Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cryptodira - An Unmarked Grave

Track Listing:
1. Descent
2. An Unmarked Grave

Band Members:
Scott Acquavella - Guitar / Vocals
Shane Kennedy - Bass / Vocals
Mike Monaco - Guitar / Vocals
Matt Taibi - Drums

Cryptodira: Seriously one of my favorite bands out there.This past year they put out a near perfect album, Recursions, (you can read my short review of it on my Best of 2013 blog entry) and now they're releasing a 2 song EP. Needless to say it's their most ambitious release yet. Everything they release is more mature and improves upon the formula they've already crafted of post metal interludes, prog/death metal riffs, and hardcore mentality, and An Unmarked Grave is no exception.

Vocalist and guitarist Scott Acquavella shines with this release. His harsh vocals are strong and his cleans are layered perfectly with reverb and harmonies that showcase his voice far better than their previous releases. Guitarist Mike Monaco has more vocal parts as well, which is a definite plus, bringing more of their hardcore influence to the forefront for a change. The guitar work is astounding, as to be expected, but then so are the bass and drums. Shane Kennedy is still one of the most impressive bassists I've seen and Matthew Taibi continues to blow my mind. Hell, here's a video so he can blow your mind too.

While the EP doesn't drop until Jan. 4th, both tracks can be streamed on the band's soundcloud page, and I highly recommend listening to them (I put them at the bottom for those of you too lazy to find it yourselves). If you're a fan of Converge, Isis, The Dillinger Escape Plan, or Cynic, there's something to love in this band. Even if you aren't a fan of any of those bands, Cryptodira are unique enough to set themselves apart from just about any band you've heard and they're worth your time.

Support the band HERE
Buy their other releases HERE

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Carcharodon - Roachstomper

Track Listing;
1. Stoneface Legacy
2. Pig Squeal Nation
3. Adolf Yeti
4. Beaumont, TX
5. Jumbo Squid
6. Marilyn Monrhoid
7. Chupacobra
8. Burial in Whiskey Waves
9. Alaska Pipeline
10. Voodoo Autopsy
11. The Sky Has No Limits

Band Members:
Pixo - Vocals/Bass
Boggio - Guitar/Backing vocals
Zack - Drums
Max - Guitar

I know I come off as pretentious when I string together a long list of sub-genres to describe one band, but to hell with it: Old school southern sludge/death n' roll. If I want to go for the Golden Fedora Metal Hipster Award I'd throw in Italian at the beginning of that. But you know what, I don't care, because these guys are awesome and I want people to know just what they're about to hear.

Carcharodon's Roachstomper brings the old school southern sludge that EyeHateGod used to play, mixes in Entmobed guitar tone and d-beats and then wraps it up in a gravelly barking vocal style with a thick Italian accent. Tell me you don't want to hear that?!

The first track (Stoneface Legacy) starts off with a harmonized chant about drinking whiskey that then plummets down into a stomach churning sludgy as fuck riff that's soaked in Swedish death metal buzz saw tone. This song is epic, heavy, and abrasive.

A track that I'd like to highlight would be their single, Burial In Whiskey Waves. The album starts off with a sick tapping riff before you're launched into a what I can only describe as a circle pit during a hoedown (I could probably describe it differently, but whatever). In between the thrashy riffs, vocalist Pixo growls at you about getting drunk and various things of that nature. And you listen. And then the song drops you into a vat of slow, grimy, and heavy sludge metal. I won't spoil the ending for you, but the song ends on a completely different note. Go listen.

Roachstomper is unique, vulgar, diverse, heavy as fuck, and Italian. And I love it.

