Monday, February 7, 2011
Especially when it comes to hardcore. Not just people, but bands as well. No band is more exemplified by this at times tragic axiom, than the band Burial Year. Burial Year were a force to be reckoned with. Rising from the ashes of San Franciso/Oakland's Takaru and A Light In The Attic (both of whom also were stricken by a premature "burial"; pun intended) Burial Year were cast in the cauldron of that region's underground which seems to be perpetually bubbling with talent.
One of my fondest show memories was witnessing this band handily destroy the tiny basement show space of my then residence: 1624 N. Harrison St. in Ft. Wayne, IN. This was made all the more impressive to me as it was the first time I had gotten to witness my friend and fellow Ft. Wayne brother-in-arms Josh Kuntz displaying his awe-inspiring musicianship in this band as then fill-in guitarist. I was proud to see a former denizen of the at times spirit crippling Fort Wayne vortex transposing his talents to not only another city, but to a great band.
Josh's duties moved quickly from mere fill-in guitarist of the BY to full time vocalist. And what an impressive move that was. Very few front men have posed to me in recent memory so intimidating a presence and vocal attack as he did. Seeing him scream away from the mike, tear at his clothes, and beat his head in anguished catharsis reminded me of a young Hank Rollins at times. Not only did his addition fortify BY's already iron gauntlet of a live delivery, but it also stepped up their recorded attack. Far and above a better offering than their first self-titled e.p., Burial Year's second, and final opus to the d.i.y underground "Pestilence" is a maelstrom of mathy, sludge-y, compacted and contorted metallic hardcore. Like a bit more visceral younger brother of Deadguy, with plenty of nods to Germany's brethren metallic hardcore stalwarts Acme, Systral, and Morser.
I originally was going to make this post about the Michigan grind/hardcore up-and-comers Cloud Rat, who's debut self-titled LP has had me enthralled as of late. However the fact that they themselves exude the style and spirit reminiscent to me of bands such as BY and their ilk, I decided this would be a good segue way to their review. That, coupled with the fact that I found this video I took of BY in Indy in 2006:
So, without further adieu, here is the final statement made by this undeniable wrecking ball of a band:
The Law of The Tooth and The Fang
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
When you have been listening to metal as long as I have, you have a tendency to get jaded from time to time. Along with this periodic drift into musical alienation comes feelings that something you have loved and has become component in your character and motivations is becoming out-dated, and obsolete. You have difficulty fathoming why or how this "movement", this phenomenon of converging ideas should continue, or for that matter, progress and maintain validity.
Then, you snap out of it. Who knows why. Your synapses are firing correctly. You've watched your diet, and exercise. Or, maybe you actually find bands that continue to work within established musical frameworks and give them a genuinely fresh and engaging spin. I have been confronting this a lot lately. Its nice, because it has this way of nurturing a psychological youthfulness and re-commitment to a purpose that I sometimes lose sight of. It's all the more valuable when that band is comprised of some of your closest friends.
One of these particular bands that I am describing is Seattle Washington's Anhedonist. For being a relatively young band (they have been together for a little over 2 years now) this quartet has already been causing some noticeable rumblings in the underground. Rumblings that not only have resonated from their cathartic, entrancing live shows, but also from the foundation crumbling death doom epics they have committed to their debut 3 song demo "The Drear".
Comprised of merely 3 songs, but clocking in @ 35 minutes, this demo will satiate the palate of any lover of doom and death's pantheon of sub-genres. Mixing parts Incantation, Disembowelment, Thergothon, Evoken, Mythic, and early to mid period Bethlehem, the songs will move from the most agonizing lurches, groans, and creaks, to instant avalanches of speed picked granite riffs. The interplay between K.H.'s solid rhythm guitar axis, and V.B.'s tendency to let his guitar float into moaning, wandering melody lines will lead you to bowing your head in moments of meditation. And the tone: these two have drug out of their respective V-4 and Sunn Model T some of the most viscera disturbing crunch that one will have heard outside of the cold northern norths of Finland.
Of course this titan of a dual six string attack would be rendered impotent in battle if it was not being led forward by the iron horse rhythm section of D.F. (bass) and Z.S. (drums). Locked in and simple, these two nonetheless deliver the necessary axe fall and gallop to keep the spirit smothering and thunderous rock slide of these songs moving over the listener. Ultimately, after the last notes' sustain have disintegrated from the ears of the observer in this final, suicidal art, the resulting feeling will be one of despair, loss, and being drained of hope....
Anhedonist will be embarking on a full U.S. tour in May and June which will eventually circle its way around Maryland Death Fest and wind through the Midwest. I will have the good fortune of going along on this tour, which will host numerous stacked shows that will feature billings with underground heavy weights such as Hooded Menace, Acephalix, Hour of 13, Negative Plane, Miasmal, Oak, Ilsa, Indy's own Coffinworm, and the band of miscreants I occupy, Kata Sarka. In the meantime you can indulge in "The Drear" by clicking below, and also visit the respective sites to purchase or anticipate purchasing a copy of the demo; which, I may finally add, will be pressed to vinyl by Portland Oregon's Parasitic Records sometime in the near future.