Monday, August 31, 2009

Suicide Silence - No Time To Bleed

Have the deathcore monsters managed to silence all the haters? Click HERE to find out.

Dimmu Borgir lose two members

Rather unfortunate news has surfaced to day. Dimmu Borgir keyboardist Mustis has reported on his MySpace that he and bassist/vocalist ICS Vortex have left the band. Claims have been made that both were either fired or left with no other option but to leave because of disagreements within the band. An official statement from Dimmu Borgir is pending.

This is unfortunate for Dimmu regarding ICS Vortex, mostly. His clean, almost operatic, vocals added a whole new dimension to the black metallers’ music. It was something that separated them from all the other black metal bands, and was certainly part of what made records like Death Cult Armageddon and In Sorte Diaboli outstanding.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Muse preview new album

Muse are readying themselves for the release of their new studio album, The Resistance, the follow up to 2006’s Blackholes & Revelations. Reports and rumours concerning the album have been on the go for months now. Some saying that the record takes a much more progressive approach, styles reminiscent of Rush.

Well, as the album draws nearer some light has been shed on the sound of the album. Now streaming on band’s site are 30 second samples of each track; listen HERE.

There’s a very alluring sound on display in these tracks. Opener, “Uprising” indulges in a space rock vibe which by the sounds of it will translate perfectly to the live stage.

They edge on poppy radio rock on “Resistance”, while “Undisclosed Desires” exchanges some mesmerising synths with Matt Bellamy’s unmistakeable vocals. Then there’s “United States of Eurasia”. It kicks in with immediate Queen worship, sounding like they’ve spliced some of their tunes together. It’s difficult to explain as I only heard 30 seconds.
“Guiding Light” boasts some sensational sounding lead guitar work; this sample sounds the most promising.

“Unnatural Selection” works more towards Muse’s rocking side. As too does “MK Ultra”. Next, “I Belong To You” works on the jazzy influences, but also sounding very radio friendly and accessible.

Three part closer “Exogenesis: Symphony” seems to be their most notable venture into progdom, especially with its conspicuous three part, chaptered arrangement. “Part 1 (Overture)” works a string section with a building drum beat and vocal. “Part 2 (Cross Pollination)” is piano laden at first while building rather quickly with Queen-like precision. Then “Part 3 (Redemption)” leads the album to a close.

Now that you’ve read this, bear one thing in mind. I only heard 30 second samples of each track. I’m not passing judgement on the songs, which would be totally unfair. I’m only commenting on what I heard at the time. The songs seem to work on an odd middle ground, nothing too soft but still no big rock tunes like “Hysteria” or “Plug In Baby”.

Stick around for more updates on The Resistance.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New Pelican track

A new track from post metal veterans Pelican has landed. “Strung Up From The Sky” is from their forthcoming new album, What We All Come To Need.

A clean wraithlike intro opens proceedings resting all on top of a coarse bass line. “Strung Up…” then falls into an Earth-like riff. The track then edges its way through its riff in typical Pelican fashion. Around the 4 minute mark we encounter a delicate, curving riff until shifting back to the intro riff. Replete with superbly kneading melodies and builds “Strung Up From The Sky” does nothing but further raise the excitement for What We All Come To Need.

The track can be heard on their myspace:

The album is released October 27th

Jesu - Infinity EP

Justin K. Broadrick returns with Jesu and this new EP, Infinity. Consisting of only one song, the title track clocks in at just under 50 minutes and is one of the most interesting releases you'll hear this year. Click below to read more:

Monday, August 24, 2009

Razorblade Kisses - Ballerina

Here's the latest releases I got sent to me, Razorblade Kisses' promotional single Ballerina. Click the image below to read the review on Drop-D.Quite frankly, it's terrible. Check out their photos on myspace though, hilarious. But in all seriousness this output is pretty woeful.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Steven Wilson: The King Crimson remasters

Steven Wilson is keeping very busy this year. Releasing his eclectic solo album Insurgentes earlier this year and readying the release of Porcupine Tree’s tenth studio album The Incident; listen to the track “Time Flies” HERE. Also, about to land soon is the Insurgentes film, documenting Wilson’s worldwide travels when recording the record. There’s more though, the guy is still finding time to mix the new Anathema album. But of course that’s not enough for possibly the hardest working man in not just rock today, but music in general.

Wilson has taken on the task of remixing the back catalogue of legendary prog masters King Crimson. The first records to receive the SW treatment are the classic 1969 debut In The Court Of Crimson King, the opinion dividing Lizard (1970) and 1974’s Red.

