Mini-Reviews From Around the Toilet Bowl IV

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We get it. You’re a busy and important person with busy and important things to do. You can’t waste your entire evening trawling through bandcamp finding those precious few albums that are actually worth your time and attention. Enter the Toilet Crew. We listen to all the things and make decisions for you. Check out our latest crop of ripe albums fresh for the review.

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embEmbrional – The Devil Inside
Old Temple | February 28, 2015

If 2014 was the year of weird death metal, I’m preemptively declaring 2015 the year of weird black metal. Deftly blending BM and DM with a spoonful of dissonance and a quart of killer riffs, Embrional bridge the gap between Imperial Triumphant‘s gonzo-violence and Immolation‘s riff-centered brutality. The album takes a few songs to really get going, but once it does, nothing can stand in its way. The drums are definitely the linchpin on this album though; our good pal Tyree has gone on record saying that Kamil has likely put forth one of the best skin-battering performances of 2015. Check out “910” if you remain unconvinced. – W.

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unrUnrest – Grindcore
Unspeakable Axe | March 24. 2015

It takes a lot of stones to christen your debut album Grindcore after seasoned veterans Phobia practically did the same thing last year. However, Unrest have the pedigree and the acumen to deliver on that promise, and Grindcore drops the hammer. Hard. This is no-holds-barred, no-quarter-given grind in the vein of Nasum, and “Anything to Shock” delivers aggression in spades. I’m not going to over-analyze this. Just grind it out. – W.

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scScreaming Females – Rose Mountain
Don Giovanni Records | February 24, 2015

New Jersey’s shreddiest punk band just got a lot more catchy. In interviews about Screaming Females’ newest album, the band stated that they intentionally put more emphasis on Marissa Paternoster’s vocal melodies than her frenetic guitar solos, and it shows in the final product. This is Paternoster at her most focused; every riff is a banger, every melody an earworm, and absolutely no space is wasted in the ten ripping tracks on Rose Mountain. Check out the Iron Maiden gallop of “Ripe” and get a taste of what I’m talking about. – HessianHunter

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taThe Agonist – Eye of Providence
Century Media | February 24, 2015

After reading Mr. Jack Bauer’s mini-review for The Agonist’s Eye of Providence, I decided to give it a few more spins to see if it was really that bad, and, in all honesty, this right here is a very serious contender for my album of the year as of right now. Not only have The Agonist overcome a lineup change that many (myself included) thought signified their doom, but they’ve also come up with what is definitely the album of their careers. Partially eschewing flare and craziness in favor of much better songwriting, the 13 tracks presented here are generally more midpaced than anything else; try to think of old-ish Opeth at their most straightforward, swap the death/folk roots with melodeath/metalcore, add a female singer, and you might get an idea of what this record has to offer. New vocalist Vicky Psarakis passes the stress test with flying colors, and lets her amazing talent shine through on more melodic cuts like “Faceless Messenger”, “Perpetual Notion”, or “As Above, So Below”. Some might say that Eye of Providence is “too melodic” or “not technical enough”, but I really don’t see how that matters when the songs are this amazing. – MoshOff

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Dr-Living-Dead-Crush-The-Sublime-Gods-coverDr Living Dead!Crush the Sublime Gods
Century Media | February 24, 2015

For a genre that has been around for more than 30 years, thrash sure does seem difficult to pull off. So often a band will whip out siqq riffs with unbelievable musicianship only to have the whole effort be ruined by some replaceable dingus doing a shitty impression of an opera singer (See: Anthrax). Swedish re-thrashers Dr Living Dead! have their bandanas tied on tight to go full-on Suicidal Tendencies on their latest release Crush the Sublime Gods. Your opinion of this record will likely be determined by your tolerance for current bands playing retro thrash. I dig it, personally. The songs here are tight, and very headbangable with the exception of a few filler instrumental tracks at the back end of the record (although the closing track “Wake Up… Join the Dead” manages to almost replicate that sweet riff in “Floods” by Pantera). I WOULD recommend checking out the surprisingly poppy “No Way Out”, but apparently the band is still stuck in 1987 because this album is not streaming anywhere. – Joe Thrashnkill

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Painted Wives – Obsessed with the End
Independent | November 11, 2014

Do you like Mastodon? Nice. What about Clutch? Yea? Alice in Chains? Sweet. Enter Painted Wives. I’m not sure how I missed these guys last year, but I’m just glad I found them. They bring elements of all the aformentioned bands into one dark, somewhat doomy and moody package. Had I found Obsessed With The End last year it would most likely have been in my top ten. Great stuff here, Jack Bauer likes. – Jack Bauer

afosA Forest of Stars – Beware the Sword You Cannot See
Lupus Lounge | February 27, 2015

