Category Archives: Experimental

Virulent Depravity- Fruit Of The Poisoned Tree 9.9/10 \m/

Virulent Depravity

Fruit Of The Poisoned Tree

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Releases April 7, 2017

Mike Low – Mixing
Zak Denham – Mastering
Justin Abraham – Artwork

 

 

I am thrilled to bring you guys my review of the highly anticipated debut Virulent Depravity album, Fruit Of The Poisoned Tree.

The line up for Fruit Of The Poisoned Tree is;                                                                        Colin Butler – Composition / Guitar / Bass / Vocals
Malcolm Pugh – Guitar
Kévin Paradis – Drums

Virulent Depravity band photo

I believe for the next album, the lineup will remain the same, with different guest appearances to look forward to. This is some of the most complexly composed material I have ever heard. The riffs are unreal, but retain catchiness, and are melodic in their own, incredibly technical way. Lots of great harmonizations and riff counter points.

Some songs with particularly great riffs are; “Beyond The Point Of No Return”, there is a SICK harmony melodic riff that repeats. Definitely one of my favorite riffs I have heard in a long time. The solos are insane. Some very creative licks and a unique, but epic feel utilized. All of the solo tones sound awesome, and fit, but sound individualized, especially the difference between Colin and Malcolm’s tones. Malcolm’s seems to sound more melodic, similar to his “A Loathing Requiem” tone, but still fit for this project. Where Colin’s tone seems a bit more alien in sound. The guest solos are all rather distinct as well. Mark Hawkins (Devolved) rips the first solo on the entire album with a very crisp tone right into a killer solo by Malcolm and a sweet melodic solo by Colin. The most similar of all the guest solos to Colin’s tone is Elijah Whitehead, who performs a killer solo after Colin on “Mechanized Defilement”. One of my favorite solos on the album by far as well.

This album isn’t just technically proficient though. Your mind will be blown with its feel and passion as well. “Only Human” begins with a beautiful, clean section into an almost classically influenced lead, into the brutality. It comes back to awesome soulful sections later on as well, one, after an awesome guest solo by Craig Peters (Deeds OF Flesh, Destroying The Devoid, ex-Arkaik), flowing incredibly with a nice bass part into a sweet groovy riff and beautiful solo by Colin. The song has some more badass verses, a chorus and a few more killer solos by Colin. The ending is very soulful as well and goes back to that Neo-classical vibe.
The closing track, “Crushed By Futuristic Filth”, is one of the most well-rounded. It is crushing and beautiful and so much more. It has an amazing soft section with a keyboard solo by Jimmy into a completely heart wrenching, beautifully written, emotional but uplifting solo by Malcolm. It is really fantastic! After smoothly going back to brutality it then sounds like it is over at about 5 minutes in and it kind of spirals into a beautifully written guest solo by the young virtuoso, Sims Cashion, over a soft section with keys and more beauty as well.

The bass isn’t overshadowed either. Often in albums when it is performed by the primary composer who is a guitarist, the bass gets the role of simply “holding down the low-end”. Not here. Not only does it have an “EXCELLENT” tone, but Colin steps in and out (mostly out) of the guitar work and throws in a lot of perfectly placed, totally sick fills. He mixes up the technique a lot as well. Between finger picking, slap parts and cool tap licks. The bass has it all on this album. All the tracks have awesome bass. We’ve established this, but some songs have especially great parts that are worth mentioning. Such as “Only Human” has a great bass part during a soft instrumental section in the middle of the song. “Mechanized Defilement” has awesome fills, strategically placed to grab your attention through the entire song, and there is a stop with a nice bass sweep which everyone loves when done right. In the last song, “Crushed By Futuristic Filth”, following the guitar solo is a piano solo with an amazing bass line under it. Not overly shred-dy, just so good. The piano continues after the rest of the instruments stop to give a bleak, but slightly hopeful sounding end.

