Cornbread’n Mashed Taters with Clutch at the House Of Blues

This shall be a quick one, as this was a relatively short-ish show, and not too eventful, but still packed with Southern Fried flavor that we all know and love, unless you’re vegan.

Kyng

IN 3D!

Kyng bored the sperms out of me, and I’ll tell ya why; They’re a Southern Hard Rock/Groove Metal band. Right there they’ve already given me a 75% chance of not liking ’em, so they had a chance to redeem themselves by showing me that they had a little somethin’ special. Needless to say if you read the beginning of this paragraph, they failed on a critical level by not bringing anything interesting to the table. Yeah, they were okay when they decided to speed up and make thigs a bit heavier, most notably on their last song, but all-around it was the kind of band that induced several early smoke and piss breaks. Safe to say, I’m not sure if Kyng will go far with their brand of Southern comfort, being from Los Angeles and not entirely convincing with it. I’m not gonna lay into them too hard, since they didn’t actually suck, but they’re just not my thing and I’d like to avoid their brand of Rock’n’Roll if I can.

Corrosion Of Conformity

Gentleman on the right has yet to introduce the middle man to razors.

Yet again, a band I really wish I hadn’t been too lazy to get around to before I got to see them. I wasn’t really planning on coming to this show, but changed my mind the day before, so there I was, eagerly anticipating the carnage to come, or so I had hoped. All I knew about COC was that they’re a Sludge Metal band with some Hahdcoah leanings, much like the rest of them. What I didn’t know was that this line-up is much closer to that of the older COC, and thus more inclined to play the Hahdcoah stuff more than the Sludge. And that they did, bitches and niggaz, and the crowd fucken loved it. One thing I will say about this crowd is that they absolutely did NOT know how to slam it down. At almost any show you’ll get a few people who don’t understand how moshing works, but that seemed to be everyone but four in that pit. Of the small group that seemed to know how to properly appreciate Hardcore influenced music, one was aimless in his ministrations, and another second was promptly shoved to the ground by some dickhole. A third was circlepitting like Roadrunner on PCP, and it was fun to watch. In short, COC fans just don’t know how to breakdance, but I did enjoy the music, and the handsome men on stage making some cool Southern faces, which is how I assume everyone looks down there.

The bassist/vocalist kinda reminds me of the guy in Nuclear Assault, what with his hearty shouting with his teeth clenched as if vocalizing was his soul’s version of a BDSM fantasy being realized, and the guitarist can effortlessly go from Sludgy beatdowns to Punky Thrash gallops. The drummer ain’t no slob either, pounding those skins like they owed him money. On a side note,  judging from some pictures from years ago and today, he certainly has become a bit of a Larry Joe Campbell doppelgänger.

Dat fucken guy

Or I could just be making shit up.

Clutch

GROW ALL THE BEARDS

Clutch is a bit like Kyng in that they are Southern Hard Rock/Metal, but they got lucky as fuck in that I like them very much and have yet to hear something bad by them. Why? Because they keep it fresh to def. Their lyrics are fun to read/hear, they have a fluid style that can go from barebones Rock’n’Roll, and Blues while also having heavy grooves that excite the rowdy ruff boy in all of us. Clutch shows have gained infamy for drunken fights and all sorts of debauchery, so House Of Blues security seemed a bit more beefy than usual tonight. Hell you could barely sit down for 5 minutes before a man in blue told you it wasn’t okay.

Clutch may not sound like much at first listen, but they’ll take hold and make you love them. They’re so catchy you can’t hate them. And not in the pop sense either, because it’s not insipid garbage one can write in a matter of minutes. Clutch may be simple and groovy, and even goofy too, as their opening rap about money will show you. I have no idea where the hell that came from, but it made no sense and I must find out where it comes from. Anyhow, onto the real show review. Ah, it was hot as an elephant’s undercarriage in there, and smelled of spilled beer, as does my shirt as there was some beer spilled on it. I knew Clutch would get a bit violent judging from reports of a show last year where a buddy of mine got into a scuffle, but man, those pits were nonstop. One couldn’t enter them without being ready to meet all the jetsam and flotsam of society rolling about unabated. It was a bit more fun to watch the crowd than the band, even though Neil’s stage presence resembles that of a preacher who just had a few energy drinks, with a passion and facial fuzz to boot! This man must’ve been a pastor at some point, because he knows how to move a crowd in a way that most seculars know little of. And he’s old enough to possibly have that in his history, so I wouldn’t doubt it.