After I gave this album its first go, I decided it was wandering. And too long. And I hated its guts. Oh, and it was pretentious (particularly the fact that most of the vocals are delivered via a spoken-word narration that sounds uncomfortably similar to a 90’s coffee house poetry slam; Joe’s scene, not mine). Notwithstanding all that shit, I put it right back on once it ended. Ultimately, I think it was the excellently-composed interplay of black metal’s constituents, tastefully-implemented violin & flute (courtesy of Katie Stone), and gripping keyboard symphonics that lured me back. I hated it significantly less after that second listen, and after the third, I was hooked. I’ve been spinning it daily ever since. All in all, it lands pretty short of visionary (an adjective I’ve seen more than one person ascribe to it), but it’s intriguing at first, enjoyable at second, and somehow weirdly irresistible after that. Give it a shot. Well, give it two or three shots. Listen to “Drawing Down the Rain” — Masterlord

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hacHacavitz – Darkness Beyond
Dark Descent | February 24, 2015

If you were tuned in during my last roundup you’ll remember that “Deadream” saw Hacavitz dropping the “death” from their “death/black”, and it worked pretty well (the riff at around 1:50‘s perfect channeling of the classic black metal feel sold me). The rest of Darkness Beyond follows suit. Hacavitz are a black metal band now, and a straightforward one at that. They’ve changed a lot, yes, but they’ve become less unique in the process. If you’re dying for something fresh, this ain’t your jam. If you don’t mind a near-perfect execution of something that’s been done before, stream the whole thing here. I recommend it. — Masterlord

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Will Z. – Dark Tales of Will Z.
HeadSpin Records | September 15, 2014

Before I listened to the album, I checked out the description provided: “Gaining inspiration from the strange and psychedelic world of Syd Barrett and the doomy leanings of early Black Sabbath he was addicted to as a teenager, he created Dark Tales of Will Z., exploring new territory in the musician’s repertoire.” Needless to say, I was excited. However, when I heard the album, there was nothing much to get excited about. The above influences were there, albeit in a dull and watered-down form. Instead of being a new twist on a classic style, this album is a weak version of a well-travelled medium. It’s not bad, it’s just not great. – Guacamole Jim

(Photos VIA, VIAVIA, VIA, VIA, VIAVIA, VIA, and VIA)

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  • Edward/Breegrodamus

    Dubya I’m going to listen to The Devil Inside again over the weekend.

  • Dagon

    YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES

    THIS IS MY FAVORITE TIME OF THE WEEK

    LOOK AT HOW HAPPY I AM

    http://image.casadellibro.com/a/l/t0/34/9788495994134.jpg

  • I will try with The Agonist, moshito! Thanks a lot!

    I recommend A Forest of Stars, along with Mastershirts. It just get better with each new spin!

    Cheers!

    • Edward/Breegrodamus

      *Masterbriefs

    • JVVG

      I am actually pleased to see the counterpoint on the Agonist.

      I’ll say this much: it’s definitely not worth a big long review, so two short ones (even, or maybe especially, with differing opinions) from a source I trust actually helps me solidify my own opinion.

      • MoshOff

        Glad to help!

        • Espousing unpopular opinions won’t always help you win popularity contests but you reap so much more benefits than Amen-Upvotes from the Underground Cool; one such benefit is being able to fall asleep each night without first contemplating what pose-out try-hards we all are 😛

  • Reposted Avenged Sevenfold Fan

    It Feels Like Avenged Sevenfold, Lamb of god, Slipknot and maybe Five finger death punch is the new big 4.

    -mac man, 8 months ago

  • Scrimm

    Both Hacavitz and Embrional kick large amounts of ass.

    • Tyreeling In The Years

      Correct.

      • Scrimm

        I got Vorum’s Poisoned Void and Ghoulgotha’s The Deathmass Cloak last night. With store credit and points that give you a discount I spent ten bucks. Tax returns>>>>>>> I think that Hacavitz is next.

        • Enemy Of The Free World

          Can I has credit for that Vorum? Can I, Can I?

          Also, I found Ghoulgotha stale-ass rank, in short shitty.
          Year of bad doom this is turning out to be, which is sad for I is a doomfiend.

          • Scrimm

            Yes you can on Vorum. I really like the Ghoulgotha, tough I had to let it sink in. The more I listen the more I like the intentionally off tune approach to some of their parts. It’s starting to reming me of a slower Demilich.

          • Enemy Of The Free World

            *sigh* fine, I’ll put it on again this weekend.

          • Scrimm

            I have no doubt a lot will continue to hate it, but after several spins on bandcamp it suddenly clicked in a big way. Still not perfect but I like a lot of that guys other work.

  • Can’t wait for that unrest album to drop

    • Edward/Breegrodamus

      Jack Bauer!

