Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mid Week Metal Roundup

Mid-Week Metal Roundup

Floridian grindsters Maruta has decided to call it a day. The band had released two full lengths, including this year’s ultra-brutal Forward into Regression, on Willowtip Records and had seemed to be one of the bright future stars of grindcore. However, with losing all of the band’s original members, the remaining musicians decided to disband and move on to other ventures. Hopefully we see more from these guys in the coming years.

Vektor releases new album, Outer Isolation this week and it is a very solid follow-up to their highly acclaimed album Black Future. This progressive thrash band has been called the next Voivod based of their particular brand of thrash as well as their sci-fi inspired lyrics and even their logo has a similar look to it. However, the band is not some cheap rip-off of the legends, they are a young group that are forging their own place in the world of metal. This release will most likely be in a lot of people’s end of the year lists.

Canadian heavy metal heroes 3 Inches of Blood have announced that they are entering the studio to record their newest full length album, a follow-up to 2009’s Here Waits Thy Doom. This will be their 5th full length album and I can say that this writer is really looking forward to hearing some new material from these guys.

Here are a few other new releases:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Latest News and Notes in Metal

A lot has been happening in the world of metal recently. An ever revolving door of introducing new bands and discarding others, bands losing members and others reuniting, and too many new releases to count; our little sub-culture has seen it fair share of turbulence and joy over the past few weeks. One of the biggest pieces of news was released yesterday on 11/11/11 that Black Sabbath was reuniting with their original singer, Ozzy Osbourne. Not only are they reuniting but they announced they will do a world tour AND put out a brand new album! The detractors are always going to be there but the immensity of this announcement is huge. Some are going to say that Ozzy can’t sing anymore and that this is just a money grab, but I try not to think like that. I simply see this as one of the originators, one of the greatest bands ever to grace this floating blue marble coming back to cement their legacy and give us some great new music. Truly this is some great news for all metalheads.

In other and much sadder news, GWAR guitarist Cory Smoot AKA Flattus Maximus was found dead on Thrusday November 3rd. While on tour with Every Time I Die, Ghoul, and Warbeast, the band found Cory unresponsive in his bunk while heading up to the Canadian border. The entire metal community is still reeling from this news and we here at NW MetalHead Productions wish our sincerest condolences to Cory’s family, band members, friends, and all the fans who he has touch through the years. The band decided to soldier on and finish the tour, which could not have been an easy decision nor one anybody wanted to make. RIP Cory Smoot.

In other terrible news, Metallica released an album with Lou Reed called Lulu, and it’s better to just not talk about it……………

And now a few choice bands that have released solid efforts over the last couple of weeks.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gorematory - Zombie Slaughterfest

Gorematory – Zombie Slaughterfest

Here’s a recipe for you budding chefs out there, it’s called BrÜtal Stew. Throw in one part old school sounding death metal, a hint of thrash, add a dash of zombie inspired lyrics, and bake in a sweaty studio for a month and out comes a fresh batch of BrÜtal Stew. Many bands use this recipe over and over and very few of them create something groundbreaking.  Newer bands today have been listening to Cannibal Corpse, Dismember, Dark Angel, and Kreator for most of their musical lives and have taken parts of all of them and molded it into something very familiar. Familiar isn’t always bad, some bands turn it into something fresh and innovative, some bands make it sound stale and outdated, and others just pay homage to the originators and simply play some good old fashioned death metal. A newer band that definitely falls into the latter category is Gorematory from New Jersey. Their debut full length was released this year and is a solid helping of old school sounding modern death metal.  When listening to the album, one could be forgiven for thinking it came from Florida in 1993. Leading off the album is “Medical Execution,” a straight-forward death metal song suitable to start off a record. A driving rhythm kicks off the song and keeps it moving throughout until a headbangable breakdown creeps forward about 1:15 in.The song then transitions into that same driving rhythm until an extended instrumental kicks in and almost finishes the song where growls of “Execution! Execution!” are screamed over the original rhythm. The song sets the tone for the rest of the album as it continues on in much of the same fashion. Tracks like “Sadistic Slaughter” and “Mass Dismemberment” are particular highlights for this author, they drive with the same speedy rhythm followed by slow breakdown parts that make you bash your head against the stage. They have those archetypical death metal riffs with the ferocity of thrash mixed in for just the right amount of variety to not make it flat. However one track, “Crushed and Splattered,” does not do this very well, it becomes too repetitive and loses the attention of the audience. It starts off with a great slow groove but the song quickly becomes just the name of the song sung over and over and over again. Even with that low point, the overall sound of the album is great. It is not something innovative but for those of us that want a solid death metal groove, this is definitely a solid album. I look forward to hearing more from this band as they continue to grow their sound. They are not quite to the level of blowing up but there is potential behind these guys for the future.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Black Sun Aeon - Blacklight Deliverance

You know those days when nothing can make you go outside, those dreary rain-soaked days when it feels good to sit around and do nothing but contemplate one’s own mortality? Of course you do, we all have those days. And just in time for the upcoming winter, Finland’s Black Sun Aeon have come out with a brand new record to coat the cold souls of the damned. Blacklight Deliverance is the third full length put out by this melodic doom/death band and is one dense piece of writing. Black Sun Aeon is the brain child of Tuomas Saukkonen (Before the Dawn, The Final Harvest), a man who writes and records all the music, with the help of some live and studio musicians for select pieces, and rarely plays live. When the music is written and recorded all by the same man, you know his vision is going to come through in a clear fashion.  From the first track, “Brothers,” you get that sense of despair that Saukkonen really tries to get the listener to feel, from the death growls that seem to glide over the top of the thunderous riffs and moody atmosphere to the keyboards that paint the background. At the end of the track comes a soft acoustic passage with clean female vocals sung by Janica Lönn, a beautiful end to such a heavy track. “Solitude” is another standout track that starts off with Lönn’s vocals and features Mikko Heikkila singing clean vocals as well. This exceedingly melodic track shows the range of Saukkonen’s abilities as he sings his death metal growls underneath the clean singing of the other two vocalists all the while maintaining his signature heavy doom riffing and haunting keyboards.  The entire record screams with emotion that can darken even the brightest soul, evoking emotions of dread that can overtake one’s entire being. It’s music like this that brings you to metal because it is so encompassing that you find something new about it with every spin of the record. This is music to turn up loud while turning the lights off,and completely digesting the sound that bleeds from your speakers.