Good day all,
The Friday Four Pack is back and this week we will touch on three albums that are leftovers from last year that I missed and only was introduced to recently and any of the three of them could have wound up in my top 20 had I heard them earlier. So with a New Year here is a new Four Pack just for you, I know you have been lonely without it…
Behold! The Monolith: Defender / Redeemist
Thanks to the fine folks over at Metal Bandcamp I was introduced to this sludge/thrash/doom/hardcore trio from Southern California. This album was released in early 2012 but I had not heard it until very recently when I stumbled across it on New Year’s Day while perusing the Metal Bandcamp blog site. Now there are certain bands that when you know nothing about them and you listen to their music for the first time you are just blown away and the feeling that you have just discovered a new planet unfold in your mind: that is how I felt when I heard this album for the first time. Defender/Redeemist is from start to finish one of the finest metal albums I have heard to date. The album starts off with a no holds barred doom infested monster in “Guardian’s Procession” and does not let up from there. I would be hard pressed to try to put Behold! The Monolith in a single metal genre because they have the ability to smoothly move from genre to genre with ease and not losing their way in the process. The songs are all soundly arranged and the harsh vocals (even though everyone knows I am not the biggest fan of this type of singing) add to what the band is blasting out of the speakers at you. Here is a fact: I don’t care what type of metal you are into if you give this album a chance you will be thanking me for introducing you to this incredible band and album. Plus it is really fun for me to run around the house with my four year old screaming at the top of our lungs Behold! The Monolith. Get this album, you won’t be sorry! You can find it here: http://beholdthemonolith.bandcamp.com/album/defender-redeemist
Killing Joke: MMXII
This album by Killing Joke is another that took me a little bit by surprise, I have been a fan of Killing Joke for a long time but they had never released anything that made me say “wow these guys can’t miss” it was more like “Not bad, not something I need to pursue” that all changed with this album. MMXII is a fantastic album with its Pink Floyd-esq opener “Pole Shift” through the various tracks and influences of this album. I was hesitant to add this album to what is normally a metal review but it definitely has a heavier edge than most pop metal albums that are coming out these days. What I like about this album much like Behold! The Monolith is that I am not sure there is one specific genre that this album can fit into, and I really like that about this album. From beginning to end it is a non-stop ride of industrial, punk, hardcore, post-metal sounds that translate into a very listenable album that stretches some of what I think Killing Joke have been doing in the past. So it is either Killing Joke is doing something new to make me pay attention or my tastes in metal and music have changed dramatically, I think it is the former.
Mammoth Mammoth: Hell’s Likely
Here is another fine album that escaped my ears that was released late last year from Mammoth Mammoth. Hell’s likely is just a fun musical escape that doesn’t take itself too seriously but still is able to produce some solid stoner/southern metal/traditional metal. This is another band that falls under my “metal” all encompassing genre as they have all of the old-school influences of the recently wildly popular Thin Lizzy, as well as some additional help from AC/DC, and the great southern rock acts of our past. Hell’s likely is a solid metal album through and through with the right amount of tongue in cheek lyrics and arena rocking anthems. If you are looking for a fun album to just pound your fist to and have a bit of fun without having to exert any effort then check this album out. Plus if you find no other redeeming value in Mammoth Mammoth’s music buying the album for the cover alone is worth it… You can see the video for the first single off this album here: http://social.entertainment.msn.com/music/blogs/headbang-blogpost.aspx?_blg=2&post=6bcc58e1-e01f-4935-87d7-2256f04256c7
Hunter’s Ground: No God But The Wild
This is an interesting death metal album that gets its inspiration from the mountains and wilderness that is around us and warns of the dangers of nature as a thing of untamable beauty. Surprisingly for a death/thrash album it has a lot of interesting and at times catchy hooks and the primitive production just adds to the suspenseful nature of the songs that are included in this album. It is a start to finish solid album that allows the listener to fall, even a little bit, into the dark and ominous world of nature that this band is telling their stories about. For as corny as the movie “The Blair Witch Project” was I could see watching that movie with the sound turned down and this album on full and having a better understanding of the dangers and fears of being in the woods/forest alone.