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"Ever come across something, may it be a meal, a movie, a book or an album, where you would enjoy the entire think immensely, except for one small detail. Normally, when something is really good, one would ignore the small fallacy and look at the overall product. Unfortunately, sometimes that one small fallacy cannot be ignored, no matter how hard you try, mainly because that one fault can ruin the appreciation you have for the rest of the album.
Case in point: SKELETONWITCH. Musically, this is a very diverse affair, with the riffs going from Thrash to Power to Heavy, with tasteful harmonies everywhere, plus there is the occasional acoustic guitar (end of “The Skullsplitter”). The music is top-notch, having this very old school Thrash vibe to it, something like DARK ANGEL/early SLAYER. Normally, I would highly recommend this to fans of Thrash Metal, and tell most fans of Metal to give these guys a shot anyway, because musically, they have written something that is diverse, and dynamic.
However, there is one small factor that will decrease the quality of this album from “excellent” to “above average”: the vocals. They are of the Death/Black type, but that is not why they drag the whole album down. The problem is two-fold. One fault of the vocals is that they are far too low in the mix. This resulted in moments when I was wondering whether or not the vocalist was there for half the songs on the album. He’s unnoticeable, and that’s not good at all. The second is that the music warrants some form of power and delivery to the vocals, not just someone shrieking monotonously to the music. I’m not expecting vocals of Bruce Dickinson’s or Warrel Dane’s calibre, but a little character to the vocals would be nice. What we have is top notch music with vocals that are so generic they drag the whole thing down. That’s a huge problem that has hindered my enjoyment of this album."
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"With the release of Live at the Purple Onion, Galifianakis adds an impressive and enjoyable volume to the growing ranks of great comedy DVDs. A spin-off from his recent appearance in the Comedians of Comedy documentary, this disc chronicles Galifianakis' oddball, brilliant material, most of which exists as a standalone concept rather than some sort of building routine. This is precisely what differentiates him from his contemporaries: while many comedians like to riff about a specific subject, building momentum to some sort of comedic crescendo, Galifianakis offers single-serving gags, seldom even venturing into the complex and sometimes provocative logic that inspires these abstract musings. "
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"Just don't be surprised if, given so many ideas in a 44-minute space, you sometimes want Warhammer 48K to hit you a bit harder, to take more shape, to come with a little more finesse. Lightning quick "Knife Hits" has a lithe midsection lifted by two guitars scraping past one another, skipping over the cracks in the rhythm like survivors making haste. With another take, the grooves could be tighter, and the action would be tenser. As is, though, it's just a preparation for the track's perfect, brutal ending"
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"Using the phrase “Nostalgia’s a bitch!” to sum up this album would be a pretty accurate description of what Toxic Holocaust are all about. You see, Joel Grind, founder and main songwriter of Toxic Holocaust (also recruiting drummer Donny Paycheck of Zeke fame), seems to be stuck in the 80s during a time when thrash metal was ever so popular and pumping out such classics as Reign in Blood, Bonded by Blood, Beneath the Remains and Speak English or Die (obviously skimming the surface considering there were so many great albums that came from that era). While some of you have already passed this band off as just another ‘trip-down-memory-lane’ thrash knockoff, be warned that Joel Grind brings the goods and has enough conviction backing up his music to make you feel like it’s the Bay Area metal scene all over again.
An Overdoes of Death… is not only a sweetly polished affair of riff rocking thrash metal, Grind also incorporates many elements of death’n roll and a touch of blackened death metal for good measure. Other noteworthy inclusions contained on this disc are a number of other well-done nostalgic elements including some short, wankery bursts of Kerry King inspired soloing, Judas Priest Painkiller era melodic riffs, the snare/bass/ snare/ bass drum beats commonly used in the genre, and finished off with that gritty attitude that makes this music sound so genuine. All of the songs contained on An Overdoes of Death… flow well together as a whole, having an identical feel to each song. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, seeing as this is thrash we are talking about. However, each song has something subtle to it that sets itself apart from the one before it, adding these above-mentioned elements in small doses and making An Overdoes of Death… not as straight up as you would expect."
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"The Locust has been shunned for their recent works. Their split with Melt Banana was not taken well by critics. People want The Locust to sound more like their Self-titled or Flight of the Wounded Locust, not like some band that changes. These people, however, don't understand that The Locust is all about change; whether they're wearing locust-like spandex outfits or playing nude, they're not going to play everyone's favorite songs. They like to change (or be post-modern, as they are).
