Black Spirituals – “Radiant”

With Of Deconstruction, Oakland free improvisation duo Black Spirituals has delivered one of the year’s greatest potpourri albums. Bassist and electronics operator Zachary James Watkins and percussionist Marshall Trammell found each of the album’s three substantial pieces on simple and vague grooves, exploring every bit of space they have to offer. Above, check out 20-minute opener “Radiant,” which rides modulated bass riffs, flourishes of static noise, and skittering drum fills through countless phases. Its effortless fusion of such styles as noise rock, avant-garde metal, EAI, free-jazz, and freaking cumbia, makes this perhaps the most expressive rock project I’ve heard all year. Enjoy!

Of Deconstruction is out now via SIGE Records. Although this is only Black Spirituals’ debut, they have apparently already garnered the attention of eminent electronic art musician and theorist Pauline Oliveros, who contributes a quote to the album’s Bandcamp page. Way to go!

Megaton Leviathan – Past 21: Beyond The Arctic Cell

On their latest record, Megaton Leviathan fuses doom metal with post-rock.

Sterilizer – Self-Titled

With Sterilizer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Brandon Duncan explores some incredibly harsh industrial metal.

YUNOREVIEW: NOVEMBER 2014

The magical monthly segment where I briefly touch down on a gauntlet of albums I didn’t get a chance to review this past month. These are just my short, straightforward, passionate, biased opinions.

These are the albums I touch down on:
Killjoy Club – Reindeer Games
Grouper – Ruins
Wiley – Snakes & Ladders
This Will Destroy You – Another Language
Cannibal Corpse – A Skeletal Domain
Gerard Way – Hesitant Alien
Twin Peaks – Wild Onion
Nachtmystium – The World We Left Behind
At The Gates – At War With Reality
The Contortionist – Language
Jessie Ware – Tough Love

Beyond Creation – Earthborn Evolution

I’m no technical death metal fiend, but I’ve been warming up to the new Beyond Creation album lately, and I’m really liking what I’m hearing. These guys dropped a debut album in 2011, but Season of Mist reissuing the record in 2013 gave the band some serious momentum.

It’s not hard to figure out why a label like SoM would salivate at the prospect of working with a band like this. The playing maybe be flashy, but the writing being executed here incredibly catchy and tasteful. Not only that, but the band’s incorporation of fretless bass leads to a sound unlike any relevant technical death metal act out there today.

It’s great to hear bass playing such a pivotal role in a genre where it’s typically tacked on in the background. Plus, the fretless’ fluid, smooth tone brings finesse to a metal style that is typically a little too rigid for my ears.

I could go on, but I’d rather save something for the review, ya know? Stream Beyond Creation’s sophomore album via the widget above, and enjoy!

Sterilizer – Self-Titled

Ready yourself for some of the most crushing, distorted industrial metal you’ll hear this year! It comes from a one-man project by the name of Sterilizer, and this new self-titled album has some fantastically visceral riffs and drum beats all over it–even the instrumental tracks stay pretty engaging despite the lack of a lead vocal.

Hellish, rigid, and merciless: This is industrial distilled to its core elements, and then executing them immaculately.

Child Abuse – “Straight Out Of Compton”

Stream / Download: Child Abuse – “Straight Out Of Compton”

As is the case with most avant-garde, noisy, progressive rock bands, you either get it or you don’t. Child Abuse leaves many who stumble upon the name wondering what on earth they could sound like, and I’m sure most check out one song and stop right there. Often, the bizarre, brutal, start-stop thrashing sound this band puts out leaves me sweating, a little scared.

As the name would suggest, Child Abuse is violent, almost to the point of being taboo. This violence is so unlike what one would find in metal or punk–the expected, almost controlled violence of a misunderstood teenager. Child Abuse’s sound is the worldly violence which surrounds us, making it like the soundtrack to Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, a story of delinquents, psychos and terror-mongers. Trouble in Paradise is tighter than previous albums, as well as a little more thought-out, but the energy and horror is still as in-your-face as before. With gnarled, growling vocals, peculiar rhythms and harsh but almost futuristic melodies; the album causes intentional emotional discomfort, and if that’s your thing, you’re in for a treat.

Try a track from the album above, and enjoy!

- Fin Worrall

Wizard Rifle – Here in the Deadlights

With the new addition of a bassist filling the sound of Here in the Deadlights, Portland trio Wizard Rifle seems to finally be on their way to some international recognition. Although not the heaviest, nor the most progressive, nor even the most unique sounding heavy rock group, Wizard Rifle draws their influence from several 70s rock and punk bands, which neatly arranges itself into a thick mesh of sound, founded mostly on the energetic dual singing and playing from drummer Sam Ford and guitarist Max Dameron. If one thing can be said, these guys are seriously tight, bouncing from riff to riff, dynamic to dynamic, with as much ease as such a noisy plethora of sonance will allow. Often compared to King Crimson or Misfits, Here in the Deadlights sounds more like an early Uriah Heep album, sludgy, but playing heavily with volume and movement. Track after track seems to be an epic little escapade in its own right, building up into a crescendo of churning guitar lines and drum riffs, moving inch by careful inch towards the refined heavy rock sound they constantly seem to be searching for.

- Fin Worrall

Slipknot – .5: The Gray Chapter

I travel down memory lane a little bit with a Slipknot review.

Megaton Leviathan – Past 21 Beyond the Arctic Cell

Megaton Leviathan is the Portland-based musical project of multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Andrew James Costa. Back in September, the act put out its sophomore full-length Past 21 Beyond the Arctic Cell, which consists of three lumbering pieces that smack of Godspeed You! Black Emperor with stoner rock and doom metal infusions. With this album, Megaton Leviathan comes off kind of like a bolder and more extravagant Pallbearer, so if you have the same reservations about that band as we’ve had, you may well come away from this project very satisfied.

Past 21 Beyond the Arctic Cell is out now via Seventh Rule.