Monday, 31 March 2014

Meshuggah - The Demon's Name is Surveillance

     Last week I did a Metallica Monday that may or may not have left you with a sour taste in your mouth and a less then Metal start to your week. I aim to rectify the situation this evening with a guaranteed palate cleanser in the form of Meshuggah Monday.

     Your song tonight is "The Demon's Name is Surveillance" from Meshuggah's latest, 2012's Koloss. Waaay back in one of the very first Loud Noises posts ("Koloss Ist Ein Monster") I called this song an "all offence, no defence" kind of song, and I stand by that assessment. It's the perfect level of aggression to propel you into the week ahead, ready to kick some ass.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Sunday: Thrice - The Artist in The Ambulance

     While we're on the subject of band's I'd wish would get back together who apparently are, Thrice's Dustin Kensrue has recently revealed in an online Q&A (I believe it was an AMA over on Reddit) that the band may be back touring or working on new material  sooner rather than later.

     It's not concrete news of a new album by any stretch, but I'll take what I can get. The prospect of new Thrice, or a chance to see Thrice on tour again, would be most welcome propositions even if they're not imminently on the horizon. For the time being, however, we'll just have to jam something classic and say a prayer to the music gods that things move forward post haste.

     Crank the title track from 2003's The Artist in The Ambulance to get yourself in the mood for the possible return of Thrice.

Saturday: Finch - Bitemarks and Bloodstains

     When I first decided to feature another song by (In my opinion) underrated post-hardcore band Finch, I figured it would be another entry in the "defunct bands I wish would come back from the dead" book. But some quick internet research tells me that Finch seem apparently to have reformed and begun working on what will become their third album. Colour me stoked!

     So instead of this being an "I wish this band would get back together and put out some new material" post, this is now an "I hope this band's new material approaches the awesome of a song like this" post, and the song in question is "Bitemarks and Bloodstains" from Finch's rocking sophomore disc Say Hello to Sunshine.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Friday: Cloudkicker - L.A. After Rain

     After "yesterday's" post about Intronaut and the tour they're about to embark upon, in which I mentioned how I should feature a Cloudkicker song again soon, are you at all surprised that today's post is in fact a Cloudkicker song? Really? You are? You really shouldn't be you know.

     I know Ben's been a really prolific guy under the Cloudkicker moniker, but the 2012 LP Fade was how I first came upon his work, and it's a record I really dig, so I'm going with another track from that one, namely "L.A. After Rain". If your fancy gets tickled by epic and well-written instrumental post-metal, then Cloudkicker will satisfy your cravings.

     And if Tesseract, Intronaut and Cloudkicker are stopping anywhere near you, do me the personal favour of catching the show. I will live vicariously through you.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Thursday: Intronaut - Any Port

     I'm a little bummed that Tesseract's up-coming North American tour with Intronaut and Cloudkicker isn't stopping anywhere near me, because that's one hell of a line-up. Today we're going with the band that'll perhaps be working the hardest on the tour.

     Intronaut is not only holding down their own spot on the bill, they're also doing double duty as the backing band for Ben Sharp, aka Cloudkicker. I should feature another Cloudkicker song soon (hmm...) but for now the shuffle gods have come up Intronaut so you're getting "Any Port" from 2008's Prehistoricisms. (If you follow Loud Noises I bet you can tell which Intronaut album I'm most familiar with...)

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The Contortionist - Vessel

     Were I ever to be in some bizarre situation in which under threat of physical violence I'm forced to decide whether I prefer The Contortionist's first disc Exoplanet over their sophomore Intrinsic, or vice verse, I don't know what I'd say.

     One the one hand, Intrinsic is a refinement of what The Contortionist does, an evolutionary step forward, a whole greater than the sum of its parts. On the other hand, Exoplanet has songs like my pick for today. If "Vessel" doesn't make you wish The Contortionist would release a new record already, I don't know what will.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Cormorant - The Pythia

     San Francisco's Cormorant not only peddle a particularly tasty brand of blackened death metal with sprinklings of 70's prog and hard rock, but also have some of the most badass album art I've seen in a long time. Their latest disc, the forthcoming Earth Diver, looks set to deliver once again on both counts.

