Review Round-up

Since I’ve been busy as of late and haven’t had time to work on reviews as much as I would like to, I thought I would to a handful of quick blurbs about some of the albums I’ve been listening to the most as of late. Also, there will be more Simpsons content in the near future. I plan of suffering through all of the new episodes and reviewing them as the upcoming season airs (please don’t be horrendous). So, be on the lookout for that.

 

Twilight Fauna – Fire Of The Spirit

twilight-fauna

Focusing on fringe religious ideas, like snake handling, for example, Fire Of The Spirit is an intense listen. Paul Ravenwood is an anomaly in the world of black metal. No one else writes music like he does. Mixing in acoustic instruments with his usual sonic overload of guitars (I like to refer to Twilight Fauna as the black metal equivalent to Sunn O))), sonically), Fire Of The Spirit is fascinating, engaging, and often times overpowering. The sound clips of people speaking in tongues and snake handling sermons are strange and enlightening and add a nice touch of depth to the music.

Fire Of The Spirit on Bandcamp

 

Gatecreeper – Sonoran Depravation

gatecreeper

Gatecreeper play death metal in the old school vein, and they’re really good at it. The riffs are groovy and not overly technical. They drums don’t rely on blast beats the whole time and have a really nice mid-paced death metal meets hardcore feel to them, sort of like Covenant era Morbid Angel. The nine songs on Sonoran Depravation are always engaging and harken back to the early days when death metal was fun. Also, the song ‘Desperation’ is the circle pit jam of the year.

Sonoran Depravation on Bandcamp

 

Cara Neir/Wildspeaker – Guilt And His Reflection

cara-neir-wildspeaker

This full length split follows one narrative storyline covering both bands sides and is possible the best split release I’ve ever heard. Cara Neir’s unique take on black metal is always refreshing and works well when paired with Wildspeaker’s blackened crust onslaught. Garry Brent’s bass playing is exceptional and keeps the Cara Neir side almost jazzy, while Natalie’s vocals and Ricky’s drums absolutely crush the Wildspeaker side. This is album of the year material. Buy it immediately.

Guilt And His Reflection on Bandcamp

 

Chepang – Lathi Charge

cheapang

This is absolutely crushing! I have a huge soft spot for unrelenting grind that is reminiscent of early Napalm Death and Chepang brings the grind in a big, bad way. Featuring 8 songs in just under twelve minutes, Lathi Charge never outstays its welcome. Everything is fast, with just a handful of slower moments to keep things interesting. Lathi Charge is an impressive debut.

Lathi Charge on Bandcamp

 

Green Elder/Pensive Ceremony Split

green-elder-pensive-ceremony

I’m mostly focusing on the Green Elder side of this split because it’s gorgeous. Green Elder is the neofolk project from Twilight Fauna’s Paul Ravenwood, and he offers up three of the saddest songs I’ve heard in a long time. ‘Scattering Ashes’ is so morose and beautiful and by the time the banjo starts, I’m in tears. The vocals on ‘Winter Spirits’, provided by Heather L. Galloway-Barker are full of sadness and work to highlight Ravenwood’s simple guitar playing. The wind instruments throughout the Green Elder side are a great touch, as well. The Pensive Ceremony side is just sounds like six different ambient intro songs and I’m dumbfounded as to why they were released like this.

Green Elder/Pensive Ceremony on Bandcamp

 

Crowtein -King Ov The Rats EP

crowtein

Crowtein is a powerviolence band inspired by the TV show It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, because why not? But unlike most gimmick bands, Crowtien is really, really good. The music is heavy and catchy and the lyrics are hilarious. You’ll find yourself singing along to the chorus of ‘The Dennis System’ (“You’re a fucking sociopath!”) while smashing everything in your house. And let’s be real, the world needed a song that starts off with someone screeching “Waitress, why won’t you love me? Come and see my play.” More of this, please. But first, what is your spaghetti policy here?

King Ov The Rats on Bandcamp

 

Cara Neir – Perpetual Despair Is The Human Condition

cara-neir

How Cara Neir aren’t more respected and well known in metal circles is beyond me? Their music almost makes me mad at how good it is. Garry Brents (all insturments) and Chris Francis (vocals and lyrics) are genius and have managed to stay vital and interesting even after 15 releases. Black metal can feel very stagnant a lot of times, but Cara Neir always brings something new to the table and Perpetual Despair Is The Human Condition is no different.

