Review: Daath – Daath

I, sadly, only recently got into Daath. I’m not sure why, but I just never gave them a thorough listen. When I finally started hearing tunes from the new, self-titled, album, I was instantly intrigued. “Genocidal Maniac” opens with an amazing lead. Fantastic rhythm and melody. Everything is very tight and structured. This band is, clearly, very passionate about their music. After the intro, a little more than 2 minutes, the brutality sets in. Fantastic blast beats and remarkable vocals. This is clearly death metal, but I sense elements of progressive metal thrown in the mix. This is a great song to have for an album opener, it almost forces you into listening further. Amazing. Simply put. “Destruction/Restoration” doesn’t take any time to set up a nice into. It goes straight into the shredding and pounding. Everything about this song screams musical mastery. Superbly done guitar work. This is not just chugging. This is riffing with distinction and class. This is what metal should be about. I am falling in love with these vocals. “Indestructible Overdose” does happen to have a bit of an intro. Not a long one, just a nice little section that bursts into a chugging monster. This song is already one of my favorites at only 35 seconds in. I love that riffing. It is absolutely mind-blowing. The machine gun drumming matches perfectly with the riffs. The solo at 1:14 is fucking awesome. I have no idea what kind of tone that was. Like a drowning phaser. It was gnarly as fuck. Yes! It returns. I fucking love that tone. This song is fan-goddamn-tastic. I feel like a fucking fanboy, I love this shit so much. “Double Tap Suicide” opens with a great intro. The drums start a nice tempo right off. The main riffing of this song is fantastic. Melodic chugging and technical riffs mold together to form a perfect rhythm section. The vocals are amazing. I love the spaced-out tone made by the over-lain vocals. You can tell a lot about music by the execution of the vocals. You can tell how much a person feels their music by the vocal ability. It is obvious that Sean is very emotional in his musical execution. Amazingly beautiful soloing at 2:25. The clean guitar laid behind it only sets the mood off even more. The song goes into a nice chugging as it gets closer to the end. An extraordinary lead guitar comes in to lead the song into its final seconds. That phaser-esque tone that I mentioned before makes a brief return as the song fades out. Holy shit. I fucking love the opening of “The Decider.” That riffing and tone is off the charts epic. There is so much melody in this song, it’s almost unfathomable. The vocals are amazing as well. Harsh screams that still keep an element of melody in them also. This is fantastic. There are a lot of things working in this song. The technicality of the lead guitar riffing and the complex drumming patterns, the solo-upon-solo extravaganza. This song is one of the best I have ever heard in my life. I have no idea why it took me so long to listen to this album. I’m not even half-way through, and already it’s scoring high points from me. I love the overall atmosphere of this song. It is absolutely amazing. “Exit Plan” opens with a riff that sounds like it may have been pioneered by early punk bands. That is before the perfectly executed solo comes in, however. This song seems very similar to the track that preceded it. And that means I love it already. Once again, the tone and execution is what has drawn me to the songs I have heard on this album. Everything is unique in its execution, yet similar in its progression from song to song. Maybe that’s just me running my shit off, but that’s just how I feel about it. The soloing starting at 1:54 is phenomenal. I don’t think I can express how amazing these solos are. I think I am running out of descriptive words. Again, the vocals are harsh and strong. Emotion runs high throughout this band. This is not just your every day bullshit. This is structure. This is pure musicianship. “Oxygen Burn” opens with underlying riffing and whisper vocals before hitting face first with a fresh slab of brutality. This song is a clear example of Sean’s vocal range. Going from highs to lows with ease. A solo of epic mastery comes in right before the two-minute mark. The lead guitar work throughout this song is mind blowingly good. This is almost not human. I cannot believe how great this album is. The song goes out with the same whispered vocals that opened it. Good stuff. “Accelerant” wastes no time in getting to the heaviness. As soon as the track began, the brutality set in. The first verse is a little odd at the beginning as it was kind of… Well, I’m not sure how to describe it. A nice melodic lead guitar and highly distorted vocals for the first few seconds. After that, the chaos begins. Super catchy riffing that sets in an amazing groove. Blast beats set neatly beneath the guitars keeping the track steady. 1:44 hold a nice solo. Not just nice. Pretty fucking spectacular. I love the over all groove present in this track. A great track to get some blood-pumping head banging going on. My fucking favorite lead work opens up “Arch (Enemy) Misanthrope.” This song is a work of fucking art before the vocals come in. And once they do, holy fuck. That is all I have to say. I love the tone that thing song sets. It is clearly death metal, but underlying effects give it almost a light-hearted mood. When Sean hits those low growls… Amazing. The solo that opens up the three-minute mark is one of the best on the album and that I’ve heard in a long time. This is pure genius guitar work. This is, so far, one of my personal favorite songs on the album. However, that’s not saying much because every song is fucking amazing. “Manufactured Insomnia” opens with a killer groove. This really reminds me of some of the Swedish melo-death from a few years back. Nice, steady tempo. Great vocals. I love the mini-solos. Everything about this song appeals to me. It is heavy, mid-paced death metal with a lot of different elements working for it. Good job. “A Cold Devotion” picks up the pace a little. Still a nice, melodic grooving rhythm, but with a more bass-heavy riff. The drumming is absolutely spectacular. The main riff on this track is amazingly catchy. And that solo. I think I have made it quite evident that these solos are nothing short of mind-blowing. Fucking amazing track. “N.A.T.G.O.D.” picks right up from the previous track. The same style rhythm as the last few songs. I’d say this has more in common with “Manufactured…” than “A Cold Devotion” however. This song has some progressive nature in its structure. I love the mixture of the guitar parts. It creates an utterly extraordinary effect. Blast beat drumming is the icing on the death metal cake, so to speak. The vocals fly overhead with amazing accuracy. Every word is spot on in its delivery. Yet another great track. “Terminal Now” opens with an epic guitar intro. After the distortion fades, a beautifully orchestrated segment of dual leads comes in. Slowly the track builds up. This track has an odd tempo, but for the most part I like it. Not a bad way to end an album. Great lead guitar work. Great musicianship all around. I have no negative comments about this album whatsoever. Decibel only gave “Daath” a 4/10, but I will give it a solid 10. Great work.

