Sunday, 30 November 2014

Clement Belio - Revive

     Hopefully your Sunday has been going at just the right speed for you: mellow enough that you get some solid relaxation going on, but not so mellow that you get lulled into an unscheduled nap. Accordingly, I've got some progressive jazz that should tread that line nicely for you.

     French musician Clement Belio created a masterpiece of variously influenced prog jazz in Contrast, in the artists words a "melting pot" of influences, styles and bands. Some parts are more inspired or influenced by something else, while others are more direct homages in one way or another to a style or sound.

     Today's song is one of the latter, "Revive", which seems in many was to mimic the style of Tesseract; layers of atmospheric guitar arpeggios, funky drum grooves, and even a bit of sax work give "Revive" the flavour of Altered States without ever veering into either cover territory or the land of outright borrowing. The result is a heavy-ish kind of track that sits comfortably among the other jazz gems Clement has come up with. Rock yourself to sleep tonight.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Carcass - A Congealed Clot of Blood

     I didn't do any kind of a Throwback Thursday post this week, so since I'm out of "old band new music" stuff (for now...) I'm going to jump in the wayback machine for some Old School Saturday... kinda sorta.

     I say "kind sorta" because while this song is not chronologically very old at all, it's got a classic, old-school vibe to it in spades. The 2013 album Surgical Steel from British death metal legends Carcass was hailed as a bit of a return to form, but whatever you want to call it, the record's old-school flavour is undeniable. The riffs, the solos, the vocals -- the whole thing feels retro with feeling like it's trying to feel retro. You follow me?

     Whatever. You don't have to follow me to enjoy today's Old School Saturday song, "A Congealed Clot of Blood" from Surgical Steel by Carcass. Crank this one and whip your mullet/metal hair around like you just don't care.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Friday: The Melvins - City Dump

     The other day, when I was listening to the new Faith No More song, I was doing so on the Ipecac Soundcloud. Every time "Motherfucker" ended, some other song started before I had a chance to go back to the start of the player's chosen playlist for more "Motherfucker". Eventually, however, I started liking the first little bit of that other song, and upon further investigation, this is what I found.

     Your song today is "City Dump" from the 2013 record Tres Cabrones by The Melvins. I've never been a huge Melvins fan, for whatever reason, but by the time I got all the way through "City Dump" I was thoroughly digging things. It's a sludgy, stonery kind of track that almost reminds me of the southern psychedelic grunginess of Mastodon or Baroness.

     I don't know that I'm going to go out and devour The Melvins' back catalogue now, but I certainly won't write them off as quickly as I have in the past for not really being my style. Some of their shit, at least, is most definitely my style.

Thursday: Soundgarden - Storm

     If Loud Noises were an arcade fighting game, I would have had a pretty sweet combo chained together, between the week of cover posts and the last few days of "old band, new music". Of course, then my opponent blocked, I hit the sack early last night, and I lost the multiplier. But fear not; I had a song picked out for yesterday, and now you get to hear it.

     Remember when I called this mini-theme I've had going "old band, new music"? That definitely applies to today's song... sorta. Definitely, because the band in question is the venerable Soundgarden. Sorta, because the song in question isn't so much newly recorded as newly released to you.

     I'm not sure when "Storm", from the recently released b-sides and rarities compilation Echo of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path, was recorded, but it sure does have the vibe of Soundgarden's older work as opposed to their more recent stuff. A little dark, a little unusual, "Storm" feels to me like it could be right at home on, say, Down on the Upside. It's cool old-new (or is that new-old?) Soundgarden, and you should check it out.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Faith No More - Motherfucker

     Another old band, new music kind of situation tonight, and it's beginning to feel like I could have just turned around and started another theme week after finishing up with covers. Not that I'm complaining -- 2015 just keeps looking bigger and badder.

     Today's new song from an old band comes from a very old act, and one whose new album is generating quite a bit of online excitement. That band is Faith No More, and the first song to be released from their hotly anticipated new album is the provocatively titled "Motherfucker". The new record's not due out until sometime in the spring of next year, but "Motherfucker" gives us at least a taste of what might be in store.

