KEN Mode – Reprisal

•2009/03/10 • 1 Comment

KEN Mode – Reprisal (Escape Artist Records)

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I can’t understand what’s gotten into these Canadian dudes, KEN Mode, while they were creating this album. Neither can I get how the hell we missed a release that’s screaming 2006.

The last I’d heard of them was when they’d released their debut “Mongrel” through Escape Artist. As it seems, now they’ve decided to produce what is their best and most satisfying effort yet. There aren’t many other ways to describe “Reprisal”, really. Should I talk about dexterity? Ambition? Groove? Masterful compositions? We may be facing one of the most powerful efforts Canada has ever produced. No, this isn’t simply a hardcore album, and trying to label “Reprisal” is irrelevant. What’s relevant is that when this album is playing I’m high on this energy that only bands without limits and narrow-mindedness can produce.

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Heavensore – Asmodai

•2009/01/20 • Leave a Comment

Heavensore – Asmodai (Utech Records)

Here is a new band that doesn’t feel at all afraid to represent the doom/sludge sound of Greece, crushing the borders of heaviness and building the foundations for something unique and solid. The guys were practicing this shit for around two years, patient and focused to achieve their very high standards. It’s really important to know that this is not a band that decided to base its sound on the probably lax results of its first rehearsals, but constantly strived for more. It’s something well thought, well executed and aurally destroying.

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Cursed – III – Architects of Troubled Sleep

•2009/01/20 • Leave a Comment

Cursed – III – Architects of Troubled Sleep (Goodfellow Records)

Whatever they choose to do, Canadian hardcore punks Cursed will always be what we say, “true”. They never follow rules and trends about how to set up and compose their tracks, there are no “must-do’s” about how everything should be promoted, like in other bands. Cursed play the darkest hardcore music of the noughties. It’s that simple. What’s most amazing about them is that while we always look forward to their next move, they keep infusing their music with more and more of that rotten feeling, making us cringe in surprise and lusciously ask for more.

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End – II

•2009/01/19 • Leave a Comment

End – II (ISO666)

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There are bands that mock purpose and vision. Their goal is their own purposelessness, their meandering, almost random offerings giving always an impression that what you’re hearing is just a sample, a taste, that they could always offer more, if they just… concentrated.
I don’t have any problems with these kinds of artists – hell, half of the music I listen to is improvisational. But I consider concentration and purpose merits that few musicians possess, and even fewer know how to fuel properly in their music.

Enter End, formerly a quartet, now a trio, with two albums released (I and II) and the third one awaiting release sometime in 2009. End may be Greeks, but as far as I can tell they have detached themselves from all the characteristics that would define them as a “Greek” band, or as a band from any particular national music scene, for that matter. Their roots are simple, their vision is singular. End is a black metal band. Yet their role in the realm of black metal is a tricky one; the imagery and the general aesthetic is there, yes, but it’s not that that makes them what they are. Blastbeats? Dry, razorsharp riffs? For sure, yeah, it’s all here. But that’s not that that makes them what they are, either.

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Young Widows – Old Wounds

•2009/01/16 • Leave a Comment

Young Widows – Old Wounds (Temporary Residence)

It’s funny ‘cause when I heard “Old Wounds” in the first place I didn’t like it at all. But having spent so many hours listening to the previous effort “Settle Down City” which was more like a bomb in my head, I noticed that something was wrong, either with me or with the band. Finally the band won.

Young Widows has a really interesting hardcore background and the part that crushes is that this group has separated itself so much from the hardcore days, retaining the craftsmanship for gaining consciousness. It’s like you meeting someone close to you after some years and you notice that this dude has nothing to do with the spoiled kid you once avoided for some reasons. This is called maturity and hey dudes, Young Widows is no exception. It definitely takes some time to immobilize their thing in your head ‘cause the players aint no joking; they are  fuckin’ candid. First time you notice this, is when you push play to listen to the record. The guys traveled to Godcity Studios of Kurt Ballou’s fame in order to present a record that first of all is an example of record engineering, managed to fix a sound that is both entertaining, whether the tapes are from studio or from a live environment; it fuckin’ kills.

