Jeremy Ulrey's Posts
While They Were Sleeping is a strong return statement by a band that has overcome adversity, of both the personal and professional varieties, and re-emerged to stake their claim as genre leaders in the experimental crossover scene. Welcome back, boys.
While lacking in true surprises, The Violent Sleep of Reason does what it's supposed to do: scratch a familiar itch while staving off any hint of stagnation
This new supergroup featuring members of Mastodon, Dillinger Escape Plan, Alice in Chains and Mars Volta takes listeners comfortable with those bands down a brand new road. An often rocky, never uninteresting road.
Familiar aesthetic aside, Sumerlands manage to forge a unique aesthetic within a well trod upon Venn diagram of early metal influences: Metal Massacre meets Metal for Muthas, with the production values of old Ebony and Neat albums but a heightened sense of musicianship
Pilgrimage of Loathing should offer a more accessible entry point to the band's catalog than last year's ephemeral Golden Veil, though both remain compelling arguments for MAKE's establishing themselves as titans of the post-metal/experimental sludge set
Three records in, Netherlands is likely to be 2016's version of that band that everyone pretends they've been listening to all along, lest they have to admit that something this potent and immanently accessible has eluded their crate digger radar up until now.
Hailing from The Sword's own hometown of Austin, Texas and also featuring a retro sound heavily favoring 70's boogie riffs, Scorpion Child proudly sidestep the battle tested fuzz rock that The Sword have only recently eschewed in their own right, establishing themselves instead as flag bearer for a relatively novel mix of 70's hard rock swing and 80's hair metal pomposity
Part of the joy of being a Melvins fan is the sense of discovery. Even after 30 years of sludge rocking their way around the world, the expandable power trio have never stopped reinventing themselves, whether collaborating with such disparate musical talents as Jello Biafra and Lustmord or shuffling the lineup entirely to accommodate the return of original drummer Mike Lillard, with longtime drummer Dale Crover cheerfully switching over to bass to make room. Who the fuck does that?
It Came from NYC functions less as an exegesis on the rise of a superstar band and more a condensed microcosm of a starcrossed group perpetually on the verge of homelessness, artistic misdirection and – more fatally for Straker than anything else – just plain not making it.
Characteristically brief at 33 minutes, the 13 songs here provide more consistent predictability with a renewed focus on anthemic, uptempo numbers combining brisk rhythmic tempo with catchy riffs that segue effortlessly between hardcore and thrash, with the occasional nod to 90's groove metal a la Pantera or Machine Head.
A winsome collection of lilting prog and impassioned melodies, The Fall of Hearts takes us even further afield from the metal scene than usual for a latter era Katatonia effort. Relying more than ever on acoustic space and lightly amplified instrumentation, distorted guitars only occasionally pierce through the otherwise contemplative soundscape
It's debatable whether Electric Warlock is a superior album to its predecessor, Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, but frankly after the career nadir of the latter any sign at all that Rob Zombie once again gives an actual shit is a step in the right direction.
It would be a bit harder to believe that Opeth have been kicking around the metal scene for a full 25 years now if they hadn't taken us on such a farflung journey during that quarter century, but this coffee table victory lap actually represents a long overdue career summation, showing the same care and craftsmanship in a biblio-visual sense that the band have become known for with their musical work.