Last week, we ran a less than favorable review of Opeth’s latest album. Our major grievance with the album was the way in which it handled its influences and its relationship to them. Rather than a homage, we felt, Sorceress was closer to a rip-off, and a boring one at that. Nothing was new or interesting and, thus, had little excuse to exist beyond the band pleasing themselves and making the music they like. In case the point we were making about the importance of innovation mixed with admiration for past giants wasn’t clear, Anciients have arrived to exemplify that point. Call of the Void is nothing less than a masterful exercise in reiteration, looking back at years of progressive death metal progress, picking and choosing the influences which it desires to highlight. A huge step up from the already excellent Heart of Oak, Call of the Void refines the Anciients formula and delivers it with ease, expertise and agility.
I’ve extolled the many benevolent blessings of the blog inbox before; there’s no tool quite like it for discovering new music. Sure, there’s a lot of chaff that gets sent to us but for those with the keen eye (and the password), there are plenty of gems hiding among the masses of mediocrity. Case in point: Mammoth from Los Angeles. These guys wrote to us not more than few days ago and I’m already completely hooked on their upcoming release, Deviations (October 21st). It’s an expert mix of progressive rock, jazz and groove that transcends the “fusion” moniker that has become cheap in the recent few years. Instead of relying on pointless experimentation and impotent technicality, Deviations is all class. It chooses its blows carefully, to make sure that the many tricks in its sleeve remain fresh and engaging.
So, uh, hi. It’s me, Nick. You may know me from such posts as *prognotes: The Dear Hunter’s Acts I-IV. I realize that Act V has been out in the world for a little bit now, and there are certain people who are perhaps waiting in anticipation for analyses of it to follow. And…
Despite the recent detour away from sci-fi epics, frontman Claudio Sanchez hasn’t given up conceptual storytelling entirely. In an attempt to pen a rock opera a la Ziggy Stardust, Sanchez stumbled into what he calls a “fantastic journey with a lesson” that would “appeal to a child’s fascination” and began to develop a children’s picture book that would eventually become Kid Crazy and the Kilowatt King.
The title is a dig, you say? Not at all! It’s not because this week our topic discussion revolves around how metalheads gravitate to specific genres outside of metal and how that’s influenced by metal journalism. Totally. Here, let’s talk about some new music, releases or news instead. We shitpost about stuff that came out recently, like stuff by Meshuggah, Allegaeon, Opeth (salt interview part 1, part 2, part 3), Disillusion, Metallica, Testament, Logan Mader’s Once Human, Dark Tranquillity, Protest the Hero, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and more. Maybe. Then we talk about this “interesting” article about Reign in Blood turning 30, and highlight a few bands. Namely Starkill, Mammoth, Elarcos and Raptorbaby. And the week’s underrated release is Ønskediktet by Ørkenkjøtt! Enjoy! By the way, this is that article about Kendrick Lamar – “Why Did Everyone Claim to Enjoy Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’?”