Friday, December 02, 2016

Gone Is Gone - 2016 - Dublin



Gone Is Gone constis of Troy Sanders (Mastodon) on bass/vocals, Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens Of The Stone Age) on guitar, Tony Hajjar (At The Drive-In) and guitarist/keyboardist Mike Zarin. Their debut recording Echolocation is up for pre-orders now, set to be released January 6 by Rise Records.

Thrown Into Exile - No Words

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Among The Automated - 2016 - Among The Automated

Among The Automated is an experimental metal project from Waterloo, Ontario. This is truly a one man studio experiment, Mike Rideout performed all music as well as the recording and production aspects. He has produced a confoundingly eclectic but compelling group of songs. This record defies simple categorization and easy listening but there are untold riches inside. My favourite moments are all the more straight forward death metal songs, they gallop along with solid riffs and just a hint of synth based melody around the outside. But if you have an ear for more meditative synthesizer based pieces then there is a lot here for you.



There are roughly two kinds of songs on this record, straight forward death or otherwise heavy metal (Binary Bloodline, Evil Disco, The Room, Design, H.W.A.S.A.Z.) and synth based electronic or ambient pieces (Admittance, Erratic (The Automation), Intro_z, Totality (The Automation), The Last Song He Never Wrote).



My main problem with this LP is how inconsistent is. Clearly Mike Rideout is a talented musician, he writes great songs and performs them with style. The problem comes when it's time to stitch disparate genres together. This isn't an LP that I will come back to as a whole, but more than half of this album will make its way onto various playlists. If you're looking for a record that combines death metal, electronica and ambient sounds Among The Automated will serve well.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Obsessed - 2016 - Sodden Jackyl

Pikes Edge - 2016 - Denial Of Service

Architects - 2016 - All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us

Architects is a metalcore band from Brighton, England. All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us is their new LP. Architects play metalcore that manages to be progressive and move their sound forward without falling into any of the pitfalls of typical "progressive metalcore." Architects come blasting out of the gates at top speed with Nihilist and barely let up for the proceeding 47 minutes. They have found the sweet spot where crushingly heavy, technical riffs can be surrounded by a groove and is the better for it.



The singer has an excellent and versatile voice, his desperate screams are as powerful as his clean singing is beautiful. Highlights include Phantom Fear, Gone With The Wind, Downfall, A Match Made in Heaven, Gravity and the aforementioned Nihilist. With All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us Architects have crafted a forward looking metallic statement.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Evaporators - Eat To Win

Inoculum - 2016 - Antigen

Inoculum is a five piece metal band from Frederick, Maryland, USA. Antigen is their debut LP. Inoculum play metalcore with hints of progressive metal and lots of thrashy riffs. This is the kind of debut that intrigues me, Inoculum have a sound that is not quite there own but they have managed to avoid the major cliches of progressive metalcore. Where they go from here is the real question.



They come out of the gate at full tilt with As It Burned which lays the template for the rest of the album. Double metalcore style bass drums, both clean and screamed vocals with guitars chugging out riffs galore. The progressive element is largely kept in check, only obvious in a little stutter step electronica here and there. Here's where I would list my favourite songs but there's no need when an LP is this solid. With Antigen, Inoculum have crafted an exciting debut.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Rosàrio - 2016 - And the storm surges

Rosàrio is a five piece heavy metal band from Montagnana, Italy. And The Storm Surges is their sophomore LP. Rosàrio play an eclectic brand of heavy metal incorporating elements of hard rock, stoner metal and desert rock. To Peak And Pine lays out the template for what is to come, riff focused slightly sludgy stoner metal with a suitably gravelly voice. Rosàrio know how to take their time building up atmosphere which only makes the deployment of the heavy stuff that much more powerful.




Dawn Of Men leading into Monolith is the perfect example. Dawn Of Men takes the whole length of song crafting a beautiful, acoustic stoner desert atmosphere, complete with the singer sounding a lot like John Garcia of Kyuss, before exploding into the riff laden stoner monster that is the epic closer Monolith. Radiance is the other great example, the evolution from atmosphere building to heavy riffs & solo's improves both ends. With And The Storm Surges, Rosàrio have crafted a solid statement of desert influenced stoner metal.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Algos - 2016 - Amongst Monoliths

Algos is a one man heavy metal recording project from The Netherlands. Amongst Monoliths is their sophomore LP. Algos plays progressive & melodic death metal citing Be'lakor, In Mourning and Swallow The Sun as influences.



The singer has a versatile voice, while his grim, blackened shout is a little thin he has a solid cookie monster growl that he puts to great use. When the songs are firing on all cylinders he weaves together sections of heavy riffs with melodic solos and moments of heavy brutality contrasted with moments of quiet beauty. Highlights include Metempsychosis, The Withered King, Blessed With Weakness, Corruption Defined, Odyssey's End and The Poisoned Well. With Amongst Monoliths' Algos have composed an imposing statement of progressive melodic death metal.

Friday, November 18, 2016

After Chaos - 2016 - After Chaos

After Chaos is a seven piece thrash metal band from Indonesia. After Chaos is their new EP. After Chaos play straight ahead thrash metal lyrics in both Indonesian and English. When the band is firing on all cylinders these are melodic thrash songs that you can bang your head to and sing along while moshing in the pit. There are riffs galore and a galloping rhythm section.



The middle of the EP does fall apart with two meandering, moody pieces that take the energy down all the way. But even when the songs never get their riffs off the ground they are filled out with excellent, melodic solos.  Highlights include Bayangan Pendusta, South Warrior, Monster and Ilusi Kehidupan. If you're looking for some melodic thrash, After Chaos have crafted a solid debut.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Zenobia - 2016 - Alma De Fuego II

Zenobia is a heavy metal band from Lardero, La Rioja, Spain. Alma De Fuego II is their fifth studio LP. Zenobia play a straightforward brand of heavy metal, infused with power & symphonic elements to make it arena ready. When they aren't playing synth heavy, bombastic metal they are playing radio ready hard rock. No matter what genre you try and slot them into synths abound and there are riffs aplenty.



Songs like Ángel Negro, Brindemos por una Canción and Militia Est Vita walk the line between more epicly minded symphonic power metal and riff focused thrash metal while songs like Si Pudieras and Valiente streamline everything to make the music even more radio friendly.  Highlights include the aforementioned Ángel Negro, Militia Est Vita, 100 Dardos, Océanos de Fuego & a live version of Borraré Tu Nombre. With Alma De Fuego II Zenobia have crafted a rocking statement of thrash and power metal.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Simple Minds - 2016 - Acoustic

Simple Minds is a five piece rock and roll band from Glasgow, Scotland. Acoustic is their nineteenth studio LP, rerecording eleven tracks from eight previous Simple Minds LPs. Perhaps best known for the song from The Breakfast Club Don't You (Forget About Me) this LP finds Simple Minds swapping out electric guitars for acoustic and synthesizers for piano. On songs like Sanctify Yourself and New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84) Simple Minds still rock out but any previous edge has been sanded off.



