Sadistic Metal Reviews 05-26-2015

napalmexplosionSMR

Flooding publishing news, the waves of garbage promos present an ecological problem that can only be dealt with extreme measures. A swift bombardment of napalm would suit all these studios producing garbage albums every day. Even those with high quality production are only hiding behind it. Having a crispy sound, good double bass rendering and perfect sound engineering does not make the music better when it is the equivalent of rat feces, it only makes the odor stronger and more difficult to bear.

 

Blunt Knife Idol – (2015)
Grindcore is the most misunderstood underground genre after black metal. The simpler something appears on the surface. Blunt Knife Idol things that if they play a groovy or a brutal riff with blast beats or racing double bass drums a grindcore song is automatically produced. Music for empty-headed “headbangers” who want to show their friends how “brutal” and “extreme” they are. Fucking rad, man.

 


Impurity – Into the Ritual Chamber (2015)
Hard rock with croaking vocals. Not particularly good hard rock at that. Just flat-sounding and never actually doing anything besides existing. Not as distinctive as Sarcófago, but just as bad and far blander. Sometimes, Impurity tries to give songs a twist by inserting a completely random and unrelated blasting section only to finish it with a stadium rock move… or a flute. Other songs start off with the minimalist “black metal” style and then transition into hard rock riffs. Structure-wise it is pretty unpredictable, but it’s only because there is no particular plan behind this. It does not feel like it even makes any sense, parts are just pasted to continue. Stay away from this old turd.

 


Khors – Night Falls Onto the Fronts of Ours (2015)
Starting out as a light, slavic-styled black rock band, Khors now play depressive alternative rock with double bass drums and black metal vocals in a manner similar to that of Swedish band Katatonia. The difference is that in Cold Khors lacked the content that Katatonia present time-efficiently in their pop-structured songs. Khors pretends to deliver little content inside long-drawn structures in the black metal manner. This makes for ambient rock that is only “atmospheric” but little else. Now they went all the way and became one more alternative-rock-with-harsh-vocals band like the previously mentioned Swedish band or like the Finnish Amorphis. Despite this, Night Falls onto the Fronts of Ours seems to reach its goal within its mainstream constraints. It does not fail, it is just rubbish mainstream music.

 


My Silent Wake – Damnatio Memoriae (2015)
Funny, confused, tough-guy music for fans of Sludge and the Pink Frothy AIDS approach to songwriting in “diverse” styles stitched together in self-indulgent manner. Each song here is meaningless but has a strong “attitude”. This satisfies most of the Homer Simpsons among metalheads, which is why this will have enough impact. This stretches from the idiotic to the simple music that pretends to be more refined or sensitive. My Silent Wake are a sure commercial bet for labels and a sure formula for artistic failure.

 


Possession – 1585-1646 (2015)
When you try to make black metal with a punk mentality, you will end up with a very long and repetitive punk song. This is NOT what primitive black metal is, folks. Like most music of its kind, and like most extreme music, this is 80% posturing, 15% music and 5% of something to say. The only reason this sort of band is given any chance is that with the commercial long tail effect the internet provides, niche tastes can be offered a product. Statistically, some clueless idiot is bound to like this heap of messy punk riffs put together by a talentless band.

5 Comments

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

Sadistic Metal Reviews 05-25-2015

SMR08
In the spirit of George Carlin:

Here’s a group of musical vermin whose mothers we wish had had a medical plan that included abortion.

Bone Gnawer – Cannibal Crematorium (2015)
An assault not only on the senses as their promoters say, but on human intellect, this is lowest common denominator death metal for the Cannibal Corpse crowd who think Scream Bloody Gore is an actual classic of the genre. Produced like later Vader albums, most of the appeal this release has relies on processed vocals, guitar tone and crispy drum sound. Everything about his album screams out mental retardation and posturing. A plage on the genre, this crowd should be stirred in the direction of rap, deathcore or any brutal or violent posturing “music”.