The releases were all originally recorded on 8 track master tapes in stereo. Working from his home studio, Wilson endeavoured to remix the timeless albums into 5.1 Surround Sound hence creating a more vast sound. But he knew not to get carried away with himself – “Being so familiar with the originals, I aimed to be as faithful as I could”. There was also a very important factor to the remixing. None other than Robert Fripp, King Crimson’s only constant member, their guitarist and keyboardist (among other instruments) was by Wilson’s side for the process. Regarding any possible tampering, Wilson stated, “If you hear deviation from the original it's probably because Robert didn't like it the way it was and took the opportunity to change it”.

The remix for In The Court Of The Crimson King is particularly special as 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the album. All the re-releases will be replete with previously unreleased tracks too. However, regardless of that debut’s importance SW’s preference lies in Lizard. The record is a divisive one amongst fans. But he insists, “I’m one of those that adore it, and could make a pretty good case for it being one of the most adventurous rock albums ever made” says the man at the mixing desk. “It could work in 5.1, as it’s almost as if there is too much information bursting out of the tracks to be contained in mere stereo”. Wilson continued, in 5.1 the music has more “space to breathe” and hence “the genius of Lizard’s progressive avant-garde jazz rock experiment finally blossoms in all its glorious folly”.

Needless to say these three remixes will be met with interested ears from both long time fans and newcomers.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Happy birthday Dime and Phil

Today, August 20th is the shared birthday of two painfully missed great men in rock and metal, who require no introduction.

Were he alive today the Pantera/Damageplan guitarist “Dimebag” Darrel Abbot would be 43. Today in his home state of Texas the annual charity event “Ride For Dime” is taking place, organised by his long time girlfriend Rita Haney. The event raises funds for charities Dime supported and this year includes jams amongst the many stars on hand; Kiss’s Ace Frehley, Slipknot’s Corey Taylor and Phil Demmel of Machine Head to name a few.

Phil Lynott today turns 60, many events; including art exhibits are taking place around the country to commemorate the great man, which all further prove his influence and his ever strengthening legacy.

New tracks round up

Matishayu – One Day [Light]
Love Matisyahu here and now he’s back finally with a follow up to 2006’s excellent Youth album, Light out August 25th. Here is the first single “One Day”. It opens with his trademark gentleness with an underlying string section as the rhymes flow over. Thematically, Matisyahu roams still in familiar ground; solidarity, yearning for peace etc. – “I've been praying for the people to say that we don’t wanna fight no more”. But what’s great about Matisyahu is that he’s not forcing his religion or ideals down your throat, regardless of your ideologies you can enjoy his music. “One Day” is no different, a blinder!

Converge – Dark Horse [Axe To Fall]
In some almost typical hardcore fashion a bass and drums intro rolls into these 2.52 minutes of unbridled chaos.
Converge then tear into a searing riff which runs throughout the track while
Jacob Bannon’s throat shredding vocals erupt causing the track to come avalanching down. Relentless but engaging stuff! Their new album Axe To Fall is out in October

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sullem Voe - All Naked Flames

Experimental rock outfit Sullem Voe, from Derry, are set to release their debut album All Naked Flames on September 10th. Below, you'll find a link in the image to the Drop-D review from yours truly.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Another new Megadeth track

Another new Megadeth song, “1,320” is online! It’s the second (after “Head Crusher”) to be released from their forthcoming album, Endgame.

To start engine roars gives way to a stampeding riff. The track then rips through with guitars and drums but vocally things are of course no different in the ginger one. As for the solo, needless to say it owns. “1,320” is like the previously released track “Head Crusher” in the sense that it’s a gradual grower. I’ve heard a couple of reports from people that have heard the whole album. It’s been talked up as a masterpiece; even some saying it tops Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying? and Countdown To Extinction. Whoever says that seriously needs to be not bullshiting because those are strong words. But, yes a but. These two tracks are solid, heavy and plain killer. They feel like the natural successors to United Abominations. But they don’t seem to meet the expectations that these reports have set. Regardless, I and many others wait with abated breath for Endgame!

Friday, August 14, 2009

New Insomnium tracks

Next month Insomnium return with their new album Across The Dark. Here is the judgement on three tracks from the forthcoming release:

Where The Last Wave Broke
Here, there’s no change in Niilo Sevänen’s harsh vocals. Secondly, another thing has remained constant, the tasty riffs! Villa Friman and Vänni still widdle away, leading into a big, clean and very memorable chorus. Jules Näveri (Profane Omen and Enemy Of The Sun) guests on multiple tunes on this record, providing all the squeaky clean singing. It’s a questionable decision on the part of the band but the end result is striking.

The Harrowing Years
The patented riffs bulge further out of the Insomnium mixing pot on “The Harrowing Years”. They’re certainly a key component in the Insomnium arsenal. Things slow down for the deep seething emotive chorus where Näveri takes centre stage again. A cracker!

