Musical surprises come in various forms and sometimes even within the most cliched tropes, bands manage to escape mimicking their peers with creativity and the will to truly express themselves through pre-defined methods. Here we look at three songs outside the metal universe that attempt such concepts with varying degrees of success.
DMU song contest #3 winners Mefitis return with their glorious debut album Emberdawn. “Kolossos Pt II” which was featured in the song contest gave us a glimpse into some of the incredible ideas that this band has shown. Mefitis has existed for over twelve years and had been plagued by various problems before being put on hiatus for a few years until remaining members Vatha and Pendath who had always been the core duo behind the band managed to reform and eventually release the excellent Widdrim Hymn. A powerful bond marked by shared philosophy has allowed this duo to craft what can easily be referred to as this decade’s greatest metal album. Combining the twin guitar approach of early At the Gates with the melodic sense of Demigod and then layered in the Norwegian Black metal style. Where these approaches have produced a dead end and hordes of imitators, for Mefitis they have opened up new methods for their brand of Dark metal.
Street Cannibal Gluttony/rehearsal 05/2019 consists of the Cannibal Gluttony demo and two new songs played in rehearsal,”Sadistic Drive” and a cover of Discharge’s “Maimed and Slaughtered”. A short release clocking in at just over seventeen minutes but shows the progression from a band alternating between Demilich like riffs and rapid fire Grindcore, to a band combining both in a smooth melange.
Upon initially hearing “Dead” on Autopsy’s Mental Funeral. Many would imagine that the second half consists of the same idea played on two different octaves before being harmonized together. While the call and response nature of this section may allude to that, the truth is surprisingly more complex as Chris Reifert and co decide to explore a much trickier idea of contrasting two related ideas played in opposition before reconciling them. Such notions are abound in rock music where the voice will alternate with the guitars during the verse before uniting with the chorus but in Metal such attempts have been met with general laughter. The more technical Hardcore bands would then introduce the poisonous and confused idea of then contrasting two completely unrelated ideas. Here Autopsy show that despite the simple nature of the melodies, that they are truly masters of the genre.
Sometimes it is essential to completely stray away from Metal for short periods of time. Like all passions, one must be willing to step aside and to distance the mind from it so that it does not morph into a constantly bombarding blur of tropes. This time I decided to shock my understanding of music by exploring styles that did not interest me or that I had strayed from over the years. Here are some of the more tolerable finding in what can be described as a sea of idiotic music comparable to the like of Metallica’s Lulu
Bardo Methodology started off as a website that published various interviews detailing philosophy and the occult, and were known for really diving in the heart of the matter. The printed formats contain extended versions of the interviews found online and hold no punches as a wide range of artists and writers are interviewed and encouraged to discuss their true opinions on various subjects without censorship or the routing associated with mundane questions that seem to plague metal interviews. Bardo Methodology is an insanely ambitious project that triumphantly succeeds but not without a small share of problems
Truly vicious Speed metal band Exhorder have previewed new song “My Time” after signing to Nuclear Blast(a death sentence in terms of quality for most bands) last year. Those expecting a return to Slaughter in the Vatican level of composition will be sorely disappointed. The last twenty seven years haven’t revitalized the band at all and there is little reason to believe that this exists for any other than a quick cash grab.
The comparisons to Pantera have numbed this band to the point where the band have decided on creating a bizarre mixture of their later albums but with a healthy dose of latter day Exodus to create standard Nuclear Blast Retro-Thrash for people who need even more Shovel headed Kill Machine. The blasts of anger funneled by almost labyrinthine arrangements give way to standard groove metal inspired Speed metal. Now complete with nursery level rhymes for karaoke while you angrily contemplate on taking over area 51. These chugs will put you in the right mood to drink your third can of Monster energy drink before your huge fortnite session. At least glam rockers Pantera had something to prove and could make decent Lite Metallica when they didn’t dance to their breakdowns.
Phantom are a mysterious band with no information on them apart from various claims that range from their music being called Terror or Phantom metal and that they are there to completely innovate the genre and to create acoustic terrorism. While such claims have been spurted by many artists in easy marketing attempts or to stir controversy before an almost identical band makes the same claim and receives their mandatory fifteen seconds. Phantom unlike other bands, seem sincere in their objectives and genuinely try to live up to these claims.
For many bands, summer is the perfect time to record music and to rehearse for live concerts in a boiling garage or studio. The festival season and the holidays allow many musicians to take time off to focus on implementing new songs to their set list or to push their capabilities as players. Where most players seek to play more technically dexterous music, a few friends of mine wanted to master a song that was simultaneously simple yet physically exhausting to play. Nihilist and Sodom both fit the bill perfectly but we would settle on “Sentenced to Death” for its brief periods of respite between the bursts of rapid picking. Though we thought of this song as being a basic and minimalistic slice of powerful metal, after our wrists and arms had been decimated completely, we came to realize that the true power of this song is not the constant madness but the final flurry that manages to go even beyond the insanity before it.