as its ultimate “success” or “failure” is almost always dependent upon the intent of the vocalist/lyricist. These intents vary significantly from band to band thus making it difficult to prove whether or not a certain band has made a “good” decision by choosing a certain level of decipherability/enunciation for their lyrics. In fact, direct consultation with the vocalist/lyricist is often the only way to obtain a correct evaluation of the band’s decision (though they are certainly not a politically motivated musical group, most Atheist songs contain a strong ideological message, and accordingly, Kelly Shaefer’s vocals are much more coherent than the screams/growls of the typical throat-artist from other early-1990s death metal bands).

Variety of style – A lack of vocal variety may or may not be a valid musical mistake depending on several factors such as the vocals’ position in a band’s hierarchy of sonic importance, the overall length of an album, or the vocals’ required adherence to strict thematic guidelines. This variety of vocal purpose often causes ignorant listeners who cannot abandon the “pop-music” mentality--i.e., that a song should be lead by its vocals and that the vocals should always be “pleasing to the ear” and “easy to understand”--to make incorrect assertions regarding vocal quality and overall song/album quality.

Of course, all this text hasn’t even taken into account variations in production styles that can alter the depth and texture of a singer’s voice or emphasize/deemphasize the importance of the vocal performance by lowering it in the mix (this is probaly why the vocals on complex albums like “Unquestionable Presence” are often so low in the mix; the music was created to become the album’s centerpiece). Consequently, if a listener is trying to focus first on the lyrical content in albums like "Unquestionable Presence" and not on the music itself, he/she is ignoring said album's central core of content. Again, most death metal is a guitar and drum driven style of music whose lyrics serve as an appropriate and necessary but relatively less significant aspect of a song’s overall purpose. Simply stated, death metal in its most basic forms is all about riffs and rhythms; any other aspect of the music typically gets relegated to a secondary role.

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