     And what a strange little taste it is. It's fairly short, at around three and a half minutes, and it's based on Mike Patton's rolling, driving spoken word-esque vocal delivery. This might sound weird, but it reminds me a little of some Beck stuff, or the Butthole Surfers song "Pepper" -- there's a throwback for you. Anyways, check out the new Faith No More track "Motherfucker" and see if it reminds you of anything.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Northlane - Rot

     I've got some more new music for you this afternoon, in the form of the latest from the Australian djentlemen in Northlane.

     There has apparently been some line-up shuffling in Camp Northlane since last we heard from them -- vocalist Adrian Fitipaldes has parted ways with the band and been replaced by Marcus Bridge -- but you wouldn't necessarily know it to listen to them. The voice over top might be different, but the atmosphere-enhanced melo-djent underneath doesn't sound radically different than it did on 2013's Singularity.

     Not that there's anything wrong with that. As new single "Rot" demonstrates, Northlane can craft engaging hooks and grooves no matter who's on the mic. They're still not blowing my mind or anything, but I found myself hitting repeat and bobbing my head in a pleasant feedback loop with this one. Northlane's next record could be one to watch out for.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Sylosis - Leech

     We're going to start the week off right tonight, with a badass video for a sweet new song. Metal Monday lives again!

     You should all know by now that I'm a pretty big Sylosis fan. For that reason, the news a while back that the band's got a new record, Dormant Heart, due out in January tickled my fancy very much. The guys have already released one single, "Mercy", but not content to rest on their laurels, Sylosis are being kind enough not to let us just drift in the wind until the new year. A second single is upon us, and it comes complete with an animated video.

     The first comparison that many people will make upon seeing "Leech" is to A-ha's rotoscoped video for "Take On Me", and I guess I get that, but to me this one's more reminiscent of Bakshi's Lord of the Rings or even animated sc-fi classic Heavy Metal. It's not really SFW, but don't let that deter you, as it's not too over the top.

     But what about the song itself? It's not as fast and thrashy as some Sylosis stuff, instead leaning towards the big and doomy side of the band's skillset. Fear not, though, it's still recognizably the Sylosis you know and love, right down to the tasty little solo. If you're looking for the exact same Sylosis sound as albums past, you might not find it in the first couple of tracks we've heard so far off of Dormant Heart. But I for one am definitely still looking forward to this one. January is shaping up to be a bit of a beast.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Periphery - The Scourge

     Now that we're done with our week of covers, which by the way I hope you enjoyed, we're back to Loud Noises' regularly scheduled programming, and that means I've got a bit of catching up to do on some of the new stuff that's hit the internet in the last week.

     First up, perhaps not surprisingly, is the first song to be released from Periphery's upcoming Juggernaut double album. "The Scourge" doesn't sound exactly like previous Periphery stuff, but it's still most definitely Periphery. This one perhaps has a little more of a menacing edge than some of their material, but it's still got some of that big riffage you've come to expect. Late January might seem like a long way off still, but a double dose of songs like this one might be worth the wait. What do you think?

Sam Westphalen - Lateralus

     It's Saturday once again (I know it's actually Sunday, but only just!), meaning that another Under the Covers of Darkness week is drawing to a close. But I've got one last cover for you, and it happens to be a pretty sweet one. It's not as different from the original as, say, yesterday's Sioux version of "Closer", but it's also not quite a straight-forward as perhaps some of my other choices this week have been.

     Australian Sam Westphalen's name is one you're probably already familiar with. In addition to being an accomplished guitarist and songwriter in his own right, he's only garner some internet fame by recording a whole bunch of fingerstyle/percussive acoustic guitar covers, a number of which are metal songs. Megadeath, Rammstein, Slayer, Pantera -- Sam's got a pretty impressive list of covers under his belt.