Having to catch the bus, I had to skip out, but not before getting my 27 bucks worth for the admission. ‘Twas a great show, and I rediscovered my love for Clutch while also planting the seeds of a great relationship with COC, who I probably should have listened to a long time ago. Time to take a dip in the swamps of the South before the inevitable race war.

Advertisements

Look At These Fucken Nerds

This post shall be about the nerdiest bands/musical projects I can currently think of, and since it’s almost Christmas, I felt this was the most appropriate time to do such. Don’t question me, I’m your fucken lord. We’re all nerds here in the Metal kingdom, which I call Metaldom, because I wear a crown. Terrible photoshopped picture of me wearing a crown soon to come.

Ziltoid The Omniscient

Since Ziltoid is made by Devin Townsend, a man who hasn’t done a thing wrong except quit drugs, you know it’s great and you haven’t even listened to it yet, you closed-minded glob of meat, blood, bone, and sadness. Why is it nerdy? Because it was made by one man, a whole sci-fi/fantasy story was built for it, and all the voices were done by the aforementioned one man, being a single human, a solitary unit among (then) 6 billion of us. If that’s not geeky to you, then jump in the Sarlacc. Plus, we all know Devin’s a fucken nerd. Pay attention before I sit in your lap.

Princess Ghibli/Imaginary Flying Machines

Let’s just say hypothetically, that you enjoyed Melodic Death Metal, Deathcore, Thrash Metal, and the animated epics of Hayao Miyazaki, all to varying (but large) degrees, and someone decided to combine them. And let’s also say for the sake of argument that Blood Stain Child, Disarmonia Mundi, and a few Italian bands no one cares about all banded with a few Japanese vocalists to create songs based around Hayao Miyazaki’s anime. What would you call that? If you say “gay”, I will divebomb you from a dirigible.

Ayreon

Much like Ziltoid above, Ayreon’s mainbrain Arjen takes Creative Writing to a whole new musical level. I’ve yet to listen to a lot of Ayreon, being intimidated by the possibility of “not getting it”, and to be honest, it’s pretty well-founded, as he creates whole backstories that can span more than one album, has a shitton of guest musicians, and is apparently no slob whe it comes to music composition. He’s a geek, is what I’m getting at. And we all know that only total nerds add narrative that is just that: narrative. As in spoken words to show that there is in fact a story under that tapestry of melody’n’shit that normally distracts you from the fact that he could’ve written a book rather than an album and it’d be much of the same, if not a little quieter.

The Metal Shakespeare Company

Must you ask? This project couldn’t be more dorky if Frasier and Niles Crane oversaw it during a literary conference. There are a few other Shakespeare themed bands out there, and some bands have even based entire albums around a play or two from the bard, but this one takes the Shrewsbury cake. And what is up with that keyboardist… that you can’t even hear?

Therion

Therion went from H.P. Lovecraft obsessed Death Metal to general global theologists. If there’s a deity that someone in some millennium or another believed in, they’ve written a song or two about it. If there’s a civilization that may or may not have existed, they’ve based an album around it. Add in a dash of Gothic theatrics and you have drama club soup.

Hail Of Bullets/Bolt Thrower

Aside from being one of the few Death Metal bands who has more baldies than not-baldies, Hail Of Bullets are obsessed with WWII. Fuck Ken Burns, listen to these guys if you want to know what it was like freezing your ass off in a Russian winter while the Reds fired upon you.

