Lines In Wax

TWELVE YEARS OF UNWANTED OPINION

Month: July 2019

Death Grips – The Powers That B (2015)

Death Grips – The Powers That B (2015)

This was about the time I kinda moved on from Death Grips so I missed this record when it initially dropped. In hindsight, it’s now easily identifiable as the beginning of the band’s rockier, more abrasive sounds. Sure, DG have always been noisy and abstract, but there is a more distorted edge beginning with The Powers That B that permeated every release going forward. 

Phillip Glass – Koyaanisqatsi Soundtrack (1983)

Phillip Glass – Koyaanisqatsi Soundtrack (1983)

I’ll admit, I’ve never seen the movie Koyaanisqatsi. It has been on my to-do list for seemingly ages, but I am familiar with some of these tracks from the Watchmen movie that came out in 2009 or whatever. I find these songs hauntingly beautiful, bridging that perfect gap between the worlds of ambient and melody. The soothing leads are rich, sparkling and dense. Vocal reinforcement works in an almost orchestral way, and while none of the songs have lyrics per se, it does given them a needed human element which prevents this soundtrack from being too clinical. There is a mystical theme to some of these passages. Truly glorious stuff.

Gaahl’s Wyrd – GastiR – Ghosts Invited (2019)

Gaahl’s Wyrd – GastiR – Ghosts Invited (2019)

Absolutely solid! Gaahl’s track record is pretty consistent and the new group entitled Gaahl’s Wyrd is no different. Mystical, hypnotic riffs balance somewhere between metal brutality and a freezing atmospheric fog; filling the audible palate with a rich, all-encompassing sound. The drums range from the slightly disappointing “buried-by-the-other-sounds” level blastbeats through to complex tribal rhythms that remind me of the works of Frost. The vocals are commanding, stunning, and contribute excellent finishing touches to this fantastic debut.

Decimation – Reign Of Ungodly Creation (2014)

Decimation – Reign Of Ungodly Creation (2014)

Christ, could this be any more metal? Some of the song titles are cringe-inducing levels of 00ber-br00tal1ty but I will say that I am very glad that I went ahead and pressed on. The production is thick and chunky, the band are tight as fuck (the drummer is absolutely spot on, old chum(s)) and the songs are highly enjoyable heavy slabs of brutal death savagery. Maybe not what the doctor ordered, but he’s bringing it anyway, along with some sharp surgical instruments and a chainsaw or two.

Celtic Frost ‎– Monotheist (2006)

Celtic Frost ‎– Monotheist (2006)

Well, where on earth has this been all of my life? I absolutely snoozed on this one. Later-era Celtic Frost doesn’t have the greatest reputation, but this is phenomenally heavy. I guess, creating the proto-roots for the Triptykon project in the process. The lyrics are a bit corn-ball, but the delivery is exceptional, the production is dry and on point, and the songs have the weight of a thousand anvils drenched in the blood of the innocent and possessed by the souls of the tormented. Yeah.

Björk – Homogenic (1997)

Björk – Homogenic (1997)

Homogenic is possibly the most consistent of all Björk records (perhaps the clue is in the name). After the meandering madness of styles on Post, our formidable musical heroine sticks to a classic electronic backbone for her songs on this album. The beats in particular are absolutely outstanding. The synth lines are stunning. The production possesses a clarity that could bring you to tears. I don’t have to tell you about Björk’s vocal performances. Every track here is absolutely spot on in every single way. It would be hard to say for definite, but if there is an argument for one definitive powerhouse Björk record, I’d say this would be a strong contender. 

Five Pointe O – Untitled (2002)

Five Pointe O – Untitled (2002)

I’ve been looking back recently at a few things that I remember from the nu-metal era, and I have to admit that this is one of the more interesting things that I’ve come across. With the opening track’s first lyrics of “shakaka-pow!” (or some such nonsense), you’d never think this was a mature and well constructed record, which has more in common with  post-hardcore than nu-metal, if I’m honest. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, especially the bass and synth performances. It is a shame that FPO broke up.

Entombed – Left Hand Path (1990)

Entombed – Left Hand Path (1990)

The Left Hand Path is one that is admittedly less taken for myself, but you really can’t beat a bit of early Entombed. It really is no wonder that this sound was – and is to this day – so often imitated the world over. That guitar tone is unreal, but lets not let that detract from the stunning bass performance, the fantastic drummer and of course, the vocals. Make what you will of their later outputs but this is a fucking savage record. Timeless metal!

The Prodigy – Their Law (2005)

The Prodigy – Their Law (2005)

I broke this out after the news of Keith Flint’s death began to trick into the media. The Prodigy, or more specifically “Firestarter”, was one of the first things I ever truly remember hearing or enjoying as a child. I never fully immersed myself in their music, but once this “best of” came out in 2005 it entered into a regular rotation. I regrettably never got to see The Prodigy live. 

Mayhem / Zyklon-B – Split 7″ (1999)

Mayhem / Zyklon-B – Split 7″ (1999)

A limited, 1000 copies release of a split between two greats of the Nordic black metal scene. The crunchy fuzz on Mayhem’s studio cut here is outstanding, and lends itself more to the murky depths of death metal rather than the coldness of the blackened variety. Zyklon-B is much more refined and ultra-fast, showcasing the pure breed of industrial black metal (a strange crossover genre in itself, which either works mesmerisingly well or falls flat on its arse). In all reality however, there is nothing new here, and this release is definitely for hardcore fans of either bands. 

Death From Above 1979 – You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine (2004)

Death From Above 1979 – You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine (2004)

I remember this coming out when I was a wee lad. Back then, I couldn’t really appreciate what was going on, although I thoroughly enjoyed the track “Black History Month”, which I think was the second single off of this album. Since then however, I’ve been able to go back and appreciate what Death From Above 1979 were doing. For a two piece, the band really concocted some all-encompassing compositions and have made some interesting sounds with a bass guitar or two. I think they paved the way for a lot of bass guitar led music in the UK rock and indie scene, but who knows. There is a sleazy swagger that lends itself to a lot of the tracks, whilst others simmer and crawl a bit more. This is an excellent and slightly under-rated album.

Impetigo – Faceless (1991)

Impetigo – Faceless (1991)

Where there is gore, surely grind is not far away. Enter stage right the goregrind / downtuned demo-tape quality death metal masters, Impetigo. The grinding slab that we have here is an EP from 1991, that has been re-released a whole bunch of times, most notably on murky blue/purple vinyl and on a picture disk. This is some pretty savage old school shit, so if you like your metal recorded on a shoestring budget, with horror samples and questionable solos, then look no further, travellers!

Dying Fetus – Stop At Nothing (2003)

Dying Fetus – Stop At Nothing (2003)

My God, the drums! The unholy drumming! When will it stop? Never, of course. They sound as thin as a wafer thin mint (just the one!), but blast and rattle us through 35 minutes of brutalising death metal. Dying Fetus are one of the stronger brutal death metal bands. Stop At Nothing seems to incorporate elements of hardcore into the festering mire, as well as a whole bunch of ripping solos. Metal on steroids, tbh.