Sunday, April 29, 2012

Album Review: Napalm Death - 'Utilitarian'

Anybody interested enough to read this shitty review probably knows the story already, having heard it from every critic and fan in cyberspace everytime these guys release something. Band invents the genre and coins the term 'Grindcore', band supposedly loses it's way four albums into their career in an exploration of influences and sound, and then band is rebirthed...Well I wouldn't call it so much a rebirth as it was more like a violent bursting forth from the womb, eviscerating it's host on the way out and never looking back. Napalm Death took the "slower", industrialized sonic density of their sound from the mid-nineties (often referred to as the "Facepalm" years by elitist naysayers) and infused it into the speed and raw brutality of the bands early career noise in a stride that began with 2000's 'Enemy Of The Music Business'. Utilitarian is the group's 7th record since the so-called 'rebirth' and 14th over-all not including cover albums, and it is the sonic equivalent of an 800 Horse Power Steamroller barelling down on you at 80 MPH in a dead-end alleyway. The album is loud, suffocating, and magnanimous. The production on Utilitarian is clean but the guitars still have enough of that reverb layer to make that trademark tone instantly recognizable as Napalm Death even before Barney starts barking all over the madness. And he sounds more pissed off than ever, and more comfortable than ever, to the point where you start to wonder if this is just how the brummie talks these days. 2009's 'Time Waits For No Slave' was a good album, but my biggest complaint is it's length. It feels like a majority of the songs on that disc could have been cut in half, and probably should have been as it clocks in at over 50 minutes. I also wonder if that's why the amazingly thrashtastic 'De-Evolution Ad Nauseum' is strategically placed as the album's closer to suck you back in. If you're one of those people who can maintain through 50 minutes of that kind of intensity without a problem then that's just the dulled down state you live in all the time and you're being robbed of the kind of release this music can give you when dosed correctly. 'Utilitarian' is a shorter album, and it's peppered with the kind of subtle experimentation that helps create checkpoints between the blasting and forces songs to stand out even on first listen. The album opens with an instrumental intro, which works because it's not something Napalm Death over-use on every album, and it does exactly what it's supposed to do: help prepare your central nervous system to adjust to the kind of sounds you are going to be hearing at a much faster pace. Then 'Error In Signals' lunges into an all-out grind assault, Greenway's rabid bark exchanging lines with Mitch Harris' wet shriek - a formula that never gets tired throughout the duration of the record. The utilization of instruments and guest vocals that would normally be alien to grindcore always helps to keep the sound fresh, as was the case on both 2005's 'The Code Is Red' and 2006's 'Smear Campaign'. On 'Everyday Pox' there is the shriek of a berzerking saxophone weaving in and out of the cacaphony of churning riffs and savage percussion. Almost sounds like a goose getting pummeled by Herrera's double bass. It only adds to the intensity. One of the few times the band let their boot off your throat happens in the grandiose middle of 'Fall On Their Swords', where Greenway seems to channel the congealed gay love child of Peter Steele and Burton C. Bell in a goth baritone verberating over tribal toms and Jesu-esque shoegaze string plucking. 'Quarintined' is arguably the catchiest track on the record, where the cadence like yell of 'Quarantined' changes it's pattern over striding guitars during the chorus before stomping itself back into d-beat grindcore, and 'Nom de Guerre' is a relentless blast-beat ridden destroyer that burns itself out in a little over a minute, in remastered classic Napalm Death style. As with the aforementioned 'De-Evolution Ad Nauseum', ND save one of the best for last in 'A Gag Reflex', a sonically bad-assed swaggering riff opens and closes the track leaving you hungry for more - and then you get it in the bonus song 'Everything In Mono' - one of those "bonus" tracks that they must have thrown in there because they knew it was too good to leave off but had to put it as a bonus after so many arm chair quarterback losers such as myself bitched about Time Waits For No Slave being too damn long - because a bonus track doesn't count, right? Anywho, the track is a sonic anvil falling on you over and over again like John Madden running a Looney Toons cartoon, especially the (Metallica) 'One' -esque middle tirade. God forgive me for that reference.
