Friday, July 11, 2008

From the Shadows

It’s fall. The trees have begun to fade, light escapes us, and my socks always seem to be wet. After much anticipation this summer, the change in season has seen the release by two Metal albums that I have to mention.

First there is Nordic Death Metal band Blood Red Throne. The tag on this band is that they play Florida inspired Death Metal while hailing from Norway, a country known for its Black Metal. Their newest release, Come Death, shows the band moving towards a powerful groove element, an aspect that they had only briefly plodded in before. Bassist Erlend Caspersen’s work is skull bending, absolutely titanic. Purists looking for an early nineties production effort or boxed in neck breakers will turn away. They will miss the rare, but great, breaths of Black Metal that show up on "Guttural Screams" and Gorguts cover "Disincarnated." It should come as no surprise since guitarists Tchort and Død formed the band while playing/touring together with cult leaders, Emperor and Satyricon. I would kill to see these songs live.

Earlier this year I did get the chance to see the Doom/Stoner giant, High On Fire. Their newest release, Death is the Communion, is a continuation of the break in sound inspired Steve Albini on Blessed Black Wings (2005), which new producer, the legendary Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden), sharpens instead of rounding off. High On Fire at first sounded like Matt Pike’s Sleep hangover*, familiar doom and gloom, while growing new teeth. For those truely stoned-cold, still waiting for Jerusalem to end, this will probably kill your high. Communion rocks barrel-fisted anthems that thrash and flaunt some major chops in their murky depths. The opening riff in “Turk” is a blistering ode to Megadeth and the album pack-leader “Fury Whip,” digs up the past like an exhumed South of Heaven. New double-kick currents, acoustic interludes, and Motörhead lovin’ soul come as a welcome whiskey shot to the chest. On Communion, High On Fire builds a Metal alter, then burns it down to the ground. Check these out.

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