Mini-Reviews from Around the Toilet Bowl: 02-05-16

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Small, but mighty. Read ’em where you please, you don’t have to tell me.

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Dream Theater The Astonishing
Roadrunner Records | January 29th, 2016

Wow. Just… wow. This album is nothing if not aptly named. It really is incredible that one of my favorite bands of all time managed to pull off something so… wow. Imagine a concept album that merges the best parts of Rush‘s 2112 and Queensrÿche‘s Operation: Mindcrime, and you will be holding in your mind the polar opposite of this… thing. Dismal drum tones, cheesy-ass vocals, uninspiring music and a forgettable story that aims to celebrate music but ends up feeling like a third-rate rip-off of a terribly tedious Off-Broadway musical. But there must be something good, right? Well, I think I heard about three and a half cool sections, but the whole thing is OVER TWO HOURS LONG, and the idea of trying to find them again is… wow. I can only recommend this to people who have insomnia or really, really like naps: this stuff will suit you just right. — MoshOff

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Ayahuasca – Instinct [EP]
Independent? | August 18th, 2015

Ayahuasca’s debut EP Instinct is like catching up with a bunch of friends you haven’t seen for a few years – kinda strange but still familiar. This 3 track offering from the German band runs at just over 20 minutes and was released in August 2015. As you may have guessed from their name, there are some South American themes running through this album, and they greet you from the moment you press play. Tranquil jungle sounds are cruelly interrupted by some mid-90’s Sepultura tribal drumming only to be cut-short themselves by a riff straight from the textbook of Meshuggah (think Obzen). As I alluded to in my opening statement, there is a fair bit of experimentation going on here but it invariably comes from sources you’ll recognise quiet readily. The vocals remind me of those found on say Decapitated‘s Carnival Is Forever or Betzefer‘s Down Low, with some sparse cleaner sounding moments, the note choices also bear a certain resemblance to those that Vogg has used to great effect. Throughout the EP I hear moments that bring to mind Spain’s Neter, which can only be a good thing. There’s even some short-lived “chugga-chuggas” for those that are that way inclined. Didgeridoo, throat vocals, lots of different percussion instruments, if any of this sounds like something you might enjoy, give it a shot, it’s name your price. Lacertilian

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Totem Skin – Weltschmerz
Halo Of Flies Records | March 4th, 2016

Take Trap Them, add some of the blackened elements of Italy’s The Secret, top it off with the occasional dirgy moments from Cult Leader, and the result is Totem Skin‘s Weltschmerz. If there’s a void in your life that is clamoring for something with a healthy dose of buzzsaw guitar tone, then look no further. Throughout the album’s seven tracks, you’ll get your fill of blast beats, hardcore/punk stomping, quiet moments of atmosphere and even some traces of melodeath making guest appearances throughout. Without batting an eyelash, these guys switch through all these various subgenres naturally to generate cohesive songs that make for an engaging listening experience. Totem Skin play with an energy and intensity that should put them in the conversation alongside their established peers. — Ron Deuce

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RitualChamber_Cover_750Ritual Chamber – Obscuration (To Feast On The Seraphim)
Profound Lore | February 26th, 2015

Armed with 25 years of underground metal experience, multi-instrumentalist Dario Derna (AKA Numinas) brings us this monstrous death metal solo effort. There is a lifetime’s worth of dark, misanthropic energy built into this album. Most songs spend their time in the mid-paced tempo range, alternating between blasting double time and doom-laden half time. Even in the quicker moments, however, this album never feels fast and urgent; a chokingly dark atmosphere of doom grounds this thing at all times. The guitar work can occasionally get lost in the mid-range murk, but it’s not a bad thing. The resultant atmosphere sounds intentional when aided by the mournful leads and sulfurous vocals. Some people may be turned off by the whispery vocal style, but I thought it fit the feel of the album very well. Favorite track: “As Dust And The Animal.” — Stockhausen

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10259287_245284242261967_5469211793969570563_oGygaxCritical Hits
Creator-Destructor | January 22nd, 2016

