Monday, July 27, 2009

Gallows - Grey Britain

Last Night In Town

Gallows' debut Orchestra of Wolves helped gain a strong fanbase in England while having one build up for their performances in the 2007 Vans Warped Tour, and the record propelled their signing to Warner Bros. records; but it didn't really convince me. A successor (especially in major fields) is challenging and can be a disaster but Grey Britain gives hope and a fuck you to the myth.

When Frank Carter shouts pure nihilism and anarchy in "The Riverband", there is no pretentiousness but honest anger towards his home country introduced long ago by The Clash and The Sex Pistols for the new generation of punks No calls of straight edge promotion, Christianity, or some stupid abstract imagery but straight to the point rebel yells. It's like being in a roughouse class where Carter is the teacher to kids who only know cliques not content. Everyone else compliments Carter's lyrics with fast hooky grooves that can make the Botch-y clones jealous for actually making something interesting. It's unrelenting and full of rage even at the most sombre moments of "The Vulture" and the part-destructive "Crucifucks". Acoustics and strings fill up the audial sky with danger and the air raid siren makes everything unsettling than it is.

Gallows are bastards defending the faith of what punk felt like back when the Queen needed some saving. Give them something personally hurtful and it's a city wide riot for them. We love their anger and it's time to join their movement for end even if we all die in the process. Let's just get Trap Them's Ryan McKenney out of Imaginationland to participate!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Goatwhore - Carving Out The Eyes Of God

Spike your bullets!

Job For A Cowboy (which I will review the crappy new album later) is a big boy of Metal Blade Records, it's amazing that they got to a larger audience since their Doom EP but I later identified that it seems like blind luck got them there and that blind luck began the Hot Topic Bree Bree Core of Crappery. One band who is also in Metal Blade but not as "infamous" as JFAC is NOLA's own Goatwhore who knows how to deliver good on what they are ever since their label debut A Haunting Curse; blackened "fuck off and die" death metal!

Assault is a necessary thing especially in metal and having that first attack is necessary. Erik Rutan made Carving Out The Eyes Of God sound like an all out war on Jesus Christ where riffs by guitarist Sammy Duet and bassist Nathan Bergeron terrorizes from beginning to end no matter if it's thrashy, crusty, or black-y (notice the -, apologies). With the drums by Zak Simmons doing rapid fire blasts and d-beats, it makes the perfectly timed songs deadly headbang material even if you listen to Celtic Frost's Morbid Tales. Lets not forget vocalist Ben Falgoust who found the balance of space and punishment with his poisonous chants of the darkness so everyone has fair killing game.

The underdog can triumph and Goatwhore achieved in making a great record. I curse you if you don't listen to this record and/or don't like it because if you are in some MySpace deathcore band, I bet you were dreaming of Carving Out The Eyes Of God and having your extreme metal-illiterate teenager friends force you that the "xXxHxCxXxBREAKDOWN!" is the only entertaining form of "br00talness".


Dial - Dial

The Other Southern Noise

Noise rock is indeed enjoyable when it's smartly done but people will still hate it because it's noise unless something like Sonic Youth is in their iPod playlist. Anyways, New Zealander's Dial has a re-released demo by Robotic Empire and if I haven't known it was a demo, I would have considered it as a very well produced noise AmRep based EP which the demo was so everybody wins.

From start to finish it's full of short and sweet riffs that can intimidate people of the Hot Topic crowd, rawed-up shouts by Natalia Williams which made me joyfully giggle, and almost hypnotizing drum patterns that keep the songs alive and well. Being alive and well makes it more interesting to enjoy each song at different occasions instead of trying to find time to listen wholly for the full experience although it's awesome to do that as well.

It doesn't feel out of place and it's purely honest in what has. Only if they had more songs and it would be sex but with the content delivered in this 5 song EP, it garners the possibility where sex can happen with that cute glasses-toting brunette bookworm which is fine with me.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Battlefield 1943 review


I awaited the release of the game along with lots of others and that lots filled up the limited servers upon launch and made me and others sad. But as people were about to lose their wills and hopes it was finally accessible for the larger crowd and it was a great time to finally have fun with an impressive Xbox Live game from the developer who made Battlefield since 1942 with Battlefield 1943; and no, there were more than two games in the franchise if that's what you are jokingly thinking.

