Sunday, 31 August 2014

Sunday: Botch - Transitions From Persona to Object

     Remember earlier, in my post for yesterday, when I mentioned a band called Botch on my way to arriving at yesterday's band Minus the Bear? For the benefit of those of you who were perhaps a little lost, lo and behold, today you're getting a Botch song. History class is now in session.

     Your Sunday song is "Transitions From Persona to Object" from Botch's second and final LP We Are the Romans, released all the way back in 1999. Do its jagged dissonances sound a little different from Minus the Bear or, say, Russian Circles, to name just one of the other post-Botch bands? Good ear.

     It's a testament to the diversity of influences and tastes swirling about in Botch that so many different bands came out of its demise. Even if Dillinger Escape Plan-esque mathy mayhem isn't your cup of tea, Botch still holds an influential place in post-hardcore history, so get educated, son.

Saturday: Minus the Bear - When We Escape

     Calendar and Mother Nature be damned, the Labour Day long weekend is often seen as the unofficial end to summer. Fall doesn't officially start for a bit yet, and weather-wise fall could still be a ways off, but the return of students to schools just seems to mark the change of season more concretely. All this means that this long weekend is a tailor-made excuse for maxing, relaxing, and chillification of all sorts.

     And I've got a soundtrack fit for any of those three states of mind. But first, I've got a question for you: do you remember seminal math/metalcore band Botch? If you don't, you probably should, but for the time being let's just say you're probably at least familiar with one or more of the bands that were born from Botch's ashes. Mouth of the Architect, Russian Circles, and These Arms Are Snakes can all trace some membership past or present back to Botch, as can today's melodically poppy indie rock band Minus the Bear.

     It really is hard to pin Botch guitarist Dave Knudson's current project down. Minus the Bear has very radio-friendly melodic sensibilities, but with a little more going on than your average indie rock band. Whether it's an interesting musical idea, or a hint of a dark tint lyric-wise, Minus the Bear have enough cool stuff in their bag of tricks to keep a metal fan like me entertained.

     So entertained, in fact, that I had several candidates for today's (yesterday's) song, the rest of which will probably end up here in due time. But for today (yesterday) you're getting "When We Escape" from Minus the Bear's 2007 classic Planet of Ice. It's a (mostly) mellow, melancholy sort of track, but it's still got a cool energy that should serve your long weekend well. Get to know Minus the Bear if you know what's good for you.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Beyond Creation - Neurotical Transmissions

     Thank the gods it's Friday, even if it's only for another ten minutes or so (at the time of starting this post; no guarantees about end time...). I don't know what you're week has been like, but let's assume you've put in your time and deserve to rage for the long weekend. This one's for you.

     About a month ago I featured the first single from Earthborn Evolution, the latest record from Montreal tech-death band Beyond Creation. Well, the band has put out another badass track, and they're just too awesome (and too Canadian) not to feature again.

     "Neurotical Transmissions" is a pummeling slice of sludgy space teach death, built around a collection of low, snaky riffs that remain labyrinthine and articulated rather than sounding muddy and indistinct. Mix in some tasty leads and you've exhibit B in the court case for why Earthborn Evolution should be killer.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Album of the Week: Destrage - Are You Kidding Me? No.

     You know I'm always on the lookout for things that are a little off the beaten path, and one of my favourite albums this year is, in my opinion, just that. It's not especially inaccessible (think Protest the Hero, a bit more metal and a bit more musically varied and you're in the neighbourhood) or even especially hard to get (these guys are on Metal Blade, after all). But it is Italian, so I figure there's at least some of you who don't know Destrage already and need to be corrected.

     "Are You Kidding Me? No." isn't a debut album (it's the band's third) but to me it's got all the energy of a debut, all the fire of a band with something to prove. It also doesn't hurt matters that all these Italian stallions are firmly in command of their instruments and turn in top-notch performances that avoid going over the top.

     But like I said, I get the feeling neither this band nor this album are getting the kind of love they deserve here in the North American metal market. And it's a shame, because I would love to see a tour that brings these guys across the Atlantic. Jam this album and make it happen.

Thursday: Abysmal Dawn - Inanimate

     You know I don't necessarily go in for the whole Throwback Thursday thing (although I have done Thrashback Thursday a couple of time...) but today's song definitely has a bit of throwback, old school feel despite being a brand spanking new track.

     California's Abysmal Dawn have been putting out death metal records for the better part of a decade, with their latest Obsolescence due out in October. But rather than going the increasingly technical route, Abysmal Dawn seem to have worked on perfecting their riff and groove crafting. Or at least that's what new track "Inanimate" would lead me to believe.

     "Inanimate" is built on big, grooving death metal riffs. It's not fast as fuck or techy as fuck, but it's still got heavy in a distinctly death metal way. No idea what I'm talking about? Just listen to the song already. It might not be my everyday cup of tea, but sometimes a little simpler and a little more streamlined is exactly what you need.

Wednesday: Chimp Spanner - Mobius, Pt. 2

     Every once in a while I read something somewhere online either from or about Paul Antonio Ortiz that mentions progress on a new album, but I hear only silence. Even a quick scroll down his Facebook wall reveals little more than the tantalizing tease that some "super cool things" will be coming in October (his words).

