Friday, January 31, 2014

Via Fondo - Fast

Via Fondo is from Sweden and definitely have that Euro influence in their music that manifests itself by hearing influences of La Quiete and Raein.  They employ that bright, low gain guitar sound to catch all the articulation of their chords.  There's a ton of space in these songs where the vocals cut out and the music speaks on it's own.  "Not Yet" opens the record up and gives you a really nice example of this. 

The band gives a great lesson in dynamics. You'll be guided through many peaks and valleys here, ranging from ultra quiet guitar harmonies to loud, blaring and aggressive walls of sound that still maintain a dark melody.  I have to give special attention to the drummer hear, as this percussionist seems to have found that excellent balance where the drums are interesting and technical without taking away from the over all groove of the songs. 

Check it out here.

Adaje - Yore Veils

Apparently this band broke up which is a shame because I'm hearing them for the first time just now.  Adaje are a band from Memphis, Tennessee and play a style that seems to encompass a bit of that classic screamy sound akin to bands like Funeral Diner and Orchid.  The band can delve into more epic territory once in a while and have me thinking of Envy as well.

What draws me in here is the musicianship.  You have three players here that are on top of their game.  The tones are excellent and the song writing is engineered in a way that comes off as smooth and intelligent.  I love the bass tone on this record as it really fills up the space left by only having one guitar. 

Check it out here.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Coma Regalia / Gas Up Yr Hearse! Split 7"

Gas Up Yr Hearse! sounds a lot like a domestic dispute happening while a child sits on the floor listening to Botch on 33 rpm and playing one of those Atari video game systems from the 1980's. I mean this in the best possible way. 

The band's musical influences seem to land somewhere in the chaotic, noodly hardcore neighborhood that you'd expect from early Dillinger Escape Plan material.  The vocals are split between two singers who have drastically different voices.  Favored in the mix are the female vocals which screech distractingly over the music.  It's a nice delivery, but the levels are hard to bear a times.  Some mixing adjustments would do well to fix this up. 

The Coma Regalia track requires you to turn up the volume on your speakers, as it doesn't seem to be mastered to the same volume as the Gas Up Yr Hearse! material. You're in for a long ride with this track that comes close to seven minutes.  Due to it's epic proportions and screaming vocals I'm reminded of the late 90's and seeing a band like Closure. 

Things start out barreling out of the gate with speed and intensity.  But it's only a minute before a drastic change in mood. The song then takes a three minute detour which is structured widely around one part, adding/taking away to build up some introspective tones. It's done well before exploding into a mid tempo frenzy of harsh guitar.

Listen to it here.

Lantern - Diavoleria

Why is it so hard to listen to a band from Italy and not compare them to La Quiete or Raein?  I feel like I'm letting the readers down by even pointing it out.  But I promise, I'm not just taking the easy way out and comparing this band to others from their homeland.  Take a listen and see if the similarities are there for you as well.

Lantern know what they're doing. The musicianship and song structure is well executed.  The band shows no sign of weak links at all. If you're partial to the melodic sound that has aggressive undertones then this will be just for you.  The guitar sound has that jangle to it which leaves the saturation behind and opts for the clarity of each note.  It seems these cats might be heading to the United States soon.  Hopefully I can catch a show or two.  

Have a listen here.

Friday, January 10, 2014

June Paik - June Paik

June Paik give us four songs totaling about 23 minutes. It's dark, heavy and crushing.  I found it reminiscent of One Eye God Prophecy, Buried Inside and Locktender.  The music is slow and deliberate in it's execution, doing a good representation of the  'wall of sound' effect. 

My qualm here is mostly with the production.  At times I find myself straining to hear the basic accents of the drum work, while the more technical aspects of the drumming are for the most part buried.  The guitar, bass and vocal sounds are huge and I think this record would be incredible with a little more attention to that percussive backbone. 

There seems to be a lot of contrast employed in the song writing in which the clean, minimalist, guitar parts are paired up against the larger wall of noise sections.  This creates a pretty huge contrast and dramatic effect at times, while other times it may be a little too unsteady for some listeners to indulge in.

The guitar work is interesting and really runs the show here.  There is a nice balance of melodic octave chords to create the more introspective moments while the more sludgy aspects are littered with noisy, discordant combinations. 

Torso - Unreleased Tracks

Torso is the kind of hardcore that doesn't really get me excited all that much, but I can attest that it seems to be played well.  This is fast, angry hardcore with overdriven guitar sounds and a raging lead vocal.

The production quality is raw and lends itself well to making the band sound right at home with this genre.  I assume this band is vegan and straight edge since their bandcamp page is "torsoxvx", however no lyrics are provided to get an idea of what these cats are screaming about.

There you have it. Listen to it here.

Kaoru Nagisa/Swan of Tuonela Split 7"

There's new Kaoru Nagisa material and it doesn't disappoint at all!  If you liked the earlier songs from their demo then you'll  notice the band is picking up where they left off and perhaps even upping the intensity factor.  I enjoy the way this band mixes the more chaotic style with some nice straight forward traditional chugging guitar grooves.  For having three vocalists the band seems to have a good sense of how to balance the voices together to sound very cohesive.

Swan of Tuonela are a bit more introspective and melodic than Kaoru Nagisa and the two bands complement each other well.  Swan gives us two songs that mix some intense screaming and rage with some more introspective, drawn out guitar work.  It never seems to be lagging or held out for too long, as the band tends to have a good ear for when to bring things to an explosive point. 

Two great bands here