And those are just the checkpoints! The rest is a filler-free pummeling of the ears. Forget all that phase bullshit, this collosus stands as possibly one of their best albums. I guess to put it short (toooooo late), if you dug Smear Campaign, with it's speed, heaviness, and sonic clarity - this is the closest thing to it in sound, only the writing and variety within the album surpasses it. Here's to another 14 albums please.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Album Review: Beaten To Death - Xes and Strokes

I stumbled across a video from these guys for the title track off of their debut album Xes and Strokes. It's basically the five of them rocking out in what is probably a rented out rehearsal space. The song held my attention long enough to win me over at the one minute mark when the melody-tinged drop chord grind does a sudden shift of gears and turns into a palm-muted stompfest that makes you want to boogie the fuck out, complete with bass and drum breakdown. The band separates themselves from the pack by utilizing a lot of high end melody within their sound, riffs that wouldn't be alien to an Arch Enemy song if you tore away the blastbeats pushing it forward from behind- it works for them, and even more so because of it's juxtaposition to the big ugly fat guitars and guttered out bass that keep the band's sound down and dirty, think of that first Korn album on trucker speed (two for two on the bad metal references). For me personally, some of the best moments in Grindcore happen when a band's disfigured and violent sound breaks away from it's own grip for just a brief moment, and opens up the wound enough to show a glimpse of something almost beautiful within the carnage. The almost majestic riffage towards the end of Brutal Truth's 'Dead Smart', or the desperate vulnerability that's exposed both musically and vocally in the second half of Pig Destroyer's 'Towering Flesh' are good examples. BTD accomplish this at the end of 'A Souless Alarm', when the grind halts to an eerie harmonic that is built upon with orchestrally choreographed volume knobbery (think Metallica's To Live Is To Die -HAT TRICK!!!), and then rolls forward into a percussively driven jam-out moment at the end. While I do compliment the band on messing around with melody and still keeping it grind, the formula just isn't strong enough to keep my attention throughout the entire album, as some tracks just fall into the mediocre after the half-way point once I got used to hearing it and I may as well be listening to the monotony that is Leng Tche'. But at the same time there are moments when the music makes you want to move, and sometimes the simplicity of the punk formula just fuckin' works the best, as evidenced in their opener "Pointless Testament", the actual music lasts less than a minute and the track beats you down with really just one main riff. "On Running" is another bad ass tune that works well mainly because it's still fresh early in the album and teeters back and forth between a happy little blast-tainted melody and stuttering breakdown power-chording (I know it ain't a word).  The vocals are pretty straightforward and typical for the genre, low to high, with little variance at both ranges, but the emotion is there. The tracks on the album vary from just over a minute to just under three, so with only nine tracks the band does a great job of not wearing out their welcome and wrapping it up in 18 minutes and some change. Production is top notch, and the drums sound clean and powerful against the downtuned guitars and dirty bass. I get the feeling that Beaten To Death got the final product to sound exactly the way they wanted it to. I wonder how many groups hit the studio unable to match the sounds in their head and end up resting on their laurels or embracing it and changing a bit of the writing to fit into the sound better. The band also must have some good pals that majored in film editing because they've got three high quality straight-up cool videos available for your perusing on youtube where it's them just grinding their shit, including the aforementioned "Pointless Testament". I always dig when a group puts so much work into a video for a song that short. These dudes aren't anything I'd rave about in line at the next Weekend Nachos show but they are still good at what they do and aren't weighing down the scene with run-of-the-mill mediocrity, I'd definitely recommend them to anyone looking for something decent and new. I think Beaten To Death is one of those bands that will either win me over or lose me on their next release, and as of now I'm looking forward to hear where they go. Check out the video for 'Xes and Strokes' below, and then follow the links to watch 'Pointless Testimony' and 'Winston Churchill': It's a fun lil' watch.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

'Why You Do This' - a documentary of life on the road as an extreme musician.

Car Bomb. For those of you unprevy to this one-albumed loogie of hate, know that they are a musical force to be reckoned with.  Spawned in the wake of the emergence of the ridiculously pigeon-holed genre-term "Math Metal", this four piece created an albums worth of controlled yet spasmatic ferocity the likes of which raises them above the visionless 'Calculating Infinity' Clones pissing all over the creative original sound. Sure the influence can be heard, but Car Bomb abandons anything even close to resembling a hook or rhythm and instead comes off as a very jagged, very large pill to swallow, arguably more difficult to absorb then even some of the most unhinged Grindcore - arguably. The sound is so sharp, and so combustible, that instead of resembling 11 different tracks it's almost just one long compilation of fits and seizures. A soundtrack to the spewing forth of schizophrenic hate.