Weighted Down With Sorrow
Elegant violins give way to crushing riffs on “Weighted Down With Sorrow”. It’s not long before the tone shifts back to the former, with huge, grandiose guitar work. Throughout the track the musicianship continues to tread in the airy.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

KASMS - Spayed

Click on the image for the Drop-D review:
It's horrendous, by the way.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Anthrax poll & 100th POST!

John Bush & Anthrax, what does the future hold?With Anthrax tearing Sonisphere a new one (or so seems to be the general consensus, I wasn’t there) there’s one question on every fan’s mind – Will John Bush come back full time?
If you were reading this blog a few weeks ago you’ll have seen quite a few posts about Anthrax. Having only recently began touring again with new vocalist Dan Nelson and completing new album Worship Music, Nelson was relieved of his duties in the band.

All dates, except Sonisphere, were cancelled and John Bush (vocalist 1992-2005) stepped in for a one off show.
Well, there’s two reasons for this post:

No. 1 Metal Hammer are running a “Bring Back Bush” campaign on their site, endorsed by Scott Ian no less. The names will be submitted to the band’s management and hopefully will reach John Bush. Click HERE to add your name.

No. 2 Well, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that I would love Bush back in Anthrax. As much as I like Joey Belladona I’ve always preferred Bush. What can I say; I love Bush! (bad joke? yeah)

Anyway, there’s a poll up here now asking should he return? As some opinions have arisen feeling he shouldn’t. So, take the poll and tell us why you think he should or shouldn’t return to Anthrax.

Lastly, this is the 100th post on The Grind That Annoys! Which I think, supposedly, is good! Anyway, if you’re reading this or have read anything that I’ve written and posted here than cheers, it’s appreciated. So, keep reading!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Steven Wilson - Insurgentes

This review has been a while coming, May in fact (since the album’s latest release). This piece was submitted to Drop-D back then but it was never published. So, after posting and discussing the new Porcupine Tree track a few days ago I decided to just post this review. Better late than never:

Frontman of the seminal Porcupine Tree, progressive music mastermind and producer extraordinaire, these are some of the things you would find on Steven Wilson’s CV. Now, add to that note-worthy list, solo artist. Mr. Wilson has built one hell of a repertoire for himself in the field of progressive and experimental music over the years. But one thing he hasn’t done yet is a full length solo album.

Insurgentes is named after Avenida de los Insurgentes in Mexico City, one of the many places Wilson travelled to when recording this album. Its creation and recording brought him to many places; the remarkable journey is outlined in this effort and soon to be visually so in a documentary. The variety of locations, England, Sweden, the States to name a few, as well as Mexico, has led to the multiple styles explored on Insurgentes. Said styles hop from shoe gaze sounds reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine to drone and experimentalisms like that of Earth. Of course, the obvious influences like Pink Floyd and Yes are still in tact.

“Harmony Korine” opens this opus and creates an air of esoteric beauty and that would make Radiohead feel like Fall Out Boy. Creating a haunting yet engaging ambience seems to be the objective of Insurgentes, that’s if there was one. Meanwhile, “Abandoner” is quite sombre until its droning thud comes in.

Wilson’s voice remains very distinct on this outing but this body of work differs to some extent from the day job, here there is much more emphasis on making some noise but also making it very multi-layered and abstruse noise.

“Veneno Paras Las Hadas” works more from the similar serene template; its multi-faceted keyboards help it build to a strangely relaxing climax. The instrumentally dominant “No Twilight Within The Courts Of The Sun” pays homage to King Crimson then shifts in tone to a more PT-esque sounding composition.

The piano is favoured a lot on Insurgentes as it features on many tracks most notably “Get All That You Deserve” which builds to a colossal wall of sound. Finally the title track is too piano driven and is vaguely similar in parts to Porcupine Tree song “Collapse The Light Into Earth”, it’s a calming, elegant and rather suitable closer.

Insurgentes is quite an impressive venture by Wilson but doesn’t quite compare to the inventiveness of Porcupine Tree. However it does stand on its own and it is unsurprisingly difficult music. It requires several listens and will then hopefully unravel itself to you. I feel there are many hidden wonders in this album like most experimental music. Given time they may become clearer.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Absu - Absu

Absu have been unleashing a concentrated dose of extreme metal since 1991, death metal in their early days, but found themselves more comfortable in black metal given time. Absu is the Texan black metallers first full length album in 8 years (since 2001’s Tara). The self titled record surely represents a clean slate, a new beginning for the band. Previous lyrical themes included Irish and Celtic Mythology, but now focus on topics like Sumerian occultism.

This new album features an entirely new line-up except for the founder member and leader, drummer/vocalist Proscriptor McGovern. But most importantly it’s a fresher sound for the Absu of 2009.