     For one thing, the art for Earth Diver, while different from previous Cormorant art, is still fucking awesome. For another, the first song from Earth Diver, a pleasantly Classically-named track called "The Pythia", absolutely slays. It's exactly what a new album should be: kinda like the old stuff, but turned up several notches.

     And it's only a couple of weeks from being released! Huzzah! Hit up Cormorant's Bandcamp to check both artwork and song out.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Metallica - Lords of Summer

     It's Monday, and for better or for worse I have cause to do another Metallica Monday. The cause? A demo version of a new Metallica song, that's what. I'm still not quite sure what to think about it, so you're going to have to come to your own conclusions.

      Metallica debuted "Lords of Summer" live maybe a week or so ago, and then had the good sense to provide a better-quality demo version a few days later. The track is reminiscent of the band's material for Death Magnetic, in the sense that it feels like it's trying to be reminiscent of Golden Age Metallica.

     But faster and longer songs/riffs do not a classic Metallica song make, and the band's latest attempt at recapturing some of the fire of their youth ends up coming off a little repetitive and artificially convoluted. If you haven't heard it yet, have a listen to the new song "Lords of Summer" and see if you think the boys are still masters of their metal domain.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

The Fall of Troy - Cut Down All the Trees and Name the Streets After Them

     As far as I know it's not an "official" crowdfunding campaign yet, but until-recently-defunct post-hardcore band The Fall of Troy is taking fan donations with an eye towards new material, tours, and the like. In a nutshell, the band seems to be back together.

     Who knows when, or even if, this turn of events will result in a new record or a tour of any size (they've been playing shows for a while now, but only a handful at a time). This guy right here can only hope the "if" is "yes" and the "when" is "soon", but for the time being he's going to have settle for something from the band's back catalogue.

     Join him and have a listen to "Cut Down All the Trees and Name the Streets After Them", the opening track from 2007's Manipulator, before hoping that Nothingface is the next band from the early 2000's to get back together.

The Algorithm - Warp Gate Exploit

     French beat purveyors The Algorithm have just announced both a new album (Octopus4, due in June) and a Kickstarter to fund a PvP space combat game, for which the band will be providing the soundtrack.

     The game doesn't really excite me -- it looks interesting enough, just not my cup of tea -- but I'll certainly take some new Algorithm material. I've never been a huge fan of what I will, perhaps ignorantly, label techno, but something about The Algorithm's 2012 disc Polymorphic Code tickles me just right. Check out "Warp Gate Exploit" and then head over to Kickstarter to check out all the spacefaring goodness.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Friday: Carcass - Captive Bolt Pistol

     It's Friday (in case you didn't know) and I decided to go for something with a little old school brutality, even if it is from a new album.

     Your Friday song is "Captive Bolt Pistol" from last year's Surgical Steel by legends Carcass. Why this song? Why today? Because for some reason I find the step-up in intensity that occurs around 2:12 to be both awesome and really amusing, and I can't help but share that with you. I hope a little shredding will brighten your day as it's brightened mine.

Thursday: Revocation - Spastic

     I know Revocation's killer self-titled LP only came out last year, but I'm already ready for new material -- and not in a "palate cleanser" kind of way. No, I really dig Revocation, and I just can't wait to hear what the guys come out with next.

     Revocation's work in general, and Revocation in particular, is chock full of riffs that are singable while still heavy as fuck. I can't count the number of times I've found myself humming something from a Revocation song even when I'm not listening to anything. Today's song features just such a riff.

     The main riff to "Spastic" is appropriately weird and dissonant-sounding, but I defy you to listen to the song a couple of times without it getting stuck in your head. "Spastic" is also an instrumental track in the vein of the best from the first few Metallica albums, late-in-the-running-order displays of technical prowess like "The Call of Ktulu" and "Orion". Revocation has definitely taken up the thrash torch.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Conquering Dystopia - Ashes of Lesser Men

     The shredheads and instrumental fans among you are likely already aware of Conquering Dystopia, a powerhouse of a supergroup that features, among others, Jeff Loomis. Anybody unaware of this musical endeavour should sit up and take notice right now, because this may well be 2014's best source of tasteful-yet-over-the-top instru-metal.

