Third Time’s The Charm: Maryland Deathfest XII: Saturday & Sunday

Saturday
Ramen is truly some food of the gods level shit. I subsisted on all of Friday and most of Saturday with the aid of four of these magick squares. Only a dollar each at —you guessed it— Dollar Tree. Stock up for the apocalypse. And find this guy.
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Ramen unfortunately couldn’t help Diocletian’s very evil brand of blackened death be more than an okay attempt at the sound of canned hell. Dark, swirling riffs and blasts ringing from bottomless pits is cool, but variety is severely lacking. Entrails, however, came to save my life —or end it, rather?— with their sticky, sweet old school Swedish Death Metal, complete with a logo that looks suspiciously like Entombed’s.
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Ladies.
Spain’s Machetazo brought yet more evil to the fore with their wicked gore/death inflected grind, en Español.
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Hearkening to bands like Regurgitate and fellow countrymen Hæmorrhage, they seem  uninterested in being unique (and with Grind, that’s quite a feat), just brutal, and they’ve certainly succeeded in that regard.
God Macabre, yet another group of old school Swedish Death infantrymen long forgotten, made their first appearance in the U.S. here, and probably was in the top three bands most likely given to old ladies if they asked fest-goers what “concert” they were heading to.
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With only one full length to their name, The Winterlong, you could probably guess the setlist, plus a cover of a Carnage song. Forget which one, but it was damn near heartwarming when vocalist Per Boder smiled in delight when the crowd reacted positively to the name of their fellow deathheads. “I guess they’re not so underrated after all.” You bet’cher ass, bud.
When one thinks of progressive death metal, Florida’s Nocturnus (A.D.) should ideally be what comes to mind alongside acts like Pestilence, Atheist, and Death, though admittedly I hadn’t heard of them until I saw their name on the line-up. Playing their seminal album The Key in full, Nocturnus prove that synths don’t necessarily have to end up sounding cheesy when used alongside brutal music.
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Vocalist/drummer Mike Browning (ex-Morbid Angel) seemed to be having loads of fun blasting and growling simultaqneously for such uplifting tunes as “Standing In Blood”, “Lake Of Fire”, and even a special cover of “Chapel Of Ghouls”, how rad’s that shit, homie? I think they even played a Death cover, but I could just have been imagining it. Setlist.fm isn’t helping my case.
The original Speed Metal Drunks (who’s Municipal Waste?) in Germany’s Tankard were clearly not hammered enough; they could still play their instruments. The crowd was one-upping the fuck out of them, however, with a beer-soaked circlepit despite the blazing sun cooking them through. Songs about zombies, and beer. Party. It’s fun stuff, though not the absolute greatest that thrash, has to offer, nor is it the best that humour has to offer, but these krazy Krauts won’t fail to get a chuckle or headbang out of you.
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Finally taking my non-drunk self to the Soundstage to catch DropDead for my third or fourth helping this Gregorian year, I first caught Sweden’s d-beat heroes in Victims. They play a version of the genre that reminds me of Martyrdöd, with more melody than is normally allowed, and less ear-fucking distortion, though weren’t quite as captivating as I would hope. Had they played it straight Swedish and aped Anti-Cimex or even Finnish contemporaries (all Scandinavians are the same, right?) in Riistetyt and Kieltolaki, I dare say they’d be more what I was seeking. DropDead, however, are consistent in their delivery, combining crust punk, powerviolence, and d-beat cooked the right way; raw and still bloody.
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Between socio-political and generally ‘wake-the-fuck-up’ rants came short but intense bursts of distilled punk fury, very rarely going below speeds safe to drive on the highway. The setlist seems to have changed, as they are including more new material that, while less speedy than the material of old, still has its fangs, yellowed with age but reddened with new blood as they press on. There was a special guest appearance, but I’m not sure if I’m allowed to even mention it, though I will mention that they played a cover of Siege’s “Drop Dead”, and as an extra spiffy bonus, a cover of “It’s Not What It Seems To Be” by fastcore/powerviolence legends Lärm. Sweeeet,
