Friday, February 8, 2013

Annotations of an Autopsy - Dark Days Review

Frequent readers of will know of frequent contributor Sergeant D, who in addition to writing for the website also maintains his own site known as Stuff You Will Hate. A couple years back on Stuff You Will Hate, Sergeant D brought to the attention of the internet metal crowd an Australian outfit by the name of Endworld. Their song "Never Trust", and the corresponding (terrible) music video, became showcase pieces for how not to write a song, how not to make a music video, and basically how not to be a brodowncore scenester douchebag. The title of the post containing Endworld's ode to creative bankruptcy was "When your deathcore band is the shitty version of Defiler", referencing yet another brodowncore scenester douchebag brigade comprised of levels of suck previously thought unheard of in "heavy" music. I'm fairly certain Annotations of an Autopsy, Great Britain's worst export since Heil Honey, I'm Home, saw the video and, in a haze brought on by a combination of too much weed and too few brain cells, said to themselves, "Hey, ya know that moderately enjoyable death metal album we made with Erik Rutan a couple years back? Fuck that shit, brah, that didn't have enough slams in it! Let's completely throw that sound out and make something so stereotypically 'bro' that not even other scenesters will like it!" And that's exactly what they fucking did.

Testament - Dark Roots of Earth Review

Ah, the modern thrash metal revival. The resurrection of this most frenetic style of heavy metal has seen many new bands attempt their hand at mixing the great bands of yesteryear with a modern sensibility, while many stalwarts of the genre's golden age in the 1980s and early 90s came back to life or shed their mid-to-late 90s groovy skin to return to what made them famous in the first place. Many good things have come from the thrash revival (the returns of Exodus, Kreator, Destruction, Overkill, and the Big 4 to thrash as well as the emergence of Municipal Waste, Havok, Rumpelstiltskin Grinder, and Evile among others), as have many bad things (everything Destruction has made after Antichrist, that stupid yet thankfully brief Gene Hoglan-less Dark Angel reunion, the lack of a reunion of the classic Sepultura lineup thus saving us from any future Derrick Green fronted albums), however one cannot deny that more good has come from modern thrash than bad.

All That Remains - A War You Cannot Win Review

All That Remains have existed since before the turn of the century. They've been around since before either of my little brothers were born. They were there at the start of the metalcore explosion alongside genre luminaries such as Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall. In their fourteen year existence, one would assume that over time they've honed their sound, tweaking and perfecting it until they can be considered nothing less than a force to be reckoned with in the world of metalcore and metal at large. Well a force certainly comes to oneself through listening to All That Remains, said force being the pushing on one's gut as he runs to the toilet to be ill. Almost a decade and a half and they're still pumping out this garbage. At least their earlier material sounded kinda interesting, if still quite run of the mill (save some stuff on The Fall of Ideals, which actually sounded *gasp* genuine!). A War You Cannot Win, the sixth release by this band, is so blatantly-appealing-to-the-lowest-common-musical-denominator that it's not even funny. It's damn near 2013, people; why are the masses still buying into this shit?

Ikkadian - Of Alpha and Omega Review

I can't say that many albums have left me coming out of them in sheer amazement and awe. For example, Agony by Fleshgod Apocalypse and Monolith of Inhumanity by Cattle Decapitation, respectively in my opinion the albums of the year for 2011 and 2012, are among such pristine albums in my library of music that left me wanting to listen to them over and over again for days afterward. Only just today, on the 18th of September, 2012, newcomers Ikkadian from the great state of Virginia (home to both Lamb of God and my maternal grandmother), comprised mostly of former members of underrated death metal greats Dead Syndicate, have unleashed upon the world their own brand of blackened death metal in the form of Of Alpha and Omega, a brand reeking so wonderfully of an old school sense of self that I wouldn't be shocked if they were some lost band from the early 90s returning to make themselves known. Kind of like a death metal version of Hell, only American and a lot more on the blast beating side.

Cryptopsy - Cryptopsy Review

Cryptopsy alienated a very good chunk, if not most, of their old school fanbase when they released The Unspoken King in mid-2008. With a new, crooning clean singer and taking many cues from the deathcore genre, such as breakdowns and more simplistic song structures, many were put off by the admittedly not very good songwriting and frankly awful vocals. Some even cried the familiar metalhead cry of "you sold out!" that so many fans of this style like to shout, although in this instance they actually had some backing. For me personally, I wasn't quite as pissed off as many others were, and there were actually a couple songs on the album I genuinely liked. When compared to the legendary beast that is None So Vile however, the album just melts in your hand like a dyslexic M&M. Now four years, two new bassists, and the return of original guitarist Jon Levasseur later, Cryptopsy have released their seventh full length album, simply titled Cryptopsy. And goddamn if it isn't a return to form.