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