     We can all keep our fingers crossed that those cool things will include news of new material, or perhaps said new material itself, but in the meantime let's fill the vacuum of Chimp Spanner silence by cranking "Mobius, Pt. 2" from the main monkey's 2012 disc All Roads Lead Here. I've previously featured the first installment of this three-part monster song, so now enjoy part two and long for some fresh monkey business with me.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The Contortionist - Language I: Intuition

     I'm sure you're all aware of the forthcoming third LP from The Contortionist, entitled Language and due out in mid-September. I've mentioned it, and my anticipation of it, before, but I missed the boat on sharing the first single with you when it came out a while back.

     Thankfully the guys have provided me with the perfect second chance, releasing an honest-to-gods music video for said single, "Language I: Intuition", and I shan't miss my opportunity on this one again.

     Absolutely stuffed with the ambient/atmospheric bits The Contortionist is so adept at, "Intuition" also brings a bit of groove and a smattering of the band's old heaviness. "Intuition" also sounds to me like a smaller piece of a larger whole, and if that's the case, Language sounds like it could be a good one.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Killer Be Killed - Snakes of Jehovah

     Today's song comes from a reader and friend of mine, Craig. (Hey Craig!) We were talking music recently and Killer Be Killed came up in the course of our meandering conversation. He wasn't familiar with them yet, and went away with the intention of checking them out post haste.

     This was about a week ago. Today Craig comes back at me with a link and "This is the guys we were talking about, right? Because I really dig this song!" That sure is the band we were talking about, and it does indeed slay.

     The dug song in question is the latest from Killer Be Killed's self-titled debut LP, a track entitled "Snakes of Jehovah", and it brings some straight-up heavy to the table, seasoned liberally with groove. I've mentioned year-end "ten best" lists and some appropriate potential choices a couple of times lately, and I think this one will likely grace at least one or two of those lists come December or January. "Snakes of Jehovah" is one great example of why.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Stolas - Solunar

     I've written about post-hardcore band Stolas before, but they've got a new record coming out (on none other than Blue Swan) so it's high time they got another day in the spotlight.

     "Solunar", the first song to be released from the forthcoming Allomaternal, is a bit of a step up from material off the band's previous record Living Creatures. It's not worlds different, but it's tighter, more energetic, fleeter-fingered. More of the same, but done better.

     Of course, this means that if you didn't dig their style of post-hardcore before, you probably still won't be interested. But it also means that if you're a fan of old Stolas, or Hail the Sun from the other day, or even a little Dance Gavin Dance really, then you should find a lot to like in what we've heard so far of the new Stolas material. Go see which camp you're in right now.

Saturday: Fallujah - Starlit Path

     I've been jamming a bunch of Fallujah's new album The Flesh Prevails this week, and I can already tell that this one's going to end up on some best of 2014 lists in a few months' time.

     The Flesh Prevails is many things, but above all it's big and heavy. There's loads of atmosphere, there's good lead work, there's a fair helping of technicality, but first and foremost this is an album of pummeling death metal. Blast beats and accompanying trem picking and/or chuggity chugging come and go with seemingly spastic irregularity and almost inhuman precision. When you mix it all together it makes for some beautiful brutality.

     So maybe it's with a bit of good cause that Fallujah continue to be interwebz metal darlings. Have a listen to album opener "Starlit Path" for a taste of what all the fuss is about, and a confirmation that Fallujah can most definitely bring the heavy.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Friday: Freak Kitchen - Mathematics of Defeat

     Swedish prog band Freak Kitchen has apparently been cranking out their own particular brand of metal-tinged prog-rock for more than two decades now, but this is for some reason this first I'm hearing about them. Time to play catch up!

     While I do that, you take a listen to "Mathematics of Defeat", the first song to see the light of day from the band's forthcoming eighth LP Cooking with Pagans. It's not super heavy, but it's also not inaccessibly techy, and it's bursting at the seems with groove. Call it "introductory prog metal" and turn your friends on today.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

The Helix Nebula - Sea of Suns

     There's a decent chance that your Thursday thus far hasn't been tech enough, so please, allow me to fix that for you before the day is out.

     Australia, as I think I've mentioned before, seems to be a hotbed of talent that tickles my fancy. Today's it's techy, somewhat fusiony instrumental band The Helix Nebula, who've just released a song in advance of the release of their debut EP Meridian next week. "Sea of Suns" is a cool track on the whole, but that bass solo is worth the price of admission. Check it out and help me make Techback Thursday a thing.

Album of the Week: Half Moon Run - Dark Eyes

     I'm a little late with your Album of the Week this week, but don't let that stop you from sinking your teeth into it. It's up to you to be the good student when I'm being the bad teacher.

     That being said, the material you're going to be sinking your teeth into isn't our usual fare around here, although I have written about this band before. Half Moon Run is an indie-rock-folk-type outfit, but to call them just that kind of thing would be to fall so, so short of the mark.

     There's some great instrumentation going on on this week's album Dark Eyes, along with some beautiful, haunting melodies, shot through with melancholy. Like I said, it's not a metal record, but there's plenty here for a metalhead to get into. It's got the depth to hold your interest, but remains chill enough that it'd be perfect for some summer's-almost-over-time this weekend. So spin it a few times and come back next week for something a little heavier...