Bolt Thrower on the other hand is like a history textbook with every boring paged ripped out and replaced with cool stuff, leaving nothing but battles and gory details about said battles. Before they moved to the physical realm, they wrote a few albums about the more fantastical wars that occurred in the likes of Warhammer 40K, so extra geek points for that. However, no other band can claim to have an album inspired by the Crusaders’ invasion of Constantinople, thus driving the final nail in the warm’n’fuzzies between Orthodox Christians and Catholics. No one.

Suigintou SS

Rouzen Maiden themed Nazi Socialist Black Metal. For those not in the know, Rouzen Maiden is an anime. This is probably a good place to stop. It doesn’t get any more vexing than this, really. How in the green hell can one claim to be National Socialist, hate Jews and everyone not white, and then turn around and be Otaku? He has quite a few other projects, most Lolicon/Anime/Japan themed in some way shape or form, all terrifyingly byzantine in their fervent anti-everyone-who-isn’t-white-or-Japanese madness. By the power of Pazuzu, you have fucked me up for life, Kirakishou.

Wacky Band Tuesday: Akphaezya

And now for something completely different. Or rather, something I haven’t done in a while, thus creating an illusion of difference as I go about my textual ministrations. I present,Akphaezya, France’s finest in Avant-Garde Gothic/Progressive Death Metal/Funk/Blues/Lounge Jazz/Swing/Salsa/Big Band since Deathspell Omega, or “Eklektik Metal” as they call themselves. With a female vocalist/pianist by the name of Nehl Aëlin to boot, for all you uncultured cuntswabbers out there.

Yes, Akphaezya have all that, and they manage to sound fine while doing it. I found out about these guys whilst perusing Metal Hammer, back when I found Metal Hammer worth perusing, which is no longer the case. They gave it a low score of 5/10, saying it had no focus and lacked direction. Well kindly screw yourself Union Jack, because yes it does take a bit of time to wrap one’s mind around initially, but it’s not all that confusing when you give it a good listen. The problem with professional Metal reviewers is that they can’t give deserving Progressive albums the right score since they’re too busy circle jerking over familiar names to give new or obscure ones a listen, unless they happen to specialize in that field.

Having read Metal Hammer’s review and being an impressionable youngster with a deathwish, I looked them up, and I was pleasantly surprised at what I heard. It wasn’t a jumble of noise that attempted to be Mister Bungle on er… whatever drug you want to insert because I’m sure Mr. Patton and Co. have done it all. Chrysalis is actually quite well-crafted, going effortlessly from grand piano interlaced Metal of an unidentifiable genre, simmering down to a piano, drums, and bass, before exploding into a flurry of tremolo picking, blasting, and growling that only lasts for a few seconds, and then back to the melodic Progressive Metal and then negligently (though beautifully) clambering into a number that could easily climb the Latin Music charts if they built a whole song around that, then settling into a sleazy 30s nightclub tune, all in a minute and a half out of the total 6 minutes of the song.

Akphaezya is the result of throwing Arch Enemy, Angizia, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Moonlyght, and Gonin-Ish into a cement mixer. Angizia and Gonin-Ish are, in case you’re unfamiliar with them, two Avant-Garde Metal bands who put more focus on piano than heavy guitars, thus lending themselves comparisons to the band at hand. Holy balls, and they’re coming out with a new album soon, which, judging by the new song, promises to be just as good, if not better than Anthology II. And I’ve still no clue why their debut is entitled Anthology II, which is supposedly going to be a series of five, but that just adds to the colour I suppose. Now I’m gonna brush a banana with a squirrel.

Carcinogen – Human Atrophy review, in crystal-clear HD!

It’s about time I got around to this either by virtue of beating my laziness or by knocking out my professors with stellar academic performance! And with much further ado, I present Carcinogen’s most recent outing, Human Atrophy. Listen there on SoundCloud if you’re not an impatient fuck.

