Untitled Metal Column: Volume 5 (Monuments, The Amanuensis)

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The next evolution of djent is here. Monuments latest album, The Amanuensis, is a blistering aural assault of machine gun riffs, technical mastery, and vocals that soar above the stratosphere only to strike down with visceral intensity at a moments notice.

From the instant “I, The Creator” fades in fans should already know they’re in for a crispy, metallic treat. Equal parts Meshuggah with hints of Roadrunner Records upstarts Five Pointe O while vocalist Chris Barretto channels Ra’s Sahaj Ticotin during meloidic moments and Threat Signal’s Jon Howard and Phil Anselmo at Monuments most animalistic times.

“Origin of Escape” slaughters senses next with an acoustic opening acting as a facade before the mayhem begins while “Atlas” is a little more straight up and eases on the tempo but not the force with which the message is delivered. “Quasimodo” is just a gorilla of a song that has John Browne and Olly Steele proving their guitar prowess on The Amanuensis once again.

Then there’s songs like the odd “Saga City” which starts, um, well you just have to hear it. From there it progresses into a sweet little Pop jam until the inevitable metal maelstrom with Adam Swan’s divine bass strums peaking in throughout. But if you want even more range, skip directly to Genesis-like closer “Samsara”. Wow. And lest we forget drummer Mike Malyan who slays on the hyper-aggressive “Jinn”, pummels with tribal aplomb on “I, The Destroyer”, and basically kills on every song here.

If you like progressive metal, you like it heavy, and you’re looking for a new sound this summer then be sure to pick up Monuments The Amanuensis today!

The Amanuensis is out through Century Media Records now. Pre-orders are available here.

 

1000Mods release Vultures, the world quakes.

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Vultures, by Greece’s 1000Mods, is filled with that kind of Wretch lo-fi aesthetic but produced in the Vista Chino era. “Claws” is a great example of that (Especially with an ending reminiscent of “Supa Scoopa and Mighty Scoop”).

But I digress.

1000mods is by no means a carbon copy Kyuss clone. These heavy rockers rise above the sophomore slump on Vultures with an album that is miles away from their stunning debut , Super Van Vacation. Experimenting more and expanding upon their sound (“Horses’ Green” alone blows apart the majority of SVV with its’ massive grooves) at greater lengths, Vultures preys upon all other posers and rises above to forge something new.

Giannis  and George blues soaked guitars on “She” are high points until their mastery of the instrument and the foundation of the feeling is established during the title track. Add bassist/vocalist Danni to the mix with Labros drumming his ass off and 1000Mods is THE veritable stoner rock psychedelic force to be reckoned with in the new age.

And then “Modesty” chimes in sounding like the bastard child of Kyuss and Clutch and all bets are off. Until the beyond epic instrumental “Reverb Of The New World” kicks in, that is (Just wait until the five and a half minute mark but make sure your seat belt is buckled before you hit that point).

Vultures is out now through The Lab Recs. Do yourself and buy yours here now.

Unstoppable Death Machines provide some “Single Clarity” on newest single!

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I don’t think there’s ever been a name more fitting for a band and the music they create then “Unstoppable Death Machines”. On their upcoming 12″, “Single Clarity”, the brothers Tucci yield impeccable skill on a completely improvised track that doesn’t relent for a second of its’ almost ten minute run time.

It’s a barrage of guitars and drums that hit like a nuclear bomb from second one. Billy Tucci’s playing is frenetic yet almost a metronome in spots with a sound reminiscent of Lars’ “trash can” overproduced St. Anger bullshit but, y’know, actually good. When the vocals eventually saunter in around the three minute mark, it’s like Jello Biafra is singing at you.

Take all the modern duos out today, throw ’em in a blender, and you still wouldn’t have the creativity and ferocity that Unstoppable Death Machines create on “Single Clarity” alone.

Need I say more?

“Single Clarity” is available on July 15th through Beat Imprint. Pre-order it here, and hey, the digital track is only a buck. What have you got to lose?

