As you may have noticed, we here at the Sleeping Village enjoy a good EP. This is especially in the case of a band such as the appropriately moniker'd rotting in dirt--a band, in other words, that possesses a hardcore-inspired sound so violent that it operates best in a short, visceral format.
While the EP as a whole is excellent, there is one track in particular that sticks out, especially on repeat listens. I'm speaking of "thirst," the original single. How to describe the sound? In a word: chaotic. (For the morbidly curious, “exothermic” and “bituminous” also apply. In that order). For the sake of comparison, take Nothing-era Cult Leader and turn the chaos meter all the way up past 11. Remove the bounce from the riffage in Botch’s To Our Friends In the Great White North, and replace, jarringly, with a putrid primal fury. Subject the vocalist--take your pick, really--to a decade or two of ghastly torture, until only a ravaged, animalistic husk remains. Bury it all, and leave it to rot.
While the general ambiance is, of course, the primary draw here, "thirst" is truly made by a surprising ability to step back and examine the carnage from afar. Early on in the track, the screams pause, allowing the percussion to take a slow, deliberate moment out of the impending claustrophobia. The attention to dynamics in a genre that typically eschews breathing room is notable, and if rotting in dirt continues to implement this kind of composition, they are undoubtedly on track to rise above the clay and loam. Stream "thirst" below:
Speaking generally, I'm the only villager 'round these parts with a particular (read: desperate) affinity for the lower 'n' slower end of the sub-genre spectrum. Something that is a. decidedly not doomy, and b. accessible by design doesn't, then, necessarily fit in my wheelhouse. Describing themselves simply as "an American metal band," the vision of Gods Shall Burn is "to breathe new life into a dying scene." You know what that means, folks: it's 'core time. You know how long it's been since I've reliably listened to the chug-leaden strains of metalcore? I'm not necessarily the most experienced in these testosterone waters. A little out of the ordinary, but hey, sometimes you just need a goddamn breakdown. Thus: "Reborn."
The breakdown on single "Reborn" itself, lest ye be misled, is actually handled quite impressively. Rather than devolving into generic chugs without actually preparing a structure to actually, well, break down, Gods Shall Burn hit with an absolute ripper. Simple yet engaging grooves lead the charge, but the true star here is the interplay between harsh and cleans. In terms of the latter, think the fresh-faced energy of mid-era Of Mice & Men, without the obnoxious filters. These are offset nicely by the growls, which remain surprisingly massive, carrying a substantial heft and displaying tangible grit. As with the genre in general, the low end feels limited in terms of sheer impact, but to Mr. Mammola's credit, the drums carry themselves with a hollow forward-facing weight. All told? Well played.
"Reborn" has been the most repeated track on my gym playlist for, like, a month. Does Gods Shall Burn represent a metalcore renaissance? Doubtful, but I'm genuinely looking forward to some quality time spent with their debut EP, Life After Last, which will hit sometime soon. In the meantime, listen to "Reborn" below.
Written by: Tales_of_Deception
Let’s just admit it, we live in a world where imitating the previous generation is something that has to be done if we wish to find our own way in this world. We live, copy, find our true selves, and make our own concrete path through a jungle that is filled with wicked beings, wanting nothing more than to destroy the spectacle that you may be becoming. The same goes for musical acts in today’s world. It’s a game of cat and mouse. The newer bands are trying to achieve a different level of creativity but before they do that, imitation has to be, in some form or another, a part of who they are. One of the front runners of that ship is Necrofier.
Visions In Fire is a three track EP from some Texas dudes that, in all honesty, probably don't give two shits what any of us think. With the record lingering right at the twelve minute mark, it's a tough job to really gather an opinion on what you heard the first time around. For me, it took several full listens but the more it played over and over, the more I realized that it's exactly what I was talking about in the previous paragraph. Imitation is great in music, as long as you do it nearly better, if not way better, than the person before. In this case, Necrofier really brings that 1349 vibe nearly on the whole EP. Not complaining though, because the haze, fuzz, distortion and complete wall of hades that comes with Visions In Fire, is exactly what I want when it comes to a mammoth record like this.
The thunderous guitar riffs that are blazing by you as you enter the gates of hell along with the berserk drumming that Dobber Beverly is known for, how could anyone not be pleased with what they're hearing?! Don't think for a second though that vocalist, Christian Larson, and bassist, Mat Aleman, are the weak bones in this body of black metal glory. Without these two, I don't think Necrofier would have the armor that is has going forward. They're a trio that I would, eventually, put on par with Absu, if they keep moving forward with such power and a mentality similar to a "get the fuck out of our way or die with everyone else".
Visions In Fire is exactly the record you need, deserve, and have been waiting for. It’s the best of both worlds when it comes to combining melodic and black metal. The fact that melodic black metal has sort of lost it’s way, at least to me, in the last couple of years, I’m very pleased to see a band that is not scared to imitate what they see is the best out right now. According to me though, Necrofier and Visions In Fire has nearly surpassed my love for 1349. Which says a lot considering this is a debut EP, and 1349 have been at it for a good amount of time.
As always though, the review above is just my opinion on the matter. In reality, it's up to you to create what you think about Visions In Fire and Necrofier as a whole. So, you know the deal from here! Tell me to fuck off and make the jump to their bandcamp page to check it out for yourself.
Written by: Tales_of_deception
Most of the time, singles off of records are my least favorite thing to cover/review, but on the other hand, why not pick one my favorite tracks off a record and talk about that instead? Welcome in Wulfhound. A three-piece doom metal outfit from Tennessee that pulls few punches.
Now, I could be reaching extremely far here but just stay with me, please? Imagine this: Ozzy Osbourne and a sprinkle of Candlemass all wrapped into one giant burrito. Add a vocal style that is a bit similar to a very young Ozzy Osbourne along with what early Candlemass produced, and you have everything you need from Wulfhounds' Riddle In The Dark. In an effort to capture my attention these three giants decided to do what I love in doom metal, and that's build me up until I can't take it anymore. Hitting me right in the chest with the drums and walls of harsh fuzziness from the guitars until those vocals come in and dominate me to the point where I can't say no anymore. Production is on point with a little bit of grit and grain, but still clear enough you can check mark the boxes for what you hear. Their EP is out now so don't believe a damn thing I say, go check out for yourself.
Like I said above, I could be reaching so tell me what you think after you here what I've heard. Riddles In The Dark is streaming below so make sure to push that play button to see what all the glorious noise is about. Want more of Wulfhound? Purchase the record on bandcamp.
Sometimes, a conceptual underpinning is all a song has going for it. Not so in the case of Glow, a walloping track that comes to the Sleeping Village by way of Chicago's own Cloud Cruiser.
Steeped in a thick desert rock fuzz and convincingly constructed around a monolithic central riff, this track chronicles the protagonist--a young man--as he seeks out powers of flight. It's everything one wants out of hard-rockin' desert rock, plain n' simple. A top-notch job in the production job makes for an aggressive low end, and vocals are mournful, gruff, and just reminiscent enough of Red Fang to pass you firmly into the genre's windswept (yet assuredly badass) embrace. It may sound a little trite, but my only critique of this track is that, as a stand-alone, it could definitely use some company. This particular villager eagerly awaits developments in Cloud Cruiser's "I: Capacity" installment.
Give Glow a listen here. For those of you in Chicago, Cloud Cruiser will be playing a show on February 8th at Burlington Bar.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!