Perpetual Despair Is The Human Condition on Bandcamp

 

Sallow Moth – Moss Deceptiva EP

sallow-moth

Garry Brents strikes again! Instead of the black metal he’s usually associated with in Cara Neir, Sallow Moth is death metal with lots of d-beat influence. The three songs offered up feature killer riffs, brutal vocals, and excellent drumming from one of the best musicians in metal today. Also, 90% of the sales Garry makes through Bandcamp go to a different animal shelter each month, so you get some new death metal and animals in need get some  help. Win/win.

Moss Deceptiva on Bandcamp

 

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree

nick-cave

Nick Cave released the saddest fucking album of the year.  Skeleton Tree is full of weird, ambient noise with Nick Cave’s lyrics that are incredibly poignant after the death of his son. Nothing else you hear this year will prepare you for how truly depressing this album is. Yet, it’s still truly brilliant and wonderful. It’s like the title track to Push The Sky Away pushed into a weirder territory, spread out over nine songs. This is Nick Cave like you’ve never heard.

Skeleton Tree on Nick Cave’s Webstore

 

Mar – Trust In Nothing

mar

Mar released one of my all time favorite demos in 2015. Trust In Nothing is their first full length of soul crushing doom. The two piece focus on slooooooooow and raw doom that has a nice punk feel to it. The lyrics are emotional and deal with heavy issues (“These lines aren’t cuts, they’re my map”). Honestly, my words can’t do justice at how good Mar is. I completely adore this band and their music. If you like doom that is slow and heavy, pick this up. I would also love to hear a split release between Mar and Vile Creature to happen sometime.

Trust In Nothing on Bandcamp

 

Vile Creature – A Pessimistic Doomsayer EP

vile-creature

Following up last years incredible album, A Steady Descent Into Soil, Vile Creature are back with a new slab of emotionally raw and intense doom metal. A Pessimistic Doomsayer is one 17 minute long song that is a natural progression of what Vile Creature was doing with A Steady Descent Into The Soil. I enjoy that Vic sings more on this and her interplay with KW is enormously fulfilling. I love Vile Creature because they wear their hearts on their sleeves and have no problem screaming about the issues they hold dear. Trans rights, gay rights, animal rights, and anti-oppression are their calling card and all things I fully back.  The lyrics on A Pessimistic Doomsayer and raw and thought provoking and are relatable to anyone that has ever felt like an outcast (“We live like cicadas, burrowing for years, avoiding predators. When we emerge, our lives are short, time tenuous, days spent in fear. Craving escape but knowing it will lead to demise is our nature. We cannot see. refuse to believe. We do not submit to corporeality.  Sleep knowing death will come.”). These 17 minutes are emotionally brutal and leave me a wreck every time I listen to them.