Lazer/Wulf bring some “thinking man’s metal” on The Beast of Left and Right

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Holy crap! Behold excellence! Are you still not feeling Mastodon’s evolution? The good news is that Lazer/Wulf is here to comfort you during this difficult time.  Some Metallica, some Masto, some Kylesa (They are on Retro Futurist after all), and a little bit of the (melvins) on speed make for a very interesting musical concoction.

Set aside all the aspects of The Beast of Left and Right that make it technically great and go with this: if you like to rock the eff out then this is the only record you need to own this year.

Okay, now back to the brilliant parts.

Nothing about this record is conventional which makes it even more, ahem, brilliant (Sorry, it’s true!). In some spots there’s no song structure but it still works so freaking well. Take opener “Choose Again (Right Path)”. Sean Peiffer, Bryan Aiken, and Brad Rice just come at you full force with their bass, guitar, and drum attacks respectively. When you expect the song to “start” after such an epic intro, it doesn’t. But then there’s a breakdown around the minute and a half mark. Then it gets heavier and a little mellow and then there’s some vocals around the six and a half minute mark. Makes no sense but is pulled off spectacularly.

“Lagarto” is a thunderous three and a half minute sonic vortex of amped up goodness with a sick bass solo leading to an all out groovefest. “A Conflict of Memory” is a spacey little ditty with hints of Tool and staccato bursts of guitar fury. “Beast Reality (Center Piece)” brings in some familiar themes as does “Choose Again (Left Path)” making for a monstrous second half.

Some bands are just too smart for their own good. Gods among men? Maybe. Luckily, you don’t have to be a member of Mensa to enjoy The Beast of Left and Right. You just have to like good music.

The Beast of Left and Right is out on July 15th through Retro Futurist.

 

Video View: Sex Hands, “Pivot”

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In the all encompassing category of “Don’t judge a book by its’ cover”, Sex Hands come out of left field with “Pivot”, reminding listeners of Caesars’ raucous “Jerk It Out” albeit without that organ. It’s a wacky video (Those eyes! Mad psychedelia!) for two solid minutes of jangly guitars, dreamy hooks , and solid beats on a song which may or may not be inspired by a particular Friends episode (It’s totally not. I think).

Anyway, Sex Hands might not be a household name on theses shores yet but with “Pivot” and their debut full-length right around the corner that’s going to change real soon.

Sex Hands debut album, Pleh, is out on July 28th through Faux Discx and Negative Space. Pre-order here and get an immediate download of “Pivot” as well!

 

Raum Kingdom deliver on debut EP!

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If Maynard James Kingdom fronted Neurosis the end result might be Raum Kingdom.  On their self-titled debut EP, Raum Kingdom set the bar very high as to what’s to come with five songs that are unrelentingly melodic yet intensely brutal.

Forget Isis. Forget Pelican. Raum Kingdom is the evolution you’re looking for. Equal parts Neurosis and Tool (Especially on “This Sullen Hope”), Raum Kingdom incite the kind of slow burn riot fans of that genre (and beyond) have been hoping for.

“Wounds” is a visceral monstrosity of a song opening the floodgates of what’s to come with vocalist Dave Lee’s screeches cutting through Andrew Colohan’s epic riffing and Mark Gilchrist’s thunderous, oceanic drum bashing. “Barren Objects” settles into a softer groove before a wall of noise opens up underneath Lee’s surprisingly soft whimpers while bassist Ronan Connor rumbles below.

This is just three of the five, people! To really experience Raum Kingdom, you need to sit down and really listen from beginning to end. Essential listening in 2014? Definitely.

Raum Kingdom is out now. Get yours here.

 

Information Society say _hello world again this fall with new album!

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I was never a fan of Information Society during their beginnings and perhaps that’s a good thing. The best thing I could recommend when venturing into  _hello world is to come in with a fresh perspective and an open mind. If you do, you’re bound to be blown away. Chances are, if you do go in familiar with InSoc and with high expectations the results will be the same.

