Music Video Wrapup by orlandooom407

This segment addresses the memorable music videos that have debuted in the last two weeks. I’ll start doing this weekly, but the first will play a bit of catch up.

Code Orange Kids are a new favorite of mine, and their tenacity is best captured by film maker Max Moore. The bewildering shot sequences of orange hands crawling through grime enhance the filthy fervor the quartet embodies.

Even though I’ve noticed a lot of people are burned out on The Sword I think this video marks an important statement from doom/sludge/stoner bands. I don’t think I’ve seen too many lyric videos that didn’t focus on boy band metalcore. Kudos to the Sabbath worshippers.

If you know of Red Fang you’ve probably watched their wide array of music videos some have largely attributed to their over night success. This video showcases the wild live experience RF embraces without excluding the expected silliness.

Holy flying fetuses Batman! Rwake pulls out the big guns in this extremely graphic montage depicting the destruction of several unidentifiable unborn mammalian quadruped. This one reminds me of a nightmare I had about high school biology once.

The most recently hosted video of the week belongs to Pig Destroyer in support of their newest LP Book Burner. The savagery of placing artillery in the hands of knuckle draggers is depicted here with a wonderful array of psychedelic color variety. You’ll be seein’ purple and green for the next few minutes.

Finally we’ve got Meshuggah’s newest courtesy of Scion AV. This one goes out to Leif Olson and his magic hands with the tattoo gun.

Have a great weekend ya’ll!

Follow Jared Oates Haggard on Twitter.

– Jared Oates Haggard


Javier Reyes Speaks Out On His Arrest by endlessgonzo

via LambGoat today:

“I would like to personally apologize for canceling the Toronto show last night. I can explain. After the Boston show on May 26th, I was unlawfully arrested by the Boston Police Department. I had to return to Boston on May 30th for court. As much as we had looked forward to playing Toronto again, there was nothing I could do other than cancel the show and return to Boston to avoid having an arrest warrant filed against me.
I have included a complaint letter a friend/witness has written and sent to the Boston Police. It explains in more detail about the appalling and absurd encounter that occurred that evening. Again, to all our fans in Toronto, I am truly sorry for cancelling the show.”

Reyes includes a letter from his friend and eyewitness detailing the incident in the full article above. Any potential case of police misconduct is important to make known, especially recently.  Share this and blow it up.

[Prog or Steaming Log?] Skyharbor – Blinding White Noise by orlandooom407

Today I took a look into Jhumpa Lahiri‘s metal playlist and discovered newcomers Skyharbor debuting their first record on the globe trotting Basick Records. I’m still relatively unfamiliar with Basick’s catalog aside from Aliases which features Pin from the unfortunately inactive Sikth. If you’re anything like me, albeit obsessed with genuinely progressive metal, this one might take a minute to grow on you if at all. A vast array of aural theatrics coalesces in, out, up, and then down soaring over a constant chonga chong chong. I don’t find this record to elicit anything progressive from a vocal angle either, but then again I don’t think the band actually has an assigned vocalist as duties are done by two guests. The guitar work, when it’s not spacing out on sparse digitized harmonies, does stand out as the one redeeming quality other than the consistent percussive attacks. I feel they went a bit overboard on the textural electronics and the sounds that were selected don’t really come with much structural bite. The devolution into tinges of modulation and wobbling didn’t make me cringe, but definitely inspired a yawn. I think that with bands like this (I use analogous language because  we’re seeing the introduction of a new genre: Young Adult Progressive Metal. In other words it’s like calling both Negative Approach and Asking Alexandria “hardcore”, even though they sound absolutely nothing alike. By denoting that it’s for young adult’s I feel like this band would garner more success and less hateful critics. Bands like this need to exist for a pipe dream that: accessible music has the potential to bring fans towards something they’ll find meaningful in the grand scheme (maybe).