     "Ashes of Lesser Men" is not only a sweet track, but it's also been given the playthrough video treatment, meaning you can watch as Jeff Loomis and Keith Merrow destroy their way through some tasty riffing and badass shredding. I will most definitely be checking out more of Conquering Dystopia's debut self-titled LP. How about you?

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

East of the Wall - Noir Filter

     I picked the latest album by today's band as one of my Ten Best of 2013, and I've featured them here in the hallowed halls of the Song of the Day before, but I feel for some reason like these guys are under-appreciated outside of the online metal community. I could be completely off base here, but that isn't going to stop me from proclaiming once again the awesomeness of East of the Wall.

     Redaction Artifacts is a difficult record to describe: broad, kinda vague terms like "post-metal" or "prog" can sketch an outline, and I could fill in a million and one details about dissonant riffs and weirdly infectious grooves, but you should probably just listen to East of the Wall for yourself and come to your own conclusions.

     Today I'm recommending album closer "Noir Filter", but if you've got more than the epic ten minutes required for this one, then I strongly urge you to listen to Redcation Artifacts in full. It's an experience you'll be glad you undertook.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Arsis - Denied

     More than likely, your Monday blues are currently in the midst of being drowned in a wash of green beer and misplaced Irish pride (misplaced in the sense that most St. Patrick's Day revelers are in fact not Irish at all -- a shirt saying "kiss me I'm Irish" doesn't make it so). But why not try some different medicine, namely some medicine of the technical death metal variety.

     If you're into anything at all tech-deathy, you should definitely already be familiar with Arsis, and if you're not into anything at all tech-deathy... well, what the fuck is wrong with you? St. Patrick's Day or not, a shitty Monday can be made better with some fleet-fingered riffing and shredding. Crank "Denied" from last year's Unwelcome (well, originally from the Leper's Caress EP and then re-released on Unwelcome) at your Paddy's Day party and see what kind of reaction you get from your friends. And if they don't like it, get new friends.


Sunday: Kongos - I'm Only Joking

     We're going to keep the somewhat chill vibe going for your Sunday song with something I'm confident you metalheads aren't rocking right now.

     Kongos, a four-piece outfit comprised of four brothers, is an indie-folk-rock-type band with some African/tribal flavour mixed liberally throughout. They're catchy, and the kind of thing that's getting a decent amount of alternative radio airplay in my neck of the woods, but don't let that deter you. There's some real depth here, and some really interesting instrumental stuff going on.

     If that piques your curiosity, have a listen to the menacing-sounding "I'm Only Joking" from the 2012 record Lunatic, a brooding track that's quirky and dark and, at times, reminiscent of some kind of off-kilter steam engine, whirring and clanking away -- just the kind of thing to get a metal fan into something outside his comfort zone. Check it.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Saturday: The Reign of Kindo - The Hero, The Saint, The Tyrant & The Terrorist

     It's the weekend once again (funny how it happens approximately once a week, right?) and we're once again going with some more chill, less metal songs to cap off another seven days under the sun. But, as I've often said before, just because stuff isn't metal doesn't mean it can't be really cool.

     Today's band is the perfect example. The Reign of Kindo weave multi-instrumental magic with their blend of rock, funk, jazz, and even some latin salsa flavour. The result is catchy while still being interesting, the kind of thing that stands up to, and even rewards, multiple listens. I've written about these guys before, but they definitely deserve another day in the sun.

     So have a listen to "The Hero, The Saint, The Tyrant & The Terrorist" from the band's 2013 album Play With Fire and see if The Reign of Kindo's special brew is right for you.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Glassjaw - Ape Dos Mil

     Even though there's still plenty of snow on the ground here, it is nevertheless almost spring, which means the summer tour and festival season is right around the corner. This year's Heavy MTL festival in Montreal, however, has a line-up that doesn't do a whole lot for me, especially considering I'd have to go to Montreal to see it (Heavy TO is, alas, little more than a memory).