Human Atrophy

Woah! Not gonna give me any foreplay via sample or feedback, eh? I like your style already. Having seen these guys in action a few months back  I liked them, but forgot how they sounded. Now I recall they were one of the better bands of the night, having a no-nonesense approach to their brand of Deathrash, which hits hard and sloppy, regretting not that it just left your mother’s bloodied corpse a cumstained mess. What I mean to say is, this track is just the opener, and you’re already ripped from V to A by the chaotic speed influenced by German Teutonic Thrash a la Sodom and Kreator, Death Metal riffing brought forth by OSDM bands the likes of Cannibal, and even a bit of a Hardcore influence peeking in. The slower sections sound Slayer influenced, and the screeching jumbled police siren solo says much of the same. The track runs a bit hefty at a little over 6 minutes when it probably would’ve been more comfortable at around 4, but it’s good enough to hold its own weight in chunky viscera.

Chambers Of The Nocturnal

Opens up immediately sounding like a late 80s/early 90s Thrash song complete with blasts, and stops as if to survey the carnage done by the initial barrage, then continues barreling forth with riffs that basically say “CIRCLE PIT, RIGHT THE FUCK NOW“. More Slayer influence is heard around 1:34 into the song, vaguely reminding one of Angel Of Death. Vocalist Johnny even does the solitary high pitched vocal here, sounding like he legitimately got his nipple ripped off. The agony! That’s a good thing, by the way. Tremolo picking, blasting, and rolling double bass steamroll the Angel to replace it with a slightly melodic but still threatening Death Metal section, followed by some sick grooves, brah. Another squealing solo heavy on the whammy makes me want to go out on a limb and say they like Slayer. A lot. Fortunately, this works in their favor, as they have enough of their own Death Metal stylings to stave off being a clone. More mid-paced Deathrash riffing effectively closes the chamber so the zombies don’t escape.

Neurotoxin

This song differentiates itself from the other two by opening in a more Death Metal style (complete with mini bass solos) and introducing more melody head-on rather than teasing the listener with it. It bounds along in tis fashion until just before the 2 minute mark, where a nice flourish signals a shift in the song, and by shift I mean everything goes underwater to emerge as a Thrash beast. More circle pits, motherfucker, as another rippin’ solo comes roaring backed by a vanguard of standard (but cool) riffing and galloping drums. The song comes back around to the melodic Death Metal riff in the beginning, and closes with a cool li’ riff fading out that sits comfortably in a no-man’s land of Extreme Metal genres, being mid-paced and headbangable.

Postmortem (Slayer Cover)

Of course! I don’t believe I’ve heard the original song, but it’s a pretty nice touch, as most bands throw in a cover with an EP anyway. They gave this song a nice set of brand-spankin’ new tits, with a warmer production, growls that seem a bit deeper even than the other tracks on the album, guitars that are more like chainsaws than jagged razors, and an amusing replacement of Araya’s screech “Await the final GYAAAAAAAAAAHD!” with a whammified note from a guitar. They even went the extra mile and put in the beginning of Raining Blood. Why? I guess it was just fun to do. As far as Slayer covers by Death Metal bands go, this was standard fare, but still, SLAYER!!!! and all, y’know? It’s almost against the law to openly dislike them, really.

So this EP was nice to finally listen to, and I certainly don’t feel my time was wasted, because I do that enough to myself. I certainly hope for the best for Carcinogen, as they are an adequate grouping of minstrel knaves. Not much in the way of innovation, and you’ll most likely have heard it all somewhere else before, but they have managed to keep my attention, so they get a passing grade.  I’d like to see them again soon, but they live in BagOfDicksVille, NY, so unless I make another pilgrimage out there or they hop over to the Bay State, I’ll probably never get the chance. Phooey.

Run, Weeaboo Faggit, Cry. Dir en grey at the Paradise Rock Club

So that’s three of my favorite bands I’ve seen thus far: Dir en grey, BtBaM, and In Flames. We’re rolling along well, kids. All I need to knock out now are Linkin Park and Slipknot, and my life is complete.

But then again, I shouldn't be making this desire public.

