Review: Owen Hart – Earth Control

The sound of a violin and a snare drum open up “Nameless.” This is odd. The electric guitar fades in slowly and the song begins to take shape.  There are a lot of different things working together on this track. Blasting drum beats, one chugging guitar, one setting off a killer lead. It’s all amazing. This is a great way to open an album. “44 Black” fades straight in from “Nameless” and starts with a fury of melodic riffing and machine gun drumming. Time changes and that amazing lead guitar really set this track off. The vocalist has an unbelievable range. Gut wrenching high pitch screams to low, guttural growls. I love the guitar work on this track. I’m not quite sure what I would call this. It’s grind, but it contains a lot of elements that coincide with death metal and hardcore at the same time. This is unlike anything I’ve heard before. That’s for sure. And I fucking love it so far. “Poor Straight White Guy” opens with a face pounding drum intro that breaks into a full on assault. It’s great to see a band like this take two guitarists and use them to their full advantages. They pull off an amazing sound that is unique and unmatched. Nice chugging section beginning a 25 seconds. I also like that this band utilizes spoken word parts in their songs. And on top of the out of control music being laid down, they maintain so much melody it is extraordinary. This drummer is off the chain. Seriously, he is amazing. Damn, this is a great band. “Welcome to Worthlessville” is a shredding motherfucker. Both guitars come out blazing and the drums keep an insane pace right behind them. I am still loving these vocals. They remind me of someone, I just cannot place who at the moment. But they are amazing. This band is breaking all kinds of barriers. They got the blast beat drumming mixed with the dual guitar leads which is un-fucking-believable. This band is seriously rendering me speechless. I want to do nothing but listen. This track goes out on a nice, acoustic note. Very calming, which is odd seeing as how the rest of the track was full of melodic chaos. “I Hate Myself and I Want to Die” begins like any track on this album should, a fucking melodic mess of masterful grind! This band is one of the first that I can honestly call straight up melodic grindcore. This is also some of the best grind I’ve heard in a while. I love the riffing on this track. Almost sounds like Dillinger Escape. At 1:54 the track takes a turn for the doom. Everything slows down and feedback takes over. Wow. Fucking killer! “Bombay Beach” opens with a very doom-y tone. Downtuned slow chugging guitars and a steady (yet amazing) drum beat. The vocals are spoken at the beginning and they sound fucking creepy. At 1:20 Owen Hart shows its true colors and the monster is unleashed. Insane chugging guitars turn into beautiful lead lines topped with mounds of killer drumming. The vocals sit nicely in the mix, tortured and powerful. This is one of my favorite tracks so far. “The Letter” begins with a vengeance. The entire band rushes in to bash you in the face with a melodic hammer. The drumming on this track is out of this world. Constant tempo changes and drum rolls prove that this guy is no noob behind the kit. Owen Hart is slowly becoming one of my favorite grind bands of all time. This track is… Yeah. You know. “Fuck Morrisey, Fuck The Smiths, Fuck The Cure” is not only an amazing title, the song that comes with it is fucking insane. Catchy riffing, demonic drumming patterns, hellbent vocals. Holy shit. I am officially a Owen Hart fanboy. I love the chugging riff that sets in right around the 1:00 mark. This song is utter chaotic beauty set forth by an amazingly talented band. “Methlahem.” Another great title. Another superbly catchy track. This track, as all those before it, contains complex and amazingly executed riffing with technical drumming and all out otherworldly vocal ability. I love the lead guitar work around 1:30. This is fucking unbelievable. “The Vertigo of Murray Morgan” picks up the feedback from the previous track and opens with a nice melodic guitar intro. The drums come in slowly, creating a melancholic atmosphere. It is unusual for me to find a band like this who can produce, not only an instrumental track, but two good, catchy instrumental tracks. The vibe being represented by this track is gloomy. The drums progress throughout the track, constantly changing up timing and speed. The guitar remains producing the same melodic riff from start to finish. “Evolution’s a Fact, Jack” signals the end of this album, which makes me sad. I want this to keep going. Oh, well. The riffing is a mixture of complex lead guitar work and melodic chuggings. Both of which are fucking great. The drumming, again, varies. The vocal variation is perhaps the most evident, as he is constantly switching between his high shrieks and low gurgles. The doom-y lead guitar part beginning at 2:26 is beautiful. Yes. I have used this word to describe this band. Another extraordinary lead close to the end of the track. I can honestly say Owen Hart always have something new up their sleeve on every track of this album. This was nothing like I was expecting to hear. I have only heard a select few Owen Hart songs in the past, but I can say they have now made a life long fan of me. Their musicianship is outstanding, their sound is fantastic. All around, I love this band, this album is amazing. Owen Hart have a definitely unique sound. Fucking killer.