With Nocturno Culto finally bringing his drunk ass to America only to not play in DarkThrone was a disappointment to many, but I suppose Sarke is the next best thing. Who knows, maybe Fenriz’ Red Planet will stop by to play material fromEngangsgrill in a few years.
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At least the crowd hungry to hear one song, any song by DarkThrone got their wish, sorta, since they played a ‘cover’ of “Too Old, Too Cold”. Clearly the case since Nocturno is never seen without a leather jacket. A weird mix of black-ish metal, normal-ish heavy metal, death rock, and whatever else Nocturno deems the right thing to do these days, it was interesting, but c’mon. DarkThrone. Not gonna stop saying it ‘til it happens.
True Norwegian Viking Death Metal warriors in Unleashed were something. Among my main draws to the fest this year, it’d be wrong to say I was disappointed, but underwhelmed is the word I’ll go with since their set was noticeably lacking in the glorious potential they are capable of.
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Having a staggering 11 full-lengths of Nordic praise, and my having only heard 5 or 6 of them in full (not counting the ...Revenge demo), I knew there were gonna naturally be some songs I wouldn’t know well enough to fistpump to. However, the lack of “In Victory Or Defeat”, “Warriors Of Midgard”, and prime material from As Yggdrasil Trembles was distressing. To add to the discomfort, they stretched out some songs by at least two or three minutes (“Death Metal Victory” count: 8+), thus cheating themselves and the audience out of more songs. It sucks that happened, but at least Johnny Hedlund brought out a Viking drinking horn, and the predictable happened. My diagnosis: they were drunk. To Asgaard, their brains flew.
Next up were Dark Angel, who’ve probably got more riffs in a single song than an entire Bolt Thrower album (or two), arrived to show us that indeed, time does not heal, because Thrash is a lifelong disease.
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Now recovered from a spine injury that left him unable to move, much less sing, Ron Rineheart is now back in action, and the L.A. Caffeine Machine is once more abrew. With speeds equal to or greater than that of even the fastest cuts on Sepultura’s Arise, it’s a wonder how Dark Angel never got up to the Big 4 instead of Megadeth, who stopped being Thrash after Killing Is My Business. Oops. They’re as virile and potent as 14-year old sperm after all these years.
Following U.S. fast with U.K. fury were Extinction Of Mankind, who, while not a founding band in crust (having formed in ’92), are as important as acts like Deviated Instinct and Hellbastard when assigning blame to old British guys spreading this filth. Their particular style is that popularised by acts like Misery; slow-churned Thrash infused riffs, barked vocals, and a steady beat to break down the walls of establishment. Naturally, the scent of unwashed dreads is the only perfume to adequately accompany such sounds, what with their LPBaptised In Shit, and all. I saw them again in someone’s basement a few days later, but don’t expect a review of that.
I took a little nap during L.A.’s Excrutiating Terror, who weren’t all that painful, nor scary, to be honest. It was decent grindcore, though not too much of a racket, so I caught a few Zs before heading over to catch the real death metal bastards in Asphyx, because what the fuck is a Schirenc? I’d have liked to have caught “Shrunken And Mummified Bitch” live, but The Church Of Pungent Stench would be a much more sensible name, aye? Or even Pungent Stench A.D., in keeping with what seems to be an MDF tradition? Whatever.
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So, The Netherlands’ Asphyx, fronted by one of the few aside from John Tardy who can audibly sneer while growling, —is this a blonde thing?— Martin van Drunen belted out classics like “M.S. Bismarck” and newer ballistics in “Deathhammer” with equal ease and aggression, and the band are no slobs either.
Come to think of it, Hail of Bullets should play next year. Just a thought.
Sunday
The soreness had began to set in by this time, yet my body had no say in preventing further torture. There was yet more on the plate for this exercise session from hell. Luckily for my muscles, a one-two-three heavy handed slap of stoner/doom in the form of Windhand, Bongripper and Graves At Sea was how the Sabbath day was to begin. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if the former two bands practiced and recorded stoned and played sober?
