Mini-Reviews from Around the Toilet Bowl III

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This is the third installment of Mini-Reviews from Around the Toilet Bowl, a segment wherein the spotlight is turned to group of albums we either love, like, sorta like, are ambivalent to, sorta dislike, dislike, or really hate. For whatever reason, we’re not committed enough to give these albums full reviews, but we want them to know that we still sort of care about them so they don’t leave us for somebody with big muscles or some sort of fancy degree.

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asAscension – Dead of the World
WTC / Season of Mist | December 24, 2014

For some reason these orthodorks decided to release Dead to the World on December 24 last year, resulting in its album title becoming a hilariously accurate descriptor. All that aside, The Germans in Ascension have released a worthy predecessor to their debut, reaffirming their standing at the upper echelon of the mid-paced black metal food chain. The slinking leads will creep up your spine; the riffs will break it in half. Fans of Waitan should stop being fans of Waitan and be fans of Ascension instead. Listen to “Unlocking Tiamat“, “The Dark Tomb Shines” — Masterlord

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ambAmbush – Firestorm
High Roller Records | May 24, 2014

If you don’t like Judas Priest, you’re not even a real person. That’s the cold, hard truth. For everyone else that, y’know, actually exists, Ambush should hit the spot. The spot in question is either 1) the “nostalgia for the good old days” spot, or 2) the “I sure wish I was alive during the good old days” spot, depending on how much of an old-ass you are. Sweden is just one giant trad metal factory lately, and Ambush is some of its best product. Check Firestorm out for some of the most fist-raisin’-est, air-guitarin’-ist, head-bangin’-est, leg-kickin’-est, leather-wearin’-est heavy metal of recent years. Listen to “Hellbound“, “Don’t Shoot (Let ’em Burn)” — Masterlord

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The AdventuresAdventuresSupersonic Home
Run for Cover Records | February 17, 2015

3/4 of the kids in Code Orange decided to take a break from making harder-than-fuck breakdowns to create Adventures, a band that takes far less inspiration from Converge than it does 90s college rock acts like Juliana Hatfield or Texas is the Reason. Lead by vocalists Reba Meyers and Kimi Hanauer, Supersonic Home is jam packed with beautiful, arching harmonies and catchy guitar lines. Everything about this just makes me feel good, y’all. This album has been on regular rotation in my home, in my car, and in my office. My coworkers love it and I want you to love it too. Listen to “Dream Blue Haze” and try not to jam out. – Joe Thrashnkill

_________

Norse – Pest EP
Transcending Obscurity | June 7th, 2014

Australia has no shortage of things that can kill you. From the merciless stinging trees to the ‘roided up, gun-toting superwogs, every day you wake up in Australia is another day you tempt fate. If, however, you wanted to add another item to that growing list of potential Final Destination endings, Southern Highlands-based black metal weirdos Norse are now holding an impossibly large axe over your neck. The Pest EP, and other albums before it, is a hyper-caffeinated cup of sinister black metal laced with multiple shots of dissonant espresso and strained through a used, bloody filter. From the first cut to the final track of this six-song EP, the band brings a merciless, choking atmosphere and never relents. Listen to “Disarmed, Toothless, Weak” and get dead. – W.

_________

LD

Last Dive – Firstborn
Independent | October 1, 2014

Firstborn is the first LP released by Last Dive, a gem that flew under a lot of radars towards the end of last year. In it, they deliver a Russian cocktail of sludge and industrial metal, seasoned with an interesting mix of harsh and clean vocals. The songwriting here is stellar – every song is memorable and unique, with killer choruses. Another highlight of the album is the production: the guitars sound either massive and fuzzy or clean and soaring; the drum hits explode like a molotov. There’s a healthy dose of electronic elements added to each song to keep things interesting. I highly recommend this. Listen here. — Dagon 

