Interview: Wes Infernal and Matt Mayhem (Blaspherian)

Blaspherian comes from Houston, Texas, and makes old school death metal with its own voice. Their music does not sound like any known band but is clearly influenced by the old school of booming, primitive, dark, introspective and alienated metal. Formed in 2004, Blaspherian arose from the collaboration of Wes Infernal — formerly of Infernal Dominion and Imprecation — and Desekrator, but rapidly branched out to include Matt Mayhem on drums and Apollyon on vocals and bass.

Since that time, through several releases culminating in Allegiance to the Will of Damnation, after which Joe Nekro replaced Apollyon, the band has been crawling its way to the top of the Texas death metal stack, and will release a new album, Infernal Warriors of Death, shortly. We were fortunate to get some moments to talk with members Wes Infernal (guitars) and Matt Mayhem (drums) about this raging force of death metal.

Is it hard for you to create new riffs, ideas, songs and a “voice” for yourselves in old school death metal, since so much of the genre was established before?

WES: Not at all. We’ve been at this for long enough that it comes quite naturally, although there are occasional “dry spells.” One thing that sticks out is out guitar sound… once you hear it, you know it’s us. That and the way I write creates an original “voice” for us, as I see it.

MATT: Wes and I continuously get better at writing together. I think both of our hearts are in death metal. That and our strict guideline of writing songs is what keeps the ideas flowing. The right part for the wrong song, the song as a whole, and most importantly to remain evil and heavy at all times.

BLASPHERIAN finally has a stable line-up. How did you (Matt and Wes) decide to form the band; what was the catalyst?

W: BLASPHERIAN was created by myself and Desekrator, the original vocalist. Matt joined a short time afterwards, when Desekrator and I decided to get a lineup together. We originally had the idea of starting a thrash band back in 2004, but then I realized for me it had to be Satanic death metal, as that’s my true unholy calling. I had been without a band for about a year, and had enough time off…it was time to create this sick unholy force known as BLASPHERIAN.

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen;
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And ‘Thou shalt not’ writ over the door;
So I turned to the Garden of Love
That so many sweet flowers bore.

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tombstones where flowers should be;
And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars my joys and desires.

– William Blake, Songs of Experience (1794)

Have the values of metal music changed from the early 90s? How, and what does it make you think?

W: The values have not changed for the diehards, for the true. But in the poseur world, of course their values change with every trend, with most of them eventually getting out of the scene altogether. To me, metal is a way of life, forever — until death. Long live the true metal warriors of death!

M: Unfortunately, I wasn’t there to experience the glory of the old days. I’m only 25, but the majority of the death metal I listen to is from the late 80s to early 90s. From what I see happening now, there are a lot of new killer bands coming out that keep that tradition alive. People are getting fed up with the bullshit that’s labeled “metal music” nowadays and rightfully so.

Wes Infernal has hosted the “From the Depths” radio show for a long time now. How long has it been, how has the show contributed to knowing metal, and has it showing you what is important to the listening audience influenced your approach to writing music?

W: I’ve done “From the Depths” since 2000, anno satanas. The show really hasn’t contributed to me knowing metal. I do the same things I’ve always done: buy CDs, collect records and magazines. The fun is turning all the listeners on to the stuff I get.

M: Honestly, I think to the older generation “Sweet Nightmares” was more important. Especially from the late 80s through the 90s. I know from my own experience before meeting Wes, “From the Depths” was definitely a pivotal point as far as finding out about new music goes. Me and my friends would get together and drink every Sunday and listen to awesome music we had never heard before. It eventually became a game of sorts, guessing which band he was playing at the time as well as an opportunity to test your knowledge of the underground.

When the band HELLHAMMER said, “Only Death is Real,” what do you think that meant?

W: To me, HELLHAMMER were one of the first metal bands to introduce death into their lyrical and visual themes. Life is short, death is eternal, therefore only death is real.

What were the early influences on your playing and songwriting, both individually and as a band?

W: Without a doubt, POSSESSED… and SLAYER. Which later developed into DEATH, MORBID ANGEL, etc.

M: In the beginning I think we were very influenced by INCANTATION, DEMIGOD, IMMOLATION, GRAVE, MORBID ANGEL and POSSESSED. I still try to incorporate those influences as much as possible, but I think that BLASPHERIAN has developed into its own beast by now! As far as drumming influences: Chris Reifert (AUTOPSY), Jim Roe (INCANTATION), and Craig Smilowski (IMMOLATION) are considered before all!