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Disfear – Live the Storm

•2009/01/16 • Leave a Comment

Disfear – Live the Storm (Relapse Records)

Now, Disfear is one of the bands that have improved drastically over the years by means of «development» contracts and that is how they’ve achieved to be incredibly successful. Thomas Lindberg joined the band in 1998 as a vocalist and managed to draw attention to the band – as curiosity commands – while I personally consider Disfear is the most suitable band Tompa has ever joined. In their fourth album, Swedish Disfear grows stronger by the addition of Uffe Cenderlund, Entombed guitarist of mythical proportions, releasing the most successful album of their career, to date.

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Albums we liked circa 08 pt. II.

•2009/01/16 • Leave a Comment

1. Pivot – O Soundtrack of my Heart

Battles just found their rivals. The organic blends with the digital and the result is exquisite. And danceable.

2. Virus – The Black Flux

A flux indeed. Many albums have been labeled as surreal or lynchean, I think that’s the only one that actually deserves the characterization.

3. Intronaut – Prehistoricisms

Huge, precise, atavistic as fuck. An instinctual approach to complex music. These men know their craft.

4. Autistic Daughters – Uneasy Flowers

I imagine that when A.D. play live, there’s a neon sign above the stage, simply stating ‘HUSH’. Hush, then, because this is silent, discreet, and demands your attention by all means.

5. Fennesz – Black Sea / Fennesz + Brandlmayr + Dafeldecker – Till the old world’s blown up and a new one is created

Fennesz breaks his 4-year quasi-absence, recruits some of the most talented and far-sighted musicians out there and releases his two best full-lengths.

6. Sunn O))) – Domkirke

O’Malley’s and Anderson’s pots rarely reach boiling point; everything is about the moments before the tension. Enter Attila Csihar, Steve Moore, Lasse Marhaug. The tension is realized, and reached.

7. Night On Earth – Second Hand

Transformations of 11 of Thanasis Papakonstantinou’s songs. Their approach speaks in many tongues, and their motto is deconstruction.

8. Religious Knives – Resin

The harsh, unforgiving alter ego of Wooden Shjips. Hypnotic and sublime. The sounds of knives flicking open in the dark.

9. Fuck Buttons – Street Horrrsing

Rituals are meant, after all, to be held with synths, erosion, and a floor tom.

10. Earth – The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull

Melancholy and open space. Add an experience that spans decades. Not-drone, not-blues, not-rock. Only distilled salvation through repetition.

Leviathan – Massive Conspiracy Against All Life

•2009/01/16 • Leave a Comment

Leviathan – Massive Conspiracy Against All Life (Moribund Records)

Alright. Here’s how things are: I don’t know if you’re calling it depressive black metal or the new wave of American underground black metal or what but this one caught us completely unawares and it’s wrecking our brains on every listen. Why? But because Leviathan mastermind Wrest sat down and wrote not jut another record, he’s not putting out just another Leviathan release. This one first and foremost is shutting up anyone that considered him just some American has-been with nothing left to offer. Better pay attention because this is how it is.

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Albums we liked circa 08.

•2009/01/16 • Leave a Comment

01. Leviathan – Massive Conspiracy Against All Life

Wrest is one of a kind. Nobody can really reach his huge achievement right now. He decided to create his best work, We hail.

02. Virus – The Black Flux

More crazy and inspirational than Ved Buens Ende. This dude, Czral, is not only lucky but great composer too. Outstanding.

03. Young Widows – Old Wounds

I still can’t really understand how it is possible to play such intelligent and efficient indie music as these guys do. Turn the page.

04. US Christmas – Eat the Low Dogs

Impressive and sentimental music, full of passion and dignity. The way to undergo the fallen paths.

05. Dead Congregation – Graves of the Archangels

Dark, ultra deep and best death metal we’ve heard so far from Hellas. Supreme release, go get it now.

06. Heavensore – Asmodai

One hell of a debut with huge sound and top live performance. A piece of art of our time. Over.

07. Darkspace – III

Frozen black metal with the addition of excellent atmosphere and coldness. Keyboards and riffs collide.

08. Scott Kelly – The Wake

Acoustic sounds and a pure voice from this god-man. Deep songs with minimal structure. We have a winner.

09. Brethren Of The Free Spirit – All Things Are From Him, Through Him and In Him

James Blackshaw is for me a new guitar magician. Architecture and free spirit. Follow him and you won’t fail.

10. KEN Mode – Mennonite

Canada crazy motherfuckers who play like no tomorrow noise rock and technical shit together. Jesus Lizard couldn’t imagine this thing.