Tuesday, August 20, 2019
LUNAR SHADOW - The Smokeless Fires
Cruz del Sur Music
Over the past decade I've gotten to the point where I don't care to dis on bands. On the other hand I have no problem dissing people who push over hyped horseshit. Case in point here we have Germany's LUNAR SHADOW who I never heard of till today. I must have a life because according to some promo info, as well as quotes from other music scribes, they've been the "IT" band since their debut, Far from Light, came out a few years back. Obviously I must have been picking my nose at the time in order to have this second coming over looked.
Give me a fuckin break! OK so this is supposed to be classic metal meets Scandinavian black metal. Excuse me but a few tremolo picked riffs during two songs does not make this DISSECTION influenced. What we have here is simply, and symphonic at times, Euro power metal. They're from Germany OK. Somebody call BLIND GUARDIAN and tell em there's some upstarts biting at their heels as well as their Nuclear Blast record contract.
A few times these guys are interesting like when they're stealing from MAIDEN on songs like "Laurelindorenan" or the even more epic "Hawk of the Hills". The bottom line here is they're following a power metal formula of MAIDEN-esque dual guitar harmonies as well as song structures minus the Steve Harris bass. Add to that a vocalist with a decent yet commercial sounding falsetto. Worse yet is their piano interplay which makes me cringe. Look it's power metal, nothing wrong with that if you're a fan of the genre OK? Get A Life!
AGGRESSIVE PERFECTOR - Satan's Heavy Metal
Dying Victims Productions
Never let some demo recorded material go to waste. At least that's what the major metal labels swear by even if the material is shit. But in this band's case we have something better. AGGRESSIVE PERFECTOR are an English three piece act who are devoted to old 80's hardcore/speed metal. They'll have their debut full length, Havoc at the Midnight Hour, out in October on Dying Victims Productions. Before you grab onto that they have something here as a teaser.
In 2016 the band released their demo Satan's Heavy Metal. It was just a four song effort. So just for fun the good people at DYING VICTIMS PRODUCTIONS decided to re-release the demo with a fifth track. So if you're one of those people who has the original and limited demo. Now you've got to get this as well.
Satan’s Heavy Metal is a decent release because it has that past era feeling going for it. Sound wise it has a direct link to the past and I should know because it's my era of music. Ya know there are plenty of well known acts out there pushing the whole crossover vibe and acting as if they're the next generation to the bands from the glory days. Well BULLSHIT because I'll take AGGRESSIVE PERFECTOR over those poseurs any day. Nuff Said, now where's the full length?
Monday, August 19, 2019
ELBOW DEEP - Bodily Fluids
Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
Some band names you never forget like this act from Chicago, Illinois. I was first introduced to ELBOW DEEP a few years ago with their debut full length Sexually Offensive. Seriously if your album cover art displays a Transformer (you know those cartoon/movie robots who turn into various vehicles) fucking a kiddie car (with kids riding in it) at the park while parents look on in horror. It's gotta be something worth checking out.
Musically the band was like The MENTORS meets IMPETIGO. It was not an unusual combination but definitely a win in my sicko department of extreme. A year later, to my amazement, they did a split release with The MENTORS (Sickie Wifebeater and Dr. Heathen Scum's revived version). Now a year later we have this their second full length.
I can't say much has changed with this band but then again you're not expecting progression with this style of music. It's still lyrically sick and twisted death metal with plenty of added moments of grind, thrash and a touch of doom. While the easily offended crowd will look at this with disgust. I on the other hand weigh it's value via the humor content. It also reminds me of a metal version of an old band I'd seen years ago called STOOL SAMPLE. I've still got their 7"er "Suck My Dick While I Take A Shit".
If you wanna take the ELBOW DEEP plunge then you'll be covered in bile with the likes of "Afterbirth Slip-N-Slide" or all thirty six seconds of "Shit in My Mouth and I'll Puke It All Out All over Your Face". Another favorite of mine here is "Curdled Preteen Breastmilk Smoothie" which in all honesty did invoke some gagging. And of course what I'd call the crack bum anthem "I Shat When I Came". Naturally music like this does contain various sound-bites all of which are hilarious.