With 1943, you would expect a sequel but simply put it's not as it's more of a reimagined greatest hits of 1942 where the game uses the current generation "Frostbite Engine" that powered Bad Company and only featuring three main classic maps set in the Pacific Theater of War (Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, and Wake Island). There are on the European campaign maps from the original in sight but with the possibility of downloadable content, we can hope for the best.

1943 primarily relies on the signature Conquest mode where two opposing teams capture and defend bases and rid the enemy spawn count, although a similar and additional mode and map called respectively Air Superiority and Coral Sea (which was unlocked in the initial weeks of the release) is featured where it's fly or die on mandatory dogfight situations. But Air Superiority is not the only mode to feature planes as players of 12 on 12 can drive easily controllable tanks, jeeps, and rafts to get into the fight as soon as possible; but as a Battlefield game you can be surprised with exploding deaths resulting with no vehicle when respawning and settling with on foot movement to a control point. Even if so, it doesn't feel boring as there is sprinting grabbed from Bad Company and the maps are more condensed for instant action.

With the instant action, instead of a complex squad system with multiple weapons to select, like the free Battlefield Heroes there are three classes which in some cases are a combonation of the removed ones; as the rifleman has a semi-auto rifle, a rifle-grenade launcher, and additional hand grenades; the infantryman is prefferred for closer combat with an sub-machine gun, a recoiless rifle/rocket launcher, and as well as hand grenades with the benefit of repearing vehicles; the scout is the ghillied-up sniper who also has some close-quarters combat with the pistol and swords.

In a graphical standpoint, it's impressive for an Xbox Live Arcade game where they make use of the "Frostbite Engine" for the common current generation techniques such as bump mapping and soft-shadowing but most notably the destructive environments; although it seems more stylistic instead of beneficial unlike Bad Company. While great looking the detail of the game is less prevalent as opposed to Bad Company and the very bright color palette can be a turn off for a game based of a very violent war; and with the lack of blood still common within the franchise, explosions and the rag-doll deaths miss the needed spark of brutality. I want to see someone's head get decapitated when I chop someone with my katana!

Sound in Battlefield is always great to listen to and 1943 continues the format with convincing gun fire and vehicle motors; and distant those make it far interesting and helpful when finding the battles. The limited music is great in what it delivers as it's unforgettable to hum along to the main theme.

1943 still has the essence of a Battlefield game; large scale multiplayer carnage with vehicle bombing! For $15 on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, it's a steal and if you have been playing since 1942 or just wanting to have a quick match with 23 other people, Battlefield 1943 is indeed the pure answer.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Suicide Silence - No Time To Bleed

Jesse Ventura Will Not Approve

I know Peter Dolving likes Suicide Silence and I cannot just say f-you to The Haunted’s preacher just because he listens to the ultimate equation of bad deathcore to the masses. The Cleansing was uninteresting and but gave another chance to contribute to the genre constantly (and ignorantly) loved by the 16 year old scene girls and panned by extremists. Now two years have passed by and there is nothing I can say except that the new record does it wrong with the “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” theory and it ultimately sounds like The Cleansing.

I can hear that they are trying to do something new with No Time To Bleed to differentiate their debut with clearer production due to Machine (Lamb of God, Every Time I Die) but it sounds way too similar to the point asking myself which album is which. Vocalist Mitch still sounds like five annoying wah pedals and 5 annoying distortion pedals, the drums are over snapped due to snare dependency, and the guitars/bass are as before nonexistence unless Suicide Silence “breaks da f-bomb down” and they do so constantly in No Time To Bleed. There is some variation in songwriting with Meshuggah-like soloing and atmospheric soundscapes but they depend too much on either delivering boring d-beat action, boring death-blast beats, or boring breakdowns to pay attention to the unmemorable additions.