Korsakov – Unique Remains (2015)
As their name migt suggest, yes, this is yet another Swedeath clone. But it also shares traits with the 80s speed-going-on-death of Master or Death. Unique Remains is unimpressive in any way. You will not remember it for being the worse, but it is uneventful music showing no great blunders but nothing of value either. It is merely repeating what others have said in simpler and more incomplete ways. Genuinely boring, if you want anything like this, listen to Master.

Paganland – Fatherland (2015)
Full of feeling and good intentions, this music is as endearing as it is hilarious. Using the style of magical power-pagan-black metal so popular among the slavs, Fatherland presents us with a particularly derivative, musically uneducated and melodic-hook-based music. This music is more of a folk-themed pop rock music for people who do not actually listen to metal but like to think they do.

Massenhinrichtung – Закон Збро (2015)
Another slavic band making meandering folkish-paganish-blackish metal. Too many feelings and too little thinking. This is ambient music for nationalist teenagers of the region. This becomes evident when some macho man screams are heard in rapping style along with a numetal background. And for those who fetishize eastern Europeans and their culture. This music is like a souvenir, it can be attractive because it is reminder of something else. On its own it’s quite poor. A little similar to music like Cromlech’s or Primordial, guilty pleasures for those who like epic nationalism or medieval warrior themes.

Zatokrev – Silk Spiders Underwater (2015)
Ah, more casual black metal. No, kids, black metal does not do casual. Black metal is not “cool”. Silk Spiders Underwater is repetitive alternative rock-metal with stoner inclinations. Oriented towards appearing tough, but casual. Aloof music for angsty teenagers… don’t we have plenty of this subpar shit already?

1 Comment

Tags: , ,

Sadistic Metal Reviews 05-24-2015

smr07

 

Purging the releases by posers, the hipsters and the lowlifes from metal is the only way to rise from the decadent state of affairs and into glory. This is why Sadistic Metal Reviews exist in the first place. Slaughter them!

Blastomycosis – Covered in Flies and Afterbirth (2015)
Ignoring the stupid band, album and song names which already betray not only the intention but easily distracted mind with a penchant for gore themes that make little sense, the music they represent is as aimless as it is self-indulging in the most base of manners. Consisting in a quasi death metal which underneath is more akin to deathcore, Blastomycosis builds excuses for songs on changing basic rhythms that have become a staple of that sorry sub-genre. Filing rhythmically catchy and extremely simple riffs long enough to fill up space to say all the ridiculously disgusting things these subhumans want to say, I am reluctant to even call this music. Even if we could take this as grindcore, it would fail, as it lacks the forward momentum and drive of that style.

 


Druzhina – Third Henosis (2015)
While not outright offensive to the sensible music listener, Druzhina make the kind of music that is too moment-based. The band knows this type of Slavic power – pagan – black metal has to allow the listener to fall into each moment, letting each melody become part of the familiar landscape. However, like most second-rate bands, it lacks the long-distance vision of musical construction that knows where it is going. Instead of going somewhere, developing in any significant way, Third Henosis sort of just floats where it first appears. A still image of Slavic sorrow.

 


Insane Mind – Strip Club Cannibal (2015)
As the name implies, yet again, this music is pure ironic brutal posturing. I believe that the IQ necessary to like this is limited to around 90. If you even slightly above this, the stupidity of this “music” will be too unbearable for you to stand more than one of these songs. Like the Blastomycosis above, there is little to say about their lacking songwriting. A useful note here would be to point out that much more elaborate bands like Ara basically use the same nonsensical template, except that the upper levels of the music are refined and details are many times more polished than this embarrassment of an album.

 


Leere – Bleak (2015)
Beware of self-pitying, crying black metal. It isn’t black metal at heart, which is why the musical style displayed is more of an imitation than a proficient elaboration. Black metal builds on repetition, not only changes to maintain an atmosphere. Some excellent black metal writes about desperation and madness, but it never falls into the emo-sobbing we hear here. Incredibly boring music for depressive people.