A Pessimistic Doomsayer on Bandcamp

Album Review: A Forest/Siamese Twins by Curezum

Curezum

There are few bands in the world that affect me as much as The Cure. Their songs, even when played by other bands, always hit me very hard. And if you can make one of their songs translate well into metal, you will forever have a place in my heart. Portland, Oregon’s Curezum are one of those bands that have firmly rooted themselves into my chest cavity and permanently set up residence. Following their One Hundred Years/The Top single last year, they’re now back with a new single. This time putting their black metalled twist on A Forest and Siamese Twins.
Now, there have been a lot of covers of A Forest. It’s usually a go to for most metal bands as it’s one of The Cure’s more popular songs and has a dark, goth edge to it. Originally from the Seventeen Seconds album, most bands fail miserably at covering it and it’s a song I’ve been adamant on bands ceasing covers of. Most of the metal covers I’ve heard of A Forest tend to just sound like a band that doesn’t totally like The Cure or maybe are covering it as a “hey! we’re a metal band covering a non-metal song!” scenario. It never works and always feels goofy or forced. Curezum on the other hand have absolutely crushed it. Their version has such an attention to detail and true love for the original that it shows in their work. The underlying bass and drums (Billy Anderson and Martti Hill, respectively) work incredibly well playing that all too familiar backbone to the song all while remaining heavy, even incorporating some blast beats into the mix. The guitars (Mort Subite) are incredible at their balance of playing fast and heavy while maintaining the melody and overall goth tone of the original. Everything crescendo’s perfectly into the “and again and again and again and again” part towards the end. It’s so satisfying. Curezum may have made me change my mind on metal covers of A Forest, at least until I hear another terrible power metal version.
The B-side song, Siamese Twins from the Pornography album, is hands down the best thing Curezum has done so far. The first time I listened to it, I couldn’t stop smiling. I really love that both singles from Curezum so far have been set up like a real Cure single, with a more popular song (One Hundred Years and A Forest) as the A-side, while the B-sides have been lesser known songs (The Top and Siamese Twins). Featuring a much slower approach that A Forest, Siamese Twins is an absolutely perfect cover. Its doomy approach adds to the heaviness of the lyrics (“Leave me to die/You won’t remember my voice/I walked away and grew old/You never talk/We never smile/I scream/You’re nothing/I don’t need you any more/You’re nothing”). The middle section has a really nice blast beat (courtesy of Eight Bells drummer, Christopher Van Huffel) fueled fast part that adds a brutal touch to the song and sounds intense when put against the slower parts of the rest of the song. The cover is a midpaced headbanger and I’m sure will be a huge staple of any live shows Curezum plays. Songs from Pornography are pretty metal friendly as the album is really harsh (compared to everything else in The Cure’s discography) and bleak, but Curezum just takes it to a whole new level. The vocals (by perfectly and mysteriously named Robert Vikernes) are especially fitting on Siamese Twins and makes it sound wonderfully evil.
Each song on the single features a guest appearance, Matron Thorn of Ævangelist playing lead guitar on A Forest and the aforementioned Christopher Van Huffel of Eight Bells. If you’re a Cure fan and a metal fan, do not skip on this. It builds on what Curezum did with their first single and just makes it better. I can’t wait to hear what they do with their full length down the line.  I know it will be incredible. Curezum are doing exceptional things, and in the long run, hopefully turning people on to The Cure.

You can pick up the A Forest/Siamese Twins Single from the Static Tension Records Bandcamp page HERE! There is a digital download and a pretty awesome physical package that includes a shirt, cassette single, three pack buttons, a signed postcard, and trading card for a very cheap $20. Limited to 50 so grab one quick!

Album Review: Air by Astronoid

Air

There is a moment a little over halfway through Astronoid’s first full length album, Air, that is so gloriously beautiful that I can’t help but smile when I hear it. It’s like experiencing the Aurora Borealis localized entirely within your kitchen, but unlike Superintendent Chalmers, you bare witness to it in all of its glory. The song is called ‘Tin Foil Hats’ and it’s a wonderful mix of fast black metal-esque riffs, pop melodies, and gorgeous vocals singing lyrics about clouds and the sun. If there was any justice in the world, it’s a song that would be a monster hit during the summer, with kids blaring it through boom boxes while enjoying themselves in the Springfield Pool-Mobile.
Astronoid are an anomaly in the world of metal; A band that can straddle a fine line of being really fast and heavy while writing killer hooks and catchy melodies. They’re reminiscent of current era Cynic, but with more metal riffs and a lot less prog. The vocals are light and airy (pun intended) and fit nicely over the astounding guitar work on display throughout Air. The guitar work is maybe the best I’ve heard all year, if not the last decade. There are riffs upon riffs upon riffs in ‘Up And Atom’ (with “at ’em” spelled A-T-O-M in a delicious pun) that will have you screaming out “jiminy jilickers!” The three guitars work together well without overbearing each other while also being different enough to make sense.
Most metal fans have probably already logged onto alt.nerd.obsessive and logged their complaints about how Astronoid aren’t metal or that the clean vocals aren’t metal and whatever else metal fans like to complain about. But if you’re open minded and S-M-R-T, there is a world of amazing music to discover in Air. ‘Resin’ is a fast paced banger than will make anyone air drum along to the incredible drum work. ‘Homesick’ is one of the best pop songs I’ve ever heard, buried in heavy guitars. The closing track, ‘Trails Of Sulfur’, features unrelenting drums and some of Brett Boland’s more dreamy sounding vocals. All nine tracks on the album are incredible. It’s really hard to pick out specific moment as almost every song features some of the best musicianship I’ve ever heard. Air is like a coffin and each song is a nail, burying you in beauty.
So, the next time you feel like life is just one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead, put on Air and let it’s beauty and heaviness wash over you like acid, but be careful because the goggles, they do nothing!

