Friday Four Pack
Good day all,
After the success of last week’s Four Pack I have decided to make this a regular for every Friday that I am available to write the post. I will be reviewing four albums and/or EPs and they may not always be the newest releases. What I am going to strive for here is finding music that you may not have heard of or in general missed because it was not on the main stream radar. Plus there are plenty of places to go to find reviews on the latest new releases; you certainly don’t need me to rehash them. Also, one of the best things that Ken and METAL BUZZ do on their website is bring you new and unsigned bands as well as a lot of bands outside of the mainstream you normally wouldn’t know of if not for their work, so this should fit right in. So on with the reviews! This week we will be EP heavy with releases by Rodha, Acrassicauda, and Wolves Carry My Name and the full length release from Satan’s Wrath. I hope you all enjoy!
Rodha is a German band who has decided to complement their heavy, sludgy, stoner sound with the distinctive vocals of hardcore. These mixes of the two genres bring a unique take on the music and add a quality element to an already established genre. I personally am a big fan of the sludge and hardcore sounds and to have a band like Rohda blend the two so seamlessly is a real treat for me. They have been able to strike a fine balance between the two genres and allow for the fuzzy, buzzy down tuned sound of the sludge to move the music appropriately and the hardcore vocals just add a touch of urgency and aggression to the top. This is a great album for those who are big into hardcore but have not given sludge a listen, conversely the same can be said for the sludge fans who have never really gotten into the hardcore sound. The brilliance of this album is how Rodha made a fitting EP while staying true to both genres. This EP is available for free download on Metal Bandcamp at http://metalbandcamp.com/2012/09/rodha-raw.html
Wolves Cary My Name: Amongst Ruins and Ashes
This album is another gem posted by Metal Bandcamp and is also available for a free download here:http://metalbandcamp.com/2012/09/wolves-carry-my-name-amongst-ruins-and.html See, if nothing else you are getting a ton of free music today. Anyway, Wolves Carry My Name is a relatively new group who according to Metal Bandcamp only got together in September of 2011 and released this first EP in September of this year. Pretty impressive feat especially because of how unique this album is. This album carries everything with it from the ambient after-tones to the heavy sludgy riffs with a blues flavor to them. This is another one of those albums that has layers to it that it will take time and multiple listens for them to really sink in but once they do you can really see the talent and uniqueness of this EP. The vocals are a bit different and range from a growl to an all out hardcore scream but in the feel of the music the vocal style works. This album is definitely one to have in the collection as I know it will be replayed often.
Acrassicauda: Only the Dead See the End of the War
Now this release has been out for some time but I only caught up to it recently. Some of you may already be familiar with Acrassicauda as they were the subjects in the documentary Heavy Metal in Baghdad which showed how this band was surviving during the war in Iraq. If you haven’t seen this film I highly recommend it as it will give you an insight into the topics displayed on this EP. What is interesting about the film and the album is that I would not have thought they were as good as they were when I heard this EP. This is a really good first release for a band that has gone through so much just to get to this point in their lives let alone their music. This is a very good old-school thrash album and the musicianship that could rival some of the bigger bands out their today. The release was produced by Testament’s own Alex Skolnick and I have to believe that you cannot be in the same room with him and not become a better guitar player and I think that is evident here. There is definitely and Testament vibe to this album but Mr. Skolnick allowed these guys to do what they do best and that is rocking out some fine thrash for all to enjoy. The subject matter of the lyrics may be deep but for all that these guys had to go through to even live out their dreams of being rock stars it seems appropriate. If you have yet to own this EP go out and get it, it will work in nicely with your current thrash catalogue.
Satan’s Wrath: Galloping Blasphamy
This is an interesting album and the only full length album I am talking about today. I find it a little surprising that Metal Blade signed this band and released this album when they already have Ghost in their stable of bands, but I guess it is good business to corner the market on the genres before the big boys get them all. But in general this is another retro-heavy metal album with its likeability the product of the success of bands like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Venom, Slayer, and Mercyful Fate. Even with the obvious influences on this album it works well on its own merits because it doesn’t just use the previously mentioned influences it pays homage to them. This album is a really nice retro-thrash album that, Satanic gimmicks aside, uses the techniques and balanced taught by their predecessors and creates a fun and slightly macabre album. The only downside of this duo’s album and it has nothing to do with their music is all of the Satanic imagery (gimmick) because underneath all of the blasphemous galloping is a really fine retro-metal album that fills a void left by the great Mercyful Fate. I just worry that the name and the album cover will scare a lot of people away since there is a really good album underneath all of the goatheads.
I hope you all enjoyed these little peeks into what I have found interesting in the metal world lately and I hope you are all back next week for another exciting episode of the Friday Four Pack. I know I can’t wait!
Until Later, Peace!