I.O.’s PICKS OF THE WEEK
I couldn’t decide, dammit, so you’re given three of the most interesting albums I’ve heard this week in alphabetical order. I like all kinds of music so sometimes it’s difficult to say this grindcore album is better than this death metal album because the two genres are so different. So here they are:
GRORR THE UNKNOWN CITIZENS (Independent)
GRORR’s social commentary comes from a very personal perspective: that of a fighter, a worker, and a dreamer. Their progressive metal has a sharp edge that slices as swiftly as a blade and leaves a trail of melodic blood in its wake that holds a sweeter pain than any paper cut. Sitar samples and other layering give it a thick yet precise sound. Concept albums are tricky fare, but this is a sonic dish that has “goût exceptionnel.”
PISS VORTEX Self-Titled (Independent)
I always go with my first impression, and PISS VORTEX had me after four measures. Will wonders never cease that I’m enjoying grindcore??? But there is something so tight about this album, so chaotically melodic, so surprising that I kept moving it up the ranking until it was duking it out with GRORR and THANATOS. The songs are as long as they need to be, just leaving you with a fine craving for more.
THANATOS Global Purification (Century Media Records)
THANATOS brings us wild death metal urged on by a liberally applied thrash crop. “Global Purification,” “Queen of Gore,” and “World Jihad” stampede across the sonic landscape like wild Kelpies dragging you to a watery death. Interspersed are “slower” tracks that help pace the album so that it will cross the finish line. The final track “Bastion of Blasphemy” is excellent, always a good sign that the more you listen, the better the whole album will get. The album will drop on November 18th via Century Media Records.
CADAVERIA Silence (Scarlet Records)
For some people, metal is in the blood. CADAVERIA started her career in a symphonic black metal band called Opera IX as the vocalist and keyboardist. Then she embarked on a solo career and why is this the first time I’m hearing about her??? She dubs her style as Horror metal, and I agree that this is the best moniker if one must be given. Think Siouxsie’s vocals on the seminal Tinderbox interspersed with black metal growls seamlessly sewn together like Sally from a Night Before Christmas. The album will drop on November 17th via Scarlet Records.
NIGHTGLOW Orpheus (Bakerteam Records)
If you have an itch for old-school heavy metal, NIGHTGLOW will scratch it for you. Simple, catchy riffs and a vocalist with that satisfying rasp to his melodic voice. “Fuck You” is a rage filled anthem while “Psychotropic” trips you out with its chops-busting riffs. “Scream” has a funky slide to it that drops to a heavy metal whisper and builds up to a chorus that shreds the ears. This record isn’t due out until December 1st on Bakerteam Records but check out this video to get an idea of their sound.
PSYCROPTIC Self-Titled (Prosthetic Records)
This Tasmanian death metal outfit just signed with Prosthetic Records and anticipate releasing a self-titled album in Spring 2015.They have a technical flair that I find pleasing in the track “Echoes to Come,” which you can hear below. The drums are critical! I’m looking forward to this album, but at the same time, I’m nervous about this. I’ve been burned before by a really good build up only to be disappointed. Fingers crossed.
SKYHARBOR Guiding Lights (Basick)
For delectable progressive metal that develops a mood, you’ll want to listen to SKYHARBOR’s new release. “Allure” starts things off with a desperation that is strangely melodic and moves into “Evolution” which has a djenty feel that is balanced by jazz-like drums and appropriate pauses. There is such variety on this album that it can’t help but intrigue and evoke. “Patience” is heart rending and creepy with an appropriate cut-out animation video. I’m impressed.
ZERO GRAVITY Holocaust Awaits (Transcending Obscurity)
I was in the mood for speed and ZERO GRAVITY committed to raw death metal. The growled vocals are wicked like a cat-o-nine with razor blade tips. “Weapon’s Edge” is a perfect example of their style: thudding guitars spiced with harmonics and interesting time changes that create the perfect head-banging moment. AND, there’s solos! “Screaming Agony” is another good track along with “Holocaust Awaits” and “Pistol in my Hand.” Check it out:
AMKEN Adrenaline Shot (Independent)
My favorite Zombie Pet store owners/operators have finally set a date to release their EP: November 30th. Filled with the thrashy goodness, Adrenaline Shot delivers on the promise I saw in an earlier post. The title track sets the tone for a wild ride with catchy riffs and just right drumming. Yum!
METAL DESCENT’S Battle of the Bands – Round III
We are now on Round III of the Heavy Metal Underground Battle of the Bands. Readers are encouraged to listen to the six I.O.’s Pick of the Week and vote for their favorite. Voting will close on November 26th at 06:44:59. As each set of I.O’s Picks are voted, the bands that garner the highest ratings will be featured in a Top Ten post of underground bands to watch in 2015. Keep in mind that labels, promoters, and other music industry professionals are taking note of our weekly Tuesday article. Vote HERE.
Submissions from bands are accepted HERE.
I.O. Kirkwood is a Metal Descent contributor. You can view her personal blog HERE.