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Exclusive: Ross Gnarly, Decibel ROTM Interview

I am a subscriber to this amazing metal magazine known as Decibel. I can say in I have enjoyed every issue I have ever read. The magazine is full of interviews, album reviews, live show reviews and so much more. It was actually me asking editor in chief, Albert Mudrian for a job that I ended up starting this blog. I owe a lot to Albert for that. I asked another member (now former) of the Decibel team, Mark Evans how I could become Reader of the Month. He informed me of what I needed to accomplish this, I complied, and here it is. Decibel’s February 2011 issue features my furry mug on page 8. Gnar. Here is the interview that managing editor, Andrew Bonazelli came up for me:

Do Mr. and Mrs. Gnarly regret naming you after probably the biggest used tampon in network sitcom history?
I take it you mean David Schwimmer? Haha, That dude is a douche. I don’t think they regret naming me Ross. Besides, I was Ross five years before that ass was. Maybe he was named after me! Do you know how many years I was called “Geller”? It blows.

Your blog American Aftermath promotes and supports “all types of metal–black, death, thrash, power, grindcore, hardcore, metalcore, sludge and, on occasion, grunge.” What occasions are those?
Well, basically, I  was huge grunge fan before getting into full blown metal. Mainly Nirvana was always a huge influence on me, so if a good grunge band or grunge-influenced band comes along, I’ll check them out and support them. There is a band I’ve blogged about quite a bit called Captain Overboard–Radio Earth!, who have a lot of grunge influenced mixed with a killer sludge-core style.

We frequently ask ROTMs what their dream live show would be. What is the most nightmarish metal show you can imagine?
Gorguts, Cannibal Corpse and GWAR. Can you imagine? All the blood. All the gore. Martha Stewart being decapitated. That would be fucking epic. I haven’t got to see a lot of shows in the last few years, but the aforementioned show has been in my dreams for years.

Is that you on YouTube covering “Johnny B. Goode (Peter Tosh Version)”? What would Michael J. Fox think?
Yes, that is me. What would Mikey think? He’d probably get angry because I butchered it. He would then attempt to point a finger at me, but when he couldn’t stop shaking, he’d get all butthurt and run away.

What special promotions has Decibel yet to concoct that could send you spiraling further towards bankruptcy and poverty?
Haha. I’m not really sure. Perhaps a “Buy 500 Decibot Shirts and Win a Date With Oderus” kind of contest would break me.

Exclusive: Travis Ryan (Cattle Decapitation) Interview

For almost a decade and a half, Cattle Decapitation have been blowing minds and shattering skulls all across the globe. Their lyrical themes, ranging from animal rights to gore and death, have been shocking many and setting others into massive headbanging sessions. I had the opportunity to ask vocalist Travis Ryan a few questions. Read on to see how he answered questions about Cattle Decap’s beginning, Murder Construct, veggie burgers and how “more than a few handfuls of people that would slap” me for a statement I made.

Cattle Decap on Metal Archives
Cattle Decap on MySpace
Cattle Decap Official Site



How did Cattle Decapitation begin?

It pretty much began as a side project of the Locust. Gabe Serbian and Dave Astor started it in late 1996 and our friend Ben Katz quickly had them put together a 7″ for him to release. I joined the band right before they even got the records, playing guitar and vocals because their guy they had doing it up and bailed and I guess it wasn’t a pretty situation. They seemed to really not like the 7″ as it wasn’t the sound they were going for. They wanted a much more death metal approach so I came on board and they basically put the whole imagery/lyrics/ideas in my lap and I ran with it. Human Jerky and Homovore were actually our failed attempts at playing death metal but at the same time made for 2 pretty cool deathgrind records. Still, it was a little more on the grind side that we wanted and I honestly don’t think we hit our stride until Karma.Bloody.Karma.

