On Monday night (20 May 2013) at The Pizza Stone in Chester, VT, my old and longest running band, Morpheus, played our first gig in about seven years. Accompanying us for Monday Meltdown were Matt Demon, Get A Grip, Humdinger & The Bucksnort, and Dystrot. It was my first time hearing any of those bands. I loved seeing how Nick of Get A Grip has grown since the early Punk In The Park days. Any chance to see them must be taken. Dystrot was a wonderful dose of death thrash with the talented Angela Champine at the helm. Humdinger & The Bucksnort was my favorite of the night. I expected solid death metal and instead was (extremely) happily surprised to get doused in funk along the way. Josh Josselyn’s guitar work is always a treat to see and hear and his heart’s in exactly the right place to be making music.
I was a miserable cunt prior to going on. I didn’t feel like we were even close to being ready, but the set went over beyond my expectations. Glad as I may be for that, however, it became very clear that we need to write new material. Playing only songs that I wrote as a teenager and in my early twenties just wasn’t going to cut it anymore. Rob and I are beyond that, musically. We need to move forward.
What to do? I plan to take the next couple of months turning down any new offers for gigs (aside from the one other booked benefit show in Bellows Falls) to focus on writing new material with Rob. If all goes anywhere near according to plan, we will have a couple of new tunes to premiere at Punk In The Park this summer. See you there.
PS. I made two dollars.
I usually tend to make predictions for the next year in technology when December rolls around. However, this year I will simply list the best of the year we are closing. To kick it off, the best music released in 2011!
This is death metal done right. I feel like it’s the late 90s, I am on a 72 hour sleep deprivation stint, sifting through metal zines and promos (CDs and cassettes!), typing out lyrics, thinking about a review I’m going to write, and working on writing new Morpheus material. I should be watching Traces of Death, chomping on a slice of pizza, smoking a cigar and flipping through Swank to the obligatory necrophilia article. Autopsy is back and their new full length, the first in over a decade and a half, Macabre Eternal, is a true, vile, brutal harkening back to the sorely-missed Golden Age of death metal. I honestly could not be happier.
The iTunes store made pre-orders available for the new, and long anticipated, Morbid Angel album Illud Divinum Insanus. A lot of those minute and a half samples felt ridiculous on first listen. Before listening, I was sure that I would find some enjoyment in the album, but there was nothing in the samples that really grabbed me like the seven studio albums before it. After hearing the full album there still is certainly a feeling of let down here, and that, I feel, is the core of the negativity pervasive over this album.
This is a departure from what we’ve come to expect from Morbid Angel, but is it a positive new direction, or a trainwreck? Let’s delve deeper…
A ninth, redeeming release brings the Cradle back into my rotation…
My local FYE is closing on the 24th. Due to this, they have sharply discounted their stock, including my beloved metal section. The other day, I grabbed up a pair of CDs: Carcass – Heartwork (+Parr Street Heartwork demos & Pathologist’s Report IV: Epidemic DVD) and Ihsahn – angL. Needless to say, I am very happy with my purchases.
Oddly enough, I have not heard Heartwork in its entirety, despite its age and my love for Carcass. Tracks like Blind Bleeding The Blind, Carnal Forge and This Mortal Coil go to great lengths in reminding me why I enjoy Carcass so much. There isn’t another Corporeal Jigsore Quandary on this album, but what is here is damn good enough. The album is strong, creative, heavy and worthy of many repeat listenings. As for the demos, I’d be hard pressed to decide which versions of the songs I like better! The riffs and rhythms make me bang my head and tap my feet when I am listening and get stuck in my head when not. I very much recommend this album to any fan of heavy music, most especially death metal, that has not heard it. This is an aging masterpiece.
When I first heard angL, I was just off a three day Emperor binge and did not take to it so well. It is very much Ihsahn but not quite so much Emperor. After some time, I decided to give it another shot and bought it, having heard an early leak of the new release After and loved it. I am glad I did. angL takes the listener on a dark, intelligent and moving journey through madness, depravity, and the wondrous expanse of existence. From misanthrope to threnody and scarab to monolith, this album is a must for any fan of heavy music, dark music, or the guitar itself. Ihsahn continues to prove himself as a musician and composer.
Sometimes I like to make music. I recently demoed some songs I’ve been working on to some people via YouTube ‘videos’. Have a listen and leave a comment.
Relapse Records currently has no news I give a rat’s ass about. They have so many shit bands on their roster that a new release worth my attention is a rare occasion. They seem to be spending their days following the current trends in hardcore and noise, rather than looking to scoop up any sort of truly innovative or even remotely brutal new act. In my not-so-humble opinion, Relapse’s days as a metal heavyweight are numbered.
From a business standpoint, it makes perfect sense. The lowest common denominator will always sell the most records. Bands that will have the most mass appeal will garner the heaviest merchandise and record sales. These bands are the most watered down and moderate of their so-called niches. No one is more guilty of this than Roadrunner Records. They lack in originality, innovation and talent. This is much like the pop music industry, making it a solid business plan, if an annoying trend.
In other news I don’t care about, Kerry King said Slayer has at least two more albums left in them. In my opinion, they should have stopped after God Hates Us All.