(We’re pleased to welcome guest columnist JJ “Shiv” Polachek, the vocalist for both 7 Horns 7 Eyes, whose debut full-length Throes of Absolution will be released on April 24 by Century Media, and Ovid’s Withering, whose debut EP we recently reviewed here. In this first of what we hope will be many posts, Shiv gives us some slamz.)
So I’ve been given an opportunity to stand on a soapbox and deliver a brain dump to you faithful readers of NCS, and I’m gonna utilize it to aware you all of something that the major metal news and media sites always seem to overlook: SICKASS NEW SLAMZ.
I’m not talking about artsy-fartsy stuff like Deeds of Flesh, Disgorge, Blasphemer, or the new Condemned (even though I love all those bands). I’m talking about good old-fashioned, blue-collar, working-class SLAM. Bands that make a conscious decision to not get too out-of-the-box because that would take away from the crushing sickness throughout, and they don’t have time to worry about luxuries and privileges like “counterpoint” and “polyrhythms”. As a direct result of this, they always kick infinite ass 100% of the time. I could wax pretentious like any typical Internet Metal Nerd, but these jams speak for themselves. I’ll still write about them though, I guess, whatever:
PIGHEAD is one of my absolute favorite new slam bands. They have absolute riff POWER. This slams even when it isn’t slamming, just because of the maxed-out adrenaline levels. There’s so much ENERGY in it that so many other bands don’t have. It doesn’t simply crush you, it crushes you with FURY and URGENCY. It’s so inherently intense and brutal that I don’t even mind the more generic typical death metal vocals (a general rule for me is that if it doesn’t sound like they’re gargling on bile, I don’t like it).
This band actually used to have two vocalists, and the other guy did inhale pig squeals and more screamy stuff, but honestly I’m glad they ditched him. This has balls and then some.
ABOMINABLE PUTRIDITY is a band who have really come into their own with this new album, and they bring all the best guests with them. This track has the legendary Angel Ochoa of Cephalotripsy and Condemned laying down some guest gurgles, and it makes it into a perfect duet with the almighty Matti Way.
I really appreciate this because it’s a perfect mesh of straightforward guttural slamming sickness and modern death metal. It has tastes of technicality, but it’s just for fun, and there’s no “we’re really progressive!” bullshit. Just listen to that slam at the end. That is the definition of brutality in 2012, and it comes right after THE most generic arpeggio sweep ever. You cannot hate this, it is TOO MUCH FUN. Listen to this while playing Quake 4. Just do it.
VOMITOUS is a band I am VERY EXCITED ABOUT. They’ve actually been around for a while, but it seems like they really got their ducks in a row in 2011 and released this monster of an EP. It’s loud, absolutely headbangable/moshable, and they have two vocalists! What more do you want???
There’s something very promising about a band who stick to conventions but still manage to stick out. There’s just a lot of genuine inspiration in these songs, and you can tell these dudes love making this music. These riffs are huge and much more threatening than any wannabe-Unearth breakdown these recent deathcore bands have pumped out (and I love a lot of those bands). There’s just a sincere element of badassery here that shines through and is actually empowering to listen to. This is THE band to watch in 2012, they are gonna drop some quality bombs.
Even after all this, I’m sure many people will listen and just say it’s Hatebreed with fart vocals, or whatever the elitists like to say about music that’s actually fun to listen to. The point is, there are still bands who are writing 10/10 jams with no intention of being special snowflakes, and no pretentious adherence to anything “old school”. It’s encouraging because it proves you can still make a masterpiece with the same old tools (via chromatic palm-muted riffs and vomit-vocals).
So what do you think? Am I enjoying music the wrong way? Is slam the last true form of artistic expression out there that hasn’t been bastardized by its creators being convinced people give a damn about their emotional motivation when they made it? Can you think of bands that slam even harder? Discuss!
Just by the band’s names you can tell it’s laughable drivel. Listening to each song confirms what I already knew 🙂
You can tell that it’s drivel from the names? Let me suggest the following names that are not all that different in tone from the ones in this post:
Do you really want an answer to that 🙂
Not really. 🙂 More of a rhetorical question.
