Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Primordial: Where Greater Men Have Fallen (2014)


If you’re one of the few metalheads who isn’t familiar with Primordial, you’re missing an essential and truly unique piece of the metal landscape, and you need to go buy 2005’s The Gathering Wilderness right now. But most of you already have strong opinions on the band, mostly positive. Where Greater Men Have Fallen is a predictable continuation of the band’s trajectory, with predictable results. And I’d say that’s a very good thing.

Most of us would agree that Averill’s vocals are the real draw to this band, and he’s still in fine form. His emotional gravity is unmatched in the metal world, and tunes like the title track (and really, the whole album) make good use of it. For those who have complaints with the band, there isn’t a lot to assuage your doubts. Sometimes, the instruments can be rather boring (“Babel’s Tower”). Even the black metal riffing of “The Seed of Tyrants” isn’t anything special. Because this is a singer’s band more than anything else.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Lotus Thief: Rervm (2014)

Hey, Give Me My Lotus Back!

Unless I’m mistaken, Lotus Thief began life on the companion Allies disc to Botanist’s Doom in Bloom. If you’re not familiar, that disc featured different bands using the drum tracks from the Botanist album to play completely new songs. It seems at least one of those has been fertilized and is now growing on its own.

The band features Otrebor (of Botanist) so of course I’m already inclined to like it. But even if you don’t care for Botanist, that shouldn’t have any bearing on this, because it doesn’t sound even remotely like it.

"You are using your guitar in metal as a weapon. It is an axe, literally, and you should be wielding it, right? Zhi-di-di-di-GA! Oh, yi-di-di-GUH, ERR! You're just chopping at these Middle Earth creatures with your axe, di-GA!"

--John Roderick

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Joshua's Dungeon

Since this has always been a blog where I share whatever I feel like sharing, I thought I'd start posting some of the drawings I've been doing lately.

This is a dramatic/triumphant scene from history's greatest TV show, Adventure Time, where Finn obtains a sword that's literally made out of demon's blood and faces down a giant, maniacal monster.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Solefald: Norrønasongen - Kosmopolis Nord (2014 EP)

I don't quite know how to categorize Solefald, and this new EP doesn't make it any easier.

I was first introduced to them eons ago by The Metalcast, so they were a pretty early addition to my extreme metal library. (I almost wrote "oeuvre," but I'm trying not to be an asshole.) I had picked up their Icelandic Odyssey albums, which had a couple of fantastically killer songs and a whole lot of head-scratchers. But then out of nowhere they released Norrøn livskunst, which was sort of Sigh-meets-Kvelertak-meets-Helheim, and easily the most underappreciated album of 2010. Then, dormancy.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

I apologize for the slow pace of posts here lately. Between Christmas celebrations, my own illness knocking me out for a day, and the illness of my children (two tested positive for pertussis this week), I've been so busy I haven't had any time to listen to any new music. Hopefully I'll be back to it soon.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Dark Americana Briefs, Volume 19

King Buzzo: This Machine Kills Artists (2014)
3.5 out of 5 stars

King Buzzo (of Melvins fame) released an acoustic album in early 2014. It's entirely him and his acoustic guitar, sometimes with vocal distortion but mostly this is naked singer-songwriter. In mood and style I'd say it's pretty close to Wino's Adrift, with lively, energetic and surprisingly uptempo riffs but a downbeat mood. It doesn't have quite enough to keep it really interesting across the full 45 minutes, but it ain't too bad.