French Canadian Gothenburg style metal band Forteresse announced a rehearsal album, Récits Patriotiques, today for all those who care about their boring Gothenburg material that sounds like early Amon Amarth with no tempo changes or variations for beer metallers who do not critically listen to music and prefer to just leave metal on in the background like a heavier version of smooth jazz they can ignore and check in on once every two minutes to see if the band did anything new or are back to scratching their asses. Récits Patriotiques will be released on March 18th, 2017 by Sepulchral Productions on 750 CDs for 750 fundergrounders or hipsters who want to crank frogified Davy Crockett metal to feel special about themselves like kale-flavored ice cream sandwiches. Preorder Récits Patriotiques here if you hate money and wear coonskin caps during sex.
Guns get the job done.
Thirty year old British metal magazine Metal Hammer is no more after its parent company Team Rock Ltd went into administration due to losing 8.8 million pounds last year. The printed mainstream media was unable to compete content wise with zines back in the day and the internet has finally put it down. Seventy three shills are rightfully out of work.
Article by Lance Viggiano.
Norma Evanglium Diaboli announced a new EP from crusty noise rock band Teitanblood. Accursed Skin consists of two lengthy tracks: “Accursed Skin” (14:28) and Sanctified Dysecdysis (11:46). Writing riffs is hard because it requires some modicum of actual creativity when you aren’t bashing power chords or lifting material from others. That’s why Teitanblood quit trying immediately after the mediocre Seven Chalices and let itself be carried by presentation and aesthetic to a greater degree than that record was on Death. Accursed Skin will be the second instance of this band using already released material to pad out the run-time of an EP as they cannot conjure up enough static, lukewarm grind/crust riffs and cool vocals to fill a release with new material.
A few years ago a mallcore band named Waking the Harbinger posted demo tracks on Metal Archives. The music was assailed by regulars whose corrective actions coerced the young upstarts into adopting a formulaic approach to Malevolent Creation and Cannibal Corpse tier artistry. Ossuary Insane play relentlessly empty upgraded pizza parlor speed metal with all the bells and whistles of intensity innovated by that movement within the metal tradition.
Article by Lance Viggiano responding to Steve Cefala’s comment spam on Lance’s Sadistic Metal Review of Nothing Left’s demo.
People really need to understand that reviewing – when you aren’t listing the objective qualities of the music – ultimately comes down to the reviewers taste and experience.
The problem is ultimately that our culture cannot discern the difference between values and facts. More specifically, they treat values as if they were factual statements. So, habitually, they lose their shit over contrary irreducibly individual judgements.
I’m sure this guy can find a hundred other metal critics to praise what I think is lack luster. Still, the most embarrassing bit is that a 40 year old man has to resort to trying to fight at the flag pole after school over differences.
Steve Cefala of Dawning and Nothing Left blew up at our staffer’s Sadistic Metal Review of the Nothing Left demo and spammed comments to several recent articles of ours Saturday:
Article by Corey M.
Overall satisfying (but not quite inspiring) straightforward songs with equal parts thrash and proto-death metal present. I don’t quite hear the “occult” sound these guys are evidently going for; their music sounds too immediate and, weirdly, fun. The band members clearly enjoy creating this music and therefore their work is free of pretense; no revivalist coat-tail riding here. Expect to hear fairly similar-sounding riffs throughout, without much in the way of dynamics. Compared to their contemporaries in bands like Nifelheim and Aura Noir, Occult Burial are competent and maybe even a step ahead of the more popular bands that mix thrash with modern metal because they aren’t impeded by gimmickry. Their lack of theatrics may work against them because they will probably continue to be overlooked until they learn to cut loose and let their imaginations run a little more wild with their songs. Compared to the more aggressive speed metal classics from Coroner and Razor, parts of Hideous Obscure are downright boring. Even playing a bit faster and cleaning up the recording could do wonders for the effectiveness of these songs. Some parts sound truly terrible. For instance, the snare drum sounds in the words of my favorite robot puppet “like a bag of sardines thrown up against the side of a pole barn.” Nevertheless there is promise here and I would reserve more judgment until Occult Burial release a proper-sounding album or I can catch them live.
