Friday, September 17, 2010

Starkweather - This Sheltering Night (Review)

Most of the time you pick up a record, listen to it two or three times, and maybe like it. You remember every song after the first listening, have your favourite ones after the second time, maybe already know some of the words. You understand the song structures, the riffs, the composition, if you like the record it gives you a good feeling. But sometimes you listen to a record that's very different - the music that beats down on you is so complex it's hard to follow the songs, with a shitload of riffs is packed into every single song, when you listen to the record for the first time you turn it off after three tracks because you can't handle it. If you knew Starkweather before their latest record on Deathwish (they're already around since 1989), you know what kind of record "This Sheltering Night" is: a complex, harsh, uncomfortable one. By the way, props go out to Deathwish for releasing awesome records like this and not only mediocre crap like Killing The Dream. So I think in a way Starkweather translated 70ies Prog-Rock à la King Crimson into (Post-)Metal, with all its weird riffs, chords, time signatures and guitar leads, all very heavy and very, very dark. The most outstanding thing about Starkweather is (and always were) the vocals though. It is simply unbelievable how one person can come up with so many different voices (and not sounding like someone who tries to fake them). From sung vocals to nearly guttural ones, screaming, whispering, it's all there and all good. As good as it is, I have to make clear that "This Sheltering Night" is definetely a record that demands a lot of time. I listened to it for quite some time now and still discover new aspects, new layers of guitar underneath the riff-storm on top or new sick breaks I haven't perceived before. So if you like to spend a lot of time with one and the same record, and wish not to get bored after two days, check out "This Sheltering Night", if you're looking for your rather generic Hardcore or Metal record, better stay away from this one.

Starkweather on myspace

Pulling Teeth/Shin To Shin split 7" (Review)

When I read the news that Aaron Melnick of Integrity/In Cold Blood fame would release a split 7" with his new band Shin To Shin and Pulling Teeth on the flipside I was so amazed I couldn't sleep for three days. Aaron Melnick is definetely in the 5 of the most influental guitarists for me - I stopped counting the riffs I stole from him. As you might guess after this introduction, I really expected A LOT from Shin To Shin. But when I listened to one of the tracks online as soon as possible, I was quite disappointed. On the one hand I probably expected to much, on the other hand I didn't really know what kind of sound to expect. Of course I ordered the 7" anyway, and after it took a few spins on my record player I had to reconsider my opinion. I think what turned me off the first time was the fact that Shin To Shin's riffs aren't in the fashion of Melnicks "early works". The music hasn't too much to do with the classic Clevo-Hardcore sound, but, in my opinion, a whole lot with first wave Black Metal, think of bands like Hellhammer, early Celtic Frost and, most of all, early Venom. This, a little bit of Motörhead'ish rock and Discharge's wall-of-sound brutality is what Shin To Shin sound like, well, at least in my ears. And the more often I listen to it, the better I like it. It's different, it's not very Hardcore'ish, but it's hard, and that's the important thing isn't it?
On the flipside, like I mentioned before, Pulling Teeth. This song was already avaible online for quite some time, sounds like Slayer meets Integrity and is awesome, like all of their stuff. Nothing more to say. Oh well, one more thing: the artwork sucks, what's the matter with a bunch of bugs? I don't get it.

A389 Records

Hatewaves - Taste The Beast (Review)

A while ago I received a five-7"-pre-order-package from A389 Records (what else...), but due to the fact that I fall asleep after 30 minutes at most after I come home from work, I haven't found the time to review that stuff. And if I keep up this rate I'll have all five 7"s reviewed in January 2011. Nice. Anyway, I'll start with the Hatewaves 7" because of all records in the package I like this one best. Hatewaves is another band with Dom from Pulling Teeth/A389 Records on guitar, so I knew already beforehand that this record wouldn't suck. Somehow this band reminds me of a faster version of Until The End, especially the style of the (backing) vocals, the production and, most of all, the super heavy moshparts. But don't expect this "mosh part during another mosh part"-thing Until The End celebrated in excess, Hatewaves keep it rather short, but nonetheless heavy. Throw in a few blast beats here and there, pissed-off lyrics (on this record is the first anti-facebook-song I know...), a bunch of catchy sing-alongs ("there's nothing free but death and air, I pay no taxes I refuse to share" <= I've had these lines in my head now for weeks) and you'll get a quite amazing Hardcore record. By the way, on the label's website it says "Brutal, stupid and awesome grind/hardcore". Now it's time for me to practise spin kicks. 

Hatewaves on