Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ulcerate - Shrines of Paralysis

 Unwavering and brutal; this is the brand of dissonant death metal that New Zealand's Ulcerate has been putting out since their inception. Yet, these descriptors always seem to fall short of fully portraying the devastating nature of the band's sound. The Destroyers of All, the band's 2011 release, set an amazingly high bar, but with Shrines of Paralysis, Ulcerate's death metal chops - along with their dialed in songwriting sensibilities - culminate into what could quite possibly be their most complete offering to date.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Red Fang - Only Ghosts

Since 2009, Red Fang has consistently put out some of the catchiest tunes in heavy music.  Blending thick, crunchy riffs with infectious, ear worm choruses in a high energy setting, Red Fang, Murder the Mountains, and Whales and Leeches have helped Red Fang carve themselves a distinct niche; in a stoner genre that often brings to mind hour-long songs and couch lock, Red Fang write songs that get you off of your ass and banging your head.  Their latest album Only Ghosts, does not deviate from this overarching formula, but tweaks it enough to keep things fresh while somehow upping the fun factor.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Exclusive Interview : Bruce Lamont (Brain Tentacles)

This past Saturday, Mick and I were fortunate enough to sit down with Bruce Lamont, he of many other bands but currently of Brain Tentacles. BT was in town on their tour with Intronaut and Gorguts that was passing through Chicago, and so over beers we took the opportunity to chat with Bruce about Brain Tentacles, his musical inspirations, songs he'd like to cover, how Luc Lemay is the nicest guy in the world, and many other things!  Check out our interview below!  Also be sure not to miss Brain Tentacles on tour with Gorguts and Intronaut; words do not do this show justice.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Opeth - Sorceress

I'll cut to the chase. If you're the breed of Opeth fan that refuses to believe the band has done anything of substance since their 2008 album, Watershed, then their latest album will not change that opinion. On the flip side of that coin, if you are, at the very least, unoffended by any of Opeth's post-Watershed material, then you would probably be interested to know that Sorceress is among the strongest of their recent output. With the recent transition from Roadrunner to Nuclear Blast Records, it seems that Akerfeldt and co. have found a new wind; maybe not the wind we've not so-secretly been hoping for for the past five years, but a welcomed one nonetheless.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Alcest - Kodama

After the release of Alcest's Ecailles de Lune in 2010 (crown jewel of their discography according to many), Alcest cemented themselves as a band whose new material I would wait for with bated breath. Acting as progenitors for the musical hybrid of shoegaze and black metal, they put forth sounds that were so pristine in their serenity, it could be considered a spiritual endeavor to consume their material. But, as with many bands that pioneer a certain sound, sometimes they try to venture too far outside of what made them appealing in the first place (just ask any Opeth fan). For Alcest, this step outside the norm was with their last album from three years ago, Shelter. On this effort, they dropped any and all elements that would be considered "heavy" and fully embraced the ethereal aspects to their sound that made Shelter come across as a dream-pop album; one that was decent at its best points and tedious for all the rest of its duration. However, moving forward with their latest release, Kodama, Alcest showcases a welcome return to form, albeit a seemingly short one.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Exclusive Interview: If These Trees Could Talk

 Last Thursday, I had the incredible opportunity to see Akron, OH's instrumental post-metal masters If These Trees Could Talk live at the Beat Kitchen in Chicago.  Before the show, I was fortunate enough to take a stroll around the Roscoe Village neighborhood with guitarists Mike Socrates and Cody Kelly and drummer Zack Kelly; during the stroll we chatted about their incredible new album The Bones of a Dying World, Maynard James Keenan, the hotbed of musical talent from northern Ohio, Maynard James Keenan, their upcoming tour, and Maynard James Keenan.  It's a pretty great conversation, so you should listen to it all,  as well as check out my sub-amateur photography skills below!  Most importantly, do not miss out on ITTCT when they come through your city over the next three weeks!