If you haven’t the slightest idea as to who E. Gary Gygax is, well, he’s the guy behind Dungeons & Dragons. And if you haven’t the slightest idea as to who Gypsyhawk were, don’t panic, neither do I. Whatever the die may to you tell, the combination of these two, Gygax, is one great rock band in the vein of Thin Lizzy. Critical Hits starts a bit slow, but from the twin guitars of “Draw Breath” forth, the album is pure gold. Coupled with a warm production, lively beat, clear bass and fuzzy guitars, Critical Hits is a fun, nerd-ish, piece of rocka rolla I expect to last.  Karhu

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10270382_269184536538604_3414782174015695077_nÖxxö Xööx – Nämïdäë
Blood Music | May 26th, 2015

This album came out quite some time ago. The reason it’s taken me this long to write about it is pretty simple. Öxxö Xööx’s music is as flamboyant and extravagant as it was on their debut, harpsichords; electronic beats and (more) organic drumming and symphonic elements meet in a daze of black and doom tinged music. Male and female growls and cleans add to the already megalomaniacal soup. But whereas Rëvëürt‘s songs slowly opened into whole new levels, here nothing of the kind happens. One’s understanding of the songs becomes clearer, but the songs have less tales to tell. Nämïdäë is a good album, but it stands in the shadow of a great one, kept captive by the bands forceful need to appear eccentric.  — Karhu

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God’s Hate – Mass Murder
Closed Casket Activities | February 5th, 2016

Let’s keep it simple: if you’re not down with breakdowns, fedora-tipping lyrics about the evils of religions, or the 4th album this year to use a bunch of audio samples from season one of True Detective, this record is not for you. However, if you like metallic hardcore in the vein of Hatebreed, Merauder, or Warhound, you’re probably gonna dig Mass Murder, the debut from God’s Hate. This Twitching Tongues-affiliated crew aren’t breaking any new ground in the world of extreme music, but they are causing me to aggressively karate chop the area around my cubicle, and isn’t that what music is all about? — Joe Thrashnkill

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Villainy – Villainy II: Dim
Listenable | February 12th, 2016

As Joseph Schafer over at Invisible Oranges notes, black-n-roll seems to be on the rise. Unlike Slægt, though, Villainy are approaching extreme metal from a more progressive rock angle. Expect dynamic shifts in mood and tone, soft interludes of gentle calm, and varying song structures to accompany the rasped vocals and blazing double bass. Make no mistake, though. Dim is as much rock’n’roll as it is metal, and there is no shortage of killer riffs or barn-burning solos on display. Commence the blackened headbanging.  W.

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Ocerco – A Desolação
Signal Rex | February 5th, 2016

2016 has thus far been the year of the EP, and A Desolação may be the most punishing 20 minutes of new music dropped so far! This is sludge from the Indian/Love Sex Machine school. There is no light to be found on A Desolação, only all-consuming ugly darkness. The downtuned, despondent guitar work and rancorous drums are buried beneath a thick and putrid layer of mud that swallows all hope and lends a menacing heaviness to the already brutal musicianship. Probably the most sinister moment is the long build-up at the beginning of “A Desolação” that sounds like horrifying beasts howling in the distance before the eruption of a chaotic cacophony of percussion pushes you further down into the muck. Don’t skip this.  W.

  • Looking forward to that Ritual Chamber album. The 2014 demo was superb. New song here:

    https://soundcloud.com/profoundlorerecords/ritual-chamber-void-indoctrination/s-k3R6Y

    • For those that enjoy this style of Death Metal, I highly recommend checking out Void Meditation Cult who have a new album coming out at the end of this year. Very ritualistic downtuned sounding blackened death with doom elements thrown in. The vocals have that whisper effect to them as well at times. If you enjoy Demoncy, Nocturnal Blood, and The Haunting Presence you’ll like this.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taTOy6kv2Rk

    • This is good, I like this cause it’s good, I dig it.

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Sometimes shit just gets good.

      • Yeah, this dude does not fuck around. Just look at all of the killer projects he’s been involved with. Evoken, Funebrarum, and fucking Krohm!!!!

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdzpuWRmYvo

        • Dubs

          Seems like Ritual Chamber has been teased for a long time. I remember jamming the demo at some point.

          • The demo was much rawer than this new stuff. I think I actually prefer the production much more on the demo honestly.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJanHJX2VDI

          • Dubs

            Ha, that doesn’t surprise me.