In the early days of Cattle Decapitation, the band had more of a goregrind feel to the music. Nowadays the band’s sound is more straight up death metal. What brought on the change?
I think I actually answered that in the last question! Haha.. I know more than a few handfuls of people that would slap you for saying that, though. Haha… The only records that seem along the realms of straight up death metal was possibly To Serve Man. We wanted to take death metal in a different sort of direction, or at least to expand upon it, try something new. A different look into that side of extreme music. Death metal purists hate us, grind purists don’t care either and we’re more than fine with that, we’re doing what we want to do and its cool that people are finally starting to pick up on that. I would not call us a death metal band. Its a very easy, quick, pedestrian explanation of our music but death metal is a very unique sound done between the late 80s to the mid 90s and everything else is just a subgenre of that.

I heard there was a lot of drama unfolding due to the “news” at the beginning of the “Body Farm” video. Can you tell me a little about the reactions you got from that.
It was a last minute addition we made to the video. Tyson (the director) and I hatched up this plan that we’d do a fake news segment and then release it as if it was real. The video would be attached to the end of the news segment and then hopefully people would get that it was a hoax, which it wasn’t really, it was just an elaborate intro to our video. The hoax lied in we announced the info via a metal news site and then released the video footage a few hrs later. By that time people all over the world were stewing about it, sending us sympathy emails, arguing whether or not it was real, etc. The weird part, and what made us eventually spill the beans that it was fake (we actually planned to let this go for a few days, but…), was friends of ours that were really worried about our well-being and even family members were contacting us in panic mode. Even Troy’s grandfather called him almost in tears saying “please say its not true what they’re saying about your band”. In hindsight, it was pretty funny, but at the time it was just kind of freaky. To me it was painfully obvious the people were acting, the way it was filmed and the effects we used to make it look like a broken TV set. Hell, even my sister did the newscaster which to me sounded fake but that’s because she’s my sister. She actually was a newscaster at one time, I came up with the dialogue and we collaborated on the delivery.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe I read somewhere that there is a vegetarian or vegan burger named after the band. What are your thoughts on that?
Yeah, its nothing big really… our buddy took over as manager at this restaurant/bar and called asking if it was ok if they used our name to name their veggie burger. We thought it was cool so we went with it. Ironically enough, Troy got a job there right around the same time and so it was funny to hear about fans coming in there to order the burger and here comes Troy around the back to take the order, hahaha.. He’s not there anymore but we got some funny stories out of it. Its a great burger honestly. VERY messy but its still good and the sauces they use on it are outstanding.

You finished up the California Blood tour in November. How was the tour? Did anything weird or interesting happen?
It was a tough time to be on the road. Every show we’d show up to we’d see a new tour poster for another 5 band metal package hitting the road all at about the same time. Everything was completely saturated and in the shittiest economy in years. We still turned out alright though and had some great times with the bands. Literally NOBODY, and this is kind of rare, but NOBODY had beef with anyone. Everyone on the tour got along perfectly. That was pretty weird as there’s always something with someone not getting along with someone else on the tour. That was really cool and we got some pretty funny ass viral videos out of it too.

What was the best tour experience you’ve had?
Oh man, there’s been a couple. I’m gonna have to say the best was playing a show in NYC where Bjork and her boyfriend/artist Matthew Barney showed up. I’m a HUGE fan of both of them and since Bjork came off as kind of a jerk, I spent the rest of the night chitchatting with Matthew and that was just mind-blowing. Mainly because of the circumstances – we’re at a death metal show, Cryptopsy is headlining, and here’s one of my favorite female artists with one of the most acclaimed modern artists around hanging out. It was just fucked. I don’t think I even slept that night!

I saw a segment of you on Cannibal Corpse’s DVD where you stated that you got into doing death metal vocals to try and out-do Chris Barnes. Is that true?
At the time I was a big fan of Cannibal Corpse’s first album and then when Butchered came out I probably exclaimed “whoah! What happened to his voice?!?” It was sooooo much more gutteral than what I had heard before. I had Bill Steer’s lows down pretty well but that just sounded like Claw from Inspector Gadget or Orson Welles as Unicron on the Transformers movie. That was easy to do. But those deep ass low gutterals that sound like 2 glaciers scraping against each other, that really got me. That album and the first couple Broken Hopes were big influences on my early vocals. But yeah, I noticed right off the bat that when I cupped the mic, I could sound just like Butchered at Birth but at 16 years old, if I could do that, then anyone should be able to. So I practiced doing it without cupping and that’s how I developed strong lows at an early age. “Out-doing Chris Barnes” is a simple way of saying I just tried going deeper, more extreme. Since that album was one of the lowest pitched vocals I had ever heard, I figured it was a good yardstick.

Tell me a little about Murder Construct and the self-titled EP that the band released last month.
Leon Del Muerte started the band idea back in 2000. He asked me to do vocals for it if he ever got it off the ground. 10 years later, he finally did. And with a few of my friends too so it was a no-brainer. Everyone in the band has a good rapport with Relapse so that was kind of a no-brainer to go with them for the release too. Basically this band has no brains, as you can tell since Leon is the leader. That guy’s a total butthole.

A while back, you were a guest on the Metal Injection Livecast. How was it being on that and playing “Death or No Death?”
I was in shock at how many band names were really legit and that I’d never heard of. The coolest part was listening back to the previous episode before the one I did and hearing them reference my old band Anal Flatulence which was a band not many people have heard at all. That was really special to me since it was just a couple of my friends and I in high school and here it was being referenced on a metal show. That was really neat.