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Hail the Sun - Human Target Practice

     Everybody should know by now that I dig Dance Gavin Dance, whose guitarist Will Swan runs a little record label called Blue Swan Records.

     What does this have to do with today's song, "Human Target Practice", from California post-hardcore band Hail the Sun? The band's forthcoming debut LP Wake is due to be released in September on Blue Swan, that's what! There's a bit of sonic similarity here too, if you ask me: Hail the Sun sounds a little like the energy and riffiness of Dance Gavin Dance fronted by the vocal range and style of, say, Anthony Green from Circa Survive and The Sound of Animals Fighting.

     Sound like a tasty combination? It is, at least for this bearded cat. I for one will most definitely be paying attention to this one when it drops.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Trioscapes - Digital Dream Sequence

     So maybe my running theme over the last couple of Songs of the Day, somewhat niche subgenres, is wearing thin with you by this point. Regardless, I hope you like jazz fusion, because you're getting a Trioscapes tune today, and I've got a double whammy reason why.

     Whammy part the first: the band's sophomore album Digital Dream Sequence comes out today on Metal Blade, reason enough to rock a new Trioscapes track. But whammy part the second? The guys have put out another of their "live jam" videos for the title track "Digital Dream Sequence". Twice as many reasons why you should check out some new Trioscapes means zero reasons why you shouldn't, so do it up already.

Pit Report: Protest the Hero

     I told you it was coming eventually, and now here it is, my pit report for last Sunday's Protest the Hero show here in Kingston. Now that I've had some time to ruminate on the experience, you're going to get the complete rundown. It'll be like you were there!

     Let me start by saying I felt like a bit of a fanboy at this show. When I heard about this Protest mini-tour, with this line-up, I was beyond stoked. I've only known about/been into Mandroid Echostar and Pomegranate Tiger for a little bit (at least compared to being a Protest the Hero fan for the better part of a decade) but having already interviewed the one opener (Mandroid) and having wanted to do the other for a while (Pomegranate) at the time that I heard about the show, I couldn't miss this one.

     I did, however, make a miscalculation on the actual evening of the show. As I think I've mentioned here before, when I was younger we usually skipped the opening acts at concerts unless we already had a pretty good idea who they were. This is a habit I'm slowly trying to get out of, since discovering new music is kinda what I do around here, but either way I certainly wasn't going to skip out on any of the opening festivities for this one. So I figured, doors at 7, do a little math, and we should be able to show up at 7:30 or 7:45 and just walk right in. It's a little club show, right?

      Not so. Well, yes, it was a little club show, but no, my clever timing calculations didn't work out. The doors didn't open until 8 or after, and we didn't get in until a while after that. So despite my best efforts, the evening began with an unfortunate amount of standing around and being more than likely the oldest person lined up for the show.

     But things started looking up as soon as we got inside. I've never really been the starstruck, autograph-seeking type, but within the first half-hour or so of the show (before things got started and then into Pomegranate Tiger's set) I'd scored the John Hancocks of both of Protest's guitarists Luke and Tim. On top of that, I had the chance to meet Mike from Mandroid and thank him for doing the Twenty Questions with me a while back.

     Anyways, back to the whole point: the badass metal show. First up was Pomegranate Tiger, who had the crowd pretty into it despite being the first opener and an instrumental act. I don't know how many people (can I say kids without unfairly generalizing? probably) in the audience knew PT beforehand, but you'd be forgiven for thinking that they were indeed very familiar with Pomegranate's jams, such was their enthusiasm. If the crowd was already aware of Pomegranate Tiger, then I guess I'm impressed with the number of people in Kingston who seem to be that into them, and if they weren't cognizant of PT already, I'm similarly impressed with PT's ability to fucking bring it to an unsuspecting audience. Well done.

     Next up was Mandroid Echostar, a band whose presence and general tightness really speaks to the fact that they've been playing some shows and honing their chops. The band's got three guitarists, two of whom spend a good amount of time shredding out some tasty leads, and all three are rock solid across the varied material that Mandroid plays. If they play it on the record, they can play it live. Likewise, the aforementioned Michael Ciccia has plenty of range, and sounds great on record, but also doesn't sacrifice any of that range or any of his power in a live setting.

     And then, of course, there's Protest the Hero. What can I say about Protest's live show that I haven't said before? I've seen Protest three or four times now, and I would see them again any chance I get. As usual, the boys played a decent mix of old and new stuff, although also as usual, not a lot of love for debut LP Kezia (one track, or maybe two, if I recall correctly). But realistically, after the rest of the evening, a good set from Protest the Hero was almost icing in the cake.

     All in all, despite the slow start, and the fact that I had to work at 4 AM the next morning, it was a pretty sweet night. I really hope that any and all of these bands make it back to Kingston sooner rather than later, because the convenience of being able to take in three great metal acts in your own backyard just can't be beat. I highly suggest you try it sometime.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Hadal Maw - Invisible Eye

     OK, so maybe you're not into thrash or sludge. What about groovy, vaguely core-flavoured death metal? Then try Hadal Maw on for size.

