Friday, February 10, 2012

Metal Briefs: Clearing the Docket

Normally when I do a Metal Briefs post, there's something to connect the releases to each other. Here, that connection is tenuous at best. The only thing they have in common is that they were all submitted to me for review, and they can be best reviewed succinctly.

This just about clears my docket . . . except for the four from Heidens Hart, the three from TotalRust, the two from Godz ov War, the band from Ohio, the two bands from California, the band from Germany, and the Polish band who are after my own heart. Oh yeah, there's also a Mexican band I forgot about until now.

This is a good problem to have.

(If you submitted something to me and the above list does not include you, get in touch with me again.)

Sutekh Hexen: Larvae (2012)
(album to be released February 21)

Music that falls into the noise category is always hard for me to review. Like drone, I don't think I fully understand it. Luckily, there's some actual music buried in the mix on Sutekh Hexen's Larvae. The ugly lo-fi black metal, acoustic guitars, and droning doom are just enough to keep my interest in the music so the dark atmosphere can have its intended effect. It's kind of like the parts of Sunn O))) that actually work at lower volumes. But there's enough low-end to make higher volume a wise choice, at least on "Lead Us in Warfare". It does drop the interest level somewhat on the third and final track, but I'm still fairly impressed. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

(I wasn't able to find a sample to share with you, and I didn't feel like their prior tracks adequately represented the material here. Anyway, the album is sold out, so I don't suppose it matters.)

Wizard Rifle: Speak Loud Say Nothing (2012)
(album to be released March 13)

Wizard Rifle's Speak Loud Say Nothing is like post-Leviathan Mastodon filtered through an almost Primus-like attitude. Based on that description, you can accurately gauge whether you'll love it or hate it. What they do, they do well, as they can really play their instruments (especially drums), and the sound is heavy and thankfully not over-polished, at least on my pre-release copy. But non-serious prog-wankery is clearly not for everybody. Even if it does have a handful of good riffs (and this definitely does), there's still a sense of detachment that's hard to get past. I like it OK. 3 out of 5 stars.

CN Roundhouse Kick: Phantomschmerz (2011)

OK, I have to get this out of the way: Kurt Russell a.k.a. Snake Plissken is vastly superior to Chuck Norris. But despite their rather stupid name, Germans CN Roundhouse Kick aren't half bad. They play a style of hardcore blended with generous amounts of sludge, black metal, and some death. So, if you don't like Tombs because they're too punk, avoid this one. If you don't mind a little hardcore in your metal (or metal in your hardcore, as the case may be) this is a nice blend that's a lot more fun than Tombs. It's very well-produced. The drums sound natural and the reverb-overdriven bass is prominent in the mix. Not bad, although it would be nice to have a better picture of the cover, and maybe some track titles other than "Titel 3", "Titel 4", etc. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

(Another one where I couldn't find a decent sample to stream. Luckily, you can download Phantomschmerz for free.)

1 comment:

  1. This series of clearing the docket posts also removed some items from my inbox, so thanks :)