Lines In Wax

TWELVE YEARS OF UNWANTED OPINION

Month: March 2017

Abigail Williams – In The Shadow Of A Thousand Suns (2008)

Abigail Williams – In The Shadow Of A Thousand Suns (2008)

This is one of those albums that I ended up checking out purely because of the cover art. I’ve been avoiding Abigail Williams for the best part of a decade, purely because I thought they were some sort of shitty scene metalcore band or something, and whilst they do bring that kinda “edge” to the table, In The Shadow Of A Thousand Suns is a complex piece of a work and a decent contribution to modern black metal. Imagine Dimmu Borgir meets Suicide Silence, or something along those lines. Speaking of Dimmu, I could swear this band picked up Mustis after the Norwegian titans shuffled their staff; the keyboard playing is fucking on point. The metal is solid, especially the guitar work, but I keep waiting for the onslaught to end so I can get a earful of that sweet, sweet piano. Anyway, an incredibly solid record, although not something that I would usually pick.

Oblivionized – Life Is A Struggle, Give Up (2015)

Oblivionized – Life Is A Struggle, Give Up (2015)

Oblivionized are a grindcore / tech death answer to the distillation of sounds purveyed by those such as early Dillenger Escape Plan, Fuck The Facts, and even to a degree, Antigama. The shredding guitar / intense drum work is reminiscent of fellow British grinders Evisorax, but Oblivionized have a much more – how should I put it – “progressive” edge that sees a lot of interesting elements brought into the firing line (like the singing bowl on “I Pity You”). The only downside here is that the band is missing a bass player. This doesn’t usually matter in circles such as these, but unfortunately, in some of the more adventurous or experimental parts of Life Is A Struggle… (i.e. – when it isn’t just blasting or shredding to fuck) the missing dimension of the low end can really be felt.

Luciferion – The Apostate (2003)

Luciferion – The Apostate (2003)

Luciferion were a band from Sweden that played an interesting blend of genres that I can only describe as symphonic death metal. Like Dimmu Borgir, Emperor and the like did for black metal in the 90s, Luciferion apply the same logic to brutal, unrepentant old school death metal. Obviously, there is a lot of variation in death metal now and a lot of different angles to the style, especially as incorporating certain aspects of melody and atmosphere have become quite common. Nevertheless the clash of ripping death metal and the pomp of the symphonic elements is a bit jarring at first, kind of as if you are playing two different albums at the same time by mistake. I’m not sure what it was exactly that kept me listening, but very quickly everything fell into place and what Luciferion were trying to do made perfect sense to me. Anyways, The Apostate gathers together all of the material the band released asides from their debut album (Demonication (The Manifest)), and asides from The Apostate material, contains their Demon of 1994 demo (although the tracklist is different from the Demo 1994 listing on Discogs…confusing?), and a Celtic Frost cover.

Killbite – Discrimi-Nation (2016)

Killbite – Discrimi-Nation (2016)

Killbite are a hardcore band out of Bremen in Germany, playing in the heavy, almost metal style rather than the punky, upbeat style of hardcore. Discrimi-Nation isn’t a million miles away from the powerviolence sound; hard-hitting, dark, distorted, angry as fuck – there are many tracks here worthy of getting the pit moving, whilst a few others are more thought provoking and morose, especially the untitled closing number. This is thoughtful, powerful hardcore music with a strong message. Asides from a 10″ on German label Break The Silence, the band have been very dedicated to the DIY approach and this album is self-released on both CD and vinyl. Physical copies are available directly from the band. 

Sects – In The Sky (2016)

Sects – In The Sky (2016)

This is an absolutely mental little EP featuring members of Water Torture and Thedowngoing (who I am currently not too familiar with, I’ll be honest). It only clocks in at around 5 minutes, but with this kinda hyper-intense level of energy I’ll forgive the tiny run time. Bordering somewhere between a rehearsal room recording and a decent recording sesh for like, a split 7″ or something, Sects meld different corners of the grind world together in frenetic, chaotic harmony. Imagine Benumb meets The Locust.