     But tonight we're capping off the week with one of my favourites, Sam's version of Tool's "Lateralus", from the 2001 masterpiece of the same name. In this live video, Sam encapsulates the entire song, guitar, bass, drums, and vocals, using just his acoustic guitar and his two hands. This one should appeal to both Tool fans and fans of this kind of inspired guitar goodness.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Sioux - Closer

     The second edition of Loud Noises' Under the Covers of Darkness week is winding down now, but I've still got a couple more cool covers to throw at your before it's back to our regularly scheduled programming. In fact, tonight's penultimate song (that's "next-to-last", for all you non-word dorks out there) might actually be one of the more adventurous takes all week.

     I'm sure you're all pretty familiar with Nine Inch Nails, and more specifically the album The Downward Spiral, and more specifically still the single "Closer". Dense industrial techno-rock with a driving beat and layers of synths and guitars, "Closer" is a song you're probably so familiar with that you could sing me the whole thing right now.

      But take that familiar core, run it through a sludgy fuzz filter, and you have tonight's cover version by Portland's Sioux. It's like a grungy, drony, stoner rock band just jamming out on the fundamental elements of the Nails original. For that reason, it's also the kind of cover that can stand on its own alongside an original rather than having to draft in the wake of an original. Whether or not you like Nine Inch Nails' "Closer" (although, how could you not, really?), you should check out Sioux's "Closer" -- it's a whole other animal.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

The Protomen - The Trooper

     Under the Covers of Darkness part 2 continues tonight with a Throwback Thursday of sorts. It's not so much an old cover as a cover of an old song, not to mention a classic and perennial favourite for covering.

     The venerable coverable in question is none other than Iron Maiden's "The Trooper", originally recorded for the 1983 record Piece of Mind but this evening being performed for you by the American space-bots in The Protomen on their 2014 The Cover Up EP. While the band doesn't go too far out into orbit with their version of this Maiden masterpiece, they still manage to put enough of their own stank on it to make for a noticeable change in flavour: 80's guitar metal becomes 80's space rock with apparent ease. So grab your lasrifle and prepare to march in the robot wars with "The Trooper" as your soundtrack.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Strange Changes - Prancer

     Was yesterday's "tech" Tuesday just not tech enough for you? Today's cover will fix that right up... in a manner of speaking.

     Before you get your knickers in a twist, no, today's song isn't a tech death cover or anything. It is, however, a much more... technically ambitious, shall we say, cover of a song by a band that is also generally anything but straight forward. I do hope you like jazz though...

     Tonight you're looking at a pretty wild free-jazz-feeling live cover of The Dillinger Escape Plan's "Prancer" from last year's One of Us is the Killer by a band called Strange Changes. Dillinger's version is out-there enough for some people already, so add in horns and keyboards and then give this group of talented jazz players a little room to move, in the form of extended solo instrumental sections, and you've got a cover that can only be described as controlled chaos.

     Things travel a little far afield before Strange Changes is done, but the song remains pretty recognizably "Prancer" for most of its seven-and-a-half minute running time, a commendable feat. If jazz isn't your thing, you might initially be turned off by this cover, but if Dillinger is your thing, I'm willing to be you've got the mental musical capacity to handle everything Strange Changes throws at you. Either way, I urge you to open your mind and give this one a shot. I think you'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Between the Buried and Me - The Day I Tried to Live

     Another day, another cover, as the second edition of Under the Covers of Darkness Week continues here at Loud Noises. Being that today is usually Tech Tuesday around here, I've picked a cover by a very technically proficient band, and although this particular cover isn't really tech at all, I'm hoping you'll dig the song enough to overlook the fact that it isn't played in six different time signatures at 200 BPM.

     If you're a Between the Buried and Me fan, you're probably (hopefully?) already aware that back in 2006 the band put out The Anatomy Of, an album of covers from some of their favourite bands and musical influences. None of the covers is especially adventurous -- nobody really gets the full-on BTBAM epic death prog treatment -- but its still cool to hear some notable classics given a bit of a metallic edge.