_________

vesTrial – Vessel
High Roller Records | January 21, 2015

I am dedicating my year to making sure people listen to Trial. Remember Visigoth? That AMAZING band that released an album full of near perfect, poser-slaughtering anthems? This beats that out for me. “But Randall, how can something so trve be beaten?” I can hear you asking me now. Vessel somehow was able to perfectly blend a sound heavily influenced by late 80s/early 90s american power metal with black metal. That means you get riffs, you get tremolo picking, and you get GORGEOUS soaring vocals reminiscent of John Arch, Messiah Marcolin, and Bruce Dickinson. The album is of perfect length at just 51 minutes, allowing listeners to listen over and over without ever facing fatigue. Miss this album and face my steel (don’t worry I’ll be posting it in the comments/FB group about 60 more times this year.) Listen to “To New Ends” — Randall Thor [Seriously, do not skip this. — Masterlord]

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abAbominatorEvil Proclaimed
Hells Headbangers Records | March 18th, 2015

Unholy. Unforgiving. Punishing. Relentless. If you follow the heavy metal blog hivemind, these are buzzwords you stumble across a dozen times daily. They are also apt descriptions of Abominator’s upcoming 2015 release, Evil Proclaimed. Eight tracks spread across thirty eight minutes, with nary much resembling a respite over its course. Shouted somewhat coherent vocals compete with buzzing guitars, chaotic solos, and rapid drumming for space on this record. Abominator got an increase in production values since their last release, The Eternal Conflagration; don’t expect them to proclaim the bestial blackened hordes as well as evil on this one. FFO: black/death metal, a more evil version of Hells Headbangers alum Gouge, evil Satanic rituals, and good old fashioned evilness. Listen to “Evil Proclaimed” — Edward

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sadSadnessClose
Independent | July 10th, 2014

DSBM can be a hit or miss, at least for me. When I hear something in this genre that clicks with me, I’m usually very much absorbed in it. Sadness is a one woman black metal project that delivers the melancholy like no other DSBM project I’ve ever heard. The guitars are somewhat melodic but very much depressing, and harsh when necessary. The vocals are very sound very uneasy, which adds a very unique dexterity to the beautiful yet sorrowful instrumentation. They seriously sound like a woman crying from a torture chamber. Shrieks and cries are echoed in immense despair and suffering. Close is bleak and beautiful listen that should be experienced by all of you lifeloving chumps. Get sad goddammit! Listen here. — Tyree

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3636 CrazyfistsTime and Trauma
Spinefarm Records | February 16, 2015

It’s been almost 5 years since 36 Crazyfists released their last album. That’s a long time for any band, but especially for road warriors like 36CF. Time and Trauma is a welcome return for the Alaska natives who sound more focused and energized than ever before. 36 Crazyfists have always mixed their aggression with crowd-pleasing catchiness and Time and Trauma has that in spades. While their past few efforts have felt like a collection of songs, Time and Trauma feels like a complete album. Bassist Mick Whitney is back in the fold and new drummer Kyle Baltus proves to be a solid addition. Guitarist Steve Holt churns out solid riffs and throws in a few surprises. Vocalist Brock Lindow lets it all out on this record, both physically and emotionally. The death of Lindow’s mother inspires the heartfelt earnestness of the lyrics and music. His unique singing style is on display and compliments the music well. Time and Trauma is highly enjoyable from start to finish. Longtime fans will love it and it’s a great jumping-on point for people new to the band.

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[Photos VIA, VIA, VIA, VIA, VIA, VIA, VIA, VIA]

 

  • Dagon

    Mini-Reviews is the best.

  • Dagon

    Also, that Adventures album is an absolute grower. I have been listening to Supersonic Home incessantly.

  • Enemy Of The Free World

    Did thee, oh Masterturd, check Ascension’s EP last year?

    • Yep. Only one of those two songs (“Deathless Light”) made it to the full-length.

      • Enemy Of The Free World

        I thought neither did, oh bother.

  • HessianHunter

    I luv u Joe and Adventures is good shit, but 3/4ths of Code Orange is in that band, not 3/5ths.
    I await your resignation letter on my desk.