How does a band like this survive? Well, seeing as how they hadn't released anything in over 5 years I wasn't sure that they had, until I stumbled upon a documentary titled 'Why You Do This'. Just over an hour long, this short little film (put together by Car Bomb vocalist Michael Dafferner) follows the band on the road as they tread on and continue playing their undigestible brand of music despite what seems to be only a continuing series of disenchanting pit-falls and realizations. It's the usual run-of-the-mill kind of things any underground band has to deal with - playing to crowds of three or four people, automotive difficulties, being ripped off by club owners, continuously losing more money than you make - but for those who've never had the experience it makes for an interesting watch. The narraration throughout the film is mostly pessimistic, as though the whole project itself came to fruition as a result of half a decades worth of being jaded. If you don't take it as tongue-in-cheek halfway thru the doc you may find yourself telling your monitor to "just fuckin' quit then", but by the end you'll see it's not the answer that you're sticking around for but really the search for the answer. The film also uses Lamb of God and Gojira as examples of two groups who were able to claw their way 'tooth and nail' out of the underground to headline their own tour and earn an opening slot playing for Metallica. Poor examples in my opinion as both those bands earn their living on the other side of extreme music's line in the sand due to their sound being so accessible in comparison to a group like Carbomb. Lamb Of God is par for the course with a band like Slipknot, damn good at what they do, but still just a rehash of riffs and ideas that worked years before when Meshuggah, Sepultura and Slayer carved their paths (Phil Anselmo called and said he wants his tough-mumblings-over-tougher-riffs act back Mr. Blythe), but I digress. They were probably the only ones willing or available to contribute interviews and without them there would be an air of hoplessness throughout the film. The doc also includes interviews with members of Bella Morte, The Chariot, and Soilent Green, not to mention a spot-on 'why I do this' summarization about playing extreme music from ex-Death/current Charred Walls of the Damned drummer Richard Christy. The film is an eye opener for anybody that hasn't tried traveling across the country in a shit-box van w/trailer, and makes you thankful that groups like this don't toss their gear into the Ol' Miss while driving over it and call it a day. Can you imagine a world without violent basement shows where the fuse blows every song and Hepatitis C creeps like grave moss through bloody knuckes and abrased skin in mock-jungle temperatures? As I type this from the comfort of the home I own and live in comfortably I tell you that I cannot. So god bless those cursed with the passion for playing extreme music, and sacrificing their own comfort to tread across this country and scrape by with no expectations of ever seeing a light at the end of a tunnel or a multi-million dollar record contract not to mention even a mere 2 minutes on the radio. The film doesn't break any new ground, nor does it necessarily draw you in - but much like the Discordance Axis novella 'Compiling Autumn', the fact that it exists is a bonus. Fans of the scene and the band should consider themselves fortunate that someone was passionate enough about what they do to compile the resources and take the time needed to create it and make it available without profiting. So you should take the time to watch the doc if you're into the scene at all. Check it out below and order yourself a copy here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Incomprehensible Grumblings: Rumors and News - Nasum, Gridlink, Pig Destroyer, Burnt By The Sun, DEP

Nasum has inspired it's agonal breath, one last post-coital death spasm before the last nail is driven into the coffin and it's set on fire and cast away into the ocean. The Swedish Grinders who defibrillated the genre are making one final little go around of the states kicking things off in Chicago on May 18th. Taking over vocal duties for the mini-tour will appropriately be Rotten Sound vocalist Keijo Niinimaa. Experimental Grind legends Brutal Truth and seminal hardcore act Dropdead will be opening on select dates. Check out the bands Facebook page for show info: Gridlink has confirmed via social media sites that work is being done on the band's third album, tentatively titled 'Longhena'.  A recent posting on the band's Facebook page states "The third GridLink record is going to surprise some of our old fans. Not sure if that will be good or bad. LOL -  And no, it will not be a Facepalm Death Harmony Greed Corruption Exit Wound Killing kind of surprise." The band recently posted that tentative song titles include 'The Last Raven', 'Claymore', 'A Bitter Obligation', 'Basilisk Raid Cradle', 'Longhena', and 'Sunlight Fragment In Snow'. After showing up on extreme music 'most anticipated' lists for the last three years Pig Destroyer guitarist Scott Hull recently confirmed that a new album will be released this year in the general region of the Spring/Summer season. Drummer Brian Harvey parted ways with the group for reasons undisclosed to the public and in July of last year the band announced Misery Index drummer Adam Jarvis to be his replacement. Hull states that the album contains some of the band's strongest work to date. Pig Destroyer were recently invited to play the Music Northwest Fest in Portland where they premiered three new tracks, see what you can make out from the clusterfuck (in a good way) here. The Argonauts, the new Jersey band recently formed from members of Burnt By The Sun, Dillinger Escape Plan and The Postman Syndrome, have recently posted a 55 second practice snippet of one of their new tracks. The group is currently playing local shows and recording a new album. Dillinger Escape Plan vocalist Greg Puciato has joined forces with ex-Sepultura/current Soulfly frontman Max Cavalera to collaborate on an album of "thrash brutality" that the group has quoted is a sort of 'Nailbomb 2' - type project. Mars Volta percussionist Cedric Bixlar-Zavala and Converge bassist Nate Newton are rumored to round out the as-of-yet unnamed project.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Book Review: Compiling Autumn: Making Discordance Axis' The Inalienable Dreamless

According to Andrew Childers, grindcore aficianado and master-mind of the acclaimed pack-leading blog Grind and Punishment, he was approached by the now defunct Discordance Axis vocalist Jon Chang to pen a short book about the creation of the band's classic benchmark album 'The Inalienable Dreamless'. Per Mr. Childers, Chang offered to financially back the project and the band supported it by contributing their points of view to the fevered sessions that would unforseeably redefine the grindcore genre years after it's initial release on Hydra Head records. Six months later, we have the novella 'Compiling Autumn: Making Discordance Axis' The Inalienable Dreamless'.