     Classics like today's song, "The Day I Tried to Live", originally recorded by Soundgarden for their 1994 masterpiece Superunknown. Between the Buried and Me's version retains all the power of the original even as it gives the song an aggressive new bent. If you're a fan of the song or of either band, I think you'll enjoy giving this cover a spin.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Shadows Fall - Bark at the Moon

     It's day two of the second edition of Under the Covers of Darkness week here at Loud Noises, and today's song has a loose connection with yesterday's. It's not quite a "six degrees of separation" kind of situation (sorry, Kevin Bacon, your services aren't required here) but some similarly lateral thinking might put you on the right track. Go on, have a guess!

     Give up? Or just glance up, and read the title of this post? Either way, your second cover song of the week is Shadows Fall's rendition of the Ozzy Osbourne classic "Bark at the Moon" as released on the deluxe edition of their 2009 record Retribution. As a cover version, it's not all that far removed from the original -- essentially Brian Fair singing "Bark at the Moon" with a little thrashy frosting on top -- but since Shadows Fall already have a bit of a retro 80's metal vibe going in some of their stuff, I'm cool with them just doing a straight up cover instead of trying to get fancy with this piece of metal history.

     And while they may not have taken much artistic license with "Bark at the Moon", the boys in Shadows Fall did have the decency to make their own campy werewolf video for their version of the song, rounding out the Ozzy homage in fitting, vaguely Victorian style. Check it out, and I'll see you back here tomorrow for your day three coverage.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Sunday: Foo FIghters (with Zac Brown) - War Pigs

     It's been a long time since I've done a week of themed posts, but that doesn't mean the concept hasn't crossed my mind lately. For a while now I've been toying with the idea of doing another one, biding my time and collecting possible material. Lucky for you I've finally decided that this week is the week.

     So what theme have I chosen for the next seven days of posts? Hold onto your duvets people, because it's the return of Under the Covers of Darkness week! Maybe I'll start calling it Under the Covers of Darkness 2:  The Re-Darkening. Or maybe not. Maybe I'll just get to the covers instead.

     We're going to kick things off with a recent cover of a song you should all be familiar with. About a month ago, Foo Fighters did a week-long residency on Letterman as part of the promotion for their new album Sonic Highways and the accompanying HBO mini-series of the same name, and the Foos started their week the same way I'm starting mine: with a cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs".

     It's a little condensed, a little trimmed in a spot or two, but can you really blame them? The original Sabbath version clocks in at around eight minutes long, making it perhaps a tad ambitious for a late-night spot. Regardless, any way you slice it up, it's still good to see some Sabbath on TV in 2014, which is why "War Pigs" is your first cover for the week. See you tomorrow, war pigs.

Saturday: Thomas Giles - Siphon the Bad Blood

     How's your weekend been treating you? Not psychedelic enough for your tastes? Me and Tommy G from Between the Buried and Me have got just what the doctor ordered.

     Of course, that assumes that your prescribing doctor is some kind of mad scientist. The video for "Siphon the Bad Blood", the latest track to be released from Thomas Giles' upcoming solo record Modern Noise, is awash in strange hues and superimposed footage reminiscent of the nightmare-inducing boat scenes in the 1971 classic Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.

     The result is a trippy take on a somewhat simple video concept for a fairly straightforward song. Giles' solo work is usually pretty far removed from his work with Between the Buried and Me, and "Siphon the Bad Blood" is no exception, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Check "Siphon" out, and if it's your cup of tea, keep an eye out for the release of Modern Noise in about two weeks.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Album of the Week: Refused - The Shape of Punk to Come

     Last week's epic Song of the Day slide managed not only to take entirely to long to get under control but also to bump last week's Album of the Week entirely off my radar. But fear not, faithful reader, I'm back on track this week (more or less...) and I've got you album-length listening needs covered.