Are there any newer bands that you are currently into?
Yeah a few, probably none that are metal though. I’ve been hooked on this band Blessure Grave which recently turned into Soft Kill. I was playing drums for BG for a minute but the leader of the band moved to LA and started it up with a few other people which was fine with me since I wasn’t going to be able to do much with them anyways and definitely didn’t want to tour with em. Very much looking forward to the release. Nadja is great.

What or who serves as influence on you and the music you write?
That’s a tough question for me. My whole life I’ve been into so many different genres and styles of music and have been introduced to all sorts of shit. I really can’t answer that question and I don’t write our music anyways and can’t really speak for the other guys. But as far as the lyrics go, pretty much every day dealings with people. That’s where I draw a lot of inspiration. Sometimes when I’m in one of those “oh, dude you need to die” situations, I get filled with this rage that almost on contact rushes all sorts of lyrical ideas into my head. The song “Pedeadstrians” for instance came from having to wait for these slow idiots with their fucking 10 kids that they probably can’t even afford to take care of to cross the street, or mainly just people in my way. Get out of the way, mind your own fucking business and everything will be alright. If only more people lived by that philosophy I’d have a lot less to write about.

Band Spotlight: Achren


When I get an e-mail about a band that labels their sound as “Blood Metal,” you can bet your bottom-fucking-dollar that I am going to look into it. I had hopes for this band… and as it turns out, it’s pretty fucking good. Achren’s music is a melodic barrage of thrash-inspired neo-black metal. The band is releasing a DVD next month which contains their entire performance at Bloodstock O.A. U.K and because of said festival appearance, the band won the Metal 2 The Masses which means they will be playing Wacken 2011! I think that’s one hell of an honor. I have gotten a little off of subject, though. After listening to the songs on the band’s MySpace page, I have come to the conclusion that this is a pretty solid band with a shit-load of old-school influences in their sound. Their music, as I have already stated is in the vein of newer black metal with touches of thrash and varied vocal ability. Good band. Check them out, and if you happen to be in Germany, check them out at Wacken 2011!

Exclusive: Interview with Aaron Deal (Salome)

There are a lot of drone and doom bands out there these days. Some are good and some are… not so good. The thing is, few can hold a candle to Virginia’s Salome. Their music is punishing and amazing. I have become a huge fan after the band’s latest full length, “Terminal,” came through my headphones. I sent a e-mail to drummer, Aaron Deal and asked him a few questions about the beginnings of Salome, his musical taste and what he does when he is not killing a drum kit. Read on to see his answers.

Salome on Metal Archives
Salome on MySpace

How did Salome come to be?
SALOME started in 2006, Rob and I had been friends for years and played together in other bands.  We had been talking about wanting to do something “slow and heavy” for awhile, we met Kat and she was interested in the same thing so we started playing together.

How do you feel about Salome’s latest album, “Terminal?”
I feel pretty good about it.  I think it turned out well and it seems like people are getting into it.  It’s really cool to think about people who may not be familiar with this kind of music checking it out because of NPR or the NY Times or something.  I wonder how they feel about it, I’m curious to know what other people think when they hear it.  Regardless of their opinions, it’s a cool feeling to know that people are interested in your music.

Are there any tour plans following the album?
Not at the moment, unfortunately.  We have to play real-life for a little bit.How would you describe the feeling of playing live?Sweaty and bloody.  A great distraction from driving, loading/unloading gear, and waiting around.  Seriously, it’s awesome.  It’s one of the few times that you can really forget about everything else and completely focus all energy on one thing.  It’s a great physical and emotional release.

Kat plays with Agoraphobic Nosebleed also, which is a whole different kind of music. Do you think this has an influence on Salome’s sound?
I don’t think so.  I think her lyrics for Salome are more personal for her, as opposed to Agoraphobic Nosebleed where she is kind of stepping outside herself and essentially playing character roles.  The two bands are completely separate entities.

b wu photography
It has been said that the band doesn’t listen to metal exclusively, what are some types of music your into?
I don’t know how anyone could listen to metal exclusively, does anyone actually do that?  Or any other genre.  Don’t get me wrong, I think metal is great and obviously I love it but I need variety.  I like a lot of “classic rock” music, jazz, punk, classical, hip hop, … I guess it would be easier to list what i don’t really like.  I never got into ska, most top 40 pop music (although some of it is really good), modern country, and i don’t understand why anyone would listen to house/techno dance type music outside of a danceclub.  But that’s just me, different strokes and all that.  I’ve been listening to the bands Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine a lot this year, I’ve been a fan of this stuff for years but for some reason I can’t get enough of it right now.  Maybe I’m trying to refresh teenage memories or something, ha ha.  Stereolab and Miles Davis have definitely gotten weird looks/comments from other people when it’s playing in the van and they expected blasting death metal or whatever.

What serves as influence to the music of Salome? Musical or otherwise.
I think anything can be a potential source of inspiration.  I like to try to pay attention to my surroundings and the situations I find myself in and draw from that.  I know that Kat’s spirituality is a source of inspiration for her.  Some of the direct influences or sources of inspiration that might not be obvious on Terminal include documentaries about Vikings and the history of religion, Slayer, horror movies, and The Cure.  Or maybe they are obvious, I don’t know.  I get excited about weird noises like air conditioning units in truck stop bathrooms and stuff like that too.