Does being fully metal conflict with having a career, family or non-metal friends? How do you all balance being in an occult death metal band with the needs of normal life?

W: Yes. It’s not easy, dealing with people that do not, and will not ever, understand the things I believe in or the things I do. You just have to go through life standing up for what you believe in. Try to explain, and most never get it. The few that do still think you’re crazy, which to me is hilarious. Explaining to a Christian how they are the embodiment of the herd mentality, and a slave in every way possible — I look forward to it sometimes.

When you write songs, do you start with a concept, or a riff, or something else?

W: It works either way. Sometimes a song title can trigger music, sometimes music will conjure a song title. But for the most part, at least so far, music gets written first.

How did you learn to play? Do you use music theory or another method? Did musical illiteracy help or hinder you in learning to make music that sounded the way you wanted it to?

W: I used to just jam along to SLAYER, METALLICA, and DARK ANGEL records. That was the foundation for me to learn everything I needed to learn. I know very little theory, really it’s more about pure feeling and emotion, each riff must mean something on a purely emotional level. So to me musically illiteracy has definitely helped, as strange as that may sound, because I would hate to have any kind of limitations, which is what theory is in my opinion.

I am not disclosing any trade secrets. In fact, the manager said afterwards that Mr. Kurtz’s methods had ruined the district. I have no opinion on that point, but I want you clearly to understand that there was nothing exactly profitable in these heads being there. They only showed that Mr. Kurtz lacked restraint in the gratification of his various lusts, that there was something wanting in him — some small matter which, when the pressing need arose, could not be found under his magnificent eloquence. Whether he knew of this deficiency himself I can’t say. I think the knowledge came to him at last — only at the very last. But the wilderness had found him out early, and had taken on him a terrible vengeance for the fantastic invasion. I think it had whispered to him things about himself which he did not know, things of which he had no conception till he took counsel with this great solitude — and the whisper had proved irresistibly fascinating.

– Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1902)

Starting with INCANTATION, occult death metal bands have a unique way of titling their songs, like “Enthroned in Blasphemous Triumph” that emphasizes an older, more complex, more formal way of speaking. Why do you think that is?

W: I’m not really sure. I just know I like titles like that — they are from the heart, that is the heart of pure darkness and evil — and to me that’s what it’s all about.

What are the differences between BLASPHERIAN and IMPRECATION, and how do these reflect what you’ve learned or thought in the intervening years?

W: The most obvious difference is that Phil and Ruben wrote most of the music in IMPRECATION, at least early on. In BLASPHERIAN, I write 99% of the music thus far. I will say that without IMPRECATION, there would be no BLASPHERIAN…plain and simple. Those guys showed me everything, 666 goat hails to those wonderful lads!

What distinguishes great music from bad? Can it be distilled into technique, or is it something less easily defined?

W: Lack of honesty, really. You know you hear something, and you know if it’s real; to me that’s the most important thing, moreso than sound quality or production…those things mean nothing. It’s what’s in the intent, the meaning behind the music, that matters, not production.

Your riffs sound to me like there’s a heavy MORPHEUS DESCENDS and ASPHYX influence. What are the pivotal bands for all old school death metal acts to know?

W: I love old MORPHEUS DESCENDS but it’s not like I listen to them all the time. More often, I listen to IMMOLATION, INCANTATION, old MORBID ANGEL, GOREAPHOBIA, and of course IMPRECATION. You mentioned ASPHYX; I would definitely throw them in there as well as old DEICIDE, PARALYSIS, CRUCIFIER… so many.

If you could re-live the underground years of 1988-1994, what would you do differently? Do you think that kind of era is coming back again for metal?

W: I’d collect more old records, go to more shows, collect more demos and posters. I’d keep all of my old stuff in better condition. Some of it got fucked up along the way. I hope the old era will come back. It seems to be going in that direction, at least on an underground level. A lot of the newer death metal bands are keeping the old spirit alive, like DEAD CONGREGATION, NECROS CHRISTOS, just to name a few. Hail to the old school, and hails to those that keep it alive.

Is metal a culture, like many other “subcultures” which are part of this one big culture we call modern society? If so, what are its values?

W: In a way, it is a subculture. Definitely a counter culture to the norms of modern society. Metal values — hmm — standing up for real metal, as well as keeping vinyl, spiked gauntlets, denim vests, patches, crushing poseurs, collecting metal, not following the herd mentality…fighting against the blind Christian fools… you know, the fun stuff in life.