Despite the addition of KT Tunstall these recordings have turned out bland instead of raw. Yes the instruments are mostly acoustic but the production style erases any rough edges. On songs like See The Lights and Glittering Prize they approach something like U2 which may or may not be a compliment.. Highlights include the aforementioned Sanctify Yourself, New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84), Promised You A Miracle, Glittering Prize, Someone Somewhere In Summertime and of course Don't You (Forget About Me). If you're looking for some relaxing, acoustic rock Simple Mind's Acoustic has you covered.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Deceitful Conspiracy - 2016 - Abtu

Deceitful Conspiracy is a heavy metal band from Ballinluig, Scotland. Abtu is their debut recording. Deceitful Conspiracy is the musical  brainchild of Ryan Sturrock with help from Rory Troup, Aidan Hood and Strachan Barr. Deceitful Conspiracy play instrumental progressive metal.




There is no djent and very little uninspired noodling, this is streamlined riff focused heavy metal. This LP could very easily fall into the pitfalls of progressive metal but there are actual songs and a driving rhythm section to keep everything moving forward. This would appear to be a concept album but that remains vague when only given song titles. Highlights include Journey To Abtus Kingdom, War, The Last Act Of Humanity and Collapse Of Creation. With Abtu, Deceitful Conspiracy have crafted a progressive, trashy debut.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Unison Theory - 2016 - Arctos

Unison Theory is a four piece death metal band from Rome, Italy. Formed in 2011 by Omar Mohamed the band achieved a stable lineup with Simone Tempesta (drums), Alexander Starstev (vocals) and Giulio Rimoli (bass) though bass on this record is credited to Marco Mastrobuono. Arctos is their debut LP, a concept album mirroring the novel Ice Hunt by James Rollins.



Unison Theory play slightly technical, symphonic and thrashy death metal citing Revocation, Obscura, and Symphony X among others. Special guests include Rafael Trujillo from Obscura, Tommaso Riccardi of Fleshgod Apocalypse, Riccardo Studer from Stormlord and Donato Cipriano. Highlights include Omega, Grendel, Level 4, Polar Sentinel and The Price Of Eternity If you're looking for some thrashy, slightly technical and symphonic death metal Unison Theory have crafted an excellent debut with Arctos.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Oxo 86 - 2016 - Akustikalbum

Oxo 86 is a ska punk band from Bernau, Germany. Akustikalbum is their ninth LP since forming in 1996. On this new record Oxo 86 take their beer swilling, oi influenced ska and unplug for over 40 minutes of acoustic ska punk.



The songs work best when they maintain the presumed energy of the original, So Beliebt Und So Bescheiden, Alkohol and Skinhead all have an intense singalong energy. There is always a risk that the momentum and swing of the music is will suffer when going acoustic but the horns and rhythm section ensure danceability does not suffer. Other highlights include Wenn Könige Reisen, Dein Freund Der Boxer, Sowas Kannst Du Echt Gebrauchen and Auf Die Liebe Und Auf Die Sehnsucht. Stepping outside of their presumed comfort zone Oxo 86 have produced an excellent slab of acoustic ska punk with Akustikalbum.


Friday, November 11, 2016

One Of Us - 2016 - Affliction

One Of Us is a four piece groove metal band from La Plata, Argentina. Affliction is their debut LP following up 2015's debut EP Symptoms. One Of Us Play a sludgy brand of groove metal that is equally at home riding a riff into the ground as they are trudging through distorted sludge. My favourite moments are all when the band hits that mid-tempo groove just right. They nail the riffs to the wall while the vocalists shout is equal parts drill sergeant and demonic possession with some clean singing for balance and contrast.




Members of One Of Us have also played in Lepanto, Demolition Project, Retummba, Feed the Dog Embodiment, Justo Fierro, Daemon, Choique, Deneimles, Los Alcoholes Galácticos, Messias Snekker, Deneimles and Ciudad en Peligro. Highlights include Blind, Seven Seconds, Don't Scream My Name and Hate My Mind. One Of Us' Affliction is a solid debut, marrying sludge and groove metal for the betterment of both.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Brownout - 2016 - Brown Sabbath Vol II

Brownout is a nine piece funk band from Austin, Texas. Brown Sabbath Vol II is their second collection of funk covers of Black Sabbath. Brownout take the classic Sabbath songs we all know and love and transform them into funky, horn driven danceable soul songs.



Formed in 2010 by members of Grupo Fantasma they have backed Prince, Daniel Johnston, GZA and Bernie Worrell and cite WAR, Cymande and Funkadelic as influences.



There is not as much distance between Black Sabbath and Brownout as there would seem to be at first glance. The drum & bass are the anchors keeping everything heavy and funky. While the guitars are no longer the focus they set up and rideout a funky backbeat before revving up. The horns are the real stars of the show here, kicking what would otherwise be fairly tame but funky heavy rock into the stratosphere.



Highlights include Supernaut, Fairies Wear Boots, Children Of The Grave and Sweet Leaf. If you're looking for some heavy, funky rock paying tribute to the metal godfathers while still keeping a foot in modernity, Brownout's Brown Sabbath Vol II will serve well.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Dark Tranquility - 2016 - Atoma

Dark Tranquility is a melodic death metal band from Gothenburg, Sweden. Formed in 1989 they are one of the longest lasting bands from the Gothenburg metal scene. Atoma is their eleventh studio LP courtesy of Century Media. In terms of instrumentation there are no surprises here. Start with the already tempered attack of melodic death metal then mix in post-metal, giving the songs room to breathe, allowing them to stretch out into extended melodic passages.



I cannot say enough good things about the vocals on this LP. The singer has an excellent blackened growl that he puts to great effect and is pushed higher with the contrast of the frankly beautiful clean vocals. Highlights include Encircled, Neutrality, Force Of Hand, Faithless By Default and The Pitiless. If you're looking for some melodic death metal to help power through your day Dark Tranquility's Atoma will serve well. 

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Nocturnal Scum - 2016 - Demo

Nocturnal Scum is a five piece punk rock band from Berlin, Germany. Demo is their debut recording. Nocturnal Scum play a crusty brand of hardcore punk with elements of crossover thrash garnering comparisons to Withers, Hammers, Gattaca, and Ruins.



This is the kind of demo that excites me, there is enough going on here in both songwriting and instrumentation to overcome any lofi production limits. Here's where I would normally list my favourite tracks but there's no need when a demo is this solid. Take one part female fronted hardocore punk, add one part thrashy d-beat and divide by a blown out production style and you have Nocturnal Scum's Demo

Monday, November 07, 2016

Ashen Divinity - 2016 - Digital Sisyphus

Ashen Divinity is a death metal band from Istra, Croatia. Digital Sisyphus is their sophomore LP, follow up to 2014's The Wealth Of Abominations. Ashen Divinity plays a thrashy brand of death metal and members have also played in Infernal Tenebra. They have taken the all out attack of death metal and dialed it back slightly, loading up on heavy, meaty riffs and melodic solos.



