Weekly Recommendations!!

thumbs-up-ammo-guns-0 See! Even Walter approves it!

Things have been pretty slow on the blogfront. Well i am not going to let out another bunch of excuses and exaggerated moans. Screw it! Lets get on with it already.

With this new edition of posts, i try to bring to your notice a few bands that really have something going for them this year. Albums that i can hopefully coax you into listening. And of course, all the while hoping that you are not a conservative schmuck and is open to all forms of music. But i’d definitely try and stay within the confines of metaldom(did i tickle your conservative dongs there?). That said, these need not always be great albums but they sure are great listens. Hopefully i end up introducing you to something new.

Vex-Memorious

1. Vex – Memorious

I’ve always preferred old school Swedish death metal to the Gothenberg (gah! Swedish again but you get me). Probably due to their more reserved use of melody rather than spattering it all over the place. Most modern melodeath melodies(err! too much ‘M’ there) tires the listener as much as an hour of say technical death metal or listless drone does. Careful and meticulous placement of the melody is tantamount to a good record. Vex seems to get it. Coupled with their really raw and semi-murky production things pan out pretty well. Their sense of melody although subtly eye at the Irish band Primordial’ brand of folkiness, they seem to take it to their own little level. Check out ‘Terra Soar’ for instance, which is probably the best representation of their sound and maybe if you end up digging it move on to the entire bandcamp player.

Lantern_CoverWebCC

2. Lantern – Below

Speaking of old school death metal, Lantern’s Below is by far the best release the genre can boast of all year. Apart from that, Dark Descent is clearly on a roll once again. Quality releases from Krypts, Vorum, and Deprecation have all highlighted how the genre and label can still churn of gems despite being incessantly banked on. Lantern takes the cake though, for fully plowing the dark recesses of the genre and unearthing something completely whole. For instance the band does not limit itself to the staple OSDM diet and inculcates elements of doom, black and thrash primers to the genre. And yes the production is as raw as one might expect and yet it does not manage to diminish any of the quality beheld within.

Check out the track Entrenching Presences which starts off in beefed up Bolt Thrower fashion only lead you into another face pummeling riff.

 

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Birth A.D. – I Blame You

 Jayaprakash Satyamurthy reviews Birth A.D‘s new album ‘I Blame You‘, released via Unspeakable Axe Records.

PromoImage

Tracklist:
01. Mission Statement
02. Equal Opportunity
03. Burn L.A.
04. Failed State
05. Bring Back the Draft
06. This Scene Sucks
07. Violent Retribution
08. No, Man
09. I Blame You
10. Short Bus Society
11. Wrong Again
12. Fill in the Blank
13. Kill Everybody
14. No Jobs (Don’t Work)
15. Cause Problems
16. Parasites Die
17. Popular War
18. Blow Up the Embassy

 

Cut the crap, here’s the thrash.

When this whole thrash revival scene kicked off, it didn’t take long for my excitement to turn to ennui. Blame it on one too many faceless bands who’d spent more time hunting down hi-top sneakers and bullet belts than they did on their songcraft; blame it on record companies eager to cash in and releasing material that tried too hard to ape the highlights from Bonded By Blood or Kill ‘Em All without aspiring to the same level of quality, never mind originality.

Birth AD, whose crossover thrash/hardcore sound reminds me of S.O.D., D.R.I. and the likes, kicks that whole scene to the curb with their righteous, one-minute-forty-one-second ‘Mission Statement’. Eschewing the unearned populism of so many wannabe thrash bands, frontman/bassist Jeff declaims ‘we won’t write any songs about thrash/or put it on our t-shirts for easy cash/we’ll never tell you to get in the pit/we don’t give a shit’. It helps that this statement of purpose is delivered over a buoyant, breathless punk-metal riff-fest, straightforward but never monotonous and, despite its short running time, not without a certain modicum of musical development.

The rest of the album follows in the same vein, delivering one short, cynical anthem after another. Songs like ‘Failed State’ and ‘Popular War’ take on political issues while ‘I Blame You’ and ‘Short Bus Society’ sees the band taking a jaundiced view of the blowhards, wingnuts and common folk who are as much to blame for the state of things. Before you start thinking this is all heavy political activism, like a punked-up RATM, the great thing about Birth AD, and what connects them more deeply to the subgenre they’re working in is the sense of fun – there’s just something in the snotty delivery, the gang shouts and the relentless, effusive energy of the band that makes it hard to keep a straight face.

Dark Descent Records has long been one of the most consistent labels in the death/doom/black metal scene; this is the debut release from their thrash sub-label, Unspeakable Axe Records. The integrity and quality of this release, all the way down to the memorable cover art, suggest that we can expect good things from both the label and the band.