You can pick up Air from the Blood Music Bandcamp page HERE! You can also hear their previous albums on the Astronoid Bandcamp page HERE!

You can follow Astronoid on Facebook HERE!

Otto’s Band Of The Week: Astronoid

otto

Massachusetts metal band Astronoid is this weeks band spotlight. Forming in 2012, Astronoid’s music is beautiful, heavy, airy, and often times features dense, extraordinary guitar work. Sounding like a mix of Coheed & Cambria, Alcest, Sigur Ros, and some of the heaviness of Jesu and Cynic, Astronoid are unique and definitely stick out in the metal scene. And with their newly released full length, entitled Air, Astronoid are setting themselves apart even farther.

Air is a masterpiece of thrashy riffs and pop melodies. The vocals are beautiful, the drums are heavy while not being overly blasty, and the three guitar attack creates a dense layer or some of my favorite riffs of the year. Released on Blood Music, Air is a must listen. It also features a song called ‘Up And Atom’, and this site is always into a band that uses references from The Simpsons!

band

You can pick up Air from the Blood Music Bandcamp HERE and the rest of Astronoid’s dicography HERE!

Follow Astronoid on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Eye On Springfield with Natalie Kahan of Wildspeaker

eye on springfield

Wildspeaker have very quickly become one of my favorite bands. Their take on hardcore, with a healthy bit of black and doom metal and crust thrown in for good measure, has found a place in my weekly listening rotations since discovering them. The blistering heaviness of Survey The Wreckage has become a stand out and easily one of my top ten favorite hardcore albums of all time. This isn’t hyperbole. I connect with Wildspeaker and what they stand for on a deep, emotional level. And one of the biggest reasons for that connection is because of their vocalist, Natalie Kahan. Her vocals are ferocious and captivating. But her lyrics are what really struck me. Focusing on the idea of nature over humanity and the atrocities humans have committed against mother nature, her words mean a lot to me.

Natalie is also a huge Simpsons fan. I’m very pleased that she took the time to answer these questions and can’t thank her enough for what her lyrics have done for me.

 