  • Dagon

    I love how one of the dudes from Unrest played in the Crypt Sermon album, which is completely different from grindcore.

    I also jammed a lot of grind this week, which has been treating me terribly bad.

  • Based Tapir

    I really want to listen to Beware the Sword You Cannot See, but Finnish post keeps sucking ass.

    • you will love every second. the wait worths it!

      • Based Tapir

        Those three songs on Spotify sound really good. I hope that it’ll arrive on Monday.

        • Vynil or CD? The artwork is very good, in fact that and the label was what drawed me to listen to it!

          • Based Tapir

            Cd. Buying vinyl in Finland is quite expensive sometimes. The vinyl would’ve been about 30 euros while the cd was about 18 euros.

          • still totally worth it. I would like to frame that artwork <3

          • Enemy Of The Free World

            It’s funny how Beware… is cheaper than the one before, and that’s not a re-issue or anything.

      • Enemy Of The Free World

        The songs are shorter than before and I like this approach, album length has mostly stayed the same, but no more 16-minute+ songs.

    • Enemy Of The Free World
  • Tyreeling In The Years

    Dubya, I’m liking that Embrional more and more with each listen. It’s becoming my most listened to album for this year aside from Primitive Man’s “Home is Where the Hatred is”.

    Looking forward to hearing all of that Unrest album, I liked what I heard so far. I’ll probably pre-order that tonight. Their sound reminds me of P.O.O.R. a bit.

    Masterpants, I loved that Hacavitz album the first listen through. I really have to listen to that more because I feel I’ll appreciate much more with more listens much like that Embrional release.

    Good shit dudes!!! I want in for the next one.

    • I concur, that Embrional is good shit and that’s why I bought it yesterday!

      • Tyreeling In The Years

        I noticed that, good for you dude.

        • I don’t want to know how much I spent yesterday, all I know is my wishlist is down to two items so there’s that.

          • Tyreeling In The Years

            That’s going to be me tonight. Fridays are pay day for me.

          • pay day>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

          • “… Getting paid to rock like me and I never even learned to say my ABCs.”

            Mickey Avalon

          • Money, it’s a gas, grab that cash with both hands and make a stash

          • Stash away, stash away. Gotta get that pay. Save the thuggin’ money that is what they all say.

    • Dagon

      Funeral March is my favorite chanson by Embrional. The guitar tone gives me a stiffy.

  • Enemy Of The Free World

    Dr.Living Dead had a song streaming.

    • They had one song on YouTube from the new album that I kinda don’t like at all. Didn’t seem worth mentioning.

      • Enemy Of The Free World

        Ah, that’s all I heard and wasn’t terribly excited. Recommend not seeing live btw, heard some of their old stuff and it was okay. Maybe when this comes out, I’ll check it.

      • Stanley

        Was it this one? (scroll down)

        http://cargocollective.com/drlivingdead/MUSIC

        • Ah, didn’t see that one. No, the track I found on Youtube was “TEAMxDEADx”.

  • Enemy Of The Free World

    So I now have an official permission to disagree with the Toilet.

    Vicky isn’t a bad singer, though not great. Eye of Providence had no good songs.

    Hacavitz didn’t really hit me at all. Not motivated enough to listen again.

    AFOS is fucking brilliant and marvelous, Masterbritches just saved himself from getting shot to face with a blunderbuss.

    Didn’t care for the one Dr.LD song I heard, will check the rest.

    Embrional was good, but I need more time with it

    Will check the rest (eventually)

    • Vicky’s voice irks me

      • Enemy Of The Free World

        I’m not a fan, and never will be, but like with Bloodbath’s latest, I got over the vocals that first hurt me.

        • It’s still on my playlist but I end up skipping it because of her voice often.

          • Enemy Of The Free World

            I just don’t like a single song.

          • I’ll just listen to Panophobia on repeat and that will be the extent of my Agonist listening

    • Enemy Of The Free World

      Also, I’m getting a case of “The Edwards”, Imperial Triumphant is not BM!

      • It’s skronk metal

        • A tiskic a taskit a merry merol basket.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus

          It’s totally dissonant death metal and barely black metal if it even is at all. I love it but I think the heavy metal hivemind has this shit all wrong (which I have already blogged for this very site).

          That has given me a great idea for a post.

          • Enemy Of The Free World

            Just read FFB review of Ghost Bath and Grim Kim interview/bashing of the band. I STILL DON’T SEE THE DEAFHAVEN YOU IGNORANT PEOPLE.

          • Obligatory “Don’t go to MetalSucks”. But I did. I read the review and chuckled at how poorly it was written. It’s bad. Rill bad.

          • That site has really been living up to it’s name as of late.

          • Enemy Of The Free World

            Really, really.
            Saw you and britches.
            Really, really…

          • VVayne Brady

            I partially call it black metal just because it annoys you.