     This week I'm going with another one of those "putting your money where my mouth is" kind of posts, by which I mean that I'm going to recommend you spend the next week with a record that's already been the source of several Songs of the Day, and one that I've often espoused in the past, just never in this format. The more cynical among you might read this as a cop-out, especially considering the fact that I just did a Refused song a few days ago, but I firmly believe that The Shape of Punk to Come has had such a large impact on the shape of so much of the heavy music that came after it that it deserves to be revisited.

     So if you already know this chimerical bombination in 12 bursts, why not take this opportunity to reacquaint yourself with a classic? And if somehow you don't know Refused, or don't know The Shape of Punk to Come, for fuck's sake stop what you're doing and discover one of the most influential records of the last fifteen years or so. Refused are fucking dead -- long live Refused.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Friday: Memory Map - Magnetic Center

     I know we all love metal around here, but I'm going to let you in on a secret: it's not the only genre producing cool acts these days. Blasphemy, right? Yeah, I know, but it's true. And it's my job to show you some of them.

     Today's band, Indiana's Memory Map, is one such band, crafting groove- and hook-laden pop-rock jams sunny enough that they could be on the radio and yet still layered and interesting enough to hold the attention of those not normally into anything remotely like them. The drumwork in particular is liberally salted with cool little flourishes and embellishments without distracting or detracting from the songs around it.

     Have a listen to "Magnetic Center" from the band's latest disc The Sky As Well As Space. It'll only take a few minutes of your time, and there's a pretty good chance it'll be the bounciest little piece of indie guitar-driven pop you've heard in a long time.

Thursday: Mudvayne - Nothing to Gein

     I've never liked being a follower of trends. I was a late-comer to Facebook back in the day, I've only had a smart phone for six months or so (and it's not a fucking iPhone!) and I've yet to see the merit of Twitter. But maybe there's something to this Throwback Thursday thing...

     I'm certainly all for nostalgia, and there's certainly music worth listening to, even heavy music, that wasn't recorded in the last five minutes, so let's have another go at something cool from yesteryear, shall we? This week we're going to with one of my favourite tracks by a band that had a huge impact on my burgeoning metal tastes way back when.

     But first, a little story: myself and a group of friends went to Ozzfest in 2001. It was a good year for it, for sure -- Sabbath, Slipknot, and Manson (among others) on the mainstage, and some lesser-knowns that we dug, like Spineshank and Taproot, on the second stage -- but one band in particular stands out in my mind, both because of the quality of set they put on and because of the criminally low level of attention we gave them.

     Mudvayne was relatively unknown at the time, touring on LD 50 and being overlooked as another gimicky costume act by some people (including us) in the wake of Slipknot's success. So when Mudvayne took to the second stage for their relatively short afternoon set, we were really only half paying attention, checking them out more to pass the time between main stage sets than because we dug their sound. If only I had known then just how awesome Mudvayne was, and just how into them we'd get, my attentions would have been firmly glued to the stage for that set.

     Songs like "Nothing to Gein" are the reason for this. Lyrically dark and musically diverse, "Nothing to Gein" (LD 50 in general) showed me that drums and bass don't have to take a back seat to guitar in progressive music or heavy music. In fact, in Mudvayne's case, both Ryan and Matt are arguably much more technically proficient than Greg (sorry, Gurrg), the perfect example of what a rhythm section should be doing. Do yourself a favour and revisit this blast from the past.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Raiju - The Kool-Aid

     Yesterday's bout of cosmic inspiration regarding Refused took precedence over your usual Tech Tuesday programming -- I had to strike while the iron was hot, so to speak. But just in case you're still jonesin' for something a tad techier, I've got the perfect prescription for you.

     California's Raiju remind me a lot of Protest the Hero: a powerful vocalist with some range, a super-tight rhythm section, a healthy helping of high energy noodling, even a melodic, sing-alongable chorus. But where Protest started life as more of a punk band, and still occasionally show flashes of this in their more recent, more metal offerings, Raiju takes the spastic Protest ADD formula and goes full shred with it. If Protest is perhaps a little unsure of its musical pedigree, a little "jack of all trades", Raiju is unabashedly shreddy, proggy metal.

