Saturday, February 12, 2011

FEB 2011 music reviews

Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:48 pm

SORCERER - S/T 1995/reissue 2010

SORCERER - S/T 1995/reissue 2010
An (almost) definitive reissue of this cult classic Doom Metal band from Sweden. A band that's as old as Candlemass but had a scarcity of recorded material throughout the years. This is a near complete discography, excluding the song "Highlander" which was a vinyl only track on the Heathens from the North LP. Lame I know, but at least you can DL it so you can get that one track. Sorcerer are in the Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus tradition of the more Epic and melodic style of Doom Metal that doesn't end up sounding maudlin nor wimpy in the least! Nothing bluesy is to be found here either, most of the tracks focus on medieval/historical and fantasy themes. The songs are graced with a somewhat typical HM whaling style of vocals but they are very melodic and come off sounding very soulful. While I don't think there is a weak song to be had on this entire CD, the high point is the demo from 1989, which totally brings me back to the Dark Passages days of the early 90s. Sorcerer would have been a perfect inclusion on that classic compilation album. As most of these tracks come from demos the production value from song to song is pretty steady, nothing sounding imbalanced or out of place. So it pretty much plays out like one long album as opposed to a mixed bag discography CD. Sorcerer are Traditional Doom Metal at its finest. They are an original and its a bit of a shame they weren't more prolific but the quality and power of these tracks can and will last through the ages with old and new fans of Doom everywhere.



Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:15 pm

BLIZARO - City Of The Living Nightmare (2010)

Blizaro is the baby of John Gallo of Orodruin and while we all still eagerly await the much rumored new album of Orodruin, I guess Blizaro is a nice little hold over until then. When I first spun this I was slightly disappointed with the album. I was expecting something more 'lyrical' and less purely instrumental. While there are a few lyrical moments and even some straight Doom Metal moments (which is what I expected more of), they are few and far between. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised though since their "Horror Rock" demo was in the same fashion. This album is similar to that but much more full and professional sounding. This album is quite a mixed bag and a bit unpredictable, it's not easy to pin to one style either, I'll definitely give it that. Creepy and gloomy 70s/early80s sounding synth lines dominate the album, sometimes coupled with Doomy and/or Metallic guitar riffs sometimes not. Some songs are more beat driven and rock structured while others sound more like pieces that could easily have been used for a Fulci or Argento movie...and of course I'm sure that was the over all direction of this experiment: the merge of Doomy Rock/Metal music with a Goblin/Frizzi soundtrack style. One of my favorite songs on the album "Mental Disease Overture" starts off like a Doomy 70s influenced number and slowly morphs into a synth and string heavy soundtrack with ghostly moans and kettle drums. While I like certain individual songs more than others, ("Midnight Lurkers" is another great track that comes to mind) I don't know if I'll ever be completely satisfied with this album.



Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:51 am

Ride for Revenge - Wisdom of the Few LP 2009

So I bought this LP and have been listening to their entire recorded output pretty hard the past couple of days. Super addictive stuff these guys. The name first caught my eye as it reminded me of Manowar! But this is far from the bare chested kings of Epic Heavy Metal. This is primordial Black Metal from the swamps. Basically a 2 piece: drum & bass duo (yes! I always love DnB combos!) playing a simplified groove infused style of BM like none I've heard before. They prove that you don't need to go 'all out' in order to stand out as an original in BM. There is still room for experimentation, even in the most simple forms of music. Most songs evolve around a single repetitive beat and a heavy ass bass line that lies somewhere between Black/Death and Doom. Its strikingly groovy though and some of the beats bring to mind a primitive form of a HipHop beat...yeah no shit! Some of their songs also add a touch of warped synths to enhance the atmosphere of an already demented song. Each song is like a pretty little snowflake too...following a pattern of its own design. To an untrained ear it might all come off sounding kind of samey but each track really does have its own brainsick personality. I'd also say that each release they put out, be it a split, an EP or full length is also quite varied in sound. Still distinctly RfR but you never quite know what you are going to get from one recording to the next. This album here has a purposefully blown out sound with mass treble on the ear splitting cymbal strokes and Dub-y snare sound that almost sounds mechanical. They also indulge in some pieces that are even further out there in the realms of experimentation; tracks like "Key of Knowledge" for example. But these cuts never sound out of place nor do they detract from the entirety of the album. These deviations seem to make perfect sense side by side with the rest of the beat driven numbers. Ride for Revenge bring to mind Black Metal the way is used to be during the early 90s, when a lot of young and underdeveloped bands came off sounding naive, awkward, and hard to digest (Bestial Summoning, Abruptum, Beherit, to name a few.) But thats what made it so good back then, BECAUSE the music wasn't for everyone! And Ride for Revenge is indeed a band that is definitely NOT for everyone (and thank goodness!), but they are for me!


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