This Week in Badass:…In Which Isis Rocks Again

Written by Music, This Week in Badass

Dave Steed takes a look at the metal and rock music that crossed his desk this week with two Isis live albums and new music from Cianide and Harm’s Way.

This Week in Badass is going to take a look at all the killer music that has reached my ears in current week, whether it be music that was just released or items coming out in the near future. You might even get some vintage badass to get you through your weekend as well. Music will be ranked on the badass’ness scale — which of course goes to 11, the only true way to measure if something kicks ass. So throw your horns up and get ready to headbang along. Bands are bolded the first time they are mentioned if you want to scroll through to see if there’s someone you like.

So I’m a little ahead of myself with this one, but on August 2nd, Hell’s Headbangers releases the first album in six years from old school death metal band Cianide. I love Gods of Death (badass’ness: 10/11) so much that I just couldn’t wait to mention it.

Cianide formed way back in 1998 and this is only their 6th album as they tend to wait a bit between records. They haven’t gotten much recognition over the years which is possibly because they are just a little too consistent. They have yet to make the really shitty album or the album with the one crossover song and instead have stuck with the formula that works for them, straight forward old school death. That’s not to say all six albums are the same but they at least follow the same formula. With Gods of Death you get eight tracks of brutality, filled with monstrous and even somewhat melodic riffs that simply never let up from the first note to the end. If you like Deicide but don’t care for the message they deliver, Cianide might work.

Now I know I said every two weeks I’d be reviewing the next Isis live record but I apparently lied.  I’ve talked about the first three and I’ll  get to the last two this week.  Live IV (badass’ness: 8/11) is the only disc of the five live reissues that contains performances from multiple shows with pieces coming from shows in Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York.  The album features songs from Celestial and Oceanic only with “Gentle Time” and “CFT” (from Celestial) showing up only on this one.  It’s got a harder overall feel than the third disc but isn’t quite as consistent as the first two.  There’s still a little too much of the atmosphere that doesn’t translate well on disc and disrupts the flow (if there can even be a flow from piecemeal performances). Once the heaviness kicks in though, it’s typical Isis. There’s a fantastic version of “False Light” on this one that’s worth checking out as well as this version of “The Weight” featuring Justin Chancellor from Tool.

Disc V (badass’ness: 9/11) is a little different as well as it appears to be a soundboard recording rather than from the audience and features the entire Oceanic album from start to finish.  Recorded in London in ’06 you get more crunch than on any other disc thanks to the increased sound quality. You lose the feel as if you were in the audience watching the show which is perfectly fine with me because there are just simply parts that didn’t feel right on disc. With this one you even get the full scope of the atmospheric passages and the transitions between songs don’t seem quite as awkward thanks to the fact you can hear them better.  Whether you like this disc of course is based on whether you liked Oceanic to begin with.  As with the rest of these live albums, it’s more of a collector’s piece than an essential band recording but that seems to be the intention anyway.

I don’t really have a hell of a lot to say about the final record this week but if you like hardcore, don’t pass up on the second LP from Chicago’s Harm’s WayIsolation (badass’ness: 10/11) comes out on July 5th courtesy of Closed Casket Activities and is a fantastic blend of angry vocals, hardcore and metallic elements to bring the headbanging and mosh pit together in harmony.  Well produced and even a little slick, this is a masterful record go ballistic to.

“New Beginnings”
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