Metal!: Noisem, Kalmah, The Meads of Asphodel and Corrections House
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: Noisem is young, both as a unit and in actual age, the four members all between fifteen and twenty years old, their energetic youth showing through in the blistering fast nonstop assault that encompasses the listener with their debut LP, Agony Defined. Boasting high-octane death/thrash tracks in the tradition of early Slayer, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Kreator and Nuclear Assault with a filthy and crispy delivery, Agony Defined unloads nine neck-mangling tracks in under twenty-six minutes, every attack surging with massive divebomb guitar solos and punishing beats.
The Hellgoat’s Take (6.5/10): The band was originally called Necropsy and this album was released last year under the name Endless Aggression. Thankfully, when they signed to A389, they changed the generic name of the band to Noisem and the even more generic name of the album to Agony Defined. Singer Tyler Carnes is only 17 years old and the youngest member of the group is drummer Harley Phillips at only 15, so for their age they have a lot going for them. Agony Defined is a rippin’ album full of precise technique and fierce soloing. It’s also like listening to Joel Grind sing an early Slayer record. It’s a little derivative for the Hellgoat’s tastes but give it a couple more albums and I can see these guys creating an identity that’s all their own.
Press: Finnish death metal legion Kalmah are pleased to unleash their seventh studio offering this June, titled Seventh Swamphony. Recorded at Tico-Tico Studios in Kemi, Finland, the follow-up to 2010’s critically acclaimed 12 Gauge release was mixed and mastered at Sweden’s Fascination Street Studios by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Soilwork, Paradise Lost, et al) and showcases the Oulu outfit’s signature brand of frantic, yet melodic death metal tempered here by a new-found epic mournfulness.
The Hellgoat’s Take (7.5/10): Epic motherfuckers for sure! Kalmah got a new keyboard player and by hell they are putting him to use here. The Hellgoat has really enjoyed these guys over the years and despite the cheesy title of Seventh Swamphony, the album gets better with each listen. But this really is a bold step for the band. They still have the melodic death metal roots but the use of that keyboard makes most of these songs closer to power metal than death metal. Frankly, this is the type of album that deserves to be played with the Finnish National Orchestra to encompass its grand scale. This is definitely Kalmah pushed to a new degree which the Hellgoat hasn’t fully embraced yet but he’s working on it.
Press: Sonderkommando is the follow-up to 2011’s American debut for this adventurous English metal bevy. The album features guest performances from Mirai (Sigh), Roibeard O Bogail (Mael Mordha), and artwork by Scotland-based painter Aisha Al-Sadie.
Sonderkommando is an extremely dark recording that was in-part inspired by vocalist Metatron’s 2011 trip to Auswitch. He shares, “it is a cold, eerie place where death laughs and the world spins blindly past. I couldn’t even begin to imagine the suffering of the children here. I forgot about Jews and Nazi’s for a moment and just looked upon pure hatred, and human beings slaughtered for sadistic self gratification under the veil of a flawed ideology.”
The Hellgoat’s Take (7.5/10): After four listens, the Hellgoat still feels he’s missing things. The Meads of Asphodel are a complicated bunch of fellows making a complicated bunch of songs. While they are black metal at the core, there’s saxophones, harmonicas and a folk presence throughout. Once you sit and really analyze their records you start to understand them a little better but the Hellgoat surely understands that digging really deep into a record isn’t for everyone. This is thinking man’s music, meant to stir emotions and take you on a journey. Maybe a different journey every time you listen. If nothing else, they are unlike anything out there right now. And they have the best or at least the longest title of the year as the 11th track is called, “The Mussulmans Wander Through the Infernal Whirling Fires Amongst Silent Shadows to be Fed Into the Thirsting Jaws of a Godless Death Machine to Cough Up Their Souls to the Nazi Moloch Who Sits Within a Ring of Smoking Infant Skulls”.
Press: Corrections House is an eclectic collective of musical miscreants featuring Mike IX Williams (Eyehategod), Sanford Parker (Buried at Sea), Scott Kelly (Neurosis), and Bruce Lamont (Yakuza). Together they sew a difficult-to-pigeonhole quilt of poetic misanthropy, industrial ear lashings and pure sonic menace.
The Hellgoat’s Take (9/10): A bit industrial, a bit doom, a bit drone and a bit avant-garde, this is an interesting project from some big names in music. Mike Williams speaks his lyrics which conjures up images of Henry Rollins and Zach De La Rocha blending together. It’s an oddity for sure but pretty damn cool. And I can see this becoming a cult project if they toss out a 7″ now and again. Seems like a project that could remain interesting for a long period of time.