Games Meet Metal: Thine Eardrums Erupting: Drooling Fanboy Edition! (with one oddball)

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thine Eardrums Erupting: Drooling Fanboy Edition! (with one oddball)

Hey, something else we haven't done in ages: cd reviews! So let's get to some.

GOATWHORE!! GOATWHORE!! GOATWHORE!! If I were a Viking warrior, that would so be my war cry. But I digress.

Goatwhore's newest, to be released on Valentine's Day (because nothing says true romance like a sacrificial slaughter), is possibly their most aggressive album to date. The super fast blast beats of the opener "Collapse In Eternal Worth" ring of screeching black metal with guttural death metal vocals thanks to Mr. Falgoust. In fact, a good portion of the album has a more black metal lean than their previous release, Carving Out the Eyes of God. The fifth track, "Judgement of the Bleeding Crown", sounds like it could come straight from the early days of the Norwegian scene. Too gosh darn bad that the production is just so damn good.

Honestly, Blood for the Master is a great metal album that goes the Slayer route of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I call early Album of the Year contender right here.

Okay, Corrosion of Conformity history time, kiddies. The band we know today as a Southern metal rock outfit with NOLA tendencies is actually just one form the band has taken over the years. They started out as an underground punk/hardcore band, with bassist Mike Dean on lead vocals. They would go through some style changes before they arrived at how they are known today. However, with Pepper Keenan busy with Down, the rest of C.O.C. have gone back to their roots and released a great self-titled album that bridges the hardcore with the band's modern style beautifully.

Opener track "Psychic Vampire" let's you know what you're in for, starting with a slow Southern bluesy drawl, then hitting you with a hardcore blast straight of the CBGB days. You can thank a lot of that beat to returning drummer Reed Muller, thus making this a full blown reunion of the Animosity era. Man, these guys must like the whole getting back together deal, because C.O.C. hasn't sounded this aggressive in a long ass time.

Confession time yet again: I was not a big fan of Lacuna Coil's previous album Shallow Life. I know the band wanted to experiment with a more poppier sound, but the whole album felt flat to me. Maybe I was just too big of a fan of Karmacode and it's balls-out rock approach that I was expecting too much from it's follow-up.

Then Dark Adrenaline came out, and I became much happier.

Loads of the hard rock style that I enjoyed on Karmacode has come back full force, but with some refined touches. Previously there were spots where Lacuna Coil could be called nu-metal, but not so here. Hard Goth is the call of the day, and it sounds so damn good. Album opener "Trip the Darkness" and "Kill The Lights" are the stand out tracks fro me. Of special surprise was a cover of R.E.M.'s Losing my Religion, which the band manage to make even darker than the original.

Long story short: THIS is the follow-up to Karmacode that I've been waiting a long ass time for, and revitalizes my belief in the band.

Well, you knew this one was coming.

Lamb of God themselves call Resolution a return to the band's earlier albums, namely As The Palaces Burn. I tend to think that it has more in common with Sacrament, especially with the vocal work. Randy Blythe is really beginning to stretch those vocal chords to the extreme, but in both directions. The album's triple header, "Straight for the Sun", "Desolation", and "Ghost Walking" showcase Blythe at his most angriest to date. Then "Insurrection" hits you, and the man is doing clean vocals! Not for long, but it does show how far Randy has progressed as a front man.

Not to discredit the rest of the band, as their playing is damn near God-like. Chris Adler's drum playing is more complicated than ever, while Mark Morton and Willie Adler are riffing like no others. Mark's solo on "Ghost Walking"is one of the best he's done to date.

Once again, another potential Album of the Year. Be kind of nice if this one got to number one on the charts as well.

And now, the oddball. I never really liked bands labelled "occult" rock, because it's usually associating the band with a bunch of traits I'm just not into. Spirituality. Hippy dippiness. Crystals. Loads of incense. Looking inside oneself for a deeper meaning. Nope, not for me. Kinda weird, if you ask me. Of course, this is the guy who wants to scream GOATWHORE  while being a Viking, so take that how you will. But that's how people described The Devil's Blood to me, so I didn't bother listening to them. Then I saw a live picture of the band, and they were covered in blood. Hmm. Then they were booked to tour with Behemoth of all bands. Now I had to check them out, and I came away pleasantly surprised.

On their second album The Thousandfold Epicentre, The Devil's Blood takes their cues straight from 70's hard rock and 60's psychedelia. In fact, the 60's are so strong here, that the first thing I thought of their guitar sound was that they were a metal version of Jefferson Airplane. In fact, female vocalist Mouth could be called a modern day Grace Slick. While Mouth lacks Grace's banshee vocals, she is capable of her own whaling as well.Oh, and that whole hippy dippy stuff? You can toss that out the window, as these songs are dark as all hell.With at least one member of the band a self-admitted Satanist (main songwriter and lyricist SL) it's easy to see where all the dark tones come from.

Do be warned though: The Devil's Blood is old-school guitar rock at it's most classic, and it might not jive with modern death metal expectations. But if you happen to enjoy, say, Nachmystium, give The Thousandfold Epicentre a try.

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