Monday, April 27, 2015

Most Precious Blood - Shark Ethic

2:02 mark.

My love for this band is born of kind of a strange circumstance. My brother showed me the video for this song and while at the time I wasn't feeling it too much, the hilarious two stepper at the 2:58 mark made for endless jokes and laughter. Several years later, I came into a copy of Our Lady of Annihilation and was floored. I then decided to revisit Merciless and MPB became one of my favorite hardcore bands.

The first minute of the song might give you the impression that you are about to hear a band cover Sisters of Mercy as the choir kicks in, but you are snapped out of that idea with a bucket of cold water as the opening riff sets the tone for the aural assault to come. Singer Rob Fusco's throat shredding delivery evokes immediate feelings of rage and prepares you to charge head first through a cinder block wall when the band takes aim with the featured riff.

Made up of former members of New York hardcore legends Indecision and One King Down, Most Precious Blood possess a flawless discography, and while their activities as a band are currently extremely limited, they are no less focused and intense. Do yourself a favor and check out the recommended listening below.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Brodequin - Mazzatello

Riff mark: 1:12

The irony of brutal death metal exclusively themed around torture. Mercifully this one is short and painlessly inoffensive, barely a half-hour of snare-slapping and mucous-clearing. Festival of Death is another self-mutilating victim to the recording mimicry of heavy-volume voice and drum; blinding white light blurs. Weirdly ambient. Impressive drummer on those snare hits; THAT takes endurance. Hey, heard a tom maybe once or twice! Critique unsurprisingly interchangeable with most on the blood-and-guts front. 

Swans - Mother of the World

Riff mark: 0:00

Praise be to Michael Gira, whose name slant rhymes with “my hero.” The only musician sane enough to mug madness in its maw as the world around him rots with sophomoric protocol. His lack of compromise through thirty years of determined incubation now hatches the penultimate climax of every Swans paragon, The Seer, an album with both patience and inevitability not unlike steamrollers. There are extracts: the grinding steel-mill repetitions of Filth and Children of God, the face-to-mirror self-scolding of White Light, and the scattered banging of haunted fireworks that is Soundtracks for the Blind, all of which are swallowed by the hulking prominence of The Seer and its ambitious, majestic two-hour span, seeming to forget names and meanings, operating through cores rather than itemizations (I see it all). Songs are secondary to ideas here, peculiar percussion jackhammering waypoints for strummed and slaughtered strings, vocals not of a foreign tongue, but of a foreign life, everything totaling into lumbering, freakish mammoths for tracks: three of which combine for 70 minutes. Deceptively NOT boring, but passionate and demanding, as each punctuation note in the minimalism that is the bursting middle of the title track (the only 32-minute thing I’ll ever like) is a necessary tally mark. The orchestration in each explosion is tremendous, quantities of drums accompanied by woodwinds, cellos, pipes, chimes, harmonicas, orchestras of dissonance finding singularity in existence. Utterly indescribable with words, labels, or tonality, yet ardently recommended for its unchartered prose, which Gira narrates with courage amidst age (late 50’s at time of release), frustration, and sobering recall: pained wisdom expressed by an individualist in universal concepts, older than earth, known by anything green or with pulse.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Meshuggah - In Death Is Life/Death

Riff mark: 2:36

Long, boring album. Meshuggah is perfectly capable of blistering face-melters like the None EP and Destroy Erase Improve. Even Nothing had something. Catch 33 is mid-paced, riff-less quandary: mere theme-and-variation play on atonal doodling courtesy of Fredrik Thordenal (who solos little here, or if he does, it matters little), usually for several minutes. Polyrhythmic, but not bewildering, with no hook and no headbangers. When the record eventually crescendos and teases metal sensibility, all music comes to an abrupt halt to make room for baffling breaks filled with whisper talk, ambient cybernetic noise, and chorus-pedal guitar effects. I loathe this. Really, the not-so-special defects of Sol Niger Within becoming too prominent on an album charged forward through severe self-concussive stubbornness. Damn. They were once so cutting edge.