Rating: 10/10

Review: Mother of Mercy – IV: Symptoms of Existence

Epic drumming opens up “Forever Night, Forever Mourning.” The guitars slowly build up until the whole thing explodes into a superbly melodic melee. This is great. Right off, I am loving this. There is a fantastic groove present throughout this track. Very easily headbangable. Very catchy and memorable chugging guitar. Vocals are strong and are at a perfect pace.  A nice lead guitar section around 1:35. Everything about this seems to flow amazingly. “Symptoms of Existence” opens with another great riff. Still very melodic while maintaining levels of extremity. The vocals lay perfectly in sync with the chugging guitar. I love this riff even more than the first. It is epic in all the right ways. Fucking amazing. “Soul Burns Slow” opens with another drum performance with the guitars building up. The whole thing bursts at the seems at the 28 second mark. This band is all about memorable, melodious riffs. Every track so far is fantastic. Everything about this band is great. I cannot believe I discovered them by accident a few months ago. Amazing chugging section towards the end of the track. Yet another great track. Yesssss. “World of Pain” opens up with some old school-styled riffing. The chugging sets in around the 36 second marker and all hell breaks loose. The vocals on this track are some of the most powerful and tortured I’ve heard. This is one of those things that are, as Matt Fox of Shai Hulud once said, is too metal to be hardcore. Close, but not quite hardcore. Again, great chugging riffs. This band can keep their music simple, and still kick all kinds of ass. That’s just how they roll, you dig? “Swinging The Chain” opens with another great riff and extraordinary drumming. This band as a whole is a very tight-knit unit. Everything is perfectly structured, no instrument stands out more than another. Bass, drums, guitar, vocals, everything is equal. For some reason, I feel a lot of Metallica influence on this track. Something about the riff and drumming makes me think of Metallica around the “Master of Puppets” era. Nice. “Live Through Darkness” opens with awesome drumming a chunky bass line leading into another fantastic riff. I am again reminded of same-era Metallica. I will not believe that this band takes no influence from Metallica. I will not. This track is fast paced and melodic with hints of crust punk and thrash. Vocals are extremely extreme (I hope Decibel doesn’t have that Copywritten). This album has kept me headbanging non stop since it started. That is a very good sign. So far, there are no signs of this band letting up. I am loving this chugging riff with pinch harmonics. Great. “Control” begins with another thick bass line leading up to a grooving, speeding riff. These vocals almost remind me of Jacob Bannon. Not exactly, though. Somewhere between Iron Monkey and Converge, though. Which, I think, is fucking sick. This chugging tune makes me want to beat the shit out of something. Damn, this is a great track. Amazing lead guitar work opens up “Drown” and shines a new light on this album. This track, still being heavy as fuck, is not as downtrodden and remorseful as previous track. I think it is mostly due to said melodic lead guitar. This track is full of different elements that this band fuses into a monster of a metal track. I feel some Slayer influence here towards the end. Very nice. Quite possibly my favorite track. “Upper Hand” opens with a bell ringing and some odd, creepy vocals. The buzzsaw guitar opens this track as it evolves into a powerhouse of riffing. This time around I am reminded, mostly by the vocal execution, of Rage Against The Machine. I am not sure why. Not sure at all. Just something that came to mind. Musically, I am feeling Entombed. Yeah, that’s about right. “Final Breath” opens with another Metallica-esque riff hit off with a creepy, amazing solo. The vocals are very well enunciated. The same solo I mentioned makes a return around 2:10. Still sounds great. The main riff throughout this track is over the top extraordinary. I love everything about this band. This is a band that I cannot believe I don’t hear more people talk about. This will make my year-end list. I can tell you that already and it’s only January. Go out and listen to Mother of Mercy. NOW!

Rating: 10/10