Tag Archives: Metal

Fumigation – “Integrated Pest Management”

I had the great fortune recently of receiving an email out of the blue from Fumigation‘s Chris Humeniuk with a request to review his band’s soon to be released CD, Integrated Pest Management. Intrigued, I proceeded to download the tunes from the provided Dropbox link and fire up the band’s website, which, brilliantly, has a lyrics page.

Before we get into the release I think it’s only fair to warn you that I have little to no expertise regarding all of metal’s sub-genres, including death metal. Quite frankly I don’t really care if your band is stoner metal, doom metal, melodic death metal or whatever. The only thing I care about is this: when I annoy my neighbours listening to your album is it going to kick my ass?

In the case of Ottawa‘s death metal quintet Fumigation, the answer is a definite yes. The band’s website refers to its sound as “groove-laden death metal” and I would add elements of technical DM as well. What sets them apart, however, is their choice of theme over and above the typical negativity associated with the genre. When I asked him how a death metal band with a pest control theme evolved he replied, “Our theme came about by me getting a job as an exterminator, and one of my friends thought it would be really funny to have a band about my job. I had a bunch of songs ready to go for a band anyways, so I figured I’d try and write lyrics and come up with ideas to turn everything into a pest control themed band…basically the life of an exterminator. I then found people that thought the idea was pretty funny and off we went, and 5 years later here we are with our first full-length album ready to drop.”

Highlights include the outrageous “Fleshlight Castration“, “Pediculosis, (Mommy I Have Lice)“, the crushingly heavy opening track, “Cranofacial Duplication” and the terrifying, “Lick of the Carnivorous Caterpillars“. Who knew that fuzzy little multi-footed critters could evoke such terror?

Overall Fumigation‘s Integrated Pest Management scores a solid 4/5.

Excellent production qualities and well-crafted songs should take this release a long way. Plus, those pesky lice are likely to abandon ship once you start head banging, an unforeseen bonus for sure.Fumigation - Integrated Pest Management

Bloated Pig – “Made For Hell”

The new Bloated Pig album is about to be birthed on August 24, 2012 and the album release party will be at what is perhaps Calgary’s best rock venue, The Distillery, that evening. Incidentally, for those of you who are attending the CD release party you will get your very own copy of the new release, Made For Hell; not a bad proposition for a $15 ticket. But what about those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to live in Calgary? Why should we care about another indie metal album?

Actually there are several reasons, but the one most worthy of mention is this: axeman and lead vocalist Al’s guitar tone and style is dirtier than a German scat video. For the metalhead guitarists among us it would be interesting to ask him what his rig looks like because this CD should come with a warning label: “Prolonged Exposure to This CD May Melt Your Fucking Face Off”. (Perhaps there is time for said stickers to be affixed to the CDs before the show?) Honestly.

The fun gets off to an ominous start with a moody faded-in intro to “Overwinter” that explodes in a crescendo of glorious metal riffage at about the 1:45 mark. From there Made For Hell takes the listener on a rocket ride that seamlessly moves between solid thrash and groove-laden blues-based metal. Although there may be elements of southern rock/metal in their sound don’t suggest to the boys in BP that they are a southern rock band. In an excellent article published earlier this week at beatroute.ca guitarist Al is quoted as saying, “We’re from fucking Canada man, we can’t be southern rock, it’s geographically impossible.”

Vocally Al alternates between a nasty thrash howl and something a little more melodic that sounds like the result of a sexual union between ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and a Louisiana swamp gator. In either case the vocals fit perfectly with the aforementioned filthy guitar tone, a tone that serves what is perhaps the greatest strength of the CD: killer riffs. Every track features riffage at its finest and, to the band’s credit, not just the same old standards being rehashed. BP knows how to construct a series of riffs and meld them into a crushing wall of sound that brings to mind the warning label suggested earlier.

If you reside in Calgary then you absolutely must see the show on Friday night. Grab the CD, let your friends hear it. Chat it up on Twitter and Facebook. And for the love of Pete would somebody please shoot some decent video of the show and post it to YouTube??? Those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to be present will appreciate it!

The bottom line is this: Bloated Pig’s Made For Hell is 5/5.

Bloated Pig - "Made For Hell"

FaceTheHate – “I See Red”

I See Red, the debut album from North Bay, Ontario’s FaceTheHate is a solid thrasher that satisfies. A collection of nine tracks, the release displays strong production values and features several interesting twists and turns throughout.

The album gets off to a fine start with the appropriately titled instrumental “Beginnings”, wherein the band sets the tone with a hypnotic galloping riff that crushes, caresses, pushes, and pulls the hearer into the overall body of work. The tone thus set, the ensuing eight tracks propel the listener on a metal-injected thrill ride that will impress even the most jaded of moshers and headbangers.

From a songwriting viewpoint the entirety of I See Red is strong – if this album were a package of hot dogs it would read, “all meat, no filler”. The band displays impressive musicianship throughout utilizing elements of thrash, metalcore and progressive metal in a tightly bundled package that never loses its focus – each song stands up well on its own while serving the whole. Specifically the guitar work is stellar, although – and this is the exception – there are a couple of slower melodic lead passages that sound somewhat awkward to this ear, particularly in the aforementioned first track. That specific bit of criticism, however, is very subjective in nature with the likelihood that other ears may hear nothing awkward at all.