          • Yeah… *Sighs*

            New Funebrarum to this year! Scrimm should be happy about that news.

    • CyberneticOrganism
      • This has been on my never ending list of things to check out. I fucking love his work on Grifteskymfning! I know I’ve been spamming this album a lot but, it’s so goddamn good! Arcane Altar has a bunch of Hädanfärd shit.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QymC2IO6Hk

        • CyberneticOrganism

          Just listened to this yesterday, the murky echo chamber sound over everything is sublime

    • COAL GROHL

      Yeah I like this

    • COAL GROHL

      There’s another track on Profound Lore. I’m looking for a wax pre-order but can’t find anything….do you know where it may be available?

  • Boss the Turbid Ross

    Happy Friday motherflushers!

    https://youtu.be/IkKxsYgv12M

    • ME GORAK B.C.™

      GORAK SHOULD GET ABBATH CD TODAY!!!!!!! (FINALLY)!!!!!! THEN GORAK MAKE MINI REVIEW FOR BOSS!!!!!

      • Boss the Turbid Ross

        Right on! I think you will like it.

        • ME GORAK B.C.™

          ME HELD OUT 4 DELUXE EDITION!!!!!!

          • Boss the Turbid Ross

            With patch, pin and wristband?

          • ME GORAK B.C.™

            NOT KNOW BUT GET RE RECORD OV NEBULAR RAVENS WINTER & PRIEST COVER!!!!!!!!!

          • Boss the Turbid Ross

            I got the box set, with aforementioned items and the bonus tracks, it slays!

      • COAL GROHL

        is it being delivered by cave-mail-manbro?

      • CyberneticOrganism

        That new Abbath is damn good. Evil Panda Man can write serious riffs.

        • Dubs

          More black and roll. I dug it.

        • Boss the Turbid Ross

          Yes! I enjoy it quite a bit. I love the tinge of classic metal/ black n roll he utilizes.

    • One my favorite Wu beats right here.

      • Boss the Turbid Ross

        Most definitely!

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    I still have a running joke with a friend, because it seemed to be on every shitty CD at one time…….”…for fans of Hatebreed.”

    • Any CD from Relapse has that “For fans of…” sticker on them.

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        That shit got so old and stupid.

        • Indeed, and it was usually not very accurate either.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Pretty much, just extra crap, you’re forced to read and make you buy the album.

          • Yup. Case closed. Gavel gavel gavel!

      • i hope i’m remembering this correctly:
        years ago i bought a High on Fire CD and the sticker said — among other bands — for fans of High on Fire

        • Janitor Jim Duggan

          What was the guy who made the sticker for that smoking?

          • Boss the Turbid Ross

            He was high… on fire.

          • Dubs

            BAZOOPER

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            Dubs plz! Big Bang Theory is awful! The jokes aren’t even jokes!

          • Boss the Turbid Ross

            Thats not big bang theory…

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            Are you sure he wasn’t spoofing the saying Bazinga?

          • Boss the Turbid Ross

            Bazooper, its like a bazooka, but funny.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I didn’t know.

          • Boss the Turbid Ross

            And now you know. And knowing is half the battle.

          • Kevin Nash & Friends

            OH YOU DIDN’T KNOW? YOUR ASS BETTER CALL SOMEBODY!

          • Eliza

            Despite it’s massive popularity, I have never watched a single episode from that show. Is there anything worthwhile ?

          • Janitor Jim Duggan
          • Eliza

            XD I think I have a good grasp on what the show is like now.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            That makes a lot of sense.

        • Boss the Turbid Ross

          Haha! That makes perfect sense though.

          • Eliza

            I think it’s a little bit redundant.

          • Boss the Turbid Ross

            Us High on Fire fans know what we like, and we like High on Fire. I would buy a High on Fire album that says “For fans of High on Fire”. It was meant for me.

          • Eliza

            Indeed, there is a logical reason for everything.

          • i think i know enough to label some albums “for Boss the Ross”

          • Boss the Turbid Ross

            Probably!

        • Eliza

          You can tell there no some effort thrown in there.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Hatebreed is boring and generic enough that it sorta sounds like whatever you want it to sound like if it’s playing a couple rooms over and you’re not paying attention to it.

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Agreed.