The vocals are just “WOW“! He utilizes so many different tones as tasteful accents, while the main tone seems to be a low mid to a low that are very aggressive. The delivery is what really gets me here. Most of it is well enunciated and while crushingly brutal and technical, still fairly easy to understand. At other times he uses what I call, “vocal artistic integrity” and just massacres us with some of the sickest deliveries I have ever heard. Especially during certain techy riffs, the speed and ability to manipulate words slightly to fit perfect, is incredibly impressive. The vocal speed and delivery in “Serpentine Messiah”, some of the line in “Your Demise” and, the vocals in “Beyond The Point Of No Return” are ridiculous and some of the verses in “Crushed By Futuristic Filth” are nearly inhuman. Simply astonishing performance. Hard to keep up to even reading along at times. “Your Demise” also has some really great delivery in lines that are not incredibly fast. My favorite being “as you sleep in your cocoon of ignorance, night approaches and we are coming for you” before Malcolm’s solo. The delivery is simply sinister and perfect. The whole song has excellent vocals, not to mention the whole damn album.

The drum performance is also totally crazy. Ridiculously fast blasts with meticulously placed but sporadic at the same time fills. He is capable of basically any type of beat he demonstrates. He tastefully and strategically places occasional gravity blasts, but mostly keeping to jarring blasts and crazy bursts and fills. The snare beats and kick bursts in the first verse of “Serpentine Messiah” is just nuts. Incredible doubly kick speed and stamina through the whole album. especially on that song, “Spineless Obedience, Your Demise”, “Bad Drug”, “Beyond The Point Of No Return”, and “Only Human”. As well as super tasty cymbal word with the changing between crashes / Chinas / splashes and even super tasty hi-hat use between hits. It is my understanding that Colin composed all of the riffs, and wrote general ideas for the drums, but it was all basically Kevin. He even records in his home studio. Which is a huge plus to me. The drums have a very refreshingly organic sound, which can especially be heard during the softer instrumental sections. The cymbals sound amazing and are panned great. Everything about the drum performance, engineering and mix is completely stellar in my opinion.

One thing I really love about the album is that while being absolutely mind-boggling-ly technical, it remains cohesive, and often even has a psychedelic vibe. At times the lead tone helps achieve this, such as the solo in “Spineless Obedience” and a lead section, in “Desecrating Eden”, which comes back at the end also and I just love it and the way the guitar mixes with the Keyboard solo in the middle. This is a largely unexplored sound in the genre and it has been demonstrated magnificently here. With classical level intricacy in the composition and a modern spin to the technicality and riff style mixed with the perfect levels of brutality and passion in the right places. There is even some Neo-classically influenced licks. If this isn’t one of the most creative and well-rounded albums in Death Metal history, then I must have a lot to learn. Definite contender for album of the year! Get on this people! Soon! … I want vinyl.

For fans of Spawn Of Possession, First Fragment, Anomalous, Archspire, Inanimate Existence, Ending Tyranny

9.9/10 \m/

 

Guest Musicians:
Jimmy Pitts – Keys (Track 4, 10)
Mark Hawkins – Solo (Track 1)
Nick Padovani – Solo (Track 6)
Craig Peters – Solo (Track 8)
Elijah Whitehead – Solo (Track 9)
Sims Cashion – Solo (Track 10)
Nathan  Bounds – Guest Vocals  (Track 10)

LINKS
https://www.facebook.com/virulentdepravity/
https://virulentdepravity.bandcamp.com/album/fruit-of-the-poisoned-tree
https://theartisanera.bandcamp.com/
http://www.theartisanera.com/
Check out the early stream from Tech Death Tuesday HERE

 

 

-Brett   /,,/(°o°)/,,/

Visit our FACEBOOK page \m/_(><)_\m/
http://www.badgersmetalbreakdown.com

 

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Voidthrone Spiritual War Tactics- Review 7.5/10 \m/