     So, in summation, it's not tech death, but technicality takes many forms, and after listening to "The Kool-Aid" from the band's recently released EP Haunt I think you'll agree that these guys are plenty tech enough for a Tech Tuesday... even if it does happen to actually be Wednesday right now. Stay tech everybody.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Refused - Protest Song '68

     Sometimes -- not often, but sometimes -- it feels like the universe is speaking to me in strange ways. Just this morning, on my way home from work, the shuffle gods that govern my mp3 player deigned to give me some of Swedish legends Refused for my commute. Then, not an hour after getting home, I read the rumour that Refused are working on a new album.

     Sure, the "evidence" that work on a new record is indeed happening is somewhat scant, limited largely to some online whispers of vocal tracking progress and the late October "firing" of guitarist Jon Brannstrom (which at least suggests that the band might be looking to tour or record again). But, like their fellow Swedes At the Gates, Refused have the kind of following and legacy that a new record from them could be a pretty big deal.

     Or it could suck, shattering the rose-tinted image of Refused we've built up in our memories. Maybe there's no living up to the expectations that will surely precede any follow-up to the band's seminal The Shape of Punk to Come. Maybe Refused should just be a Refused cover band forever more, playing tracks like "Protest Song '68" to packed clubs of nostalgic devotees like some badass post-hardcore version of Kiss. I guess we'll all just have to jam some old stuff, like the aforementioned "Protest Song", while we get our collective hopes up.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Marilyn Manson - Third Day of a Seven Day Binge

     It's taken me a whole week to check the Song of the Day slide, but I'm finally all caught up with the calendar and back on track. And serendipitously, the universe has decided to send me the perfect song for yet another alliterative Monday.

     This might come as a bit of a shock to many of you out there, but Marilyn Manson is still making records. I haven't paid much attention to the last couple of them, but that doesn't mean they haven't been made all the same. I can't remember the last time a Manson record got me excited, and I wouldn't say that his forthcoming The Pale Emperor is going to buck that trend, but the first single certainly has my attention.

     "Third Day of a Seven Day Binge" is, in my opinion, a good example of what has always been one of Manson's greatest strengths: dark, vaguely creepy pop-rock with perhaps just a hint of sleaze. This stripped-down, fairly mellow number could sit alongside similar offerings from albums gone by ("The Speed of Pain" from Mechanical Animals comes to mind as a loose comparison), and it's the first Manson song in years that I've dug. Check it out and see if it hits you the same.

Sunday: 36 Crazyfists - Also Am I

     Do you remember a couple of weeks ago when I posted about Alaskan metalcore band 36 Crazyfists and how they're still carrying the torch of rock-solid metalcore? It's like the guys in the band were listening or something, because in the intervening two weeks the band released some new music for the first time since 2010's Collisions and Castaways.

     The latest 36 Crazyfists record Time and Trauma isn't due out until next year, but the album's first single "Also Am I" should go a long way towards keeping Crazyfist fans satisfied until then. Built around a handful of meaty riffs and a hooky chorus, "Also Am I" sounds like it could be a track from the band's heyday, but not in that "band trying to recapture its golden years" kind of way.

     36 Crazyfists sound like they've just been quietly doing their do all these years, regardless of trends. Whether or not you dig their jams is of course a matter of personal taste, but there's something to be said for a band that continues to adhere to the musical principles of its youth (as opposed to one that leaves said principles for a while before attempting to retrace its steps *cough* Metallica *cough*).

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Saturday: Skyharbor - Halogen

     We're only a day or two from the release of Skyharbor's sophomore disc Guiding Lights, but you may have already checked the album out via one channel or another.

     Maybe you're one of those who, like me, crowdfunded Guiding Lights and had the good fortune to get their download codes a little early this past week. Or maybe you're one of those who've checked out the leaked version of the album, the existence of which caused us crowdfunders to get their codes early in the first place.

