Friday, July 30, 2010

Pale Creation - s/t 7" (Review)

When I heard that Pale Creation were about to release a new 7", I was more than stoked. I mean their last record was released in the last century, who would expect to get the chance to listen to new Pale Creation songs at all? Not me. And of course my expectations were quite high - to me, the Twilight full length is one of the most outstanding records of the 90ies. Surely rooted in Clevelands Hardcore scene, Pale Creation managed to create something really unique. It's not just Hardcore mixed with Metal, so way deeper than that. I'm not sure if Neurosis was an influence, but I think the comparison is not too odd. The factor that really made me an Pale Creation addict are the guitar solos: They're not of the Thrashy kind like those of Integrity for example (which are, of course, awesome as well), but more atmospheric, with loads of delay onto them, and a very smooth neck-humbucker sound. It's the kind of solos that let you shiver. 
To make a long story short: the new 7" doesn't sound exactly like the Twilight record, which isn't too surprising when you consider the timespan in between, it sounds different but still awesome. I'd say it's more a mix of the (split-) 7"s and the full length, soundwise, and the songs are just plain great, really, there's not much more to say about it. The song on the A-side, "Rose Colored Haze", comes with an super spheric intro, then the guitars all of a sudden start, and you get washed away by a whirl of harsh vocals, double bass, and the heaviest riffs pressed onto vinyl in 2010. The solo ain't missing as well and it completes the song in a way only Pale Creation solos can. The song on the B-side, "Wake Of temptation" starts calm, with sung (!) vocals, and leads to the chorus, where Dwid Hellion is doing guest vocals. And whereas I still don't like his vocals on the new Integrity full length, here he's doing an awesome job. All in all, I think "Wake Of Temptation" is arguably Pale Creation's best song ever, and for damn sure the best song released in 2010 so far. Seriously, I'm addicted to this song. It's emotive, it creates a tense atmosphere, it's heavy, dark... I don't know, it's hard to describe music in words. Just go get this 7", and if it's the only 7" you buy this year, so be it. There's not likely anything better to come. 

Pale Creation:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Black Breath - Heavy Breathing

Black Breath got my attention sometime last year, when they got featured in the same fanzine like my own band. They had one record out, "Razor To Oblivion", a 10" I purchased shortly afterwards. A heavy, solid record for everyone who likes rough Hardcore and Swedish Deathmetal (so obviously this record was made for me, haha), giving you a good 50/50 mix of both genres. 
Their new record entitled "Heavy Breathing" was released via Southern Lord Records, somehow I missed to order it directly, so one day I checked the SL-site again when the vinyl version's gonna be released, and found out it was already sold out. Bummer. But Per Koro Records from Germany got some copies shortly afterwards, so I finally got mine. And, as you've probably heard somewhere else, this record is fucking awesome. It leans definetely more towards early Swedish Death Metal, sound- and songwise, a.k.a. Entombed "Left Hand Path" era, Dismember "Like an everflowing stream" era, or, not so Swedish but for sure influental for those, Autopsy. Heavy, groovy Death Metal riffs, uptempo beats but not ridiculously fast, that's the way it goes. Add a good dose of Motörhead and Discharge, put a Boss HM-2 pedal between guitar and the old Marshall, there you go: Black Breath. The vocals are the main factor reminiscent of Hardcore, but don't get me wrong: "Heavy Breathing" for sure eyes more towards Metal than the previous record. 
The first Black Breath full length should complement everybody's record collection (if available haha) who likes his Death Metal "Stockholmish", his Hardcore raw and/or his hair long. Amazing record that leaves me longing for more. 

Black Breath:

Southern Lord Records

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Agalloch - Wooden Box 7xLP

I've waited quite a long time for this. But after I saw the massive box, I knew it was worth it. What more can I say, check out the pictures, and if you haven't yet, check out Agalloch, especially their latest record, "Ashes against the grain".

The box
Logo detail

The open box

Booklet (contains all lyrics) detail

Booklet detail


The four records (three of them are double LPs)

Box detail

Call me a nerd, I think it's beautiful and totally worth its price. 
The box is exclusively available through the Viva Hate Records webstore.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Integrity - The Blackest Curse (Review)

The latest Integrity output called "The Blackest Curse" was maybe one of the most anticipated records in 2010. And 2009. And 2008, or since the date it was scheduled for the first time, when ever that was. Because of the growing attention towards the classic "Holy-Terror"-sound (whatever that term means, nobody really seems to know that, even bands that use that term to describe themselves don't know it; I'd really like to know what the idea behind Holy Terrorism is, if there really is one) during the last few years, a lot of people look at the originators Integrity and what they are doing within this sub-sub-genre. And, to be honest, I was quite curious myself. Would Dwid surprise/piss off a lot of people again by doing something different like Integrity 2000, would Integrity do a second "To Die For" record, or would they even go for a more "classic" Integrity sound à la "Humanity Is The Devil"? The truth lies in between the latter two options. The riffs are huge, the solos are awesome, the songs are all heavy and dark, in general they are a lot more raw and unpolished than those on "To Die For" - of course, due to the awesome, rough production, that even adds a punk-feeling to the sound. So song-wise, "The Blackest Curse" is definetely a winner. But not everything's good about this record: the total lack of any information about who actually played on that record, no lyrics, no credits, just nothing, could be interpreted as the artist's idea of focusing the listener to the music, but basically it pisses me off. I mean I'm not a fan of liner notes that are longer than the lyrics themselves, nor of never ending thanks lists, and I see that those would be pretty displaced in an Integrity record anyway. But at least some basic information about the record would have been fine, if all records I buy would be like this one I'd stop paying for them and download everything. I mean if you don't miss anything by downloading a record instead of buying it, why do it then? But the fact that makes "The Blackest Curse" just a good, and not an awesome record is Dwid's vocal performance. The vocals are monotone, too deep, and way too gargling, in a way they even sound a bit bored, you know, just sung somehow - no comparison to the grandness of the early Integrity recordings. After a while I really feel annoyed - and keep in mind, this is written by someone who "likes" the vocals on Napalm Death's "Enslavement" record for example.
To sum it up, if you dig the early records by this band, and don't need a super high-end sound like they had on "To Die For", you'll probably like "The Blackes Curse". But because of the substandard vocals and the lack of information I'd only give this record a 7 out of 10.

Integrity on myspace
Deathwish Records