Saturday, February 18, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
I shouldn't have to explain much about Converge so I'll save my energy and get straight to the meat of this story:
Converge have been 'locked up' (hehe) in Kurt Ballou's very own Godcity Studios for a while now, and the album seems to be progressing well according to the bands' Facebook page, in which they more than hinted that the band would have some very special guest appearances on it, no surprise considering other artists clearly love working with the band (see guest appearances on 'Axe To Fall'). Anyway, here's what they posted on Feb. 10:
“Tompa came by the studio with Danny Lilker to do some recording w/ us. Go see Lock Up on tour now!!!”
So hopefully now you get my little 'locked up' joke, and you're all that much more stoked for this album. It's likely gonna rule.
Experimental metal act, Behold...The Arctopus have allegedly 'respawned' this year after a few years of silence to play a couple of shows in Brooklyn, and hopefully a helluva lot more (a North American tour and an album would be just greeaaat, thank you). This has been confirmed by Colin Marsten, who's been doing his thing in the black metal band Krallice for a while. As someone who is completely uninterested in Krallice, this comes as completely welcome and awesome news.
The lineup is slightly different, as they've replaced their former drummer, Chris Zeleny, with Weasel Walter of The Flying Luttenbachers, and Cellular Chaos. The good news is, he seems up to par with the rest of the band. Stay alert, because I can see big things coming from these guys in the months ahead.
Jeff Hughell, who some of you may know as the bassist for Reciprocal and former bass player for the blisteringly technical death metal band, Brain Drill, has joined the ranks of Six Feet Under. Hughell will replace Matt DeVries who moved on to play with Fear Factory earlier this month (don't blame ya, bro!). SFU is probably one of my least favourite metal bands of all time. To be honest I can't get past the fact that they're fronted by grunter, Chris Barnes, who I refer to as 'the man who held back Cannibal Corpse'. Hughell on the other hand is a master of the bass, which is a no-brainer if you've ever listened to his performance on their debut full-length 'Apocalyptic Feasting' and his performance on SFU's upcoming album may make it something worth listening to, assuming they give him some artistic pull in the writer's circle.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Montreal's Beneath the Massacre have a new album being released tomorrow called 'Incongruous'. I've had a chance to listen to it over the weekend and it is fucking heavy, chaotic, and totally menacing.
Turn on the record and you will immediately know who you're listening to. Two seconds in and you've already heard about 30 notes from guitarist Christopher Bradley, and then, wait, is that somebody revving a diesel engine? Nope, it's just vocalist Elliot Desgagnés unleashing his brutally guttural roar. His voice is punishing but his vocal range is limited and could be considered monotonous to a point. Desgagnés does, however, deliver as consistent a performance as he has on their 2008 full-length, 'Dystopia' and their 2010 EP, 'Marée Noire'.
That being said 'Incongruous' has made up for everything 'Dystopia' lacked in spades. It goes without saying that 'Dystopia' was a heavy album, but it lacked a lot of the flavour that Christopher had put into 'Mechanics of Dysfunction' that made it such a great album. Bradley throws plenty of tapping and sweeping into this album to accompany his chugging and at times sludgy rhythm guitar, as well as lightning quick melodious leads.
Bassist Dennis Bradley is almost inaudible at times during the record, which is understandable considering the volume and complexity of everything happening around him in the mix, but during Christopher's lead riffs, he can be heard plunking along to some pretty technical shit. His low-end rattly, echoing presence during breakdowns is very notable. This is a band that can write a breakdown with balls. I've never been an advocate of breakdowns, unless you can do something other than repetitive chugging, or loose, open-note triplets and BTM satisfies just about every time.
I should mention that when I first heard Beneath The Massacre, 'Mechanics of Dysfunction' had just come out. When I first heard it I thought to myself, “Wow, these are the most fantastic sounding programmed drums I've ever listened to.' Then a couple months later I saw them live in North Bay and realized that, no, those were in fact being played by a human being. Impossible, I thought, but then they started playing and Rouselle delivered the tightest assault of double-kicks and blast beats I think humanly possible without it sounding like someone unloading a chain gun on a stack of sheet metal. He does not disappoint on 'Incongruous' with his fastest and physically daunting performance, with not a single beat out of place.
In summary, while every member proves themselves individually on this album, they have really come together as a band to create an album, the quality of which we haven't seen from them since 2007. So I'm giving 'Incongruous' 8/10.
03. Left Hand
05. It *
With only a few bands announced and several rumours floating around regarding possible additions to the lineup, this year's Summer Slaughter tour is already promising to be one of the most brutal since it began. Cannibal Corpse, Between the Buried and Me and The Faceless are this years confirmed headliners, and today Summer Slaughter announced via Facebook that death metal gore-fiends Exhumed would indeed be a part of tour.
Summer Slaughter will be announcing a new band every Sunday, and hopefully that will entail confirming some of the rumoured acts like Job For A Cowboy, Veil Of Maya and Hate Eternal. If these rumours (coupled with the already confirmed acts) are any indication of the level of heaviness this year around, Summer Slaughter could be THE golden ticket for metalheads in 2012. See you there.