Some have claimed that art is a warning to society; others say art serves a necessary role in celebration of life. Still others believe it should celebrate the artist. Where, if anywhere, do these views intersect?

M: Our goal is to spread as much negativity as possible. The music is most important to us, not recognition as artists or opinions of others. We create this music for ourselves but we also welcome those that enjoy what we do as well.

Now that you’ve got several shorter releases out, the most prominent being 2007’s Allegiance to the Will of Damnation, how are you going to expand your empire? Has your songwriting or approach changed?

W: We’re working on our debut full length, for one. As for changes, there are none really but I think the new songs are stronger. Better riffs, better arrangements… and more fast stuff. But unquestionably along the same lines.

Although your music is old school death metal, your songs seem to concentrate on creating an atmosphere of pervasive doom, then rushing back into energetic metal as if to imitate a camera panning away from a battlefield of devastation. What is the importance of this atmosphere in your music?

W: Contrast, kind of like a roller coaster ride. Not all fast, not all slow, a mixture to keep things interesting. At least, that’s what I shoot for.

Is there a relationship between how an artist sees the world, and the type of music he or she will then make? Do people who see the world in similar ways make similar music?

W: Interesting question. I’ve never thought about it; I don’t see how others see. But if I had to guess I’d say no. I think for someone that feels exactly like me, their art could manifest itself completely differently. I mean, if you look at death metal, most bands sound different, but some may have the same hate and the same musical influences.

The CD version of Allegiance to the Will of Damnation has two additional tracks that the vinyl does not have. Were these recorded at the same time? What’s their story?

W: The first track we recorded as a band was “To Walk the Path of Unrighteousness” and it was for the split 7″ with Adumus. The other tracks were recorded at the same time. We used “Of Unholy Blood” for the split with Evil Incarnate. It’s been an honor to work with these bands, and with these labels…horns forever up!

I’m excited about how good this CD is and am looking forward to future output, live performances and presence in the genre from BLASPHERIAN. I think our readers are too.

M: Thank you Brett for the tons of support!

W: Thanks for the great interview, absolutely one of the best so far. Also thanks for the support, and thanks to all that support true death metal. We do this for ourselves, because we love to create heavy evil, Satanic music… it means a lot when others enjoy it as well. Look for our debut Infernal Warriors of Death soon. Hail!

We shall be able to gather, if not to create, this Life; to transmute it into other forms of force, as now we transmute heat to light. We shall be able to store it, to harness it, to guide it; to absorb its energy ourselves directly, without resorting to our present gross, inefficient, cumbrous and dangerous means of abstracting it from ores (if I may say so) mechanically, blindly, empirically, and with such toil and strife. Our journey–by such means of transit–is necessary and hateful; our travelling companions are our diseases, and the host to ease us at the end of the short, the weary day, is Death.

– Aleister Crowley, Liber CCCXLIII: AMRITA (1920)

Photos by AngelaTXDM

No Comments

Obscura – Cosmogenesis / Kalisia – Cybion

“Progressive” death metal is probably the most difficult death metal subgenre to do anything interesting in, because for the most part it is mainstream metal given the spin with dynamic production, aesthetic variation and all kinds of pointless superimposed elements, giving only rehashes of the popular substyles of death metal. It does not come as a surprise that on the new album Cosmogenesis, Obscura blends very well into the bland mainstream oriented current of Gothenburg (esp. Dark Tranquillity) and tech-death (esp. Atheist) influences. While apparently taking their name from a perennial Gorguts favorite, this neo-progressive metal opera only hints at the beautiful quasi-random soulseeking of Alf Svensson’s space-themed Oxiplegatz project and fails to unite all the various tendencies and instrumental parts into a descriptive work: the acoustic guitars, the Cynic-esque clean vocals, the fusion guitar heroics and even the modern grindcore reminiscent of Nile comes and goes at will but fails to instate lasting effect because the structure is uninvolving. Who anyway thought that it’s a good idea to combine Cynic’s “Focus” with metalcore standards and “catchy” lead guitar? It’s the most anal “heavy” music in 2009 but, hey, it will get 10000% in Metal-Archives because the majority are suckers for this! I like to think that these guys are very good jazz musicians but for metal, sorry, unable to capture the intensity and genius of the originators of the death metal genre.