What are some of the lyrical themes on “Terminal”?
Kat is really into yoga and spirituality, so that is a big part of her lyrics.  I think a lot of them work on several levels though.  I’m sure that the songs mean different things to her and I.  Which I think is cool, I’d rather let people read and apply their own meanings to things then spell it all out.

What do you do when you are not playing music?
The same stuff as everybody else, I suppose.  Eat, sleep, work, hang out with our friends and pets.  Listening to music and going to see other bands play.

Band Spotlight: Heinali and Matt Finney

I received an e-mail today from a man named Matt Finney. He is a spoken word artist from Alabama who collaborates with a Ukrainian composer by the name of Heinali. The two met through a mutual friend and began making music together. At first, I was skeptical on how I would feel about this, as I am usually not a fan of spoken word projects. After listening to their new EP on the BandCamp page, however, I was quickly intrigued. The music is, as best as I can describe it, God Speed You! Black Emperor addicted to doom metal. If that description doesn’t make you want to listen to them, then I don’t know what will. The music is definitely unique in it’s execution. Go to their BandCamp page and purchase their newest EP, Conjoined for the cheap price of name your own price.

American Aftermath Best of 2010 (Reprise)


As a lot of you know, I posted my “Best of” list on December 1st. Well, that was stupid. I came to realize, that by posting my list that early, I was missing out on a lot of killer albums. So, I decided that since I have listened to more amazing albums, I would reprise my “Best of” list. Here goes…

  1. Nails, Unsilent Death
  2. Masakari, The Prophet Feeds
  3. Coffinworm, When All Became None
  4. Cloudkicker, Beacons
  5. East of The Wall, Ressentiment
  6. Holy Grail, Crisis In Utopia
  7. Trap Them, Filth Rations EP
  8. Black Breath, Heavy Breathing
  9. Kvlertak, Kvelertak
  10. Black September, The Forbidden Gates Beyond

Honorable Mentions

  1. Mose Giganticus, Gift Horse
  2. Salome, Terminal
  3. As They Sleep, Dynasty
  4. Fuck The Facts, Unnamed EP
  5. Periphery, Periphery

 

Bitch about it or love it. Have your own list? Let me know. Drop a comment.

 

Band Spotlight: At Our Heels

A few weeks ago, while surfing MetalSucks, as I tend to do quite often, I came across this post, which turned me on to a band that I have come to like quite a bit. The band is At Our Heels and their music, much like Masakari (another amazing band that I have been turned onto recently) is full of chunky riffs, killer vocals and fantastic song structuring. Hardcore punk lays the foundations for both band, however they do stray from said path. At Our Heels bounce from hardcore to sludge and to all other ends of the spectrum. Their music is perfectly executed to every possible degree. If you have not heard this band, I would highly suggest heading over to their MySpace page. I know MySpace sucks nowadays, but fuck it. Do it anyway.

Also, if you have been living under a rock and haven’t heard Masakari either, educate yourself. Please.

Allegaeon Self-Titled EP For Free Download

Who’s into Allegaeon? I’ve only recently got into the band, but from what I’ve heard, I’m liking it. What better way to find out if I’m into them for reals than to be offered a free download of an entire EP? Well, Metal Blade Records is offering just that. So if you are into Allegaeon or even if your just a collector of free music, go here to download the EP. It’s four songs and this offer expires on 12/26. Grab it while you can!

Best of ____: Kevin Conway (East of The Wall)

I’ve inquired a few musicians to give me their own “best of” lists. When I asked East of The Wall’s Kevin Conway, he replied as follows:


Instead of a proper “Best Albums of 2010” list, here’s a list of the records I spent the most time with this year. I honestly didn’t listen to enough stuff that was released this year to compile a legit list otherwise. This isn’t a condemnation of the music that came out this year. I’m just a little slow on the uptake and haven’t gotten around to checking out all of the records that I wanted to hear in 2010. Anyways…

Sailors With Wax Wings- Hey! A record that came out in 2010!!! This is a really surprising melting pot of a bunch of different styles, and it’s executed flawlessly. It’s also further proof that if Colin Marston plays on/records an album, it’s good and you should purchase and listen to it immediately.

Bjork, Homogenic- Still a really haunting record.

The Book of Knots, Book of Knots- One of the more unique records I’ve ever heard. The guitar parts on “Tugboat” make me dizzy, in a good way.

Charles Mingus, Charles Mingus- “Lock Em Up” is probably the craziest piece of music I’ve ever heard. Hearing Mingus yelling in the background for no good reason always gets me pumped up.

Flat Earth Society, Isms- These guys are absolutely terrifying. Everything they do is just so fucking grimey. Check out the song “Zonk.” It makes me want to smash things.

Dysrhythmia, Psychic Maps- This came out in 2009, but it might be my favorite record ever. The things that this band does melodically are on a whole other level that I haven’t heard a rock band approach before.

Keelhaul, Keelhaul’s Triumphant Return to Obscurity- Another record from 2009 that I still haven’t been able to stop listening to. These guys really know how to write music that’s intricate but still has balls.

