Friday, September 16, 2011

Horn's microreviews for waveriders, part deux; featuring Cauldron, Lair of the Minotaur, Northless, Graviton, and Indian

Greetings and Salutations! Horn here, with a few more wee lil' reviews for you to scan. Please do enjoy!

Burning FortuneCauldron- Burning Fortune:

A cruder, lumbering, crusty, heavier Dokken-- whoever writes the riffs loves that fifth-chord-to-flatted-sixth thing that George Lynch does in every other Dokken song (see: "In My Dreams," "Alone Again," and "Breaking the Chains")-- I didn't realize that this single type of riff could nearly instantly take me back to watching VHS tapes of Headbanger's Ball in 1987. Track "Rapid City" is Dokken + Motörhead....

Overall, Cauldron are Dokken with worse solos and better riffs; the vocals are about the same. [Note: a track from Cauldron's previous album, "The Striker Strikes," is the number 1 dumbest song of last year as well as the most fun.]

The Ultimate DestroyerLair of the Minotaur- The Ultimate Destroyer and Evil Power


I know well the line straddling parody and... whatever else there is. This has gone over it. Not that it's bad, but Evil Power is pretty much Dethklok. The Ultimate Destroyer, on the other hand, is awesome in its sheer disregard for reality.


Northless - Clandestine Abuse

The best Crowbar disciple (or cenobite?  hierophant?); they've got an obvious sense of dynamics, while also maintaining the sonic equivalence to an enduring major depressive episode.


MasslessGraviton - Massless

When listening to new tunes randomly (to reduce bias), before I could remember their name, Graviton was "that subatomic-particle band." Seriously. Each song is named for one-- a subatomic particle that is-- and is a strange yet soothing combo of ambient, Swans-like, Alice in Chains-y, progressive noise. Like most innovative music, I didn't like it at all at first, but it kept attracting me, and made me get my head around it, rather than it molding to what I wanted to hear.

It's the band for you if you've ever thought, "I love Intronaut, but they're just not weird enough for me."

"Anti-Mesons" sounds like Paul Oakenfold or DJ Tiësto, with a chorus like one of the chants from The Thin Red Line, and "Fermion" is distinctly Sonic Youth-y. Sludge finally meets up with indie rock. Overall, Massless is the best kind of music-- unclassifiable, with a genre palate so wide you may as well not bother classifying it.

GuiltlessIndian - Guiltless

"Benality" in particular-- if Horseback is sludge on a black metal steed, then Indian (what a dumb name, though) is that same steed having his legs blown out from under him via cannon fire, and hurtling downhill, to fall to earth among the also-dead (but what a cool sound).

With the influx of sludgy bands, particularly on Relapse records (I still like Howl and Salome the best), it seems like bands are trying to out-heavy each other by slowing speed to a point where it's nearly without time or meter all together (like Death metal kept trying to out-Satan, out-speed and out-gore each other)-- and this to such an extent that the slowest/ most without meter, like Indian or Unearthly Trance, can end up sounding like the last five minutes of live songs that your favorite bands end their encore with--

You know, that last chord, usually open, just keeps being hit-- "BONG! spacespacespace "BONG!" spacespacespacespace "BONGBONG... BONGBONGBONGBONG!!"  Guiltless sounds like that. Not that that's not cool sometimes, it is.
I just keep wondering how they'll encore.

Indian are anti-sludge/ anti-blackened sludge: not in that they don't have "sludge" characteristics, but that they retain them while eschewing MUSICAL characteristics: a floating tempo --once charitably called "rubato," like Unearthly Trance-- and seemingly (unintentionally) serialist riffs, in that they seemingly have no home key-- they're not hummable at all, and it's like they're daring you to keep up with them: they're so random as to seem intentionally so: or, as The Silence of the Lambs put it: "Like the elaborations of a bad liar."

--Horn

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