Black Metal mixes with everything and anything these days, and mixed results will happen. It is like part of the color wheel, it can be add to anything, but the results vary depending on what it is mixed with. You have blackened crust punk (Young and In The Way), Post-Black Metal (or Black Shoegaze as I called it, with Deafheaven), traditional black metal (if I don’t love me some Emperor) and black metal meets arena rock ( the new Black Anvil I can NOT get enough of and is in my top 3 for record of the year).
Let me tell you young’ins something you will learn actually fairly quick, and Coalesce said it best with an album title: There is nothing new under the sun. Let me repeat that for those skimming through my shitty, ADHD, virally infected writing and say it louder, since reading may be too good for you: THERE IS NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN! This has been true for a while, but goddamn, you can at least do a good job at making the music and kicking ass. Those bands I mentioned above do very well with what they have and their ideas and their mixture of genres.
Noise is quite an interesting “genre” as it is like black metal in my mind: it can encompass multiple other genres yet still be solely in the main genre. (Post-black metal, I’m looking at you kid, although you do carry a lot of fucking gold.) Now, when I think of noise, I think of bands from Amphetamine Reptiles (I am fucking old), KEN Mode, Today Is The Day (their early records and later records are so much tits that conventional lingerie has trouble holding that shit in), and Fashion Chic. You know, musicianship where there is a musical know how to break rules, a driving rhythm section of doom, and lyrics that hint at possible hilarity but lead to an idea that there is pain and anger. And then comes along CHRMR with their self titled EP. This album…let’s talk about this album’s bandcamp first shall we?
Prog-Metal and prog-rock tend to get thrown around a lot these days, with many of the new bands growing up with massive prog bands such as Dream Theater being their influence, flaunting and showing their chops with six string arpeggio sweep picking techniques, odd time signatures and a massive amount of chops in the riffage department. This can lead to great music but also to undeniable wankery and pretentiousness that can cause any amount of cohesiveness to be lost in translation.
There is the flip side to this coin, where there is a vast amount of musicianship, but song craft and layers are used, creating a sound that is vastly under rated and under appreciated. The band Zombi comes to mind, the duo who create prog-rock as a love letter to the 1980’s horror movies that we all love and cherish, where sounds come together to create an amazing sound wholly reminiscent while also being entirely their own.
In the last couple of years, Good Fight Music has been quietly carrying the torch for the late 90’s/early 00’s metalcore sound. With a roster that boasts some reactivated bands of that era (The Banner, Ion Dissonance) along with some more recent and progressive exponents of the genre (Axis, Of Feather and Bone, Old Wounds), they have kept the flame burning brightly where it could have easily sputtered out about half a decade ago. One of the label’s more recent highlights has been Michigan’s Hollow Earth. For those who are unfamiliar with the band, Hollow Earth formed in 2011 after three members of the band met while filling in as touring members of legendary metalcore outfit Shai Hulud. Continue Reading
Full disclosure: I am not a typical grindcore fan. In fact, I don’t really consider myself much of a fan at all, outside of a couple Napalm Death records, Nasum, Pig Destroyer and a handful of other less popular releases spanning the last 20 years. However, one band that has always kept me coming back for more is the criminally underappreciated Swedish grind unit Gadget. Continue Reading