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Theorising.
My next gym coaches in Misery Index, however, demanded a few proverbial pushups, despite the lack of shade. How cruel of them to play “Traitors” when they know that it’s impossible for me to stand still during such a thing.
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The new track(s) from the newest opus The Killing Gods were business as usual; brutalising politically conscious death/grind the way Misery Index has delivered it to their hometown of Baltimore and the world for 13 lucky years. I’m assuming they all walked home after Deathfest, since they probably live up the street.
Pseudogod, they existed, and Wrathprayer from Chile played Blackened Death Metal that was surprisingly not too generic, though little stuck out in particular from their performance. The wizardly dissonance of Colombia’s (now based in Seattle, WA) Inquisition was much needed following these two noble, if not uninspiring acts.
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Dagon’s trademark croaks take some getting used to if you’re not already into that thing, which I found out some years ago when I first heard “Those Of The Night”. I thought, “How the fuck are these Black Metal vocals? Weak shit, kid”, and fell in with the camp that didn’t enjoy the Popeye With Throat Cancer treatment. However, with time, I came to see them as an integral part of their sound, as important as the spiraling, dark melodies and atmospheres that blanket their deceptively simple aural landscapes. The tastefully militant blasting and appropriately placed groove sections provided by drummer Incubus are done well enough to the point that variety is not of great concern. Dagon even had the foresight to have two mics set up so he wouldn’t simply stand in one place the entire time, and that somehow made it a lot less likely to be bored while watching their ministrations. Clandestinely keeping you titillated since 1989.
A smorgasbord of Louisiana’s most metal featuring members of Goatwhore, Crowbar, and Eyehategod, Soilent Green are an unexpectedly well-done mixture of blues-tinged sludge metal and blasting deathgrind. I’d go so far as to say they’re one of my ‘favourites’ among bands I had gone in not expecting to be good, much less pretty darn good. Makes for good BBQ eating soundtracks. Because, y’know, the South. Following them were the French-Canadian band voted least likely to have anything to do with gore or guts, Gorguts, who are equal parts surrealist staircase-to-nowhere artists and death metal.
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Reanimating “Orphans Of Sickness” from The Erosion Of Sanity (complete with slamdown) and “Inverted” from From Wisdom To Hate, Gorguts shows that they’ve not gone entirely soft on us. That is, if you consider the fact that they’ve run with the avant-garde angle from Obscura onward going ‘soft’. Opening with two songs from Coloured Sands as if to say “now that we’ve got that out the way”, they proceeded to blow some minds the way they have been for a quarter century. Damn, they’re old. Luc Lemay’s cheesy but charming stage banter will tell you that much. Why isn’t he my uncle?
Yet another fuzzy treat for my unaware ears were Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, who got my vote this year for the category of “Why Is This Band Playing Deathfest?” in the same way Anvil did two years ago. Good old fashioned psychedelic doom rock worship aside, they should seriously consider changing their name to Sharp Dressed Man: The Band.
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Sure beats the hell out of Bigelf as far as semi-metal 70s hard rock goes. Just out of curiosity: why do none of these bands ever wear ‘normal’ clothes?
And now came the apex of sadness: Having to abandon the truest Sabbath worshippers in Sweden’s Candlemass after their opening song, “Mirror, Mirror” to go catch Japan’s legally insane grind outfit Unholy Grave at the Soundstage. Mats Levén of Therion fame handling vocals and the fact that I missed “At Gallows’ End” just makes me want to cry forever. Ancient dreams of an alternate reality where this was an easier choice. Almost makes me wonder; was it worth it? I don’t like to ask myself these questions, because regret is an unproductive state of being.