Plague Soundscapes is no exception to The Locust's desire to change. Unlike their previous works, this album has more breakdowns with complete changes in rhythm and speed and less electronics; more melody and less chaotic madness at one hundred miles per hour. These characteristics make The Locust sound more like The Blood Brothers with different singers. "But Seth," you ask, "Didn't The Locust's self-titled have break downs?" Well, I simply answer this: yes, but it's not quite the same. Songs like Moth Eaten Deer Head and Backbones of Jackasses were great, fast and broke down at certain spots, but the new album's breakdowns break down too quickly to slow down. The only times the music slows to a more normal pace in comparison to other bands and uses more experimental noises. The first song, Solar Panel Asses, starts with a beat on the drums that I could swear is really the sputtering engine of a motorcycle, then all out chaos, then a quick breakdown for approximately two seconds, then all out chaos again with a different melody, then slightly less chaotic screaming from what sounds like Mark McCoy of The Oath and Holy Molar, then all out chaos again. The difference being that the self-titled's break downs were simpler; everyone in the band would stop and there would be just the keyboard, or just the drums. The changes in the breakdowns make the new album what it is.
Just because The Locust has changed does not mean they are bad. Quite the contrary, I consider this album to be pretty decent. Solar Panel Asses is one of my favorite songs and there are other songs that I enjoy listening to. But I still wish I had The Locust of a year or two ago, where they'd just make incredibly fast songs that don't stop until they're finished. I lament for days when I discovered Bring Your 65 Italian Carbine and Gluing Carpet to Your Genitals Does Not Make You a Cantaloupe.
Although they went from something like Charles Bronson to something like The Blood Brothers, I'm still listening to them, and I think you should too."
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"We are very, very late with reviewing this record. Frankly, that's my fault, because initially I offered Gino to review it when it came out and then did not deliver. The reason for this is not laziness on my behalf but the fact that Sewn Mouth Secrets is one of the ugliest bastards of a record which ever managed to creep inside my CD player. And as it is painful and irritating to listen to it, it's also no fun at all to review this beast. The impact of this record is like a blunt weapon repeatedly hitting your skull while in between the blows a rabid dog mangles your ankles. Musically, this approach manifests in the various styles incorporated by the band. Crowbar's sluggishness and fusion of Black Sabbath with southern rock meets grindcore meets over-the-top Pantera. On top of that rages singer Ben Falgoust, who alternates between grunts, a 95% Phil Anselmo impersonation, black metal rasping and delirious spoken parts. While a singer with four different styles seems to guarantee the ultimate degree of variety, this turns out to be a two edged blade and one of the reasons why I can't get totally into this record. Far too often does the vocal style follow the music too closely: fast part, rasping vocals; slow part, growls; chaotic part, spoken words. With the variety becoming predictable, this starts to get annoying soon. What turns me off most is the delivery of the spoken sections, which sounds weak, like a drunkard babbling some nonsense above a background of equally senseless noise. These parts can ruin a whole otherwise great song for me. Lyrically, Sewn Mouth Secrets comes across quite disturbing, dealing with rape, torture, depression and other related topics in a frighteningly personal way. The sound is good, heavy and crisp, but there's enough room for improvements the next time around (like Crowbar's Time Heals Nothing in comparison to Odd Fellows Rest). I haven't been able to identify any standout tracks on Sewn Mouth Secrets and the heaviness, insanity and intensity is kept on one level through all the tracks, which can be quite exhausting and makes listening to the whole record in one session a challenge. So, if you think that is exactly how you like your metal, this is the record you should buy immediately. With the review being done now, I'll immediately put on Whisper Supremacy to finally relax a bit."
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"Combat Wounded Veteran’s This Is Not An Erect, All-Red Neon Body is simply a testament to the band’s amazing ability to create intricate and amazing grind releases. Featuring 42 songs, comprised from out-of-print 7" records, compilations, splits, and even some “never-before-released” tracks, this album will hit you hard. But with its length only lasting 26 minutes, don’t blink or you’ll miss it.
Alright, let’s be serious. Combat Wounded Veteran has a lot of credibility. They’ve released a split with Orchid, they’ve toured with both the Locust and Melt Banana, and their Steak Mtn.
Riddled with fast tempos, sound clips, and undistinguishable lyrics (which is to be expected with grind, I suppose), This Is Not An Erect, All-Red Neon Body is sure to be a necessary addition to any grind lover’s collection. The album's first track, "Eat More Blood Money" is a stand-out track with lyrics like "Could be a motto for our TV conversations. Playing a guest star opposite a billboard that has more social standards than you." When you have an album comprised of pretty much every song a band's recorded, it's hard to distinguish between favourites, although the both melodic and chaotic "Put Your Weight On It" does present itself as somewhat of a unique track. Or perhaps it's just a novelty since it doesn't begin with the sounds of amp feedback. This Is Not An Erect, All-Red Neon Body fully represents the band’s six-year span of intense, powerful music. " artwork is consistently amazing.