Voidthrone

Spiritual War Tactics

Released October 31, 2016

Ronald Foodsack-Guitars
Dan Morris-Vocals
Austin Schmalz-Bass
Josh Keifer-Drums

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Today we take Spiritual War Tactics for a spin.  Dark and gritty this is Seattle experimental/ dissonant black metal with Deathspell Omega, and Gorguts influences blended to create this interesting release. Now by standards an E.P. is 25 minutes or less, or 4 songs, however this is four songs and almost 35 minutes in length.  Let’s call it a mini album since it’s longer than the typical E.P. It was released a few months back in the fall but it comes with a Name Your Price option and when we got to listening to it.  It is really worth the listen, Mortification of My Legacy had hooked right in several times in the nine minute long period of some hauntingly appealing metal. But the last two minutes of the song really get you.  To be specific right around the 7:37 mark they have this really catchy riff.  I was really surprised by this first track, but I am glad that they chose that to be the first song on the album. They follow that up with Nullum Emperium which is just a few seconds longer in overall length of time.  And holy shit that song has two and a half minutes of solid buildup, they are not your average sounding band by any means. Sure they have the typical elements in their sound but the song writing, the song structure, the riffs and how catchy it is.  I don’t find myself to be a big fan of black metal. I will always listen to new stuff (or new to me) because just like every genre, there is good music and music that is slightly less appealing to my ears. So far I have really enjoyed this album and I was curious to see if they continued to impress.  So it was no surprise that Spiritual War Tactics followed the same pattern as the previous two tracks.  I will be honest, with this album, I really wasn’t even sure I was going to like it, by reading the description, and the tags on their BANDCAMP page.  But I am glad I did, Spiritual War Tactics was not at all what I had expected, I really dig this one. And for a NYP option picking up a digital copy is next to nothing in cost.  I liked this one, it was dark, but it didn’t lose me, it caught me pretty early on with some catchy riffage and for that, it kept my interest going.  I am thoroughly satisfied with this E.P. only I find myself wanting more.  The whole four songs is a bit deceiving, because while it’s a good half hour of music, it almost doesn’t feel like it’s even that much.  It’s a gem with that NYP option on Bandcamp and part of what made this something we had to review. 7.5/10 \m/

 

 

Check them out on FACEBOOK and give them a like.

Head on over to their BANDCAMP page to get your digital copy

 

-Badger \m/

Visit our FACEBOOK page \m/_(><)_\m/
http://www.badgersmetalbreakdown.com

 

 

The Devil’s Due- December 18th The Reticent- “On The Eve Of A Goodbye” Album Review 10/10 \m/

The Reticent

On The Eve Of A Goodbye

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Released October 5, 2016

All instruments and vocals performed by Chris Hathcock except;

Narration- Carl Hathcock, Justin green & Amanda Caines.

Female Vocals- Amanda Caines

French Horn- Dr. Nicholas Kenney

Trombone & Trumpet – Matthew Parunak

Tenor Saxophone – Andrew Lovett

 

Today the Devil has delivered a really strong progressive experimental death metal album by the unique title On The Eve Of A Goodbye, by The Reticent. This album right here came out and almost flew under my radar but I found something really haunting about the artwork and I knew I was indeed going to check this album out. I am glad I did, this is one of my favorite albums of 2016. Now I know I may not cover a lot of progressive metal bands. But this is an album that deserves a lot of credit. The song writing is on an apparent emotional level that seems to connect at nerves deep inside your conscience. The story behind this album is that the main songwriter Chris Hathcock lost a beloved friend to suicide and complied all of his memories and emotions into the music. This is certainly going to have clean vocals but this will be a solid album to check out for fans of Opeth from really any album era, and other bands like Porcupine Tree, and a few others. Every song on this album has some type of emotional connection and is Chris way of projecting what this tragic experience was like.  Songs that are highly recommended to check out are;

The Comprehension, The Confrontation, The Apology, and then one truly powerful song titled “Funeral For a Firefly” in which the song was recorded in entirely one take. During the song you can hear Chris as he begins to weep over the loss of Eve. I don’t know how many people out there have the determination and conviction to go through what Chris had to go through in order to write an album like this. It took Chris about ten years to go through and take everything that he had gone through to make this album.  This album is one of the best I have in a long time. I wasn’t going to pass up on this one and you shouldn’t either. This brilliant album is 100% deserving of a 10/10 \m/ from the idea and concept to the songwriting and the sound quality. Chris created something beautiful and heavy as fuck at the same time. This really is an album you need to listen to it from start to finish to get the full effect. and trust us when we say it is worth it.

 

 

If you like what you hear pick it up over at The Reticent’s BANDCAMP page

 

Give The Reticent some Love On FACEBOOK  with a “LIKE”

 

Check out their Website HERE where you can order additional merchandise like the Limited edition shirt and CD bundle we grabbed.