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The misery continued with the U.K.’s masters of the maudlin, My Dying Bride, with frontman Aaron Stainethorpe sporting a newly shaved dome after my only having ever known him with perpetually soggy lachrymose locks.
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Sadly (word choice?), “Deeper Down” and “My Body, A Funeral” didn’t make it onto their setlist, and I’m woefully (word choice?) unacquainted with much of their discography, though “The Dreadful Hours” and “Turn Loose The Swans” rang somewhat familiar. Hymns to never ending grief, complete with the mourning, sobering sound of a violin, though unfortunately (word choice?) no rain to complete the ambiance. If it can rain during Neurosis, Electric Wizard, and even Pelican, why no appropriate weather this year? You sicken me, skies. To compound my consternation, I noticed the beginning sign of an oncoming suckfest; that sensation of having a patch of permanently dry skin at the back of your throat, the messenger of death, the common cold. It only got worse from there.
All sordid business with the Edison Lot now done, I had a hot date with the Soundstage and Ratos de Porão, who play fucking fast.
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Brazil’s Ratos don’t play no bossa nova, fool. It’s balls-to-the-wall with no breaks at all crossover thrash meets the rawer (or rawwwwwwrrrrrr) sounds of 80s hardcore. Think Suicidal Tendencies in their Join The Army days if they took more cues from Charged G.B.H.’s City Baby Attacked By Rats, with thrashcore beats that threaten to become blasts, and you’ve got an approximation of how this beast sounds. Pure energy and speed, but always on the right track, like a studded train full of crusties hitting you with a fist made of metalheads. Someone eventually decided that a trash can would have more fun near the pit, and the result was a lot of beer cans and empty food containers on the floor that was once just covered in beer and sweat.
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Perfect way to cap off the Soundstage skullduggery.
Meanwhile at Ram’s Head the progressive death metal Kiwis in Ulcerate serenaded all present with positive vibration songs such as “Confronting Entropy” and “Clutching Revulsion” from their newest opus Vermis.
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Packed full of enough angular riffs to make your head spin, and heavy enough to make it flatten itself, they and Immolation provided an ideal closing combo for this year’s Maryland Deathfest. Emphasis being on the death, Yonkers’ Immolation packs a firestorm of riffs that haven’t died down in over 28 years as a band. From their debut Dawn Of Possession to their most recent Kingdom Of Conspiracy, all eras were covered as they burnt the fest to ashes.
Post-Deathfest Shenanigans
Yours truly got kicked out of a hotel (rather, kicked himself out) because someone decided smoking a cigarette in the hallway was a good idea. To be fair, I tried to help them by putting it out, but what’s common sense?  Some people just can’t hang, and those people are hotel security. Oops.
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Then on the walk ‘home’ I found some people being obnoxious and singing random metal songs at the top of their lungs on the front porch of a hotel. Naturally I go over and join them. I found some beers and a girl that’s sexually attracted to snakes or someshit, and she stole the inflatable dinosaur that the guy dressed as a doctor during Impaled’s set gave me. Presumably to fuck it.
Then I drank with said doctor and he showed me the horror show that was his hotel bathtub. Thing was a mess of fake blood and empty beer cans. We drank some whiskey for our faces and peaced out. He had a D.R.I. cigarette case, which was rad.
Thrashers, meet your king, passed out on the steps of said hotel at 6 in the morning. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still hungover to this very day, because that kid was literally drunk the entire weekend. And I saw him a lot (he was in just about every pit at Edison), so you know I’m not bullshitting.
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Then, just in time for me to get onto a cold 4 hour bus to New York and a subsequently cold 4 hour bus to Boston, my cold reaches fruition, and I die in my seat. Somehow I came back to life to write this review, and all I can say after this glorious headbanging, circlepitting, beer drinking, weed smoking, not-drug-doing, skirt-wearing, awkward-socialising weekend is: Fuck the common cold. Maybe I’ll do this again next year.