Eisley – I’m Only Dreaming (2017)

Eisley – I’m Only Dreaming (2017)

So here we have Eisley’s first release since the departure of Stacey and Chauntelle (as well as drummer Weston who remains as a studio member but not a live member), leaving vocalist Sherri Dupree Bemis and bassist Garon Dupree to pick up where the band left off and move forward. It is always tough to lose band members, especially ones that brought a lot to the table and in this case, the loss of the beautiful vocal harmonies between all the Dupree sisters. I was very keen to hear how the sound would be affected, if at all. What we have here though is a very nice sounding record; still luckily managing to capture the soothing, dreamy, spacey, far-away Eisley sound that I have always loved, and with guest appearances too from Sheri’s husband Max Bemis (of Say Anything) and Anthony Green (of Circa Survive and Saosin). Opener “Always Wrong” instantly erased any doubt in my mind that this wasn’t anything but a solid Eisley record, despite all the missing personnel. Personal highlights for me are the Anthony Green collaboration “Louder Than A Lion”, and definitely the tracks “You Are Mine” and “Snowfall”. That being said, Eisley are the type of band where I can easily just listen to the entire album in full rather than single anything out, hence my very brief picking apart; it all just flows together so lovely and it is easy to get lost inside it all. That is the best way to enjoy this band in my opinion. So, all that’s left for me to say is I’m really glad that the group continued despite the setbacks and blows to it and returned with such a great album; they will still continue to be a personal favourite of mine. I hope other fans of the group will agree.

Sordo – Tactical Precision Violence (2012)

Sordo – Tactical Precision Violence (2012)

Holy fuck! This is fucking amazing! Bass-driven, hardcore-tinged powerviolence madness from the Americas! If I keep using exclamation marks does it look like I’m shouting!? I hope so! Easy comparisons out of the way first: Man Is The Bastard, Water Torture, Prisoner 639 (or anything that grinds like a fucking beast at a low rumbling frequency). To quote a YouTube commentator: “Non stop harsh grinding savagery from start to finish”. I could not have put it better myself! Tactical Precision Violence by Sordo

Avenged Sevenfold – The Stage (2016)

Avenged Sevenfold – The Stage (2016)

(Words by Griefmonger) I’m a prissy fuck. I thought this would be a straightforward shit-shoot. And I was wrong. We have got at least 15-17 mins of engaging music (and vocals may I add), although I dare you to try and make it to 20 mins without getting diabetes, which is when it becomes a shitestorm of Trivium, Metallica, Hatebreed and Alice in Chains. There is no amount of nonsense or high end guitar that stop your riffs sounding like Bon Jovi. There are a couple of blast beats, though. After this point I think that they are just trying to be clever (and failing, where many other bands have). You know where other bands do a keyboard or flute on a track? These guys make that a full track. I’m gonna try and be positive by saying that they have a couple of riffs that are supposed to be low key intros but I’m trying to justify a band that has big bucks behind them and are trying to sound like Alice in Chains when they where meaningful yet end up sounding like Trivium (who in turn are trying to sound like Metallica who are in turn also trying to sound like Metallica). I might be a bit biased as I like depressive suicidal black metal, but never have I listened to an album that made me want to kill myself more than this one.

Last Days Of Humanity / FUBAR – Split 9″ (2017)

Last Days Of Humanity / FUBAR – Split 9″ (2017)

So, so, so stoked for the return (yet again lol) of Last Days Of Humanity, and the return to the gurgling madness we all know and love. This return is somewhat low key, but I guess it fits with dropping new shit on a split. I believe the music on here was recorded some time ago, and that the vokills have been provided recently. It is good shit though, glad to have ’em back! FUBAR (or is that F.U.B.A.R.) have been around for yonks but I am useless with this shit so I haven’t had a proper listen to these guys since I heard the split with Catheter many moons ago. Their material here seems to have a lot more of a hardcore punk kinda influence than I remember, but this is solid stuff that I need to check out more of! Out on Poland’s excellent Fat Ass Records and USA’s excellent Haunted Hotel Records.