     Let's pretend, however, that you're everybody else and have yet to hear the entirety of Guiding Lights. To sustain you until the record hits stores and streams in force this week, the guys have released another follow-up song to "Evolution" and "Patience". Musically, new single "Halogen" sits somewhere in between those previous two tracks: it's not as epic and immediately "singley" as "Evolution", but it's also not as mellow and down tempo as "Patience". It's heavy, but not bludgeoningly so, and it's catchy without sounding overly concerned with being catchy.

     All told, "Halogen" is a pretty good representation of where Skyharbor seems to be at right now, so if you're eagerly awaiting Guiding Lights this one'll help you make it the last couple of days.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Friday: Consider the Source - Put Another Rock in That Bag (Single Edit)

     Was Wednesday's Haken post just not proggy enough for? Too "mainstream prog rock" and not enough "haunted space prog"? Don't worry, I've got you covered.

     Well, actually, New York three-piece Consider the Source have you covered with the first sort-of single from their latest release World War Trio. Sort-of single, you ask? Allow me to try and get things straight: World War Trio is an epic three-part piece, part one of which is an EP consisting of a single, multi-movement song, "Put Another Rock in That Bag". The second and third parts of the record will be out sometime early next year.

     But what if you don't have a half hour or so in which to get proggy? Consider the Source have considered you there too, releasing a "single edit" version of "Put Another Rock in That Bag" that distills the EP's space prog madness down to a more reasonable five minutes or so. It's a real trip, so you should definitely don some headphones and turn this one up.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Thursday: Static-X - I'm With Stupid

     I'm going full bandwagon jumper with a Throwback Thursday post for yesterday in honour of the untimely death of Static-X founder Wayne Static.

     As I said when I posted on Facebook about this story earlier in the week, I was never a huge Static-X fan growing up. I did, however, grow up during the heyday of nu metal (please supply your own umlaut as desired) so I was definitely exposed to albums like Wisconsin Death Trip and Machine when they were first released. As a result, Static-X, like with so many other bands from around the same time, is a part of my musical history.

     That's why I'm throwing your Thursday back to the first Static-X song I ever heard, "I'm With Stupid", from the band's aforementioned 1999 debut Wisconsin Death Trip. In terms of technicality and complexity, it's a pretty far cry from the kind of stuff I listen to now, but it's still a simple, fun headbanger with some added nostalgia value. Raise a glass this Thursday (or Friday, you know, whenever...) to Wayne his place in modern music history. Nobody will ever be able to rock that haircut that well again.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Wednesday: Haken - Darkest Light

     We're going a little less metal and a lot more prog for your Wednesday song, so hold onto your demiquavers, music dorks.

     British prog purveyors Haken made quite an international name for themselves on the strength of last year's The Mountain, and now they've released a follow-up EP that is apparently based on some of the material from the band's very first 2008 demo recording. Said older material has definitely had the 2014 Haken update put on it though, as every bit of it sounds like a step forward from the band's last LP.

     Let "Darkest Light", the opening track from the Restoration EP, be your barometer for the new/old material. It's full of intricate, labyrinthine riffing that still manages to have great groove. And besides being pretty epic, the whole thing's heavier than you might be used to from Haken as well. Check it out.

Tuesday: Son of Aurelius - Long Ago

     A happy, if belated, Tech Tuesday to you! I've got something tasty for your Tech Tuesday this week, and while it's not necessarily the kind of, let's say, more straight forward tech-death I've been featuring lately, it is most definitely technically inclined.

     I've written about California's Son of Aurelius before, and those of you remember those posts of yore might be thinking "but wait, Son of Aurelius are a tech-death band, what are you talking about?" Sure, their first album The Farthest Reaches is bona fide tech-death through and through, but their sophomore disc Under a Western Sun has a bit of a broader scope.

     Technicality and musicianship are still there in spades, joined this time out by a proggier mindset reminiscent of the compositional journeying of bands like Between the Buried and Me. Under a Western Sun goes places, and if it meanders and wanders a bit more along the way than did its predecessor, it's nothing but a good thing.