      • New Myrkur album. For fans of Hatebreed, Pig Destroyer and Lacuna Coil.

        • CyberneticOrganism

          Special Appearance by Corey Taylor

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Currently on tour with Carcass, Black Veil Brides, and Opeth.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Hahaha.

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        Hatebreed is pretty good lifting music though…

        …when you’re 14 and just benchpressed your first 150 lbs.

        • /Iprobablycannotbenchpress150lbat28yearsold

          Yup, lol.

          • ME GORAK B.C.™

            MAYBE THIS HELP!!!!!!!!!
            https://youtu.be/aPm055s_Edc

          • “i r8 8/8 m8”

            – C. Molenaar.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Nothing shameful about that if you never cared for lifting. But at the gym you see these kids all the time that just started lifting, try to benchpress 150 lbs for the first time while two others help them and in effect lift more of that weight than the benchpresser himself is lifting, all while they’re nodding along to Hatebreed’s ‘Destroy Everything’.

          • I am also 6’5″. My arms are long as fuck. The moment created due to any weight on my arms is much larger and more difficult than my short armed counterparts.

            #science

          • Stockhausen

            “Nah bro, I lifted all of that. My 12 spotters were there just in case.”

          • Detective Fish

            I’m 35 and I’d be lucky if I could bench 10 lbs.

  • Boss the Turbid Ross

    The Thin Lizzy is strong with Gygax. Thanks Karhu.

    • Boss the Turbid Ross

      And that Villainy is pretty jamming.

      • Dubs

        Boom!

        • Boss the Turbid Ross

          I really like the black n roll style as a whole, but this one definitely has that prog aspect you noted.

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      I shall listen to Gygax.

      • Boss the Turbid Ross

        1) D&D reference
        2) Thin Lizzy sound
        3) Cool Cover
        That’s all i need to enjoy.

    • Eliza

      I couldn’t stop smiling while I was listening to Critical Hits.

      • Boss the Turbid Ross

        It’s good

        • Eliza

          And super fun!

  • I have the first EP of Totem Skin over here. It’s good and I back up the recommendation.

    Gygax is awesome, too.

    • If you don’t believe, check out this anger-fuelled brand of Hardcore, Swedeath and overall melodic melancholia:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltQSCKPC4Mk

      • ME GORAK B.C.™

        BOOOOOOOOOOBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Yeah, Gorak… There are boobs illustrations too…

          • ME GORAK B.C.™

            TOTEM SKIN ROCKS!!!!!!

      • Waynecro

        This is pretty sweet. Thanks, man!

    • The Totem Skin is mostly AARGH RARGH AARGH but they work in the melodeath parts quite tastefully.

      • Loved it, they channeled the woods nostalgia in a good manner.

  • YourLogicIsFlushed

    Lol Mosh, I was determined to give The Astonishing a fair chance. I had a long boring workday ahead of me, so I plugged in and prepared for the worst. I was going to get through all those songs, I had nothing better to do, so why not, right? Wrong. I got through 7 of them and started crying tears made out of boredom. My mind felt like it was in solitary confinement. Pure torture.

    • Eliza

      I realized that it was gong to be a cheese-fest when I listened to the first single that they released, so I don’t feel that I need to waste 2 hours of my life with it.

    • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

      Yep. And I actually like a good amount of Dream Theater’s output (I know I’m in the minority here). The Astonishing is just a 2 hour borefest.

      • Dubs

        I quite enjoy Scenes from a Memory -> Systematic Chaos.

        • YourLogicIsFlushed

          I think I stop after Octavarium

          • Dubs

            Chaos Systematique has a special place in my heart and loins because of when I listened to it.

      • Eliza

        I thoroughly enjoy DT’s older output, but they just got progressively boring as time went on.

        • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

          Still enjoy I&W, Awake, SFAM, SDOIT, TOT and BC&SL. Their last 3 albums have all been one long snoozefest. And The Astonishing severely lacks some heaviness.

          • Eliza

            Is Portnoy still in the band?

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            No. He hasn’t been there since 2011.

          • Eliza

            That explains why The Astonishing is so bland.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            No. I think Black Clouds was the last album with Portnoy. Coincidentally it was their last good album (if you’re into DT that is) as well. I think Portnoy really prevented DT from turning into all out cheese when he was still in the band.