Support the band HERE.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Metal Cock Radio's Best of 2013 List

Now here's a little disclaimer: This is my personal top 10 list of 2013. These are the releases that I've been excited about, listening to, and just enjoyed the most this year. I'm also avoiding obvious big name releases (Carcass' new album will not be on this list) because every online publication will have virtually the same list, and that gets boring. So here, I'll go ahead and tell you what every other list will say:

1. Black Sabbath - 13
2. Deafheaven - Sunbather
3. Gorguts - Colored Sands
4. Carcass - Surgical Steel
5. Dillinger Escape Plan - One of Us Is the Killer
6. Watain - Wild Hunt
7. Kylesa - Ultraviolet
8. Skeletonwitch - Serpents Unleashed
9. Darkthrone - The Underground Resistance
10. Revocation - Revocation

There ya go. Granted each list may have some discrepancies in the order of the list (some will put Killswitch Engage or Bring Me the Horizon), but they all tend to be similar. So now that I've made my point, here's MY top 10 metal releases of 2013:

10.) Sein Zum Tode - Beeep.

Listening to Sein Zum Tode will cause your brain to boil out of your ears and make you throw up food you haven't eaten yet. It's pure fucking insanity. Think Mike Patton and John Zorn styled avant-garde nonsense thrown in a blender with Saturday morning cartoons from the 80s and you've got the grotesque mutated monster that is Beeep.

Favorite track: ManSteam

9.) Black Mass - The Second Coming

Massachusetts has some awesome thrash bands right now, and Black Mass is no exception. I stumbled upon their debut album The Second Coming and thought to myself, "How the hell did I not already know about this?" As much as I love thrash metal, I've always hated reviewing it, because I feel like I can't get my point across though words, so just listen to it. It's well worth it!

Favorite track: Infernal Worship

8.) Burnt Books - Burnt Books

 Burnt fucking Books. Something that always stands out to me is a band that I can't pin a sub-genre on. These guys bring influence from hardcore, sludge, and noise rock to make something that I've never heard anywhere else. And I LOVE it! It's so damn good. Crazy rhythmic time changes, hauntingly unique vocals, and a relentless drive in every song; this album is fantastic.

Favorite track: Dig a Little Deeper

7.) Possessor - Make Them Eat Metal

Surprise, another thrash EP! Because you didn't see that coming. Possessor brings a more classic Slayer style thrash to the table and their newest EP, Make Them Eat Metal is aggressive. Even the album art screams "You're going to listen to this whether you like it or not!" From furious yelling to over the top falsetto screeching, the vocals compliment the blistering riffs and pummeling drums. And hell, they even cover Nasty Savage!

Favorite track: Make Them Eat Metal

6. Recreant - Recreant

This album almost didn't make my list because it was digitally released last year, BUT I was informed that the official release didn't happen until March, so TECHNICALLY I can put it on this list. And I'm so glad, because it deserves to be on here! Recreant is one of the most unique crust bands I've ever heard, mixing post metal with hardcore crust, complete with haunting violin, intricate bass lines, and passionate lyrics/vocals.

Favorite track: VI - Burn (The United States' Economic and Academic Systems Are Systems Of Elitism, Corruption, and Falsehood)

5.) Whores. - Clean

I won't bore you with much of a review because you've heard it before, but I'll just reiterate how unapologetically heavy this release is. It punches you in the face, spits on you while you're down, puts out a cigarette in your eye and then asks "Was it good for you?" and you whimper "Hell yes."

Favorite track: I Am An Amateur at Everything

4.) Moon Tooth - Freaks EP

Once again, you've heard the review before, so I won't go into too much detail. I'll just remind you that this is for free on band camp and if you don't already own it, then you're living an empty life.

Favorite track: Silver Gallows

3.) Abacus - Abacus

Abacus is the band that taught me that hardcore isn't a dirty word (well to be fair, their vocalist Alex Strickland taught me that). Their self titled (untitled?) EP is phenomenal. If you're a fan of Converge, Trap Them, or Young and In The Way, then Abacus is right up your alley.

Favorite track: Grey Matters

2.) Razormaze - Annihilatia

This was clearly going to be on my list. I'm an unabashedly huge Razormaze fan and I had been waiting for their new album for years. I won't go into too much detail, you can go read my review for yourself.

