Record Swap: W. Vs. “Masterlord”

Today, the bitter rivalry between second-tier Toilet Trinitarians comes to a head. Will the battle-hardened, soaring chorus-loving “Masterlord” prevail over the former president, or will the wily, tenacious ex-politician reign supreme in the American way? Today’s Record Swap will decide all. The rules are simple. No research. No foreknowledge. No mercy.

W.’s Assignment: Battleroar – Blood of Legends (2014)

Because W. and I share a deep, sexual bond concerning DoomSword, I thought that he would enjoy their spirit-cousins in Battleroar. Also, they fucken rule. – Masterlord.

Knowing the Masterlord’s predilections toward epic, upbeat metal and his puppy-like earnest loyalty toward me, I have to say that I was genuinely excited to jam whatever he’d send me. Then a boring, totally flaccid intro song nearly killed all the fervor I had. Seriously, if you’re going to add an acoustic meandering to kick off your record, keep it short and use it to build hype; Battleroar apparently thought the opposite tactic would be super effective, opening their record with a FOUR MINUTE acoustic introduction that feels twice as long and leaves you desperately hoping the rest of the album isn’t nearly this boring. Not off to a good start, this album.

Thankfully, things pick up with the very first riff in “The Swords Are Drawn.” “Self, you’re in for a swashbuckling good time with a righteous speed/power metal hybrid,” I said to myself (because that’s what I call myself). “Perhaps there will even be some neat folk flourishes and atypical instrumentation to make things even fancier.” Then, disaster struck. This album fell completely flat for me a second time in as many tracks. Battleroar’s lousy singer opened his gob and dragged the whole production down the drain. Look, I like a decent amount of power/trad/speed metal. It isn’t what I usually crave, but if the mood strikes, a powerful, clean-sung chorus can be extremely mighty. Battleroar’s vocalist often sounds the exact opposite of mighty. As this tenor strives for the high notes, he sounds like he’s desperately trying to not laugh at what he thinks is a very clever joke that he just told. Even worse, his low notes sound a lot like Will Ferrell impersonating Robert Goulet. As the first true song drew to a conclusion, I feared I was in for a very long and unpleasant ride through a fantasy battlefield that was less Helm’s Deep and more LARP Championship.

Thankfully, things picked up again on third track “Blood of Legends.” The band managed to slow down the speedy pace, lock-stepping into a more defensive doom march with some truly killer riffs. Even Mr. Goulet’s vocals seemed a bit more tolerable on this song, or at least less distracting. A few well-placed interludes, and one decidedly axe-raising bridge later, and I was definitely starting to feel what Battleroar were putting down.

The hits keep coming over the next several tracks. The band shows that they are certainly not one-trick war ponies, able to stay equally interesting over a variety of song lengths and structures. Although the album itself gets a bit long, the alchemical folk instruments and pagan flourishes add a welcome dose of intrigue to a style that often overstays its welcome over the length of a full release. Try as he might, even Mr. Goulet could not destroy the good will the excellent riffs and vigorous spirit in each song created. When it comes down to it, Blood of Legends is a fun, albeit flawed record. Its valleys are pretty annoying, but its peaks are so good that you’ll definitely want to push through the worst. Don’t believe me? Listen to either “Immortal Chariot” or “Valkyries Above Us” and try not to find yourself grabbing your broadsword and swinging it about wildly. You will fail, just as I did in my attempt to remain jaded throughout this charming album. Recommended listening, for sure. – W.


Masterlord’s Assignment: Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire – Songs of Ill Hope and Despair

Beneath the Masterlord’s shining armor of humorous glee and kitten-like playfulness is a sallow, despondent soul, one that yearns for the sweet oblivion that only obliterating grind can promise. Few bring that annihilation better than Ethan Lee McCarthy, so I hoped that this black hole of aggression and hate would offer my good pal the desolation he so desperately desires. – W.

It is I, The Masterlord! Long have I heard your desperate whining for the dulcet lilt of my dragon quill pen, but do not presume that I deign to capitulate to your plebeian demands. No, I have temporarily paused my relentless quest to compose the dankest of dank dungeon synth so that I may engage in friendly battle with my dear friend W. Enjoy this Record Swap or eat at the everlasting glow of my butt.

I am aware that Record Swap rules prevent me from gleaning any information about this album before reviewing it, but the joke is on you, dear Doubleyou; Songs of Ill Hope and Despair was actually the title of a collection of children’s music my mother published shortly after I was born. So while I had hoped that this record would contain some of the familiar songs of my youth, I was saddened to find that “This is a Song About Disappointment” and “You Are a Worthless Child and Also You Stink” were nowhere to be found. Rats. Regardless, relentless blast beasts immediately warmed my ears not unlike the maelstrom of disparagement that warmed the familial hearth of childhood.

Removed from my realm of black and power metal (though never blackened power metal), “Teeth & Hair” immediately defenestrated this mighty Masterlord. Grind… core?? The fuck is this??? There is nothing regal nor majestic to be found here. Instead, I’m forced to deal with the enraged sounds of what I can only assume are very angry part-time gas station attendants. Were it not for my eternal love for everyone’s favorite ex-president, I would immediately catapult this album into the sun with the sweet new catapult my bride and I constructed over the weekend. Lo, I grit my teeth to endure the rest of Songs of Ill Hope and Despair for my country.

