Metal!: ASG, Pasadena Napalm Division and Dark Buddha Rising
On the 25th day of the 12th month of 2012, the Six-Tongued Hellgoat was summoned to arise from the ashes and bring darkness to this place called POPdose. Join him in his quest.
Somnolent Regurgitation of the Scrolls of Proselytism
(The Hellgoat wishes to convert you to the ways of the metal. But he prefers to let the press release and bio do most of the talking on these nefarious black circles.)
Press: ASG emerge from the sandy shores of North Carolina to deliver their fourth full length and Relapse debut Blood Drive. Sun soaked groove heavy riffs that reference equal parts Torche and Queens of the Stone Age Blood Drive is nothing short of anthemic. ASG have toured the country relentlessly with the likes of Corrosion of Conformity, Weedeater and Black Tusk. But what’s most remarkable about Blood Drive is that any of its 12 instantly memorable songs could just as easily be FM radio smash hits. What sets ASG apart from their swampy peers is singer/guitarist Jason Shi’s voice: this is a set of songs that are truly sung by a guy who can actually sing. Blood Drive is a kick ass blast of sun that elevates ASG to the level of some of their most well-regarded Relapse label-mates like Baroness and Mastodon.
The Hellgoat’s Take (8/10): The concept that any of these tunes could be FM radio hits isn’t really striking the Hellgoat as accurate. If Baroness couldn’t have radio hits with their most listener friendly record, then ASG won’t either. That aside, Baroness is the easiest comparison as Blood Drive consists of some modern rock and a heavy dose of stoner groove. It’s well crafted and a diverse record ranging from poppier tunes like “Blues for Bama” to some true rawkers like “Hawkeye.” The thing that definitely sets them apart though are the vocals of Jason Shi. He has a perfect voice for the music they make.
ASG has had splits in the past with the likes of Black Tusk, Red Fang and Karma To Burn. Like any of those bands and you should like ASG as well.
Press: Thrash music is meant to be corrosive.
When done right, it’s so acidic it could melt steel. Pasadena Napalm Division wields that fire on its self-titled debut album for Minus Head Records. Among the Texas group’s grizzled and gritty ranks are genre vets Kurt Brecht [vocals] of the legendary D.R.I. (Dirty Rotten Imbeciles), Greg Martin [guitar], Scott Sevall [guitar], and Ronnie Guyote [drums] of Dead Horse, and Bubba [bass]. They’re a formidable bunch of badasses who know their way around a blast beat and a punk-i-fied speed metal riff. Once this bomb drops, everything else will go up in flames.
The Hellgoat’s Take (9/10): The Hellgoat tossed this one to the side initially because crossover has never really been his thing. The Hellgoat is not too proud to admit his mistakes though. Dead Horse plays a brand of crossover that is filled with not only thrash riffs but death metal ones as well and the addition of those to D.R.I.’s old sound and Brecht’s in-your-face vocals, really works well. Some of these songs have appeared on both their demo and EP from a few years ago but are worked for this LP. So don’t be an idiot like the Hellgoat and listen to this damn fine debut right away.
Press: “To walk the ethereal soil on the banks leading unto the stone tower as last breath view we would collapse as humanly tissue, overwhelmed by the final light that seizes us at the end of the world to transform all living that was unliving the torments as timesands cascaded, unknowing of the now unveiled source that flow to overcome confines of flesh particles as seen through the eyes to witness them worldly.
The obsessive trait became at an early age from what would seem like truthfabrics bleeding through the cracks between cellwalls, alive in vast nothingnesses surrounding scarce specifics of illusional matter that would float in brightness excesses, ascending to unflinching gaze-in as quest that became to level the endless plains in sight as unified with the fluid surfaces of the endoplasmic waves.”
The Hellgoat’s Take (8/10): Um, sure. Well, that quote is a mysterious as the group itself. Dakhmandal is one hour and twenty one minutes of dark drone doom mixed with both clean singing and ungodly screams (and crazy noises). Put them on stage with a band like Khanate and you might have nightmares for the rest of your life. For the drone weary, don’t fret – there are some actual riffs and mesmerizing moments and at no point does this get boring (though you might ask yourself what evil state your mind has been taken to). Moments of sheer terror mix with melancholy to create a head trip like no other.