Friday, August 31, 2012
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Stigmatas In The Flesh not only has a great track selection but really creates an atmosphere where the music, stage banter, and crowd really resonates (Much like with the live H-100s record).
Whether it's the viciousness of classics like "Justice Replaced By Revenge" or Human Furnace's introductions, it really feels like you're back inside Sonar. My favorite track on the album without a doubt is "Urine." The guitars sound absolutely menacing and the drumming relentlessly beats you senseless.
A389 delivers another solid record with Stigmatas In The Flesh. If you want to get into Ringworm and don't know where to start, I would recommend this to get a good representation of their sound. Otherwise, if you dig metallic hardcore or even just metal, check out Stigmatas In The Flesh. You won't regret it.
Sunday, August 5, 2012
"World Without End" starts things with a repetitious black-metal sound, lo-fi and raw. Throughout the record, there is a strong BM influence (Albeit not so much in the more acoustic numbers) along with harsh noise. "South Of The River" blends together a lot of these styles and techniques, almost creating this malevolent mosaic. In contrast, "Gallery Of Plague" shares more in common with the opening track by keeping a peculiar driving metal sound. The song, perhaps my favorite on the album, has a very interesting militaristic feel. The constant barrage of sound simply washes over the listener, conjuring up scenes of marching soldiers in a war-torn city.
Even when Horders turns to its acoustic side, there's always seems to be something underneath. For example the closing track, "Rotten Hell", is dominated mostly by acoustic strumming but the voice sample - and the occasional SFX - creates a very creepy atmosphere that brings to mind Rot In Hell's "Today, Tomorrow, Forever & Always." I found that Fimbulvetr wasn't an easy-going listen, but a highly enjoyable one. Whilst mostly instrumental, the album isn't background music but a thought-provoking trip, engaging the listener in myriad ways.
Since hearing the RIH/Horders split, I was curious to see what Horders had next. With Fimbulvetr, that curiosity turned into delight. From a record nerd point, Feast Of Tentacles did a bang-up job. Between all the extras and pristine white vinyl, the record is truly something to behold. It should go without saying but... I highly recommend checking out Horders if you dig both good artwork and music.
That was my introduction to Chicago's Like Rats. Combining the best elements of Hellhammer/Celtic Frost and the savageness of bands like Gehenna, they weaved together an absolute beast of a track for the most recent A389 sampler. After myriad listens to the demo and self-titled EP, it's time for Like Rat's debut eponymous full-length, a nine-track assault that will destroy you with its plentiful riffs and gnarly vocals.
"Red Dawn" immediately grabs the listener then proceeds to pummel them for the next half-hour. The guitar sounds unbelievably filthy throughout (Much like the Gravehill demo did). Even when the pace slows down, it's not a respite; Like Rats tricks you into thinking you're safe then flips the table and goes back to its audio violence.
The band keeps the pedal to the metal throughout the eight tracks leading into the album's closer, "Russian Midnight." That track is without a doubt one of the best metallic hardcore songs in the last five-ten years. An echo-y riff lulls the listen in before a whirlwind of punishing drums and hyper-aggressive vocals dominate. The riffs are relentless, mixing in hints of black-metal a la recent Kickback but I don't think I've heard anything like the vocals. The gruff Tom G. Warrior influence is certainly prevalent, but it's not a cheap rip-off by any means. If you've heard and liked their early material, you'll really dig this record. The sound is much more immense (The vocals appear to be a bit deeper and more snarly than say the demo).
Like Rat's full-length I've been counting the days down on since hearing them a few months back and I can easily say it's one of my favorites already. Bang your head until you go numb. And then keep going because it's that good.