Here are some videos to check out:

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Badger \m/

Visit our FACEBOOK page \m/_(><)_\m/
http://www.badgersmetalbreakdown.com

 

The Devil’s Due- December 12th, Defeated Sanity- “Disposal Of The Dead/ Dharmata” Split 9/10 \m/

Defeated Sanity

Disposal Of The Dead / Dharmata

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released July 22, 2016

Lille Gruber – Drums
Jacob Schmidt – Bass
Christian Kühn – Guitar
Josh Welshman – Vocals

Today the Devils has brought us a truly unique and mind blowing release in the form of self split CD. Yea a split CD with Defeated Sanity, and themselves. This album is fucking mind blowing, it’s a split cd, with half being the brutal death metal that Defeated Sanity is known for and then some really cool jazz infused progressive death metal on the latter half of the CD and titled Dharmata.  This album is brilliant, the way that this album opens up. The tribal ritual like intro on Remotio Mortuorum. It’s a subtle way of allowing the listener to acclimate oneself to the music that is about to be projected from speakers or headphones. Into the Soil comes in hard and fucking fast, with the blast beats being surgically precise and just the slightest ping on the snare.  I’m loving just how brutal this album is for the first half of it, consuming the grief is a great track. In particular the way it starts out, fast and those gravity blasts sound great. I think that this album is truly one of the best albums of 2016 mostly due to the sheer talent that these guys are delivering in this one album. But it’s essentially a split with themselves. And the latter half of the album with the jazzed up progressive death metal is truly top notch.  And I think it’s an important part of the music process also, for the people that “don’t understand” metal. Especially brutal death metal , I think its assumed that sure  metal bands can growl and play drums fast but  there’s no real talent there… right? WRONG  and this is what I love about this album, these guys tear shit up  following their modus operandi, but then half way through the album they decide to go south paw on us and deliver a different form of brutality. And these guys are really fucking good, this album is a must have for anyone a fan of death metal, let alone brutal death metal, and also progressive metal and the sub genres associated with it. One listen to even just the track Dharmata is enough to have sunk its claws in me and I wasn’t going to pass on this album. This album has everything from a hard hitting yet rapid hail of blast beats, and jazzy bass and guitar riffs with a more progressive drum feel to the songs, and the vocal are also different. I mean they didn’t just change the sound of the guitars or drums, they changed everything the vocals everything. And that adds a little more to what makes this album great. Because it’s like they wanted to do something with a clean slate but still get a chance to put it out with some recognition by their already established fan base, and then could also cross contaminate their fan base and generate a larger group of fans that will be following their musical creations. 9/10 \m/

 

 

 

 

Like what you are hearing? then pick up your copy by heading over to their BANDCAMP page and ordering this killer album.

Also don’t forget to give them the ol’ thumbs up on FACEBOOK

 

 

 

-Badger \m/

Visit our FACEBOOK page \m/_(><)_\m/
http://www.badgersmetalbreakdown.com

Metal News update _ Stormtide, Dorre, Anacryptic and more

Anacryptic release video for Tedious Falsehood from their latest E.P. titled The Futility of Decency released August 12th, 2016


This fall Melbourne’s symphonic folk metal warriors STORMTIDE will hit the road across Australia in support of their epic debut album “Wrath of an Empire” released on Metal Hell Records Aug. 1st, 2016. The first dates are announced:

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27th Aug – Melbourne, W/ Anna Murphy, Evelyn Hotel

2nd Sep – Geelong, The Barwon Club

10th Sep – Sydney, The Valve Bar

17th Sep – Canberra, The Basement W/ Lagerstein

22nd Oct – Melbourne, Headlining Metal To my ears, The Bendigo

26th Nov – Brisbane, TBA

 

 

What reviewers are saying about STORMTIDE Wrath of an Empire:

9/10 FolkMetal.nl

8.5/10 MetalObserver.com

9/10 WeLoveMetal.com


Mist Of Misery set to release Absence on August 31st 2016

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Their new album is a huge step forward in terms of production, song writing, lyrical depth and overall atmosphere. Mist of Misery has entered a new phase, one that aims to evoke depressive, melancholic and ambient atmospheres in the minds of listeners at a whole new level. On this album, it was done mainly through the introduction to even more melodic and symphonic influences. The music is intended to set the listener in a different and almost meditative state of mind in order to absorb its true depth. The sophomore album which is a unique amalgamation of two different kind sub-genres, delivers nothing but Nine tracks of Cold, Obscure and Depressive form of Arts. A musical adventure that will eventually bless the listener with a melancholic, yet beautiful experience.

Artwork – Alex Tartsus (Russia)

The artwork was drawn by the exceptionally talented Russian artist Alex Tartsus.

