Into the Pit: Thrash Metal Mailbag

Hello fellow pit-sters! This month, I thought we could do something a little different. You all know I’ve been playing fast and loose with the schedule of this column, and August will be no different! Fellow thrash Josh Bulleid and I thought we’d introduce ourselves to you all a little…

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The Anatomy Of – Druids

Hello and welcome to another edition of our “The Anatomy Of” series, where we give bands the figurative microphone and let them talk about their biggest musical influences. The merits should be clear: through these picks, we can get an insight into what makes bands tick, stressing the reality that…

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8 Track: Coheed And Cambria

It’s been a while since we’ve posted an 8 Track post, so let me remind you what this is all about. The idea is to choose 8 tracks from a band’s career that exemplify their growth and their style for those who might not be aware of them at all or just aware of a very specific part of their career; as such, the series works well for big names, especially those with diverse discographies. Thus, Coheed And Cambria are a natural choice for this type of list. They’re a huge band but also one with a deep back catalog containing work that might not necessarily be familiar or appealing to modern day fans. This also makes this post especially difficult; do you curate it heavily and risk the bias of an editor showing through in the choices, potentially missing parts of the band’s career, or do you let the staff run wild and risk the post lacking a clear narrative?

Hey! Listen to Part Chimp!

Comeback albums are in vogue this year, especially for rock music and its offshoots. At the Drive-In, Gorillaz and nearly every major shoegaze pioneer (The Jesus and Mary Chain, Ride, Slowdive, etc.) have all resurfaced for returns-to-form or late-career flops, depending on whom you ask. The fact many of these bands had been laid to rest for decades certainly contributed to disappointment among some fans, as did the heightened expectations created by their pre-breakup classics. Part Chimp bucks the drawbacks of all these metrics with their hiatus-smashing record Iv, which provides and incredible delivery of the band’s signature blend of sludge-ridden noise rock and stoner metal. The band’s comfortable position in the underground and relatively short hiatus—they disbanded in 2011 and reunited last year—has allowed Iv to feel less like a comeback album and more like a reunion with a beloved friend, where good memories come flooding back and it feels as though everything is still in its right place.

Cinema Cinema – Man Bites Dog

Sometimes a band can be so schizophrenic stylistically that it’s hard to pin them down. Other times that particular wide range of tweaks and twangs helps to keep that band a moving target which means it’s much harder for a sound to get stale. Of course, merely observing a band…

He Is Legend – Few

Change and progression have been requirements for respected rock bands (and art) for as long as there have been rock bands that want to be taken seriously. If you evaluate He Is Legend by this criteria only, they are one of the most successful bands of all time. Now He Is Legend are back with Few, their first album since Heavy Fruit in 2014.

Suicide Silence – Suicide Silence

When analyzing art, it is important to keep both the artist’s experience in creating the art and the experience of the consumer absorbing the art in mind. Often times, an artist’s vision can be obscured by our view point and we can lose sight of what was meant to be gained from the experience. On the other side, regardless of what an artist’s intent may be, the consumer has every right to like or dislike something based on their own personal preference. There’s even the possibility that you can completely understand where the creator of art is coming from and appreciate their intent and artistic integrity, but think that the art itself isn’t something remotely enjoyable. In this middle ground of understanding and distaste for what is understood, we find the new self-titled Suicide Silence album nestled quite comfortably.