Uncommon music criticized by the common man. (Or, exercises in futility masquerading as critical thought.)

Saturday, July 30, 2005

First Impressions: The Black Dahlia Murder's Miasma

I just picked up the newest from one of my favorite bands from the last few years, The Black Dahlia Murder. Right now, I'm about half-way through the disc and I thought I'd say a few things about it.

I must say, I'm really feeling it right away. Whether it holds up after many subsequent listens remains to be seen. It's kind of easy to get caught up in the pure adrenaline of a record that blows by this fast. I can say that it doesn't feel like more of the same, which is a good thing. While Unhallowed really blew my ears off, my hope is always that my favorite bands take it just a bit further on the next disc, complacency being the devil and all. And though this is not an enormous leap forward, it does feel like a progression. Perhaps its the production, which seems a bit more polished this time around, though by no means slick. The vocals, in particular, sound a bit higher in the mix. Overall, the band feels tighter and more raging than before, perhaps due in part to new drummer Zach Gibson, whose playing is lightning fast and ferocious. Also, the melodies are a bit stronger, on first listen, than the ones on Unhallowed, which is no small accomplishment. This is good stuff. I hope further listens push it into the great category.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Hey now....let's talk about some music!

I haven't posted in a while. I have, since then, picked up some music. It's a short list, so here goes:

Behold...The Arctopus Nano-Nucleonic Cyborg Summoning (Troubleman Unlimited)
Boris Akuma No Uta (Southern Lord)
Orthrelm OV (Ipecac)
Pelican March Into The sea (Hydra Head)
Stereolab Oscillons from the Anti-Sun (Too Pure)

The Boris is my favorite of that bunch, a 2003 album (on DIW Phalanx, I believe) finally being issued domestically by Southern Lord. It showcases a side of Boris I was not familiar with, given I'd only really heard their post-Melvins sludge-a-thons Amplifier Worship and Absolutego. This album, with the exception of the opening "Introduction" shows a harder, faster, garage-psych side of the band, brilliantly encapsulated on "Ibitsu" and "Furi", the second and third songs on the disc. The album's centerpiece, the 12 minute long, "Naki Kyoku" is another beast entirely, a grooving sprawl through hits of sunshine and genuinely "pretty". Go out and get it, kids.

The Pelican is also fantastico. It's a two-track EP featuring a new track (the title cut) and a remix of an older song. I think the new record came out this week, so I will have to pick it up. I suggest you all (who happen to like instrumental metal epics) pick it up as well.

The Orthrelm is good, but not something I would recommend to just anybody. Of course, that can be said about most of their work. But this one is a real boundary pusher, as repetitive as it is dexterously played. All told, I do like it a lot, and it gets better every time I listen to it. However, this is a perfect example of an album that will test your patience. The reward is worth it, but your mileage may vary.

The Stereolab isn't a must have except for diehad fans. It is pretty uniformly great, however, and was an excellent reminder of why I love this band so much.

Behold...The Arctopus I haven't listened to as much. I like it, don't get me wrong, but I'm still a bit peeved that I got charged LP price for a 3-track EP. And it's half the length of the Pelican disc! But, it is good. Sorta spazzy overly-technical prog metal that scratches me just right. Plus, the bass player is phenomenal.

And now, a little exercise. Since I've seen some mid-year best of lists floating around out on the old interweb, I thought I'd add my own. Except, instead of listing the best albums I've heard so far (which isn't as much as I would like), I'm going to make do a list of the best albums I haven't heard, based on the blurbs I've read out there in the ether. Without further ado...


Afrirampo - Kore Ga Mayaku Da
Behemoth - Demigod
Beta Erko - I'm Okay, You're Okay
By The End of the Tonight - A Tribute To Tigers
Cold Bleak Heat - It's Magnificent, But It Isn't War (one of my favorite titles, anyway)
Drop The Lime - This Means Forever
Forever Einstein - Racket Science
Green Milk From The Orange Planet - City Calls Revolution
Hate Eternal - I, Monarch
Hrvatski - Irrevocably Overdriven Break Freakout Megamix
LSD-March - suddenly Like Flames
Med - Push Comes to Shove
Napalm Death - The Code Is Red...Long Live the Code
Port-Royal - Flares
Temple of Bon Matin - Infidel

There you go. I have no idea if any or all of those are good. But I've liked the descriptions. That's my list.