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  • While You Wait – Release review and download
    By on January 19th, 2010 | 104 Comments104 Comments Comments

    Usually, I’m not atracted to hardcore very much. Not that I don’t like it, it’s just that, in my honest opinion, most of the bands are kinda copy/paste. All too similar. But then, there are bands such as “While You Wait”.
    How I got into this band? Well, let’s just say that it was introduced to me through almost family circles. And at first I was like “ok, I’ll take a listen”, but the statement was mostly just to see what’s going on there and I thought that I will quickly forget about the band. But oh damn how I was wrong! The six songs that are feautred on this release just kept spinning and spinning and endlessly spinning on my speakers! And no, it ain’t just because the album lasts “just” eight minutes. While You Wait litteraly radiates with something that is attracting you to their songs. Amazing instruments with great tunes which are really well composed together and the whole record is kinda connected into one whole, so you listen to it in “one breath” so to speak. But then again, you also get the feeling that every song is a different chapter for itself, with riffs, melodies and lyrics changing quite a lot. I especially liked how the album is kind of divided into three parts (at least in my mind), with the first track, “This Is My Sun”, starting quite sudden and explosive. The tempo builds to the third song “A Life For A Life”, which is sort of mid tempo, with a really flowing and constant sound which is amazing. Then after “Watching A World Die” the songs start to have a slower tone at parts with distinctive breakdowns and then finally the last track which is very slow and sort of drifting away to the end of the record. So you really feel the mini-chapters and the oneness of the record at the same time, which is quite interesting. Also, the technical side of the album is quite attractive, some riffs are brilliant and I must say that I like the vocals very much, both the singer’s and the ocasional “scream-alongs”. Every part of the tunes is well composed and infused with one another and you have the feeling that everything is where it should be, litteraly nothing is astray.
    This great EP was released in 2008. But luckily While You Wait is a hardworking band so in 2009 they released an album named “My End My Rebirth”, yet another amazing record. I really suggest to everyone to check them out and support them, since they all are very talented and deserve the attention and I really hope that they will continue to flurish the way they started. Definitely check them out on their myspace page bellow, take a listen and enjoy. I’m sure you will love them!

    I’d also like to thank Andrea (guitar player in WYW), for wanting me to post their release on Skream Your Lungs Out and for being quite excited about that. And of course for the amazing While You Wait merch as a present! Hvala!=) (if you are reading this, say hi to Maria and the rest of the band:)

    Download

    bitrate: 128 kBit/s
    genre: Hardcore
    country: Italy
    notes: www.myspace.com/whileyouwaitmusic

  • I Would Set Myself On Fire For You – Believes In Patterns [2006]
    By on April 17th, 2009 | 25 Comments25 Comments Comments

    setmyself

    Who believes in patterns?
    A lashout of patterns, Twelve handsels a strong album. Piano, viola. Pause. Guitar. Drums. And the atmosphere starts getting miserable. Pause. Bass. Music. The first songs gets you wondering -is there any kind of evolution in this? Any sort of progress? The guitar sounds are harsh, reminding the distinctive riffs of Hot Cross at times. They pretty much sound like scratches on your eardrum. Sit back. The complicated musical themes are combined with jazz lines.

    The second track is raising the feeling of anticipation, and a sax is keeping a mellow travel across the scales. It brings in mind the music of John Zorn mashed with sludge and pretty flowers. There is no exact point of ending for the song, in fact it can go on a loop eternally -and instrumentally, it is connected to the following song, Six, which breaks the ice after a stressful introduction.

    So This Is Our Home has some vague traces of Defiance, Ohio! or Erin Tobey. And still it fits in the album, although it’s not really obeying to the saturnine character of the rest songs. The pass to the next track (Eight) is soft and discreet. The female vocals appearing in both songs help in connecting them, and the walk from absolute melody to the outbreak of Eight is interesting and still gentle. Eight is like a desperate face that emerged out of So This Is Our Home and the lyrics are summing up the whole album -disappointed, devastating, miserable, melancholic, black, tender, angry, questioning.

    Finishing with the Country Song, a twisty guitar starts and the almost-out-of-tone-accompaniment of the viola create a haunted, ill atmosphere. It could be considered as a tragic ironic response to the common country songs; actually, it seems to be ambivalent between irony and solemnity. The song gives a decadent, abandoned, tired end to the album -it leaves a bitter taste. This helps in digesting the album as an entity. The songs lose some of their meaning when listened to separately, as there is a sequence between them. This is pretty obvious because the ending of one song is the beginning of the next one.

    The album has moments of silence against terrible noise, and the band seems to have pursued the succession of low-profile parts by outbreaks. Still, they don’t get purely chaotic or pitchlessly noisy. There is some balance between what they sing and what they shout.

    Echo-effect: it is reoccurring throughout the album. Rhythmic changes are also common during songs, ranging from post-rock-ish slow vibrant notes to conserved violent phrases. Change the vocals and you get a clearer version of Circle Takes The Square’s music. It is an album that gets you full. Most songs are pretty long (e.g. Twelve, Seven, Three, Nine) but intervals of mental relaxation also exist. The music is mature, swarming with strange noises and subtle -or obvious- melodies. The way the songs impose their mood in the room, it can get massive, so at times the thin line between substance and exhaustion is maybe infringed.