Smash Divisions: The Life And Death Of My Affiliation To Subculture

“It feels it hath been buried under the ashes of aeons!”, whispered I in amazement to malaise personified as I pried its dusty sarcophagus open with the crowbar of divine knowledge. Angst, this song’s for you.

It seems only yesteryear I made a post that hasn’t involved some manner of review or another, and that just ain’t right. I would like to take a moment to bring myself  back to the type of posts I made in the olden days. The ones where I gave a status update, mainly detailing what I’ve been listening to or thinking about. If you missed them, you’re in luck, but if not, then there’s always next time.

It has come to my own attention recently that I’ve gone cold-turkey as far as affiliating with any subculture. If you know me, then you’re aware that I once called myself and to a certain extent acted like your ordinary Metalhead; clumsy afro-headbanging, horn-hailing, going out of my way to complement someone on their shirt whether or not I actually knew the band, and a fervent anti-Hardcore mosdancing stance. I had a good time, yes, but eventually it came time to realize that I wasn’t cut out to keep my pinky and index extended toward a band, regardless of genre, just cos y’know, Metal. In time, as I slowly lessened my dependence on the salute of steel, I also became less willing to lay my life on the line for Metal itself. If I try listening to a Death Metal band I had never heard before and it doesn’t immediately capture my interest, I don’t pursue it. Thrash? Don’t mind if I don’t, since it begins to sound painfully samey after a few hundred bands. Black Metal still has a shot, as long as it goes beyond pots’n’pans in the dårk førest or is otherwise experimental. As far as Gothic Metal goes, if it’s not Tiamat or Therion, chances are I won’t give it a second glance. “War Metal”? Keep out with that fucken shit.

In short, Metal just doesn’t captivate me in that same essential fashion the way it used to when I went under the tag Metalhead. And this does not mean that I was never truly into the music, or am not now, because that would just make me a faker on a monumental scale. Had I continued espousing everything “fuckin’ metal” for the sake of consistency, then I would be a poser in the truest sense. I’m not gonna regale you with all the points I made in the post where I explained why I no longer call myself a Metalhead, but you get the idea.

I’ve had an epiphany in recent months regarding how being part of a subculture, or “scene”, can really affect how one chooses to view others. Belonging to a scene, in my experience, was restricting, you have to dislike or even ignore people from others even though you’re in the same boat as outcasts. It hearkens back to the Catholic/Protestant divide, but far sillier because usually people don’t die. Usually.

Different shades of alternative cultures are always at pains to identify and make fun of the “others”. I don’t really see the point in allying oneself to a “counterculture” if the main activity is to trash others behind their backs for doing what they do. Clandestinely snickering at scene kids, pointing out “poser punx”, making fun of how Hardcore kids like to mosh versus your own way, saying “look at that fuckin’ mallgoth”, or bashing Metalheads; All are tired and vain ways to wile away one’s time that could be spent making friends with whoever you deem to be interesting or even better, just paying attention to what you enjoy. Making bloodsport of what you hate without even the self-awareness to see that it’s pointless is so widespread a malady that fabled Greek tragedians would be fain base a comedy around this phenomenon.

I am in no way proposing that no one ally himself or herself with a subculture; By all means, if you enjoy headbanging along to Reign In Blood with a group of buddies, do so. If you like slamming around in dingy basements with people that spend equal time drinking cheap beer and not showering, be my guest. If you’re all about feathered hair and shirts that are coloured like a box of Fruity Pebbles vomited on a robot unicorn, you are quite free to. If you’re all about The Decemberists or Kanye West, Lady Gaga or mainlining Emmure’s entire discography, that’s your life. Just know that even though my latest preferred mode of dress leans heavily towards Allston gutter rat, I’ve refrained from carrying any sort of subcultural banner, because to be frank, I can’t see myself fitting in perfectly with any of them. Just take a peek at my last.fm, and see that while it is mainly Metal, Rock, Hardcore or related veins, I’d never be accepted into any particular group if my eligibility were judged by scrobbles, though truth be told, I kind of like it that way.

