Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Album Review: Cannibal Corpse - "Torture"

Moosehead is my go-to beer. If I can't think of anything else I want to drink, or I don't really want to get adventurous, its a Moosehead I choose. It's always good, but never mindblowingly so. Cannibal Corpse is my Death Metal Moosehead. Everything they've put out is good, but never anything that makes me put an album on repeat for weeks and weeks. If I don't feel like really listening to anything else, or I'm not feeling listening to something new, Corpse it is. Cannibal Corpse have put out their newest album Torture a few months ago, and I finally got around to listening to it.

"It looks like a masturbating clown at some sort of Cinco de Mayo festival." Dave Hill, The King of Metal

Cannibal Corpse are without a doubt the most famous Death Metal band on the planet, with a career spanning almost 25 years. Over this time they've pumped out twelve studio albums, solidifying themselves as a household name in the genre. The years have gone by and Death Metal has seen a huge popularity surge since the late 80s/ early 90s. It's because of this boom that Cannibal Corpse have backed down from the position of pushing the boundaries and have settled in to just making good ol' Death Metal.

Torture is everything you can expect from Cannibal Corpse, nothing more, nothing less. Sheer, unrivaled brutality, gory lyrics, and top notch musicianship is what you get throughout its 44 minute running time. One thing that makes me a happy little metalhead is that Alex Webster gets to rip away at some sweet bass lines and a jaw-droppingly wicked solo on the song "The Strangulation Chair". Listening Rob Barrett and Patrick O'Brien team up their brutal riff work gives you a serious case of hammer smashed face (I couldn't resist). Pat Mazurkaddflkjlierhwerdsnqrweiewicz (or however you pronounce it) slams away on his drums, driving every blood soaked second of this album forward. On top of all this is George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher being fucking George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher.

Can you believe this man has four World of Warcraft accounts?
Bomb-Ass Tracks

Demented Aggression: The opening track off of Torture is a blisteringly fast song, priming your ears for the rest of the ensuing carnage. I can't help but scream along to  Corpsegrinder bellowing out the chorus.

Scourge of Iron: Slow, grooving, pounding horror. Oh so delightful.

The Strangulation Chair: Bass. Solo.

Overall Score


Moosehead is always good. Always.

That's all for now, folks. Keep being Awesome.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Album Review: Napalm Death - "Utilitarian"

Ah, Grindcore. I've never really been a huge fan of it, finding it almost too abrasive even for me. I have to admit though, that recently I've opened up to it a bit more. I've listened to a few Terrorizer and Napalm Death singles on Youtube as well as some snips and cuts of Carcass' Reek of Putrefaction and Symphonies of Sickness. I decided to go further down the rabbit hole and pick up Napalm Death's newest effort, Utilitarian.

I tried to make a joke here, but this album is seriously so fucking good that I just can't bring myself to do it.

Napalm Death have been around for a long time. Like, a really long time. They've been around since the 80s, which is surprising to me, because 40 - 45 year old guys and Grindcore don't seem to mix. They've been credited as one of the most influential extreme music acts ever, and despite being so huge, I never really hear anything about them.

So. Utilitarian. For my first full Napalm Death experience, it was surprisingly enjoyable. When I found out this album was 51 minutes long, I kind of expected to half-heartedly sit through almost an hour of nothing but break-neck speed blast beats. Although there are break-neck speed blasts throughout this album, it flows extremely well between unrelenting speed and some groovy sections that make you want to get up and just fucking mosh*.

Each song on Utilitarian is a quick, face-breaking bludgeoning, with each band member holding their own. Mark "Barney" Greenway is a barking madman, with his vocals just dripping with hate. Shane Embury and Mitch Harris rip apart their bass and guitar (respectively), delivering punishing riff after punishing riff. Drummer Danny Herrera pulls all the chaos together beautifully with his driving beats and grooves.

I haven't listened to enough Napalm Death to really know, but most people who have say that they've been experimenting more than usual on this album. I can guess where they've been pushing their sound into new territories. The tracks "Leper Colony" and "Fall on Their Swords" have some sort of chanting choruses, reminding me of a sort of political rally or protest. The song "Everyday Pox" has some really unexpected, yet pretty sweet saxophone bits on it. The sax really, really reminds me of Ihsahn's album After, with the brutal, crushing metal flying alongside some wicked saxophone work.

A joke should go here too, but fuck me this album rips so fucking hard.
Bomb-Ass Tracks

 Errors in the Signals: The brutal as all hell second track off the album switches from a mach speed intro to a slow and powerful chorus perfectly. The fast bits feel like a bag of potatoes flying into your face, while the chorus fills you with the urge to jump onto a desk/ chair/ flipped over car and scream along with Barney.
Collision Course: *This is one of those parts that make you want to get up and just fucking mosh.

 Nom de Guerre: This song is only a minute and six seconds long, but holy fuck. Fucking Grindcore.

Overall Score


From the very first minute to the fifty-first minute, Utilitarian had me totally wrapped around its little finger. This album has turned me on to Grindcore, and I urge anyone interested in getting into the genre to use this album as an excellent stepping stone.

That's all for now, folks. Keep being Awesome.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Album Review: Torche - "Harmonicraft"

I've recently delved into Stoner Rock/ Metal and Sludge Metal, listening to bands like Sleep, High on Fire, Mastodon, The Sword, Electric Wizard and Kylesa, etc. Only last month did I hear of a band called Torche, and their newest album Harmonicraft is the first of their work that I've heard.

I can't think of anything witty or funny to say about this artwork because, honestly, I still have no fucking clue what is happening in it.

Harmonicraft is an album that pops out from the Stoner/Sludge crowd right away. By "pops out" I'm talking about Pop, the genre of music. This release has been dubbed "Stoner Pop", and with good reason. The album contains the swirling, groovy, crushing sound associated with Stoner Metal yet when everything comes together of this album, it does nothing but lift your spirits. Harmonicraft is a bubbly, soaring experience to hear. The vocals are powerful but soft. Steve Brooks' voice is never harsh nor aggressive, and the way it is put into the final mix makes it seem to float on top of everything else. All the instrumentation is superb, with the guitars and bass working away with relatively simple yet powerful riffs. The drums compliment the guitars. They pound away in the most adrenaline pumping parts of the album and groove slowly yet surely in the parts of the album that make you feel like you're floating on a cloud.

Above: Torche. Second from left: My face while listening to this album.

Bomb-Ass Tracks

Walk it Off: A ripping minute and twenty-six seconds, reminiscent of those bearded denim vest wearing rockers in Valient Thorr. With a catchy-as-all-Hell intro and a solo that makes you want to just thrash your entire damn body around, the second song off of Harmonicraft is killer.

Snakes are Charmed: DAT ECHO. DEM RIFFS.

Harmonicraft: The title track sounds exactly like the way it's named. Harmonicraft is the three minute and fifteen second score to a high tech sci-fi starship shooting at warp speed through the universe.

Overall Score


Torche's Harmonicraft is a beautiful album made out of puppies, unicorns and rainbows. I'd have to say it makes great summer driving music. Try it out sometime.

That's all for now, folks. Keep being Awesome.