First track “Between The Absu Of Eridu & Erech” illustrates this as it sways to the side of “black ‘n’ roll” with its somewhat cavorting riffs and unyielding drumming. This, with Proscriptor’s harsh vocals and shifts into vicious and unforgiving blackened bursts create the very bludgeon many a BM fan yearns for.

“Night Fire Canonization” displays some fine and speedy fret work with unremitting and merciless drumming. One thing is certain; regardless of delves into other territories the heart of black still beats proudly.
The band isn’t afraid to dig into melody as the Absu assault continues on “Amy”. Some of the riffs are almost catchy and the solos are air guitar worthy. It may say in Chapter 84 Section 17 of the Black Metal Constitution that you can’t have that sort of thing in black metal, but god damn it, times have changed!

Absu retains solidity from the first track to the last. The likes of “Nunbarshegunu” stand on its own as one of the strongest moments on the record. This is furthered on “13 Globes” with heavy shredding and impressive blastbeats. Then, “In The Name Of Auebothiabathabaithobeuee” (go on, try and pronounce it, I triple dare you!!!) is replete with its heaving riffage and solo sections.

“Girra’s Temple” is a short blast of bile spewing black metal. Vocally Proscriptor is on fire! “Sceptre Command” trades some welcomed melody but mostly sticks out for its solo.

Absu is one of the strongest black metal releases of the year. The album lacks a huge amount of originality, but it more than makes up for it with solid structures, pummelling blastbeats, a consistently clear production and dizzying riffs and solos. The record never lets up; it’s relentless and beautifully so. You’ll be praising Auebothiabathabaithobeuee!


Friday, August 7, 2009

New tracks round up

Evile – Now Demolition
Infected Nations
Here’s another taster from the new Evile album Infected Nations (out Sept. 21st), “Now Demolition”. The track sees a more solid harnessing of the old school thrash influences, particularly Testament. This new material is much heavier, with a heaving intro which leads into a killer riff. Vocally, Matt Drake has evolved hugely spitting out his vocals with bucket loads of fresh vigour. Quality continues through the solo too of course!
Check it out on their myspace:

Shadows Fall – King Of Nothing
Shadows Fall are considered New Wave Of American Metal pioneers alongside Lamb Of God and Killswitch Engage and sometimes that’s hard to fathom. Not since The Art Of Balance have SF delivered a record that fills that criteria. Last album Threads Of Life was a solid record but didn’t scale the same heights as As Daylight Dies (KSE) or Sacrament (LOG) released the year previous. Here, there’s a tasty intro riff followed by double bass drum intensities. There’s no doubt that Brian Fair has the throat for the job but his vocals can become too repetitive and fails to really capture your attention like you’d hope. But let’s not be too negative, this is decent, solid stuff. But at the same time I’m not raising expectations too high for Retribution.

Vader – We Are Horde
Now here’s brutality! Polish death metal legends Vader waste no time in kicking your head in with this slab of crushing death. Off the bat, you’re hit with sharp, precise soloing, which then descend into fierce verses. Peter Wiwczarek’s vocals are gut wrenching. Vader have tunnel vision, only one objective and that’s to pummel. Check out the new album Necropolis now.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pelican album completion

Instrumental post metal veterans Pelican have completed work on their fourth album What We All Come To Need, no release date has been confirmed yet. In 2007, the band released their strongest effort yet, the engrossing City Of Echoes. Then, earlier this year they delivered a new EP Ephemeral, the title track of which also appears on the new record.

Guitarist Laurent Lebec has said that the album is “the most perfect synthesis of everything we’ve done to date” and “a giant step forward.

This album is also to feature guest appearances from Sunn O)))’s Greg Anderson, Aaron Turner from Isis amongst others.

The Creeper
Specks Of Light
Strung Up From The Sky
An Inch Above Sand
What We All Come To Need

Final Breath

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New Porcupine Tree track

Modern prog rock lords Porcupine Tree are set to return with a new album The Incident on September 14th. One new track can be heard here now, “Time Flies”.

Opening with frenetic acoustic guitar work, melodies unravel with Steven Wilson’s distinct voice and an encroaching riff. While also electronics sway freely. “Time Flies” is classic Porcupine Tree and a song that may merely hint at the complexities held within The Incident. The track is replete with the continuing acoustics and electorics along enchanting bass lines. “Time Flies” is pure gold.

Earlier this year Steven Wilson released his first solo album, the phenomenal Insurgentes. If that was anything to go by then September 14th couldn’t come any sooner.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Metallica, Marlay Park - 1/8/09

Saturday night has been carved into my memory and heart. It was a fantastic day/night, everything was flawless. Click to read the review:
Also here are links to the photo albums on my bebo page:
Glyder & Mastodon

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Animals As Leaders - Animals As Leaders

The new instrumental progressive metal outfit from Tosin Abasi, Animals As Leaders. Click the image to read.