Rashaan Roland Kirk, (I, Eye, Aye)- This is a live performance from the Montreaux Jazz Festival in 1972. Kirk is one of the most underrated geniuses of the last century in my opinion. People get a little too wrapped up in his whole playing 3 horns at a time gimmick. There’s a unique presence to all of his live recordings that I don’t think anyone else ever came close to replicating.

The Thing, Action Jazz- Listening to this record is like getting punched in the face. That sort of thing appeals to me.

Radare, Infinite Regress- We toured with these dudes in Europe. There’s a lot of bands trying to pull off what these guys are doing, but I think they do it way better than anyone else who’s attempting it. I guess a lot of people would lump them in with the whole Cult of Neurisis thing, but I think they go way beyond that. I hear lots of Bohren and Der Club of Gore and Twin Peaks-ish melodies in what they do, and I think that’s pretty unique.

Al Green, I’m Still In Love With You- This record makes me want to have sex all day.

Records that actually came out in 2010 that I haven’t heard enough of yet but probably would have made the list if I had gotten around to listening to them more:
Intronaut, Valley of Smoke
Cephalic Carnage, Misled By Certainty
Deathspell Omega, Paracletus
Murder Construct, S/T
Broughton’s Rules, Bounty Hunter 1853
The Melvins, The Bride Screamed Murder

Best of 2010: Topon Das

Well, the year is wrapping up and Year End Lists are popping up everywhere. You can see Metal Sucks’ lists here, Metal Injection’s lists here, Deseee of TNOTB’s list here, Bad Penny’s list here and so on, so on. The lists are never ending. I posted my own list a few weeks ago (like a dumbass). I did so not thinking “Hey! There’s a shit-ton more albums that you didn’t listen to. So, after listening to some more amazing albums, I will be posting a new, revamped Top 10 early next week. Until then, if I can get some more people to hit me back, I’ll be posting some musicians’ own lists.

 

First up is Topon Das, guitarist of Fuck The Facts.

1. Year Of No Light – Ausserwelt

2. The Abominable Iron Sloth – The Id Will Overcome

3. Kill The Client – Set For Extinction

4. Defeatist – Sixth Extinction

5. Unearthly Trance – V

6. Bongripper – Satan Worshipping Doom

7. Bison B.C. – Dark Ages

8. Murder Construct – S/T

9. D.I.S. – Critical Failure

10. East Coast Tour Blog Song

 

Do you have your own Year End List? Let me know. Drop a comment or e-mail me at AMERICANAFTERMATH[AT]MSN[DOT]COM.

Review: Masakari – The Prophet Feeds

Right off, I am loving this (“Rapid Dominance”). It is crusty, brilliant hardcore in the greatest vein. Converge comes to mind. Blast beat drumming and melodic, speeding guitar riffs make these songs catchy and easy to listen to. This song is very pleasing to the ears. It’s not every day a band can pull off what Masakari are doing and they fucking kill it. I love the over all composition of this track. The melody is great and the song itself is epic. “Pain Conceived as a Tool” is just as brutal and aggressive as the track previous. It has a lot more grind influences, however. Every thing is still very fluid and complex. The vocals, something I haven’t touched on yet, are amazing. Perfectly executed hardcore wails with hints of death metal influences. Throughout these songs, you can hear the roots of punk that preceded this band by more than two decades. The song lengths are much in the vein of your typical grindcore, with songs ranging from 54 seconds to 6:40 (this being the final track on the album). “Nausea” continues in the attempt to make every song heavier than the last, and boy does it succeed. This song is a nasty, grooving piece of metal in which nothing is left out. Every instrument comes in loud and clear. Regardless of speed or formula, these guys keep a steady flow through and through. “Abandoned” is a straight up grind track. Every element fits and every thing comes out even more aggressive than before. This band is a fucking monster. They have their shit on lock down. The band as a whole seems very tight and uniform in their love and execution of metal and punk. This track has a lot of underlying punk elements, some more apparent than others and with the breakdown/instrumental section or whatever you want to call it, has hints of doom and/or sludge metal. So not only does this band have hardcore and crustpunk in their arsenal, they are working other genres as well. And they do it with style! Masakari keeps heading in the same direction on “Echoes.” What direction is that? The faster-and-harder-is-better way. The song only clocks in at 54 seconds, but every single second counts. The vocals are very strong and emotional, yet not overpowering whatsoever. I like how no instrument plays a “main” part in this band. Every thing is equal and everything is very fluid. I like that in a band. “The Voiceless” opens with a nice chunky guitar riff. This song has very epic sound right off. In the beginning,  it pans off of the sound of the songs previous to it. It is full of hefty chugging guitar riffs, shouted vocals and an outstanding groove before busting into a monumental crustpunk beast. The guitar in this track is super catchy and the song as a whole is very memorable. A fitting sample plays during a killer instrumental section of the track in which the guitar plays a speeding bullet of a riff. The riff ends and feedback and the sample carry the song to it’s end. I love this track. “Tempt Providence” is also a nice grooving track filled with complex riffing and extraordinary tempo. The bass stands out very well on this track, which I love. The lead guitar around 1:13 is fucking spectacular. The vocals are closer to death growls on this track which suit the track itself very well. Once more, fucking fantastic track. I love the opening riff on “Salvation Reigns.” This track is filled will so much sweet-ass melody, I feel like I may be becoming diabetic just listening to it. Again, everything is very fluid. Tempo changes add a nice variation to the track. The vocals are as powerful as ever. I have a feeling that this band has influences all across the charts, not only punk and metal. The main riff has hints of progressive metal mixed with hints of  originating metalcore. “Echelon” opens with a riff that sounds vaguely familiar. I’m not sure why, but it sounds extremely similar to something I have heard before. It’s melodic and catchy and I like it. When the rest of the band chimes in, it becomes a barrage of chugging fury. This song has a lot more hardcore punk than some of the previous track. It’s fast, short and fucking amazing. At not even 2 minutes, this track definitely keeps you locked in. The “Outro” begins with a sample of a soldier speaking on racism (particularly in reference to 9/11). The guitar slowly fades in with a nice indie-styled riffing. When the band hits, the song becomes a grooving masterpiece of modern metal. This song will definitely get you head nodding, I can guarantee that. The soldier’s clip continues and his personal experiences come in to play. This song is very progressive in it’s structure and layering. This just goes on to prove even more that this band has more influences than I can even begin to imagine. This album, clocking in at less than a half-hour, has made a much bigger impact on me than I ever thought it would. Before sitting down and listening to this album from beginning to end, I had only listened to a few tracks here and there. I have to say, though, I am extremely glad I stumbled across this band. Fucking amazing. This band deserves a lot more fucking publicity than they get. Keep making fucking metal. Masakari pwns.

