In their down time from story-boarding episodes of Rick and Morty and Mr. Pickles for Adult Swim, the team at Williams Street Productions has been an odd source of quality underground music compilations and albums. Not only does their catalog feature works from the likes of Captain Murphy (a.k.a Flying Lotus) and Destruction Unit alongside annual, multi-genre compilations, nearly all of these albums are entirely free to stream and download. If you’re searching for a negative here, there isn’t one, a point the company proved yet again last month with their most avant-garde offering to date. The appropriately blunt title for NOISE should point to the abrasiveness of this collection of tracks; an eclectic range of compositions from an equally broad roster of artists, all of whom approach “noise” as a malleable concept meant to be stretched to its limit.
Perhaps the most definitive element of metal is the growling, shrieking, rasping, inhuman snarls we call harsh vocals. Certainly, there are genres of metal that don’t use harsh vocals, and they’re no less “metal” for it. But a full-throated death growl, rumbling and ominous, erupting from a cranked pair of…
The observant among you may find something familiar about LA’s up and coming hardcore firebrands Grand Lord High Master and their new song “Flexxx”; it actually made its debut over the holiday season as a part of our annual Heavy Comp Is Heavy compilation. In case you missed it, we’ve got its “official” premiere today before the album’s release this spring. Truthfully, “Flexxx” is a song so nice, we just had to debut it twice.
Throwing around genre combinations with black metal is all the rage today. From the gospel black metal of Zeal & Ardor to the countless avant-garde bands claiming black metal pedigree, the genre seems to be the suffix du jour for the metal community. Naturally, backlash is building towards this tendency, with purists demanding to see extensive influences in these creations before they “approve” (even if only to themselves) of the different branchings and permutations of the “esteemed” black metal genre. However, the influences which sometimes inform these descriptors don’t always have to be overt; black metal spliced with different genres doesn’t have to have blatant markings of intermingling. Sometimes, like in Glorior Belli’s case, the crux lies in the tone.