Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Summary Judgments, Volume 4


Sometimes, it's just not my bag. Sometimes, I've already got a bag like it, and I'm happy with that. Sometimes, it's a bag of shit.

As always, the X out of Y songs tells you how far I made it into the record before shelving it.

Persefone: Spiritual Migration (2013)
(5 out of 13 songs)

I haven't read the site in a couple years, but I bet the guys over at MetalSucks absolutely shit their pants over Persefone. It's very high-quality prog-metal with (synthesized) symphonic elements, like a heavier version of Symphony X (or to a lesser extent, Dream Theater). I'm not so much into that kind of thing anymore, but this was good enough to hook me for a while anyway. The thing that eventually turned me off was, I can hear how much these guys are a part of the metalcore generation. They have some of the rhythms I hate from metalcore, and the vocals (both clean and harsh) are right out of that school of metal. I'm just too old for this, but for what it is--it's pretty awesome.

Flagellant: Maledictum (2013)
(4 out of 8 songs)

There aren't a lot of ways to tell the difference between Flagellant and Watain. Flagellant is from Umeå instead of Uppsala, but that's pretty much the extent of it. Flagellant (also a trio) have even gone so far as to identify the band members only by an initial instead of a full name. Even their stated lyrical themes on their respective Metal Archives pages are virtually identical. Also, Watain fucking rips, while Flagellant pales in comparison, so why would I waste my time on the lesser of two evils?

Devil: Gather the Sinners (2013)
(3 out of 12 songs)

Devil came around at the same time Ghost smashed onto the scene in 2010. Wisely, some PR, label guy, or blogger called them Norway's answer to Ghost. To a large extent that's right, because this is early 70's proto-metal. But in every way that really matters, it's wrong. Where Ghost gave us incredibly catchy songs that resembled the best of Blue Öyster Cult, Devil's Gather the Sinners is a really fucking dull take on Dust. But maybe there's enough cowbell here to make someone happy.

Skagos: Anarchic (2013)
(damn near the whole thing)

The Flenser re-released this cassette from earlier in the year, and I am always willing to check out anything from The Flenser . . . but Anarchic by Skagos sounds like a Canadian version of Alcest. (OK, before I did my research I thought they sounded like an American version of Alcest, but close enough.) I think anyone who likes Alcest--and judging by things I read, there are a lot of them--will like this. I don't care for Alcest, and while I enjoyed this somewhat, I don't feel the need to listen again.

Dark Buddha Rising: Dakhmandal (2013)
(4 out of 6 songs)

At 81 minutes, Dakhmandal is looooong. Not every album that long will seem to be that long, but this one does. The first track is a 12 minute intro, and after that it's fairly unremarkable sludge/doom with fairly unremarkable organ. Also, it's practically an instrumental, and where the vocals come in, the adjective I'm sticking with is: unremarkable. You can find better ways to spend 81 minutes.

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