I finished my work on the U.S. east coast last night, and for reasons I won’t bore you with, it turned into a sucky day. A few stiff drams of the amber bead improved my mood, which improved further as I listened to the music collected here. This was one of those interesting listening sessions where the things I picked to stream just kind of fit together (at least in my addled brain), as if someone had chosen them for a playlist.
I’m going the airport now for the trip home. There’s a premiere coming your way a bit later this morning, but otherwise this will be another short day for posts at our site. Things will get back to (ab)normal around here this weekend and next week.
ALL PIGS MUST DIE
I discovered All Pigs Must Die for the first time watching them kick the holy bejesus out of an audience at a Seattle club back in August 2011. They were taking part in Southern Lord’s The Power of the Riff tour. The next month they released their debut album, God Is War, which was a hard-to-define amalgam of punk, hardcore, crust, black metal, and death metal that was downright beastly.
They followed that with Nothing Violates This Nature in 2013, and now they’ve got a new album coming via Southern Lord named Hostage Animal, which they again recorded with Kurt Ballou at GodCity Studio.
The band have expanded to a five-piece with the addition of Trap Them guitarist Brian Izzi. The balance of the line-up consists of Kevin Baker (The Hope Conspiracy), Ben Koller (Converge), Matt Woods (Bloodhorse), and Adam Wentworth (also Bloodhorse).
The track “A Caustic Vision” debuted yesterday at Revolver. It bludgeons and batters your internal organs while the vocalist sprays blood and acid all over your face, but the music swirls, swarms, and cavorts round the room too. Limber up your neck muscles before you listen, because near the end the song also hits a punishing groove to which resistance is futile.
Hostage Animal will be released in October by Southern Lord Records.
The next track, “Glutton“, comes from an Australian sludge/post-metal band named Lo!, whose third album Vestigial is due for release on October 6 by Pelagic Records. The press release we received recommends the music to fans of Mastodon, Cursed, Cult Of Luna, Converge, Breach, and Black Breath, which intrigued me so much that I jumped over to the “Glutton” stream, which premiered at Treble.
As was true of that new APMD track, “Glutton” is also bruising and bludgeoning, mean and marauding, and the vocals convey a scalding fury. But it also reveals more dimensions beyond bleak, brute-force trauma, with an instrumental break that includes both a catchy syncopated rhythm and dreamlike, chiming guitar chords. The segue back into tension, fire, and fury is surprisingly smooth, and when the transition is complete, there’s a big fat riff that enters the frame, and it’s damned compulsive.
“System Failure” is the next song, presented via a lyric video that debuted at Bravewords. It comes from an album entitled Extraction, which is the fourth full-length by a band named Insurrection from western Quebec, Canada. The album will be released by Galy Records on October 6.
As in the case of the last band in this collection, I decided to give “System Failure” a listen in part because of other names that were dropped in the press release we received. In this case, the album was recommended for fans of Misery Index, Decapitated, Testament, and Bloodbath.
Man, “System Failure” punches and pulses like a berserk pile-driving machine augmented with heavy armament — pounding deep caters in the middle of a war zone while spraying mortar and machine-gun fire at a blazing-fast rate. It’s immensely obliterating, but the grooves are especially titanic, and there’s a queasy little melody that surfaces like a snake before you reach the end. Truly barbarous vocals as well.
Back in the early years of this site I wrote frequently about a chaotic instrumental metal band (they eventually picked up a vocalist) whose members were originally from Massachusetts and New York named The Brown Book. I reviewed just about everything they released, but after 2013 they seemed to fall silent.
I learned yesterday that a couple members of The Brown Book have started a new project with a friend who also lives in Boston. The new band’s name is REAL COPS, and their debut EP is entitled What Do You See When the Windows Close? It was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Mikey Allred at Dark Art Audio in Madison, Tennessee, this summer.
Like The Brown Book, the music of REAL COPS is unpredictable, a changing amalgam of hard-slugging rhythms, blaring chords, bursts of percussive explosiveness, freakish fretwork, and rough, raw growls and howls. The tempos are in near-constant flux, the instrumental patterns changes like the shadows of leaves blowing in a gale, and the overarching atmosphere of the music is one of bleakness combined with violence, despondency meshed with a frenzied despair.
The music can be ugly and highly unstable, but it’s executed with machine-like precision and it’s electrifying to hear, possessing an irrepressible urgency and an infectious, feral energy.
CAPTURE THE SUN
To complete this round-up, I have a song from a recently released album named Terra Ignota by Capture the Sun from Portland, Maine. I was drawn to the album by its conceptual theme, described as “the story of the creation of a planet, and the subsequent people and societies which dwell within it”.
The song I listened to last night is “Helios“, which seems intended to capture the first breathing of life into the barren world. The song includes a synth solo by guest musician Z2K of Superorder, and the album includes other scattered guest appearances, including vocals from Aaron and Jordan of Falls of Rauros.
I found “Helios” thoroughly engrossing, incandescently bright and charged with tremendously vibrant energy. It’s an instrumental-only piece, packed with kaleidoscopic fretwork and razor-sharp drum and bass performances, with an array of swirling and soulful solos that put a huge smile on my face and a slower section after the midpoint that’s absolutely mesmerizing.
The song changes constantly, but is so beautifully constructed that it maintains its coherence throughout the changes in pace, rhythm, and emotional resonance, and all the instrumental acrobatics. It jolts, jars, and sends the mind spinning off into the clouds. I look forward to hearing the rest of this album.