     The 2014 edition of Rockfest in Montebello (also dans la Belle Province, for the uninitiated) looks considerably more interesting. Not only is the sheer number of bands I'd like to see higher (at least a half dozen as opposed to the three or so on the bill at Heavy MTL) but some of said bands are much more interesting choices than those at Heavy. Like Glassjaw. Seriously. Glassjaw!

     Who the fuck knows when we'll see a new Glassjaw LP, if ever, so for now we'll just have to jam some old stuff (namely the relatively chill "Ape Dos Mil" from 2002's classic Worship and Tribute) and content ourselves with the possibility of seeing the band tear it up at a sweet-looking summer festival. And hey look, Rockfest is right around my birthday. Now you know what to get me.

Alice in Chains - Rooster

     I'm doing my part to contribute to Throwback Thursday tonight, and while I'm not presenting anything tonight you shouldn't already be familiar with, I will hopefully spark a little debate --  or at least some contemplation -- along the way.

     OK, so my girlfriend and I went for a little unexpected road trip today, for reasons unimportant to the discussion at hand, and while listening to the radio and talking about music, I uttered what many of my generation (and many other generations besides) may consider to be an unforgivable blasphemy: I like Alice in Chains more than Nirvana. Like, a lot more.

     Of course, as a fan of music around the age of thirty, as a guitarist who grew up jamming Nirvana songs right alongside Zep and Rage and the rest, I fully understand and appreciate the impact Nirvana had, and in some ways continues to have, on modern music. I've just thought for a long time that Nirvana were, in a word, overrated, and the older I get the more entrenched in this opinion I become.

     I know musical taste is subjective, but from where I'm standing Alice in Chains was just a better band (I say was because I mean Layne Staley-era Alice here). Kurt could write a good song, and he could definitely do a bit of darkly introspective lyrical content now and again, but the combination of Cantrell and company's musicianship and songwriting together with Layne's dark honesty and unique perspective simply produced more interesting material, and more material I still really dig to this day.

     Like tonight's song, one of everybody's favourite Alice in Chains songs. "Rooster", from 1992's seminal Dirt, was written for Cantrell's father, who served in Vietnam. I don't know if it's my absolute favourite Alice in Chains song (though it is up there) but given the choice I'd put it on over virtually anything in Nirvana's catalogue. Let the vitriolic responses commence!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Mudvayne - Dig

     Quick post tonight, aimed at all of you in southeastern Ontario and the northeastern United States who are, like me, currently getting a hefty dose of Winter's Still Here.

     Your song tonight is "Dig", the song from 2000's L.D. 50 that made Mudvayne famous. I feel it's an appropriately titled -- not to mention appropriately enraged -- song for the amount of snow we've gotten today, and the amount of snow we're going to have to dig our way out of. It's going to be an interesting commute tomorrow morning. Dig, motherfuckers!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Plini - Atlas

     Everybody's got a band or two they like that they wish would more productive (*cough* Tool? *cough*) so it's always good to see a kind of flip side to that coin, namely an artist that's always cranking out new stuff like it's going out of style.

     Australia's Plini is thankfully one of the latter types of musician, a guy who's always putting out something new. If you've been reading Loud Noises for a while you've probably heard Plini by now, but if you haven't you're in luck because he's got a tasty new track out.

     "Atlas" has all the virtuosic guitar work and sparkling melodies one should expect from Plini's work, and is even a little "heavier" than a lot of his stuff. There's even a part, around 2:05 or so, that easily ranks as the most metal riff of Plini's catalogue. Note to Plini: please quit teasing me and release an LP already!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Monday: The Mire - False Idol

     You should have caught on by now to the fact that one of the things I like in my heavy music is some density. Sure, I like technicality, speed, progressiveness, but there's something to be said for density: that quality of a song having a lot of layers, a lot of parts contributing to the whole.

