Wednesday 11 May 2011

Dissections, May 2011

Okay, so I have been writing a lot album reviews over the last few years, some of which never make it to print for the two magazines I write for, so, instead of just discarding them as I did previously, I will be posting them here. Thanks to all the people who send me promos, and to Sindre for some of these reviews.

(Sweden) Deceased To Exist

Okay. If I reviewed every band that claimed to be 'old school' I would JUST be writing about bad death metal records. However, every now and again, someone comes along with a sound that just says 'I have been hiding in a vault somewhere for 24 years'. No, I am talking about the daughters of Fritzl, but a decent death metal record that actually sounds authentic in every way, Deceased To Exist being a prime example. Continuing on almost directly from the dealings of conptemporaries Bastard Priest's LP last year, this is in no way reinventing the metal wheel—echoing Repulsion, Autopsy, et al—but what really makes this stand out is its touches of originality. Now, can any of you supposed 'old school' death metal bands go find a dictionary and look up that eleven-letter word, please.

(Sweden) The World. The Flesh. The Devil
Metal Blade Records

Swedish youngsters In Solitude grabbed everyone by the hair on their balls with their fantastic self-titled debut, and now with a new album on a major label featuring newly recruited guitarist Henke Palm of Sonic Ritual on board, they’re ready to conquer the world. Continuing with an evil mixture of Merciful Fate, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden-inspired heavy metal, they somehow escape going too far with the cheesy typical heavy metal clich├ęs like their ancestors may have done at the height of their fame. The production is huge and organic, but it sounds nether old school or modern, more or less timeless. The World. The Flesh. The Devil is most likely the best heavy metal album since the late 80s. Essential.

(USA) Stained Glass Revelations
Invictus Productions

Negative Plane's sophomore LP since their formation ten years ago is as nightmarishly spectacular as their debut, Et In Saecula Saeculorum. Retaining much of the paranoia and chaos of their previous work might've been a challenge to many of the scene's banal forerunners, yet Negative Plane achieve a very unique sound with this effort. It is a foul and rotten album thats stench is akin to a body left to rot next to a radiator on high in mid-summer with an air of intense confusion and enough originality [there's that word again…] to surprise even the most troglodyte of metal connoisseurs. This is unlike really anything else out there, and is not another tip at 80s or 90s extreme metal, but perhaps a portal to where the future of flagging genres like black and death metal may be headed before all die and burn to ash in the apocalypse next year.

SUMMON THE CROWS (Norway) One More For The Gallows
Ruin Nation Records/Southern Lord

Norway’s darkest, and in my opinion, best crust punk act Summon the Crows have returned—after years in obscurity—with a monstrous new LP. I’d never thought they would exceed their previous efforts, especially The Scavengers Feast album, but, here I am, blown away again. One More For The Gallows starts off where they left off five years ago - blistering groovy crust punk with loads of extreme metal influences, and for a crust punk band their instrumental skills are extremely impressive. Intricate riffing and sweet-ass bass lines that scream of Voivod influences, but without ever being close to ripping them off. The lyrical aspect of Summon The Crows are more like what you’d expect from a crust band - dark and political with a bleak and unflattering view of the world and its inhabitants. All in all, this record will chew you up and spit you out in a dirty gutter, and send you into oblivion. Check out “Beast of the Night” or “Enter the Shadow of a Tyrant” and you’ll know what I’m talking about. In crust we trust, indeed.

ALCEST (France) Le Secret
Prophecy Productions

Okay, technically this is a reissue, but, it does feature re-recordings of both tracks to have featured on 2005s "Le Secret" EP. This, as far as I am aware, started what is now a truly insipid sub-genre—shoegaze black metal or simply metalgaze. Either totally suck, but this really does not. There is enough here to satisfy even the melancholiest of My Bloody Valentine fans and perhaps, at the same time, Burzum fans alike, looking for what his recent releases may not have delivered. Time has not affected this, but the same cannot really be said for Alcest perhaps, as the re-recordings are almost throwaway. Worth noting that Neige was only 15 when he solely composed this EP. Have that Bieber, you fag.

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