Vocalist Erik Uljenik has a solid deep growl with which he bellows socio-politically relevant lyrics. Highlights include an ode to social degredation (Corruptia), an anti-war song complete with battleground sounds (Cannon Fodder) and a progressive piece based around W.B. Yeats The Second Coming, not to mention the aggressive title track. If you're looking for some thrashy death metal Ashen Divinity's Digitial Sisyphus will serve well.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Lou Barlow - 2016 - Apocalypse Fetish

Iggy Pop - 2016 - Lust For Live (live on austin city limits)

Taman Shud - 2016 - Dogs And Gods

Taman Shud is a stoner metal band from Amiens, France. Dogs And Gods is their debut LP since forming in 2012. Members have also played in Oniromancie, Ashura and Your Own Film. They describe themselves as Desert Rock and doing a solid job of calling up that groovy but still riff focused heavy stoner rock that came out of the California desert in the 90s.



The singer's voice could be a little higher in the mix but it works well, the melodic counterpoint surrounded but not buried by walls of fuzzy riffs. My main complaint is that the songs do tend to overstay their welcome a little, there is just barely too much sludge in the mix for my liking. I personally prefer faster, thrashier songs to the mid-tempo sludge influenced but everyone has their own preferences. Highlights include Bullet And Glove, Guns And Children, Sharks  and the excellent title track. With Dogs And Gods Taman Shud have crafted a solid heavy desert rock debut. 

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Sedition Sunday #5: Angela Davis

Angela Davis is an American academic. She lead the Communist Party USA in the 1960's and developed close ties to the Black Panther Party. She had a broad research interests with many ideas intersecting including: feminism, African-American studies, critical theory, Marxism, popular music, social consciousness, and the philosophy and history of punishment and prisons. This has been one of her main areas of research and writing, on the prison-industrial complex that is the USA today and ways we can abolish, not reform, the prison system.

Blackning - 2016 - Alienation

Blackning is a three piece thrash metal band from Santo André, Brazil. Alienation is their sophomore LP after forming in 2013. Blackning play a straightforward brand of thrash metal, generally mid tempo with lots of intricate & heavy riffs, melodic solo's and head banging grooves.



The vocalist has a nice gruff shout, aggressive and loud without being unintelligible. Lyrically the album seems focused on various social issues and addresses them handily without being preachy. Blackning isn't reinventing the wheel by any means but who needs to reinvent the wheel when you can produce heavy, thrashy metal like this? Highlights include Mechanical Minds, Street Justic, Weapons Of Intolerance, Devil's Child and Two-Faced Liar. If you're looking for a heavy slab of thrash to bang your head to, Blackning's Alienation will serve well. 

Friday, November 04, 2016

The Shining - As Performed By The Minnesota Opera

This past May, the Minnesota Opera presented the world premiere of The Shining. The opera was an immediate sensation, selling out completely and earning critical raves. In cooperation with the Minnesota Opera, Classical Minnesota Public Radio is now pleased to present the complete streaming audio of The Shining, as performed live during that premiere run. This exclusive listening opportunity will be available for a limited time only: through Nov. 30.

Agathocles - 2016 - Commence To Mince

Agathocles is a grindcore band from Belgium. Commence To Mince is one of several new LP's. Since 1985 Agathocles have played what they call mincecore. Only original member Jan Frederickx describes it as "the same as old school grindcore, the way it was in the 80's, raw, minimalistic and socially and politically involved." If you like grindcore, with the requisite speed, chaotic songwriting and explosive playing this will more than scratch that specific itch.



Agathocles blast through these 34 songs in 33 minutes leaving no prisoners, only ringing ears, blown out amps and shredded vocal chords in their wake. Highlights include Anarchist Spectrum Disorder, Thanks Man!, Wasted Words, A Late Abortion and Excellent Toilet Paper. If you're in need of some classic grindcore Agathocles Commence To Mince will serve well.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Testament - 2016 - Brotherhood Of The Snake

Testament is a thrash metal band from Berkeley, California, USA. Brotherhood Of The Snake is their eleventh studio album.



Since coalescing as a band in 1987, for almost thirty years Testament has played straight ahead thrash metal around the world. Brotherhood Of The Snake shows why Testament has been around so long.



Chuck's voice and lyrics are as point on as ever, Alex's & Eric's twin guitars churn out heavy, aggressive thrash riffs for you to bang your head to while Steve & Gene's rhythm section ensures everything feels both limber and heavy. Highlights include The Pale King, Black Jack, Stronghold, The Number Game and the ass kicking title track. With Brotherhood Of The Snake Testament have delivered another outstanding thrash metal statement.





Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Japandroids - 2016 - Near To The Wild Heart Of Life

Bushwhaker - 2016 - The False Dilemma

Bushwaker is a metal band from Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada. The False Dilemma is their second LP. Formed in Whitehorse in 2008 Bushwaker moved to Vancouver in 2011. They play progressive brand of metal incorporating elements of Death, Black, Sludge, Post & Thrash metal. Instrumentally speaking Bushwaker stacks thrashy death metal riffs on top of one other reminding me of Gojira and garnering comparisons with Cormorant and early Mastodon & Lamb of God.



With multiple vocalists come multiple vocal styles, one singer has a great raspy, black metal shout while another has the authoritative drill sergeant bark. This LP is not as consistent as it could be, the riff focused death metal songs (Tower, Dead Man's Waltz, Shikadance, Bushwaker, Golden Shell) are great, towering slabs of progressive death metal but that impact is interrupted by interludes and overly melodic post-metal meanderings. This is the kind of LP that will only come with technical prowess and a willingness to smash genres together. If you're looking for some progressive death heavy metal Bushwhaker's The False Dilemma will serve well.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Death Note Silence - 2016 - Code Of Silence

Death Note Silence is deathcore from Quebec. Code Of Silence is their debut LP following up several singles. Death Note Silence play an aggressive brand of deathcore designed with mosh pit singalongs in mind. There is just enough groove, clean vocals and melody to draw in those who might get turned off by the deathcore label.



 These dudes deserves kudos for self recording and producing, they have done a great job and the LP sounds great. This five piece isn't reinventing the wheel by any means but who needs to when you can play hostile, riff heavy deathcore and can write good songs. Here's where I would normally list my favourite songs but there's no need with an LP this consistent. With Code Of Silence Death Note Silence have crafted a solid first effort.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Metallica - 2016 - Atlas, Rise!