    • I h8 u so much

      • HessianHunter

        ay fug u guy

        • Here’s a thing I found – Code Orange covering Archers of Loaf. Man, these dudes love 90s rock.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oc5t34RW4Vc

          • Dagon

            All the good peoples loves the 90s rock.

          • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

            When it comes to 90’s rock I listen to Live, Everclear and not Nirvana.

          • Alice in Chains>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

          • I’ve never done herion but listening to Dirt has to be the equivalent. Album is dope (pun intended).

          • Jar of Flies and last one are other good records 🙂

          • KJU’s Breakdancing Bodybags

            I liked ‘Grind’ on their self titled CD, but the rest of that CD was as pleasant as shitting out a tree branch.

          • Simon “Djentcrusher” Phoenix

            Screaming Trees >>>>>>>> STP and Alice in Chains.

          • HessianHunter

            Mad Season tho

          • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

            I do like them quite a bit.

          • I still love Nirvana (even though they were overplayed.) Saw them and AIC both in their primes.

            I think my least favorite “grunge era” band is Soundgarden. They’ve always been a bit hit-or-miss for me. I loved Louder than Love when it came out…prolly because it sounded different from a lot of other stuff I was jamming then. Superunknown had its moments as well.

          • KJU’s Breakdancing Bodybags
          • Ted Nü-Djent ™

            Don’t listen to Live or Everclear peoples

          • KJU’s Breakdancing Bodybags

            *cringes as I remember Archers Of Loaf*
            The Chapel Hill indie scene has come up with some of the worst hipster music ever created, especially in the 90’s.

          • I like Archers of Loaf. Saw them when they did the reunion thing a few years ago. It was fun.

          • KJU’s Breakdancing Bodybags

            To each their own! I remember some of their videos back in ’95 and absolutely hated them. Perhaps you can convert me, though.

          • xengineofdeathx

            Yeah but they do have Fin Fang Foom and that band is fucking amazing.

          • KJU’s Breakdancing Bodybags

            Never heard of them, but toss me a video and I’ll check it out.

          • xengineofdeathx

            They are a bit like if fugazi and slint started a band and made a suicide pact. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dpNE9o9bG8E

          • KJU’s Breakdancing Bodybags

            Cool. Remind me and I’ll check it out a little later.

      • Guacamole Jim

        Good reference!

  • Based Tapir

    I can definitely dig Last Days. I’ve also been digging Steven Wilson’s latest today. Shit’s good!

    • VVayne Brady

      Your fellow Finn flushed it

      • Based Tapir

        I don’t take Pekka Siitoin’s opinions seriously.

      • Enemy Of The Free World

        From now on I flush all “Homo Erotic Passion Pop”

  • who was forced to review the 36crazyfists album?

    • Dagon

      Thankfully it wasn’t me.

    • I did under my own free will. I thoroughly enjoy the band’s entire catalog.

      • God ov All

        *hi fives*

      • Mother Shabubu III

        I always go back to “A Snow Capped Romance”. I remember when I first got it in 8th grade and listened to it non-stop on my class trip to Washington D.C.

        • I love listening to a song/album that takes me back to a specific place and time.

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain
    • Dagon

      YES

      • KJU’s Breakdancing Bodybags

        Seen ‘Last Days Here’?

  • more beer

    I know a lot of you like syfi so I thought I would let you know Leonard Nimoy passed away.

    • VVayne Brady

      Wait what?

      • more beer

        Yea I just read it on a regular news site. this morning at home.

        • VVayne Brady

          Dang

          • more beer

            It said he had copd but didn`t really give a cause of death.

          • Maik Beninton

            It says here it was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

            http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/27/arts/television/leonard-nimoy-spock-of-star-trek-dies-at-83.html?_r=0

          • KJU’s Breakdancing Bodybags

            Which is weird considering he stopped smoking over 30 years ago. At 83, though, anything can happen to the body, unless you’re a Highlander like Abe Vigoda or Betty White.

          • more beer

            People who never smoked get lung cancer. It’s all just the luck of the draw. You just never know how you are gonna go out.