     I would put British band The Mire on a list of bands with some density to them. They've got some layers and some atmosphere to their post-metal, as well as some sludgy abrasiveness, some dirty-sounding dissonance, and some straight up epic moments. It's hard to succinctly pin down what these guys do, but it's worth at least a few minutes of your time for sure.

     Let's say about five minutes, shall we? "False Idols" is the first full track on The Mire's latest LP, Glass Cathedrals, a really solid record that gets into your head after a couple of listens. Have a listen, come up with a better way of describing The Mire and Glass Cathedrals, and leave a comment below.

Sunday: Chimp Spanner - Aurora

     Fans of proggy, instrumental, guitar-based music likely already know that British one man army Chimp Spanner is working on new material, but just in case the rest of you have missed it: Chimp Spanner is working on new material.

     I have no idea how far along Mr. Ortiz is, or how close we might or might not be to a new Chimp Spanner album, but at least I've got something to listen to while I speculate wildly, since a few days ago Paul posted a playthrough vid for one of his works-in-progress. Check out the track, entitled "Aurora",  for the latest and greatest in the world of spanning chimps.

(Alas, the video linked below is NOT the aforementioned playthrough. Blogger doesn't seem to want to find that one, so you're going to have to hit up Youtube and look for it yourself.)

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Saturday: Intervals - Moment Marauder

     I know I've featured Intervals pretty recently, but now that A Voice Within is actually out and I've had the chance to spend some serious time with it I feel like there's another track on it that I can't resist shining some spotlight on.

     "Moment Marauder" features a cool, snaky, vaguely Spanish-sounding riff that I really dig, and on top of that it's got a sweet keyboard solo that leads into an equally sweet guitar solo. Even if you're not completely on board with the addition of a vocalist to the Intervals mix, there's a lot of Intervals-y goodness still to be found, like "Moment Marauder"

Friday, 7 March 2014

Numbers - Empty Eyes

     It's been a while in coming, but a release date of March 25th has finally been set for the long-awaited (by me, anyways) debut LP from Seattle's electro-metallers Numbers. Even better, at least for those of you who might not already be Numbers enthusiasts, the band has released a new song to quench the thirst left after "Legal Lee Speaking" a couple of months ago.

     "Empty Eyes" is another great encapsulation of what Numbers is all about: high energy songs loaded with catchy melodies, chunky guitar riffing, and some keyboards and electronic elements just for good measure. They're not necessarily everyone's cup of tea -- although they probably should be -- but they're definitely worth a listen if you're looking for something that's heavy but still catchy enough to get your toe tapping and your head bobbing. Check it out below.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

The Dillinger Escape Plan - Farewell, Mona Lisa

     It occurred to me the other day while driving and listening to some Dillinger Escape Plan that my favourite songs by Dillinger are those that showcase the power of Greg Puciato's voice. Spastic energy and jagged mathcore riffing are perfectly well and good, but the tracks I dig the most seem to be the ones in which Greg shows off his pipes.

     Case in point: Option Paralysis opener "Farewell, Mona Lisa", which features some almost crooned choruses and devolves into a breakdown of an outro that pairs such purty singing with Greg's feral shriek. It's tasty stuff, and it further cements my theory that Greg is a big reason why I'm more into newer Dillinger than older stuff (much to the chagrin of Dillinger purists, I'm sure).

     Have yourself a sample of Puciato right now, and then have yourself some sweet dreams.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Destrage - My Green Neighbour

     So much heavy music -- especially any of the myriad subgenres we might for the sake of simplicity encapsulate with the word "metal" -- takes itself quite seriously. This is understandable, given the high levels of musicianship often present in many of these styles, and the often somewhat dark subject matter. War, death, depression, drug abuse, and good ol' Satan himself aren't exactly cheery topics. (I know I've cherry-picked some of the stereotypical metal topics that have been objected to by ignorant parents and politicians for decades, but bear with me, I'm going somewhere with this.)

     I've got no problem with such subject matter, and certainly no problem with musical virtuosity, but I do think that metalheads and metal bands should lighten up every once in a while. Variety is the spice of life, right? So I was pleasantly surprised to discover this deceptively light-hearted romp from Italian outfit Destrage about how it's OK to shoot zombies in the face.