After a series of relentless grinds and blasts, Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire (ugh, c’mon), move into doom territory, starting with “Gold, Frankincense, and Myrh”. It is clear to me that the members of this band are skilled within this realm of music, but after repeated listens, nothing here has struck a chord within the proud heart of the Masterlord. Perhaps I am missing the point of this particular record when I say that, aside from a few dissonant intros, a handful of doom passages, and a fascination with the scatological in song titles, there is nothing particularly memorable about this record.

It pains me to disappoint my dear, sweet W. If nothing else, I have completed this Record Swap in the timely manner he asked of me. -Joe Th-uhhh “Masterlord”

(Photos VIA and VIA)

Written by:

Published on: March 17, 2016

Filled Under: Record Swap, Reviews

Views: 1070

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  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    Digging both bands.

  • Ethan Lee McCarthy doesn’t do much wrong when it comes to hateful savage music. Looking forward to that new Withered album.

    • Also, check out Ethan’s artwork. Really dismal shit. I’m influenced by a lot of his work honestly.

      http://leangreenohmswatts.tumblr.com/

      • Dubs

        Cool stuff. I can definitely see the similarity between his stuff and yours.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Me too. Good shit.

  • Super Nintendo Chalmers

    Needs more Gloryhammer.

  • Super Nintendo Chalmers

    I remember seeing one of the Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire albums in a store back in the day and thinking they were a -core band just from the band name alone. I missed out.

    • If you like them, definitely check out Vermin Womb.

      • Vermin Womb brings it, cosigned.

        • I have their one EP. Wish they’d do somthing else. Long overdue for some new Hate-Grind.

          • I thought I heard there were plans for some new music a couple months ago. I know Primitive Man has some touring lined up so that may not be the case.

          • Plus, he’ll be touring with Withered soon. Not sure when the time will be available. Dudes fucking busy.

    • Dubs

      Since the band is from Colorado (and is only a decade old), I wouldn’t be surprised if McCarthy was inspired by the devastation wildfires have had in Colorado over the last two decades. The Hayman Fire was in 2002, and I remember seeing ash falling on Denver despite the fire being miles and miles away.

  • Good writing W and Jo-uhhh Masterlord!

  • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

    The writing is GLORIOUS!!!
    Well done gentlemen. I had heard of Battleroar, but CTTTOAFF I had not. Going to give both a listen later today.
    HAIL!

  • Beware W. You may find my steel in your future for dissing Battleroar

    • Dubs

      I stand by every word. Glorious music, but they need a new vocalist.

      • Do all warriors carry the horn of Gondor into battle? Neither then are all warriors born with the voice of Saruman

        • Dubs
          • A pathetic creature who stands in the light only by the will and power of his master

        • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

          Some warriors were born for shouting, born with the voice of The White Lizard. Some warriors were born to do their betters’ bidding and ought not try their hand at where they are unwanted.

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        The vocals were the weakest part. Just sounded tired.

        • Dubs

          Them riffs kept me hooked though. I could not deny their allure.

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    Battleroar isn’t doing anything for me (it’s not the vocals) and CTTTOAFF I just ain’t in the mood for at all, I’ll be coming back to it later.

  • If you are looking for some new black metal shitz, here you go… Still trying to find more info on this band and the demo, but this shit is killing it. Cold riffs, blasting drums, and majestic feels. Can’t ask for much more. Solid stuff in my opinion.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Is1J-M87Pow&feature=youtu.be

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Not digging the vocals at all. But everything else is rad.

      Edit: Reminds me of newer Burzum.

      • I honestly didn’t even pay attention to the vocals till the second listen just now. I was too mesmerized by the music. Vocals are pretty weak, I will agree to that. There is another song available too.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoVSda0jd7Q&feature=youtu.be

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          More good shit, but the vocals can fuck off. Would be rad if they sounded more tortured.

          • Yeah, there isn’t much of an effort to the vocal approach. Needs to be much meaner sounding.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain
          • No shit man, wish this was an actual release.

            EDIT: The demo that is.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Yeah, maybe if you or I ever meet former members, we can ask them. Shit maybe I’ll just message Vemod about it? Since Blix was in Grenjar.

          • That would be rad! Everything that dude does is fucking great. It’s really incredible.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Fuck it, I’ll message Vemod and see.

          • BROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Message sent.

          • Good man. Hopefully you get a response. Even if it is a “Fuck off”.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Fuck, that would be great!

          • Haha! Much success it would be.

  • This was a fun reading. Good job, warriors! Specially Joe Th-uhhh “Masterlord”.

    inb4 GL welcomes Joe Th-uhhh “Masterlord” to the ToH

    Also: making catapults with your romantic partner>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  • COAL ROLL

    Masterlord you are a talented scribe, more plz

  • Masterlord has sullied the good name of grindcore on this day. It is you who shall eat at the everlasting glow of blast beats destroying your inner butt.