          • KJU’s Breakdancing Bodybags

            Yep. COPD and lung cancer are two different things, but cut from the same cloth.

          • more beer

            I was just using that as an example.

          • KJU’s Breakdancing Bodybags

            COPD is kind of a vague term. That covers a whole range of things, and just came up in recent years. My grandma (on my mom’s side, not the one that just passed) died of emphysema, and it certainly had all the traits of COPD. Just wasn’t called that though. And yes, she was a lifelong smoker.

          • more beer

            That seems to be the norm now. Using a vague term like that for many ailments. CPOD, Autisum, etc, bi polar used to be schitzophrania. I think some of it is doctors covering there asses from misdiagnosises. Sorry about your grandmother.

          • KJU’s Breakdancing Bodybags

            Same with PTSD, which is now an umbrella term for traumatic events, from rape, car crashes, and of course the effects of war. I’m taking a page from Carlin’s book here and saying we should go back to calling the effects of war ‘Shell Shock’.

          • more beer

            I couldn’t agree more. More than anything I find it to just give people an excuse for not foing what they should do. Or not taking responsibilty for there actions. I take a lot from Carlins book believe that. Have a good day I’m about to go to the local aviation museum to do some flight simulator thing with a friend.

          • KJU’s Breakdancing Bodybags

            Have fun!

          • more beer

            Thanks and I did I love that kind of stuff. I did learn that I am a horrible pilot. It was probably best that I was in the navy and not the air force.

          • KJU’s Breakdancing Bodybags

            Not everyone can be Bruce Dickinson!

          • more beer

            Nope. I will be keeping my day job.

        • Maik Beninton

          It’s already on his wikipedia page.

          • more beer

            Dam that was fast’

    • Enemy Of The Free World

      NONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONNONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONNONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONNONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONNONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONNONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONNONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONNONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONNONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONNONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONNONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONNONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONNONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONNONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONNONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONNONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONNONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONNONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONNONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONO!!!!!!!!!!

    • FUUUUUUUUCKKKKK. 🙁

    • 🙁

    • oh noes… pour one out for a wonderful person 🙁

    • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

      KHAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNN!

    • Spear

      Aw man. Day ruined.

      • more beer

        Sorry dude

  • Enemy Of The Free World

    Have jammed Trial, ‘Twas nice can confirm

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain
  • Stockhausen

    Ooh, I didn’t know Sadness put out something new. I’ll pick that up so I can wail and shriek in hideous, comforting darkness.

    • VVayne Brady

      You’ll also like Norse. I guarantee it.

  • My picks in this mini-review:

    Adventures: very impressed with the warm production. I think I can listen the entire album and will enjoy it.

    Trial: I loved how they can flow between different genres structures without sounding with too much effort. Quality stuff here.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
  • YourLogicIsFlushed
    • CyberneticOrganism

      STEVE HOLT!

  • CyberneticOrganism

    Great article. Compelling and rich.

    I need a Flush It Friday.

  • Some good stuff in here that I will check. The 36CF is of interest. I need some sing a long shit. Curious to hear Adventures and Last Dive as well.

  • Simon “Djentcrusher” Phoenix

    Trial is some goodness. Thanks Randall.

  • SomeGuyDude

    Without a doubt, what I love about this site is that these lists are highlights and stuff that I should check out. Not just random crap.

    • VVayne Brady

      We’re glad people enjoy this feature. Our goal is to spend most of our time covering albums we enjoy.

    • KJU’s Breakdancing Bodybags

      Yep, that and enough good jams on here to last several lifetimes. The one part I love about TOH is the emphasis on music (and, well, a joyously juvenile sense of humor) and virtually nothing about the gossip side of things that many other sites lean towards.

  • JvRv

    Oh man this Trial’s stuff is gold. He Who Comes With The Dawn delivers again.

  • KJU’s Breakdancing Bodybags

    Definitely hearing some major Neurosis influence on Last Dive’s stuff. The first song on that CD sounds almost exactly like ‘Locust Star’.