Favorite track: Terminal Escape

1.) Cryptodira - Recursions

Cryptodira is one of the most unique progressive metal bands I've ever heard. Imagine this: a progressive metal band with the influence of Cynic and Between the Buried and me, with the attitude of Converge and Dillinger Escape Plan, the post metal interludes of Isis, and a healthy love for Death. These guys are my favorite progressive metal band, and Recursions is available on bandcamp for whatever you feel like giving them (give them a lot.)

Favorite track: Either Fly or Fall Faster

NOTE: Sein Zum Tode and Abacus were both featured on Metal Cock Radio's free compilation which you can get HERE.

For those of you who may be interested, here are a few non-metal releases that came out this year that are worth your time:

3. Trees on Mars - S/T EP
2. Valley Maker - Yes I Know I've Loved the World
1. Les Racquet - Whale Hail

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Moon Tooth - Freaks EP

Track Listing:
1. Ebb/Flow
2. Goon
3. Storm Pill
4. Silver Gallows

Band Members:
Nick Lee - Gutairs, Vocals
Ray Marte - Drums, Vocals
John Carbone - Vocals, Percussion
Vin Romanelli - Bass

Very rarely do I find a metal band that captures my attention so quickly, yet I can't place what genre they are. I've always been one to classify bands into sub-genres for fun, but these guys are so incredibly unique that it makes it difficult to say. However, one thing I can say about them is that they are fantastic and their freshman release "Freaks" just goes to show that there is something proggy in the water up in Long Island, NY.

Right off the bat you're hit with Ebb/Flow which kicks up a fierce driving riff that makes me want to run in circles banging my head (usually I resist, being in public and all). Then the vocals come in.  John Carbone uses a clean vocal style that is very unique to the genre. It's not something you'd hear in a power prog band, but it's not raspy or rough enough to be in a stoner/sludge band. As far as metal vocals go, I have a hard time pinning his style to a particular sound, but I'll tell you this: if works beautifully. The vocal melodies and the timbre of his voice almost contrast with the driving riffs and heavy distortion, and then Nick Lee comes in with harsh backing vocals that add another level of complexity to this baffling style. And damn I love it. And just when you think you've gotten used to the style, they kick it up with the chorus, throwing in major key vocal harmonies and impressive guitar work.

I'll spare you the details for the rest of the EP, because I won't be able to do it justice; you'll have to listen to it for yourself. I will say this: Moon Tooth is a band that I'm EAGERLY awaiting new material from. I've had a taste of four tracks by this incredible band and now I'm starving for more.

Storm Pill (Official Video)
Download the EP HERE
Follow the band on FACEBOOK 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Whores. - Clean

1. Baby Bird
2. Last Looks
3. I Am Not a Goal Oriented Person
4. Cougars, Not Kittens
5. Blue Blood
6. I Am an Amateur at Everything

Band Members:
Christian Lembach - Vocals, Guitar
Travis Owen - Drums
Jake Shultz - Bass

There is a way to be heavy without drop tuning to oblivion, playing 8 string guitars, and using guttural vocals. Whores. does it better than most, and after waiting and waiting (I do a lot of that apparently) we are given their sophomore release, Clean; and it's anything but.

Whores. plays classic sludge metal along the lines of The Melvins and Acid Bath. Angry vocals, unforgiving bass, driving and impressive drums (you should see them live), and heavy catchy riffs; these guys do it fucking right. Seriously, everything about this release is on point, from riffs to tone, this EP is practically dangerous.

If you ever get the chance to see Whores. live, jump on it, because you'll regret not doing so for the rest of your life. Easily one of the heaviest three piece bands I've ever seen (and they did it without a single breakdown I might add).

Buy the album HERE
Follow the band on FACEBOOK

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Razormaze - Annihilatia

1. Something Like A War
2. The Slowest Death
3. Worshipping the Void
4. Sink Below
5. Demagogue
6. Electric Deception
7. Terminal Escape
8. Without Words

Band Members:
Alex Citrone - Guitar, Vocals
Sam Nevin - Bass, Vocals
Joe Gettler - Guitar
Nick Lazzaro - Drums

This album was actually released a while back but I'm late to the reviewing party so here we go!

