Day: April 3, 2012

Cop Problem – Cop Problem

Unleashed on the Philadelphia hardcore scene less than 2 years ago, Cop Problem have just released their debut self-titled EP and the underground buzz that has surrounded them for a little while now seems to be very much justified. This three song release showcases the simmering brutality and unabashed aggression of a truly inventive band. Way more than just a hardcore outfit, they blend a classic punk attack with elements of grind and even a tinge of Will Haven/Earthone9-esque noise. This EP packs a fine punch and although it clocks in at under 9 minutes, it contains more power and effervescence in that time than many long players achieve over the best part of an hour. The sound is frenetic and unpolished, but the playing tight and precise. Deb’s vocals call to mind Grady Avenell and Tairrie B but comparisons are perhaps unfair as she is a unique talent and very much possesses her own style. Special mention must also be made of powerhouse drummer Joshua Cohen who punishes his kit so thoroughly that you wonder if the snare dissed his Mom. There are many bands out there pushing the limits of brutality in this genre and many fans may feel we don’t need another addition to the fold, but Cop Problem are a genuinely fresh attack and well worth checking out. The whole EP bubbles with the same...

Read More

Lay Down Rotten – Mask Of Malice

It is still early days in 2012 and already we have been spoilt for choice for incredible death metal albums, from both younger, newer acts and those already established. Dyscarnate, Cannibal Corpse, Aborted and Nexus Inferis just to name a few have set the bar for death metal this year at a great height, and any death metal release now has a lot to stand up to. German death metallers Lay Down Rotten have been around for quite a while now, first forming as a solo project in 1999, but despite some pleasing acclaim for previous albums, have never become quite a household name. “Mask Of Malice” is the band’s first album since the departure of guitarist Daniel Jakobi and his replacement with Daniel Seifert, a move the band had previously described as “fresh air”. The first thing you hear at the start is a spoken word Holy ‘confession’, of which it is hard to tell whether this is tongue or cheek or being deadly serious; with song titles such as ‘The Devil Grins’ and ‘Hades Resurrected’ it can only be hoped that it is the former. Aside from this it has to be said that “Mask Of Malice” is a pretty generic album, of which you have most definitely heard before. Lay Down Rotten make no attempt at any evolutionary moving forward, yet this isn’t an entirely un-worthwhile...

Read More

In Mourning – The Weight Of Oceans

Last week I reviewed the most anticipated metal album of 2012. This week I have the second most anticipated: In Mourning‘s third album “The Weight of Oceans”. The band’s first two albums, “The Shrouded Divine” and “Monolith”, are both supremely accomplished pieces of work in the melodic death metal / progressive black metal field so this third album has a lot to live up to. After the first track, called “Colossus” – a nice link to Meshuggah last week – I sit back in my chair to reflect. By heck, it is phenomenal. Everything that is marvellous about In Mourning, everything that is marvellous about metal is encapsulated in this track. Bass and drums start, with keyboards playing a refrain that conjures up the atmosphere of the movie Blade Runner. Then a guitar comes in playing an understated melody. Things begin to build and what sounds like about eleven guitar tracks explode into life. It is utterly magnificent. “Colossus” continues to be utterly magnificent for its entire nine and a half minutes. Indeed, the final section, the last 90 seconds or so, are so beautifully, brutally, brilliant that I make this assertion: If there is a better metal track released in the rest of 2012 I will eat my hat. I don’t have a hat. Instead, I will eat my Oceansize T-shirt and post the video of me eating...

Read More

The Samuel Jackson Five – Samuel Jackson Five

I often wonder what it would have been like to hear Miles’ seminal ’Bitches Brew’ for the first time… when it was released. There must have been some serious wow going on. I say this because I have experienced some serious wow whilst listening to ”Samuel Jackson Five” by the fabulously named The Samuel Jackson Five… and thought that could be a comparable feeling. From the start, this is one awesome listen… right through to the end. It’s difficult to describe the sound other than to say that this is wonderfully progressive post-everything music that is so right for now. The closest I can get to describing this album is to look to the jazz fusionists of the 70s, the progressives of the 70s and 80s, the post-rock soundscapists and math-rockers of now… and, most definitely, The Mars Volta. The Samuel Jackson Five place the emphasis firmly in the groove but keep a very vigilant watch on melody. This is music that will move you… and keep you interested through the soundscapes they present… and the twists and turns they make on the journey they present. All types of instrumentation are theirs to use and use them they do… with great effect and expertise. From what I can gather… acoustic guitars, electric guitars, percussion, fuzzy bass, sax, horns, organ, synths, bells, piano, banjo, found-sounds and vocal harmonics all add to...

Read More

Trigon – 2011

Every time I listen to the latest record from veteran ‘Jam-a-Delic’ German rockers Trigon, I wonder how in the hell I could have missed this band over the last quarter-century it has been in existence. HOW? Unfortunately for me, it’s probably due to the fact that they are German (I’m in the US), and also due to the fact that their music is almost entirely instrumental, which was not something I sought out in my formative (musically-speaking of course) years. Let me just say, now that I know about the brothers Lange (Rainer on guitar and Stefan on Bass)...

Read More