Testament - The Pale King

The Deacons - 2016 - After Dark

The Deacons are a garage rock band from Olympia, Washington. After Dark is their sophomore EP, follow up to last year's Beat Up The World. The Deacons play a fuzzed out, slightly punked up brand of garage rock.



These are angsty rock & roll songs being blasted out of a garage with the requisite anger and distortion. The songwriting is a step up from the last EP, most of these songs have actual hooks that will burrow into your brain. Here's where I would normally list my favourite songs but there's no need with an EP this solid. With After Dark The Deacons have crafted an excellent step forward and followup making me anxious to hear what comes next. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

O.P.P. #6: The Long Shot Podcast

It`s time again for O.P.P., that`s right, Other People`s Podcasts! This week we join Amber Kenny and Jamie Flam around Sean Conroy's table for funny and at times surprisingly touching conversations in The Long Shot.

Who? The Long Shot consists of three comedians of different ages and backgrounds all living and working in Los Angelese. Amber Kenny is a comedy writer and performer and a founding member of sketch teams Super Kudzu, The Coat Club, and Hot Dog Volcano. Jamie Flam is a comedy writer, producer, and performer who currently books the Improv Lab at the LA Improv. Sean Conroy is an improv performer and writer, he is a founding member of The Swarm, performs regularly at the UCB Theater as well as performing and writing on Mr. Pickles.

What Is This Show? Every week these three comedians gather around Sean Conroy's table with a special guest. Supposedly each week has a theme but they diverge from those onto other topics very quickly. The chemistry of these three is unparalleled in podcasting. Amber Kenny is "a ray of sunshine" as Sean Conroy says, an up and coming comedian who's positivity comes beaming through and is both the supply and cause of nearly endless giggling. Jamie Flam is a stand up comedian who sometimes spends too much time on the funny voices and anti humour but is a genuinely funny person albeit the kind that is constantly having revelations about their life. Sean Conroy is the anchor and host of the show. Sean is the most reserved of the three, but also the funniest and he loves ship novels which are generally poo pooed.

Best Way In?: The Long Shot is all about the chemistry between the three hosts. They play off  each other well and balance each other. Choose an episode with a guest you are familiar with, Paul F Tompkins is always a solid bet, as is Jen Kirkman or Joe Wagner. 

Marc-André Larivière - 2016 - Farewell, Supernova

Marc-André Larivière is a musician from Gatineau, Quebec. Farewell, Supernova is his debut LP. This LP is an instrumental concept album about the future of humanity and space travel. Aside from spoken vocals this LP is a collection of progressive rock songs on guitar both electric and acoustic heavy on the solo's & noodling.



This LP is at it's best when there is a chugging, distortion generating riff that evolves several times before turning into a solo. The playing could be a little heavier but Larivière can really rock that guitar. My main complaint about this album is the production style. Too frequently there is only one guitar soloing with little or no rhythm backup underneath it. The sound could do with a serious beefing up.

My favourite tracks like Denying Gravity & Isolated Drift remind me of John Petrucci's solo LP Suspended Animation. These songs are filled to the brim with riffs that change & evolve before launching into kick ass solos. Other highlights include Miscalculated Malfunction; Ascensions - Defying Gravity and DescensionMarc-André Larivière has crafted an exciting debut of progressive rock in Farewell Supernova.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Pussy Riot - 2016 - Straight Outta Vagina

Endless Horizons - 2016 - Cycle Funèbre

Endless Horizons is a black metal band from Quebéc, Canada. Cycle Funèbre is their new LP. Endless Horizons play a brand of black metal faithful to the demonic old school. There isn't much to say here, it's black metal done the way black metal traditionally should be done.



The singer, going by the name of Winterthrone, has an appropriately deep growl while the tremolo guitars swirl around him. There are no surprises instrumentally speaking, everything is where it should be and the atmosphere they create is suitably satanic. If you're looking for some tried and true classic black metal Endless Horizons' Cycle Funèbre will serve well.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Serpentine Dominion

The Astroplex - 2016 - The Chronicles Of Azhul'tar

The Astroplex is a death metal band from Canada. The Chronicles of Azhul'tar is their debut LP. The Astroplex play death metal augmented with synths and blasted into space.  Self branded as space metal, The Astroplex start with melodic death metal, adding elements of groove metal while building an epic ambience in the background. Instrumentally the songs alternate between modern black metal and synth driven expository sequences.



 Lyrically it tells the epic sci-fi adventure story of Captain Satis who seeks to overthrow Emperor Zarkhonn. Death Metal is not the first genre that comes to mind when thinking about vintage science fiction concept albums but The Astroplex pulls it off with style and riffs to spare. Herr Nox provides the black metal style guttural vocals with Lindsay Schoolcraft providing, at times operatic, clean backing vocals. With The Chronicles Of Azhul'tar The Astroplex have created Chapter 1 of this compelling, death metal epic.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Cani Dei Portici - 2016 - Due

Cani Dei Portici is a metal band from Bologna, Italy. Due is their sophomore EP following up 2013's Cave Canem EP. Cani Dei Portici play a super heavy brand of instrumental metal powered by the fury of (post)hardcore with some noise thrown in for extra grist in the mill. There is some post-rock in the mix and Cani Dei Portici does well to avoid the trap of indulgent, extended post-rock sections and keeps to the up-tempo heavy hardcore riffs.



 Instead of taking time to build up and then tear down epic vistas & soundscapes Cani Dei Portici find a groove and grind riffs out of it until there is nothing left barely leaving breathing room as the guitars explode around you. If KEN Mode abandoned traditional song structure it might come out something like this. Everyone needs some instrumental, kinda noisy, supremely heavy metal in their life whether they realize it or not. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Art Of Burning Water - 2016 - Between Life And Nowhere



Art Of Burning Water is a hardcore punk band from The UK. Between Life And Nowhere is their new LP. Art Of Burning Water take standard hardcore punk and throw in some sludge metal to make things even heavier alongside elements of mathcore further complicate the already heavy material. This is no holds barred hardcore punk, driven to the point of desperation and fury where genre distinctions hold no merit, the only thing that matter is how visceral, noisy and artsy a sound these three men can wrest from their instruments.


At times trudging through knee deep black sludge, at other times spinning up into hardcore punk chaos verging into powerviolence Art Of Burning Water starts blown out in the red and only gets more violent from there. Highlights include To Be Brave and Voivodian Solutions To Die Kreuzien Problems. If you need some noisy, sludgy & chaotic hardcore punk Art Of Burning Water's Between Life And Nowhere will serve well.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Unreqvited- 2016 - Disquiet

Unreqvited is a one man atmospheric black metal band from Ontario, Canada. Disquiet is their debut LP. Unreqvited play black metal but dilute their metallic attack by wrapping everything in cold, ambient, depressing atmospherics. This record functions on two levels, as modern black metal with most of the satanic trappings but also as ambient music that works as well in the background as the foreground.



