Dec 122015

Rebel Wizard-Invocation of the Miserable Ones


That post title is a little misleading. I’m writing this (somewhat hurriedly) on a Friday afternoon, because the place of employment for my fucking day job is having its annual holiday party tonight, and the odds are I will get fucked up and be in a world of hurt on Saturday morning — because (obviously) I have all the self-control of a three-year-old.

So, this is a selection of new music that I heard and liked on a Friday, presented for your eyes and ears on a Saturday. As you will no doubt expect by now, no two songs sound remotely alike.


Rebel Wizard” is the name of a solo project by the Australian musician Nekrasov, whose work under that name is probably better known in certain circles than Rebel Wizard (and whose most recent release I reviewed here last month). The first Rebel Wizard recording that I heard (and reviewed here) was an EP released in July named Negative Wizard Metal. Just yesterday another EP was released on Bandcamp, this one entitled Invocation of the Miserable Ones. It has many of the attributes that made me like the last EP so much. For example:

Head-moving riffs; hook-laden lead guitar melodies; blistering solos; jolting grooves; maniacal vocal viciousness. It’s a rip-roaring amalgam of black, thrash, and classic heavy metal that’s catchy as hell (and also seems to have control over my adrenal glands). And the last song — the longest and best on the EP — holds some surprises in store that I won’t spoil (though if you’re familiar with Nekrasov, maybe they won’t be that surprising).






Shrapnel Storm-Mother War


Now we’ll leap halfway across the world from the land down below and come to rest in Finland, where dwells the death metal weapon known as Shrapnel Storm. Earlier this week Shrapnel Storm released a video of their music set to film of the band’s road trips for gigs to such places as Oulu, Lempäälä, Turku, Lahti, Helsinki, Tampere, and Pori, along with performance footage.

I would say that this song sounds like carpet bombing, but whadda ya know… the name of the song IS “The Carpet Bombing”! It comes from the band’s 2015 debut album Mother War, which I highly recommend if you’re a fan of Bolt Thrower-inspired, HM-2-assisted sonic destruction.

This song is so damned catchy, and so damned bruising. If my mental and physical condition tomorrow morning is even remotely as fragile as I think it will be, I’ll need to stay at least a few miles away from this song.

I also want to observe that I’m shocked, simply shocked, to see that there was drinking on these tours.






The Body-No One Deserves Happiness


Somehow I missed the announcement earlier in the week that Portland duo The Body have completed a new album. Now that I’ve learned what the band have done, I’m still in the midst of a what the fuck? moment.

The name of the album is No One Deserves Happiness, which sounds about right for an album by this band. Here’s the part of the announcement that threw me for a loop:

The Body has delivered a massive-sounding album that revolves around crushing themes, incorporating elements of 80s dance records, hip-hop beats, pop songs, and more.”

With that kind of introduction, curiosity got the better of me, and I beat a hasty path to the stream of the album’s opening track “Shelter Is Illusory“, which premiered a few days ago.

The song features the high pure voice of Humanbeast’s Maralie Armstrong (along with some excruciating shrieks). It also features a tumbling tom rhythm that got its hooks in me fast (and never let go), ambient electronic tones (and other noise) — and some ugly, abrasive riffs (thank you!). I’ve decided i would like to hear the rest of the album. What do you think?

The album will be released by Thrill Jockey on March 18 (available for pre-order here).







Oceans of Slumber-Winter


Some of you will wonder what he hell has gotten into me after you watch and listen to the next video. Two songs in a row that feature clean female vocals? From No Clean Singing? Can we count on nothing any more?

Please bear with me. The song is called “Winter”, and it’s the title track from this band’s forthcoming second album, due for worldwide release on March 4, 2016, by Century Media (who announced their signing last June). The song was recommended to me by TheMadIsraeli, and I was further tempted to check it out when I saw that the cover art for the album was created by Costin Chioreanu (Twilight 13 Media). Plus, Oceans of Slumber are from Houston, where I lived for a dozen years before moving to Seattle.

I gather that the sound of this band has changed quite a bit over time. It now features the silky voice of Cammie Gilbert (along with some deathly growls and blackish shrieks from two of her bandmates). And although Metal-Archives (so far) won’t allow this group on their site because they too much prog rock and not enough metal (apparently), I still like the song and the video. Cammie Gilbert has a seductive voice, the song’s melody is seductive, and eventually there’s enough weight and enough jagged edges in the song to scratch my metal itch.

But mainly, there’s Cammie Gilbert….



  1. Never gave this band a listen but I must admit that I am kinda digging this tune as well . Cammie IS seductive. Audibly and visually!

  2. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard the entirety of that new Body record at Thrill Jockey HQ. If I did, I can say for sure that it’ll be one of 2016’s brightest highlights.

    • You’re being very cagey. 🙂

      • I say pretty sure because I’m honestly not positive. There was a day a few weeks back when I heard something that was recognizably The Body, but not a release I specifically recognized, but I forgot to ask whether it was the new Body record at the time. But I’ll take the cagey scoops while I can get them 😛

  3. Clean or gritty vocals, progressive or straight forward, jagged or smooth, underground or “mainstream” (et al), I don’t care the least, as long as the music has the right qualities, be they leaning toward subjective or objective.
    Thanks for adding Winter, it’s fantastic! And have a good recovery.

  4. Thanks for the Rebel Wizard recommendation. I’m not sure how this has flown under my radar considering this is the fifth EP he’s released this year!

    • He doesn’t exactly do a lot of promotion. 🙂 As I wrote in the post, I didn’t discover Rebel Wizard until October — but I’m very glad I finally did.

  5. Damn, Shrapnel Storm is music to crash your car to! \m/

  6. Good stuff. Also new Triumvir Foul is killer.

  7. That Oceans of Slumber song was nice. I saw them I think 2-3 years ago. They opened for someone at Fitzgerald’s. I remember thinking that there was talent in the music, but that the cheesy lead singer they had was dragging them down. Very professional live show back then even. Glad they fixed the singer situation.

    Houston needs more national metal acts. Only other one I can think of is Scale the Summit, but they consider themselves an LA band.

    • I’m a fan of Venomous Maximus, and they’re from Houston if memory serves. But you’re right that for a city as large as Houston, there seem to be fewer metal bands known nationwide than in cities of comparable size, or even smaller.

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