Prostitute Disfigurement – From Crotch To Crown (2014)

Prostitute Disfigurement – From Crotch To Crown (2014)

From Crotch To Crown is the latest offering from long-running Dutch death metal group Prostitute Disfigurement. Honestly, when I first heard this, I thought it was an older release, as it isn’t as polished as the previous album, Descendants of Depravity. It isn’t exactly a step backwards though, as personally I prefer a bit of a rougher edge to my death metal, despite the clinical execution of Descendants… being pretty incredible stuff. As always with Prostitute Disfigurement, you can expect a high-grade of solid death metal, with excellent guitar work, intense drumming and ferocious vocals. This has been on my “to-do” list for bloody ages, but there’s not much I can say about it really, other than the fact that its fucking awesome. As this was out in 2014, I’m hoping there’ll be another slab of death coming from these guys in the near future. In the mean time, check this out below.

Nervosa – Victim Of Yourself (2014)

Nervosa – Victim Of Yourself (2014)

It has taken me so long to review this album that the follow up came out recently (2016’s Agony). That is pretty shameful, as I have been pretty stoked about this bunch of Brazilian thrashers since catching them at 2015’s Obscene Extreme. Nervosa are an all-female act, and it is incredibly refreshing to not see this used to their “advantage” as some sort of gimmick or selling point. Victim Of Yourself has the perfect production job for a thrash metal record; clear and concise, with the drums protruding clearly through the mix, and the bass clanking away and not hidden by the guitars. Vocalist / bassist Fernanda Lira boasts a frankenstein rasping howl, drawing blood from Death’s Chuck Schuldiner and ex-Arch Enemy front-woman Angela Gossow.

Pigsty – Planet Of The Pigs (2009)

Pigsty – Planet Of The Pigs (2009)

Planet Of The Pigs is the final (2020 edit: nope!) album from long-running Czech grindcore band, Pigsty. I think to still call Pigsty a grindcore band by this point is pushing it a bit; Planet Of The Pigs has a whole world of other influences building on the grinding template, from thrash to death metal, to the kooky ongoing concept (“Inspection Report” kicks this thing off with GWAR-grade sci-fi storytelling) and even the insane djent moments that randomly crop up through the chaos.  The band have had an almost exclusive relationship with Bizarre Leprous productions, and I sincerely hope that one day they shall return from the Planet Of The Pigs to blast us with more perplexing space grind.

Henker – Slave Of My Art (2010)

Henker – Slave Of My Art (2010)

Henker are absolutely lightening fast! Imagine Meshuggah-meets-Braindrill in the same studio Cattle Decapitation recorded their last few albums in. Maddening drumming performances meet technical yet brutal guitar playing and dexterous bass movements that completely fuck with your head. I mean, those drums….Jesus Christ. I know they are triggered into oblivion, but you gotta be impressed by this shit. Honestly though, due to the sheer speed and technicality of this thing, all the songs do kinda blur into one big brutal mass, which strikes an interesting duality with the fact that it is incredibly listenable; it is hard to get off the ride once it has begun. For those of you who like death metal to be a little bit cleaner than the old school stock, and with a progressive element; this comes strongly recommended.

Meshuggah – Catch Thirtythree (2005)

Meshuggah – Catch Thirtythree (2005)

I’m not entirely sure what it was that struck me, but I randomly went out of my way to finally listen to a Meshuggah record, and what suprised me more than anything was that I was able to make it all the way to the end without turning it off. I have nothing personal against Meshuggah, except for inspiring a worldwide fucking legion of brocore brown-nosers and carbon copy chug and/or “djent” bands that believe that having expensive guitars and a ridiculous low end tone somehow compensates for actual songwriting. Yeah, we get it, the guitars are playing out of time with the drums. We know. Beefheart did that shit in the fucking 60s. But Catch Thirtythree is a pretty decent slab of metal, if I’m honest, if not a little repetitive. I’m a grumpy sod when it comes to metal, but I would be lying if I said this was bad.