Resembling a ten times more cheesy Nocturnus, Kalisia utilizes mainstream metal production values to hybridize progressive space metal with Arch Enemy school death/thrash. It contains some astonishingly bad sequences, like those belonging to vapid jazz musicians attempting death metal, especially when the solos scream conservatory trained pop musician virtuoso. Think of the latest Cynic album and make it more commercial and add booming synths and easy listening female vocals. In a weaker approximation of the massive sagas of Oxiplegatz and Bal-Sagoth, Kalisia goes for pure theatre of the macabre, a narrative science fiction tale of soundtrack cliches, processed voices and ADHD mix of influences as if doing something new, but wimpy and non-challenging. Death metal can lend itself beautifully to science fiction operas (think of Nocturnus or SUP) but it works only when suggestive use of texture can build an alien landscape – this kind of shrill, digital and annoying pop-influenced soundscape is closer to Nightwish than real death metal. The wanking and the various processes make Kalisia sound flashy and hysterical, rooted in a human personality. It has too much safe music for people who do not dare to truly break out and dream of the Otherworld. The professional musicianship may satisfy a fan of mainstream metal, but there’s very little sparkling innovation, unique spirit or brutal force to make an underground metal fan’s passion ignite.

 -Devamitra-

No Comments

Tags: , , , , ,

National Day of Slayer — June 6

Originally inspired by the National Day of Prayer that religious groups created to draw attention to their beliefs, the National Day of Slayer was thought to be a holiday on June 6, 2006 — that’s 6/6/06 — but now it has grown.

http://www.nationaldayofprayer.org/

Thanks to support and enjoyment around the world, the National Day of Slayer is now the INTER-National Day of Slayer, and it happens every year on June 6 starting at hour six. On this day, metalheads worldwide stop the pointless activities of a boring world and listen to Slayer.

International Day of Slayer is bigger than one nation, or even one band. It’s a celebration of metal music through one of its most articulate spokesbands. It’s also revelry in the spirit that makes metal great. So on June 6, stop everything… and listen to SLAYER!

http://www.nationaldayofslayer.org/

No Comments

dm;wr

I was goofing off on the internet the other day and saw some commentary on the popularity of this meme:

tl;dr

Then, as I slogged through the latest round of promos tonight, another one came to mind:

dm;wr

It describes the black metal I’m hearing now that isn’t utter crap. It’s not bad, but it’s on the high end of mediocrity instead of the low end of genius. As a result, my thoughts on it can be summarized as Didn’t mind; wouldn’t reach for it again.

Hence, dm;wr — didn’t mind, wouldn’t reach.

No Comments

The Sacred and the Profane

Mircea Eliade from Romania is one of the most publically revered figures on history of religion and the philosophy of religion, even though at one point he had an interest in Garda de Fier, the Romanian fascist movement contemporary with Mussolini. Among his vast corpus of work, this treatise concerning primarily what it is that men perceive as sacred, is one of the most read and debated ones.

The point of talking about this book is that it’s the most succinct and lucid introduction to the concepts of sanctity and ritual from a neutral perspective. Theology is obsessed with the Christian material and the occultists are obsessed with whatever it is they are obsessed with at the time. Eliade, on the other hand, is remarking on the intention of ritual and temples, cosmogonical myths and how civilization deals with the problem of adjusting to time, the great destroyer, and nature/environment, the great nurturing force. It is not surprising that one finds a lot in common with the ideals of Nietzsche and Evola, such as the concept of cyclical time and eternal return. In stressing the otherness of that which is perceived as sacred, he has interesting parallels to Jungian psychology and seems to foreshadow Foucault.

I believe this book is most helpful to understanding the character of mystical and religious experience and ritual, which has a definite part in metal culture whether in the hippie-tinged early psychedelia, the archaic revivalism of black metal or death metal’s explorations of the religious-psychotic mind. Eliade’s book does have its problems such as putting forward of very generalized statements, some unclear arguments and stylistically the writing is rather bouncing. Yet it is very descriptive, luscious and inspiring. Besides being a scientist, it’s obvious that he is also fulfilling some artistic, visionary and personal aims with this study.

-Devamitra-

No Comments

Tags: , , , ,

Gary Valentine Lachman – Turn Off Your Mind

When it appeared, I thought this book mostly worthless, because from a few glances the factual errors, opininiated attitude and the fact that it’s aimed at hipsters who ironically appreciate the counterculture were obvious. Lately I have changed my mind: this is a valuable book for beginners who are wondering about the new age, cult and heretical obsessions from Lovecraft to Crowley, Manson to Castaneda and parallel topics that inflitrated heavy metal from the beginning and even more obviously death and black metal. The writer Lachman has previously contributed to the underground through his work in early post-punk bands Blondie and Television. He comes across as a honest and astute writer, even though his ultra-liberalism causes him to be very unobjective when facing topics such as nazism and murder – it seems he sometimes chooses not to see the context.