KEN Mode Premier New Track/Art On Invisible Oranges

For the last few months, KEN Mode have been giving away their first two albums for free download. That’s pretty gnarly. I don’t know about you, but I dig the shit out of KEN Mode. Their mixture of pure hardcore and straight up noise rock is blended together into something that… Well, let’s just say this shit rules.  To the left, we see the back cover for KEN Mode’s new album, Venerable which comes out on Profound Lore on March 15th.

The song that is currently streaming on Invisible Oranges is called “Obeying The Iron Will” and thus far into the song it is right up to par with previous tracks from the band if not better. The musicianship is tight and it has a ton of groove. The vocals are amazing. Old Poison The Well comes to mind. Constant tempo changes make every minute something new to experience. Killer track, I can’t wait to get my hands on the album.

Check the song out here.

Thanks to Cosmo of Invisible Oranges for the tip.

Review: Nefarious – Involuntary Episodes of Aggression (1993)

Welcome to the first installment of Old School Reviews. This will pretty much work the same way as any of my other reviews, only these will be on OLD SCHOOL metal albums. Nefarious is a band from Ontario, Canada formed in 1992. They released this album in ’93, which was a damn good year for death metal (Individual Thought Patterns, Covenant, Wolverine Blues) and it’s fucking gnarly. Check it out.

Got a nice old school tech death vibe to it right off with “Vermiculation.” I’m loving the vocals. Back in ’93, good vocalists who has a good range were few and far between. Or so I’ve been told. I was like 4 when this album came out. Wow. Nice chugga riffing with amazing lead guitar parts. The vocals are pretty epic. I’m loving the production of this. For a early ’90s release, this is a pretty good sound. The riffing during the last bit of the song is awe-inspiring. I’d compare this to Suffocation’s Despise the Sun-era music. I’m loving the intro to “The Advancement Of Primitive Science.” Almost some Metallica-sounding shit. Haha. But that breaks into a cryptic fury of chugging and cymbal-smashing. The vocals, again, are fucking fantastic. I wish I would have discovered this band sooner. I like the vocal patterns on this track. The guitar solo is fucking extraordinary. Daaamn. I think the only problem I have with this recording is that I can’t hear the drums as clear as I’d like to. But, hell, that could just be these cheap as headphones. This still sounds fucking killer. The solo nearing the end of the track is pretty rad. Not quite a extravagant as the first, but that bass run adds mad flare to the track. “Torn” again begins by making be think of Metallica. Not sure why, maybe the guitar tone? Who knows. It fades again into the raging beast that embodies death metal and makes me enjoy this band more and more: those evil-as-fuck, wonderfully executed vocals. Another killer solo. I like how the bass stands out quite a bit on this track. The bass is a very important instrument and when it falls behind the other instruments, to me the quality of the song fades with it. I love to hear a bass stand out. You can hear that *thump* and it’s amazing. The overall musicianship of this band seems to be very tight and well structured. I’d still say this band reminds me most of Suffocation back in the day. Fucking “A” on that kick-ass bass run. I love it! The guitar solo is equally as fucking gnarly. These songs are brutal-as-fuck from beginning to end. That’s what death metal is all about. Wow. The intro to “Kingdom of The Dead” is very Metallica-esque. I’m digging it, though. Very melodic and calming yet technical and proficient. And then the gain fades in and the monster is unleashed. The song turns from peaceful and serene to fast and brutal in seconds flat. The screams are crushingly amazing. The spoken word section is pretty gnarly sounding. Kind of creepy actually. I love the riffing on this track. It’s so fast and catchy. The solos that break through in this song are some of the best on the album. Very technical and melodic. Amazing work. There is nothing like good old school death metal. This band has definitely made an impression on me. This is what death metal was all about. Aggression and power. Not only in the music, but in the people behind the music.