Track – List:

1. MelancholicThoughts
2. Euthanasia
3. Absence
4. Final Departure
5. EpitaphofPenitence
6. WistfulTwilight
7. Paragon of Perdition
8. Mist ofMisery
9. Serenity in Nothingness

Members:

MortuzDenatus – Vocals, Drums, Programming, Mixing and Mastering

Phlegathon – Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Bass Guitar

Simon Hägglund – Live Drums

 

Order the Album:

https://mistofmiseryblacklion.bandcamp.com/album/absence


Black Metal Brother Duo HELLEBORUS Announce ‘The Carnal Sabbath Tour’ Presented by PureGrainAudio.com

Out Now! Debut Album ‘The Carnal Sabbath’ (Satanath/ Black Plague)



Colorado Springs, CO black metal blood brother duo Jerred & Wyatt Houseman’s HELLEBORUS will be hitting the road with the band’s live line up for dates across the US and Canada for their first North American tour presented by PureGrainAudio.com. Joining them on the tour for select dates, will be Destroyer of Light and UADA (details listed below). The tour is in support of their debut album ‘The Carnal Sabbath’ released this past June via Satanath Records (Russia) and Black Plague Records (USA). A full stream of the album can be heard at the following link http://helleborusblack.bandcamp.com/album/the-carnal-sabbath.

Carnalsabbath1.jpg Sept 4 – Colorado Springs, CO – The Black Sheep – info
Sept 7 – Haittesburg, MS – The Tavern * – info
Sept 8 – Jackson, MS – Big Sleepys * – info
Sept 9 – Birmingham, AL – The Nick *
Sept 10 – Macon, GA – Back Porch Lounge *
Sept 12 – Raleigh, NC – Slims Downtown Distillery *
Sept 16 – White Hall, MD – Shadow Woods Metal Fest – info (Hall Stage – Set Time 11:10pm)
Sept 19 – Cincinnati, OH – Funkers
* = dates with Destroyer of Light
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Oct 15 – Colorado Springs, CO – The Flux Capacitor
Oct 19 – Billings, MT – The Railyard
Oct 20 – Kalispell, MT – Order of The Eagles #
Oct 21 – Calgary, AB – Distortion #
Oct 22 – Edmonton, AB – Rendez Vous (Black Mourning Light Metal Fest) #
Oct 24 – Vancouver, BC – Red Room # w/Erimha, Panzerfaust, Idolatry
Oct 26 – Seattle, WA – The Highline #
Oct 27 – Portland, OR – Ash Street Saloon #
Oct 29 – Sacramento, CA – Starlite Lounge ^
Oct 30 – Oakland, CA – The Golden Bull ^
Oct 31 – Long Beach, CA – Blacklight District Lounge ^
Nov 1 – Phoenix, AZ – Yucca Tap Room
Nov 2 – Santa Fe, NM – The Skylight
# = dates with UADA
^ = dates with Lotus Thief

Album Band Line Up features: Wyatt (vocals, lyrics) & Jerred Houseman (producer, all instruments)

Live Band Line Up features: Brent Boutte’ – Drums, Jerred Houseman – Guitar & leads, Wyatt Houseman – Voice, Ian Horenman – guitar & rhythms, Michael Hylands – Bass

For more info, please visit the following links:

https://www.facebook.com/HelleborusBlack

https://twitter.com/helleborusblack


Dorre are playing Desertfest October 14-16th 2016

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 The Athens, Georgia-based melodic metal band THEOCRACY will release their new album “Ghost Ship” on October 28th in Europe and North America through Ulterium Records.

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With Ghost Ship, Theocracy perfects the lively and fully-realized sound of As the World Bleeds, delivering 10 muscular and streamlined tracks that never lose focus and combine for one memorable journey. You like midtempo singalong anthems? Try the “Ghost Ship” title track. Thrashy rhythms and intensity?  “The Wonder of It All” should be to your liking. Emotional ballads with huge melodic hooks? Go “Around the World and Back.”  Or if you prefer epic, progressive tracks that do all these things and more, 10-minute album closer “Easter” is sure to be a favorite. Each song on Ghost Ship stands alone and has a unique signature, but every moment sounds unmistakably like Theocracy.