Thrash metal is making a comeback; that's a fact. Whether you're one of those people who think it's a tired and dated genre (fuck you) or you're like me who can't get enough of the shit, you can't deny that there are gems among the new wave of thrash metal that stand above the rest in terms of unique and impressive musicianship and songwriting. Bands like Havok, Lich King, and Revocation come to mind quickly to most, but for me there's one band that has a special place in my heart, and that's Boston's thrash heroes Razormaze.

The long awaited Annihilatia is finally out and it's amazing! Released on Slaney Records it's a lot heavier than their previous releases. Razormaze brings a lot more complexity to their songwriting this go around, and it definitely shows in both song structure and riffs.The production has been kicked up, the riffs are more plentiful and more intricate, the lyrics are deeper then before, and the vocals have more of a Chuck Billy feel to them instead of the almost cheesy vocals from True Speed of Steel (although I must say, I'm a big fan of cheese.) This album is also the first to feature new guitarist Joe Gettler, who, in scientific terms, fucking brings it. The solos are phenomenal and the guitar tone used for them is perfect.

My favorite song on the album is, without a doubt, Terminal Escape. From the bouncy intro riff to the circle pit inducing verses and gang vocal inspiring choruses. I mean, lets be real, its thrash metal, describing it won't do it justice, it'll just make it seem like every other thrash band, but if you hear it for yourself you'll feel differently. Buy this album and become another slave to the maze! (I don't give a fuck about how cheesy that sounds.)

Buy the album HERE
Follow the band on FACEBOOK

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Mandroid Echostar - Citadels

Track Listing:
1. A Death Marked Dream
2. Ancient Arrows
3. Haunted Vows
4. To the Wolves
5. The Sleeper
6. Ethereal Dawn
7. Citadels

Band Members:
Stephen Richards - Guitar
Sam Pattison - Guitar
Michael Ciccia - Vocals
James Krul - Guitar, Vocals
Matt H-K - Drums
Adam Richards - Bass

Here's a release that I've been waiting for for about a year now! Mandroid Echostar blew me away with their self titled release, playing a catchy progressive metal that took the vocals and clever songwriting of Coheed And Cambria (don't judge) and the progressive prowess of Protest the Hero, finding an beautiful grey area between the two. Citadels is no exception, although I think it pushes more into the Protest the Hero side of the spectrum this go around. The music is catchy, melodic, and technical with impressive, sometimes straight soulful vocals.

Starting off with track 1, A Death Marked Dream, we're greeted with an acoustic intro, complete with harmonizing vocals. It's very beautifully done and the melody is gorgeous. All in all it's pretty standard for a prog release, but it's still a great track on its own.

The second track starts off similarly with a clean riff and hi-hat, building up to… a fucking power metal epic! This song sounds like a video game soundtrack and I love it! Twin harmonizing guitar solos, sweeping and noodling all over the place before the vocals come in and you're dropped right into Mandroid Echostar's fantastic progressive formula. The verse sports technical riffs bouncing around behind a unique vocal rhythm. The song stays pretty upbeat throughout and is a perfect opening song for any album.

This album does a very good job of being diverse without being completely all over the place, which I've always considered the mark of an on point prog band. Each song is different and brings a new flavor to the album while still sounding like the band. Check it out for yourself when the album comes on on Nov. 21st!

