Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Durf's Treatise on Social Justice Warriors, Scene Bullying, and the War for the Very Soul of Metal

Lately, there has been an uptick in controversies and arguments within the metal community.  Some say that metal is offensive and crude and insulting toward women, the LGBTQ community, and anyone the scene doesn't deem "troo kvlt."  Others say that metal is meant to be extreme, and that it isn't for everyone, and if you don't get it, then kindly go the fuck on about your day.  Still others are still trying to figure out what "troo kvlt" means, and why it's spelled like that (this last group might just be me).  I don't pretend to speak for metal as a whole, or metal blogs as a whole, or even THIS metal blog as a whole, but I feel like there are some things I'd like to say on the topic, so I'm gonna.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Cobalt - Slow Forever

The seven year gap between Cobalt's landmark Gin and newest album Slow Forever have certainly seen some interesting times for the band.  Scratch that; the first six years were pretty solid, normal years, including a tour and appearance at Maryland Deathfest 2013, but this past year... whew, it's been a doozy.  Vocalist and founding member Phil McSorley quit the band last year, giving instrumental wizard Erik Wunder his blessing to continue using the moniker, before returning to the fold, announcing the recording of a new album, and then being kicked out for... well, generally being a dick.  Wunder continued on, announced the title of the album as Slow Forever, and brought in Charlie Fell (ex-Lord Mantis, ex-Nachtmystium) to provide vocals.  Fell is no stranger to controversy himself, having had to defend the cover and some lyrics of Lord Mantis' (pretty great) album Death Mask.  I could honestly dive into further detail and opinion and soapbox grandstanding about any and all of these topics, save for the facts that 1) I really don't want to deal in drama, lest I become known as the Perez Hilton of metal, and 2) THERE'S A NEW FUCKING COBALT ALBUM OUT, AND WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THAT!!!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Inter Arma - Paradise Gallows

Coming out of the metal hotbed of Richmond, VA, Inter Arma has been a rising name since the release of their sophomore album, 2013's wonderful Sky Burial.  That rise only increased in speed and height in 2014, when they released The Cavern, an absolutely stunning forty-five minute sole composition EP featuring a litany of guests.  The band now returns with their next full-length, Paradise Gallows and it's little surprise that it is a worthy, exemplary addition to the band's discography that will continue to elevate them up the metal ladder.  What is a surprise, though, are some of the changes that Inter Arma throws on to the table with Paradise Gallows.

Friday, June 24, 2016

We'll Do It Live Fridays: Carcass - Gods of Grind Tour '92

From the legendary Gods of Grind tour that featured Entombed, Cathedral, Carcass, and Confessor. This live set is a time capsule from after Carcass' third album Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious and their most famous work, Heartwork

Grind away after the break!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

If These Trees Could Talk - The Bones of a Dying World

If you ask a dozen different people to define instrumental post-rock/metal and give you a band that best fits that definition, chances are you'll get some different answers.  From the heavy riffs of Pelican, to the proggier leanings of Scale the Summit, to the ambient/intense duality of Explosions in the Sky, to any other band you can think of, the post- genre seems to lend itself to a litany of sounds while defining none of them.  Personally, my baseline for post-metal is ISIS, so my baseline for instrumental post-metal is "take Aaron Turner's vocals away from ISIS, and go from there."  It's a fascinating genre that allows for quite a bit of experimentation, subverted expectations, and deviation from the norm (like all music should), and I think it's cool that so many different yet similar sounds can fit under one umbrella.  Now that you know how I feel about post-metal, let's talk about If These Trees Could Talk and their new album The Bones of a Dying World.  If These Trees Could Talk hail from Akron, OH, and have been around for a little over a decade.  They first crossed my radar when I heard some songs from their second album Red Forest, all of which I enjoyed.  The Bones of a Dying World comes at a perfect time, as post-metal has seen a lull in quality releases this year compared to years past and other genres.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Sumac - What One Becomes

Even though they've been gone for six years, ISIS' (the band) fingerprints are still all over the metal world, especially guitarist/vocalist Aaron Turner.  In addition to his splendid work with Old Man Gloom, Turner is currently holding court as the Supergroup King with his other other band Sumac.  Comprised of Turner and Baptists drummer Nick Yacyshyn (with Russian Circles bassist Brian Cook recording with the band and playing live whenever he can), Sumac came about from Turner's desire to create the heaviest music of his career, and their debut album The Deal certainly lived up to that (lofty) goal.  The band returns with their follow up What One Becomes, and while they've gotten just a dash more introspective, they've certainly remained as heavy as possible.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Gorguts - Pleiades' Dust

When Gorguts released Colored Sands in 2013, it had been over a decade since the band's last album, and Luc Lemay was the sole Gorgut remaining from that endeavor (as he ought to be).  Colored Sands was a critical smash, Lemay's new lineup - Kevin Hufnagel on guitar, Colin Marston on bass, and Patrice Hamelin on drums - crushed it both in studio and live, and almost immediately people (me) began hoping for a follow up from this edition of Gorguts (it's weird, and I can't explain it, but even though I liked Carcass' Surgical Steel a bit more than Colored Sands, I remain far more excited by the prospect of new Gorguts than new Carcass).  That follow up has been delivered in the form of Pleiades' Dust, a one song EP that spans an even thirty-three minutes.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Podcast # 6: "Off the Rails, The Tom and Durf Variety Spectacular, Magma Quagmire"

In this episode, Tom and Durf take time to chat about Gojira's new album "Magma", the emergence of metal-themed late night talk show "Two Minutes to Late Night", and plenty of sports related side tangents.

Listen in after the break!

Friday, June 17, 2016

We'll Do It Live Fridays: Gojira - "A Sight to Behold"

It's been a long, long time since we've done one of these, but the time is right for a return.  We know you can find live performances of bands anywhere and everywhere on the internet now, and we appreciate you watching this one here.  Have a great weekend; we'll be back next week.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Nails - You Will Never Be One of Us

Outside of perhaps power metal, no metal subgenre has given me as many fits trying to enjoy as grindcore.  Don't get me wrong, I can get down with some grind from time to time; it's punishing speed and ferocity can be just the ticket, and obviously bands like Pig Destroyer, Napalm Death, and Dying Fetus are legendary figures within the metal world.  But I just don't seem to find myself sitting down after a long day and saying "You know what Durf?  You should listen to some Brutal Truth right now."  And it's for a silly reason: time.