If you aren't familiar with a certain tendency of Zimbabwean one-man outfit Nuclear Winter to drop unexpected cover tracks, now is an excellent time to familiarize yerself. Last year, we were pleased to premiere two such covers--first, a rendition of Haddaway's
immortal "What Is Love," and second, a bombastic ode to Toto's beyond-immortal "Africa." While obviously a little goofy given the implicit nature of a metal band covering beloved/hated 80's tunes, we nonetheless found these singles quite refreshing and entertaining. As such, we slumbering peasantry jumped at the chance to premiere a third Nuclear Winter cover. This time around, things get a little grimy: Mötley Crüe are the topic o' conversation. The World's (self-reported) Most Notorious Rock Band aren't in the house per se, but Nuclear Winter do a fine job at depicting their outrageous general persona.
Without further ado: welcome, dear readers, to the, erm, wild side. Check out "Wild Side" below!
As a haggard ink-splattered scribe here at ye olde Sleeping Village, it is an expectation, of sorts, that I possess the vocabulary to describe the music I am discussing. Punchy adjectives can go a long way in describing the aural form in written form, and, as such, I always try to deliver in that department. However, in the case of today's subject, more specific descriptors aren't the first to spring to mind. I'm left with monolithic terms instead--words, for example, like "big" and "sad" and "dark." That, in and of itself, should provide some indication as to the character of the track in question. The music speaks for itself.
But! Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, check out below "Thread of Hope" by New York-based one-man band Drift Into Black. As always, we'll meet ye on the other side!
Readers familiar with this particular scribe's listening patterns may note that, in the grand scheme, I am more often than not drawn to the doomier and gloomier end of the multifaceted metal spectrum. But! Unbeknownst to many, the sweet strains of melodic death metal make for a non-insignificant chunk of my musical diet. When I'm feeling down, there's nothing quite like a vibrant melody riding in on the back of a boisterous riff to raise spirits a little higher. And, while it may seem sparse praise given the small dent we've made in 2021, my most-enjoyed melodeath release of the year thusfar is Means To An End, Svn.Seeker's forthcoming debut.
This small-yet-mighty collection features tight musicianship, concise and compelling composition, and, perhaps most importantly, a whole lotta sick riffage. Svn.Seeker fuckin' knocked it out of the park with this beast. Needless to say, we're pleased and honored to premiere here today the title track and second single. Give "Means to an End" a listen below, and, as always, we'll catch ye on the other side.
I don't know about you, dear reader, but on any given Friday, I inevitably need a little bit of that death metal juice to get me in the fightin' spirit. Y'know, the good stuff. And, on this particularly gloomy and ill-tempered morning, the Midwest's own Death On Fire have graciously lent ye olde haggard scribe a helping hand. As evidenced by my bruised eardrums: Ghost Songs, the forthcoming album from these modern death metal peddlers, makes for a righteously invigorating experience.
But let's cut to the chase, shall we? Today, it's our pleasure to present "Architects"--a track which feels, genuinely, like an accurate encapsulation of the album as a whole. As any good single should. In the words of the Death On Fire themselves, this track "embodies this next album: focused, aggressive, and made to destroy. Singing the song of our slow and ignorant death. Nothing ever changes. We are the arbiters of our own demise." And, as an outsider, I'm here to declare that they ain't wrong. Before we get too far absorbed in the details, however, check out the excellent video for "Architects" here:
Feeling fired up? Good, 'cuz I'm chompin' at the bit and there's a lot here worth praising. Take the initial buildup, which launches into full-tilt aggression with explosive aplomb. Or the simple-yet-jubilant chorus--the rhythmic delivery of which incites bouts of headbanging at its own volition. Or the understated solo that lands, smack-dab, in the midst of crunchy combat-boot stomping riffage. Or, lest it be neglected, the undeniably gritty veneer that coats the track with a markedly abrasive punkish swagger.
Notably, while it is (typically) a quality I have beef with, the pseudo-muffled quality of the vocal delivery lends the entire affair a menacing edge. And when one deals--as Death On Fire obviously do--in riff-fueled braggadocio, a healthy dose of heartfelt menace is an arguably necessary ingredient. Without that bite, modern death metal all-too-oft falls flat; an unfortunate victim of its own pomp and polish. Not so here. The gloss and sheen herein feels appropriately rooted in death metal's trademark aggression. "Architect" is gloriously muddied up, and all the better for it.
In short? Death On Fire do modern death metal right. If "Architects" is your speed, be on the lookout for Ghost Songs, set for release on March 20th. In the meantime, give that video another whirl.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.
What are ye