Buy the album HERE
Follow the band on FACEBOOK

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Optic - Iris In

1. Hemlock
2. Blind Apathy
3. Falling From the Sky
4. Breathe New Life
5. Moment of Impact
6. Withhold The Sun
7. Drown the Earth
8. Etched in Grey

Band Members:
Steve Christopher - Guitars, Vocals
Scott Genovese - Drums, Percussion
Mike Intrieri - Bass
Kenny Mahoney - Lead Vocals
Ryan Patane - Keyboards/Synths, Vocals

After waiting and waiting and waiting, Long Island NY's prog geniuses Optic finally give us their full length album Iris In, and it is every bit as impressive as expected. The songs are drenched in Dream Theater influence, which is NOT a bad thing, especially when it comes to the vocals. The musical prowess displayed on this album is nothing short of phenomenal. This is not the sound of a freshman release of an unsigned prog band.

The album opens with a short instrumental in "Hemlock," however, the song can stand on its own (albeit a bit shorter than the rest of the album) as a good song instead of just an introduction to the album. From "Hemlock" we get thrown into "Blind Apathy," which has a drive that sends me back to my early days of metal listening to Dream Theater and Blind Guardian. Clean vocals are something that I've come to miss in metal these days, and Optic does it so well. The vocals range from power/prog clean singing (FAR better than that of LaBrie I might add) to melodic death metal growls. One awesome things bout the harsh vocals is that they never seem forced and always compliment the music that's being played.

After a wonderful riff/solo filled track, we get the first epic clocking in at 10:45 with "Falling From the Sky." One of the things I've found that I love about this band is how prominent the keyboard is throughout the album. Ryan Patane doesn't sit in the back layering the songs with obnoxious synth noises, but rather is at the forefront of the band laying down solos as impressive as any guitarist. It's just something that you don't see a lot of in metal these days. Then, just as expected, the song takes a turn for the fast as it picks up speed and the harsh vocals kick in. These guys layer clean and harsh vocals very well, something that I've found most bands do poorly, sounding like a symphonic pile of generic boredom. And then we come to the first bass solo of the album, and yes it's good. The solo sections on this album feel important, at times feeling like riffs to the song more so than wanking for the sake of wanking. The keyboards never compete with the guitars as they seem to switch places and take turns in the spotlight of the song.

For those of you who haven't already been blown away by the Drown the Earth EP, both tracks are on the album and have been punched up in production a bit. One of these tracks includes the 13:19 epic Drown the Earth which is what drew me to this band in the first place. Withhold the Sun was also released early as a teaser for the album, so you've already heard that as well, right?

I'm not going to sit here and break down every song on the album for you, you can do that yourself by buying the album on bandcamp.

Buy the album HERE
Follow the band on FACEBOOK

Friday, October 25, 2013

Death of Kings - Knifehammer/Beneath the Obsidian 7"

1. Knifehammer
2. Beneath the Obsidian

Band Members:
Matt Matson - Guitar, Vocals 
Scott Price - Guitar, Vocals
Ash - Bass
Amos Rifkin - Drums

Death of Kings is a thrash metal band from Atlanta GA and they play metal in every sense of the word. Blistering fast, full of awesome riffs, blazing guitar solos, aggressive in your face vocals that aren't quite screams but definitely aren't clean, and lyrics about wolves and war and shit. These guys just released a 2 track 7" and it's by far the best produced and best written thing they've put out so far. I mean, how can you go wrong with a track called Knifehammer? You can't, because that song will literally hammer you with a knife. The 7" is being printed on glow in the dark vinyl and is available for digital purchase on bandcamp.com, so you have no reason not to own these two fantastic songs! And if you want to wait to buy the vinyl, Death of Kings will be playing here in Columbia at New Brookland Tavern on November 17th!

Download the 7" HERE
Follow Death of Kings on FACEBOOK

Halloween Shows! (They're fuckin' everywhere)

Halloween is coming up which means that everyone wants to throw either a Halloween party or a Halloween themed show. While I'm not the social butterfly to attend all the Halloween parties around Columbia, there are 2 shows this year for SC Metal fans to enjoy!

For those of us in Columbia we have a show at New Brookland Tavern featuring Burnt Books, They Eat Their Own God, The Catalyst, Sea of Storms, and Abacus.