 


Nikharsag – The Blood of Celestial Kings (2015)
D-beats, descending-bass progressions, catchy and melancholic melodies over power chords, this is the late At the Gates – inspired death metal. As a result of the voice, some cliché use of chords and rhythms, someone may want to say this is black metal, but it really isn’t. They even try really hard to make this obvious by inserting unimpressive but recognizably black metal sections in the middle of the song. The songs end as uneventfully as they begin, having gone nowhere. While retaining some decency, The Blood of Celestial Kings is ultimately a forgettable affair no metal fan would want to listen to a second time.

3 Comments

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

Sadistic Metal Reviews 05-23-2015

burncarcass

Sadistic Metal Reviews: Uncompromising judgement and merciless punishment for the mediocre, the pretentious clueless and the posers. The releases shown here could be seen by kinder eyes as “not truly bad, just amateur imitations of better albums”, but those kind eyes fail to see the true evil of this plague. What do you do when the health of specimens is compromised beyond repair and they threaten to bring decay to the rest of the group? You round them up you end their misery.


Biotoxic Warfare – Lobotomized (2015)

Lobotomized is one of the most difficult albums to judge when releases go through the first quality test on DMU because it is not an outright offensive album, the production is satisfying and does its job appropriately, the songs are not messy and the musicianship is appropriate. Then, what is the problem? Biotoxic Warfare cover the basics. Songwriting 101, if you will.  But that is not enough for art. Each section appeals to a cliche. Furthermore, the music is advanced through rhythmic hooks. These two things together are basically the engine of this music. It is basically cheap metalcore that does not know how to end songs. They put some cool and simple catchy leads together with some pumping rhythms and then call it a day. Average trash.

Cromm Cruac – Senecio (2015)

This music is as funny as the name. Pretentious in the way only pseudo-prog speed metal can be, Cromm Cruac play carnival rhythms that change every half a minute, only to introduce a meaningless, long, emotional melody. This is one of those mindless acts that in confused masturbatory delirium confuses randomness with open-mindedness and exploration. Exemplifying the fraudulent “experimental” genre tag, Senecio is an insult to music composition.

Infection – Acrotomophile Mutilator (2015)

Cannibal Corpse – influenced nonsense. Death metal deals with reality. Impending reality. Especially the heavy reality beyond human affairs or complete human control: death, violence, madness, strife and even abuse. But when this is made into an ironic joke it becomes a cartoon that cannot be taken seriously. The intention that goes into the topic and lyrics of a musician inevitably influences the music. Just as the embarrassingly pointless gore lyrics are offensive to the intellect, so is this average death metal full of tropes lacking in any major goal beyond “having fun”. Far from being “brutal”, this should be labeled moronic death metal for the brain-dead.


Nocturnal Depression – Spleen Black Metal (2015)

Beware of bands named after pathetic emotions and generic album names and covers as they betray a lot about the intention of the band. A band that understands repetition of riffs only for what it superficially entails, Nocturnal Depression play an aimless sentimental black metal consisting of a few riffs per song that do not precisely continue or build after each other but are just chosen for their tongue-in-cheek sweetness bordering of self-pitying whining. Uneventful and boring black metal that exists for the sake of existing, not because it has anything to communicate beyond a lolita’s self-centered quiet emotional manipulation.


Ygodeh – Inside the Womb of Horizonless Dystopia (2015)

Why this was labelled grindcore is beyond me. Its defects are those of most terrible music. Which is at least 90% of the music out there. Aimless music writing, self-absorbed individual sections that mean nothing in the larger context. The point of each of the tracks is to introduce a mood. Very cliche and in the style of modern soundtracks that put together rap, electric guitars, synth-strings and electronic music, Inside the Womb of Horizonless Dystopia is aptly name as it represents some of the worse outcomes of lacking songwriting. Having no horizon at all and reflecting the expectations of a mainstream audience rather than having something to say, this is a collection of preludes to nothing.