First off, how can anyone not love an album that has a track centered around a Schwarzenegger line from Total Recall? That’s “The Prize” for you, a slamming dance track with a chorus that’s sure to set clubs ablaze this summer. As a whole, _hello world is this glorious slab of new world disorder that’s equal parts Electro, New Wave, New Synth, Synth-Pop…look, it’s just awesome, okay? There’s bits for fans in all wakes of life here bringing to mind modern electroluminaries like The Faint, Bright Light Bright Light, and Pet Shop Boys. Speaking of Nebraska’s favorite sons: If you like The Faint’s swagger but feel they’re a little too out there then check out “Where Were You” while “Get Back” is a neat little amalgamation of VNV Nation and some of the more contemporary pop hits out today (Think Lady Gaga).

If you’re looking for nostalgia, then how about a Devo cover? “Beautiful World” even features Gerald V Casale and is a hyper-stylized refurbishing of a new wave classic. Further on, songs like the floor throbbing “Let It Burn” or guitar driven opener “Land Of The Blind” are constant reminders of how vital and relevant Information Society is thirty plus years into their career.

_hello world is out on September 23rd through HAKATAK International/MVD.

 

Chris Connelly: A Rock and Roll Fables Conversation

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“I think everyone will be delighted. It’s like me going to all my fans and, individually, giving each of them a bottle of assorted pills and a sack full of porn and hotel bar booze.  I do it for the kidz!”

And honestly, who doesn’t want that? In case you missed the headline, we’re talking to Chris Connelly: musician extraordinaire, author (Please check out the sublime Concrete, Bulletproof,  Invisible and Fried: My Life As a Revolting Cock if you’re a fan of the industrial scene), and record store guru (On his gig at Chicago based Reckless Records :”It is my day job, not my company. I would rather stay at home and sip single malt“). He’s a man of many hats and in his current project, Cocksure, Connelly will once again be be sporting that familiar cowboy hat which is sure to excite fans of his work with Al Jourgensen in the ’90’s.

“I wanted to do something that picked up where the Cocks left off…unfinished business from two decades ago. But I dislike nostalgia… and the old songs are the old songs, so I approached my friend Jason Novak, a very talented individual and asked if he could accommodate my idea” says Connelly about Cocksure, whose full-length debut TVMALSV is a rip roaring torrent of Revolting Cocks inspired industrial noise.

That’s where the comparisons should end, though, as Connelly is quick to point out: “We definitely wanted to reflect the good bits of the Cocks, but the sound needed updating. The aesthetic needed a bit of a kick in the nuts, to be honest.  It needed hardening and we needed to embrace the times we live in and not the dreadful 90’s”

To coincide with the album’s release on August 12th, Cocksure will be hitting the road for a slew of performances with Front 242 (Richard 23 actually guests on TVMALSV track “TKO Mindfuck”) like only they can: “Cocksure live? We are going to look like a very cute and sexy Sleigh Bells.  We are two desperately handsome young men who know all about showbiz, baby!  We will be doing select dates, not a full tour.  I still got an ankle bracelet and a bitch of a parole officer.”

Beyond that, Connelly mentions that the work of his that he’s most proud of “is always the latest one” making Cocksure required listening for fans of his and industrial music fans. However, if you’re looking for recommendations about bands in the current industrial “scene”, Connelly proves that he can still shock and surprise audiences: “I think modern hip hop has more in common. I love things like M.I.A. and Die Antwoord.”

And if that wasn’t enough Connelly for you this year, there’s also Bells Into Machines with Paul Barker in the pipeline (“We will talk about that when we’ve got a full length to show off”).

But for now, it’s all about Cocksure. TVMALSV will be uncaged through Metropolis Records on August 12th. You can pre-order yours here and find out more about Cocksure here.

Video View: Sego, “20 Years Tall”

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Utah by way of L.A. (where the band now call home), Sego is an interesting mix for the modern music age. Think Beck fronting Blankwave Arcade-era The Faint and you’ll have a small idea of what Sego is all about. At least on “20 Years Tall”. On the aforementioned single/video, Sego give listeners a rockin’ four minute ditty that’ll get your booty shakin’ and your head boppin’. Add some nice visuals layered on top of a party scene that could be paired with Every Time I Die’s recent clip for “Decayin With The Boys” and you have a recipe for success!

Check out the video for “20 Years Tall” below and stay in touch with Sego to get the latest on new music right here.