Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Enabler - Eden Sank to Grief

Official Myspace
Release Type: Tape (lmt 150) digital and vinyl soon.
Released: April, 2010
Label: Halo of Flies
Genre: Hardcore

So this is the first thing I've bought in awhile (besides the recent Thou tape), because I've been trying to save money after my recent acquisition of a ticket for Maryland Deathfest That's right boys, I'm heading to that pie in the sky...

Anyway, what we've got here is another trusty offering from Halo of Flies, a small DIY outfit in Milwaukee that's put out gems by Protestant, Fall Of Efrafa, Thou, Half Gorilla, and now Enabler; I've yet to be disappointed by anything I've heard from them. Enabler sports a hefty lineup of members from Abaddon, Regrets, The Butts, Party by the Slice, Quest for Fire, Dead Issue and the former drummer (on guitar here in Enabler) of Trap Them,Today is the Day,Shai Hulud, etc.

Enabler's style, in a nutshell, is metallic hardcore baring a resemblance to His Hero is Gone, Trap Them, Integrity, and heavy darker power violence acts like Hatred Surge. Eden Sank to Grief features eight songs and so far is a limited tape, of which only 150 were made. Plans to go to vinyl I believe are in the works.

I like Enabler, plain and simple. Eden Sank to Grief starts perfectly, a quick d-beat into a bar of lone bass chugging along, then back to d-beat then out of nowhere a soaring solo. Within a minute or so, Enabler establish themselves as more than just a HHIG worship band, and thank Whatever. "Unconditional Surrender" continues the pace with blast beats sparsely used and impressive work along the fretboard, a very Gothenburg styled track. Things continue at a frantic pace until the middle of "Fucking Wartorn" where the listener is able to rest their neck and stomp around for a bit. Strong rhythmic shifts accompanied by leads, solos, a barrage of vocals and powerful drums keep your attention for the short ride. That lead midway through "Renegrenades" is awesome, almost gets into post-rock territory there.

I don't have any complaints about this one, Enabler know their sound and know the job, there's no missteps and no blunders. It's a surgical strike of heavy-as-fuck hardcore that should impress fans of Entombed as much as fans of Indecision.

Ol' Bill said it best, "brevity is the soul of wit," there's not a second wasted with this ep.

Take a listen here and you can buy it here (scroll down a bit). It's only 5 bucks, no excuses!


On a side note, I hope everyone's got their eyes peeled for Machetazo's up coming Necrocovered, I'm shitting my pants about this one. Machetazo doing covers With all star guest vocalists? Can't lose.

Monday, April 26, 2010

To Live a Lie

So yeah, we've got a spanking new review from the stalwart of grindademics, 206, the return of Axel with a brutaler than thou review and me, with a useless post.

I looked into Insidious Torture's Lust and Decay but I couldn't see the point in reviewing it as it's decent brutal deathmetal that is more grinding than churning; but nothing worthy of a review. Instead I'm turning back to a gem of 2007, In Disgust's Reality Choke.

Only putting out a comp of all their material in 2009, In Disgust have been slacking. Hopefully the Sharks's(my western conference fav and pick for the cup) success will goad them to releasing something soon. They have 5 releases pending, one of which is a split with PLF, which should be awesome.

Reality Choke itself, is 15 songs clocking in just over 11minutes of low gurgles, ear-piercing shrieks, thick guitars, and relentless blasting. Treading a fine line between power-violence and death metal, In Disgust implore excellent build ups that pay off in beautiful furies of blast beats and endless shrieks. Similar to Insect Warfare in song writing and riffs, In Disgust carry a more heavy and urban vibe, relying heavily on shifts in rhythm to really bludgeon you.

Pacing, riffs, moments of feedback and no remorse make Reality Choke one of my favorite "fast" eps, and by that I mean anytime I want something with energy, animosity, or anger I turn to Reality Choke. "Cali Smile" is a brutal build up of a song that pays off in "Shoulda Known," a furious, fast track.

If there was ever a recording to listen to whilst walking up and down the street smashing everything and everyone with a sledge hammer it'd be Reality Choke. The cover says it all, life is fucking filthy.

Band's Site
Reality Choke

Oh, and a bonus while I'm talking about bands that thrive off my inner tough guy and seething anger, here's a little diddy from Weekend Nachos who have a song off their upcomming ep on their myspace. The new track's okay, much slower and more mosh oriented. I don't know what John's really saying, if it's a joke, or if it's real or whatever, but i find it amusing.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Inhume - Moulding the Deformed

Inhume Myspace
Release: 2010
Label: War Anthem Records

Yup. Ladies and gentleman, Axel Sikth has returned to dispense Chainsaw Justice upon this earth once more. Since most of our readership right now weren't here in CJ's early days (read: about a year ago when 206-grind and FleshMonolith weren't the sole writers because it was still a one-man op) I'm sure no one knows who the fuck I am. I actually do not mind too much and therefore will spare the history lessons and self-indulgent self-introductions. I shall leave it to my flawless writing and exquisite taste to win you over.

