To assess Gojira's latest offering, two Village-dwellers took up the pen, making for a rare double review 'round these parts. Enjoy! - Ed.
Written by: Izzy
I think for many metalheads, Gojira is a very nostalgic name. I personally got into them very early on in my exploration of extreme metal and they have remained a band I look to very fondly, even if in recent years they’ve departed from their death metal roots and taken a more accessible, straightforward prog/groove/alt metal sound. I still think the material put forth on their previous two excursions, L’Enfant Sauvage and Magma, while not their best, still had their own appeal that kept me returning to them.
But there was a palpable feeling that as they stripped away their extreme metal leanings and got softer and included more clean(ish) singing, they’d eventually morph into just another mediocre alt metal band, and I feel this concept has reached its logical conclusion with Fortitude, having scrubbed away almost any remnants of death metal in their sound and leaning harder and harder on creating hooks and choruses rather than the vast odysseys of From Mars to Sirius and The Way of All Flesh. I think we’ve reached a point where I truly can’t find a reason to look forward to a new Gojira album after this.
SLOW DRAW - Gallo (Double Review)
And now for something a little different, both in format and in sonic content! To adequately assess the latest offering from Slow Draw, two Village-dwellers--Continuous Thunder and The Administrator--took up the pen to express (complimentary) views, making for a somewhat rare double review 'round these parts. Without further ado:
Written by: Continuous Thunder
I’d like to start this with a bit of a disclaimer that I went into this album with no previous knowledge of Slow Draw or Stone Machine Electric (something I will be correcting immediately). I just saw the drone tag and I hit play. Drone can mean any number of things, but as this was a drone project of a member of a stoner band, I went in with expectations of good vibes and ultra-long riffs. What I didn’t expect was just how sparse the arrangements would be. Seriously, there’s little more than an electric piano, synths, and a guitar at any given moment on this album, and it lines up more with ambient music than drone.
Sparsity in music can be a blessing or a curse. On one hand, it strips things down to their bare elements, removing any fluff or embellishments that distract from the core of the composition. On the other, it reveals just how strong or weak a composition actually is. I think back to the last album from Earth where they dialed back the fuzz and reverb and had to lean on their riffs more than the atmosphere. Gallo does the same thing but to an even greater extent. The guitars are (mostly) acoustic, buzzy synths only serve as a backdrop, and there is very little, if any, percussion.
Given the wide display of personal taste we've curated amongst our cabal of scribes, it's not often that the Sleeping Village as an entity is collectively all a-buzz about the same album. But Ulcerate's high-quality track record is, in many ways, a great unifier. Thusfar, their career has been a remarkably blemish-free endeavor. Moreover, their continued reinvention of extreme metal motifs has led to some of the best examples of genre-melding madness the metal community has had the joy of witnessing. It seems, frankly, that they can do no wrong, and--spoiler alert--Stare Into Death And Be Still only further cements their status as legends. Equal parts technically adept and emotionally bombastic, this album is going to be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on quite a few year end lists. Mark my words.
To assess Ulcerate's latest offering, two Village-dwellers--Izzy and Loveloth-- took up the pen to express their views, making for a rare double review 'round these parts. Without further ado, I'll let them do the talking.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!