Saturday, April 29, 2006


I'll admit that I'm not the biggest fan of straight up Death metal. Not to take anything away from it but for the most part it's just not my thing. While I do find the ability to continually blast beat through an entire song pretty impressive it just gets a bit tedious after a while. In addition to the fact that I just can't get into the cookie monster vocals. Vader, however, while definitely promoting pretty much every quality that would classify them as a death metal band seem to bring just enough variety to the mix to elevate them to a different level. I mean, there's a reason they're celebrating their 20th anniversary this year.

I'm sure Poland is a really nice place to visit but frankly it's probably the last place you'd want to live if you were an aspiring metal musician. Considering the bands that have come from there over the last few years you're pretty much screwed unless you're confident enough to say that your music is genuinely bonkers. Even bands like Behemoth which I mean, let's be honest, sound a lot like Vader can still be huge just because hell, if you have the ability to sound like Vader then you're worth hearing. I'll save some other examples simply because they're worthy of their own posts.

If I was at all respectful I would profile a song pre 2004's Beast out of tribute to Doc, (Vader's drummer who recently passed away after a long struggle with drugs) and there's no denying that Doc was incredible but I'm moving forward here so we're going to look at the second song from Vader's newest EP called The Art of War.

This is the War is classic Vader ridiculousness. Seriously, as cool as this song is you can't help but chuckle a bit. In a way Vader is actually paying tribute to Doc's legacy these days by replacing him with what seems to be a robot. Have you heard that blast beat? Sweet Marie! For those who don't know what I mean just listen for the snare which is being played with one hand. Apparently the drummers name is Daray which doesn't really argue too much in favor of him being human. I'm even convinced that the cover of the EP is the new drummer. I was saying before that Vader somehow brings different things to their riffage that pushes them into a place that I find more interesting. In the case of this song you'll hear a break in the low muted part of the guitar riff to a higher two note slide(bad description? how's this - dunununuh wee-aaaa) it's when the vocals come in and it's cool and different. Not to mention a great ascending guitar part into the ever so classic wah soaked whammy pick tapped squealy lead.

Sidenote: Derek Roddy is also a robot

Friday, April 28, 2006


When a fellow bandmate brought these guys to our attention their music was like a swarm to some of us. We just couldn't get enough. Impious is another band from Sweden where apparently children are bred to shred. Not much else to say really, their music is nuts.

The record Hellucinate constantly delivers with strong moments and big pay-offs. I was tempted to go with the song Wicked Saints(a personal favorite) but I don't have that much bandwidth so you're going to hear the first song off the album called Inject. It's pretty punishing, if you've never heard them you've been warned.

highlights - YAAAHHHHHHHHH, aka the whole beginning.
- the drum work at 2:19, oh and pretty much everywhere else


Sidenote - In most pictures of the band the singer has needles on his fingers, that's crazy.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Few bands can muster up the same kind of insanity as Darkane. As far as skill goes they're sort of top of the food chain. Kind of like Dream Theatre but cool. All of the records they've released are good but I'm partial to Expanding Senses and last years Layers of Lies simply because I prefer Andreas' vocals over the last guy. He probably has the most intense vocals you'll ever hear from a guy with a handlebar moustache. The material is really technical, like, really technical but at times some of the heaviest modern thrash you can find. They also all have a tendency to dress up in lab coats which is pretty classic.

Secondary Effects - There is almost too much to say about this song. Peter Wildoer(pronounced - how/man-ee/limz-doo'I-hav) is a psychotic drummer. At the :7 mark he's already decided he's bored with the intro and seemingly blows up his drumset for the next 4 seconds. The vocals are also unreal, like an avalanche of rocks. As I said there's a whole lot of stuff going on here. It wasn't until I'd heard this song several more times that I realized there are about 5 times as many bass drum hits during the chorus than I had originally thought.

Sidenote: Christof(guitar) is in another band called Non Human Level that can be heard HERE

When I heard that the band I’m in was playing with Threat Signal I obviously checked them out. That was January ’05 and, well, let’s just say they’ve come a long way since then. I was immediately impressed with what I had heard and knew that they had the potential to do huge things. Fast forward 9 months and they’re in California recording their debut record with Christian from Fear Factory. A few months later and they’re signed with Nuclear Blast Europe. Oh wait, they’re playing this festival? With Venom? Did you say Opeth? Satyricon and Arch Enemy? Riiight. What’s that? A tour in the fall with Darkest Hour, Mnemic and Soilwork? Yeah, that’s not so bad. What, there's more? This better be it, both guitarists and the bass player are now endorsed by ESP? Damn.

We played with them again in April ’06 and it was cool to see a local band that’s just on the verge. Me, “good job with all the stuff you guys have going on”, Kyle “dream come true”, no doubt.

Their tunes are techy, thrashy and really syncopated-y. Good stuff, great production. Their myspace has a couple of songs from the new record that you can listen to or download so check them out as they might actually be a Canadian metal band you’ll hear of at some point.