Now onto this review. To quote a Metal Archives acquaintance of mine, "New Inhume is total titties". If we take "titties" here to mean "good", then sure, I suppose I could agree, but only partially. If it meant "bad", I would have a similar response. "Yes, but not completely." Let me elaborate.

If you loved the delicious slab of brutal deathgrind that was 2007's Chaos Dissection Order, then you have a decent chance of enjoying this album. It's got the same Insect Warfare-style vocals (bowel-shifting low gutturals speckled with rabid shrieking), the same blindfire-blast sections transitioning into some killer grooves, and heavy-as-falling-skyscrapers guitar tones (except beefier this time around). With Moulding The Deformed though, Inhume explored a couple of new things, and perhaps, because of that, the aforementioned old things suffered.

Besides the newly buffed guitar tones (think of Insect Warfare's World Extermination compared to their stuff off the This Comp Kills Fascists, Vol. 1 compilation), changes in new Inhume include (gasp) longer songs! I know, a seemingly superficial change, but this change in song length is one of the reasons why I said you have a "decent chance" at enjoying this album instead of "you will fucking jizz your brains over it". In Moulding..., Inhume seem to have traded off most of their intense, catchy, concise deathgrind for lengthier brutal death metal with grind sections. Opening salvo "Deadbeat", "Pandemic", "Phobia", and "Sea of Limbs" still exemplify the traditional 2-minute grindcore song that was pretty much Chaos Dissection Order. With the exception of "Pandemic" though, the rest of these tunes all have seem to lost that hostile groove and merely grind on with little else to break the monotony.

Some of the longer songs aren't too shabby though. "Virus" blasts along at jarring speeds before shifting into a comfortable mid-pace double-bass-supported riff which then breaks into full-on headbanging groove. Riff development is one improvement in Moulding... and "Cure For Life" is another tune that displays this. It opens with the sound of air raid sirens and tank-tread double-bass and palm-muted tremolo picking which break into a fully-realized riff and then assumes blasting position. The problem here though, is the poor transition between slower death metal sections and grind sections.

The title track handles that well, but some songs can be quite "hit-or-miss", being similar to Chaos... but longer, and consequently unfocused or just being hookless. Where Inhume do succeed though, they do make it count. "Pandemic" carries some D-beat swagger with it, the title track, "Virus", "Premeditated", "Compulsory Infected", and closer "Violent Overkill" flow flawlessly from deranged riff to riff. "Cure For Life", though rough in its beginning transitions, closes powerfully.

Despite some losses in the songwriting department and another minor quibble (the drum tone still doesn't hit as hard as I feel it should; I know, I ask for a lot), Moulding The Deformed is still a solid release and very much worth a listen for the death metal and grindcore fan. You could do much worse.


Japanische Kampfhörspiele - Bilder Fressen Strom

JaKa MySpace
Type: CD / Vinyl
Release: 2010
Label: Unundeux

As always you get your money's worth with Jaka (their last EP was 19 minutes before the 19-minute bonus track). Jaka have also always been good for writing quality riffs, often penning one-off, throw-away riffs lesser bands would design complete songs around. In their usual realm of punk and grind, these were treats adding flavor to their "short, composed poems" take on grind's micro song format. Bilden Fressen Strom adds a new twist to the formula - featuring 27 songs in 42 minutes (those number are usually swapped) and the name of the game this time around is Thrash. There are three instrumentals - by title - but lyrics are at such a premium that instrumentation was definitely their style of choice during the writing process.

From a purist stand point (read: you have a closed mind and think every band's earlier work is better) a little of the punch and urgency of their earlier songs has been lost. Instead of ten to 45 second outbursts we get songs with body, mind and spirit. In reality, it's a trade off leaving behind an album with more personality. It's a CD that can grace your home stereo system all day long, or, in MP3 format, can get you through your whole commute while you deal with assholes who never learned how to merge...

Bilder Fressen Strom begins with "Die Schlachtung," a five minute song with enough stop-and-go action to make even Antigama blush. It has so many quality riffs that a reviewer working on a word count would simply give up and call it epic. I am a firm believer in transitioning. It's not just "the riff" but how you build up to it and where you go after it. Any one who listened to classic thrash knows what I'm talking about. But if that didn't make sense, just pay attention to what is happening leading into the 1:40 mark and to where the band goes from there. As the tune works to it's inevitable end the only thing I can really ask for is louder bass kicks. The tone is set: it's skin-tight black jeans with white high-tops Thrash time. And there's 37 minutes to go...

There are so many great songs and moments. Take "Supermacht," which meanders through the first half of the track before suddenly morphing into a crossover bordering powerviolence finale. There's the industrial number "Jochbeinbruch" that certain early-90's power houses in the genre are probably furious they didn't write. Then there's "Wie geht nochmal ficken," featuring driving, mid-paced palm-muted riffing that scream out for blast beats. Showing their patient side, Jaka instead offer up an extended, ankle exercising double bass passage that sounds absolutely brilliant by virtue of not being triggered. Another one that comes to mind is "Rentnerparadies," the kind of song that makes kids want to hit up their dads for the car keys and some gas money.

