Monday, March 07, 2011

Weapon: From the Devil's Tomb (2010)


Weapon is a Canadian death metal band which appears to have begun its existence in Bangladesh. (And they have one of the coolest band names ever.) I picked up their sophomore full-length From the Devil's Tomb after I heard them compared to their fellow Canadians, Mitochondrion.

From the Devil's TombAnd then I was completely confused by that comparison, as they sound nothing like Mitochondrion. Instead, imagine what would happen if Melechesh went death metal and opted for a raw production. Nile would seem to be the most obvious thing to compare this to, since it's death metal with a lot of Middle Eastern styled leads, but in terms of songwriting it's much less dense and the leads are often played in a blackened Middle Eastern style, so the similarities to Melechesh are stronger. The solos are interesting and widely varied, from an old-school heavy metal one on the title track to a whammy bar-reliant one on "The Inner Wolf". The bass and rhythm guitar seem tied together, playing the same thing throughout the album, with the rare exception of some of the mellower parts. The hoarse growl/rasp vocals are convincingly done. But it's the drums that draw the most praise from me, with a very natural sound and a wide variety of interesting fills (especially check out "Vested in Surplice, and Violet Stole"). Traditional instruments also make a few appearances.

Most of the album is mid-paced, with "The Inner Wolf" being the slowest track and "Sardonyx" being the fastest. Mostly-mellow instrumental "LEFTHANDPATHYOGA" serves to mix things up a bit more as well. And the album finishes shy of an hour, so it doesn't last too long. All of this sounds like very high praise, but there are a few duds. "Vortex - 11724" and "Trishul" are both pretty boring, so their inclusion drags the whole thing down despite a number of other great tracks.

The Verdict: If you like Melechesh, and you like death metal with raw production, you should definitely check out Weapon. From the Devil's Tomb has an approach you haven't heard before, and it has a lot of great music on it. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.


  1. How is it possible that the name "Weapon" wasn't taken already? I just have a hard time believing that...

  2. It was, back in 1978 by an NWOBHM band which released a single in 1980, a demo in 1981, and then a compilation in 2003 (the year this Weapon was formed). I'm not sure how you can release a compilation when your back catalog consists of a single and a demo, but whatever. That band is still active. There was also a hair band in LA that released one album in 1988 by the name of Weapon.

    But the thing about a band name is that it's governed by trademark law. You have to continue to use that name in order to keep your rights to it. If those other bands stopped using it, and stopped selling albums/merch with the name, or only used it within a specific geographical area, then they would lose their rights (in the latter case, they would keep their rights only in that specific geographical area). There are now a handful of other bands with that name, but I think they're probably infringing on THIS band's rights to the Weapon name.

    Practically speaking, they can all use the name until somebody sues somebody else. If they're not confident in their chances, they might just let each other go by the name and let people differentiate by saying "the Canadian one", or "the death metal one".

    I actually wrote an article that was mostly humorous on the topic of how hard it is to come up with a new band name. You can find it here. It also mentioned Howl, which is another name you'd think would have been taken.

  3. Ah, I see. Well as a non-lawyer, my knowledge of copyright law is relatively limited. I guess I thought if you had that name it was yours everywhere.

    And yes, names seem to be getting a bit tough to come by. Personally I like "Savage Baptist" and I haven't seen that used yet for a band.

  4. Sounds interesting. Enjoyed the discussion of copyright law as well. Always an area I wanted to do some more practice in, but finding the clients in Nebraska is a tad difficult.

  5. Glad you guys like the discussion. And just to nitpick, trademark wasn't covered at all in Copyright class. It was in Unfair Competition. Different textbooks, different classes. Copyright is governed by very, very different rules, and sadly you don't lose your copyright for failure to use it (a lot of stuff would become public domain real quick, which I think is a good thing, especially for getting obscure music that nobody makes available legally).

  6. I do remember covering some aspects of trademark law in copyright law, probably just enough to distinguish it from copyright law. I never took Unfair Competition myself.