Bloodshot Grub’s Top 5 of 2015

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Author: Bloodshot Grub

Before I get into it, I want to note that this is my metal only Top 5. Steven Wilson’s prog rock masterpiece Hand. Cannot. Erase. is featured in the #2 slot of my master list. Continue reading

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Riff Theory #2 – Yob – In Our Blood

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Author: Bloodshot Grub

Title: Riff Theory #2 – YOB

Song: In Our Blood

 

Listening to metal and playing music have always gone together in my life. It wasn’t long after I first heard Dream Theater’s Images and Words that I decided I wanted to be a drummer, and that was the beginning of a lifetime of musical study that resulted in, among other things, me becoming a huge music theory nerd. So here’s a place for me to pay tribute to and nerd out about metal’s great riffs, past and present. Welcome to Riff Theory. Continue reading

Gorod – A Maze of Recycled Creeds (2015)

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Author: Bloodshot Grub

Artist: Gorod

Album: A Maze of Recycled Creeds

Label: Listenable Records

 

I’ve never bought into the notion that technicality is necessarily a trade off with expressiveness, or that the majority or even a substantial number of technical metal bands are guilty of focusing on showing off their chops rather than on writing good music. On the contrary, I find technical death metal to be one of the more emotionally engaging death metal subgenres. Gorod’s prior albums are an excellent example of what I’m talking about: virtuoso musicianship used to access a spectacular and entirely expressive approach to melody that draws from classical and jazz music. The reason that A Maze of Recycled Creeds falls flat is not because they’ve spent too much time practicing their sweep picking and not enough time on their songwriting, because the level of musicianship hasn’t changed from prior albums. It’s still top notch, and I don’t think this would be a better album if they had backed off on the technicality. More likely, it would be a worse one, because many of this album’s really enjoyable moments are also jaw-dropping displays of technical ability. For whatever reason, the songwriting just isn’t there on this one. Continue reading

Kältetod – Zwang (2015)

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Author: Bloodshot Grub

Artist: Kältetod

Album: Zwang

Label: Eternity Records

 

File this one under “stuff I decided to listen to because it looked cool.” Kältetod is a German one-man black metal band with which I have no prior experience. I’ve seen a couple different versions of the album art for Zwang, Kältetod‘s fourth album, but it was the version featured on their Bandcamp page, along with their band name (which I assessed, with my entirely abysmal German, as “cold death,” but which Google Translate tells me actually means “hypothermia”), that grabbed me. Continue reading

Cult Leader – Lightless Walk (2015)

Author: Bloodshot Grub

Artist: Cult Leader

Album: Lightless Walk

Label: Deathwish, Inc.

“Once we were another band, now we’re a better one.”

The opening line from Cult Leader‘s press packet gets right to the point. The other band that they were was Gaza, whose 2012 album No Absolutes in Human Suffering was widely and justifiably lauded as a high point of modern metalcore. Three-quarters of that band went on to form Cult Leader, and, high as the bar is, Lightless Walk is indeed the output of a better band. Continue reading

Zillah – Serpentine Halo (2015)

Author: Bloodshot Grub

Artist: Zillah

Album: Serpentine Halo

Label: Sea of Corruption Records

This slab of technical death metal comes to us courtesy of Edinburgh’s Zillah. They’ve been around since 2000 but prior to this have only released two full-length albums and four EPs, none of which have garnered any significant attention or acclaim. This one, however, has crossed my radar several times, prompting curiosity about what exactly it is that they’re up to. The answer is, nothing special, but still plenty enjoyable. Continue reading

Riff Theory #1 – Thantifaxath – The Bright White Nothing at the End of the Tunnel

Author: Bloodshot Grub

Title: Riff Theory #1 – Thantifaxath

Song: The Bright White Nothing at the End of the Tunnel

Album: Sacred White Noise

(Ed: A new feature we’re trialing, most likely paired with tues/thurs reviews. Feedback welcome!)

Listening to metal and playing music have always gone together in my life. It wasn’t long after I first heard Dream Theater’s Images and Words that I decided I wanted to be a drummer, and that was the beginning of a lifetime of musical study that resulted in, among other things, me becoming a huge music theory nerd. So here’s a place for me to pay tribute to and nerd out about metal’s great riffs, past and present. Welcome to Riff Theory. Continue reading