What is your history with The Simpsons? Do you remember the first time you saw the show?
My first memories of watching The Simpsons begin around age five. When my older sister, brother, and I ate dinner with our parents we would insist my dad roll the TV near the table so that we never missed an episode. I remember at first my parents were iffy about us watching it, but, needless to say, their resistance was futile.
Who is your favorite character?
This is a sadistic question when you ask me to narrow it down to just one. I don’t have a singular favorite, but I do consider one to be a personal best and overall funniest.
I have had an especially soft spot in my heart for Mr. Burns since I saw the “Rosebud” episode with his teddy bear Bobo. I also love “The Old Man and the Lisa” where he is rendered useless when he goes grocery shopping with the “Ketchup? Catsup?” incident. After the Little Lisa Recycling Plant is introduced we see that Burns isn’t all badly intentioned; he just can’t help his evil tendencies getting the better of him. It’s so mischievous and cute to me.
burns lisa
I admire Ned Flanders and Monty Burns in similar ways. I think they’re some of the most interesting characters when you acknowledge their childish tendencies. Flanders is relentlessly positive, but I love to see when his hilarious temper flares out. Flanders is a lovable punching bag, forgiving, patient, and resilient on his good days. But in his rough moments he is judgmental, furious, anxious, annoying, and stubborn. I’ve probably never laughed harder than at the moment he meets his Canadian Doppelgänger in “Midnight RX.” Here is a link to a 10 minute loop of their nonsense conversation for your pleasure:
 I also love Milhouse so much I named my kitten Millie after him.
Do you have a favorite episode(s)?
The Treehouse of Horror series tops them all. I have probably re-watched and quoted Treehouse of Horror V more than any other episode. Treehouse of Horror VI has got to be my second favorite. In “Homer³,” where Homer and Bart travel into a 3D dimension is the most memorable segment of all time for me.
The Simpsons has a wide array of guest stars. Do you have a favorite?
While regularly watching, the ones I was most stoked for were Blink 182 and N*sync. Kelsey Grammar takes the cake with Sideshow Bob though. Paul McCartney’s appearance was tremendously important to me because it normalized and shed a positive light to the public about vegetarianism.
mccartney
One of my first exposures to vegetarianism and feminist ideas was through Lisa Simpson. Has the show ever introduced you or influenced some of your ideals?
I can relate every single aspect of life to the Simpsons. Its attitudes and humor definitely had hands in shaping my outlook. Laughing through difficult times is probably the most important life lesson anyone could ever learn.
Who from the world of metal would you love to see guest on the show?
Metalhead comedian Brian Posehn would be a good guest if he hasn’t already been on the show.
What character would you be most excited to find out was a fan of your work?
Really any of them would be awesome. I think Comic Book Guy would be most likely to come across our music on a Magic the Gathering forum somewhere.
Do you have a favorite musical number from The Simpsons? Also, what band would you love to see cover said song?
I’d be stunned if I got to hear Blackbird Raum or Pale Robin cover Lisa’s union strike song from “Last Exit to Springfield.” Lisa’s voice gives me goosebumps in that one every time I hear it. “We Put the Spring in Springfield” from “Bart After Dark” is so good it even won an Emmy. I’d enjoy hearing Haley Reinhart and Postmodern Juke Box put their spin on it. She and the band do insane covers of pop songs in big band arrangements.
I’ve always thought Lisa Simpson would be the one character to end up getting into punk or metal. Who do you think will grow up and discover metal or punk?
I could see Lisa getting into Food Not Bombs volunteering for sure. I imagine she’d get down on Plan-it- X Folk Punk like This Bike is a Pipe Bomb and all the classic Riot Grrrl bands. If I could meet her, the perfect CD to burn for her would be Xrayspex’s “Germ Free Adolescents” because it’s feminist punk and most importantly features a saxo-mo-phone.
I think Bart would dig West Coast 80’s hardcore like The Adolescents or party music like Agent Orange. It was funny seeing him as Johnny Rotten and Nelson Muntz as Sid Vicious in “Love, Springfieldian Style.” (Also I am a huge Buzzcocks fan so I loved that they were included in the soundtrack there.) Comic Book Guy would definitely dig Powerglove.
Do you still watch new episodes of the show? If not, do you remember what made you stop
watching?
 I never really stopped watching, but I definitely slowed down because jokes started to feel more forced or were lost on me. I will watch whatever comes onto Hulu but I won’t typically go out of my way to seek it anymore. I did enjoy a few newer ones like the Lego episode “Brick Like Me” and I was pleasantly surprised with how the “The Simpsons Guy” Family Guy crossover turned out. I thought it would be a mess but I’ve re-watched it several times.
How would you like to see the series end? Any ideas on where you would like to see the family end up?
The saddest part about this question is admitting that I want to see it end. It’s had a massively successful run but unfortunately at this point it’s run out of gas. I have read rumors that it might end on a Christmas episode so that it brings the show full circle. This end would be bittersweet but I’d be pleased by it.
Simpsonsgame
Follow Wildspeaker at:

Album Review: A Bird In The Fault by Asunojokei

a4118010672_10

For the first thirty seconds of opening song ‘Pomegranate’, you’d be hard pressed to differentiate Asunojokei from any other band given the genre tag of post black metal. It’s a pretty straight forward intro in the vein of bands like Hope Drone or Archivist that very quickly break into a circle pit inducing post-hardcore meets black metal assault. Then, in another twist, ‘Pomegranate’ morphs into a full fledged Deafheaven-esque piece of atmospheric black metal beauty. It makes for a completely compelling and interesting opening track and sets a good pace for what is to come on the rest of Asunojokei’s first full length, A Bird In The Fault.

