Good day all,
It has been another interesting week for all of us on the East Coast of the US and I hope everyone living in the New York/New Jersey area recover from Superstorm Sandy’s rage. One thing is for sure, when you work in emergency management a storm like this can really mess with your schedule. But it is Friday and I have been able to carve out some time to bring to you this weeks Friday Four Pack! This week we have an excellent new release from a band I have never been big on, a debut that just fascinates me, a pummeling demo from a Canadian death metal band and a little something from the People’s Republic of China, and yes I have scoured the Internet high and low to find you some more FREE music (READ: stopped at Metal Bandcamp!). So enough with the preamble and on with the show!
Cradle Of Filth: Manticore and Other Horrors
I can honestly say that I have never been a really big fan of Cradle of Filth and their brand of gothic, blackened tinged, symphonic, metal. Not that I haven’t tried, I have listened to every Cradle of Filth album since their inception but nothing ever struck a chord for me. In fact I found what Dani Filth and Co. were doing was more annoying than it was entertaining. As most of you know I am a huge fan of the concept album and when done really well the album can become a masterpiece. I am also a fan of the use of dark and evil themes that Cradle of Filth employs in most of their music, much like King Diamond, but they haven’t reached that pinnacle yet, and CoF have been able to put together some interestingly dark and evil albums, but still something hasn’t ever set well with me and CoF.
That all changed with the release of their latest album Manticore and Other Horrors! Maybe it is because they moved away from the concept album and created songs with their own identities and subjects. Maybe it is because Dani Filth’s vocals are cleaner than they have been in a long while and the annoying squeal/growl thing he does is not as prevalent in every song on this album. Whatever it is it works for me. Cradle of Filth have constructed a solid album and have still been able to keep that gothic, evil bombastic sound that they have mastered over their last nine albums but this time it seems that not having to worry about the cohesion of a complicated story has let Cradle of Filth expand musically. This album seems to have revitalized CoF and if this keeps up they may have found a new fan from someone who had basically written them off!
Venomous Maximus: Beg Upon The Light
There is something about this album that keeps me completely mesmerised the entire time I am listening to this doom, metal, occult masterpiece. This album has a tone, rhythm and feel to it that paralyzes the listener in place and doesn’t allow them to recover until the album is over. There is nothing fancy here just heavy, melodic, metal that is as thick and layered as it is smooth and beautiful. I have no idea where this band came from and I have no idea what their abilities are outside of what they have put down on this album, but what they have put down needs to be listened to and be careful because this is an album that I almost think speaks to the listener in that voodoo kind of way.
Seriously though from the opening dirge of “Funeral Queen” to the closing power of “Hell’s Heroes” the circus ringleader singing of vocals will keep you trapped in this psychotic circus until the final act. What this band has done on this album is most impressive when the band is allowed to open up and fill the extra long intros and solos of each song, allowing the mood to swell and the ebb and flow of the rhythm to suck you in and drown you in all of the heavy mighty glory of the subject. This is one of those albums where I tell you to stop what you are doing and go buy it right now! I am pretty sure they used their voodoo on me!
Abyss: The Reins of Horror
Abyss is a Canadian death metal band who have just put out a new demo for all of us to enjoy. This is one of two releases that I have for you that is free and can be found here: http://metalbandcamp.com/2012/10/abyss-the-reins-of-horror.html from Metal Bandcamp. This is a fun little demo consisting of 9 tracks that have an interesting death metal vibe with strong punk feel to them. Keeping in mind that this is a demo the recording value is a bit muddy but I think that helps enhance the feel that the band is trying to bring out in the album. The speed and fury are there and the guitar breaks lend to the overall sound of each song. Where Abyss is not going to revolutionize the death metal genre they have done a fine job of using their musicianship to not be boring and just another death metal band from Canada. On a side note there seem to be a lot more death metal bands coming from Canada, I know it is a depressing country but is it really that bad? Just kidding my friends of the Great White North, I kid because I care!
Screaming Savior: Infinity
Finally the second free download for you from a death/melodic band from the People’s Republic of China. Now if you told me that there where a lot of death metal bands in China I would be surprised because I wouldn’t think they would be allowed to play this type of music there but I would also not be too shocked as it is China, and depression brings on the dark feelings. Nevertheless here we have a solid melodic death metal album that uses the orchestral devices and melds it into the music flawlessly. What can sometimes happen when trying to incorporate symphonic add-ons is that the “symphony” can overpower the music, but not here Screaming Savior does a nice job of keeping a cohesive balance between the two sounds. This is really an excellent death metal album that verges on the brink of being epic in its scope and subject. As I said earlier it is free via Metal Bandcamp and you can and should pick it up here: http://metalbandcamp.com/2012/10/screaming-savior-infinity.html
So that is it for this week, as I have said before and I will say again I look forward to finding some time to do some real writing soon and filling you with my metal opinionated goodness. Until that time I hope everyone recovores from Sandy. One final sad side note, Mitch Lucker the lead singer of Suicide Silence died yesterday after injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident. While not a big fan of their music Mitch was a husband and a father and from his fellow musicians seemed like a great guy. My condolences to his family and his friends and bands. No one should have to grow up without a parent, Godspeed Mitch!
Until later, Peace!