     The band, another Australian outfit, is due to release its debut LP Senium in a week or so, but they've already got a couple of song going around online. The second of these songs, "Invisible Eye", is a driving track that moves pretty relentlessly along on the back of some cool riffing and pummeling drumwork. Check it out, and join me in wondering what's in the water down under that seems to produce tasty musical acts of a every stripe.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Sunday: The Matador - Destroyer

     OK, so maybe I was wrong about you yesterday. Maybe thrashy melodeath like the kind peddled by British Bloodshot Dawn isn't your cup of tea. That's fine. Perhaps sludgy post-metal will be more your speed?

     Australian act The Matador has the market cornered on big, crushing post-metal with a decidedly sludgy, doomy feel. Mastodon and Baroness both come immediately to mind, but to say that The Matador sounds like either of those bands wouldn't be quite right. Mastodon are a little proggier, and Baroness are a little bit more folky space rock.

     The Matador, on the other hand, are just big and heavy and abrasive. Their latest Destroyer has apparently been three years in the making, but those three years have resulted in a seasoned, refined sound, the sound of a band that's confident with where it's at. I'm not sure if that makes any sense to you, so you should probably just have a listen to title track "Destroyer" and see if you can decipher some meaning from my sage musings.

Saturday: Bloodshot Dawn - Beckoning Oblivion

     You like melodeathy modern thrash, right? Of course you do! You'd be crazy not to. And since you're not crazy (right?) the Brits in Bloodshot Dawn have got you covered.

     The band's crowdfunded sophomore album Demons is due out in the fall, but in the meantime you can stream their self-titled debut on Bandcamp and discover the fleet-fingered riffing of tracks like album-opener "Beckoning Oblivion". I'm only just becoming familiar with this band, but I can definitely see myself getting into them. Really into them. Listen to "Beckoning Oblivion" and see what I mean.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Friday: My Project Ghost - Wrap Around Porch

     By now you should know that I likes me some post-hardcore, even if that is such a broad genre label that it can arguably shelter virtually anything under its prodigious umbrella. But today's band is decidedly post-hardcore (if that makes any sense) and I've got Metalsucks to thank for the heads up.

     Of course, they have one of the dudes from The Safety Fire to thank for the heads up in the first place, as apparently said dude is friends with the guitarist in British post-hardcore trio My Project Ghost. This haunting musical endeavour (see what I did there?) has only released one song so far, but it's that one song that I'm really digging on.

     "Wrap Around Porch" is big and laden with grooves, with equal helpings of melody and disharmony. Think Architects if they were less metal (which makes a little sense, since apparently said My Project Ghost guitarist Morgan Sinclaire used to be Architects live guitarist). I'll be interested to hear what My Project Ghost comes out with next.

Thursday: Black Tongue - Falsifier

     I've never really given much time to British sludge-doom slingers Black Tongue, but that might be something I have to rectify. Thankfully the guys are helping me get acquainted by providing a new old song for me to jam.

     "Falsifier" is the title track from the band's debut EP, but since said EP is getting the remix/remaster treatment for a worldwide release on Century Media, the song's making the internet rounds once again. And what a song! "Falsifier" definitely proves that metal doesn't have to be fast or especially technical to be heavy as fuck, while at the same time proving slow and relatively simple doesn't suck.

     Grab a few HUGE meaty riffs, play like 'em like good barbecue (ie: low and slow), season with a little bit of dark atmosphere here and there in the background, and you've got a recipe for some tasty headbanging. Think downtempo Gojira and you'll be headed towards the right track.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Revocation - Deathless

     It's only been a couple of weeks since the last time I feature a Revocation song, but the guys have finally released a song from the forthcoming Deathless so there's not way you're not getting another Revocation track today. Suck it up, buttercup.

     The track in question is in fact "Deathless", the album's title track, and it's pretty undeniably Revocation: thrashy deathy metal with some elements of sleazy rock and just a smidgeon of a whisper of progginess. It's a pretty good bar to set with the first single, and I for one can't wait for the October release of Deathless.

Album of the Week: Misery Signals - Controller

     Recently Heavyblogisheavy had a post discussing the best of progressive metalcore, and I was gratified to see that one of my favourite albums not only of that genre but of any genre made their list. The band in question isn't exactly underground, but they're not mainstream either, and this album is most definitely one that rewards multiple listenings, so I see no reason why Controller by Misery Signals shouldn't be this week's Album of the Week.

     I've been a Misery Signals fan since Of Malice and the Magnum Heart, having discovered their song "The Year Summer Ended in June" on a sampler disc that came with something else (Atreyu's The Curse, I think, but don't hold me to that). I really dig all of their work, but for me, the best selection from their catalogue BY FAR is 2008's Controller.

     I guess I'd call Controller metalcore, or even progressive metalcore as Heavyblogisheavy does, but to me it's got so much more meat than that. It's aggressive without that being the only emotional state conveyed. It's technical, but under the surface rather that in a showy or flashy way. It's dense, as I've said many times before, but it's not extreme, fringe-genre stuff by any means.