It’s a bit of a cop out to say Asunojokei sound like early Envy playing black metal, but it’s probably the simplest description. And like their fellow countrymen, Asunojokei doesn’t rest on one genre to forge their sound. At different points, you hear the previous mentioned post hardcore and atmospheric black metal, a bit of depressive suicidal black metal and doominess (‘Easy’), and bits and pieces of Sigur Ros via piano beauty (‘A Bird In The Fault’). It should be noted that while all of this might sound overbearing, Asunojokei meld it all perfectly into their sound. Everything is deeply rooted in black metal, but these outside influences help Asunojokei stand out in a field of bands that sound relatively the same.
As someone who can’t read Japanese, finding information on Asunojokei is a little difficult. I have no idea what their lyrics are and as most of their info is in Japanese, I’m pretty much out of luck on knowing a whole lot about the band. Luckily, their music is strong enough to stand on it’s own. The five songs on A Bird In The Fault are incredibly heavy and beautiful, both aspects coinciding without relenting to one or the other. They have blast beats working in unison with really wonderful and melodic guitar work. No song demonstrates this more than ‘The Drowned Body’. It’s a spectacular song that should make all the Deafheaven style bands of the world jealous. It’s a song I’ve been waiting years for someone to write. It’s the sound of The Head On The Door era Cure playing black metal and is a massive highlight of not only the album, but black metal in general.
‘Easy’, the albums centerpiece, counteracts all of the prettiness by being an utterly unnerving and slower paced song. It’s just shy of 7 minutes of gloom and sorrow punctuated by vocals that sound like cries of pain that eventually relent to Asunojokei’s normal black metal assault. It’s a wonderful track, but sort of sticks out amidst the rest of the beauty and atmosphere of the rest of the album.
I’ve been listening to black metal for a long time, going on at least 18 years now, and I can say that I’ve never really heard an album that encapsulates everything I love in music right now more than A Bird In The Fault. I’d actually go out on a limb and state that A Bird In The Fault might be the best black metal album I’ve heard in the last 5 years. That’s not hyperbole or overreacting. It’s going to be a very, very tough task for any band to top this album for me this year. Asunojokei managed to create a sound that a lot of bands strive for but haven’t quite hit yet. And while only being just under 25 minutes long, it doesn’t overstay its welcome. Do not sleep on A Bird In The Fault or Asunojokei. They’re doing truly exceptional things.
Pick up A Bird In The Fault from Bandcamp HERE and follow Asunojokei on Twitter HERE!

#MetalBandcampGiftClub Spotlight

This week’s, I’m focusing on the first two albums I was gifted through the #MetalBandcampGiftClub. Both of these have become absolute favorites of mine. Their heavy and as different as you can get.

Dragged Into Sunlight & Gnaw Their Tongues – N.V.

DISGTT

N.V. is a dark, heavy, and brutal album. The collaboration between Dragged Into Sunlight’s grim and harsh sound with Gnaw Their Tongue’s uncomfortable noise is a must have for anyone into either band. Featuring unnerving samples from serial killers amongst the chaotic and vicious sounds, N.V. is an incredible listening experience. Check it out HERE!

N.V. was gifted to me by Ross McKendrick

 

 

Panopticon – Autumn Eternal

panopticon

Panopticon is hands down the best project/band in black metal. Austin Lunn is brilliant and bold and creates some of the mot unique albums I’ve ever heard. Following the groundbreaking Kentucky and Roads To The North, Autumn Eternal follows in the footprints of both of those albums. Lunn’s take on Appalachian bluegrass and black metal is infectious and breathtaking. This is an album you don’t want to miss out on. Check it out HERE!

Autumn Eternal was gifted to me by Head Ov Metal.

To find out about the #MetalBandcampGiftClub and join in on the fun, visit metalbandcampgiftclub.com for all the info you need!

