Jul 162011

Back in mid-February we wrote about a hellaciously good Massachusetts metal band called Sentinel, who we’d come across in one of our MISCELLANY posts. Back then, the band had only produced two songs for public consumption, but they were really impressive — a fusion (as we wrote then) of “no-holds-barred speed, technical complexity, ass-on-fire vocal delivery, djent-style bass execution, and a successful combination of deep groove and head-exploding mayhem.”

Early last week, we found out that Sentinel had released a new five-song EP. I’d intended to put up a quick post about it on Wednesday, but as I got into the songs I realized that I’d need more time to do it justice. But before getting to the music, is that cover art an eye-puncturing bit of awesomeness or what? It’s by Wes Benscoter (Slayer, Dio, Sabbath, Hypocrisy, Cattle Decapitation, Mortician, etc.), courtesy of a contest selection by Revolver magazine’s editor-in-chief based on those first two Sentinel songs.

With artwork like that plus the hugely promising debut songs, I had high expectations for the new EP — and guess what? It does not disappoint. The music is a genre-bending avalanche of technically impressive metal extremity that will rivet your attention from start to finish. And to add icing to the cake, Sentinel have made the EP available for download at Bandcamp with a “name your price” option.

After the jump, we’ve got a few more words about the EP, plus a stream of one of the five songs, plus the Bandcamp link. Continue reading »

Feb 172011

It’s time for another MISCELLANY post. Actually, it’s way past time. If I had any hope of checking out all the bands I’d like to check out, I should be doing this every day.

Most of you know the rules: We keep a running list of bands to check out, and I impulsively pick names from the list and listen to a song or two, and dutifully report my impressions — while giving you the chance to hear exactly what I heard, because I’m not high enough on my own opinions to think you will — or should — just take my word for it.

In this edition of MISCELLANY, I’ve got three finds for you — and holy fuck, are there some prize-wnners in this group. Before I sampled the tunage of these three bands, I didn’t know what to expect. In the first two cases, it was a spine shuddering experience — the kind of music that makes me proud to be a metalhead. A true, motherfucking bonanza. In the third case, the music was just so demented that I found myself strongly attracted against my better instincts. Shit, to be brutally honest, it makes me proud to be a metalhead, too!

I can be faulted for an excess of exuberance, but to the extent I’m capable of being objective, I don’t think I’m off the mark on the first two bands. In the third case, I may have simply lost all my bearings. But you be the judge:

From Poland, a band called Nomad (which includes Behemoth guitarist Seth); from Massachusetts, a band called Sentinel; and from the Czech Republic, a band called . . . gulp . . . Mincing Fury and Guttural Clamour of Queer Decay.  (my listening log, and the songs for you to hear yourselves, follow after the jump . . .) Continue reading »