Posts Tagged ‘big g’
Nine years is a long old time between albums. The constant evolution of music, be it mediums or genres, make it difficult gathering momentum nevermind maintaining it such is the volume of fads that pass through. So the constant delays to Anthrax’s follow up to “We Have Come For You All“, make for a bit of an event. Expectations become artificially high. Perhaps.
Then if you throw in the revolving door of vocalists (John Bush, Dan Nelson take a bow for your troubles) and the triumphant nostalgia of The Big 4 campaign and you’ve got yourself a soap opera.
So what’s the score where it really counts…the music?
Hmm…you’ll want to say it’s bitching, a frenetic thrash gem and whilst there are moments of what you want a Big 4 member to rip your head off with, you wouldn’t say “Persistence of Time” or “Among the Living” are in danger of being forgotten. This is a good album. If a band debuted with it we’d be talking about comparisons with sliced bread. It’s just that after five plays there isn’t a “Caught in a Mosh” or “Indians“.
“Earth on Hell” tempts you into thinking you’re in for a level of titanic intensity that’ll turn you into Michael Douglas on the rampage in “Falling Down”. It’s a killer opening track and “Fight Em Til You Can’t” ticks the gang against the world schtick that Anthrax serve up so well. This’ll be a brute in the pit no questions.
But then the intensity swaps for a thick groove and Pantera they are not. Which is a shame because the muscianship potential here is high. Rob Caggiano deals in the type of wah drenched shred we wish Kirk Hammett could remember. And Charlie Benante probably lives too far in the shadow of Dave Lombardo in thrash drumming folklore which is criminal given his versatility and contribution to the genre. (Blast beats – the staple of death, black and metalcore can be pinned on old Uncle Charlie.) Even Joey Belladonna who’s in his 50′s now reigns in the vibrato and delivers an accomplished performance, climbing the crescendos and keeping his foot firmly on the adrenal gland.
“The Devil You Know“, “I’m Alive” and “The Giant” are good songs. Big on groove, well produced and layered with hooks to balance the heaviness. But unlikely to feature on a set list in 5 years time. “Revolution Screams” though is an epic that ends affairs on a high.
Whack it on the ipod and mosh like its 1986.
Big G says…
For more Anthrax news, visit their website HERE.
If Jamie Ramsey, Delia Lawson or Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall-Worrall-Thompson were to knock up a “New Favourite Band recipe” it might resemble the following;
Start with some rowdy punk
Add a splash of rock ‘n’ roll
Spice with some black metal
Leave to stew in some classic rock.
Get Jon Baizley from Baroness to design an eye catching album cover and serve with vocals screamed in Norwegian washed down with a cheeky flagon of mead and enough Norse mythology to give a Thor a headache.
Nobody wants to proclaim the second coming, only to be duly revealed as gobbing off about the newest Stiltskin. So it can be difficult to approach a review for one of the bands of the moment without some cynicism. All that went out of the window though by the time opener Ulvetid had successfully cut and shut four reasonably distinct musical genres. Hefty production values served a crunchy metallic punk that seemingly is not intense enough, demanding instead a step up to the next level through a nifty blast of black metal fury. A comedown is then required and is given of sorts via some rowdy 12 bar blues (yes think Status Quo off their tits on Dragon juice at a Lordi house party) that leads into a post rock outro that almost blissfully gives the listener a chance to collect their thoughts and check their bollocks. All this after only three and a half minutes.
What impresses most is despite the cacophany there has been some thought and consideration put into the song craft here. Having three guitarists can seem for bands a missed opportunity but there is some harmonising and winding riffery, see Offernatt in particular. (Norwegian for Off Her Nut…possibly.) What also impresses is the ready made T-Shirt slogan of track seven...Sultans of Satan…nuff said methinks.
The standout tracks though are the closing two. Ordsmedar Av Rang sees Kvelertak build to powerful yet melodic hooks and Utryd dei Svake swirls with threatening feedback and percussive bludgeon before chugging off and leaving us with a chirpy outro worthy of The Wildhearts.