This record was written to incur a financial gain, down to it’s unbelievably accessible song writing and predictably weak guitar tones. This band doesn’t progress a genre, or music as a whole: it’s pandering to a generation of addled Alternative Press junkies. Just because you write a record with some poly-rhythms you heard on a Sumerian and/or Rise Records release doesn’t make you the next Al Di Meola. Oh yeah, and Marty Friedman does a guest spot on this record for some stupid reason. I dunno, seems a bit arrogant for your first release having former members of Megadeth record a single solo on your record.

FINAL VERDICT – Not quite log, just Young Adult Prog.

– Jared Oates

[Prog or Steamy Log?] I Saw The Deep – Astronavigation by orlandooom407

When diving into the dreams of a peacock we uncovered a higher life form”

Prog rock isn’t dead although some critics attest that with the inception of Djent progressive music has taken the path bent on catering to adolescents and their infernally lean guitar tones. I Saw The Deep keeps it real by effectively bearing a homage to 90’s/earl 2000’s prog acts like The Mars Volta and Tool without adhering to the mythic Clear Channel Checklist a band must embody to receive radio play in North America. Some parts even spark a fleeting nod to Led Zeppelin. By having influential transperancy in order, dedication to excessive practice and employing welcoming vague narrative have satisfied all the criteria to reach prog rock’s real audience: nerds. The cool thing about having an legion of buddy holly bumping dorks is that it forces the band to develop intricate harmonies and riffs that are neigh impossible to count from a introductory listen. You know, for cred. ISTD, while creating an odd aesthetic as an acronym, satisfies both aforementioned criteria with dizzying precision. Their selection of tonal grit leaves gratuitous advantageous space for ITSD to avoid a hasty djenty condemnation. This record was nearly my favorite for March, but the vocals seem to distract from the instrumentation. I feel with the vocal processing included the dynamic would enhance itself with a more subtle mix. They’ve still earned the title of PROG (rock) and an honorable mention for my favorites of 2012 bringing my list to:

(January)  Alcest Les Voyages De L’âme

(February)  BIIPIIGWAN Nibaak EP

(March) Wizard Rifle Speak Loud Say Nothing

Honorable Mentions:

Dodecahedron S/T

Sigh In Somniphobia

I Saw The Deep Astronavigation

Click here to follow I Saw The Deep on Facebook.

– Jarad Oates Haggard

Meshuggah – KOLOSS by orlandooom407

Meshuggah are a band that hopefully needs no introduction, having been around since the last Ice Age as far as modern metal is concerned. I’m not normally attracted to heavily technical metal, but Meshuggah’s focus on groove and obsession with herking, jerking time signature changes immediately caught my attention long ago when I first heard a live version of I. These mad metallic Swedes have been beating people’s skulls to 3.14/8 time with consistent quality as well, making this newest release something I looked forward to despite having skipped obZen completely.

On this release, Meshuggah seem to have stripped away a lot of what made their earlier releases so insular. No longer do songs carry the rhythm of a malfunctioning industrial thresher, aiming for more conventional rhythms with a severe uptick on direct brutality. A lot of moments still carry Meshuggah’s traditional polyrhythmic esotericism, but I feel like these guys sought to come full circle and put out something that didn’t fuck around as much as say, Catch Thirtythree did. No, Meshuggah is now more interested in getting right in your head, writing some amazing and seriously abrasive riffs, especially on songs like “Swarm” and “I Am Colossus.”  “The Demon’s Name Is Surveillance” is my favorite track by far, with its relentless riff fury and no-bullshit double bass dragging you by the earlobe through all of its four and a half minutes.

Although I’ll admit I miss their unique obsession and gift for making grooves that brought to mind visions of some sort of rusty rock n’ roll robot front row at a Slayer concert, I can’t deny their continued ability to shred and pummel through every minute of an album and still have it turn out listenable. Sure, old women and Republicans will run for the hills after a few minutes, but anyone with any sort of interest in technical metal will be wetting their pants with joy. Take my recommendation of this album to heart, considering my usual tastes reside with bands whose tempos barely rise above “buttered glacier.”

Click here to stream KOLOSS in it’s entirety.

