Prosthetic Label Roundup
Prosthetic Records is home to one of the most diverse lineups in metal today. Fans of the genre can find anything to suit their tastes on the label’s roster. The fine folks at Prosthetic were kind enough to send me a whole slew of promos, so I threw some darts at a wall and picked three very different releases to share with you. A select few of you may enjoy all three; most will probably only like one or two, but there will be something to suit all comers, from the mall ninja to the occult church burner, and everyone in between. Diversity is the spice of life, after all.
Villains – Freudian Slip (July 10, 2015)
Self-proclaimed “noisey street metal” act Villains are being given the reissue treatment from Prosthetic for their debut album Freudian Slip. So what exactly does “noisey street metal” mean? A chaotic mixture of hardcore, deathcore, mathcore, and djent with deep grooves and electronic influences. If that sentence sounds like a recipe for disaster, I don’t think actually jamming this record is going to change your mind. There are breakdowns aplenty and bizarre rhythms all over, and the songs generally follow a set formula. However, the record does succeed at scalping listeners with some intriguing lead lines, only to crush your bones into pizza topping with heavy-as-all-hell Acacia Strain style grooves. In fact TAS’s album Death Is the Only Mortal is easily the closest sonic touchstone for this band. I would like to give special note to the manic hardcore vocals reminiscent of The Chariot. They tend to fly helter skelter across each track, invoking a whirling dervish of a bar fight, and I can’t think of a universe where that would be a bad comparison for a young hardcore band. Ultimately, if you like polyrhythms and grooves upon grooves, I think you’ll dig this mightily. If not, skip on down to the next selection.
Schammasch – Sic Lvceat Lvx (May 18, 2015)
Way back in September 2014, I pleaded with you to check out enigmatic black metal mystics Schammasch’s newest release Contradiction. Although black metal is no stranger to epic scope, Contradiction was a monolithic album with a true sense of grandeur. Thankfully, Prosthetic are generously releasing a remastered version of Schammasch’s debut album Sic Lvceat Lvx. So how does the group’s debut album stack up to the glorious Contradiction? Remarkably well, actually. The band’s trademark sprawling and majestic sound is in full form on this debut, with serpentine songs slithering and coiling along long winding tracks. Thoughtful riffs like the one that pops up in “Chaos Reigns” shiver and shimmer like solar mirages on a spiraling road. Others like those at 1:45 in “No Light from Fires” peel flesh from bone. The human drums and powerful bass rumble and toil to uplift the glorious weight of each track, at times coming to a juddering halt before launching into a massive headbanger like in “The Venom of Gods.” Every part, from the raspy vocals to the lengthy composition, serves to make this one hell of a debut, and not one you should miss. If you like your black metal villainous and regal, get on it.
Tempel – The Moon Lit Our Path (June 16, 2015)
Much has been made about Arizona instrumental darlings Tempel, and rightly so. For such a young band, the group displays an impressive maturity and confidence on their sophomore album, deftly avoiding the pitfalls of so many of their contemporaries. Even more impressive is that such a labyrinthine sound is able to be conjured by just a duo. The Moon Lit Our Path is a cyclopean, massive record with songs seemingly carved from the cliffs of Crete themselves. Riffs and rhythms wind and converge like different paths through the maze at Knossos, and though passive listeners may potentially lose themselves in the solid edifices and abrupt dead ends, active ears will find carefully designed compositions from the mind of Daedalus himself. Stellar songcraft is on display throughout, with the duo flowing like Minos’ molten gold from subgenre to subgenre, incorporating elements of post, sludge, melodeath, and pure rock while never lingering too long in one corner of the maze. The end effect, as evidenced by the emotional climax of “Tomb of the Ancients”, is an engrossing listen that will reward both those actively engaging the music and those listening for entertainment while going about other tasks. Tempel have done it again.
(All Photos VIA)