If you're into black metal this LP is solid, the vocalist has the classic demon summoning scream and the guitars & synths create a pervasive, demonic wall of noise. If you're into ambient music this LP works equally as well, songs like A Tear From The Oak create a dark, oppressive ambience that recalls the frozen landscapes of northern Ontario winters. Songs like An Ocean Of Ire cut the difference, transitioning from icy ambience to howling black metal and back in less than three minutes. If you're into either ambient music or black metal you will find something to satisfy on Unreqvited's debut LP Disquiet.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Tactus - 2016 - Bending Light

Tactus is a five piece progressive metal band from Fredericton, New Brunswick. Bending Light is their debut LP following up several EPs. Tactus combine modern technical metal & progressive metal with a djent sound. The vocals are one of several places where Tactus standouts. The two singers make use of clean singing, deep shouts and distorted growling to tie everything into one heavy, progressive package. The band was formed when the members met in music school and the technical abilities of these players is beyond doubt.



My only complaint is the albums length. At an average of six minutes per song it doesn't take much for Bending Light to overstay its welcome. That said they are going for progressive epics so some meat on the bones is more than welcome. The guitars are my favourite part of this record, they are responsible for blending aggressive, thrash, growling sections with the more progressive, melodic sections, pulling it off with aplomb. Highlights include Cardinal, Aurora, Scimitar, Feast Or Famine and Colosus  If you like your progressive metal with modern technicality and that classic djent sound Tactus' Bending Light will serve well.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

O.P.P. #5: The Bugle

It's time for O.P.P. again, Other People's Podcasts! This week we get international and political with The Bugle hosted by Andy Saltzman and John Oliver.

Who? The show is hosted by two British stand-up comedians Andy Saltzman and John Oliver. Andy Saltzman has performed at the  Edinburgh Festival Fringe since 1999 and has worked with John on two BBC Radio programs, Political Animal and The Department. John Oliver was a correspondant at The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and now hosts his own HBO show Last Week Tonight With John Oliver and plays a recurring character on Community. The two have been doing The Bugle together since October 2007.

What's This Show? Andy and John are both fond of politics, dick jokes and satire. Andy is fond of pun runs and cricket while John likes Pippa Middleton's badondadonk and singing pop songs on occasion. Since Andy is in London and John is in New York City assuming neither are touring there is both American and British politics under the satirical lense along with a good helping of international news.


There is no subject beyond the reach of their bitingly silly satire. The show was originally produced by TimesOnline, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, during the News International phone hacking scandal of 2011 the jokes came just as quick as they always did, biting the hand that produced the show became the norm. In January 2012 The Bugle became an independently produced podcast and has soldiered on ever since. Production became more infrequent once Jon started hosting his HBO show but Zaltzman has announced the imminent return of the show.

Best Way In: This is another podcast that will not be for everyone but for political and satire junkies this should come quite quickly.  It is rather necessary to have at least an interest in if not knowledge of politics, the hosts do a good job of contextualizing the satire but it is at it's heart a satirical news show.






Axxion - 2016 - Back In Time

Axxion is a four piece heavy metal band from Toronto, Canada. Back In Time is their new LP courtesy of High Roller Records. Axxion play a traditional brand of heavy metal harkening back to the glory days of metal as championed by Iron Maiden, Judas Priest or Metallica. This is heavy metal straight out of the early 80's, thundering drums with riffs & solo's piled up to the ceiling with songs about metal fans, religion and judging books by their covers.



The vocals tends to fall on the speed metal end of the spectrum while I would have preferred a little more growl but that's a minor quibble. Here's where I would usually list my favourite songs but when an album is this consistent and excellent there is no need. If you need some metal to take you Back In Time to when thrash and speed ruled supreme, look no further than Axxion's new LP.


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Beast Of Doom - 2016 - Beast Of Doom

Beast Of Doom is a garage rock band from Brighton, UK. Beast Of Doom is their debut EP, they play a fuzzed out brand of garage rock. This is the kind of lofi debut recording where one isn't sure if the lofi nature is a production or budgetary choice. Either way these songs are snugly wrapped in distortion and they sound great.



Death Comes From The Sky is the highlight for me, a solid, surprisingly catchy punked up garage rock song overflowing with energy and lead riffs aplenty. Beast Of Doom's debut is a solid first step of fuzzed out garage rock.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Noēsis - 2016 - The Current

Noēsis is a progressive metal band from Québec City, Québec, Canada. The Current is their debut LP. Noēsis play prog rock citing Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Mastodon & System Of A Down as influences. The singer has great pipes that would equally be at home in a traditional power or speed metal band while the backup vocalists, both clean and growling, interplaying nicely. Instrumentally Noēsis switch from more straight forward, hard rocking modern heavy metal to the melodic, solo focused prog-rock elements.



If you are into thrash, progressive or old school metal you will find something here to dig your teeth into. Highlights include The Fall of Barca, Intoxicated & The Prey. If you're looking for some progressive but still thrashy metal Noēsis' The Current will serve well.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Unbound - 2016 Flesh Burns (Demo)

Unbound is a four piece black metal band from Australia. Members have also played in Where's The Pope?, Ripped Off, The Submissivies, Pissed On and Sick People. Flesh Burns is their debut EP under the name Unbound. They throw black metal & hardcore punk in a blender, drown everything in noise then regurgitates it all at high speed.



The vocalist sounds like he's being tortured for sins unimaginable while the guitars tear at the fabric of reality around you. If this is the sound they achieve with a demo I really want to hear what they can do with a "proper" recording. If you're in need of some punked up black metal, and to be honest who isn't, Unbound's Flesh Burns will serve well. Thanks to Fucked By Noise for pointing this out


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Bestir - 2016 - Awaken

Bestir is a four piece doom infused grindcore band from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Members have also played in Thorazine, Death Toll Rising,The Dead Cold, WAKE, Exit Strategy, Into Eternity, Untimely Demise, Disciples of Power, West of Hell, Villianizer and Section VIII. Awaken is their debut EP under the Bestir name. Formed in 2015 with the express intent of marrying doom metal intensity with the unrestrained aggression and chaos of grindcore. In practice that means epic doom metal soundscapes that transform in the blink of an eye into nailbomb like grindcore spitting riffs in every direction.