– Chris Nunez

Prog or Steaming Log? Escher – S/T EP by orlandooom407

Time for another new segment specific to progressive metal. I call it: Prog or Steaming Log? Due to the overwhelming amount of incorrectly depicted progressive metal bands that are actually just alternative press trash attempting to usurp another demographic I wanted to objectively evaluate releases that I’m sent/find. I attribute this phenomenon to the lack of creativity amongst suburban white kids, I say kids because isn’t that the ultimate dream of every prefixcore band, to stay relevant, nineteen and a size 26 waist forever? Looking at Escher, from Raleigh North Carolina, I’m presented with a challenge. At first look the cover reminds me of how the Cartoon Network show Chowder and the way characters colors move like this.

I discovered Escher this morning while casually browsing some popular website on the internet. The post caught my attention because the title cited that this band SOUNDS LIKE (because everyone needs a warning before they listen) Sikth, Periphery and Between the Buried and Me. Seems standard enough, outside of Periphery I admit that Sikth and BTBAM are two of my influences personally as a musician. What I found after the first couple of seconds was a shrill guitar lead with tone equivocal to a half melted ColecoVision joined by a series of drum fills and disjointed nearly inaudible gitfiddle rhythms. It’s definitely not easy to count though, and I found myself having to rewind to fully comprehend the time changes amidst the jumble of elicited sounds. I’m not sure what’s going on vocally here either, because at moments vocalist James Broadhead catches a nasty pedantic wail that is quickly overshadowed by it’s lack of furious consistency. He’s using so many different voices in rapid succession. I feel that if each vocal tone was organized in a more consistent fashion he could exude a more powerful delivery. That way different muscles would impart the physical strain.

Second track. There’s that distracting lead tone again, but this time it doesn’t overstay it’s welcome before the breakdown. I feel The Faceless influence here more so than anywhere else on the record, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing depending on the listener. This track also contains wandering spoken word vocals, but the language doesn’t help to engage the listener (too many pronouns altogether). I’ll mention that with a record like this, though, lyrics fall in the arbitrary zone. They conclude with a  calming instrumental section that was the most innovative organization yet. Going for the brief syncopated lead out rather than a predictable cheesy fade out is always a good decision. So far, no complaisant macho chugging. Thumbs up.

Track 3, entitled “Nerve Damage” i- uh-oh. Dissonance time. This could’ve gone many ways, most of them would’ve forced my stomach into turbulence. I’m thankful that these dudes broke into a unmemorable solo rather than another brutal down. The cold war era machinery guitar tone still distracts me three tracks in and I still can’t really hear the rhythm guitars, or the bass.  I assume this was double tracked too since there is only one guitar player listed on their roster. Climactic reprise was this song’s saving throw. Following the solo similar to a  swarm of infuriated 56k modem bees they close with a segue into some guttural vocals and jerking kick pedal patterns. All of this accompanied by more love/hate guitar digs. Fans of The Arusha Accord will definitely get their fix from “Nerve Damage”.

Fourth track. More unintelligible talking through a guitar filter. The guitar(s) are maintaining their off again on again style until the complete slow down. Leads are kicked up here with some palpable flange tinted atmosphere. Sadly, textural bliss is short lived, and I’m thrown headlong into a gelatinous tank of overly mixed solos led by more leading guttural vocals. I turned it off at the start off another breakdown.

What was Prog: Seamless time changes, impressive and athletic percussion, dynamic song arrangement

What was Steaming Log: Inconsistent vocal tenacity, overindulgent solo arrangement, spoken vocals into filter

Overall, I didn’t want to turn this off until the last minute. This is a strong and thought out freshman release, so while my criticism might seem excessive I am interested in hearing future releases from Escher. Definite room for growth and improvement here so:

FINAL RULING: “Not quite prog, but not quite hot steamy log”

Check out Escher’s self-titled EP on their Bandcamp available for a FREE download.

Click here to check out Escher on Facebook.

– Jared Oates Haggard