      • Edward/Breegrodamus
          • Edward/Breegrodamus

            I can’t wait for that new Mortal Kombat to drop for PS4. End of the year.

          • comes in april good sir.

          • Write about video games so scrubs like Edward can keep up.

          • I’m working on finishing dying light lol. Problem is I loaded up Skyrim again and we all know how that goes…..

          • Enemy Of The Free World

            Listening to that new Sarpanitum has forced me to re-begin Witcher 2, it provides the perfect soundtrack it seems.

          • Stoked for Witcher 3

          • Enemy Of The Free World

            So fucking, Sapkowski is my Bible, or something.
            I just fricken love all the political scheming that is so easy to miss if you’re just not focused on it. (In the games as well)

          • Yea I fucking hate politics IRL but I love it in the witcher, it’s such a clever little thing that most other games don’t even attempt.

          • Enemy Of The Free World

            I think they had to, ‘Cause half the books are political scheming everywhere.

          • sarpanitum>>>>>>>>>>>>

          • Scrimm

            About to start on Dying Light myself.

          • Enemy Of The Free World

            I was gonna buy it, friends hyped it.
            But I decided some time ago that Witcher 3 will be the only game I buy this year without a sale.

          • Easily the best free running system I have ever seen in a game. Suck it Asassin’s Creed

          • Scrimm

            Good to know. I knew I’d like it enough cause the subject matter is right up my alley, But Glad I’m hearing it’s a decent game regardless.

          • Tyreeling In The Years

            Who else here besides me, dose not play video games?

          • Enemy Of The Free World

            JAG

          • Tyreeling In The Years

            Figures, good man that JAG.

          • JAG>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

          • I haven’t played in a long time. I’d like to but life gets in the way. I like reading about them though.

          • Tyreeling In The Years

            Did you ever look up that “City of Lost Children” game?

          • HA. I’ve had this open in a tab for a week now and I still haven’t watched it.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArDDhcLPBlQ

          • Tyreeling In The Years

            I’m just skipping through it here. It looks incredibly boring and dumb.

          • Scrimm

            When Silent Hills drops I will likely dissapear for a few months.

          • I won’t dissapear, I’ll just be frozen in place from fear.

          • Scrimm

            If it does end up being open world like rumored I may never need another game.

          • Open world? I hadn’t heard that…..This is a great year for open world gaming. Now I just need a fallout4 announcement

          • Scrimm

            I just started seeing those rumors becauseof a certain engine they may be using for it. It would make sense though cause Downpour was somewhat open, and had side quests.

          • Enemy Of The Free World

            Oh yeah, Isn’t that the Kojima game?

          • Scrimm

            Yeah, him and Gillermo Del Toro

          • Enemy Of The Free World

            So that’s an obligatory buy.

          • Scrimm

            Of course it is. Tied for my most anticipated release of any form of media with the Phantasm Ravager and the new Maiden album.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus

            Video games are way easier to keep up with than music. There are like two games I am super excited about and we have already covered them, lol

          • Edward/Breegrodamus

            Mortal Kombat?!?!

          • Yea lol

          • I was going to pre order it yesterday because I know I will like it but then I saw that Arkham Knight was available for pre order.

  • It goes without saying that I will probably like Unrest but I’m curious to hear Painted Wives as well.

  • Enemy Of The Free World

    I am on a roll, but here is another Off The Beaten Tracks song that is apparently YT only so far…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIilGrVHXQc&feature=youtu.be

  • Enemy Of The Free World

    Painted Wives seems like a band I am going to revisit on weekend, I kinda like it

    • Enemy Of The Free World

      Oh mang, Unrest is sweet sweet sweet…

  • Confirming my enjoyment of Painted Wives. Their singer can really croon.

  • Embrional – Fuck yes.
    Unrest – Fuck yes.
    Screaming Eagles – Not my jam.
    The Agonist – *yawn*
    Dr. Living Dead – A few songs on the album were good but ultimately I found it to be a dull experience.
    Painted Wives – I shall have to investigate them further.
    A Forest of Stars – I really wanted to like this album but I was very bored. There were several interesting parts but nothing really grabbed me. I might give it another shot if not just for the amazing artwork.
    Hacavitz – Eh, I’ll pass.
    Will Z. – I’ll pass on this one.

  • Supreme Chief Poopypanties

    W.
    Get a good look at their main page. 😉

  • Supreme Chief Poopypanties

    I love Hacavitz and A Forest Of Stars! Hacavitz’s first couple of CDs are awesome, especially when they put in the weird Aztec parts. A Forest Of Stars is strange but excellent. I think they’re where Akercocke was heading towards, with the whole avante garde steampunk black metal deal (also done perfectly by Vulture Industry).