Bestir can clearly play both black metal and grindcore with aplomb there is not enough melding of the two. There are grindcore parts and doom metal parts and while this EP is fascinating it is not reinventing the wheel, simply placing two disparate genres right next to each other. This is an intriguing debut, from the opening bestial screams of The Lies That Bind to the closing moments of chaos of The Bewildered Herd there is never a boring moment. If you are into either doom metal or grindcore Bestir's Awaken EP is an excellent first step.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Deny The Cross - 2016 - Alpha Ghoul

Deny The Cross is a four piece powerivolence band from the United States. Members have also played in Spazz, Black Army Jacket, Agents of Satan, Plutocracy, Funeral Shock, Municipal Waste, Discordance Axis, Human Remains and King Generator. Alpha Goul is their debut LP under this name. "The inspiration behind getting this band going was simple,” relays vocalist Carlos Ramirez. “We wanted to write songs that sounded like early to mid-‘90s powerviolence and grind, mixed with some NYHC and crossover influence." That is an entirely accurate description. Start with a base of hardcore punk, speed things up to hyperactive with all the needles in the red and then mix in some light bits of the aforementioned crossover and NYHC sounds to smooth things out only slightly. The opening track Heart Like Siberia is what got me hooked but there's only one and a half other songs with that same level of thrash. If you're looking for some powerful grindcore & powerviolence to power your next beatdown, Deny The Cross' Alpha Ghoul will serve well.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Andy Rantzen & Jochen Gutsch - EP #1 & 2

Andy Rantzen & Jochen Gutsch are Sydney based musicians & composers. They have also been involved with or released music under names like Itch-E and Scratch-E, Cherry2000, Pelican Daughters and Hinterlandt. In this project Andy writes and performs the lyrics while Jochen provides the music. They limit each themselves with strict rules with a "a different lyrical and sonic concept" on each EP. This is music that is hard to describe, it is piano & guitar driven but that guitar only has two strings. These EP's would be equally at home among pop music, art rock or ambient music.

On EP #1 each song is two minutes long and the songs consists of synthesized squiggles, horns and various other instruments. These songs from 2015 never stay in the same place for a moment, changing moods & tones at will. Grief Is Manna For My Machines is a highlight with pounding drums & bird sounds while Watch Me Disappear jumps wildly between rough noise & a repeating chiming rhythm.



EP #2 is stripped way down from the constant shifting of EP#1. EP #2 consists only of one piano and one vocal somehow managing to be both stripped down and much more intense at the same time. There are still wild jumps but here they are from cold to warm, from life to death and back again.

If you're looking for some modern, experimental music that is somehow both ambient and the center of attention Andy Rantzen & Jochen Gutch's EP's will serve well.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

O.P.P. #4: Harmontown

This week on Other People's Podcast we rant, rave and rap with Dan Harmon & Jeff Davis on Harmontown. Once a week Dan Harmon and a variety of other people, generally including but not limited to Jeff Davis, Erin McGathy Spencer Crittenden and Kumail Nanjiani. Dan drinks liberally and they may or may include a roleplaying section.





Who? Dan Harmon is the host of the show, Jeff Davis is the comptroller. Dan is probably best known for creating Community, Rick & Morty and Heat Vision & Jack while Jeff Davis is best known for being on Who's Line Is It Anyway and not creating Teen Wolf. Spencer Crittenden was a member of the audience who became the show's Dungeon Master.




What's This Show? In the back of Meltdown Comics in Los Angelese there is a performance space and recording studio called Nerdmelt. Once a week, usually on a Sunday, Jeff & Dan host a comedy chat show. The premise of Harmontown is that the hosts and listeners will colonize the moon, the shows are town hall meetings and Dan Harmon is the mayor of Harmontown. 




That conceit was abandoned fairly quickly and now Dan gets drunk on stage and talks about race, raps about fucking your momma and brings up various funny people who then play a role play strategy game. Guests have included LeVar Burton, Bobcat Goldthwait, Greg Proops,  Patton Oswalt, Jason Sudeikis, Robin Williams, Mitch Hurwitz, Eric Idle, and Steve Agee. The show is not highly structured other than at some point they will play D&D though that has changed to Shadowrun recently.



Best Way In: This is not a podcast that is for everyone. It will be appreciated most by those who love Community, secondly being a comedy fan in general because this is a genuinely funny show. Dan Harmon is a gifted storyteller and Jeff Davis is quick with both jokes and sound cues. I recommend going back to Episode One: achieve weightlessness and work your way forward. It may be an acquired taste but once you acquire it Harmontown is essential listening.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Peeling the onion of propaganda

In the last post in the 'Thing Break Down' series we briefly explored why I think the U.S. election is a complete fraud. It was really all I could stomach writing at the time, but there will be a part 4 which will explore beyond the election into what an empire that breaks down looks like.

However, while I prepare that content a recent Twitter exchange has inspired me to go a bit deeper into the propaganda being deployed against an unsuspecting western populace that is at the moment obsessed with despising Donald Trump.

The fact that someone with as despicable a character as Donald Trump is running in this election should be raising a few eyebrows, and I am convinced it is no coincidence. People hate Donald Trump, absolutely hate him, with a passion. This is a hugely emotional response and I believe that the status-quo is milking that for all it's worth. When you despise someone you are not inclined to listen to evidence that may defend them, you will be inclined to believe anything and everything you hear about them because why not right? Even if it's not true so what? It's not like you'd care.

You should care though, that attitude of not critically examining incoming information even if it may oppose your emotional viewpoint provides the groundwork to layer other lies on top of it that may support nefarious agendas.

The latest propaganda to further efforts of war with Russia comes from Newsweek and the last paragraph really caught my eye as it truly reveals the intention of the article. It's not about Donald Trump at all, it's about Russia, U.S. interests and.. Israel?. Let's take a look.
For now, though, Americans should be outraged. This totalitarian regime, engaged in what are arguably war crimes in Syria to protect its government puppet, is working to upend a democracy to the benefit of an American candidate who uttered positive comments just Sunday about the Kremlin's campaign on behalf of Bashar al-Assad. Trump’s arguments were an incomprehensible explication of the complex Syrian situation, which put him right on the side of the Iranians and Syrians, who are fighting to preserve the government that is the primary conduit of weapons used against Israel.
 Very last paragraph, the author throws everything and the kitchen sink at you. Observe the language being used, the claims being made. "regime", "working to upend democracy". Much as Chris Martenson wrote in his extremely important MUST READ post on the propaganda strategy being deployed here you'd have to forget everything that has happened in the last 5 years to believe this. I'd bet that if much of this propaganda wasn't riding on the hatred of Donald Trump people wouldn't believe it.

But fuckin' Donald Trump, Am I right?

After the Newsweek article had already gained popular support the Washington Post, and The Intercept have come out with information that counters, or at least demonstrates that Donald Trump wasn't "fed the information from the Kremlin" much as the author would have you believe and that it's likely that Sputnik having realized their mistake and misinterpretation of the email removed it. The only one still running with this farce is Newsweek, but that's enough to trigger the mob (herd?) mentality needed to sew the idea that evil Russia is bein' all aggressive again.