Download the album here.

Review: Leng Tch’e – Hypomaniac

“Wirehead Imbeciles” begins just as you would expect: full of grinding goodness that instantly pleases the ears. The vocals remind me of Randy Blythe (Lamb of God) a lot. The guitars are grooving through riffs during breakdowns and keeping a nice steady melody throughout. A nice track to begin an album. Great for face-smashing. “A Men” picks right up in all of it’s furious glory. More grooving guitars and blast beats don’t stray this song far from the formula of the opening track. I do like the sludgy chugging parts. This band’s sound has evolved a lot since I discovered them years ago. I gotta say, though, I am liking what I am hearing. “The Stockholm Malevolence Project” keeps that evil, grinding monster alive and pushes him right down your throat. This track is chock-full of machine gun drumming and hefty riffing. Around 1:10 has a superb lead guitar section. I’m digging the shit out of this already. The vocals towards the end of the song bring to mind Deicide. Nice work. “World State Abomination” almost sounds like the Dillinger Escape Plan on crack. It’s fast, complicated and amazing. Every note hits like a Megaton Hammer. This track does contain those exquisite chugging riffs that I am loving so much. The vocals are varied from low-as-fuck death growls to not-so-low screams. The intro for “Refined Torture” is great. Love that opening riff. The vocals? Yet again reminding me of Randy Blythe. Especially the spoken word bits at the beginning. Sounds almost exactly like the beginning of “Laid To Rest.” But the musicianship of the rest of the band is spot on. Everything is tight and uniform. Nothing stands out of place. “Fuck The World, Fuck Myself” is a great lyric. Good track. “Misleading Innuendos” contains some killer overlaid vocals. I actually love when this is done correctly. It really puts an evil touch on any song when done right. The band shreds this song perfectly. Again, everything is perfectly positioned. I gotta say, though, so far into the album, I’m liking the music a lot more than the vocals. They just aren’t sitting right with me. I think it is that constant comparison to Mr. Blythe.I love the face-melting lead guitar towards the end of the track. That was fucking sick. “Obiter Dicta” opens and instantly makes me think of Cannibal Corpse. Nice lead riff and a long scream. That just seems like standard Cannibal formula. Am I right? Yes I am. And I love it. As this album moves along, it’s not bad, but I think Leng is losing their grinding edge. This seems to be leading more towards melodic death metal to me. Still not bad, though. “Deaths Head Cockroach” definitely speaks on my previous statement. This is, without a doubt, a melodic death metal track. Nice chugging guitar with a nice lead laid overhead. Blast beat drumming and epic screams. There are still hints of grindcore hidden in here, but they are nowhere as evident as they were in the past. Nice soft drumming and chugging riffing around 2:48. Has a nice, grooving sound to it. “Totalitarian” Has a pretty gnarly sound and I know that voice anywhere! That is the throat-scraping sound of Mr. Barney Greenway (Napalm Death). Dude is honestly one of my favorite vocalist. So evil. This track has some pretty killer riffsmanship. I cannot get over the mix of these vocals. It sounds fantastic. The breakdown towards the end of the song is amazing. Nice and chugging and then flithy and grinding. Awesome. We are back to the melo-death on “Anthropocentric Suicide.” Still has a pretty killer sound and occasional grind moments. Nice melodic grooving riff carries you through the track topped with some amazing lead guitar work. When dude hits those guttural lows it is spectacular. Very well done. “Silence Is Better Than Unmeaning Words” opens with those screamed vocals distorted a bit. Then he screams again and almost sounds like J. Jasta. Weird. When the song hits it sounds quite a bit different. Possibly a little more hardcore punk influence seeping into this track? Not sure. Still has those melo-death moments with frequent breakdowns. I am not really digging this track at all. Kinda seems unnecessary. It doesn’t fit with any of the previous songs. Yep. No offense, dudes. Just not feeling this one. “Violence Does Even Justice” is better than the previous track, but I’m still not getting the same rush as I did with the older shit. These songs have wicked melody and some of them are rather catchy. It’s just not setting the same with me. The lead guitar work is great. A slightly jazzy moment around 1:45. The song ends with an EKG that leads right into the introductory guitar riff of “Corrosive Rotgut.” Love the song title. This song gets props for that right off. The song is catchy. I’m digging the main riffing. Nice composition. Melodic breakdown sets nice towards the end of the track. Vocals are strong and very well executed. “Perfervid Odyssey,” not loving the intro that much, but the actual music that picks up after said introduction is good. Nice melodic death up until 1:30 when the song turns into…. Yes! A straight up grindcore track! Leng Tch’e have done it! It may come and go between some not-so-grind, but it’s there! Melodic deathgrind? Close enough. The breakdown at 2:48 isn’t awe-inspiring. I’m not liking that pinging guitar tone and I hate the spoken word vocals. They didn’t even sound as cool this time around. I am getting bored very quickly with this track. The same old riff being played over and over at varying tempos is getting annoying. I gotta say, I had higher hopes for this album. Final verdict? I like it. I don’t love it. I will stick with Marasmus. Keep it metal.