None of thise bands I like or care for either. But when an old fart like me see’s those names, I just roll my eyes.
Yeah but metal can’t be pretentious and technical allll the time….
I’m glad you’re here to set me straight! Boy was I lost in my ways before I read this comment!
Whatever, man – all these fucking songs RULE! Especially that Abominable Putridity song…
I’m on you on this one, slam death is so much fun and people who are denying it are just lying to themselves. It seems to me that nowadays slam is becoming the last form of pure metal. No bullshit, no thrills, no frills, just CHUGGING and barfing. It’s great.
It’s like metal’s filthy gooch area, always down for a party.
What I meant to say was I’m WITH you on this one, but on you is acceptable too. I would gladly have buttsex to someone who still enjoys da slamz.
Oh I love this. Vomitous are great.
I loved the “am I enjoying music the wrong way” rhetorical , but that may be far more insightful than it appears. These kinds of slams really touch a nerve with me because the immediacy and slight variation. I mean, it is fantastic when a new band brings a new sound you haven’t quite heard before. Its great when bands mix certain familiar elements together to make a unique sound. But sometimes, its just great when a band knows exactly what it wants to sound like and goes for it full throttle. A delicious top round steak is fantastic. Caviar or a strong brie matched with wine may pique your interests and taste heavenly. But sometimes you just want a thick greasy burger from the corner joint. There millions of different burgers around and millions more ways to cook em, but its still just a simple fucking burger compared to those other delicacies. A simple piece of heaven. Like how my man kevinp up top clearly expresses his disdain for this simple retarded “drivel” stuff, and when compared to more technical and/or nunaced musicians, he’s correct. But does that make it “better”? What the fuck does that even mean?
Because compared to more toned down mainstream music, everything we listen to sounds like incoherent garbage to other people. At this point you can start making arguments about composition and timing and tempo and keys and all those other clinical definitions in music that we use to gauge the top bands in metal, but those definitions are as important as they are boring. If a band is better, does it really fucking matter if they’re boring? Does it matter if that don’t make me feel anything? Seriously, what the fuck does good music even fucking mean?
Look the reason Im getting all philosophical is because to be brutally honest (which is the only kind of honest we know how to be ’round these parts) most metal sounds the fucking same to me, but that doesnt make me enjoy it any less. Certain bands that are great have a signature sound that I can Identify immediately like Gojira or something, but there’s plenty of other bands that stick to a tried and true recipe and make it work. All of which is to say, if I played these tracks blindly in a row, Id have no clue which is which and couldn’t differentiate one from the other. But I am also feeling every one of these songs, so In the end it really doesn’t fuckin matter.
I Am Moshing. Nice post Shiv!
I heart VyceVictus.
And this article too.
And now I want a Burger….
Lol, thanks and sorry bout that! I just got back to the states a few days ago so i’ve been on a burger kick lately to make up for lost time. I still cant believe I used another harebrained analogy, but I guess they seem to work in getting my point across.
It’s cool. I kinda always want a nice juicy burger…that’s probably not healthy, hunh?
Get philosophical more often. You nailed it.
My man Vyce, I’m glad you smell what I’m steppin’ in! Good due right here.
Finally got home, so now I have a chance to listen to the music.
I feel like chasing down a wild boar and tearing its throat out with my teeth and then fucking the gaping wound with the rage boner I have right now.
CHUG BARF CHUG UNHHHHH ( <- approval )
As most people can tell from my posts, I’m a big slam head myself so of course I’m totally on board with what’s being said here, and props for introducing me to Pighead, never heard them til now, good choice. Slam is a very straightforward subgenre, and all subgenres are essentially niche markets within the slightly larger niche market that is metal itself. Not everyone’s gonna like it, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve the attention and prose of those willing to write about it. In the end it’s really just about getting the names out there so that the select few who are into this sort of thing will have more bands to add to their collection, and for that we thank you sir