The bottom line here is that 36 published pages about this album is 36 published pages more than I thought I'd ever see in my lifetime. It was Boner City in Grindville when Decibel Magazine did a 6 page spread on the album as it's 'Hall Of Fame' entry for the March 2009 Grindcore Issue (a special issue that I'm pushing should happen every time Napalm Death releases a studio album, am I the only one sick of hearing about how great Mastodon and Skeletonwitch are?). So this thing could have been written by Sloth and Chunk and I'd still shell out the measly $8 that they were actually apologizing for charging for it. And the cherry on top of the whole thing is that 100% of the book's profits are going to the Tsunami Relief Fund for Japan. Now just take a moment to think about that would you please? Chang could've used the cash to fund his current blur-grind hybrid outfit Gridlink, or even bought a fishing net full of sci-fi Anime and underground Hentai DVD's, but instead he opted to go the route of helping support relief for the country that he's proclaimed has inspired him through most of his creative career. Any fan would be a fool not to buy this book on that merit alone.
The book is expectedly well written and offers previously unheard insight into the creation of the landmark album, including interviews with first time producer Jon D'Uva and co-owner of Hydra Head Records Aaron Turner, not to mention band members Dave Witte, Jon Chang, and Rob Marton as well as testimonials from peers in the genre. Everything from the writing process, lyrical and thematic inspiration, recording techniques, and even a bit of the origin of DA are all covered in this satisfyingly short, written documentary.
There are moments throughout the book that touch on how the band's first album, 'Ulterior', came to be - inspired by what Chang imagined the album after Napalm Death's 'From Enslavement To Obliteration' should have sounded like. When the author occasionally dips into the early years of the band I kept expecting to hear about the influence that Anal Cunt had on the group's sound (as was touched upon in the aforementioned Decibel article). It was at these moments where I had to remind myself that I wasn't reading a biography on the group and how they came to be, but a book more on the pinnacle of their all-too-short career and eventually how they came to be no longer.
Upon hearing about the book and it's release I pathetically retrograted into the 16 year old fan boy that I used to be about bands and music nobody else really thought mattered. The fact that Chang came up with the idea to do this and funded it himself shows an artist's excitement in his own work that fans of that person and his creativity absolutely love to benefit from. Especially in a genre that is so limited in the merchandise they can offer, because it just ain't popular enough to really turn a profit (I've still got an empty space on the wall in my garage waiting for a Pig Destroyer poster to one day be produced). Kudos to the band and everyone that gave their input to make the book that much more intimate, and golf claps to Andrew for taking the time and putting on the pads to shoulder a project like this delegated to him from a figure that is quickly becoming a Godfather in the scene. Buy it.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A New Hope

It began with the herd, as so many others did. Another spermatazoa wriggling its way through the pack. Dubbed TDK cassette tapes of tripe upon tripe. Muffled stereo's pulsating the sounds of 'One' and 'Power Slave' through fiberglass and drywall from my brother's room. With me at the age of 12 in the year 1990, and him 16, the equation was easy: His word = law. And I knew from the disappointment in his eyes upon hearing 'Enter Sandman' for the first time, and the snapped back beneath the weight of the final straw that was the video for 'Nothing Else Matters', that he had felt betrayed by those that once gave him catharsis. Not to mention the legions of new sheep that joined the herd, pushing him to back pasteurs where the grass was already chewed and shit upon.