My main reason for this distancing myself from any particular label unless humour calls for it was an evaluation of the types of people that I get along with, which turned out to be a little bit of everything. I can converse with a Metalhead, a Pop Punk kid, a Hardcore kid, a straight up Punk, and even “normies” with equal awkward deftness. Then it hit me: If I am equally daft around an Indie leaning person as I am with someone who is mainly into Metal, Punk, Hip-Hop, what have you, then why bother walking around with a tag that says “Hello, My Name Is Sean and I’m a Fucken Hipster”? It’s the focus on the outward appearance or subculture that one identifies with rather than the content of that person’s character that leads to bullshit like the Punk vs. Metal wars of the 80s, the anti-Scene kid fervor of today, and the Sophie Lancaster murder of 2007. It goes without saying, and is well into the realm of cliché, but it rings true nonetheless: If you don’t like it, don’t pay attention to it, and if you’re gonna jock someone for their preferences, make it quick, and above all make it funny, cos you’re no better than anyone else.

This video of Trash Talk taking the stage to play “Radicals” with Odd Future is a great example of how subculture barriers can break down to participate in a superb instance of countercultural unity. Whether or not you like OF, my point stands, so no bitching.

Whether they were Hardcore Kids, Punks, Hip-Hop fans, “Hipsters”, or what have you, when the chorus of “Kill people, burn shit, fuck school” emitted from the speakers, they all feel it in the same way, they all shout along with equal passion and vitriol towards the majority that tells them to dress normally, cut their hair, act like everyone else. I fail to see how when all subcultures basically share the same base view of the norm being boring, they insist on arguing about which one hates cops more. Get out of your scene, or stop fighting with others. Enjoy yourself by your own rules, not by how other people say you should, least of all your friends, because real friends transcend genre.

Done.

ALBUM REVIEW: GRAVE

Endless Procession Of Souls (Century Media)

Let me tell you how good of a band GRAVE is; They’re the kind of catchy, nasty, no-frilly laces Swedish Death Metal that almost made me want to go to the MORBID ANGEL/DARK FUNERAL show just to witness live. I very well could have, but I must be conservative with money, you see. GRAVE’s running not only on ten full-length albums, but associations with other legendary Swedeath bands like THERION (old, of course), ENTOMBED, and THE PROJECT HATE MCMXCIX, so yes, they have what may be called a career. Look ’em up on LinkedIn. The question that arises is, how does Endless Procession Of Souls measure up to everything else in the Death Metal scene after existing for over a quarter of a century?

It pains me to say it’s quite underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a decent album, packed to the bursting point with groovy headbangers, pooka-pooka-pooka circle pit bits, and classic slowdowns that will get a good zombie mosh going. Though these elements are used well by guys who clearly know their craft, they almost seem to be resting on their laurels and not trying their best anymore. For the first song or three, you’re finger-drumming along and whatnot, clearly diggin’ where it’s going, but by them time you’ve reached “Flesh Epistle”, you’re already wishing they’d either try something different or just begin eating each other.

One hearkens back to the Into The Grave, where they simply blazed through the album in an idiotic brutal frenzy, armed with can-of-bees production and guitars that sounded like gore soaked chainsaws, or Fiendish Regression, which saw them move in a slightly different direction from the standard Swedeath sound, while still maintaining what made GRAVE entertaining. Now, it just feels like something’s missing. Something that could ideally turn just another Swedish Death Metal album into a masterpiece that would re-claim their spot on the throne as the kings of all that is ugly in Sweden.

One glaring weakness is the vocals. Where the fuck did the intensity run off to? I’m guessing it was stolen by Travis Ryan of CATTLE DECAPITATION fame. While I’m not one to trash bands, AUTOPSY’s vocals, as far as I have been exposed to them, grate on my senses, and I feel like even I could have done a better job at the mic. GRAVE, while they’ve never had a bad vocal performance as far as I’m concerned, have done much better in the past, and it begs the question as to why Ola decided to neuter himself with the standard everyman style of Swedish Death Metal vocals that you’d probably hear on an UNLEASHED record.