So Dir en grey have been around for quite a while, making quite the (un)pleasant racket in their homeland of Jay-Pan before finally getting a little recognition worldwide with VULGAR, an album as screwy and J-Rock as it was Westernized angst in the form of Nu-Metal. Fortunately for them and the homophobic wizards they could’ve potentially lost as a fanbase, they stopped dressing like such

and have opted for a more conservative palette of black.

With less bawdy attire followed less bawdy music. don’t get me wrong, I’m hugely in love with all their material, even when they were one of the many novelty J-Rock/randomly Alt. Metal acts scratching for the surface, since they happened to be the best. Nowadays, they certainly aren’t fuckin’ around, and their last couple of albums will have you know that with a quickness, with Uroboros and Dum Spiro Spero taking them in a direction more Mr. Bungle/Opethean.

So this has been my second time at the Paradise(third technically, since Amon Amarth sold out and I hadn’t bought a ticket beforehand), and once again, was not expecting violence. Though considerably less than Volbeat earlier in the year, it seems a few Diru fans that weren’t in mallgoth/weeaboo attire are fuckin’ pissed and want to punch things. I don’t blame ’em, really, as Dir en grey’s direction has been shifting more towards Death Metal/Deathcore, with Kyo gaining deeper growls, Shinya busting out a few blastbeats, and the guitars being noticably downtuned and playing more rhythms akin to breakdowns and Doomy trudges. It’s gotten heavier than yo mama, and it’s gotten meaner.

It should be noted that there were a few people, some that I knew, some I didn’t, that were certainly under psychedelic influence, which may not be the best idea for your sanity when watching Dir en grey’s frontman Kyo contort and caterwaul eerily for two minutes. It may or may not have helped that once familiar songs Tsumi To Batsu and Obscure have been redefined and warped inside-out to become something entirely unrecognizable, making them more unsettling than they already were, and that was already at a good level of unsettling. Much like the revamp of Hydra from Macabre to -Hydra 666- on the Dozing Green single, it’s an inversion of what you thought Dir en grey were before.

While Diru are still far from a legitimate metal band(one look at their crowd would tell you that), they’re certainly interested in continuing on this new dark direction. Kyo’s gaze seems to sweep like a beam of fire, commanding the audience to see how fucked and insane he is, promising that he’ll drag you down, and that one day, he will fuck your parents. Even not-so-heavy crowd favorites Kasumi and Kodou felt different in the charged atmosphere Diru created with their newer material, including the juggernaut Reiketsu Nareba from Uroboros that seems to be like a schizo running with scissors amped up on coke. Of course, they had to play The Agitated Screams Of Maggots, which has some of the best/worst Engrish ever penned by this quirky quintet, including gems like “It’s black flag motherfucker!” and “I rape your daughter on your grave!”. Not sure if the former is an odd shout-out to Henry Rollins and co. being an inspiration to the band, but stay classy as always boyos.

When the ending kicks in, cover your face and run away.

So that was about how it happened, in the most chronological fashion I could manage, having no care for the chronology. I’m just glad I got to see Diru, and I’m kinda sad that they didn’t play more from Withered To Death, but oh well. Arigatou gozaimasu, and a merry fuck you.

Blut Im Auge! Ramlord and friends at the Box Fort

In reality this was headlined by Fall of Rauros even though it was Ramlord and Condensed Flesh’ split release show, but whodafuck cares? Ancient Filth droppes, Ramlord played a great set, all capped off when I sustained an eye injury from Jan’s headstock during Total Doom. Shit was intense, yo. Condensed Flesh, Obsidian Tongue, and Falls played good sets from the little I heard, since I was there mainly for Ramlord and Pabst Blue Ribbon. Hardyharhar, now I’m going to Dir en grey so fuck you.

Despise Women, Love Whores. EyeHateGod at Club Lido/Wonderland Ballroom

Damn, the dudes were out of control by the time this ended. Too bad I couldn’t see the aftermath, but I’m guessing this place will start enforcing a drink minimum and put up “No Hardcore Moshing” signs. Thanks NOLAners!

Fresh Kill

Cry more, milk drinker!

