Wow, both Eden and I are together again! And it's a long episode! It's like back in the old days. This week we have some news, some new music, some old music, and some other random stuff. Spawn of Possession call it quits, Nolly leaves Periphery, Hip-hop/R&B has surpassed rock, Trent Reznor puts his foot in his mouth. Then we have stuff from Trivium, Dyscarnate, First Fragment, Primus, Caligula's Horse, Adimiron, Ne Obliviscaris. We talk about Fractal Cypher, and Roadrunner United and Nuclear Blast All-Stars. Finally, cool people time regarding Pyre, PUBG, Total War, and more. Enjoy! By the way, the teaser for the NYN album Entropy: Of Chaos And Salt is finally here, so check it out!
"Avant-garde" is arguably the most misused genre descriptor in modern metal. Whether in blog posts or comment sections, there's always someone that's heard a slightly off-kilter metal album and immediately slapped on the old "A-G" tag. That said, I'm not going to use Område as an example to parse out the differences between avant-garde, experimental and progressive metal (an article worth writing by someone who actually wants that to be their hill to die on). I'm actually here because of the French duo's invigorating take on avant-garde metal—an approach that captures the essence of the genre in gorgeous, meticulous detail. Whereas bands like maudlin of the Well and Pan.Thy.Monium found success by thrusting death metal into avant-garde territory, Område excel by nailing down the core of avant-garde metal and renovating it's structure with intricate furnishings and vibrant coats of paint. There may be no shortage of high-quality albums to recommend to metal fans flirting withe the avant-garde, but there are a sparse few that rival Nåde's marriage of accessibility and bold artistry.
With time, Josh Scogin will be able to release music without it immediately being compared to his work in The Chariot. That time isn't upon us yet, as fans of the Georgia legends still hanker for them, tearfully screaming "long live" at anyone and everyone within earshot. The second release from Scogin's stripped down '68 project should help these lost souls in finding new comforts, away from the mayhem and maelstrom that The Chariot offered. Two Parts Viper is one part Southern Americana, one part ex-The Chariot Josh Scogin and one part wonderfully over the top rock and roll. But 2014's Humor And Sadness was made up of much and such the same measurements. Has the sound evolved enough for '68 to finally become a stand alone entity?
2016 was a strange year for fans of Nine Inch Nails, though not in a bad way; Trent Reznor promised new music and he delivered, in the form of the EP Not The Actual Events near the end of the year, along with a handful of soundtrack work with Atticus Ross. Possibly more interesting than Not The Actual Events was the announcement that Nine Inch Nails is officially a duo, with Ross finally joining Reznor as a legitimate band member (as opposed to just a long-time collaborator). (For those unaware, the two have been officially working together since NIN’s 2005 album With Teeth, though their relationship predates 2005.) Then, to stir the proverbial kettle again, it was announced that Not The Actual Events would not be released on CD (though it is available on vinyl), but instead a very limited “physical component” would be available for purchase, bundled with a digital download of the EP. As a big fan of Reznor’s work, I was excited to see what this could include, and so I ordered this “physical component” as soon as it became available, back in December. It wasn’t until February that I received my copy, and, frankly, the results are…interesting.
When Trent Reznor announced the release of the new Nine Inch Nails EP, Not The Actual Events, he described its sound as "impenetrable" and removed from his previous soundtrack work from longtime collaborator and now official bandmate Atticus Ross. This was a very enticing prospect, as Reznor and his revolving door of musicians have cultivated a project wherein anything is possible. Not knowing what to expect, the very short time waiting between the surprise announcement and finally hearing the release felt like ages for longtime Nine Inch Nails fans, particularly after a fairly underwhelming 2013 comeback record Hesitation Marks.