Album Review: Even The Files Won’t Touch You by Fire-Toolz

ft

Even The Files Won’t Touch You, is an album that shouldn’t work. It’s a sonic collage of madness that somehow manages to fit together 80’s pop music style keyboards, trip hop beats, song samples from everyone from Copeland and The Get Up Kids to Type O Negative and Loma Preita, harsh noise, and faint vocals that wouldn’t be out of place on any black metal album. Just let all those things sink in for a minute. The mishmash of those things working together cohesively is almost impossible. Yet, Fire-Toolz makes them all work in unison into a completely satisfying experience unlike anything I have ever heard before.
Fire-Toolz is the latest project from Angel Marcloid. Marcloid is responsible for on of my all time favorite noise projects of all time, Pregnant Spore, and the label Rainbow Bridge). I’ve followed Angel Marcloid’s work for a couple years now, and it has always been on the weird side. But Even The Files Won’t Touch You may be the weirdest and most fascinating I’ve heard yet. It’s the sound of all of her interests and former works colliding together and forming something new. There are moments of songs that are completely intricate in their collaboration between club banger beats and harsh vocals (Yellow Croc-Fire), songs that layer sound samples on top of each other in an almost Girltalk fashion (Pain Jerk-Off), and songs of almost Subdued, Mars Volta-esque soundscape (In-House Detox, Diet-Blood).
The best aspect to the album is that even after 20+ listens, I’m still picking out new things. The samples used are sometimes so minuscule that unless you’re paying close attention, they will blow right past you. There is a pretty great use of Darkest Hour as a sample, and the Type O Negative sample is so brilliant that I’d be curious as to how many people pick it out immediately.
Even The Files Won’t Touch You isn’t so much an album as an experience. It’s something that demands your full attention, and if you’re willing to give it, it’s a worthwhile endeavor. It’s the sound of someone’s life experiences being combined and expanded upon. It’s the sound of someone being completely and totally comfortable in their own skin for once.
I highly recommend sitting in the dark with headphones on and letting the full potential of Even The Files Won’t Touch You open itself up to you.

Album Highlights: The whole thing. Listen to it in full for the full experience.
You can pick up a digital copy of Even The Files Won’t Touch You HERE along with a remix album entitles Further Down The Files HERE.  You can also follow Fire-Toolz on Facebook HERE, as well as a Tumblr HERE.

Album Review: All Is Dust And I Am Nothing by Slaves BC

Slaves BC

Concept albums are very hit or miss. The wrong concept can ruin an otherwise great sounding album, while the right concept can elevate an album. Slaves BC’s first full length is a based on the book of Ecclesiastes, one of the stories from the Old Testament. At first glance, using a religious book as a framework for a metal band is risky because everything is supposed to be evil. But when you dig deeper into the story, it makes sense. It’s a story I was unfamiliar with before hearing the album and looking into, but it becomes clear as to why they chose it. Short story is that everything is meaningless. The one aspect of the story I really like is the imagery of nature staying as humanity marches to the grave.

All Is Dust And I Am Nothing is a bleak affair that was written over a 3-4 year span. It’s a punishing blend of hardcore, black metal, doom, with small flurries of grind in the mix. Imagine Breather Resist writing Charmer under the influence of Trap Them and High On Fire. There are pockets of slow and heavy doom to break up the intense movements of blackened hardcore.

The mixing of genre influences is one of Slaves BC’s strong points and keeps the album from becoming stale. The overall sound is incredible bleak and has an almost morose tone while still making you want to smash your house to pieces with hammers while listening to it. The song ‘All Find Their Way To The Grave’ is destined to be a live staple for sure. It’s almost five minutes of mid-paced  neackbreaker riffs that will get any crowd pumped. It works as a perfect centerpiece for the album as well.

The absolute highlight of the album is the vocals of the closing track, ‘Why Are We Here’. The vocals throughout are brutal and sound so painful that I can barely fathom them being human. The last 20-30 seconds of the album languish on these tortured vocals and guitar feedback and leaves you feeling uncomfortable and desperately wanting more. In fact, my only negative for the album is that I wish it would never end. The nine songs fly by and will leave you wanting more.

Humanity is garbage and everything is meaningless, but Slaves BC have recorded the perfect album to tide you over until the world collapses in on itself.

Album Highlights: God Has Turned His Back, All Find Their Way To The Grave, There Is Nothing For Me Here, Why Are We Here.

All Is Dust And I Am Nothing will be available for pre-order on February 1st through Veritas Vinyl with a digital release on February 16th. Visit Veritas Vinyl to grab a copy of the vinyl when it goes live. It will be a limited release and you’ll definitely want it in your collection.

Follow Slaves BC:
Bandcamp
Twitter
Facebook