Written by: Tom
Last year saw the return of Static-X, something I never thought would happen. Now, almost a year later, we are finally getting a new Fear Factory record! Which is another thing that I was beginning to have my doubts about happening, but on June 18th, via Nuclear Blast Records, that exact thing will be
unleashed upon a legion of waiting fans.
I've been listening to Fear Factory since 1995's Demanufacture, and they have always had one of the coolest band names out there; in my humble opinion, it still ranks very high on the list of excellent name choices. Not to mention that when one of their songs comes on, you immediately know that it's them; no one else had the same sound when the band's music was first introduced to us. This fact has not changed much throughout the years.
FRESH MEAT...erm, SATURDAY: April 17th, 2021, Feat. Bushido Code and Mother Anxiety / S H R I E K I N G
Every Friday (erm...or Saturday, folks), a wagon arrives at the Sleeping Village’s rusted palisade, stuffed to the brim with musical sustenance. Today is the day we must offload this week's new and noteworthy music, and so, in the process, we thought it would be worthwhile to share some of our choice picks from this veritable mass of fresh meat. This is what we’ll be listening to today at the Village HQ. We hope you join us in doing so!
This week marked the release of a whole lot o' stellar music, but we opted to focus on two albums rather than our typical four. As such, please accept these delayed-albeit-longer-than-usual reviews. - Ed.
On the docket for today, April 17th, 2021:
Bushido Code and Mother Anxiety / S H R I E K I N G
Bushido Code - The Ronin
Before we get too far into it: how 'bout that opening riff? Muscular, pugilistic, and delightfully earmwormy. Needless to say, The Ronin's title track is exactly what ye might expect from a band that bills itself as a hearty metal/thrash/hardcore crossover conglomerate. The tracks that hit do so with a notable gusto, and the energy contained within the first half of the album is quite infectious, coated with an unexpectedly fun and groovy patina. As such, Bushido Code operate best when they embrace the intrinsic physicality of their work.
While one might expect a typical bruiser-ish crossover lyrical route, "The Ronin" opts for character-driven storytelling over tough guy posturing, which is always a bonus in this line of work. Critically, the album does lose a little steam and sheer headbanging energy in the back half after interlude "Prelude to Battle," and makes me wonder if it would have landed even harder as an EP with all the fluff neatly trimmed away. But let's be real: for a 29 minute album, I ain't complaining all that much. Listening to this thing inevitably results in a whole lotta sweat and a very sore neck. It serves as prime "get pumped" music, and, as such, has found itself employed in mighty fine service down at the ol' home gym. If yer on the hunt for the juiciest cuts, give "Ronin," "Aftermath," and "Relic of War" a listen, and throw 'em on your workout playlist for good measure.
Find it on bandcamp here!
Mother Anxiety & S H R I E K I N G - Isolation Diary
Confession time: I went into this release with a certain trepidation, despite a favorable familiarity with both artists featured. The trepidation came from the subject matter itself, and the prospect of immersing myself fully. In a not-yet-post-COVID-world, the impact of isolation is a sore subject, and living through the eyes of not one but two distinct projects was intimidating. After many, many listens, it still is. I think that's a good thing.
Like unto the best of experimental music, this stellar split between solo acts Mother Anxiety and S H R I E K I N G is not immediately digestible. Given the complex arrangement of ambient, drone, post metal-- punctuated by the occasional blackened outburst or assorted spoken word samples--each of the nine tracks herein takes significant time to explore. As someone who thrives on releases that merit multiple listens in a variety of environments, I feel fully consumed by this split in a way that is equally satisfying and confusing.
The first half, home to Mother Anxiety, presents a largely half-conscious atmosphere and ambiance, featuring a quiet cacophony of hushed voices and assorted electronic noises. Listening to these four tracks feels intrusive in a wholly unique fashion: this is like listening to the inside of my own skull, witnessing undeveloped thoughts tumble and collapse. "Entry 4" is the culmination, and it illustrates the yoke of anxiety with frightening accuracy. These entries are not meditative; Mother Anxiety's half feels like a reflection of a consciousness under constant duress. In contrast, S H R I E K I N G's contribution feels more outward--its (frankly indescribable) confluence of genre allows for more sonic range. That said, it still feels intensely individual, which, given the overarching theme of loneliness, indicates a Job Well Done. While the first half feels inwardly panicked, S H R I E K I N G somehow uses chaos to impart a deep sense of heart wrenching sadness. This is genuinely tear-inducing stuff, and I don't have the words to articulate why. That's uncomfortable, but it is also a demonstration that this split has succeeded enormously at what it set out to do. Bravo.
Find Mother Anxiety here and S H R I E K I N G here
AVATAR - Hunter Gatherer (Review)
Written by: Beaston Lane
Dear readers, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Avatar Country anymore. As the world grapples with the caustic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and our favorite artists are screwed over by penny-pinching corporations, an island run by fun-loving metal maniacs sure sounds like a great place to be--but that’s not where Avatar takes us on their highly anticipated 8th LP. Hunter Gatherer finds these bombastic Swedish metallers in that bleak headspace so many of us have to confront every morning as we contemplate the increasingly volatile future. Gone are the fables and legends of Avatar’s past, replaced with the nightmares of a planet in crisis. Robust and aggressive, Hunter Gatherer is the sound of one band’s cleansing discharge of years of pent-up anger and anxiety.
Written by: Scorpi
Diving headfirst into Bandcamp’s metal releases often goes one of two ways. You either spend ages looking for something worthy of your undivided attention, a task that feels like crawling through mud to find an elusive treasure, or you absolutely nail the first album you pick.
In Arcaine’s case, they were the immediate jackpot. No spinning reels endlessly losing all your cold, hard cash to find this one.
Arcaine are an emerging deathcore quintet from Chur, Switzerland, founded in 2015. They are made up of vocalist Adrian Gisler, guitarists Brandon Wildhaber (lead) and Renato Herzog (rhythm), bassist Rinaldo Gaudenz, and drummer Reto Camenisch. As Life Decays is their debut album, and they couldn’t have given themselves a much better platform to become one of the best modern metal bands out there.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!