     Check out "Long Ago" for a badass, nearly seven-minute slice of what I'm talking about, complete with a cool little bass solo.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Monday: Machine Head - Night of Long Knives

     My weekend sleep and work habits are apparently bleeding over into my week life. Help me fight back by reading the following!

     Machine Head vocalist and guitarist Rob Flynn might have a penchant for starting what the kids call "beef" with people on various online outlets, but he's also got a thing for crafting some pretty solid metal songs. You might debate with me which Machine Head album is best, but I think you'll at least agree that there's some good stuff in the band's catalogue.

     Don't worry, all of this is leading somewhere. You may, of course, be aware that Machine Head has a new record coming out next week. But maybe you're still on the fence as to whether or not Machine Head is still a band for you after all these years and album. Lucky you, because you don't have to wait until next week to find out whether or not you'll dig Bloodstones & Diamonds. You can listen to first single "Night of Long Knives" right now!

     A suitably Machine Head-y melothrash tune with sprinkles of death metal, "A Night of Long Knives" is also a lyrical heavyweight, dealing with the Manson family murders. It's nothing earthshatteringly different, but it's pretty good Machine Head. Let's hope it bodes well for the rest of the album.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Sunday: Unearth - Guards of Contagion

     Had a chance to listen to Unearth's brand spankin' new record Watchers of Rule yet? If not, you should probably make yourself a chance somehow.

     Unless of course you're one of those "metalcore sux" troo metalheads, although even then you shouldn't find much to complain about on the new disc. Sure, Unearth is one of those bands that's found its groove and and essentially keeps cranking out similar iterations of that groove, like a metal AC/DC, but man this particular time out is probably their best in a couple.

     My favourite is still 2004's The Oncoming Storm, or maaayybe the 2006 follow-up III: In the Eyes of Fire, but Watchers of Rule is a bit of a return to form, so to speak. Watch Buzz tear through "Guards of Contagion" and see (and hear!) what I mean.

Saturday: Pianos Become the Teeth - Ripple Water Shine

     Lately it seems like I've been postponing much of my week's sleep until the weekend, meaning I haven't been super productive the last couple of weekends. Let's work on that, shall we?

     So, some catching up to do then, starting with a bit of pretty anticipated post-hardcore for Saturday. Though I've never been more than a passing fan of the band's past work, I've been reading a fair amount of hype (for lack of a better word) for the latest from Baltimore's post-everything Pianos Become the Teeth. Ever one to wonder what all the fuss is about, I've been checking out some streams of Keep You, and I have to say I'm glad I let the buzz guide my mouse hand.

     Keep You is a big, majestic post-hardcore/post-rock record that combines the open, ethereal beauty so often found in post-rock with an ineffable melancholy. Maybe it's just me, but I hear a lot of nostalgia on this record, a lot of musical mourning for something lost. Could I be completely off the mark? Sure, but however you want to label or describe the sound of Keep You, it's still a hauntingly beautiful record. Check out album opener "Ripple Water Shine" if you'd like an example of the kind of bittersweet melodic sense I'm talking about.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Friday: Ozzy Osbourne - Bark at the Moon

     How did I manage to post my Hallowe'en-themed Album of the Week post last night and yet not post my Hallowe'en-themed Song of the Day post? There are some mysteries man wasn't meant to understand.

     The song I had intended to share with you is a classic piece of horror-themed metal history, and especially fitting given that last night was a full moon (I'm told, since I'm apparently an old man now and stayed in last night). "Bark at the Moon" is the title track and first single from Ozzy Osbourne's third solo LP, with its instantly recognizable main riffs and howling Ozzy.

     So whether you barked at the moon last night, or are going to tonight, or spent your day today (or will do tomorrow) howling curses at your nocturnal indiscretions, Ozzy's got you covered. Have a go at "Bark at the Moon", and while you're at it have a belated Happy Hallowe'en too.