Speaking of UNLEASHED, they get dangerously close to sounding like them on this record. UNLEASHED does what they do best, which is writing and playing songs about Vikings, war, Norse mythology, and evil stuff, who knows, really. GRAVE is just supposed to be all about death and rotting stuff. While the music is not entirely unsuitable for a zombie invasion (though I’d personally pick a better album that Endless Procession), the lyrics could easily be swapped out with nothing but tank bombardments and trench warfare. Not only is the music and atmosphere created uninspired, but they insist on using the same songwriting techniques over and over and over. How many times can you have every instrument cut out aside from the guitars to segue into a Thrashy part, or have a slowdown section with a random solo over it, or recycle the same punky Swedeath section that we all know by heart with a slightly different SLAYER police siren solo over it? Not enough times, if you ask GRAVE.

The highlights are few and far between, but the straight up Thrash section in “Perimortem”, as well as the consistenly doom-tinghed crawl of the closing track “Epos” are welcome change-ups from the endless procession of tired riffing and cut’n’paste drum patterns from the Swedish Death Metal handbook. While it’s still a well-produced bit of face-ripping from a band that was crucial in inventing the formula, the mediocre outweighs the good.

The verdict: It would be better with fresh ideas, more gore, and a production that made it sound like it was recorded in a tin shack dripping with fungus.

Str8 Outta Visby

Grade: C

By Sean “That Black Metal Dude” Genovese

Therion Is Gay

Converse? With THAT dress? Oh hell no. 

Since I was unable to attend Ghost due to unforseen technicalities of the show selling out variety, I’ll be forced to divert my energy to a post that would be dedicated to them, but is now going to focus on a band that has a long history and is equally visual, though not nearly as spooky. Therion is a band you may not know or care much about, given that they are “Opera Metal”, and are quite unashamed of this fact. However, I’m here to be the lone whippoorwill excitedly chirping whenever I hear a tune by them, and lemme tell ya why.

First off, they used to sound like this:

Damn fine Swedeath of the cask strength variety eh? You’d certainly label them akin to early Tiamat, Entombed, Grave, and all the other bands with spaghetti guitar strings that resembled a large hog’s grunting rather than an instrument. Therion is a band that likes to operate through extremes, and there will be no compromise or middle ground with them, unless it’s Symphony Masses, which displayed some weaker Death Metal influence and the creeping influences of Classical, Prog/Jazz, and bladerblah that has become associated with their name. I’m sure that if you know of Therion, you’re used to hearing things like this

Sweet ambrosia. It begs me to ask, why the hatred of this band? Certainly they have a little something for a lot of different audiences. Power Metal in some of their faster songs, Progressive Metal on any album that isn’t their first two, straight up Death Metal in their first three or four releases, hints of Thrash and Doom scattered here and there, frequent audial homages to traditional Heavy Metal, Psychadelic Rock, and an aesthetically pleasing Gothic flair that only the most closed-minded among you would shun as homosexual and an aberration to all that is manly and Dave Matthews.

Whatever your reason for disliking this band, I certainly hope it’s not because they’re “gay”, since that is a well established fact. Just look at them!

Makes it less fruity, inviting women to your masquerade does not.

Therion may be a bit overblown and get carried away trying to sound huge, but if that’s not the spirit of Metal to you, I think you’ll be fain to seek comfort in the wobbly hi-grav ritualism of dubstep. And with that, I have no clue how I will view this writing tomorrow, but it’ll most likely be the same reaction someone gives H.P. Lovecraft’s cosmic horrors: Mind breaking terror and the realization I am doomed to eternity in eldritch hell. I’m off to bed, and depending on your time zone, you should be too. I think next time I’ll do another Wacky Band thingy, but that’s only if I can come up with at least 5 made-up words. Adieu.