SEEN AND HEARD: A LIFE ONCE LOST, SEDATIVE, TSAR BOMB, THROW THE GOAT
Because I was too busy yesterday doing things I actually get paid to do and writing about vaginas, I didn’t get around to hunting the web for new shit to recommend until last night, by which point some of what I found had already spread around metal blogville like herpes at a swingers’ convention. But some people only seem to read this humble blog for their metal injections, so I’m including that stuff anyway. Also, because of my delay, I found way too many nuggets to cram into a single post, so there will be two this morning, this being the first. Here we go:
A LIFE ONCE LOST
This is one of the items that spread rapidly around blogville. And here’s a back story about our connection to Philly’s ALOL:
Back in the day, I was massively hooked by their debut, A Great Artist. The intricate polyrhythmic interplay between the drums and the bass, the mid-range moaning of the guitar leads and assorted other guitar noise, and the high-end howling vocals made for a sweet combination.
I liked the next album, Hunter, even better — more deeply-carved Meshuggah-esque grooves, and even more incurably infectious riffs. I probably listened to that album as many times as I’ve listened to anything. The last album, 2007′s Iron Gag, was good, too, though I’d gotten so hooked on the band’s style that the musical course changes on it were personally disappointing — less Meshuggah and more Pantera, and a throatier vocal style from Bob Meadows.
Then, it appeared the band had broken up, and that was a huge bummer. But I discovered at the end of 2009 that ALOL wasn’t really history after all. At the end of that year, I read that the band was reviving and planned a new album in 2010 — and on the strength of that news, I put them on our January 1, 2010, list of the 21 albums I most wanted to hear in 2010.
Well, it took a bit longer than that.
I kept following the progress of this album, while squelching doubts that it might never come to pass. Shit got more real when the band performed live at last year’s Metal Suckfest in NYC (with the performance reviewed here for us by BadWolf), and still more real when BadWolf interviewed Bob Meadows for NCS in January of this year (posted here) and got details about the new album.
And it’s really real now. As in, Ecstatic Trance will be released by Season of Mist in North America on Oct 22 and internationally on Nov 16. As in, two songs have premiered, with the second one (“Something Is Awful”) getting a debut on Revolver magazine’s web site yesterday. The first one — “Madness Is God” — premiered as a music video just a few days earlier.
“Madness” has a near-industrial repeating groove as its backbone and futuristic, weirdly pulsating guitar notes sprinkled here and there, along with a scarring vocal performance by Mr. Meadows. “Something Is Awful” lays down another heavy-grooved foundation, one that’s dark and physically compulsive, with an even more interesting assortment of guitar leads/solos squalling and flickering around it. More paint-stripping vocals, too.
The music isn’t exactly like anything that ALOL have done before, but since the last thing was a long 7 years ago, that shouldn’t be surprising. The world of metal has changed dramatically during that down time. The question is whether what ALOL are doing now is worth hearing. My vote is a resounding YES.
Despite what I wrote above and what I usually do in these posts, this item isn’t hot off the presses. It’s about a six-track EP released in 2011 by a band from Rhônes in the French Alps named Sedative, which I found out about via an e-mail from our old bud byrd36 just as I was writing this post. byrd36 has got good taste in metal, and when he wrote “This shit is making me stomp holes in the floor”, I dropped everything and went to listen.
Yup. I got craters in my flooring now. Sedative deliver a pulverizing blast of brutal death/grind/hardcore/skull-bashing mayhem that I fell for immediately. The music is raw, it’s dynamic, it’s caked with filth, it’s packed with massive groove, it’s like a big demon freight train that will smash you flat. Sedative really know how to write songs that grab you by the back of the neck and shake you ’til all the vertebrae come loose. Here are three of the songs on the EP:
Sedative want you to have their EP for free, and you can download it either from Death Metal Invasion or from this Mediafire link. They’re working on their third album, which is planned for release in 2013. Links:
I got an e-mail about this Spanish band from Clawhammer PR, and I decided to check out the music just based on the band’s name. I’ve never pretended to have any rhyme or reason to what I do. In this case, it was an impulse that paid off.
Tsar Bomb have a debut album by the name of Neowarfare that’s due for release on October 9 by badGod Music. The entire album is streaming on Bandcamp, and I listed to the first three tracks last night — a spooky intro with a hammering noise that builds in intensity, and the two songs that follow — “Tsar Bomb” and “Victorious Death”. Both of them are technically intricate fast-movers, a kind of neuron-scrambling black metal that meshes obsidian pummeling with eye-widening drum and guitar acrobatics. Very, very cool music.
The album doesn’t appear to be available for pre-order yet. Here are links:
THROW THE GOAT
This is another band I checked out by impulse after getting an e-mail from them. They’re a completely DIY outfit from Idyllwild, California, population 3874, in the middle of nowhere. Just a few days ago they released their debut album Black Mountain, which is available for purchase on Bandcamp. As in the case of Tsar Bomb, I listened to the first three tracks — “Southeast Bound”, “Too Late”, and “Last Call”.
I guess maybe this isn’t metal, but it’s a shitload of fun. What these guys have going for them is a genuine knack for punching out some fucking infectious mosh-worthy riffs, one after another. They’ve got punk energy, barroom raucousness, and a talented vocalist, and you might get wasted just from listening to them.
new ALOL is great. Rob’s best vocals yet.
“A Life Once Lost? That name sounds familiar…” [reads the words “Iron Gag“] “Oh, right…”
One has only ever listened to that album once. One doesn’t even remember what it sounds like. WHY IS IT IMPRINTED IN ONE’S HEAD?!
Dammit… Now one will have to listen to that in wait for Ecstatic Trance.
“Throw the Goat”… Heh heh.
They sound fun. One hopes no real goats are thrown though. Goats don’t seem to like it.