    Mixed vocals (female & male) also support the tonal variety of the songs, because the music is mostly moving in lower pitches.

    Believes In Patters, a piece of distorted art, the work of a foggy Saturday night with the streetlights smudging their glow around them, dull music coming out of the buildings nearby, and you flying to waste, vanishing in patterns.

    Thanks to QsLv_ for sending me this review.

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  • Wolves in the Throne Room – Black Cascade
    By on April 9th, 2009 | 123 Comments123 Comments Comments

    Musically, at the point when a subcultural style becomes incorporated into the market, it is simultaneously stripped of its cultural message and becomes simply another meaningless object of mass consumption. Consider the plethora of politically motivated punk rock bands (Against Me! Greenday e.t.c) whose commercial success has seen the timeless display of politics relegated and contained to the bands personal history. Even the brash political lyrics of the mid-nineties Hip-Hop Scene (N.W.A, Wu-Tang Clan e.t.c) declined rapidly, while interest in the soundscape that those lyrics roamed increased exponentially. However, the extreme Black Metal scene has, and is still consistently defined, by its (anti)-political message, stubbornly maintaining its distance from the market whilst remaining self-consciously and traditionally burdened by the atrocities of its own festering scene. Ironically, it is this close-minded attitude that has allowed Wolves in the Throne Room (Olympia, WA) to breathe new life into the flagging scene. Through a process of reification, Wolves in the Throne Room (Hereby referred to as WITTR) have separated subject ((anti)-politics) from object (music), allowing both creative and political freedom to manifest itself with veracity.

    Since the release of second album Two Hunters (2007, Southern Lord), WITTR have ascended to the upper tiers of the underground scene by creating a transformative and apocalyptic musical manifestation that has come to completely transcend the Black Metal label. Formed by brothers Aaron (Drums) and Nathan Weaver (Guitar, Vocals) and accompanied by former Middian guitarist Will Lindsay (replacing former guitarist Richard Dahlen), the band have consistently stated that their combined musical goal was “to create a musical expression of an expanding consciousness that linked the mythic and apocalyptic visions of Black Metal” with “life-changing actions on the physical plane” and with Black Cascade (2009), the bands third full-length album, WITTR have further sought to differentiate Black Metal from a force of pure negativity and have forged an individual, neo-Arcadian philosophy in their own image.

    Despite being founded upon a traditional Black Metal musical aesthetic, Black Cascade voraciously incorporates genre as a means to broaden its appeal. Genres are woven together, with ambient and environmental samples rising and falling through the material. Melodic, Shoe-gaze drones are compounded with hazy electronics and psychedelic swings of tempo that blend together effortlessly and inter-relate between each extended composition.

    The opening track ‘Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog’ acts as both an homage to traditional Black Metal musical structures whilst at the same time using structure to deconstruct the notion of the subject; complementing traditional Black Metal tempos with ever changing dynamic shifts to produce a sophisticated layered composition that elevates transient melodies to the forefront of the song rather than make spectacular the modified heavy metal that features so prominently in the works of early Black Metal bands (such as Burzum and Mayhem).

    ‘Ahrimanic Trance’ takes the formal qualities of ‘Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog’ and promotes them further, outdoing both the ferocious speed and melodic drones of the opening track yet maintaining a sense of stylistic unity between the two.

    Joined thematically with the environmental sample ending the track before, third track ‘Ex Cathedra’ begins slowly but builds into an uncompromising powerhouse only to be broken down at the peak of its finery and outdone by a truly beautiful piece of proceeding electronic atmosphere.

    Closing track ‘Crystal Ammunition’ remains similar in focus but introduces sombre Arcadian-folk that juxtaposes perfectly with the shrill of Nathan Weaver’s vocals, bringing the album to its perfectly balanced conclusion.

    Recorded onto a two inch tape and mixed on a 1973 Neve Console by Producer Randall Dunn (Earth, Sunn O))) ), the entirety of the album benefits hugely from the hazy recorded sound, allowing for guitars and electronics to merge and create not just a sound, but a ‘soundscape’, bereft of Black Metal contradictions and brimming with enticing melody. With the release of Black Cascade, Wolves in the Throne Room have provided the possibility of moving beyond the colourless walls of Black Metal routine into the bright environs of an imaginary state and, in doing so; have changed the direction of American Black Metal for the near future.

    Slothbear

    Tracklisting:

    1. Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog (10:33)
    2. Ahrimanic Trance (14:06) (Slothbear’s Top Track)
    3. Ex Cathedra (10:59)
    4. Crystal Ammunition (14:21)

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    Mirror

  • The Number 12 Looks Like You – Worse Than Alone (2009)
    By on March 12th, 2009 | 116 Comments116 Comments Comments

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    With their fourth release Worse Than Alone (2009), The Number 12 Looks Like You has added a dynamic which most math core bands seem to lack; structure. Considering the commercial success of Mongrel (2007), it is no wonder the band have sought refinement in their sound. Opening track ‘Glory Kingdom’ noticeably departs from previous efforts and sets the focus of the entire album. Gone is the spasmodic call and response twin vocal assault; an integral element to earlier albums, now replaced by gang vocals and shouts rather than screams. Gone is the varied use of time signature within individual songs; now contained within tight individual structures, time changes complement the overall sound rather than act to disrupt and jar the listener.