     All of Misery Signals' stuff has these qualities, but Controller represents the band firing on all cylinders. Musically, vocally, even production-wise (Devin Townsend produced this one.. yeah, that Devin Townsend) this album is spot-on, and it deserves a little of your listening time this week. Give it a couple of spins and I'm confident it'll hook you like it hooked me.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Black Crown Initiate - The Great Mistake

     Internet quasi-darlings Black Crown Initiate are close to releasing their debut LP The Wreckage of Stars and in the process (hopefully) cementing there place in the metal world. Their debut EP Song of the Crippled Bull was generally pretty well received, but at only four tracks it was hardly enough material upon which to base a judgement of a young band.

     Today's song should give you a little bit more meat to chew on while you make such judgements for yourself. "The Great Mistake" is the first song to be released from the upcoming The Wreckage of Stars, and I think it more than demonstrates that Black Crown Initiate wasn't just a flash in the pan: the song's got tons (or tonnes?) of brooding atmosphere laid atop its deathy, doomy riffing. And the boys have even found themselves a big chorus that's still brutal enough that it should please metal snobs everywhere. See what you think, you metal snob you.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Monday: Pomegranate Tiger - Stars

     I know it hasn't been all that long since the last time Pomegranate Tiger provided me with your Song of the Day (I picked "Not to See the Sun" to accompany the Pom Tiger Twenty Questions post that went up back in July). But last night's show was such a good time, and Pomegranate Tiger killed their opening slot, so I figure they've earned a little more Loud Noises love.

     Tonight I'm going with "Stars", another track from the band's self-titled debut LP. "Stars" is a chunky riffathon, chock full of the shreddy arpeggiating (arpeggio-ing?) that's pretty much Pomegranate Tiger's stock in trade. "Stars" is also a good Pom Tiger song to check out if you don't know them, because it strikes a good balance between being proggy and being concise, between being heavy and being melodic, between being technical and being accessible. Check out "Stars" and then agree with me that these guys need to release album number two already.

Sunday: Protest the Hero - Mist

     Some of you might be wondering what happened to Sunday's Song of the Day. I'll lay some of the blame on my recovery from Saturday's Mini-Olympiad, but the more exciting excuse is that last night was the long-awaited Protest the Hero show here in town, with support from Pomegranate Tiger and Mandroid Echostar.

     I know I've mentioned this show and its tour at least a couple of times here at Loud Noises (I asked the guys from Pomegranate Tiger in our Twenty Questions exchange, for example) but I've been busy at work, and I've had the mini-olympics on the brain for a bit, and somehow or other this show just kinda crept up on me. Not that I'm complaining.

     I had of course intended to drop a quick Protest song on you before we left, but much of my afternoon yesterday was consumed by napping, in preparation for my 4 AM start at work this morning. (Yeah, yeah, I know, it's a real sob story.) So the order of business when it comes to catching up on yesterday is most definitely a Protest the Hero song, and the boys have helped me make a choice as to which one by releasing a new video recently.

     Your song for yesterday is "Mist", from last year's Volition, an homage to the province of Newfoundland. The boys in Protest have apparently long had a soft spot for Newfoundland and the warm reception they continually receive whenever touring takes them there. And if the song is dedicated to the band's favourite province, the video is perhaps even more so. Crank "Mist" and be jealous of the time I had last night while you await my Pit Report later in the week.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Archspire - Seven Crowns and the Oblivion Chain

     Take a seat, kids, I'm going to lay a little story on you. No, scratch that, a little legend. You see, five years ago our friends threw a couple of parties, referred to as the Mini-Olympics, at which attendants not only drank and ate but also compete in a series of events designed to test their mettle and separate wheat from chaff.

     Some of these events were drinking games, but many were simply silly -- think egg-and-spoon relays and you'll be on the right track. The grandest of these mini-olympiad took place out in the boons in July of 2009, and when you throw in the late-night fireworks display you have a good time had by all.

     As our little group has grown together, grown apart, expanded, contracted, gotten married, and started having kids, the story of The Mini-Olympics, and in particular that last one, has grown in the telling, and always prompts cries of "we should do another one of those sometime". Those cries may have taken years to come to anything, but the stars have finally aligned and this afternoon (perhaps even as you read this) I shall be defending my honour on the field of mini-olympic competition for the Five Year Reunion of the Shackle Mini-Olympics.

     And I since I will of course be doing all the winning (yeah, right...) we need something to go hard to for our Song of the Day today. No training montage ever created will improve my performance at simple games like these, so "Eye of the Tiger" is out. Why not just go with some more brutally proficient tech death from Vancouver's Archspire? Aaron from Killitorous would approve.

     Your song today is therefore "Seven Crowns and the Oblivion Chain" from Archspire's latest The Lucid Collective . Stay tech, everybody.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Escape the Cult - I'm Absolute

     You might have read in the last little bit that Primus drummer Tim Alexander recently underwent successful heart surgery and is on the road to recovery. Other than the success of Tim's operation being good news in and of itself, the whole story has the added bonus of shedding some light on one of Tim's less well known musical projects.

     If you read anything about this and saw the name Escape the Cult, and didn't go find out what Escape the Cult is, boy did you miss out. It's just a little international supergroup featuring Alexander,  Mike Wead from King Diamond, Matthieu Romarin from Uneven Structure, and Peter Shallmin from Kamlath. That's a lot of talent arrayed in one band, and I for one think you can hear every ounce of it.