Fresh Kill is what AndrewBastard fools around with when bored with PanzerBastard. And I gotta say, I think PB is a bit prettier, but I can see why he also likes doing this thing. It’s kinda grindy, kinda… I forget, but it’s grindy. Maybe some Death Metal was in there too somewhere. Vocals I wasn’t too crazy about, but they had a nice thick sound that I didn’t entirely dislike.

Raw Radar War

“So I clotheslined him, like this!”

I admire the guys’ intensity, but I literally nodded off during their set a few times. Call it exhaustion, whatever.

Livver

NUH

Now here’s a band I wish I could’ve fallen asleep for.  Livver are boring as a soul patch on a glass of milk, and insist upon themselves at every turn similar to such a facial growth on a faceless object. I don’t even know what kind of style these guys were going for, but I’ll just call it Groovebore. Groove rhythms with an attempt here and there at Thrash and -Core, and it’s about as bland as it sounds. Bereft of melody, catchy rhythms, or even somewhat good sound, there were no redeeming qualities to this set in my eyes. The bass was holding the guitar’s head underwater so it blubbered sheepishly, and the drummer packed no punch at fuckin’ all. I’m gonna stop before I get mad.

Tombs

I Can Hear Neither Of You, Yet I Still Wilt Inside

Tombs is known for sounding like their name describes: Massive, cavernous, and dank.

Combining the rawness of Black Metal, the intensity of Hardcore, and the sheer heaviness of Doom/Sludge, Tombs is definitely not a band you can mosh to, but with as great a formula as they have nailed down, it hardly matters. That and I still seem to have difficulty knowing the songs, though Vermillion did stick out as familiar, and I think they intentionally screwed with one song’s riffs so that it sounded a bit different. Or I’m just paranoid. Either way, it was great to see that they have recruited another guitarist, adding yet another layer of shimmering yet dense anti-matter to their compound of heavy.

The only crowd action you’ll see at a Tombs gig is the occasional drunk guy who’s a little too enthusiastic, and maybe Irish, but you weren’t expecting to get laid anyway, were you?

Doomriders

Well the sign behind me doesn’t show a joint, so I’m still in the right!

Reminds me a lot of The Proselyte, who I saw not too long ago, and are also local boys. Doomrydaz plays a hearty blend of Stoner/Sludge/Groove Metal with a nice helping of Punk, and seem to like skateboards.  Apparently the crowd does too, because once that word was mentioned, the circlepit didn’t quiet down until the song was over.

Holy hell, skaters love their Rock’n’Roll. Aside from the set seeming to drag on for an eternity due to impatience and a shortage of time in which to enjoy EyeHateGod, it was quite fun and full of energy, a nice shot in the arm after Livver had personally sucked all the fun out of Revere as a whole.

EyeDateMaude

Dey don’t call it da Green Room fa nuttin’!

Fuck, now I know why people get so excited to see EyeHateGod. Not just because they’re a legendary Sludge band in the same league as Buzzov*en, Weedeater, and most recently Thou, but they will get you fucked up in no damn time because they’re encouraging your ass to go haywire. If only, if only it hadn’t taken them so damn long to set up, though someone did make a Seth Putnam related wisecrack which made it all worthwhile, but still, only getting to enjoy 20 minutes of EyeHateGod felt like buying a timeshare.

There was a full fledged exchange of blows to the face, some hardcore throwing down, and I was offered a piggyback ride form a guy who liked my Pig Destroyer shirt. Sadly, I was sober, and a few sips of beer and minimal exposure to haze from the Green Room did nothing to change that. Sucks not being a lightweight at times. Definitely must get listened on more eyeDon’tLikeJesus’Dad, since I’ve been bouncing around the NOLA Sludge greats and still haven’t made full-body contact with the titans. Hell, I’ve listened to more Death Doom, which EHG is directly responsible for than them themselves. Fufufufbbgf.

Up next, another foray into dirty beer soaked basements full of men wearing vans, flannels, and hats, presented by Ramlord, Condensed Flesh, and Ancient Filth. Pigs go home.