No Comments

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

Sadistic Metal Reviews 05-21-2015

pirateplankexecution

In an age when anyone can pretend to be a musician it becomes paramount to have a guard at the gates, a slashing axe to cut the unworthy products of these confused minds in half. This bloodied instrument of justice is what the Sadistic Metal Reviews are. Cut away the dead weight of the metal world. Make them walk the plank instead of wasting resources and time on their worthless existence.

pirateplankexecution
Forward Unto Dawn – Alpha 

That this music is not metal is evident within less than a minute, as a promising synth intro modulates into a soothing melody that would not be out of place in a Disney movie soundtrack. However, this metalcore band does not pretend to be anything else, and in fact shows promise with some interesting riffs, structures, and lyrical themes that avoid the overt homoeroticism of most metalcore. This band also avoids the “carnival music” feeling of much of their kin by writing songs with solid narrative progression – perhaps an influence from death metal. Unfortunately, the “slamming”, chugging, rhythmically similar riffs soon grow tiring and difficult to distinguish. We encourage this band to progress in their chosen genre and further pursue the unification of theme and musical expression.

pirateplankexecution
Tormention – Chaotic Delusions

Tormention hide their incoherent, metalcore-influenced music behind the veneer of being a death metal band. This release is random, indistinct, and lacking in content. Somewhat in the vein of Cannibal Corpse and Necrophagist, with pointless guitar diddles, chugging, and rapidly shifting structures. This is the kind of band that could probably weasel their way into major metalfests with their presentation of “metal” surface forms, which demands their excoriation, whereas a honest and talented metalcore band like Forward Unto Death (reviewed above) poses no such threat. Avoid.

pirateplankexecution
Nahtrunar – Symbolismus

Within seconds of the first track, Nahtrunar display an obvious influence from Quebecois black-metallers Sorcier des Glaces, with sweeping and romantic tremolo-picked melodies supported by simple, prancing drums. Nahtrunar showcase talented and knowledgeable black metal composition and technique, but fall into the same trap as the aforementioned Sorcier des Glaces – becoming at times so sweetly catchy that the primal and feral nature of black metal is subsumed into an incongruous tender romanticism, more fitting for a lonely and intelligent teenage girl than a savage Hessian warrior. The interludes between every song contribute nothing.

pirateplankexecution
Saturnalia – Temple to the Other

Ah, Sweden. You will never find a more wretched hive of SJWs and cuckoldry. But this talented if confused people have certainly proved their worth in the annals of metal history, which makes a garbage release such as this all the more pathetic. Story: some stoned hipsters into bad psychedelic rock figured out that if they included some “occult” imagery in their music they could sell it to metalheads, who have more money to spend than their barista/thrift-store-clerk/community-college social circle. As they made it into the now totally discredited “Metal” Archives, their plan seems to be working. The music? Just poorly done “stoner” psychedelic rock with the riffs shifted around a few half-steps to give it a pseudo-metal dissonance. These dorks are too incompetent to even make it in the dazed world of drugged-out rock’n’roll, where they belong. INCINERATE!

5 Comments

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Sadistic Metal Reviews 05-20-2015

impalementsssss

Some albums ignite the listener’s imagination with visions of the different ways in which the would-be composers of atrocious musical attempts could be punished, not for their stupidity as they were just born that way, but for forcing it upon the rest of humanity.  This is what the Sadistic Metal Reviews are, symbolic impalement for the weaklings that overstep their bounds.
torche-restarter Maleficence – Journey to the Depths

That at a first glance even the classics of black metal appear to be simple, minimalist patterns stringed together is one of the most misleading aspects of the genre. Being a music born out of elitism and of outstanding men, black metal was not meant to be understood by the undermen, the subpar scum made up not by a particular race or ethnicity (which is what the undermen who do not understand Nietzsche actually think) but by the half-assers and those with limited neural capacity. When these imbeciles get together to make what they believe is black metal, all they can come up with is meaningless satanic gibberish that is both blatantly shallow and evidently ironic bullshit.
torche-restarter