I saw it happening too, though still felt things stir when I heard him playing 'Of Wolf And Man'. I watched as he sat and listened, over and over again - like some experiment whose test ratio was a preposterous 1:100 - the theory of a scientific fluke - just waiting to feel something in the music, hoping all was not lost. I'm not sure it ever came. But he found solace in other places of the genre. I was teetering on the edge, teething, my eyes beginning to adjust to the dark. It all finally geared into place, like a daisy chain of whirring centrifuges the first time I heard Megadeth's 'Take No Prisoners'. The hooks had set in and I was being pulled into the box. True they were all sounds I'd heard before emanating from my behind my brother's closed bedroom door, the strange juxtaposition of angry speed metal and the beauty of the scantily-clad Kathy Ireland poster tacked into the wooden slab staring at me was peculiar. But just like the day she stopped being just a poster and started becoming an uber-priapism, this time around the music just clicked. Most importantly however, my brother had found a new pupil.
Of all the music he began to overwhelmingly throw at me all at once, the three songs that I recall sticking to my ribs the most back then were the aforementioned 'Take No Prisoners', Gwar's 'Salaminizer', and Slayer's 'War Ensemble'. My two-ton version of the Mamasan Trilogy. The temporary foundation upon which to repeatedly build and destroy. Moments of fragile life just cast aside like indestructable plastic, spent locked away in my bedroom feverishly compiling songs onto tapes, the new world was opening up in front of me. Amongst the libraried collection of cassettes in my brother's room I stumpled upon Sepultura's 'Arise', an album I still consider to be the blue print for thrash metal perfection. In 1992 I made the transition from tape to CD, purchasing the first two albums of my collection, Testament's 'Practice What You Preach', and COC's "Blind". Shortly thereafter a friend turned me onto Pantera with one quick audible perusing of  'Fucking Hostile' during recess.
 I meandered in the world of early 90's speed, groove, whatever metal for some time. One Christmas my brother bought me a poster of the Obituary 'Cause Of Death' album cover, having never listened to them himself he told me that he had bought it on the merit that it simply "looked cool", adding that now that I had the poster, it would be hypocritical of me not to own the album (he had obviously already began reading Rollins at this point), so I went out and bought it. The inaudible vocals, the mere heaviness of songs like 'Dying' and 'Body Bag', and at the time - the fact that nobody else really 'got it', including my brother - nudged me into a more extreme direction. I broke away and began searching out new music to bate my new appetite - not the easiest thing to do in a world before the internet shat everything you could ever want to know at the soles of your feet, but back then ignorance was bliss. A chance viewing of the local channel 19 heavy metal video show introduced me to Meathook Seed, which led me to persue Napalm Death (in their mid-career post-grindcore-pre-grindcore industrial phase). Fear Factory opening for Sepultura during their Chaos tour led me to 'Soul Of A New Machine'. And my brother proved himself to be the teacher yet again by forwarding me a promotional copy of the first Mindrot album from his shithole radio station satellite shift he was working in college between the hours of Midnight and 2 a.m.
That Mindrot album became an axis point for me in my pathetically self-absorbed sonic journey. The gutteral, grinding bass and monolithic wall of guitars was leveling. Throated growls piercing the wall of sound then breaking away into the quiet anguish of strummed clean chords and vocal despair, a dark beauty looming underneath it all, occasionally audible when the chaos breaks like the sun reaching through clouds. The band sonically embraced every emotion of the dark side of the human experience. It was then that I realized what it was in this kind of music that moved me the way it did. It wasn't about structure or hooks, breakdowns or swagger. It was about the conveyance of emotion, something that felt honest. With just two albums under their belts the band fell apart, leaving a void in the soundtrack of my existence that I had been trying to fill up to that point with mediocre Death Metal, so that there would be something to fall back on when the inevitable went down. Eventually, utilizing the internet in all it's dial-up glory, I had found two groups with the potential to move me that way again (I was REALLY melodramatic back then), both groups standing like towering rookes on opposite ends of the Death Metal genre (and obviously still a little bit melodramatic now, towering rookes?) - Opeth, and Nile.