“So many kids were coming up to us after shows and telling us their stories,” says Theocracy vocalist Matt Smith. “A lot of them were searching for purpose and a place to fit in, and having grown up as an awkward and unpopular kid myself, their words really stuck with me. I started thinking about what a band of misfits Jesus’ disciples were:  fishermen, tax collectors, and people of little consequence in the eyes of the world. Sometimes the ones most people don’t see, or choose to look straight through—the ghosts of society, as it were, dead to the world—end up having the biggest impact. That’s where the title and idea for Ghost Ship came from: all the misfits, the uncool, the outcasts, there is a place where you do fit in. Although Ghost Ship is not a concept album, this is a recurring theme, particularly in the title track and ‘Castaway.’

“Ghost Ship” track listing
01. Paper Tiger

02. Ghost Ship

03. The Wonder Of It All

04. Wishing Well

05. Around the World and Back

06. Stir the Embers

07. A Call To Arms

08. Currency In A Bankrupt World

09. Castaway

10. Easter

The Athens, Georgia-based melodic metal band THEOCRACY will release their new album “Ghost Ship” on October 28th in Europe and North America through Ulterium Records. Information on different So many kids were coming up to us after shows and telling us their stories,” says Theocracy vocalist Matt Smith. “A lot of them were searching for purpose and a place to fit in, and having grown up as an awkward and unpopular kid myself, their words really stuck with me. I started thinking about what a band of misfits Jesus’ disciples were:  fishermen, tax collectors, and people of little consequence in the eyes of the world. Sometimes the ones most people don’t see, or choose to look straight through—the ghosts of society, as it were, dead to the world—end up having the biggest impact. That’s where the title and idea for Ghost Ship came from: all the misfits, the uncool, the outcasts, there is a place where you


-Badger \m/

Visit our FACEBOOK page \m/_(><)_\m/
http://www.badgersmetalbreakdown.com

 

Pennsylvania Blackened Death Duo Veilburner set to release new album “The Obscene Rite” Sept 30th

From its inception in 2014 Veilburner had set down a path to make music that would have an effect on the listeners. Taking them for a ride through the music all the ups and downs. Their debut album “The Three Lightbearers” did just that, but the two were ready for more and about a year later put out their sophomore album titled “Noumenon”

2016 is here, and they have their third installment of the Veilburner trilogy ready to be released. In just over a months time they will drop “The Obscene Rite” which will surely be an earthshattering album to wrap the trilogy up with. 

Here is the tracklist:

  1. Postmortem Exordium
  2. Necroquantum Plague Asylum
  3. Vaterchen
  4. Eucharist Of The Breathing Abyss
  5. Masquerade Macabre
  6. Baphometic Catalyst
  7. Dilemma Manifestation
  8. In The Revelations Of Bloodstained Void
  9. Phainops



Veilburner is:

Mephisto Deleterio – all music and backing vocals, recording and mixing  

Chrisom Infernium – all lyrics, main vocals, and album art

If you haven’t heard them before click HERE to listen to The Three Lightbearers, and Noumenon.

If you like what you are hearing, let Veilburner know by liking their FACEBOOK page!

-Badger \m/

Visit our FACEBOOK page \m/_(><)_\m/

http://www.badgersmetalbreakdown.com

Skin Drone – Evocation Album Review 7/10 + Interview

Skin Drone – Evocation

Otto Kinzel & Erik Martin

Bluntface Records

 

 

  1. Scarlet Road

The song starts out with a subtle drum roll out and then they waste no time blasting the doors down and getting right into the gritty extreme/grinding industrial spirit of things. Right from the get go, you will be head banging right along with the beat. I like the guitar tone also, it has an old school buzz to it that gives the song some character. Right around the 1:27 mark the song drops out to the sound of some atmospheric sounds and then whisper clean vocals “ another night passes , another victim left to find their way to hell” is heard and then it’s not long before they go back into full force. The song slows down once more about halfway through and   they come out around the 3:56 mark back into a similar riff used in the beginning of the song.

 

  1. God Complex

The song starts out with what sounds like an orchestral arrangement and then before you can acclimate to that they explode with blast beats and chugging guitars. This song actually reminds me of Winter solstice many of you probably have no idea who that is, but they put out a killer album about ten years ago and fell off the face of the earth. Its songs like this that bring floods of memories of other great sounds and bands I have heard over the years. I won’t lie this song is going to be a rollercoaster for many. It hits hard and fast, and then they slow it down quite a bit for a section, but go right back into the hard and fast approach. This is where the Experimental tag comes from I am assuming. Normally I don’t care for “Experimental” because half the time it does not sound good. However, I am really digging this track.

