Moroccan primitive electronica!?! Okay well the duo isn’t really from the Middle East but they temper the sounds of the Saharan Desert with the ethno-centric music of the Middle East while filtering it all through a mirage of experimental electronica and primitive noise ala Throbbing Gristle. Dangling elements of sonic manipulation while copulating with authentic middle-eastern textures and musical elements, Khamsa Khala (who is really Don Poe and Neville Harson with several guests), conjure a musical extraction that one rarely finds. Also the full-length disc comes packaged with a DVD of several music videos shot in Morocco and Egypt in full HD quality. Another money release from our friends at Lens Records.
Posts tagged experimental metal
Okay so I admit this review is well over due. But just because I’ve been slacking off, doesn’t deride any of the importance of how truly epic and essential Converge’s seventh record release is. Jacob Bannon (singer) and Kurt Ballou (guitarist) are two of the most influential people in metal/hardcore/heavy music today, with Kurt Ballou having established himself as one of music’s most revered producers/engineers with his God City Studio a well-sought after destination. Ballou’s resume in the production, recording, and engineering realm is as impressive as his own musical one with a long resume that includes The Hope Conspiracy, pg. 99, Cave In, Modern Life is War, Blacklisted, Champion, Scars of Tomorrow, Orchid, and Paint it Black among many others. Indeed the group as a whole is a visceral auteur of heavy music, paving the way for many other experimental and chaotic bands to land into a scene that is welcoming, always moving, and rarely if ever stagnant. On “Axe to Fall”, Converge yet again expands their horizons with wavering and sober moments like “Cruel Bloom” featuring bluesy gravelly vocals sung by Steve Von Till (Neurosis) amid moist piano and ambient acoustic guitars. “Wretched Bloom” also features a guest vocalist in Genghis Tron’s Mookie Singerman who smoothly pours out a velvet of clean vocals that oddly complement the typical raging storm of Bannon’s ferocity. The album pours out buckets of emotion into a room that was once soaked with blood but is now drying, peeling off red-flecked paint chips like a million past childhoods wrought with self-destructive actions, something a song like the punk-fueled “Cutter” seems to cry out on. Converge are champions of everything heavy and prove their worthiness of the crown by dipping their quill into an inkwell of heavy rock, visceral chaotic metal, churning hardcore, and melodic heavy alternative art. “Axe to Fall” will fell an entire forest before it’s through rockin’ you out.
Album opener “When Sun Comes Out” is an awesome dance-oriented rock song that blows your mind with phat bass lines and a kick drum that blasts through walls like the Kool-Aid Man. Stomping rhythms and dynamic melodies coalesce into a twisted new form of pop music that is fit for kings and ladies. Complex song arrangements and infinite sound spectrums numb your ears while the sick rhythms that only someone from Austria could build together mash your guts inside out. Humorous lyrics, crunchy distortion, and industrialized beats aren’t the only attraction with Bulbul, they blend their own uniquely weird take on electronica, hard rock, indie art-rock, and bass-oriented thick melodies for something just outside of the Jesus Lizard and Mr. Bungle. Damn good combustible rock that is impossible to put into any subcategory–unless that subcategory is ‘awesome’.
A one-man show of old-school black metal and doom, Hellveto likes to play with odd atmospheres and build upon that ambience for something truly bruising. The guitars can range from lo-fi garage noise to something right out of a 40-man orchestra. An odd combo but one that seems to work for Hellveto pretty damn well. While “Neoheresy” is nowhere near as menacing as the album title might suggest, it does strike a nerve. I would appreciate it if more blackened metal folks would focus more on the melodic side of death and gloom than always striking for the juggular with rough distortion, screaming wails and shrieks, and grinding blast beats.
Toronto’s own Nadja blitzkriegs the metal community with their brand of punishing fuzzy experimental metal opuses. Loud and crunchy bass lines up next to starlet guitar fuzz distorted into a dank underbelly of stench and rot yet still retaining that blissful state that only My Bloody Valentine could retain with such heavy distortion. Dreamy sludge metal drips from the vacant eyesockets of a skull lit by internal candles and a dizzying array of psychedelics. Imagine what would happen if your favorite sludge metal mavens got together, took a lot of bong hits laced with crystal meth and played metal until the electric company cut the power. All of this with the power of a drum machine that brings back memories of past Godflesh accomplishments. Dazzyling.