The Trump-Putin link that wasn’t
But Sputnik either misread or misrepresented the contents of the email. The original makes clear that Blumenthal was passing along a news article — from Newsweek, by Eichenwald — and not sharing his own thoughts. (In fact, the original email suggests that Blumenthal was passing along the article because it mentions himself, if for no other reason.) This isn't a “falsification” of the email, as Eichenwald puts it, since the email is there in the batch. In the most charitable interpretation, it's a sloppy misreading of it. 
At about 6 p.m. Eastern, Trump was scheduled to take the stage at a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. During his speech, he pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket and said, “This just came out a little while ago.” The “this” appears to have been the alleged confession by Blumenthal that was misreported by Sputnik. The crowd, as Eichenwald notes, began to boo Hillary Clinton. 
How could Trump have gotten that? He could have gotten a secret message from a KGB agent posing as a hot dog vendor in the rally arena, the two surreptitiously meeting after Trump gave the appropriate hand signal. Or maybe one of his allies, who follows Sputnik, saw the article and was like, “Hey, Donald, check this out.”
Read that Newsweek article and observe how the author insults Russia. He calls their hackers stupid, their plans stupid, like they're a bunch of fools bumbling around despite the fact that none of the claims of Russian involvement have been proven and the stupid Russians have been quite effective of halting U.S. ambitions in Syria with nearly surgical precision while the U.S. has struggled to keep their bullshit story consistent. If you need a history lesson in what has lead to the situation with Russia and Syria I'll let the Council on Foreign Relations explain it to you again (from the time before the "ISIS" narrative took hold):
Al-Qaeda is not sacrificing its "martyrs" in Syria merely to overthrow Assad. Liberation of the Syrian people is a bonus, but the main aim is to create an Islamist state in all or part of the country. Failing that, they hope to at least establish a strategic base for the organization's remnants across the border in Iraq, and create a regional headquarters where mujahideen can enjoy a safe haven. If al-Qaeda continues to play an increasingly important role in the rebellion, then a post-Assad government will be indebted to the tribes and regions allied to the Jabhat. Failing to honor the Jabhat's future requests, assuming Assad falls, could see a continuation of conflict in Syria. 
Thus far, Washington seems reluctant to weigh heavily into this issue. In May 2012, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta publicly accepted al-Qaeda's presence in Syria (Guardian). And in July, the State Department's counterterrorism chief, Daniel Benjamin, rather incredulously suggested that the United States will simply ask the FSA to reject al-Qaeda. The unspoken political calculation among policymakers is to get rid of Assad first—weakening Iran's position in the region—and then deal with al-Qaeda later.
Remember that? Trump's statement that "Assad is fighting ISIS" is 100% accurate. Russia is also fighting ISIS. There is only one actor in this theatre of war that isn't fighting ISIS, and that's the U.S. and Putin takes every opportunity to point this out. There is a reason why Russian media relations have been so successful in the last few years and that is because their propaganda has a much stronger grounding in truth while the west's is sloppy and inconsistent and relies on irrational emotional drivers, like the hatred of Trump, to ensure nobody stops and thinks too hard about what it is they are being told.

Obama administration considering strikes on Assad, again

But fuckin' Donald Trump, Am I right?

You see, the U.S. doesn't have the truth on it's side regarding Russia, or Syria, what it does have however is that disgusting lump Donald Trump who is an expert actor whose best character just happens to be Donald Trump. And there is nothing Donald Trump loves to do better than play up Donald Trump. A person no one likes and says a lot of bullshit with a little bit of truth mixed in but it is these aspects of truth which the U.S. is attempting to associate with Donald Trump. Discredit Trump, and you discredit everything he has ever said, true or not. You see how that works?

This is why I said it should be no surprise that the U.S. state department is trying to tie Trump to Russia, because the anti-establishment views he is expressing are also now being tied to Russia. Suddenly now if you speak out against U.S. actions in Syria you must be a "Russian sympathizer", yadda yadda, even if you were saying the same things 4 years ago that you are today long before Russia's involvement, long before ISIS, long before "chemical weapons", or failing to convince the American people it's in their best interest to overthrow Assad. The U.S. story has changed so much over the last 5 years you'd almost think it's a different war. It's not.

The same motivations driving the war then, drive it now. The U.S. is still violating international law by operating in Syria. The U.S. is still supporting terrorists to overthrow Assad. Israel is still utilizing the war to expand their territory and cement their position in the Golan Heights - also against international law. None of this has changed.





Originally posted at Canadian Trends.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sedition Sunday #4: Lucy Parsons

This week Sunday Sedition focuses on Lucy Parsons. She was a labour organizer, an anarcho-communist and leading member of the International Workers Of the World also known as the Wobblies. "My conception of the strike of the future is not to strike and go out and starve, but to strike and remain in and take possession of the necessary property of production." - Lucy Parsons

She was born sometime in the early 1850's in Texas. The woman who the Chicago Police Department described as "more dangerous than a thousand rioters" went on to become a labour organizer in Chicago with her husband Albert Parsons. After her husband was martyred in the aftermath of the Haymarket Affair she continued on with her labour activism with the Wobblies.


Lucy Parsons gave fiery speeches her whole life, inspiring Studs Terkel in her 80's. She died as result of a house fire in 1942. The police promptly seized her 1500 book library and all her writings. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

O.P.P. #3: The Flop House

It's time for another week of Other People's Podcasts. This week we laugh and cringe with the Flop House. Twice a month they watch a "bad" movie and then "talk" about it.



Who? The Flophouse is hosted by three people, Dan McCoy, a writer for the Daily Show and the person who owns the equipment & edits the show, Elliot Kalan, head writer for the Daily Show and comedian Stuart Wellington.



What's This Show? Twice a month these three men gather together, watch a movie and then talk about it. It is as much about bad movies as it is pitches for a ziggy movie and words that sounds like other words. They are all very funny, charming people and have excellent chemistry together. They are quick to jump on any joke they can think of including sometimes just words that sounds like other words. They can be very silly, Elliot's improvised songs can be questionable at times, but generally they are genuinely hilarious. Sometimes they even have good things to say about movies, just usually not the one they just watched.



The Best Way In: This podcast really is more about the conversation and cracking silly jokes than it really is about the movie. There are two ways in here that are pretty common for movie podcasts, choose one that you know very well or at least have seen and start with that, then there's no worry about feeling left out of the conversation because you don't know the film. Otherwise just choose a classically bad movie and hang out for awhile.

Recommendations? For older episodes I would try something like Bratz or Wild Hogs, or even some of the movie minutes like On Vacation or A Beckinsale Tale. In terms of newer episodes they've watched Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return which is insane, I also quite enjoyed God's Not Dead,  Easy Rider: The Ride Back & Foodfight.

Y/o/d/o/c/o/l/t/s - 2016 - Enter The Raw

Y/o/d/o/c/o/l/t/s is a garage rock band from Tokyo, Japan. Enter The Raw is their debut EP. Y/o/d/o/c/o/l/t/s play an on overdriven and almost completely blown out brand of garage rock. Occasionally they punk thing up with some up tempo ragers but usually these songs stay mid-tempo while covering everything in distortion. The songs are good but when everything is coated in noise & distortion there is little to do other than float along with the omnipresent thumping bass. If you're looking for some garage rock with punk influences that keeps the needle in the red Y/o/d/o/c/o/l/t/s' debut EP Enter The Raw will serve well.