It’s a tricky subject, genre labeling. Bands hate it, but it’s a necessary evil for a review site. But think Entombed, think Converge, think Black Sabbath, think the Stooges, think ABBA (kidding), think having a bastard good time of it and you may understand the spectrum of influence at work here.
Seemingly though, Kvelertak are so unfashionable and so unconcerned with being so that cycles being cycles means they are taking music forward. Pleasingly, it’s one of the most uplifting albums you’ll hear as a result. Just ask Dave Grohl, he’s had them out supporting the Foos.
New Favourite Band…Done.
This is my soundtrack to the week that was…check it out if you’re that way inclined on my Spotify playlist
Deftones – You’ve Seen the Butcher
I’ve not a clue what that’s a metaphor for but what a tune. Claustrophobic atmospherics, a grinding riff and a stunning vocal from Chino Moreno. Lovely jubly.
Lamb of God – Contractor
A vicious slice of metal, intensity personified. Look out for the pummeling kick drum coming out of the break down.
Bob Dylan – One More Cup of Coffee
Lyrically rich but also contains one of Dylan’s best vocals. He leaves behind the feret-in-need-of-a-locket for something that might be called gymnastic by his standards
E.L.O – Telephone Line
A lesson in song craft. Ok they may have been a poor man’s Beatles with spaceships but Jeff Lynne knew a thing about melody. Reminds me of my dad playing air guitar with what would have an 8ft guitar if it were real.
As recommended by Matt from Kodiak Jack/TapetoTape fame. An instrumental that rises to many crescendos before breaking your heart. Reminiscent of Mogwai and Isis. Lush.
Taking Dawn’s cover of Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain
It’s got the harmonies, “that” bass riff and a rather spiffing double kick outro.
Soundgarden – Like Suicide
This has everything that is great about Soundgarden; hooks, depth and passion. Kim Thayil also plays one of my favourite guitar solos. Ever.
Bad Company – Feel Like Makin’ Love
Paul Rogers might just have the best voice in rock . Macho,this one’ll make you strut like it’s 1975 . Makes me want to grunt.
Viking metal, whats not to like..?
love and hugs
I’ve just had a kicking courtesy of the Cavalera brothers. Re-united for the second Cavalera Conspiracy album Blunt Force Trauma, they’ve dialed up their début Inflikted’s proto-thrash to full on 80’s brutality.
To some extent, Phil and Grant, sorry Max and Igor are onto a winner. Getting together to unleash “keeler reefs” (Brazilian for “killer riffs”, fyi) was always going to light up the metal world regardless of the result.
But that would be complacent and this is anything but. Opener “Warlord” is solid and thumps like a bastard but doesn’t really cover much new ground. But second track does. Blending thrash and death metal, “Torture”, harks back to the primal intensity of Beneath the Remains era Sepultura that set them apart. This time round though with the production values that provides a guitar tone heavier than elephant mammaries. “Lynch Mob” thrashes like a thrashy thing before breaking down nicely into a chorus of pure hardcore. Just as well as Roger Miret from Agnostic Front obliges with the call and response lyric.
Thankfully, the nods to yesteryear don’t permeate the whole album. Whiffs of experimentation come through, largely thanks to the nimble Martin Rizzo’s lead flourishes. “Killing Inside”, as romantic as it sounds has enough melody underneath Max’s bellow to be labelled catchy.
Max and Igor paid their dues in Sepultura, releasing seminal albums and the career defining Roots opus. Little brother Igor has quite rightly established himself as one of the elite drummers. Not only a technically gifted drummer but one not afraid to innovate, he appears in most metalheads top five drummers. And Max has moved on after the Sepultura split to create this “Bob Marley Of Metal” profile through Soulfly’s assimilation of world music and guest spot after guest spot from some of the leading figures in rock/metal.
If Inflikted doffed it’s cap to Discharge’s punk/metal, then Blunt Force Trauma smells like the Sepultura album we’re told isn’t going to happen any time soon. It’s invigorating stuff and if hairy men shouting at each other is your thang, get involved.
Big G says…