     So have a listen to your song for tonight, "My Green Neighbour", from Destrage's latest, Are You Kidding Me? No. It's got all the spastic heavyness you could want, plus the fun zombie them. Win-win, really.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

The Mars Volta - Ouroborous

     I make no secret of the fact that I think the musical output of The Mars Volta peaked early in the band's career, perhaps even as early as De-Loused in the Comatorium. There's no denying that pretty much anybody who's ever played with the band is a talented musician and performer, but I just feel that the standards of songwriting didn't remain as high as the standards of musicianship.

     With each album after sophomore Frances the Mute or so, the songs get less focused, less precise, and more scattershot. It feels to me like the holes in the band's quality control filter got larger and larger each time out, when pretty much every note on De-Loused is so necessary and perfectly placed. Sure, "Tira Me a las Aranas" is a bit of weird throwaway in the middle there, but it still fits with detracting too much.

     Of course, even with increasing amounts of these unnecessary bits from one album to the next, every Mars Volta record has some equally shining moments, moments that come close to rebottling the lightning of the band's early work. One such moment is tonight's song, "Ouroborous", from 2008's The Bedlam in Goliath, an energetic blast of salsa rhythm that surges forward like any of the best Mars Volta material. Have a listen a shed a tear for one of the great bands of the 2000's.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Monday: Coheed and Cambria - Delirium Trigger

     Finally back on top of things, and we're going to cap all this catch-up off with a quickie post for your Monday evening.

     It hasn't been that long since Coheed and Cambria released the second part of their The Afterman double album, but I for one am already ready for new material. This isn't to say that The Afterman isn't a satisfying listen, because it is -- more satisfying perhaps than the couple of records that preceded it. Coheed is just one of those bands that I've been into for so long that I'm always interested to hear what they'll come up with next.

     Tonight, however, we're looking back because we can't look forward to new material on the horizon any time soon. Your Monday song is "Delirium Trigger" from the band's debut 2002 LP Second Stage Turbine Blade. Enjoy.

Sunday: Closure in Moscow - A Night at the Spleen


     For our last catch-up song,we're going with "A Night at the Spleen" from Closure in Moscow's 2009 LP First Temple. In addition to thinking you should all know about this band, I'm also hoping that featuring another song of theirs will somehow send a karmic ripple through the fabric of the universe that by some strange twist of fate speeds along the final stages of mixing and mastering on their forthcoming record Pink Lemonade so they can finally release the damn thing!

     Things look like they're nearing completion on the band's Facebook, but I want to hear the record already. For the time being I guess we'll all just have to be content with something off First Temple, but those Aussie boys better hop to it -- the suspense is killing me.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Saturday: Beastie Boys - Sabotage

     On to Saturday, and the Weekend! It's been a weekend of good times with friends, and I can think of few bands that unite a group of my peers in fraternal singalongitude than the Beastie Boys.

     Beastie Boys are just one of those groups from our collective youth that retains its power to move regardless of whether one is a fan of pop, rock, hip-hop, or metal. A good Beastie Boys song transcends genres.

     OK, maybe that's overselling them. Maybe I just like to nod my head to a good beat and occasionally rap along so I can feel like I have some kind of flow. Either way, you should rock "Sabotage" from 1994's Ill Communication.

Friday: Converge - Dark Horse

     Slowly but surely catching up on all things Loud Noises here, so pitter-patter-let's-get-at-'er.

     For a Friday song, we're going with something raucous and balls-out to celebrate the end my marking and the advent of the weekend. What something raucous and balls-out, you ask? Maybe a little bit of hardcore/post-hardcore legends Converge, that's all.

     Friday's tune's going to be "Dark Horse", the high-energy opening track from Converge's 2009 album Axe to Fall. I'm sure Converge fans would point out the classic status of 2001's Jane Doe, but that doesn't mean Axe to Fall is an offering by a band past its prime. Tracks like "Dark Horse" demonstrate that Converge has still got it, and the furious pace of the song's verses is the perfect way to open a record to boot. Prepare yourself.