Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tellusian - Scania

It's sort of prog, sort of metal, sort of heavy...it's a whole lot all at once.  Tellusian are from Sweden and have no qualms with showing their musical aptitude.  For all the technicality the band never loses a nice flowing groove. 

Aside from the discordant and noodly guitar/bass work, the vocal and drum work were really the first thing to hit me.  There's some very impressive drumming happening here that incorporates double bass movements in a tasteful and creative way.

Vocally I'm hearing something that reminds me of Titan or Buried Inside, mostly for it's lower register growl and relentlessly brutal approach. At times you'll hear a clangy bass peak out for a short solo before the crushing guitars fill back in. For such accomplished musicians, they haven't forgotten how to work as a team and meld together nicely.

Listen to it here.

Buran - Demo '13

Buran follows the lead of bands like One Eye God Prophecy and perhaps the earlier, less sassy, Orchid material.  The songs are short and to the point providing little room for things to get very dynamic. 

What you do get is some all out assault of drums, guitars and screaming vocals.  They seem to use the old technique of coming to a full pause, allowing one guitar foster some high discordant notes, and then bringing everything back in with crushing lows once again.

Their longest song is the closer which tops out at 1:26 and provides the only melodic interlude you'll hear throughout these five tunes. 

Have a listen here.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Hell Mary - Drifter

Hell Mary return with four new songs that pick up where their last effort, "Forever on the Fence" left off. The band seems to experiment on this one with some unorthodox song structures and tones.  In the end it pays off. 

The guitar on this effort has a little more twangy nature to it, while the vocals take on a kind of distorted and slightly reverb affected approach.  The song writing is a little less traditional than their past work as well, making more room for instrumental moments, drastic pauses and slower, brooding vibes.

The songs are still short and hit very hard though.  I would still categorize Hell Mary as "hardcore for people who don't normally listen to hardcore", perhaps even more so now seeing their ability to step outside of their pre-constructed shell and successfully incorporate some risks.

Listen to it here.

Dead In The Dirt - The Blind Hole

This is the best record of 2013.  It is.  Don't bother trying to come up with something else.  Ok, Maybe I'm being too hasty.  There are tons of bands that try to do the heavier/d-beat influence style, but I would have to say this is the best effort of that particular style that I've heard thus far.

Dead In The Dirt have finely tuned their brand of relentless hardcore featuring tons of feedback, blast beats and down tuned goodness.  The song structures here are interesting and varied.  You're not getting just another run of the mill heavy band here.

The production quality is excellent and emphasizes their heavy sound perfectly.  The dual vocals are matched up perfectly over the music, one low and deep, the other desperate and harsh. The pummeling bass and drums provide an excellent structure for the noisy guitars.  It all fits together perfectly.  I couldn't ask for more.

Listen to it here

Friday, October 18, 2013

Calvacades / Coma Reglia / Heart On My Sleeve - split EP

I've been putting off writing a review for this because trying to tackle three bands at once is intimidating to me for some reason. Here we go, bare with me.

Cavalcades sort of reminds me of what would happened if you mixed some of the earnest song writing of Touche Amore with the more sad, depressing tone of a band like Pity Sex. The music is upbeat, jangly but still transfers a mood of melancholy and defeat. I like the risk taken here with the vocals, in which a scream is fashioned into a melodic howl. There's not much technicality to the musicianship here, but everything is solid and firing off at the speeds it should. 

Coma Regalia probably holds the record for the most split records ever done by any one band.  I'm not sure how they churn out material so quickly.  The frequency of their appearances doesn't seem to diminish the quality or intensity of their song writing though. The two songs offered here take you on a quite a journey, incorporating screamy chaos, melodic interludes and some extended instrumental pieces involving some nice piano work. The band seems to have developed the practice of making every song an epic foray, even when their run time is only two and a half minutes.

Heart On My Sleeve provide the side B of this release with two songs both clocking in over four minutes.  I've been familiar with their past material, but these two songs show some definite growth and development in the bands introspective style of song writing.  In some ways it reminds me of some of the mid 90's emo bands like Schema or Indian Summer.  Musically things stay pretty straight forward and focus more on the dynamics of soft to loud to communicate the dramatic effect.

Listen to it here.

Heathen Reign - S/T

From Philadelphia and featuring members of War Emblem, Heathen Reign have a sound reminiscent of the Louisville early 2000's bands like Coliseum and Lords.  I say this due to the rock and roll groove of some these guitar riffs, backed by a very rthym heavy song writing approach.

The vocals are powerful and up front, like they were custom made for this music. They are quite a perfect fit to emphasize the intensity.  The drumming and bass work is nothing flashy, but provides a sturdy foundation to back up the whole presentation. At times the guitar cuts out and you get a nice view of the dirty, distorted bass tone cruising upon some open drums. 

My only complaint here is that I do wish the drum sound was a bit more big and roomy sounding. Though, this is a very guitar-heavy mix so perhaps it would have clashed with the band's initial vision.  Regardless, good stuff here.

Listen to it here.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Brooks Was Here - High Violence

Brooks Was Here, referencing the great 90's classic "The Shawshank Redemption with their name, play a very textured style of melodic hardcore where it seems that no one instrument is every playing the same thing at the same time.  Every player here is on their own journey, but it all mixes together extremely well. 

The scream/shout vocals are a perfect topping, providing a good amount of versatility and a good knowledge of when to hold back and let the music take over. There's even a display of melodic singing here used sparingly, but intelligently, to emphasize some of the melodic guitar parts.

I'm getting sort of a Moss Icon/Julia sort of vibe from the band at times, though it's mixed with something modern and relevant. 

Listen to it here.

Rainmaker - Alienation

Rainmaker is from Sweden and play a melodic hardcore sound that has a great emphasis on dramatic song engineering.  The band mixes up tempos and moods very well, using pauses and slight hesitations to their advantage to create a good deal of urgency.

Delay and reverb guitars shimmer with high notes while the bass growls in the background. Steady drums and desperate vocals round off the sound and the excellent production quality doesn't hurt either.  The band has a good sense of when to split up into moments like this and when to come together for a more driving sound.  Think Yage or Envy as a comparsion.  Definitely good stuff. 

Listen to it here.