Sunday, June 22, 2014

Grst - Fire Therein

OK, everyone knows how awesome and influential Weakling was right? I don't really have to do the whole song and dance about who they influenced and how they only wrote Dead As Dreams but it shaped the face of USBM to come, blah blah blah. Good. What I will say is that no one really ever attempts to cover them, mainly due to the nature of the material and the fact no lyrics were ever printed. Grst breaks with that tradition on Fire Therein, an EP covering two of those seminal tracks. Josh Vincent really outdid himself with the love and respect this grants the source material; faithful enough to please purists, and varied enough to make you not want to shut it off and just listen to the original. Nathanael Kelley adds additional guitar tracks and Kenneth Parker also deserves note for his usual vocal delivery, rather than trying to ape the original, what he is singing, I have no clue. Kudos guys, you proved you have the balls and the drive. I'm really excited (well, more excited than before, which was pretty excited) for Grst's full length debut, Plague Seed.

Salvaticus - Hidden Manna

HOLY FUCK. These dudes from Virginia aren't fucking around. This is one of the best sounding modern black metal releases I have heard. Killer riffs, dark chord progressions, and melodies that aren't dripping with cheese. Just fucking listen to it and thank me later, assholes.

Emerald Weapon - S/T EP

Oooo, a new band. Emerald Weapon is a two man project from Portland, OR. They describe their music as "Black Metal/Atmospheric/Drone", this really isn't too far off. The first track is a drone-y mess until all the instruments come in, at that point reaching a decent sounding, if all too basic, melody and harmony, then falling apart. Enlightened Womb starts out sounding all too Cascadian, before the drums switch to that polka-esque "oompa" sound that less than stellar programming results in (it happens, I know I have been guilty of it in the past). Self Reliant is my favorite track, coming in with a d-beat and a vicious but melodious riff. The energy in that song makes is the best on the EP, drawing my head from a standstill to emphatically nodding to desk headbanging in the all too short two minute running length. The last track Nothing/Everything is your standard ambient/drone Post/Cascadian instrumental/outro track, it's not bad, its just been done before.

 Its really not bad if you are into the PNW melodic sound, and it is just a first release. These dudes have some talent and some of the melodies are sticky as fuck, they just gotta flesh it out and make it theirs.

Totally random and not at all applicable rating: 5.6 Bags of Organic Free-Trade Cruelty-Free Kale Gummi Bears.

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