Satanic Ripper – Southern Black Spells

This is the kind of album that is reviewed sadistically because there is nothing to it. It is not the worse, but it isn’t actually good either. It is your average Sarcofago descendant that makes the same sort of unimproved rubbish as their idols. Add in some squealing leads here and there.  Randomly located, of course, these things don’t mean anything. Satanic is Satanic. Praise the Dark Lord. So scary. So black metal. So trve, man.And then reveal your sludge-doom occult rock influences. Take your boring shit elsewhere.
torche-restarter

Third Ion – 13-8Bit

Streamlined Dream Theater pseudo-prog, a bit of 8-bit sounds here and there and gay power metal vocals that sometimes drift into Disturbed-like colorations. Contrasting sections for major impact. Reciting of Petrucci-like patterns in the riffs, the phrygian mode has to make an appearance.  Disorganized, pointless, showy, unoriginal, thoughtless. Made even more annoying by the way these musicians go out of their way to say “look at me!, look at me!”. Kill that drummer and his ill-placed polyrhythms.
torche-restarter

Tyrant Goatgaldrakona – Horns in the Dark

The brutal riff syndrome. Although the band manages to put together riffs that are derived from each other, each song is made of a short progression of ideas that just ends. As ideas, the problem is that they are not concluded in any sort of way. Does all music have to be Beethovenian conclusion-oriented music? No, it doesn’t. But if you make music that appears to do that and then you fail to give appropriate conclusions, then, you have failed. Tyrant Goatgaldrakona, you have failed.

9 Comments

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Can We Judge Experimental Metal?

thequietus

I used to spend a lot of time plagued by the question of whether one can really judge experimental metal. At first glance, this may sound silly, because the tools of music criticism don’t disappear from a little experimentation. You can still ask how derivative it is; what the structure is; if the riffs are any good; and so on. But problems emerge when one realizes that there have been pieces of music throughout history which really defy all convention. I’d put forth Gyorgi Ligeti’s “Atmospheres” as an example which has no melodic or rhythmic content (and in some sense no harmonic motion either).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aI0P1NnUFxc

Many of you are already screaming at your screen: “Atmospheres” makes you feel something. It is highly unsettling and successfully elicits emotions and responses in the listener. The only objective we need in evaluating music that breaks with tradition is if it successfully does what it intends to do or elicits an emotional response from the listener. I agree this is one possibility, but I reject the idea that abstract art has to have some objective or emotional goal to be worth engaging with. Think of beautiful paintings of fruit. Some may feel moved by it, but I think it is a stretch to claim this is where its value lies. Its worth is in the pure aesthetic experience it gives. Often this is beauty, but we could say “Atmospheres” is worth listening to for its coherent new aesthetic experience it provides. In fact, many other works of Ligeti do not have the emotive experience for justification but are all part of his unified aesthetic vision.

I should address whether this question is even worth thinking about. I think it is, because if we don’t have a way to distinguish quality, we’ll find ourselves randomly accepting or rejecting anything that defies convention. I’ve seen both extremes: the art hipster that defends to the death the greatness of a blank white canvas to the pop idolizer whose ears bleed at anything other than a I-IV-V-I progression over a 4/4 rock beat. Neither extreme is good music criticism, because both are ideologies that pre-judge rather than evaluate an album on its own terms. This means we have to give some thought to the question of whether it is even possible to judge music that pushes the boundaries. I’ll admit that basically no metal album, no matter how experimental, will be so extreme that we lack all ability to use traditional criticism. That’s not the point.

I, and most other reviewers, often get lazy and gloss over anything that is difficult to engage with. I find myself reviewing albums as traditionally as possible and only throwing in mention of experimental aspects without much thought. It usually takes the form of the above ideological lines by pointing out the experimental aspects as “original.” This tends to make any experimentation come across as a good thing in my reviews (when I’m being lazy).