     Have a listen to first single "I'm Absolute" from forthcoming debut All You Want To for a taste of what I'm talking about. It's a mellow, funky little jam that showcases Shallmin's bass work with a killer low end tone. It's not especially "heavy" as such, but with a groove like this song's got it doesn't need to be.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

JAKOB - Blind Them With Science

     I'm not a huge fan of post-modernism in my art or my literary philosophy, but I'm willing to have a go at post-just-about-anything-else. And it's a good thing too, because it's the best way to come across bands like the providers of your Song for this evening.

     JAKOB is a post-rock (at times almost post-metal) trio from New Zealand with a sound as big as the vistas you might expect to see in its homeland. Yes, that's a somewhat clunky simile, but that's fine as long as you get the proper sense of bigness.

     Due out in October on The Mylene Sheath, JAKOB's latest Sines has apparently been a long time coming (eight years or so, going by Soundcloud), a journey mirrored in the musical journey of first single "Blind Them With Science". It's not so much the "ebb and flow" of your average post-whatever as it is a "flow and flow", so to speak.

     Sure, the song picks up, then has a low in the middle, and picks up again, but instead of the "crashing waves" effect you sometimes get, it's more of a river (if we have to stick to aquatic metaphors, which we do) moving from point A to B to C in its own way and time. And now I'm rambling, so just go put the damn song on and be moved already.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Mirrelia - Six Over Seven

     I've said it before and I'll no doubt say it many times more before I'm through: the Canadian heavy music scene is brimming with talent. Every time I look I discover more of it, and a lot of the time when I don't look I discover more of it too.

     Today's band just happened to pop up in my Facebook feed, being plugged by one band I already follow or another, and I consider it fate that they did. Toronto-based Mirrelia are gearing up to release a new EP next week, and the first single "Six Over Seven" has the right combination of heavy, jagged riffing, melodic hookiness, and ever-so-slightly proggy tendencies.

     I bet you've never heard of Mirrelia, but I'm also willing to bet at least some of you out there will dig them. So check out "Six Over Seven", then check out The Actor EP next week, and discover for yourself yet another hidden Canadian gem.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Album of the Week: Weerd Science - Friends and Nervous Breakdowns

     I'm going to step outside our collective comfort zone a little bit for this week's Album of the Week, so please bear with me. I promise it'll still be time well spent.

     I like to think I'm pretty musically open-minded, with a broad musical palate, but I quite naturally listen to more of some things than others. Rap and hip-hop tend to be fairly low on my set of playlist priorities, but they are on there, and one of the main reasons why is your Album of the Week this week.

     Regular readers may well have heard me talk about Weerd Science before, and those same regular readers (as well as the generally observant among you) may remember that Weerd Science is in fact the nomme de rhyme for Coheed and Cambria drummer Josh Eppard. You hypothetical readers also might already know that Josh's "dayjob" with Coheed isn't the only reason you should give Weerd Science a listen.

     The main reason you should give Weerd Science a listen is that goddamn, Josh has some flow. I'm no expert on either rap or hip-hop, but that doesn't mean I can't recognize one talented dude when I hear him. And it's not just a "whoah, white boy can rap" thing either (although I happen to think that Josh has the potential to hold his own alongside Mr. Mathers given the chance, if you want to talk white rappers).

     No, it's not novelty or curiosity or flash-in-the-pan, one-hit-wonderism that makes me dig Weerd Science. It's the simple fact that Josh has written some really solid Weerd Science material, a fact that you're going to discover for yourself this week as you listen to Friend and Nervous Breakdowns, the album that introduced me to this whole other side of the drummer from Coheed and Cambria.

Visions - Korma

     British tech-core band Visions have had a lot of obstacles thrown at them in the last couple of years, including at least one line-up change and the collapse of their label Myriad Records, but perseverance is the name of the game for these underdogs.

     I've featured these guys a couple of times before, mounting troubles and all, and it's nice to be able to pick another one of their songs without the impetus being some drama or other. Perhaps the best part, though, is that the band has obligingly put out a new song, so I can recommend you check out their very latest.

     The song in question is called "Korma", and its got some big riffing and some big vocals. Since the band's drumming position is still vacant, they had a little help on this track from one Mike Malyan, whose name you could certainly be forgiven for being familiar with: Mike is not only the current skinsman for his fellow Brits in Monuments, he's also part-time live and touring beatmaster for French electro-metal project The Algorithm.

     Mike's confident style and overall chops are right at home in Visions, and while I have no idea whether A) this is a permanent line-up arrangement, or B) this track represents work on a new album, I will be so bold as to say that this particular collaboration results in a solid slice of aggressive energy. Think later-catalogue Finch done just a little more metal, and you'll be ready to have a go at "Korma".

Monday, 4 August 2014

Killitorous - No, Not the Bees

     I promised you some Killitorous for your Song of the Day to go along with your Eighteen Questions, and what kind of person would I be if I let you down?

     I've featured Killitorous songs several times before here at Lound Noises, which means I've already exhausted my number one choice (*cough* "Godking" *cough*). But the band just happened to put out a lyric video last month for two-minute-wonder "No, Not the Bees", so their homage to one of the great thespians of our time will make the perfect accompaniment to your Q&A reading.

