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Week 35 - 2004

Issue 25
online: 22nd August 2004

·Release of the Week:

Burton L

·Album Reviews

Amorphis / Corporate MF / Devilinside / Grave / Fission / Lacrimas Profundere / Morgenstern / Napalm Death / NYIA / Peachfuzz / Silo The Huskie / Tiger Saw / Time Machine / The Heavils / Thistle / Various Artists: Rock Against Bush Vol 2

·Single/EP reviews

Infinite August / Marshall Star / Sicboy

 

Release of the week:

 

Burton L; Spy Life

Omega Point Records

Listening to “Spy Life” you can hear that this guy is influenced by Moby and the likes, but where Moby used to be rock and now is electronic, Burton L likes to combine both sides of the fence at once. Now, I am a big Moby fan so obviously it’s going to be hard for someone like Burton L to come along and just all of a sudden be overshadowing a genius like Moby and, well, he doesn’t really overshadow him either – and I am sure he's not meaning to either - but the fact of the matter is that Burton L is one of the few electronic artists of this kind that has gotten me this excited since Moby released “Play” in 1999. Just listen to two of the most brilliant tracks on here (“It’s So Easy (To Love You)” and “Need”) and you’ll be hooked for life. If those were Moby-singles they’d be gaining themselves number one chart positions in no time. (JJJJJ-) Release date: out now

 

Albums this week:

 

Amorphis; Elegy (re-release)

Relapse Records

(Provided by Target Distribution

All metal fans are well aware of Amorphis and their “Elegy” album released in 1996. There’s just no way around it. Seldom has atmospheric and psychedelic progrock, death metal and doom been combined in a way that sounded this appealing. The songs are long, but then again they usually are when coming across music like this. Fans of everything from Opeth to Deep Purple and Jethro Tull will – and probably have for years – go nuts over this. The re-release features a few live bonus-tracks. (JJJJJ-) Release date: out now

 

Corporate MF; The Royal We

Omega Point Records

More electro-punk from this brilliant record-label. I think I might be falling in love with Omega Point Records. These guys combine lots of synthesizers and post-punk and funny lyrics about corporate experiences (like getting hired, getting fired, drooling over coworkers and kissing executive ass). It’s not the best release from Omega Point Records this month and it’s surely not easy on the ears all the time, but it’s still better, more unique and original than a lot of what comes from both sides of the electronic and punk-scenes these days. (JJJJ--) Release date: out now

Devilinside; Volume One

Century Media

(Provided by Target Distribution)

Like a lot of other labels lately, Century Media also seem to have gotten a taste for the new metalcore trend that has been going on for a while now and Devilinside is one of their signings in that department. But this is not just any band that they’ve signed in a hurry in order to cash in an ongoing trend. Nope. Devilinside features members of Disembodied which was a band that already played music similar to this back in the mid 90’s. And man do you understand how metalcore can be getting bigger and bigger these days when you hear stuff like this. It’s catchy as the flu. There’s one minus, though – there are way too many songs on this thing. They should’ve cut it down from 23 to only 12-14 – that way this could’ve been a great CD. (JJJJ--) Release date: 23rd  August 2004

 

Grave; Fiendish Regression

Century Media

(Provided by Target Distribution)

Initially established in 1986 with their previous outfit Corpse these guys are some of the longest running veterans within Swedish death metal and not for nothing, I might add, as their debut album, “Into The Grave” from 1991, is still to this day seen as one of the most influential death metal releases from Sweden. Today, however, I don’t see these guys as one of the most influential bands around, but rather a band that just plays along without distinguishing itself from the other death metal bands out there. (JJJ---) Release date: 23rd August 2004

Fission; Crater

Napalm Records

(Provided by Target Distribution)

This is a the new project featuring Vintersorg (of Vintersorg) and drummer Benny Haggard (also of Vintersorg). Didn’t know what to expect, since I had no idea there was a project like this in the making, but it turns out that it sounds a lot like Vintersorg. Not so much that it sounds like a new Vintersorg album, but still enough to wonder if it really was necessary to make this record. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad. Actually, it’s quite good, but usually I like side-projects to stray a little more from the original band than the case is here. (JJJ---) Release date: 23rd August 2004