One way I like to think of the messiness of experimentation in music is through an analogy to other arts, even though the analogy isn’t perfect or historically accurate. One could say that abstraction techniques in painting arose in part due to an identity crisis. Early paintings were very much about accuracy and representation of the world: portraits, landscapes, still lifes, etc. Probably in part due to the birth of photography (though it started a bit earlier), painters needed to add a human element to be able to justify its purpose. “The Weeping Woman” by Picasso may be a portrait, but it deviates from an accurate depiction of the woman in order to more powerfully portray her emotional state. A perfect picture of the woman couldn’t capture the tragedy and suffering so well. What I’m trying to say is that painters realized they could experiment in order to filter something through a point of view to create a messier, more human art.

Music usually lacks a subject, so in some sense the starting point is closer to abstract expressionism in painting. Strangely, music tends to be more rigid than painting for various reasons usually involving time. If your song is in 4/4, it is very difficult to make something sound messy, because members of a band are locked in an orderly pattern. One way to add a messy, human element is change up the time signature. This gets us to a value judgement. Take a stereotypical progressive metal band, Between the Buried and Me, for example. Often their use of varied time signatures comes across as tidy, carefully planned, and gimmicky. This is an example of bad experimentation, because it doesn’t fulfill its purpose of making something sound original, messy, or unexpected. Say what you will about Behold… the Arctopus, but at least they fulfill their purpose of experimenting with time to disorient the listener.

This brings us back to an earlier point. We can judge the experimentation on whether it fulfills its purpose. Theodor Adorno has probably written and thought about experimentation in music more than any other person. One of my favorite points of criticism from him is his explanation of how terrible it is when the sound of music is in contradiction with its purpose. He uses as an example Joan Baez singing protest music against the Vietnam War. She completely undermines her point about the senseless, incomprehensible violence of war by wrapping the song in a neat, easily digestible pop song. How can making war palatable possibly fulfill the purpose of a song that war is not palatable?

A great example of a metal album in which the sound fulfilled its purpose is At the Gates’ With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness. It isn’t quite experimental in the sense we’ve been discussing, but it serves as an example of metal where the sound reinforces the content (which, let’s be honest, was an important factor in much early death metal). We’ve reverted to easy cases again. Before tackling the hardest cases, I think one easy-to-spot bad thing is what I call an “experimentation poseur.” The album is fairly boring and uninventive, so the band tries to hide this and appeal to a certain crowd by throwing in some experimentation. Not only does this cover-up not work, it is embarrassing, because it is so obvious to an intelligent listener that you are trying to fool them. Something like Buckethead, Iwrestledabearonce, or much that self-identifies as “mathcore” work for examples. Harder cases are Jute Gyte, Psyopus, Behold… the Arctopus, and Cloak of Altering. These bands are uncompromising in their difficulty throughout the whole album. They also appear to have something like a coherent and consistent aesthetic vision which differs vastly from other metal. As proof, give me a new track I’ve never heard from one of those four bands, and I will have no difficulty telling you which one wrote it.

I often hear the complaint that anyone can create an ugly mess of noise with no structure or feeling, reminiscent of the complaint that anyone can drizzle paint on a canvas like Pollack. We’ve already addressed why this is lazy criticism. But it is also intellectually dishonest, because I don’t think anyone but the most skilled musicians could copy these bands. Anyone that thinks they merely “dripped ink onto a staff” and played whatever happened hasn’t really listened to them, and frankly, is so disengaged from honest discussion that their opinions can be dismissed as irrelevant. They sound nothing like Milton Babbitt, for instance, which basically wrote music using a dice roll. This is not to say any of these band’s albums are good. Figuring this out is the point of the discussion: how can we tell? Hopefully those who were skeptical about the question originally can see its relevance now. I must come back to this idea of the pure aesthetic experience. Now I’ll reveal that I stacked the deck with these four choices. I think we can give rough tiers for each of these band’s most recent albums.

Psyopus tends to be absurd for the purpose of being absurd. This means they have a lot of internal inconsistencies in their sound and musical language. One moment they play fast chromatic riffs, the next they glissando up and down, the next they drone with a girl shouting. It tends to be all over the place with the only goal to be different or weird. This is not a high quality aesthetic experience. I’d level the same charge at Cloak of Altering, but a step up. He is a bit more consistent, and I think the album has more worth.