    This is not to say however that the album is in any means inferior to previous efforts. The bands new approach allows for some truly memorable moments that are as devastating, if not more so, as previous efforts. ‘To Catch a Tiger’s song structure revolves around repeated guitar patterns that start as powerful, hard rock breakdowns and which descend into heavy, hardcore breakdowns all the while punctuated by gang vocals. ‘Marvin’s Jungle’ on the other hand, allows the band to incorporate elements of punk- rock for a surprisingly joyous conclusion.

    Despite this the band still retains their trademark sound on some tracks. ‘The Garden’s All Nighters’ is perhaps the best example of this. Shifting from layers of highly complex progressive metal to beautifully constructed jazz interludes; the song purposefully acts as an homage to Mongrel whilst remaining distinct enough to coordinate with the refined sound of the new album on the whole.

    Highly energised and distinctly different in tone and direction, Worse Than Alone shows how even the most innovative bands can expand upon a sound they themselves created. The Number 12 Looks Like You have created a worthy follow up to 2007’s Mongrel that builds upon the complex math-core elements of previous albums and refines them into something wholly more powerful.

    Slothbear

    The Number 12 Looks Like You – Worse Than Alone

    Track Listing:

    1. Glory Kingdom
    2. Given Life
    3. To Catch A Tiger
    4. Marvin’ Jungle
    5. The Garden’s All Nighters (Slothbear’s Top Track)
    6. If They Holler, Don’t Let Go
    7. Retort, Rebuild, Remind
    8. The League of Endangered Oddities
    9. Serpentine
    10. I’ll Make My Own Hours

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  • Black Bong review
    By on March 3rd, 2009 | 118 Comments118 Comments Comments

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    Track listing:

    01. Snow
    02. Cherry Tree
    03. Fissure
    04. Sky
    05. Road
    06. Light
    07. Wind
    08. Black Bong

    Swarrrm is a very chaotic grindcore band from Japan and they are simply insane. I’ve never heard anything quite so brutal or just plain scary, the vocals will send tingles up and down your spine and haunt your fucking dreams. The first album I heard by these guys was “Black Bong” and I fell in love within the first 10 seconds of hearing “Snow”. The growling, the screaming, the insanely fast music, it seems like someone is injecting pure awesomeness into your brain and it’s taking everything you have to process it. Sometime’s it just sounds demonic, the way the dual vocals growl over each other and other times it sounds like something you would hear from a creature as it takes it’s last breaths in some kind of horror movie, especially at the end of “Cherry Tree” and on the title track “Black Bong”, you can just imagine the singer on the ground, crawling around, face wretched in agony while performing that masterpiece. This album is the best 34 minutes you’ll find anywhere of any genre.

  • Odd Senses Review
    By on March 2nd, 2009 | No Comments Comments

    Here’s a quick review…

    psyopus-odd-sense-cover-art1

    Track listing:

    01. .44
    02. Medusa
    03. The Burning Halo
    04. Duct Tape Smile
    05. X and Y
    06. Boogeyman
    07. Imogen’s Puzzle Pt. 3
    08. Choker Chain
    09. Ms. Shyflower
    10. A Murder To Child
    11. Bonus Track

    So I finally found the time to listen to Psyopus’s new album “Odd Senses”. I wouldn’t say they’re one of my favorite hardcore bands, but definitely one I respect and enjoy listening too. First off, the cover art is fucking beautiful, minimal but artistic. As soon as the first track “.44″ started playing, I knew I was going to enjoy the next hour of music. The very next track, “Medusa” was fucking awesome, absolutely loved the vocals on this track, definitely a different style, but one I wouldn’t mind hearing on every song. Another track worth mentioning is “Choker Chain” because the looped spoken samples of a female are hilarious, something that is prevalent through out the whole album. “A Murder To Child” is a wonderful masterpiece, I never felt that it was too long, all 9 minutes are rapturous and enthralling. The very last song on the album, the bonus track is, for lack of a better expression, a “one way ticket to hell”. It gets sort of jazzy a little after the 5 minute mark, a very nice touch. There are a few commercials littered through out the 20 minute track, all of them equally silly and humorous. The use of “butt rape” is executed well, love how these guys don’t take themselves seriously. And last but not least, the acoustic song near the end of the track is epic win, a must hear! All 11 tracks are great though, never comes off as repetitive.

    The album overall is extremely fast, hard, and chaotic as fuck. The distinct screeching guitar can get a little repetitive at times, not so much as to ruin anything though. I was not disappointed at all, in fact, I came away from this album liking this band more than I originally did. I think anyone who enjoys and knows what good music sounds like will enjoy Odd Senses, definitely worth purchasing.  A much needed punch to the face and kick to the anus.