One Last Breath is pretty up tempo and the drums are great. The first lead has an interesting Middle Eastern sound which is cool, the 2nd is pretty chaotic. Highlights - :26 ting ting ting ting DUNUUUH!! That hits really hard. Cool layered vocals, one of the biggest changes from the demo. Nice breakdown at the 2:00 mark.

Rational eyes – The Meshuggah influence definitely comes through on this one. Good melodic/harmonized vox. This song is just breakdown after breakdown with a number of variations on a theme which makes something familiar out of something complicated.

A New Beginning - Pretty huge, vocals everywhere. Some big changes in note selection from the demo in the riffage and chord progressions.

Counterbalance - Well, one of the unheard ones. Interesting dare I say 'old school' elements? It's a guitar party. Ambitious and pretty dynamic.

Kyle, Jon, Rich, Marco and George – Congrats

Go HERE to listen

Sidenote: The recorded drums were performed by a different drummer but the spot has been replaced by the more than capable hands of George. Go HERE for proof.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Here's a really cool Danish band called Urkraft
. They have one full length that's been out for a few years called Eternal Cosmic Slaughter and a new record being released in May through Earache. Pretty melodic with some cool riffs and leads.

Blessed be the Human Beast
is from the Eternal record - listen for the super heavy riff at the end, too short really.

The Inhuman Aberration
is from the new album - cool breakdown partially through the first verse. Great vocals.

Monday, April 24, 2006


As I ended the last post with Per it's only fair that I pay tribute to him with this one. I'll admit there's been a bit too much of the Haunted family tree throughout these first few posts but shut up.

Few would argue that The Haunted Made Me Do It isn't one of the most important thrash records of the past ten years however I had to go with a cut from One Kill Wonder. This is because it manages to sum up so much of what they're great at while continually maintaining the bands ability to be catchy and frenetic at the same time. Well that and the fact that I think it rules. You can almost imagine Mr. Jensen telling the other guys that they have to include mid-tempo sections so he can simply catch his breath.

Highlights - lots and lots but the one that gets me everytime is the fill that starts at :27 and finishes at :31 with a snare roll to kick/crash punches timed with the riff. This moment is repeated throughout so listen for it.



The next song I'm going to profile is something a little more recent. This song is by Nightrage and it's been just killing me lately. Like, ‘man that’s good, I think I’ll start it again’. Anyway, Nightrage is one of the many bands that Tomas Lindberg has recorded with but then failed to maintain any level of consistency(see The Crown, Lock Up, The Great Deceiver). Well, to be fair he did do two Nightrage records but has since quit and he’s stuck with Disfear so far but his track record remains to be pretty shaky. Despite these issues you can rest assured that this song has his trademark throat shredding class. Also seeing as it is Nightrage you can expect some nifty and fleeting guitar work but as you will learn to expect, my ears hear the drums first and they are killer here. More importantly is the drum production, super tight and clean. The fact that the average age of these guys is 25 depresses me, except for Marios who is like forfty something but he writes all the tunes so who cares?
Highlights – the fills at :32 and :46 which repeat throughout the song. Especially towards the end of the :46 fill with the simultaneous kicks and cymbals trill, whatever pal.

Descent into Chaos

Sidenote – The first Nightrage record featured Per Jensen from the Haunted on the ol’ traps but this one has some guy named Fotis.


Meshuggah is easily the band i've listened to the most over the past 6 years so it's only fitting that I kick this thing off with them. At times my relationship with them has bordered on obsessive. All factors of composition and execution come into play as far as my interest in this band goes and in my mind they're not really a metal band anymore so much as an experimental fusion outfit masking itself with 7 or 8 string guitars, a sea of gain and the dummer from hell. Few bands have evolved and mutated as well as these Swedes while continually crushing those who are considered to be their peers. I won't justify my admiration for them anymore as it is a waste of both my time and yours but let it be known that the rhythm's these guys have recorded are scarred in my brain.

As this site is all my opinion, it is my opinion that Tomas Haake is the best metal drummer that has ever walked the earth. His hands are generally working in 4/4 but his feet are locked in tightly with whatever mess Thordendal or Hagstrom are grinding his way. The difference with him though and what makes him special is his ability to play with machine like precision but keep an impossible groove.

I could go with obvious choices like Future Breed Machine, Sickening or Soul Burn but it's going to be The Mouth Licking what you've Bled from Chaosphere. Not their most complex work, in some ways more straight forward than the material post Destroy Erase Improve but frankly this song is crushing. It's all about groove topped off by Jens Kidman's insane delivery.

highlights - :52 to 1:33 including Thordendals patented jazz/tapping explosion solo.
- 2:46 The 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th, 32nd, and 39th time the riff is repeated how it just slams on the 1. It's great, trust me.

The Mouth Licking What you've Bled