The best part is that obviously he himself was very much oriented from a young age towards the topics of the occult in the same spirit as old death and black metallers were: picking up those parts that seem to benefit the empowerment of man, reveal the experience of the mystical in life and reach towards transcendence no matter how “crazy” deemed by the public. And despite the aforementioned shunning of brutal elements in Western culture and counterculture, his conclusions tend to be sane and without the excessive burden of moralism. Overall, while labeled as a book about the 60′s, possibly for marketing reasons, in describing the threads that connected popular culture to esoteric practice throughout the whole century it’s a better guide to reveal the spiritual tendencies behind death metal, from Morbid Angel’s deities to Deicide’s blasphemy, than books that are actually about death metal itself.

-Devamitra-

No Comments

Tags: , ,

Beherit – Engram

Scheduled for release on April 9, Beherit Engram faces high expectations. Thanks to the generosity of some people devoted to art, we were able to hear six of the seven tracks on the new album, and get you a brief review.

Engram thrusts forward through the past in a return to form for black metal, but takes it to the next dimension past Burzum’s Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, which effectively ended black metal by taking it to ambient in the first place. Developing on the concepts shared between ambient music and metal, Engram is really raw but intensely structured, with a deepening mood.

Instead of opting to make a black metal/ambient fusion, Beherit combine the ideas of raw primitive ambient black metal with atmospheric music that works with the texture of sound more than discrete notes. Faster than Drawing Down the Moon, it resembles the material from the Archgoat split given more structure and prismatic depth without losing its primitive gestalt. This is a smart way of not trying to reinvent black metal, but recontexting its riffs in such a way as to pick up where Burzum’s Hvis Lyset Tar Oss left off, which is an attempt to create a mood where one is barely aware that there’s music but gets lost in the muscular clarity of a raw emotion reflecting a primal, naturalistic reality.

The use of repeated non-distorted motifs reminds me of Burzum’s Hlidskjalf as well. There’s a clear Sarcofago influence, and something that sounds like a fusion between Bathory albums The Return and Octagon, sometimes augmented with a noisy, melodic cornering reminiscent of later Darkthrone. Like most Beherit works, these songs uncannily grow on you like mysticism in the darkness.

Black metal has been so stale and boring for the last fifteen years, it’s awesome to have something to look forward to with excitement again. This does not just rehash the past, but inherits it, and subtly develops its ideas consistenly and yet with creativity, moving to a new space for this music to flourish. Engram may win you over surprisingly quickly; it’s organized, has heart, and in the transitions of its dark moods tells us something for the ages about how to survive humanness with elan. Perhaps it is a template for the next generation of black metal.

01. Axiom Heroine
02. Destroyer of Thousand Worlds
03. All in Satan
04. Pagan Moon
05. Pimeyden Henki
06. Suck My Blood
07. Demon Advance
Length: 43:02

Spinefarm pre-order page

4 Comments

Amor fati

My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it — all idealism is mendaciousness in the face of what is necessary — but love it.

– Friedrich Nietzsche, “Why I Am So Clever” in Ecce Homo, section 10

This a great summation of Nietzsche’s method; an outlook unswayed by the petty gusts of popular opinion, or common knowledge, in pursuit of what is real, including acknowledging both the “ugly” and the “beautiful.”

It is also essential to the approach taken by metal: recognize the world for what it is, pull no punches in describing it and use this relentlessly regardless of mere social consequences.

ATHEIST, one of death metal’s most cosmically literate bands, seems to agree:

Another notch in a cosmic climb
Reveal our sanity, reveal your plan divine
To grasp reality is to grasp your biggest fear, you see
Every circumstance is very meant to be

– ATHEIST, “Piece of Time”

No Comments

Is downloading MP3s “stealing”?

Stealing depends on the intent of the downloader and the artist.

With death metal, for example, where 5000 CDs sold is an out-of-the-ballpark smash, artists love it when you download their music — much of which is out of print. They gain fans; sometimes, enough fans leads to CDs being re-pressed.