 

3. Death Sentence

Some spoken dialogue with vocal effects kick the song off, and the song gets hard and fast quickly. I just can’t get passed the guitars and drums, the vocals are good don’t get me wrong. But these guys are really trying to give us whiplash with the changes they make and how it will go from a heavy section to a funky sequence around the: 54 mark and then back into something much heavier at the 1:09 mark. But you can’t help but really get locked into the schizophrenic styling’s of this song and enjoy yourself trapped in your own mental asylum while listening to the song and getting the imagery it creates for the listener.

 

4.Shepard Of The Damned

The sound of a record player with the needle dropped and record spinning can be heard as that sounds gets louder, vocals join in not quite muffled but layered under the record player sound. It is done so subtly, that the end product is very easy to follow along with and enjoyable. This song is not as fast paced in the beginning as the previous two tracks but that doesn’t last too long before they go right into steamrolling over you with grinding blast beats and guitars. Right at the 4:48 mark the double bass roll, is perfect, rapid crushing bass for that section before the song starts to mellow out again.

 

5. Ghost Reflection

Sounds of nature can be heard, a woodpecker and other birds for the first 15 seconds or so, and then acoustic guitar and stringed instruments play out a nice serene melody. This is much like an instrumental interlude and at 3:29 minutes long it really doesn’t feel like it. It’s a nice little track to listen to in between songs.

 

6. City Lights

This song starts out with an industrial feel, and I am digging the drums for that opening section just as the vocals join in. The vocals are low and more guttural than previous tracks giving you a sense of the vocal range happening on this album. What I like about this song, is that it’s not trying to be the heaviest, but has a solid stance on what the ratio of melodic to heavy should be in this song. Of course as a drummer I will be focusing more on the drums and I really like how the drums are for the entire song, and how they get more industrial right before the end.

 

7. Witching hour

There is a groove about this song just after the opening sequence that you can really get into. The vocals are in the mid to high range, I am not taking anything away from them, I will say I could easily enjoy this as an instrumental also. Because while I am listening to the vocals, I am paying more attention to the drums and guitars and   going along with every change they transition in and out of. I’m thinking this could be a fan favorite just by listening to it. There is a lot going on, but not too much to the point you just can’t follow it. It’s like controlled chaos, and I can get behind that real easily. All the way to the jazzy section right around the 3:00 minute mark, I am really digging this.

 

8. Darkness Within

A piano starts this song out, with some whispered vocals for the first few minutes before the drums and guitars come in. and I gotta say, as basic as the guitars are right here, there is something about it that I am really enjoying. It’s like a little bit of echo but there is something about that with the tone of the guitar that really makes the song sound like what you would expect by the title. What I like is that they throw in a few brief sections of double bass rolling heavy guitars and harsh vocals.

 

9. Salvation

Ahhh the final track begins with a guitar melody playing and whispered vocals. With the drums playing a beat that really follows the guitars and vocals well. Its part hard rock, part tribal, and part modern metal. I am really enjoying the turn the song takes at the 1:41 mark. This has me tapping my foot and thinking about throwing some haymakers. The 5:00 minute mark is a highlight of the track where the song abruptly goes into heavy dizzying circle pit detonator. This is the longest song on the album. And it covers everything from dark melodic, to industrial, death metal, and pretty much everything in between, except polka.

 

 

 

All in all I will say that this does not sound like a two man band. What I mean is that the mixing and mastering was done so well that if you did not know Skin Drone’s line up you really would not be able to tell its only two guys. The album does not display only one form of heavy music, but blends several different styles together creating this rather unique dare I say experimental metal band. I tend to stay away from using the term experimental metal because I have come across “experimental metal” bands that sound awful. Whether it is so far out of having a sound that you can follow, or the production sounds like it was done in the back alley next to a McDonald’s dumpster. This is not the case for Skin Drone, the production was clean and professional, the style is easily enjoyable. The way they can go from playing something heavy to something jazzy back to something heavier than before, then mellowing out, taking the listener on a musical rollercoaster ride.– 7/10 \m/

The two that make up the band, One being the man behind Bluntface Records himself Otto Kinzel, and Erik Martin.  Luckily I was able to catch up with Otto about the Skin Drone release as well as what Bluntface Records has planned for 2016.