Friday, September 23, 2016

haymaker - 2016 - Taxed...Tracked...Inoculated...Enslaved

Haymaker is a hardcore punk band from Hamilton, Ontario. Taxed...Tracked...Inoculated...Enslaved is their new LP courtesy of A389 Recordings. Haymaker play a particularly aggressive brand of hardcore punk verging towards grindcore, blasting through these 20 tracks of righteous indignation in under 20 minutes. Even 15 years after their first LP, the legendary It Only Gets Worse, Haymaker has lost no speed or hostility. This is the soundtrack to the oncoming apocalypse.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Vivre Sa Vie - 2016 - Demo

Vivre Sa Vie is a screamo band from Stockholm, Sweden. Demo is their debut recordings. Vivre Sa Vie play a relatively straight forward brand of screamo bringing in some elements of post-hardcore and emoviolence for moodiness & chaos respectively. War starts off with a riff and a blood curdling scream before a moment of melody and then explosion. Forever works the same idea but layers disturbingly raw vocals overtop of meandering, almost twinkling guitars before exploding. While this Demo is inconsistent there is a spark that keeps drawing me back in.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Krimewatch - 2016 - Demo

Krimewatch is a four piece female fronted hardcore punk band from New York City, New York. Demo is their debut recordings. Krimewatch play a straightforward, no frills brand of hardcore punk that has found a home in NYC for a long time now. When the band is firing on all cylinders they produce some fiery, riff focused hard hitting hardcore punk. The closing two songs, No Sympathy and Peach Generation make me want to hear where this band is going. Krimewatch's demo is a good starting place for some powerful hardcore punk.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Dauðyflin - 2016 - Demo

Dauðyflin is a female fronted punk rock band from Reykjavík, Iceland. Members of Dauðyflin have also played in Börn. This demo is their debut recordings in preparation for a proper debut EP released in July. Dauðyflin play a stripped brand of hardcore punk content to generate distortion and noise while thumping and flailing through these songs. Whether the raw, lofi feel of this recording is a purposeful choice or a by product of the recording process remains to be seen. Dauðyflin have laid out a statement of intent, play it loud like it's supposed to be played.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Aedh - 2016 - Au-Delà des Cendres

Aedh is an atmospheric black metal band from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Au-Delà des Cendres is their debut LP courtesy of Werewolf Promotions following one independently issued demo and one courtesy of Dying Sun Records.




Aedh is the result of one man producing traditionally icy, demonic & blistering black metal that coats itself in layers of cold noise & field recordings. If you like black metal complete with the pained screams of the damned and diabolical guitars summoning arctic fury this will scratch that itch. Thanks to TakeMetal for pointing this out.

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Gojira - 2016 - Silvera

Sedition Sunday #3: Mujeres Libres

This week's Sedition Sunday focuses not on an individual but on a group, Mujeres Libres (Free Women). Mujeres Libres was an anarcho-feminist collective formed in 1936. Their ideological basis was what they called the "double struggle", that women's liberation and the revolution would go hand in hand. They organized themselves to assert their voices in the revolution and to ensure that the revolution would carry their voices. Today's book Free Women Of Spain: Anarchism And The Struggle For The Emancipation Of Women is written by Martha Ackelsberg.


You can purchase the book from AK Press here. What follows is from the AK Press page: cowards don't make history; and the women of Mujeres Libres (Free Women) were no cowards. Courageous enough to create revolutionary change in their daily lives, these women mobilized over 20,000 women into an organized network during the Spanish Revolution, to strive for community, education, and equality for women and the emancipation of all. Militants in the anarcho-syndicalist CNT union, Mujeres Libres struggled against fascism, the State, and reaction; and the less than supportive attitudes and concerns of their male comrades. Martha Ackelsberg writes a comprehensive study of Mujeres Libres, intertwining interviews with the women themselves and analysis connecting them with modern feminist movements. This new edition includes additional research Ackelsberg carried out for the Spanish language edition, together with a brand new introduction written in the light of the new social movements, and resurgence of anarchism, post-Seattle..

Martha Ackelsberg is is a Professor of Government and a member of the Women's Studies Program Committee at Smith College, where she teaches courses in political theory, urban politics, political activism, and feminist theory. She has contributed to a variety of anthologies on women's political activism in the United States

Altered Dead - 2016 - Altered Dead

Altered Dead is a two piece death metal band from Victoria, British Colombia, Canada. Altered Dead is their debut LP. Formed in 2013 Altered Death play a straight forward brand of death metal citing Grave, Death Breath & Autopsy as guideposts. There is nothing revolutionary or unique being done here but when you're this crushingly heavy and demonic who needs to reinvent the wheel? If you need some new but faithful to the old school death metal Altered Dead's Altered Dead will scratch that itch. Thanks to TakeMetal for pointing this out.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Allegeon - Gray Matter Mechanic

O.P.P. #2 - Greg Proops' The Smartest Man In The World

It''s time for O.P.P again, that's right, Other People's Podcasts! This week the focus is on Greg Proops comedic monologue based show, The Smartest Man In The World.

Who? You might know Greg from Whose Line Is It Anyway, he's the one usually wearing a suit. He has also been performing standup comedy & improv for over thirty years at this point and is truly a master of both art forms. Starting in October 2012 Greg Proops has been recording a podcast called The Smartest Man In The World. When the Proopcast is not being recorded at Bar Lubitch in West Hollywood it follows Greg's travels around the world at various comedy festivals.

What's This Show? I quite enjoy the show but I will admit my listenership has waned over time. Greg is very funny and I agree with everything I've heard him say politically. He is as insightful as he is verbose and pedantic and he ensures his point is made. He calls this the boring preachy part, I like to think of it as a very acerbic news report. The proper way of describing this show is to say that Greg conducts a comic monologue on various topics including but not limited to funk music, feminism, classic literature and left leaning politics. And as high minded and intellectual as this sounds keep in mind Greg continues to be self aware, drink vodka the entire time and comment on the show as it is happening.

The Best Way In: The Proopcast can be a little tricky to get into if one is not already a fan of Greg Proops, funk music or baseball. Imbibing a substance of some kind, be it a "vodka flavoured vodka" as Greg is so fond of requesting from the stage or fat ol' joint, is recommended but not required.  I would recommend some time when your brain does not need to be focused on anything and just listen to Greg rant and ramble hilariously on stage. The other way in that I've heard is while your body is doing something active but your mind is free, washing the dishes or working out, put the show on and drift in and out while your body does it's thing and Greg does his from the stage.