Burnt Books:
These guys have been in the scene in different bands for years, formed of former members of Thank God, Guyana Punch Line, Tunguska, and the Megameants (and probably more that I don't know of). Being the metal nerd I am, I take pride in being able to categorize the specific genres of most bands, however, I have difficulty with Burnt Books. This is not a bad thing. They're often categorized as "Avantgardcore" and they bring the aggression of hardcore, the haunting melodies of doom metal, and the technicality and breakneck time signature changes of sludge metal into a melting pot of insanity. 

They Eat Their Own God:
I've seen these guys several times over the years through a handful of different lineups and names, but I'm disappointed to say that I've only seen them twice with their current lineup. These guys are another one of those bands where I find it hard to peg a genre to them. They bring alot of progressive sludge/doom elements to their highly emotive crust punk style. Plus their vocalist plays a theremin. 

The Catalyst:
To be completely honest, I've only been listening to hardcore for a little while now. That being said, these guys are one of the more unique and interesting hardcore bands I've heard. They bring alot of different styles to the table, and then smash the shit out of said table. These guys are one of the two bands I haven't seen yet at this show, and I'm truly excited for the experience.

Sea of Storms:
These guys seem to stand out the most on the bill, however, that doesn't diminish their place on the bill in the slightest. These guys play a more post-hardcore style of music not unlike Touche Amore, another sub-genre I've only recently begun listening to. I'd say that these guys are the most "accessible" and the most "melodic" band on the bill. That being said, I'm excited to see what they bring to the table as far as live performances.

Abacus is one of my favorite local bands in the scene right now. They're responsible for opening the door to all the hardcore music I've discovered this past year or so. Playing their aggressive "fury punk" hardcore reminiscent of Trap Them and Converge, they're a staple for any local hardcore show in my book.

 If you live upstate and don't feel like making the drive down to Columbia, Ground Zero is throwing a FREE Halloween show up in Spartanburg, and this one is more for the metal heads than the punk kids, featuring Lecherous Nocturne, Atrocious Abnormality, Enthean, NeverFall, Thermostat, and Divulgence.
Lecherous Nocturne:

If you like Nile and bands of that nature, then you'll like Lecherous Nocturne. Brutal death metal with a blackened tinge featuring ex members of Nile, these guys are sure to please any fan of  death metal. 

Atrocious Abnormality:

Lecherous Nocturne not heavy enough? Need some slam in your life? Then Atrocious Abnormality will fill that void for you, because they are brutal in every sense of the word. Deep, gurgling gutturals (damn, even the description sounds horrible), furious blasts, and heavy riffs, Atrocious Abnormality will satisfy every slam metal head's twisted tastes. 

Enthean is South Carolina's answer to Emperor. The recipe for an Enthean song features a dollop of tech death, a healthy dose of blackened influence with a sprinkle of symphonic background. Mix it up with the fact that they FINALLY HAVE A DAMN DRUMMER and you have a force to be reckoned with.
Neverfall is one of the only pure thrash metal bands in the state (if there are others aside from Prowler, then I don't know about them, and this is a problem). There isn't too much to say about it when it comes to thrash. They play thrash. I fucking love thrash. So should you.
To be completely honest, I know nothing about Thermostat… All the more reason to find out for yourself!

If you don't know about these guys by now then you've been living a lie. Divulgence is another one of my personal favorites in the local scene (and not just because I played guitar for them for a few months). Divulgence plays a brilliant mix of thrash and death metal with a hint of black metal. The guitars focus on memorable riffs rather than flashy nonsense. If you like genre bending death/thrash like Skeletonwitch and Revocation then you'll enjoy Divulgence. Also there is talk about this being their last show so...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Metal Cock Blog Overview

Hey everyone!

I've decided to start up a blog under the Metal Cock name, so here it is! I'm hoping that this blog serves as an outlet for album/band/show reviews, all those Top 10 lists I seem to subconsciously make, and other random information regarding heavy metal!

Follow us on
The Radio (Tuesday nights from 8-10pm)
Contact us at metal.cock.rbp@gmail.com