 

 

1)      So Otto, how did the idea of Skin drone come about? Is this something you have had been working on and then brought Erik on board, or vice versa?

Otto: Erik and I met when his other band, Critical Dismemberment, was involved with a compilation Album my label (Bluntface Records) was releasing. I really liked their music and I reached out to them, to see if they would be interested in working with the label on more releases. I got to know both Erik and his bandmate Chase Fincher pretty well. It just naturally flowed in terms of what we had in common and our musical and non-musical interests. It was a natural step to start collaborating on music. I had been working on a version of Skin Drone for awhile and had been trying to get it off the ground, but with no luck. So when I finally reached out to Erik to see if he would be willing to give it a shot at doing vocals, I figured I had nothing to lose. Luckily, he hit a home run with his performance! That song ended up being Witching Hour and it kicked everything off in our collaboration.

2)      Listening to this album, I have to say, if there ever was a band to really bend sub-genres to form a unique sound. I’d say Skin Drone is like the matrix of metal sub genres. What were the influences for the album?

Otto: We each have so many influences that it’s almost impossible to list them all. We knew we wanted to challenge ourselves in both the performances and the songwriting. There’s a lot of elements from technical-death metal in there but also a lot of industrial and avant-garde influences as well. We wanted to take a lot of big risks, as far as extreme metal goes. That included trying to use a lot of darker, more ambient and dissonant type sounds. We want the listener to think of the songs in a different way; for it to feel more like scenes from a movie.

3)       The sound is amazing, I know you  (Otto) have some experience under your belt.  This album sounds amazing, I always look at sound quality as a big part of my review process, and this album sounds great. The quality is great, where did you guys do the recording and mastering.  How long did it take from start to finish?

Otto: Erik and I each have our own recording studios in our homes, so all the tracking was done between those two. After all the basic tracking was done, I did the majority of the editing and production related stuff. After that, we hired Chase Fincher to do the mixing and mastering. He did a fantastic job and we could not be happier with his work. The three of us had a lot of discussions beforehand about the theme of the album, the type of sound we were going after, the goals we had for the finished product. And Chase took those notes and really made them into his own goals. I can’t praise his efforts enough, Chase really is the guy who tied the whole thing together and helped craft the finished sound you’re hearing.

4)      I have read a few of the reviews for the album so far, and the general consensus is the unpredictability of the music.  Were you guys really going for that sound of musical schizophrenia? Or when they ideas came together did you feel that they had to blend the way to achieve what you wanted from the album?

Otto: That’s hard to say because on some level I think we subconsciously wanted to make the album really challenging for the listener. We wanted to create something that forced the listener to pay attention to what was going on & have to go back and listen several times in order to “get it”. But having said that, all of the songs and all of the various layers we have within them came about very naturally. Once Erik and I got into the creative zone, it just flowed. That’s not to say that this process was easy, because it wasn’t. Writing these songs and recording the album was very difficult. It took a long time and involved a lot of self-editing and revision. We worked our asses off on it. But it was always fun and always incredibly rewarding creatively.

5)      Lastly, and I ask this of many bands, but I feel it’s a very pertinent question in regards to the music. Is there anything you want to tell the listeners about the album?  For example, when listening to the album, would you recommend listening to the album while glancing at an unopened bottle of vermouth, or that a specific sound on the album is actually a fire extinguisher. Maybe a disclaimer, people who suffer from epilepsy should be warned, etc. Anything that you want the listeners to imagine while listening to the album or specific song. Or simply that this is just the beginning, and that Skin Drone is here to bend the rules, and create new sub genres within metal.

Otto: Haha, my only suggestion would to listen to Evocation with headphones. Chase did an amazing job with the stereo panning of within the mixes and there is so much subtle layering that a lot of the smaller “detail” type sounds we have interwoven within the mix can get lost if it’s being played at really loud volumes on huge speakers. This is a “headphone” album all the way. We want you to turn it on, turn off the lights so you’re sitting in the dark, put on the headphones and lose yourself in the music. Let us take you on a dark journey and come out the other side with you.

 

 

 

Follow them on Twitter @skindrone

Check out the Skin Drone Bandcamp Page

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Bluntface Records Website

Skin Drone on YouTube

 

-Badger \m/

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