     Is Nicholas Cage the good kind of bad? The bad kind of good? Why not listen to Killitorous slay their way through two minutes and ten seconds of high speed mayhem while you figure out where on the acting spectrum you'd place him.

Twenty Questions* with Aaron from Killitorous

     The August long weekend is upon us already, and the first thing that's made a lot of us around here think is, "where the fuck did July go?" But rather than mourning the rapid demise of the summer, why not celebrate the fact that it's not going to be an age of the earth before you get to read another Twenty Questions interview.

     Well, another Eighteen Questions or so, anyways. This time out I had a chance to fire some e-mails back and forth with one of the dudes from Canadian tech death band Killitorous, and in my fanboyish glee at getting to subject Aaron to my own special brand of electronic interrogation, I missed the fact that Killitorous does in fact have label support now and asked them about it anyways. How embarrassing! (The guys are getting distribution from Galy Distribution in North America and Trendkill in Europe and the UK, by the by)

     Nevertheless, I still have a nearly-full compliment of questions and answers for you to check out, courtesy of one of the guitarists of one of today's up and coming tech death bands. Yeah, yeah, the phrase "up and coming" is a bit of a cliche, but I really think these guys are going to be leaders in their sub-genre. If Party, Grind doesn't grace some end of the year "best of" lists, I'll eat my beard.

     So without further prevaricating about the bush, enjoy some Q&A with Aaron from Killitorous, and be sure to party and/or grind this Civic Holiday.

- LN: For the benefit of anyone who doesn’t know who you are, please identify yourself and the band you play for.
     Aaron: My name is Aaron "Shredder" Homma. I play guitar for Killitorous. I also play for Vital Remains, Immersed who is on hiatus and have played with The Kindred and Erimha. I also guitar tech'd for Ill Nino. I've gone around....hahaha

- LN: Tell us a story: how did the band come to be?
     Aaron: I had quit The Kindred (at that time the band was still called Today I Caught The Plague) because I wanted to play way more technical and brutal music. So I started Killitorous, which was my msn messenger tag at the time...haha (old school). This was a longer time ago than anyone thinks....7 years ago.

- LN: You guys play a style of death metal that is, how shall I say, pretty fucking heavy, not to mention pretty tech. Did you guys set out with this sound in mind, or has it evolved over the life of the band?
     Aaron: To be honest...yes, we wanted to be tech and brutal AS FUCK....but still sound like no one, or maybe like everyone....really we wanted to sound like all our favourite bands mixed into one. Which just happens to be brutal and techy.

- LN: Can you tell me about any influences, musical or otherwise, that guided your decision to adopt such a heavy sound?
     Aaron: It's kinda crazy, because we have been around so long that we have such a strange array of music that's influenced the band to have the catalogue of songs we play now.... anything from See You Next Tuesday, Psyopus and I Wrestled a Bear Once to Nile, Cryptopsy and Origin. Really we love so many styles and bands it's hard to say. Basically you should ask us what hasn't influenced us because that would be an easier and less lengthy answer.

- LN: In your videos it looks like you play 6-string guitars with a 4-string bass (ie: a “conventional” tuning setup), and it doesn’t sound like you guys tune down a whole lot, if at all. And yet, you guys have riffs as heavy and badass as anything from a band with extended range instruments and/or super low tuning preferences. So I'm curious, what tuning do you use, and why? Was this a conscious decision or did it just kinda end up that way?
     Aaron: We play in drop C, and the reason is because we play not only high or low. We play the whole guitar, constantly. So we decided to keep the tuning as legible as possible, but still as heavy sounding as for us Drop C made sense.

 - LN: Your turf according to Facebook, essentially the southern Ontario/Quebec 401 corridor, is basically my neighbourhood too (Kingston here), so I’d like to know if there’re any bands in the area I should know about that I probably don’t already. In your humble opinions, who’s heavy and good in this part of the country?
     Aaron: Too many to ever mention. BUT I will tell you that from what I have seen touring the world, is that we have the BEST calibre of bands, and my personal favourites all reside in NOT only Ontario/Quebec...but the whole country of Canada.

 - LN: Once again according to Facebook it looks like you’ve been playing a few shows lately, but do you have any plans for more extensive touring? Somewhere like, oh I don’t know, say Kingston, would love to have a metal band of your face-melting calibre.
     Aaron: We are doing an Eastern Canada tour in August/Sept. but also we are touring the U.S.A this year....and other places ;) we did sign to a European Label after all!!!

- LN: Your indiegogo campaign looks like it was pretty successful. Would you think about going the same route for album number two?
     Aaron: It depends really on so many things...mainly, when running a band these days it can be hard to make it happen without the support, also for us unless people wanted it, we didn't want to record it or even waste our time. For us a Kickstarter campaign for the album just made sense.

- LN: Speaking of album number two, I know Party, Grind only just came out, but have you guys done any work for your second record? I for one could definitely do with some more Killitorous sooner rather than later.
     Aaron: We have almost finished writing the new album, we are trying to keep things rolling rather than touring the album TOO much. So I'd say we will really start working on it once we are finished the touring cycles for Party, Grind.