We all know what the Netherlands are famous for…orchestrated black doom metal of course! This intense and lo-fi abstract horror in “An Epiphanic Vomiting of Blood” sounds like the lost soundtrack that never was for horror movie “Susperia“. Ranging from panic-inducing blood-curdling howls and symphonic splatterfest scores, Gnaw Their Tongues have unleashed one of the most epicly disturbing and repulsive albums of abstract mania. Perhaps “Teeth that Leer Like Open Graves” tells it best with its confession from a mass murderer amid heavy decibels of distortion and insanity-driven crunch. If you’re looking for something demented to show how ungodly you are, this is fucking it.
Racebannon has always been one of those influential bands that most of the newer kids to the scene haven’t acknowledged or heard of despite the fact that they easily were some of the very pioneers of chaotic post-metal and hardcore. Once again experimenting with the very notion of rock ‘n’ roll with a defiant lack of ‘breakdown’s and clichés, Racebannon returns after a four-year hiatus on their new label Southern Records with a release in “Acid or Blood” that shows up anything Mike Patton or Melt Banana could create. You didn’t think that new singer for Dillinger Escape Plan came up with his style all of his own do you? Well regardless, “Acid or Blood” shows off a band that is unafraid of doing something different on each and every release despite their fanbase. Often compared to the likes of Converge, Racebannon is so much more than that with a firm grip on abrasive, cerebral metal. Distortion-heavy guitars churn and curdle with bouts of noisy anarchy. Drum-wise, I rarely find a band more intriguing and inspiring—it’s not just a bunch of fills and time signature changes but they really use their percussion as an instrument all on its own. This is the most important heavy music release in 2008.
Listen to “Sister Fucker” [MP3]
I’ve been awaiting Asva’s follow-up for a while now. Am I disappointed? Not in the least. In fact “What You Don’t Know is Frontier” is a landmark album of vast psychedelic post-metal from a group so wrought with talent that it’s amazing that people in the metal community still have no idea who these cats are. Asva trudges through a bleak landscape of post-metal cursed with stoned-out guitar distortion, crunching mid’s, and stark harmonies. You know how there are those sample discs that you can use to test out your new expensive stereo system or home theatre outfit? “What You Don’t Know is Frontier” is the only album you’ll ever need to test your surround sound system and speakers. Blessed with the likes of Stuart Dahlquist, he of Burning Witch, Sunn 0))), and Goatsnake fame, as well as members of bands such as Earth, Mr. Bungle, and Burning Witch, this instrumental opus is speckled with faint heartaches, sinister sounding organs, and gut-wrenching guitar fuzz. Raw emotion captured and controlled by some of the brightest pinnacles of the heavy doom metal and stoner rock community. In a word, awesome.
Listen to “A Trap for Judges” [MP3]
Boston has become known as a scene of mavericks in the hardcore and chaotic metal circuits. Ehnahre further exemplifies this theory with their amazing debut record “The Man Closing Up” on Sound Devastation Records. Featuring multiple guitars and even a double bass, Ehnahre is chaotic death metal with elements of doom and experimental orchestral instrumentation dotting the album. Each song is riddled with brooding percussion that devastates with bone-crushing might. Tackling on the experimental scene with an abandonment of traditional song structures, the group seems poised to walk the distance in a similar limelight that previous mavericks Isis, Converge, and Neurosis previously journeyed through.
Recently I was astonish when my wife brought home a mixtape that featured The Dillinger Escape Plan‘s cover of Massive Attack’s brooding bass-heavy “Angel”. Well that made me dig deep and find this resilient 2006 covers EP which featured a couple of DEP classics from the “Miss Machine” era as well as several very poignant remixes and stirring rehashings. After you finish off the sultry, sexy, and yet eerily dark and dank “Angel”, you are brandishing a double-edged sword in a cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Wish” off of their “Broken” EP–one of my personal favorites as Trent Reznor shows that he actually has the gritty balls to do something absolutely fucking insane with music and adrenaline at the same time. I love the breakdown which sounds like the singer gets almost bored of the line but forces it out anyway as well as the modem-esque synthetic distortion. One of the only good Soundgarden songs “Jesus Christ Pose” is re-touched as well (and brace yourself metal fanatics, it’s really ok, I promise) as a Justin Timberlake tune in “Like I Love You”. What you have here is something sick, twisted, violent, and yet essential and shows the influence that a chaotic experimental metal band could embrace.