Jute Gyte is much better. His musical syntax is more internally consistent. After a few listens, the album makes sense within its context. It isn’t microtonal for the sake of being different, it’s microtonal because that is a deliberate and consistent aesthetic choice he makes. I’ll reiterate, you may not personally find the experience worthwhile, but it is justifiable as a work of experimental metal. This is the whole point of experimentation. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

I know, 90% of you just shit your pants and decided to leave the site forever, because I’m about to say that Behold… the Arctopus is the highest tier of this list. It would take another post as long as this one to make the argument, but the key idea is the same. They have a consistent tonality, sound, style, musical syntax, and so on which creates a coherent aesthetic experience. I have no problem with someone listening to it and saying, “Nope. Still a worthless waste of time,” in the same way that I have no problem with someone looking at a Rothko and saying, “Nope. That’s just rectangles, not worth looking at.” The thing is, art criticism is old enough and mature enough that someone can separate that personal reaction from the idea that Rothko had a legitimate aesthetic program.

Thinking about metal as art is a bit too new. We tend to treat our personal taste and reaction to an album as the final word. All this is to say, I think there are ways to tell the difference between crappy experimental metal which tries to dupe a certain crowd into praising them and legitimate experimental metal which has a concrete aesthetic program being carried out in earnest. It is an important step in treating metal as art to have serious discussions on the worth of various experimental bands, but we can’t do that if we get stuck in the mindset that all the ones we don’t like are equally bad.

39 Comments

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Sadistic Metal Reviews 05-19-2015

BundesarchivBildDieppeLandungsversuch

Like the clueless cannon fodder that most sacrificed soldiers end up being in major wars, so too are the hordes of albums of clueless “musicians” working on a way to cash in on the lack of attention span and seriousness of the masses. Lazy music for lazy minds, candy music for people wearing rose-colored glasses. It all ends up here, sadistically reviewed, their corpses lying on the ground. Perhaps comparing these releases to massacred soldiers is giving them too much life. These sterile releases are more akin to cardboard boxes with Andy Warhole (yes, War-HOLE) colored stupidity.
torche-restarter
Heathen Beast – The Carnage of Godhra

Scream lyrics in monochromatic vox, make cavemannish groove riffs that mimic the vocal rhythms, and then overlay or alternate with middle-eastern instruments from a keyboard. Apparently Heathen Beast thinks this is enough to make some sort of progressive folk music. Of course, you need the narrated sections, or the dialogues. Then this becomes a conceptual release. Just because you can release your musical creations does not mean you should unleash your turds on the world. Some of the cheapest music to hit the mail this month.
torche-restarter
Osculum Infame – The Axis of Blood

Make-believe black metal that grooves like alternative metal. The nonsensical juxtaposition of sections to surprise and contradict expectation is rampant. The point is not to make the music coherent in any sense. The point is to posture. We are black metal, man, we are hardcore black metal.  The reliance of this music on grooving rhythms and macho-man vocals ala Phil Anselmo is as sickening as it is disgraceful. The true black metal fan will do well to stay away from this one. Save yourself some precious minutes of your mortal life.

torche-restarter
VoidCeremony – Dystheism

The epitome of the riff salad disaster in the so-called atmospheric death metal. The trick here is simple: make obscure, messy riffs, lots of them, more than you can count. They do not need to progress in any particular direction, they do not need to be necessarily related. They do need to keep a character, at least. This will make the fans laud your music for creating “such a dark and oppressive atmosphere”. You will hear poser hipsters like Anthony Fantano who know nothing about the graceful art of musical construction praising poorly thought-out death metal such as this. They equate “I do not know what the fuck is going on with the music but I can get the feeling” with good quality in death metal.  Tough-sounding ambient music for blockheads.

8 Comments

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Classical String Quartets for the Death Metal Fan, episode three

haydn schoenberg

Today we will visit the works of two great composers in their own right who were also the teachers, directly or indirectly, of other composers who are considered musical geniuses. These geniuses were Mozart and Beethoven after Haydn, and Webern and Berg after Schoenberg.