The sonic density of Nile's savage riffing sounds like a dexterous Leviathan, leaving it's victims confounded at how something so large and magnanimous could move with such speed and precision. Intertwined with the cinematic sounds of the Middle East's most majestic instruments, the band puts forward studied and historic Egyptian lore as it's subject matter, elevating themselves leagues above most of their peers. On the other end of the spectrum is the lush, almost orchestral arrangements of Opeth. Epic Death Metal movements weaving into beautiful folk passages and occasional somber piano ballads, then ever so discreetly returning to the darkness. One song takes you full circle without even realizing you had ever left - in a good way.
Throughout this dirge into really long and arguably way over-produced Death/Doom I'd never really let go of the music that was responsible for this new obsession of extreme sounds. I had ridden out the groove thrash movement of the mid-nineties and was beginning to experience the slow emergence of the bands that it influenced. Vision of Disorder's 'Imprint' album in particular. The looseness of the performance on that album, the almost sloppy recorded-in-one take rawness that feels like a choke hold throughout that disc, only letting up slightly in the chorus that is 'Jada Bloom' makes me want to chew broken glass. It was something else that felt honest, like they may actually come over and play in my shitty garage if I asked them to, then kick you in the nuts and raid your fridge. I felt that same purity in some of the more unconventional indie bands as well like Glassjaw, and the masterwork that is At The Drive-In's 'Relationship of Command'. Before the metal-core movement came along years later and watered the scene down into mascara wearing goth lady-boys.
By this time there were compositions going on in my head that I wasn't even paying attention to. A hurricane of noise that was a hybrid of raw, desperate and dense chaos. Some kind of sprinting Frankenstein ninja pieced together with the purity of a garage band and the freight train weight of the entire floridian death metal movement. I'm not sure how I stumbled upon it, but Strapping Young Lad's 'City' album was the closest thing I could find that matched the batshit cacaphony of noise I had going on in my head that I wanted to hear in form coming out of my speakers. The complete shitstorm of songs like 'Oh My Fucking God' and 'Underneath The Waves' was proof and comfort that I wasn't alone in a longing for something always harder and faster in music. Shortly after that I began to embrace The Dillinger Escape Plan, especially the 'Irony Is A Dead Scene' EP featuring Mike Patton when it was released in 2002. After a brief phase of exploring the Math Metal movement for something as equally unhinged and schizophrenic, I quickly mudslided into the world of Grindcore. Nasum, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Pig Destroyer, Napalm Death, Discordance Axis, all the heavy hitters.
The pure noise and violence of the Grind genre suddenly watered everything else I'd been listening to down significantly. Bands like Meshuggah, Fear Factory and Morbid Angel didn't seem to pack the same punch that they always had before - they suddenly seemed to be going through the motions. I had to reinvent some of my own perceptions of what I was listening to in order to still enjoy it, because I honestly didn't want to give it all up. There was a shift - I began to view bands like Slayer and Pantera more as gritty punk bands than the driving forces I once perceived them to be. Morbid Angel and Nile became epic slabs of concentrated control rather than the insane swirling fits of noise I used to think of them as. And in the long run it began to force me to appreciate different aspects of the music in lights I'd never thought to put them under before.
But when it comes time to hit the weightroom, or punch the heavy bag or just run face first into a concrete wall for shits and giggles, I turn to Grindcore. The short, almost uncontrolled bursts of speed, sometimes breaking down and derailing into wrecking ball heaviness, sometimes just continuing off the tracks and into mass destruction is the sound I've been longing to hear in music for years. Vocally, musically, lyrically, it conveys it's emotion and feels real. It will never leave me with the feeling of abandonment my brother felt years before, when his boys in black took the reach around from Bob Rock for a box o' money. Groups are getting off of work to tour, getting on stage and setting up their gear, playing a style of music so completely misunderstood with no monetary value to handfuls of fans in basements or clubs, then breaking it down and moving on, and even it's peers in parallel sub-genres scoff at it.  There's no long hair and leather, bullet belts or bracelets. Laughable tough guy looks in front of the local scrapyard from a douche playing emotionally vapid sheep metal. It's people being honest with themselves and making music that honestly moves them, because they still love to do it, not because they're trying to buy a hummer. And as for my search for the next big against the grain genre - for the last ten years and the time being now my thirst seems quenched, though I still sometimes find myself wandering into different avenues of extreme music for different results. The disturbing noise that is Gnaw Their Tonges, the bleakness of Lycia, the fuzzed out beauty of Loveliescrushing - all move me in extremes of different emotions, and variety keeps everything fresh and coiled, ready to strike when you call upon it, what is it they say? -  Satisfaction is the death of desire.