Without question "Bilder Fressen Strom" is their heaviest and most metal album yet. This will probably be the one the band is eventually "known" for - primarily because the songs should appeal across the extreme spectrum. From the punk side, fans of Abscess and Massgrav; on the thrash side, fans of Ghoul and Population Reduction; and especially old school death metal fans: we can all learn German, play air guitar and snarl along. Both disk and vinyl are available directly from the band here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Being the lazy bastard I am...

Welcome to post number 100. I left it free for the taking. For a week. Intentionally. None of my blog mates seemed keen on making a big deal of it. It's just a number, right? We can make a fuss over post 1,000.

Plenty of new tunes have come in. Being the lazy bastard I am ... the reviews can wait. Chelsea-Bolton in a few hours. Spurs-Arsenal tomorrow. City-United Saturday. And that's just in England. Huge week for footy. After work, right when I walk in the door this week, I morph into Uncle Frank.

So then. Until next time, here is one of the best bands to ever come out of Japan. Part powerviolence. Part sludge. Part Crossed Out worship. What their name means is your guess as good as mine. The one. The only. Su19b. Here is there discography 1997-2001. Like most powerviolence discogs there are many versions of the same song. And like all good powerviolence bands, you shouldn't care.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Paranoid Existence

Shitstorm - Paranoid Existence LP
Format: Cassette / LP
Release: 2010
Label: RSR / Vinyl Rites

This is a back catalog of sorts - the material has already been released on splits and comps between '04 and '08. The big deal here is that the band had to cancel their supporting tour - meaning 100 test pressings are available for sale. The fuzzy image below is #59, now in the property of yours truly. Not sure if they were sold in order (only 41 left! Act Now!) or if the guy is grabbing at random. But there is also a printing of 300 proper albums which are available through other sources. And for those still living in 1989, the cassette was released on RSR.

In other news, the split with Conga Fury is actually going to be released this year as well - after three years of waiting. Two Shitstorm items in the same year? Is the Mayan calendar ending early?

Putting the nix on convenience, the output ports on my mixer shorted so I can't rip this. Luckily for you, these songs are already floating around the interwebs. The collection contains their songs from: This Comp Kill Fascists Vol1, Split with Gentle Art of Chokin', Self Released Tour EP (dig it up) and their split with Sloth (ditto). For those of you who were not with us last year, please listen to and then promptly buy their split with Magrudergrind.

Once you have accomplished this, come back and answer my one question: why is Shitstorm so criminally overlooked? Is it just me? Or is it, along with Gate (who play a similar style and are similarly ignored) all due to a lack of material? It's not because of Torche, is it?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Sayyadina and the digital law of the land

This space used to be reserved for a review of the latest Sayyadina comp. First the preview link was taken down. No big deal. Then I got a DMCA email stating the review was breaking copyright law. How? With no download, the rest of the info is in the public domain, namely the band's MySpace and the Relapse web store.

They place the post in draft status and asked me to remove the offending data. Since there was none, I deleted all the comments (where the link used to be, along with disparaging remarks about a half-assed album by a really good band) and put it back up.

But now, today, I get another email about this post and again it's in draft status. So, even though there was nothing in the post that was not made readily available on the band's website, I am killing this post. It can't be Relapse, as they have been cool about everything else. So it must be the band.

Either way, if it was "you": fuck you. And until I know who it was, I refuse to support a band that brings the hammer down on me for encouraging people to buy their records.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Rotten Sound - Napalm EP

Type: CD/DVD
Release: 2010
Label: Relapse

Napalm was my excuse to buy a Rotten Sound t-shirt. I'll admit it. After hearing Napalm Death covers, steadily, for the past 20 years I expected little from this six song EP. I was dead wrong. I'll admit it.

The three new Rotten Sound songs are great. The band is faster than ever before. Their tone is as rotten as ever. And their writing skills have struck a nice balance between the three distinct RxSx incarnations (From Crust Til Grind > Exit > Cycles). "Mindkill" has an obvious Exit sound. "Dead Remains" sounds like one of the better tunes from Cycles. And "Brainload" takes every thing to the next level. It's a solid indication that the new album will place RxSx right back on top of the Grindcore heap. It might even be so good the hipsters think it's "this obscure new band from Finland."

So what about those covers? They fucking slay! Instead of covers we get Rotten Sound Renditions Of Napalm Death Classics. Their tone is far deeper and more distorted than classic NxDx and they made no attempt to hide it. The Kill comes and goes. You will recognize the intro but the rest is a distorted blur. Nick Bullen would be proud. Missing Link, from the greatest grind EP ever made (no hyperbole, all truth) gets proper rendition treatment. And saving the best for last, their take on Suffer The Children blows the original right out of the water.

There is also a DVD taken from their Obscene Extreme show in 2007. No, I'm not ripping it for you. Here's the shirt, courtesy of Relapse.