Having never heard of Gama Bomb before this album, after the first few moments of music I was afraid that I had gotten ahold of some sort of the modern-faux-thrash-revival that is somehow cool to people who don’t listen to thrash bands. But I was wrong; Untouchable Glory is not a forced revival or a rip-off; it’s just dumb music. This not to say that the guys in the band are dumb, because they clearly have practiced their musicianship and are attentive to the dynamics and compositional symmetry in their songs. But the result of what they do is still dumb, and apparently they want it that way.
The basis of Gama Bomb’s style is made up of high-speed two- or three-chord minor riffs over which a vocalist rants and chants cleverly cadenced lyrics with just enough emphasis that his voice never becomes a full-on yell but keeps up (barely) enough energy to avoid sounding bored. A typical Untouchable Glory song starts up at full-speed right out of the gate and rushes through a verse, then hits you with slightly bouncier, chunkier variation of the same riff you just heard (but transposed a few steps up or down) as the drums switch from dense d-beats to a sort of swaggering rock rhythm. After that comes the chorus, which is usually not made up of a more interesting riff but does have some very catchy vocal pattern that, coupled with the rapid-fire lyrics, creates a hook powerful enough to snag a whale. Some songs have guitar leads and these are mostly made of 16th-note blather with no discernible direction other than back and forth because that’s the extent of the movement of the chords. There are a couple of times where the chords underneath the lead shift unexpectedly and the lead follows (which undermines the purpose of a lead! Maybe I shouldn’t be calling the guitar antics “leads”…) and resolves the progression in a viscerally satisfying way. However this satisfying resolution is all too rare and the guitar leads rather serve as marks of distinction among the generally formulaic songs.
So far, I’ve only pointed out common failings of metal albums – probably more than 95% of all metal commits the transgressions that I’ve detailed above. So what makes Untouchable Glory worse than a mediocre album is the purpose mentioned in the first paragraph? Gama Bomb is made up of competent musicians, but they have no ambition. Every song sticks to the same method of structure and dynamic manipulation. Every lead begins and ends in the same way. The band must rely on their vocalist and his method of delivery, which does a great job to augment the repetitious rhythm of the guitars, but this only exposes the weakness in the guitar and drum composition, because the vocals never let up or give the music a chance to expand beyond its immediate template. Typically I’d refer to chord progressions when describing song structure but the chord patterns that make up the songs on Untouchable Glory don’t progress, they just recycle. This tendency in the composition reflects the band’s attitude toward metal (and presumably music) as a whole.
The ultimate failure of this album is not in its compositional shortcomings but in its intentional stupidity. Song subjects cover kitsch and cliche topics such as getting high, getting drunk, hating authority, burning witches, being a ninja, and being undead. That these topics are dealt with is not enough to warrant criticism, but the self-consciously ironic attitude that Gama Bomb takes towards the topics is what separates them from quality acts that they are aping. Metal and punk bands have been covering these topics for decades but they didn’t have their tongues in their cheeks while doing so. Since those topics were taboo, metal bands explored new methods of song construction to fit with such uncomfortable or repulsive themes and great music was created as a result (and I always refer the uninitiated to Iron Maiden’s “The Number of the Beast” or Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” for an example of how musicality and lyrics support one another to establish and expand on a theme). Meanwhile, Gama Bomb have nothing new to say about any of these topics and so it would logically follow that they needn’t invent any new music to support their take on the topics. Thus all we get to hear is basically a parody of speed metal and thrash. If you think that type of music deserves to be joked about, then Gama Bomb might be right for you. If, however, you appreciate and honor the innovators who brought extreme subjects into popular music and brainstormed methods of expressing them musically and lyrically, then you’d best move along, because Untouchable Glory is an affront to honesty.