Written by: Izzy
If you’re at all into grindcore, you likely recognize this name. If you aren’t into grind you’ve probably never heard of this band in your life--such as the scene goes, the best bands go unnoticed to all but the most dedicated. That said, I am bringing this album to your attention for one simple reason: it fuckin' rocks and you should go listen to it.
Nepalese immigrant grinders Chepang have been blast-beating their way into the crusty hearts of fans ever since their 2016 EP, Lathi Charge. Chepang, however, have only gotten better and better with each release if you ask me (which you may or may not be, but this is my review). As they improved they also got more adventurous, and Chatta continues to follows that trend. It’s 28 minutes of razor-sharp, hyper-focused jazzy grinding madness, split up into a main section that’s 16 minutes and a 12 minute remix B-side.
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.
Written by: Ancient Hand
“Blackgaze” is a term that immediately disgusts and turns off purists of straight forward, Satan-worshipping, formulaic black metal. The image of modern hipsters wearing skinny jeans while writing black metal in basements is stomach-churning to some who would rather imagine 90’s hipsters wearing skinny jeans while writing black metal in basements. “Blackgaze” is a term openly embraced by Canada’s Unreqvited. Tagged on the project’s new album, Empathica, is the controversial term itself. Additionally, the album is self-described to contain “shimmering blackgaze melodies and grandiose orchestral segments.”
The second part of this description, though, is where the innovation lies. We’ve all heard an album make use of beautiful guitar melodies paired with tremolo picking and relentless drumming, but Unreqvited’s ability to roll symphonic and orchestral elements into the music is quite groundbreaking when experienced on this new LP.
Written by: Continuous Thunder
I first got into heavy music in my mid-teens, and by “got into heavy music” I mean found music that not only appealed to me, but also bothered my parents. (What’s the point of heavy music if it doesn’t cause your parents genuine concern?) Anyway, way back in the mid-’00s, when I was just a distant rumble, the heavy music of choice for the youths of the day was screamo and metalcore. CD players and primitive iPods were full of the sounds of bands like Underoath, The Used, From First To Last, and The Devil Wears Prada. Jeans were tight, lips were pierced, and hair was long and dyed black. These genres and styles fell out of favor right around the end of the decade, but screamo has had a bit of an underground resurgence in recent years. Infant Island, in particular, are a relatively new band that may prove that the genre isn’t entirely dead.
Written by: Arzou
ACxDC (Antichrist Demoncore, for the cool kids - Ed.) is to powerviolence as Gutalax is to goregrind. Extremely popular but disliked by the fans of the genre. After releasing their debut self-titled LP in 2014, people have been waiting for a follow up either with excitement or baited breath, ready to throw “ACxDC bad” comments wherever they can. Well it’s here, ACxDC’s Satan is King has been released with 15 songs and 23 minutes, and I’ll tell you what: if Satan is King then Satan is one milquetoast dude.
You see, another similarity ACxDC have with Gutalax is that they are both, despite their popularity, very mediocre. That parallel still reigns true with this album. It checks all the boxes of a good powerviolence album, blistering and skulldenting riffs, slow and crushing sludgy riffs, the ability to confuse grind babies into thinking it’s grind. Should be a good one, right? Well if you think reading a textbook is really fun then this might be the album for you. Despite all the checked boxes it feels like ACxDC really just did the bare minimum and created a bland and tasteless cake able to be consumed by the masses but unable to be remembered by anyone.
Written by: Ancient Hand
San Marcos’s This Will Destroy You should need no introduction at this point; the Texas post-rock group has seen plenty of success and experimentation in their now 16-year-old career. The group’s 2008 self-titled album is considered by many to be their magnum opus, and I am included in this group. That record is a beautiful blend of instrumentation that culminates into a moving and beautiful journey across an auditory version of the American Southwest. After 12 more years and plenty of other albums, we finally get the standalone release of Vespertine, the soundtrack to the high-class, two-Michelin star restaurant of the same name. The soundtrack has been available to those that have been in the restaurant for a few years now, but This Will Destroy You has finally released the soundtrack for the rest of us to enjoy.
Written by: Volt Thrower
Hailing from Milan, Italy, is the lone and sole cosmic black death metal unit Cosmic Putrefaction. The mysteriously monikered G.G. is back to provide all vocals and instruments on the second full length release for this project, The Horizons Towards Which Splendour Withers, on I, Voidhanger Records, out May 22nd. There has been some considerable hype surrounding this album in the metal twittersphere, and it absolutely crushes expectations. I feel truly blessed to have been given a sneak peek at an album sure to crack many end of year lists. So far it has been a brutal blackhole of a year, but the metal releases have been solid and consistent, somehow managing to escape the devastation of the shitty supernova known as 2020. Cosmic Putrefaction manages to put their name straight to top of the list with this scathing, six song symphony of destruction.
Written by: The Administrator
First things first: Fullmåne's Lurking in the dark is a lo-fi affair--the rawest application of punk-infused black metal you're likely to find whilst trawling through the underground. This is, indeed, a self-described "dark and dirty snapshot of night time drifting, paranoia and drugs." As such, it's only appropriate that we acclimate ourselves accordingly. Prior to starting in, then, let me find my scratchiest quill, my faintest ink, and my poorest quality parchment. I'll remove my cloak as well--better to write with the lingering threat of frostbite. Oh, and let me shut off the lantern for good measure. In the case of today's EP in question, I think it would be better if I worked by the light of the moon.
There, that's settled. Now I'm ready. Are you ready? Good.
Written by: Izzy
Much like the band in question, Methwitch, I will not waste any time beating around the bush. Rather, I'll just throw you immediately into this torrential review, spanning not only the album in question, but also providing a look into the bands previous efforts too, as I felt unable to discuss this album properly in depth without sharing my own short story that goes alongside my initial listen of this album.
Methwitch is a one-man deathcore band led by Mr. Cameron McBride, a guy who’s been around for quite a while and played in a number of different bands I haven’t heard of. However, this latest offering from Methwitch has a especially flavourful addition that caught my attention far more than your run-of-the-mill deathcore group. INDWELL is a noisy, chaotic, and industrial album, but in contrast also has some melodic moments strewn throughout as well. Calling it mathcore would absolutely not be a stretch, many moments bringing to mind bands like Frontierer, Car Bomb, or even The Dillinger Escape Plan (which to even be compared to them is high praise in my book).
Written by: The Administrator
Like many of our music-blogging contemporaries, this particular scribe does, indeed, fuck with Soundgarden. As luck would have it, I also fuck with Vancouver's ever-evolving Seer, whose latest effort, Vol. 6, caught eyes of several Villagers with its dark and delicate take on doom. Thus, finding out that the two have been combined by way of glorious tribute was enough to elicit a (rare) grin on this three year anniversary of Chris Cornell's death. Seer's cover of "Room A Thousand Years Wide" is a heartfelt homage to one of their most beloved heroes--and, beyond that, it's a damn good track.
Let's get to it, shall we?
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!