In a way listening to this reminds me of days long passed when I'd go to K-Mart on weekends wearing a G.G. ALLIN shirt with the words "Suck My Ass It Smells" written on back. I'd be in their with friends picking up some staples for a cookout or the house. Plus to pick up the Saturday night party essentials as in a gallon of Crisco oil, three heads of iceberg lettuce, a pack of blank VHS tapes and the small plastic kiddie pool. I loved the looks the ladies at the check out counter gave us. Priceless!
NUCLEAR REVENGE - Let the Tyrants Rise
Evil Spell Records / Undercover Records
As for me I haven't heard a lot of what I'd define as traditional black metal which kicks fuckin ass this year. On the other hand it's been it's sub-genres which have been enjoyable as hell. Case in point here we have the debut full length by Spain's NUCLEAR REVENGE. This four piece act are full on blackened thrash.
Now for those readers of SFM666, you all know my thing with blackened thrash. As far as it's role in modern times it's become generic mainly by half ass acts being cookie cutter produced. That is not the case here. We're talking fierce and fast cuts ripping with bloodletting vocals, decent riffs and a no care rhythm section.
Musically this is a combination of KREATOR, SLAYER and SODOM. You will love every second of this one. It's totally low fi as fuck as far as production goes. The drums have that Tupperware sound as well as cymbal rides sounding like pans being pounded. Yeah it's 2019 but this comes across as Teutonic Thrash 1990. An amazing release from a band you need to keep an eye on.
BASTARDIZER - Dawn of Domination
Evil Spell Records/Undercover Records
There are three styles of extreme music Australian bands do well and that's black metal, thrash and hard fuckin rock. Now even though this band's genre tagline is blackened thrash I think they combine all three previously mentioned styles well. Frankly that just makes this great intense sounding metal.
Now aside from the intro, which sounded like early MAIDEN and I won't count, this release is ten fuckin cuts of head-banging and at times slam pit action inducing metal. BASTARDIZER are not re-inventing anything. It's basically SLAYER, MOTORHEAD and VENOM influenced speed metal with some mild breaks for rocking it out. Every song on here is cool as fuck! Hails to this Australian four piece act and this their second album.
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
MIDNIGHT PRIEST - Aggressive Hauntings
Metal on Metal Records
The PRIEST is back! Yeah I know this is a different PRIEST. This one here hails from Portugal, has been around for a decade and here we have their third full length. Actually I am familiar with this band since a year ago I had written about the band, TOXIKULL, which is a side project of MIDNIGHT PRIEST's frontman Lex Thunder. After that I checked out one of their past releases and became a fan.
This one starts out with "The Law", an instrumental intro sounding similar to Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D minor". From that point onward the band kicks into their brand of KING DIAMOND worship. Lex Thunder's vocals are the key element here. He has an amazing falsetto as well as that speak/sing voice just like the master himself. You could also toss in some Halford, or any other high note singer's style as well.
Add to that their duel guitar attack with Iron Fist and Steel Bringer (great names) bring about some fiery riffs and cool soloing which is extremely important to this style. There are a few times they move away from the whole KING DIAMOND thing and come across being more Painkiller era PRIEST like. Since I like all of that stuff from the past it's obvious I'm gonna love a fresh take on it all. To put it simply this is a great fuckin album.
Saturday, August 10, 2019
FEN - Stone and Sea EP
For the past bunch of years I've repeated the same jargon about every new release by FEN. This time I'm gonna cut it back some. I really liked their debut The Malediction Fields back in 2009. Then every release afterwards devoted too much emphasis on shoegaze influences than black metal. But in 2017 their full length Winter won me back over.
So here we are now with a new three song EP and my first thoughts are that the middle appearing title song sucks. A neo folk ditty which deserves to be on an EP or at least a throwaway track for filler on a full length. Third song "The Last Gravestone" is reminiscent of the material on their last album. The opener, "Tides of Glass" is total shoegaze worship from their mediocre releases. I think these tracks are studio throwaways albeit enhanced to a degree which gives em a demo pass. I guess I'm back to hating FEN again.