          • Dubs

            Folks don’t want to hear it, but it was Portnoy’s obsessive nature that made DT interesting.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            #TheTruth

          • Eliza

            I agree.

      • ME GORAK B.C.™

        GORAK LIKE LOTS DT UP TO BLACK CLOUDS!!!!!!!

        • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

          Black Clouds rocks!

      • YourLogicIsFlushed

        I’m with you. I don’t listen to them often anymore, but I used to love that band.

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      I’m so sorry. You shouldn’t have to torture yourself like that.

    • Detective Fish
  • Gypsyhawk opened for The Sword back in 2012, but I arrived too late to see them.

  • Fuck a whole bunch of Dream Theater. Scissorfight is back!! Mountain Sludge Boogie from Mt Washington New Hampshire baybay! YEAH!!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKML3yPsJoE

  • CyberneticOrganism
  • Definition

    Ayahuasca: when your band has too many members.

    https://f1.bcbits.com/img/0005645638_100.png

    • Regardless, the tunes are bitching. Make sure to give them a listen!

      GL

      • OldMetalHead

        Really digging it.

  • Noticed I’ve been listening to sludge more than anything else since January. I will be consuming some of that Ocerco as part of my diet.

    • Dubs

      You’re a good man.

  • Your silly bridge related hijinks will do nothing to dampen my enthusiasm for the return of Scissorfight! May 21st! http://www.greatscottboston.com/

    • I know you’re excited, but four posts about the same thing, unrelated to the article above is a bit excessive.

      • Whatever.

      • LVL 11 BLACKBEARD

        Did someone get banned? I miss all the fun

        • Boss the Turbid Ross

          I sure hope KJM isn’t banned.

        • KJM’s comment is still above (response to Ann Kvlter) so my money’s on him deleting his own Scissorfight comments.

      • Pagliacci is Kvlt

        Repeated unrelated post are for those losers at MetalSucks.

    • Jesus Christ, when was this site made, 1996?

  • Sir Tapir The Based

    Dream Theater releases an early contender for Worst Album of the Year.

    • YourLogicIsFlushed

      Is there a music version of the Razzies?

      • Grammies?

        • Dubs

          That was a quality zing, Link.

          • I’m a quality half-elf. I do my best with my magic tricks.

        • Ted Nü-Djent ™

          Nailed it

      • Detective Fish

        Kid’s Choice Awards?

    • Detective Fish

      I dunno, that band that was on here last week with the out of tune guitars is exceptionally horrible, even worse than the new Dung Theater.

  • That Ayahuasca and Gygax sound interesting.

    • Eliza

      These two are my favorites as well.

  • Eliza

    ” I can only recommend this to people who have insomnia or really, really like naps” Perfect.

  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    You know what I’d like to hear? A new Lord Mantis album.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PGs4ylKAqY

    • Dubs

      They’ve got a new one coming. More hideous sludge. Did you peep Ocerco?

    • Eliza

      Hot.

  • @moshoff:disqus, i really like your review of that DT album!

    • ME GORAK B.C.™

      GORAK LIKE PINK FLOYD METAL COVERS BUT YOO LEFT OUT MOST BROOTAL PINK FLOYD COVER!!!!!!!!!

      https://youtu.be/hSvrIZelXG0

    • Dream Pooper.

      • Ted Nü-Djent ™

        Ream Theater

        • Detective Fish

          Dung Theater.

  • Eliza

    I’m listening to Critical Hits right now and I’m having a blast. Awesome find Karhu!

  • Dagon

    Gonna check out Ayahuasca, Weltschmerz and Ocerco.

  • Waynecro

    I’m kind of digging Ayahuasca and Öxxö Xööx. Thanks, dudes!

  • Treebeard, Father of Fangorn

    I was featured in the first iteration of Dungeons and Dragons. Gygax is hasty but acceptable music. Thhhhhhhrrrrooooooommmm.

    • Boss the Turbid Ross

      May your roots grow deep and your limbs reach high, wise Treebeard.

  • OldMetalHead

    That new Dream Theater album sure seems to be getting a lot of love in the toilet – featured on both This Toilet Tuesday and Mini-Reviews Around the Toilet Bowl – for something so apparently lolbutz. 😛