Lyrically the band avoids most of the cliché typically trotted out in the genre; for example, where one song totally disdains organized religion, another leaves the question of God and spirituality open-ended. It seems that FaceTheHate is satisfied with asking the questions typical of the genre without shoving the answers down our throats.

As an overall package I See Red scores a solid 4/5. If your ear enjoys great riffing and complex song arrangement with clear and brutal low end then this album is for you. FaceTheHate has given the world an excellent independent debut that deserves to be heard.

Highly recommended!

Preview I See Red on ReverbNation and for more info about FaceTheHate check them out on Facebook.

FaceTheHate - "I See Red"

Throne is BACKKKK with a VENGEANCE!!! Saturday, April 7th

Throne of VengeanceIt’s finally here – Throne of Vengeance is BACKKKK!!!

After a 8 month layoff, the 2011 CBC Best Rock Band will be hitting the stage this Saturday, April 7 @ The Distillery with a lineup NOT for the faint of heart!

With Bloated Pig, Lust Boys (on tour from Victoria), Million Dollar Fix & Caught Off Guard on the bill, there will lots of Rock ‘n Roll, Metal and SHREDDIN’!!

Also be sure to give a special raucous welcome to Brady Side, the new guitarist and ultimate shredder of Throne of Vengeance, whose album “Flesh Engine” has been ranked in the Top 5 for Exclaim! Magazine !EARSHOT Monthly Loud Charts since February!

So, head down This Saturday to The Distillery. This is going to be one EPIC night of Rock ‘n Roll for the books!

Obduracy – “Sunday’s Autopsy”

Holy shit.

Sometimes those are the only two words to describe an album. It means the album is intense, unforgettable, and completely mind-blowing, and while some music may fit neatly into a category or may be easy to listen to, “holy shit” music is on an entirely different level. These are the words that come to mind when describing :”Sunday’s Autopsy“, the new release from Ottawa-based metal band Obduracy. You might freaking love it, it may terrify you (a bit of both?), but either way it will blow your mind.

Released in March 2012, “Sunday’s Autopsy” is everything evil and aggressive metal should be. This is dark, otherworldly metal. The album absolutely explodes into action with the opening track “Virtue and Vice”, and the remaining tracks quickly follow suit with equally destructive and uncompromising intensity. Consistently fast-paced and full of demonic vocals and screams, the album is unapologetically heavy and shows off some insane talent. Along with some murderous vocals and riffs, each song brings untamed guitars, deep bass, and incredibly fast and pounding percussion. Honestly, does the drummer have four arms? Listen to songs like “Bellicose” and “Incinerator”, for example: you might picture an army of demons using music as a weapon, wielding drums and guitars instead of machine guns and crossbows.

There is nothing unstructured or wild about the album, however. Beneath the heavy “noise” is a multi-layered and surprisingly sophisticated collection of melodies, powerful rhythms, and roaring passion, and while it’s true that death metal isn’t for everyone, no one can argue with the technical and song-writing talents of Obduracy. Songs like “Interstate Murder Plot” have a loud and heavy exterior, but there is also a catchy and singable melody underneath that show the band’s more “easy listening” song-writing abilities. Finding these elements is easy when you actually listen. Death metal takes practice and encouragement to fully appreciate, but once you do, it’s easy to love.

Society’s love of apocalyptic fantasy and zombie-esque horror have opened the gates for heavy death/black metal, and with bands like Obduracy unleashing their sound on the world, it’s not hard to see why so many fans have converted to the dark side. Obduracy is the real deal, and with a totally unique sound and an unnaturally mind-blowing album, they take heavy metal to a whole other world.

Stream the entire album here, and check them out on Facebook. Listen to the album a few times, maybe while playing Resident Evil or something equally explosive and scary. If you’re someone who gets excited easily, get ready to say it: holy shit.

Obduracy - "Sunday's Autopsy"

Today I Caught The Plague – “Lore”

On everyone’s music playlist, there are songs and artists that are recognizable from the first beat. Today I Caught The Plague, a six-piece progressive metal band from Ottawa, is definitely one of these bands, and their newest album Lore is unmistakably unique.

As the band’s first full-length album, Lore shows from the first pulse just who Today I Caught The Plague is and why they’re seen as one of the fastest rising progressive metal bands in Canada. The band doesn’t waste any time, and starting the album in a frenzy, “Consequence of Fratricide” leaves no question as to what this album is about. Fans of progressive metal will absolutely love TICTP. The sounds are multilayered and harmonized, and it is clear from the band’s technical and lyrical expertise that this is no rookie attempt at such an ambitious and powerful endeavour.

The album itself is a holistically solid accomplishment. The layers come together with smooth precision, but individually, each piece holds its own. Machine gun-style drumming, two wailing guitars, bass, keyboards, and consistently melodic and evocative vocals all contribute to a symphony of sound and an unmistakable identity. There are elements of metal, hardcore rock, and early classical influences in each song, and this album shows that there are no boundaries that can’t be pushed.

TICTP puts on an incredible live show as well, and the energy and activity on Lore shows why. Few bands can create such an adrenaline-filled collection of songs, and while this may not be the album you listen to on a romantic date or while meditating at a Buddhist monastery, it will pump you up and get your blood moving in ways that very few other bands dare to try.

No other band compares to Today I Caught The Plague. For a taste of Lore, check out the band’s website, Facebook or MySpace, and definitely get out to a live show! It is one crazy time that should not be missed.

 

Today I Caught The Plague - "Lore"