Lacrimas Profundere; Ave End

Napalm Records

(Provided by Target Distribution)

When I started to listen to this album (number six from this band), I had to look on the reverse of the album-cover again. Didn’t think that a Napalm Records’ release would sound like this. Sure this is goth rock-metal which is quite common for the label, but this one has almost, gulp, radio-appeal. Sure the vocals might make you want to commit suicide (not because they’re bad, but because they’re depressive...), but there’s something about this music that could sneak them into the whole nu-goth category. But I am not sure these guys might want to be standing shoulder to shoulder chit-chatting with Evanescence. (JJJ---) Release date: out now

 

Morgenstern; Fuego

Napalm Records

(Provided by Target Distribution)

This is a rather strange band from Germany. Their basic sound is metal, but they combine it with folk music and flutes, clarinet and crumhorn and to top that of they also sing in German. It all comes out sounding really strange. Doesn’t really sound like anything else out there, at least not that I’ve heard, but if you’re into Subway To Sally and n Extremo, perhaps there’s a little chance you’ll be into these guys too. (JJJ---)  Release date: 23rd August 2004

 

Napalm Death; Leaders Not Followers 2

Century Media

(Provided by Target Distribution)

So there you have it, the second album full to the bursting point with cover-tracks performed by no other than Napalm Death. Didn’t hear the first album of this kind, but this one is surely a pleasant surprise. I must admit, though, that I don’t know half of the bands they cover, but that’s probably because lots of them were around before I got interested in this kind of music and probably never really got that big. But there are covers of bands that I’d definitely like to pay tribute to myself if I played in an extreme metal band like Sepultura, Discharge, Agnostic Front, Kreator to name but a few. Better than a lot of cover-albums lately and definitely worth having in your collection if you’re into death metal. (JJJJ--) Release date: 23rd August 2004

 

NYIA; Head Held High

Candlelight

(Provided by Target Distribution)

This is the new band of former Vader-member Jaroslaw Labieniec. Yes, it’s Polish and yes it’s death metal (to a certain expense anyway). And no, it doesn’t sound anything like Vader. This is more like the Polish death metal scenes noisecore cousin and God knows that scene needs a little renewal, right? Fans of different bands like Converge and The Great Deceiver might like this. (JJJ---) Release date: out now

Peachfuzz; About A Bird

Orange Sky/Dionysus Records

This is instantly catchy power-pop heavy on sing-a-long-ish choruses and great vocal harmonies that’s also a bit psychedelic at times. It’s cool. It reminds me of bands like The Beatles, Beach Boys, Big Star, The Raspberries and stuff like that. If you think the power-pop of today is becoming too smooth and is loosing it’s edge, well here’s the real deal for you sounding like it came straight out of the 60’s or 70’s. (JJJJ--) Release date: out now

 

Silo The Huskie; Sons of Columbus

Tiberius Records

11 years into their career, hard working Columbus, Ohio band Silo The Huskie still know how to keep a fine line between roots-rock, bar-rock and indie-pop. On “Sons Of Columbus” they’ve out together 12 strong tracks that might not have much single-potential, but all in all sure as Hell make a good album as a whole. If I went to a bar tonight, I’d like to hear something like Silo The Huskie. (JJJJ--) Release date: out now

 

Tiger Saw; Gimme Danger / Gimme Sweetness

Kimchee Records

After having heard the previous album by Tiger Saw, “Blessed Are The Trials We Find”, which we reviewed in January last year, I was certain that Tiger Saw was the project of two people, namely Dylan Metrano and Juliet Nelson who seemed to be the perfect couple. But when reading the press-release for this, their new album, I realize that Tiger Saw is really just the project of Dylan Metrano and that he sometimes gets help from Juliet. She helps him on “Gimme Danger / Gimme Sweetness” as well and to be honest I find the moments when she’s accompanying him to be the most appealing on here. But throughout I find this to be a good slowcore album and definitely a nice follow up to “Blessed Are The Trials We Find.” (JJJJ--) Release date: out now

 

Time Machine; Reviviscence – Liber Secundus

Massacre Records

(Provided by Intromental Management)