    • Dubs

      Yes, crucify Joe the Masterlord!

  • DVRKBEVRD

    both these albums are amazebro

    • Dubs

      Maybe one of our strongest swaps yet.

      • DVRKBEVRD

        also . . . why ISNT there any blackened power metal?

          • DVRKBEVRD

            lol

        • I think this is the closest we have found:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOVIfXiZ5lE

          • DVRKBEVRD

            fuckin swedes

          • Yeah. I know Randall Thor liked this record more than me; but I can’t deny they are working with a weird aesthetic choice.

            Is not bad, it just seems to be more polished in the songwriting. The leads are very cool, though.

          • DVRKBEVRD

            its not bad. kinda seems vanilla for the most part

          • It is still their second full-lenght. I think they have a very long road with their artistic proposal.

        • Dubs

          Trial fits the bill, but that album didn’t do much for me. Keep of Kalessin have kind of a power metal-esque bombast.

          • DVRKBEVRD

            yeah, but a mix of KOK and Trial would be more what im aiming for. ill start workin on it this weekend

        • Rob M

          There is…Satans Host is the first one to jump to mind

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQ3pUBzlpKY

          • Yeah, lyrically so. Still sounds like just straight-up power metal to me.

          • Rob M

            I think the vocals tend to be a bit more dynamic and snarly than your typical nut-crushing power metal vocalist…but if that dosnt do it for you Id argue that maybe Devil Lee Rot would fit the definition as well

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4WeZDwkhFM

          • DVRKBEVRD

            ill check these out, ive heard of Devil Lee Rot, but not the other. thanks Rob

          • Rob M

            No problem man…hope you like ’em

          • DVRKBEVRD

            yo, this is dank

        • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

          Wintersun and Ensiferum definitely come to mind.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MS5AFCNeAEg

          • DVRKBEVRD

            also, happy belated birfday

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Thanks! I’m now officially an old fart.

  • Eliza

    Good albums on both sides, albeit vastly different.

    • Dubs

      Ideally, that’s the appeal of the bowl.

      • Eliza

        To me, the appeal of this site is being able to discuss topics that no one I know cares about with some really cool people while enjoying well written posts, but what you’re saying sounds better.

  • nbm02ss

    Yeah, I’m buying that CTTTOAFF album when I get home. Good shit.

    • Dubs

      Boom! I just found out they did a split with Nesseria. http://music.throatruinerrecords.com/album/split

      • I got this one. It’s a bit doomier.

        • Dubs

          I like Nesseria quite a bit.

          • Sorry I was referring to the CTTTOAFF side of it. But, yeah they ain’t bad. I much prefer the CTTTOAFF of it. That’s main reason I bought it.

    • Ethan Lee Mcarthy>>>>>>

  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    The Toilet isn’t disappointing me with fun articles this week!

    Off topic:
    Just got back from the medical center. My heart itself seems to be working fine – so that’s good, I guess – but there may be some problems with my thyroid. So that means, another doctor’s appointment.

    • Eliza

      I hope you’ll get well soon!

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        Thanks Eliza!
        At least they more or less reassured me that I won’t drop dead anytime soon.

        • Eliza

          That’s good to know.

    • Good vibes, King of NY.

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        Thanks Link! I wouldn’t really call things like these “problems”, just slight inconveniences.

    • Thyroids are tricky, some change in diet might help you get it under control.

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        I guess I need to cut back a bit on the protein haha!

        • and listen to more Infernal War?

          • Sir Tapir The Based
          • i’ve recently fallen in love with the band. i kind of can’t believe that you like them. but if you do, i’m one happy ecstatic detective!

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            Me likey

          • Blast. Beats.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            I’m actually counting on Sunn O))) to destroy a couple more of my organs.

    • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

      But you’re the KING!

    • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

      Good to know that it’s nothing all too serious.

  • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

    The Clash of the Titans appears to be a draw. Kayak paddle fight to the death is the only way to get a winner. And so it shall be done…

    • Get to it you two!

      • Dubs

        Thankfully, I’ve done a fair bit of canoeing, so victory shall be mine this day.

        • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

          I gotz my money on you!

    • tigeraid

      Da-da-DA-DA-DA-DA-DA-DADADADA! *dadadaDOOMboomboomboom* Da-da-DA-DA-DA-DA-DAAAAAA-DADADADA!

      • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

        thats the tune!

  • Salvador Dalí Lama

    It’s over Masterlord, Dubya has the high ground!

    • Dubs

      Masterlord hates sand.

      • Salvador Dalí Lama

        It is coarse and rough and irritating. And it does get everywhere.

  • Waynecro

    Goddamn! Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire is fucking killer!

    • Dubs

      You bet your buns they do.

  • tigeraid

    Oooooh that string intro to Blood of Legends is fantastic. I dig the shit outta this.

  • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

    Haven’t heard Battleroar in quite a while, but definitely digging this! *dragon fucking intensifies*

    http://i.imgur.com/S7zCeIe.gif