Give more weight to the fate of deathcore as one of the major players fails at trying to make something good or at the least interesting to the weakened field in a sophomore effort; although it will still gather new fans who enter death core as their extreme metal gateway. Pity if they listen to them instead of something not over monotonous from a band who titled their second album seemingly coming from Predator. Now I got that film in your minds here is how I figuratively wanted to do when listening to No Time To Bleed, “GET TO THE CHOPPA!”


Magrudergrind - Magrudergrind

Gold Chains & Grindcore

The District of Columbia is our capital where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous civil rights speech and as well as where the president takes a number two in his sultry White House. Besides the purely political, Washington D.C. is a home of hardcore and the descendants including powerviolence/grind threesome Magrudergrind who have been blasting since 2002 with recent contributions to Scott Hull’s extreme This Comp Kills Facists. Thank goodness Scott made it or else I wouldn’t find out about Magrudergrind’s newest self-titled steroid-fest.

It’s evil, heavy, powerful, fast, and all the other maniacal things I cannot comprehend immediately all in 26 minutes. Thanks to the production of both engineer Kurt Ballou and Scott Hull doing the mastering duties, the album sounds clean and precise while trying to be dirty and apocalyptic which fit the harsh musicianship. With an almost HM-2 Swedish tone the bass can be immediately excused as guitarist RJ sounds like a guitar and a bass at the same time. He attacks with the terrorizing fast punk riffs but he also delivers sludge attacks where it’s mastered in the standout track “Barn Burner” where vocalist Avi fills the song with the rasps and shrieks that can even terrify J.R. Hayes. Even the drums are freaky as it always takes a left turn in constituency and convention and goes for brutality and awesomeness with immediate tempo changes and variation.

Magrudergrind’s self-titled is mad and bad where it’s a no mercy campaign for pain. It’s hurtful but I would rather get inflicted with this because they know how to make catchy and un-boring grind even if they try the hip-hop sampled “Heavier Bombing” and that’s also an brutal piece to a brutal grind record.


Iwrestledabearonce - It's All Happening

Where Is The Fountain of Aging When You Need It?!

At least some point in this part of the decade you heard Iwrestledabearonce. Don’t lie to me, you were tempted by your breakdown-induced metalcore friends to check them out or at least were curious after taking a look at who that band was at Century Media Record’s official website trying to first decipher the band name. I will not lie and just say yes I did but unlike all the friends in the band’s official MySpace, I didn’t like it after the first seconds through from their self-titled EP as it was head aching, noisy, and plain bad; and not in a good brutal sort of way. Now they released their debut album on aforementioned Century Media and with the time between, Iwrestledabearonce made it a bit engaging for everyone common and new to their style of everything; but only a bit.

When completing a full listen to It’s All Happening, I thought I would get a full understanding of the sound but I felt that I was missing something with all this intensive barrage of the -core breakdowns, the Dillinger/Melt-Banana-somewhat like noise assault, and the off-key Cristina Scabbia attempts at singing by vocalist Krysta Cameron. But as my head is still trying to balance after enduring the wall of sound, I realize that in a simple form is that the group uses too much techniques to the point it’s immediately unnecessary where it negatively affects the overall sound; but do they have an overall sound? Of course not! Give example of the fan and Kevin Bacon favorite “Taste Like Kevin Bacon” where it’s bad technical deathcore, overtly-cheesy new-wave, a dash of “operatic” vocals, and more deathcore with the horn of General Lee into a almost 4 minute song; though that can be an example of the overall sound. Although I would want to destroy the album, they provide some sections like in “Pazuzu for the Win” that have meaning and surely defeats the monotony and annoyingness of the EP and most of It‘s All Happening even it only occurs for less than a minute.

While making this review, I took another listen and realized something, although I and most of you guys thinks the songs are stupid, I believe Iwrestledabearonce would agree. Within the all fun and games territory, it’s something just laugh at with no beef but at Serious Land of Eavy Metuul, you can make some cool sections but bad is bad and this is bad so it’s bad yo!