If the artist wants to gain fans, and the downloaders want to buy the CD if they really connect with the music, the situation is good.

As with all downloads, there are some people who will never buy anything and will just leech. However, they weren’t going to buy the CDs anyway. Leeches just leech. DRM doesn’t stop them, but it does hassle ordinary users who might want a second copy of Deicide’s “Legion” for the car or something.

In my view, downloading is a boon to small and niche genres with fanatical fans; it’s a loss for big box store style pop genres, whose fans only care for novelty. Oh well — the destruction of that music is a win for art :)

TechCrunch

Death metal never plays by the rules. People buy the music because it’s eternal, not new. They want to own it so they never lose it, not because it’s worth something outside of its enjoyment. And, almost everyone else hates it and thinks it’s degraded noise made by failed reprobates. But luckily, not playing by the rules means you’re outside the popularity leads to money and power game. Instead, you can focus on the art itself. That’s transcendence of a kind.

No Comments

Comeback albums you can forget

We all know the syndrome: old band with a recognized name pops up, and we think, their old stuff was good; it’s great they’re back!

What they’re thinking is that they don’t want to go back to working at Target, so here’s a chance to cash in on the old name. They no longer hope to get big, but now, they just want six months or a year of something more interesting, and they’re going to use you toward that end.

Of course, they’ve forgotten that even though most of the metal audience are dunces at this point, the rise of MP3s means that we can hear the stuff in advance, and pitch it in the bin for being junk. So their comebacks fail.

Pestilence – Resurrection Macabre

Did you ever wonder what would happen if you streamlined the dry production of PESTILENCE’s Testimony of the Ancients to meet modern standards, and kicked around substandard versions of some of the band’s backcatalog riffs into mind-numbing ABABCAB cut-and-paste architecture? What if the illiterate jazz was jammed in every song in the form of the guitar solo? Nary a song passes without hammering the one- or two-word song title home as chorus in some manner; the bafflingly sophomoric lyricism is merely occasionally deferred. Just another testament to the pervasive laziness of this entire affair, and revealing of the pathetic scheme they are implementing in trying to sucker in the most ancient of the longtime fans. Without that motive, it is nearly incomprehensible that a band would return from a giant sabbatical to cobble together this rubbish.

Absu – Absu

There’s no polite way to say this but: this CD sounds like everything else out now. A whole lot of power metal riffs, a few death metal structures, and some melodic parts borrowed from the new wave of Swedish black and death metal bands. What does it add up to? Randomness. No one cares except the kids who’ve invested themselves in being metalheads and so pretend to like this stuff. For serious listeners, this is a waste of good musicians on disorganized, repetitive, obvious material.

Suffocation – Suffocation

Yeah, this is an oldie. I mention it not because it’s incompetent. It barely changed styles, and all the rules are still followed. It just has no soul. It’s a hollow album that you can listen to for several weeks, then wake up and think, if it left my life, would I care? And then you realize that if Pierced from Within left your life, you’d shit bricks. It’s in the “A- and why bother” category, which is sad given the vast potential of this band. I think after the style they invented got appropriated by Cannibal Corpse, who took it to vast popularity, they got bitter and have been trying for revenge by success ever since. Doesn’t work that way.

Seance – Awakening of the Gods

This is every bit as painful as the Pestilence, but less cynical. I think they tried to figure out what The Kids Today like, and so made a product, but it ends up being unsubstantial, yet not catchy enough for the kids who are buying the real idiot fodder. So they’ve both alienated their own audience and failed to gain the big-time audience, which makes this album an uber-fail. Banging drums and super-loud distortion run around my head in circles, riffs are made like Soulfly without the bounce, and the whole thing is a grab-bag of influences and half-finished ideas. Next, please.

Lots more death metal bands are up on the block. If they didn’t have the presence of mind to keep going after the 1990s metal boom, they’re probably not going to fit today’s audience, which means that if they’re writing an album, they should simply target the old schoolers and do what they do best instead of trying to fit in. Also, they should know that any self-reference title, or reference to resurrection, rebirth, awakening, etc. means the album will blow ass because they are thinking of nothing but themselves. I expect none of them will figure that out.

The best metal albums continue to be those composed by intelligent, thoughtful, realistic people who make music that they think they would enjoy. Not surprisingly, other people of the same inclination also enjoy it; it gets lost in the flood of music for drones, like emo, nu-black/hardcore/shoegaze, carnival music, bad heavy metal, and other stupefactive nonsense.

No Comments
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