Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Coalesce - "Wild Ox Moan" Dissected

Lasting for more than a week even if I have discovered this recently, Coalesce has issued a contest where anybody can win prizes for having the best remix and/or rearrangement of their OX song "Wild Ox Moan." Although great to win crap including a special LP version of OX, I feel that people including me who are trying to get into music production, specifically extreme metal, can understand how can we make a good sounding track with this song as good reference.

It's great that engineer Ed Rose dissected the main elements of the song (guitars, vocals, effects, etc.) for us to understand in a technical manner. Notable elements include the panned bass guitar, the room and close drum mics, and the use of vocals with how having either just the main vocals or the backing vocals can affect the performance especially in the 02:38-02:58 section.

I am trying to understand extreme metal production and trying to make my own sound. Thank goodness someone would break down a song or else most of us would be overproducing/underproducing which can respectively lead to constant clipping or inaudibility. Most of us recording music in a DIY fashion might not sound good as OX but at least it's a stepping stone for success in the future.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Doomriders - Darkness Come Alive

Doom, Gloom, and Rock & Roll?
Aside from the very metallic hardcore tendencies, Converge's Nate Newton has a primary side project when Converge is not playing a show. Doomriders contains the bassman on guitars as well as Cave In drummer J.R. Connors playing very fun and catchy death 'n' roll and punk influenced stoner rock ever since their 2005 debut Black Thunder on Jacob Bannon's Deathwish Inc. Four years later with occasional live performances and splits with Coliseum and Swedish d-beat kings Disfear, Nate and the riders finally have time to record new attractive material before their holds on their main bands and their own new pieces.

Darkness Come Alive in terms of how it's recorded differs from Black Thunder as the latter was recorded live with all instruments present and playing simultaneously while Darkness followed conventional tracking. Although it feels like the fun and jam factor disappeared, it resulted with songs having more detail and attention resulting with a good amount of focus. The first half of the seventeen songs have good hooks especially in the harmony chorus in "Come Alive" but the second half is where the riders step up in their riffing game. "Jealous God" stays doomed up yet has a melody that can encourage the crowd to flood the group sing along and "Mercy" as well as "Bloodsucker" adds the Black Flag esque hardcore element to the stoner fuzzed grooves. Thank goodness those grooves are audible as I thank Kurt Ballou for having clarity and dynamics instead of density and intensity.

Good thing Nate actually pursued Doomriders as he deserves some prominence when doing his work on Converge and even in Old Man Gloom. Show your glory!


Monday, September 28, 2009

the_Network - Bishop Kent Manning

No LAN support in this network
It's intriguing to listen to bands that I never heard before especially with cool sounding names (except for badly vaguely named metalcore bands). The_Network has a cool sounding and looking name albeit they are a metalcore band. Good thing that they sound pretty good for following a Botch/Converge attack with a essence of individuality. Already established in Blackmarket Activities with 2007's This Is Your Pig's Portrait and the split EP with UK band Throats, the_Network comes back with a Kurt Ballou production of a conce... excuse me a narrative journey.

Starring a man on a destructive path from his manipulative lead of an evangelical church to his goal for self realization and redemption, t_N provides an facsinating lyrical story where it flows through with anger and rage from vocalist Mike McGee. He does what he has to do while knows he cannot flood the rest of the sounds surrounding the album. Following the aformentioned influences, t_N takes some left turns with influences of post-hardcore and post-metal; most notably evident on "Corpse Paint" where it contains an Isis like buildup and goes to a almost poppy melodic like chorus to immediate doomy verses. Most of the time, it's constant math influenced chaos. To differentiate from their older peers, very metal riffing is added to the hardcore sensibilities in songs like "Easter Just Stopped Showing" where it almost sounds like a death metal song with the notion of how deathcore should sound like instead of what Suicide Silence deafens.

They do what they want to do and it seems to be working. Is it sophomore album of the year? Hell no! It doesn't break any modern mold in the musically department yet it's awesome though to listen to something imaginative lyrically such as Bishop Kent Manning. In the name of Jesus and Satan, do listen!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Gnaw Their Tongues - All The Dread Magnificence Of Perversity

Jesu For Strange Cats
One of the intriguing things about uncomfortable music is that it can get the listener (if open-minded) to get sucked in and try to digest the universe that is composed in a song. Can range from just simplistic ambient noise to the recent soothing yet cacophonous hits of Tilt and The Drift by Scott Walker. People who doesn't listen to extreme music would commonly call the the various genres in the umbrella term as unpleasant; likely because the closest thing that they would consider extreme would be something out of Disturbed. More known in Europe, the amalgamation of the sounds are presented in such bands like The Axis Of Perdition and recently Gnaw Their Tongues with its latest full length monster of a machine.

Consisting of Dutch lone wolf Mories who takes extreme to another level with his arsenal of everything hard and destructive, he wants the listener to visualize the enviroments and what can create the dynamic wall of noise. "Broken Fingers Point Up In Vain" imagines a doomy symphonic end of the world scenario where everything built by man is collapsing down to the ground. The first song when popping the disc in creates a strong and hollow Silent Hill like mood if the very bloody and dreary environments filled with surrounding industrial scream existed. Although some spoken word it doesn't have lyrics but for this case, it's beneficial as it's about listening to every little detail from the agonizing cries to the subtle drum patterns.

If there is a flaw then it has to be the songs simply put. Dread is great and terrifying, it wants to be really cacophonous albeit it's so likeable that it drains the "I am fucking freaking out and going fucking insane" scary factor. It's more like being the cameraman to a well thought out horror movie as opposed to waking up in what could be hell on earth (minus the Cyberdemon). Also the song names sounding cool also feels silly and vague ("Gazing At Me Through The Tears Of Urine, WTF?!). Nonetheless if you wanna love shitting bricks on music, All The Dread Magnificence Of Perversity is still extreme beyond extreme and evil beyond evil.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Weekend Nachos - Unforgivable

Once low key yet strong fanbase in the Eastern hardcore scene but recently had wider appreciation with Relapse Records' Scott Hull modern powerviolence/grind collection known as This Comp. Kills Facists, Weekend Nachos I hope is enjoying the larger reception. Even with finishing songs for the compilation, it didn't stop their 2009 Spazz-y attack as they begun making a "full length" of traditional yet still intense grind and powerviolence known as Unforgivable.

As I said, this album is traditional filling up the usual guidelines influenced by the early U.S. grind bands both musically and artistically. So expect a grotesque black & white Vietnam photo to start off. When initially listening to it you can expect the fast, slow, and blast tempos to fill up almost every song when the creamy smooth guitars and bass flow with the still goofy vocals. Every other band does the same thing but why should you or me care about this band Besides powerviolence being less common than grindcore obviously, they have some chops to deliver excting stuff which is highlighted in standouts like "Pain Over Acceptance" and the 2 minute epic "Nights".

Nothing special or bad, the Nachos made a nonetheless enjoyable Relapse debut album which by small doses can be kept in grind enthusiasts' LP player, CD player, or iPod. Give it a go you might like it.