Record Swap: 365 Days of Horror vs Jimmy McNulty
Welcome to the latest edition TovH Rekkid Swap, in which the world’s traindest zombie goes head to head with the world’s drunkest detective! I challenged 365 because it didn’t seem like we had a ton of common musical interests, and thus the Swappage might for some provide tough assignments (spoiler alert: it did!). I did not know this would be his first record swap, which turned out to be quite the honor on my part. Keep reading to find out what he thought ov my tech death and what I thought of his crossover thrash.
365’s Assignment: Sophicide – Perdition of the Sublime (2012)
Well it’s about time someone asked me to do one of these. I was beginning to feel like the ugly kid at prom. Just because I spend a majority of my time goofing on bands, doesn’t mean I don’t like legitimately listening to and reviewing new things. It took someone with a pair of “jimmies” to do a record swap with me, so a big shout-out to Jimmy McNulty for stepping up to the plate and asking me to review…a tech death band. Oh. Alright.
I have nothing against tech death. In fact, I listen to it every Thursday (the only real day for tech death) on this here website. It’s just…most tech death bands tend not to stick with me 2 minutes after I’ve finished listening to them. I enjoy Neuraxis, but everything else kind of fades away into the background. It’s not the musicianship or talent and it’s not even how the songs sound. It might just be too overwhelming, with all the weedilies and deedilies crammed in to a relatively short time-frame combined with a consistent, if sometimes generic , throat-lubricated- with-Yoo- Hoo-and- banana-mush gurgling vocals. At least for me, it’s sometimes hard to appreciate the “check out what I can do” parts when the songs are nothing but “check out what I can do” parts. Regardless, I am willing to give it a try for Jimmy Jam McNulty and for all of you.
My assignment was for Sophicide’s 2012 Perdition Of The Sublime. Sophicide, which kinda, sorta means “anti-intellectualism” but really means something along the lines of “the act of killing wisdom”, was originally a one-man project started by guitarist/vocalist Adam Laszlo when he was 19 years old.. Laszlo is clearly talented as his technical ability is on display throughout the entire album. The vocals are standard tech death fair, which is perfectly fine, if expected.
The album succeeds because it does not rely solely on technical skill or riffs. Melody helps separate this album from the tech death pile and makes Perdition Of The Sublime stand out. Occasionally, samples crop up in certain songs. Maybe it’s my old-man hearing, but I can’t always quite make out what is being said, though religion seems to be a recurring theme. I’m a sucker for good samples, so I’d be interested in hearing what Sophicide was trying to convey with them. My guess would be something along the lines of “religion is dumb ayyyyyy lmao”.
Overall, Perdition Of The Sublime manages to break me out of the “meh tech death” rut, at least for a little while. I’m not sure if I would go back and listen to it on my own, but I would certainly recommend it to anyone looking to “stay tech”.
Mr. Days of Horror did a great thing by picking the band Send More Paramedics. A) I can appreciate the reference right away, as it is a quote from Return of the Living Dead and 2) Up to this point I did not understand exactly what “crossover” was — and it turns out I’m not a huge fan. Thrash is fine with me, you must understand; but punk and hardcore are two things I cannot tolerate for very long. This was a challenged I accepted with arms wide open… for the
man zombie had done his homework.
Following a short and spoopy intro track, the madness kicks in with track two (“Bokor”) when a supremely speedy and thrash riff appears at the 0:00 mark. I am outside of my comfort zone and that’s okay, for the best comparison I can think of is to Anthrax or Exodus. But those punk-inspired vocals, including the frequent use of gang styles, aren’t gaining this album any points. Having said that, this is some ripping thrash; stuff that I may not always seek out, but do appreciate when it’s playing. Bring More Paramedics manages to balance several speeds of thrash and punk, never sticking with one pace for more than a minute or so. It’s when they dip too far into punk territory that turns me off, for instance in first minute of “Zombie Crew”. Alas the band will always speed things right back up, so all is forgiven again (it’s quite the emotional rollercoaster).
An absolute gem of this album is titled “The Time Before I Turn” and it comes at track number 11. It starts out with some slow and moody atmospheric build-up which explodes into some jaw-dropping speed metal for the duration of the song. It maintains breakneck inertia throughout the remaining three minutes and includes a cool screechy guitar solo (sorry for my low vocabulary, I’m not a guitar player). This song is incredible and really helps balance out a track or two that I do not love, for instance “Burning the Body”, but the majority of the album does a great job of mixing the two styles.
“The Hallowed and the Heathen” is a great album, probably a B+ to this listener. And it feels odd saying that, so I must give credit to dear 365 for picking this one. During this assignment I happened to catch an Iron Reagan song and thought to myself, “so this is crossover? this sounds a lot like Send More Paramedics!” While I don’t love that genre, this one got through my defenses and made quite the impression, so Great Job! Fans of the almighty thrash riff, give this one a listen (even if punk isn’t quite your thing either).