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3.Call Tha Guardz
4.Who's Tha Hoe?
5.Crazy Than a Mutha Fuck
6.Every Single Bitch
7.Fuckin Wit a Pyscho
10.Shoot Cha in a Minute
11.That's How My Trigga Went
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"Rigor Mortis helped to pioneer the death and thrash metal scenes respectively. Their first album was a classic and "Freaks" only refines that sound. The production on "Freaks" is excellent, every instrument can be heard perfectly. The vocals are also captured brilliantly in the mix. The guitar playing of Mike Scaccia here would probably be damn near impossible to ever recreate.
As with all of Rigor Mortis's lyrics, the lyrics on "Freaks" are very off the wall. While their first album was obsessed with comic book themes and visualizations of gore, "Freaks" has a bit more diversity in the lyrics. As a whole, I feel that the lyrics are about alienation and feeling like an outcast in a society you simply can't fit in with. Simply put, the lyrics are excellent on the whole EP. They do revisit their gore theme in the song "Cattle Mutilation" though.
I really can't say anything bad about the drumming, Rigor Mortis have always had a solid drummer. Harden Harrison always does an awesome job keeping up with Scaccia's insane lead work. The bass is audible, and with the drums they form a solid backbone for Scaccia to twist the scales of musical expectations at will.
"The Haunted" has absolutely incredible guitar leads throughout the whole song and the chorus is especially memorable as well. The drumming on this song is also great. All of the songs flow in succession to form a very disturbing concept album from hell of sorts."
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"Even though it’s a great tool for getting the hype machine in motion for an up and coming act, “the breath of fresh air” tag is something of a dubious honor. For one, it’s an admittance that the kind of music said act plays has grown stale and tired, and secondly, it instills a certain expectation in the band’s target audience that this group will be the revolutionary force (inset lame genre tag here) needs. On their sprawling debut Stylus Fantasticus, Japanese trio sgt. may not quite prove themselves to be such a force, but they certainly prove themselves to be a group with a refreshingly interesting take on the increasingly tired post rock genre. Instead of participating in the laborious techniques of their peers, sgt. attacks with spontaneity and a heavy penchant for improvisation, making Stylus Fantasticus something of a refreshing oddity. It’s as though sgt. aren’t so much composing epic pieces as they are jamming in a studio and recording it. The results are predictably hit or miss, but when sgt. hits, the unique and memorable sound buoys Stylus Fantasticus to great heights, even if it can’t quite stay there for the whole fifty-five minutes.
Even though it apparently falls under post rock’s ever-growing umbrella, Stylus Fantasticus takes a heavy influence from modern prog, giving the record a harder base than its contemporaries. Instead of epic dynamic contrasts and gorgeous repeated phrases, the album instead runs at a more frenzied pace, allowing constant melody and ace rhythm performances to form eight tracks of instrumental chaos. Stylus Fantasticus runs in a very specific frame: Each song develops a drum and bass theme (courtesy of the excellent Kouji Akashi and Hitoshi Ono), which in turn provides a solid foundation for violinist/pianist Mikiko Narui to build melodies that practically engulf the listener in sgt.’s sound. The opening track “Magnificent Light” serves as a great example of this by incorporating gorgeous piano playing over a jagged guitar base for four minutes of relaxed, carefree jamming. It serves as a fine preclude for the beast that follows, the asymmetrical blazer “The dilemma-game of snatched people.” Unlike the preceding track, “Dilemma-game” utilizes sgt.’s immensely talented rhythm section to run at a furious clip for 6 minutes, officially kicking off Stylus Fantasticus and introducing the world to sgt.'s definite skill at free-flowing improvisational mayhem. "
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"And I thought their last 7" was good... Well this LP puts it to shame. KUNGFU RICK takes its grind violence to new heights on this record. The band have catapulted themselves to the forefront of the extreme music scene with their showing here. Their previous stuff may have been raging but this is pure bedlam. Music with absolutely no restraint, "Motivation To Abuse" is about as subtle as a nuclear explosion. Primarily full throttled, there are occasions where the band slows down the mayhem to provide contrast and counterpoint in a most effective display of the mastery of extreme music. Screeched and growled vocals mix with a musical tirade that is both technically impressive and unforgivingly visceral and straightforward. Mark my words, this will be one of those records that you and your friends (both of them) argue over who was the first to discover it."
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