- LN: How about a few quick ones, like: favourite Nicholas Cage movie?
     Aaron: Raising Arizona tied with Leaving Las Vegas tied with Faceoff tied with Adaptation.

- LN: Favourite Jim Carrey movie?
     Aaron: Ace Ventura 1, but as he is from the same hometown as me (Newmarket, Ontario, Canada) I must say EVERY movie holds a certain place in my heart.

- LN: The Black Dahlia Murder or Carcass?
     Aaron: Neither, Hall and Oates.

- LN: Arsis or Archspire?
     Aaron: That's is an unfair question, because although I spent majority of my high school comm tech class listening to "We are the Nightmare", Archspire are my boys and one of the bands/group of dudes, myself and my band respect in Canada. UNFAIR, NEXT QUESTION!!!!

- LN: Now for a few of my standard closers: If you could make everyone stop what they’re doing and listen to one song right this minute, what song would it be?
     Aaron: Godking, because I feel it is the perfect blend of everything Killitorous has to offer.

- LN: If you could ask any member of any band any question, who would it be and what would you ask?
     Aaron: Darryl Hall, why did you let the drums be on the off beat in the video for "Private Eyes!?"....aggravating! see link:

- LN: Dream Tour: who would you guys open for, or who would open for you?
     Aaron: I would love to tour one day with Nile...because they are my fav. metal band ever.

- LN: Almost done. What have you been listening to lately?
     Aaron: In the genre of metal I have been listening to the newest Cryptopsy, Cattle Decapitation and Unhuman...ALOT but I still listen to really everything, LOVE the new Chromeo, Daft Punk and still can't stop listening to Lana Del Rey.

- LN: Last one! What’s your favourite metal album of all time?
     Aaron: Akeldema by The Faceless.

     And as always, in response to Aaron's awesome answers I say the following:
- good sensible tuning, drop C. Excellent choice.
- I, too, am finding that the longer I write this blog, the more Canadian bands I discover that rival anything being done anywhere else in the world. No matter what your musical flavour of choice, heavy or otherwise, Canada has got you covered.
-Interesting, Face/Off but no Con-Air *or* The Rock...
- the first Ace Ventura movie is indeed the correct answer, although I used to love The Mask when I was a kid. Also, not that it means anything to anyone, I have family in Newmarket, so yay Newmarket!
- I had a hunch that "Arsis or Archspire?" might be a tough one when it occurred to me in all its alliterative glory. I'm glad to have presented you with a conundrum.
- Excellent choice of favourite metal album Aaron.

     That's another Twenty Questions down (rounding up, at least...) and another band added to the Litany of Heroes. Who'll show up at Loud Noises next? You'll just have to wait and see. For now, have a listen to today's Song of the Day for an example of Killitorous doing what they do. You'll be glad you did

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Slipknot - The Negative One

     I'm already a few days late to the party on this one, so I'd better hurry up and get it over with lest I become even tardier.

     All the recent online teasing from Slipknot has finally culminated in the streaming of a new song, "The Negative One", our first taste of the band's new material minus Paul and Joey. It's not the best Slipknot song, but it might belie the quality of the rest of the band's next record.

     Since there isn't really any further news about when such a record might be released, for now we'll have to content ourselves with "The Negative One". Have any thoughts about the new track upon listening? Leave a comment below, whydoncha?

Saturday, 2 August 2014

LAGO - Concede to Oblivion

     The weekend is upon us at last, so you could probably use some heavy shit to jam out while you're taking in some sun and some of your poison of choice, right? I thought so, which is why today you're going to listen to LAGO.

     Phoenix, Arizona's LAGO are set to release their debut LP Tyranny this fall, and they've already got a song streaming its way around the interwebs entitled "Concede to Oblivion". Why should you listen to the latter and possibly become interested in the former? I can't speak for the whole of Tyranny yet, but "Concede" is some rock-solid death metal that I find reminiscent of mid-catalogue Opeth, or maybe the deathier parts of a good Gojira song.

     It might be a little early to tell for sure, but I'd keep an eye on LAGO if this kinda of death metal is your thing. They could be a force to be reckoned with in an album or two. Get in on the ground floor today.

Friday, 1 August 2014

The Zenith Passage - Simulated Reality

     I'm always on the lookout for new music, and when I discover something fresh I try to present it to you while it's still fresh. Being that I'm not in the business of metal news per se, I often find myself behind the curve on things. Hopefully, however, the Facebook pages of none other than both Cyborg Octopus and Archspire have pointed me in the direction of something you'll dig and that you have yet to hear about anywhere else.

     When bands like the aforementioned Cyborg Octopus and Archspire tell you that something is worth checking out, you fucking listen up, which is what I did when both of them shared a link to a pre-production version of a song called "Simulated Reality" by LA death metal outfit The Zenith Passage. And I wasn't disappointed: "Simulated Reality" is a tasty slice of suitable noodly and technical death metal that's got just the right amount of spacey atmosphere and melody sprinkled throughout.

     "Simulated Reality" is a pre-production track, so the mix could perhaps use a little work in places, but it's still an indicator that the next effort from The Zenith Passage could well be something to look out for. So take the advice of Cyborg Octopus and Archspire and check out some new The Zenith Passage today.