Fans of progressive metal will be drooling all over this one. Having gone through a few line-up changes since the last album - the first chapter of this trilogy in which, of course, this one is the second – one should think that there wouldn’t be the same quality as previously, but surprisingly (or is it?) these Italians are just as strong as ever with one of the better progmetal albums of the year. I especially dig the heavy Dream Theater-riff-like parts – they’re delicious. (JJJJ--) Release date: out now

 

The Heavils; Heavilsution

Metal Blade

(Provided by Target Distribution)

Produced by Strapping Young Lad genius Devil Townsend (who has also produced the likes of Lamb of God) and with a deal with Metal Blade, this American band already has a few cards to play from, but it doesn’t seem to end there, because these guys are also different from other bands. They created and built their own guitars, known as meanies, which they use when recording and playing live. Rather unusual don’t you think? Musically they combine a bit of hardcore and metal, but still they don’t sound too much like all the metalcore bands making it big (or semi big) these days. (JJJJ--) Release date: 23rd August 2004

 

Thistle; Tired Anchor

Tiberius Records

I can’t say that I’ve ever heard a Thistle song before I heard this CD even though they’ve been around for six years and have released two EP’s and three albums with this one as well as having received good press from all over. But after hearing “Tired Anchor”, which is released on the bands own label Tiberius Records, I must say that I’d love to hear what they’ve been doing in the past, because this is good stuff. It’s everything from acoustic balladry, 90’s indie and straight-up modern rock. (JJJJ--) Release date: out now

 

Various Artists; Rock Against Bush Vol 2

Fat Wreck Chords

Punk rock has gotten all political again and thankfully 100% against Bush. Vol 1 that came out earlier this year debuted at number 53 on Billboard’s top 200 album chart. On this compilation we get 28 tracks from major names like No Doubt, Green Day and Foo Fighters to legends like Sick of it All, Rancid and Bad Religion as well as newer up-and-comings like Hot Water Music, The (International) Noise Conspiracy and Yellowcard + a lot of Fat Wreck artists (The Lawrence Arms, Lagwagon, Dillinger Four, Mad Caddies and No Use For A Name). Highlights include Jawbreakers “Chesterfield King (live) and Flogging Molly’s “Drunken Lullabies – a song for whose video can be found on disc two alongside other videos by Alcaline Trio (way cool, by the way), Bad Religion, NOFX and Thought Riot. There are also three comedy pieces making fun of Bush as well as six political features. The bottomline is this: First off, if you’re into punk-rock go buy this compilation as it features more stuff than any other comp in the shops right now and, secondly, if you live in USA don’t vote for Bush. (JJJJJ-) Release date: out now

 

Single/EP’s this week:

 

Infinite August; A Loss So Dear

Ionic Records

Infinite August is Ben Walpole (vocals, keys and drums) and Mike Detmer (vocals, bass, guitar, keys and loops), while also getting some violin and vocal help in “Secret Service” from Sophia Kostoff. This sing song EP is half classic indie-pop and half singer/songwriter kind of stuff and it has a melancholic touch throughout that might drive some people to shut this off, but only makes it more real for me. (JJJJ--) Release date: out now

 

Marshall Star; Any Second Now (7”)

Furry Records

Here’s a two-tracker that’s quite original in its settings. They put 80’s pop, dance, hip-hop and rock in a blender and come up with something called “time well spent listening to”. Yep, it’s different. (JJJJ--) Release date: out now

 

Sicboy; 2004

Self-released

Having previously released a full-length in 2000 on Attack Records and a self-released EP in 2002 with Darius Szczepaniak (Black Crowes, Barenaked Ladies, Sum 41) behind the production-wheels, these guys are now ready with a new four-track EP once again produced by Darius. Their metallic sound is definitely up-to-date. It’s not something I’d like to label nu-metal, although I hear some System of a Down in there. This is cool because this is metal that really doesn’t follow the metal-trends of today too much and at the same time it isn’t stuck in the past either. (JJJJ--) Release date: out now

Hans Jakup Eidisgard, PO BOX 38, FO-470 Eidi, Faroe Islands, Via Denmark

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