In a way, Haydn and Schoenberg represent opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of the relation between composer and society. Haydn was employed by the Esterhazy family for many years, serving as personal composer for their events and whims. An honored servant, making music in the styles fashionable to the aristocracy. Schoenberg, on the other hand, was a product of a much different era, a century and a  half later, when composers had attained a position of independent eminence and power as a result of a process that had started in Mozart’s time and made more clear with Beethoven. Schoenberg’s attitude and music widened the gap between an artists pursuit of perfection and the audience’s taste and preferences.  This, of course, was a result of larger historical processes and not the work of a composer; Schoenberg was a result of these, not a cause.

Franz Joseph Haydn: Seven Last Words of our Saviour on the Cross

Originally written for a classical orchestra as a commission for the Oratorio de la Santa Cueva in Spain, Haydn reworked this music intended as accompaniment for the mass as a string quartet at the petition of his publisher. Irrelevant here, but it is worth mentioning that the composer later adapted this work as an oratorio as well.

Arnold Schoenberg: String Quartet No. 2

Powerful and particularly lyrical in its melodies, this quartet is unusual in its use of a soprano in its last two movements.  About this quartet, the composer says:

“I was inspired by poems of Stefan George, the German poet, to compose music to some of his poems and, surprisingly, without any expectation on my part, these songs showed a style quite different from everything I had written before.” – Arnold Schoenberg (1937)

The work uses a wide array of work tools, starting with a very late romantic feeling and moving into atonal experiments; the last movements in which all chromatic tones are used.

4 Comments

Tags: , ,

Sadistic Metal Reviews 05-18-2015

smr-machinegune

The cause: Too many labels, too many resources, too many enabled idiots. The result: tons and tons of mediocre music. Occasionally a decent release or two. A handful of good albums each year. A classic every few years. In the advent of such a shitstorm, should we ignore the fecal matter covering our windshields, obstructing our view as we look for actually worthwhile releases?

torche-restarter
Groteskh – Code: END

Some think death metal is all about brutal riffs. The brutaller your riff, the awesomer your music. And if you pack your music with brutal riff after brutal riff, then of course, your music will be the brutallest. Some also think that black metal is “all about the atmosphere”. And what does atmosphere mean, according to simple minds? Well, come flat-sounding strummed riffs with an “evil” feeling. Groteskh plays in the modern style of boring death metal pretending to be black metal. And in doing so, trying to excuse the lacking death metal the band produces. Code:END amounts to “brutal riffs with atmosphere”, a delight for the moronic modern extreme metal commoner. Add in some parts with groovy drums, bopping bass and strummed “evil sounding” chords, and you got your death black party metal formula.

torche-restarter

Seven7 – The Follower

Best described as Mike Portnoy syncopations, Matt Halpern groove poserism,  power metal inclinations with Fred Durst and Chester Bennington deciding the musical direction, Seven7 make Nu Metal bent on taking the fraud of  Dream Theater’s pseudo-prog as part of its language. Frankly, it sounds like a Dream Theater unveiled to what it truly is: pretentious pop music. Disgusting at every level, this album is a collection of tropes from the mainstream melodic extreme metal appropriated to a Nu Metal and Alternative Metal context.

torche-restarter

Jarun – Pod niebem utkanym z popiołu

Jarun gives us a musically consistent Blackwater Park that is only folk in name.  Lose melodies out of context, racing double bass drums and “progressive” riffs riding under disorganized music that attempts to hide its simple structure under a lot of flare and affectation. The music here is essentially rhythmic appeal to headbangs and slightly bittersweet melodies ala Pink Frothy Aids. The introduction of purposeless riffs is a clear sign of a lack of vision in composition, but this crowd and those who surround them are oblivious to what this means. Condemned to live in delusion and pretension, this music appeals to those who want to pose as if they listen to deep or complex music but only want music that is easy to digest and headbang to.

4 Comments

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Classic reviews:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z