Postcards from NatalieZed: Set #6!

Hellbound readers, we’re sure that by now you are all familiar with our Natalie Zed, right? Natalie was our big grand prize winner way back in January, taking home more than 50 CDs + and shortly after she received her huge box ‘o CDs, Ms. Zed asked us over at Hellbound HQ if we’d be interested in running reviews of her winnings if she did postcard sized reviews of the albums. How could we say no?

Well, with her last installment (reviews #41 – 48 for those keeping stats at home) Ms Zed actually finished up her prize winnings (minus compilations) and has now started to review newer CDs in a slightly longer format. So, without further adieu here is part 6 in what Hellbound likes to refer to as “Postcards From Natalie Zed”…

Titan – Sweet Dreams (Relapse 2010)
Sweet Dreams is a rather delightful nightmare. There is plenty of psychedelia here, but very little sludge. The sound is nimble and fleet-footed. Instead of being unable to run from a monster, trapped in the tar of slow-motion, Titan leaves the listener unfettered, able to run like a gazelle. Titan will catch you anyway. This album in the soundtrack to a mind that is, inexorably, turning on you.

Kamelot – Poetry for the Poisoned (KMG 2010)
I play D&D. I’ve spent untold hours in front of a television screen or monitor playing RPGs. I grew up obsessed with musical theatre. I read vast quantities of speculative fiction. These penchants and proclivities combine to make me absolutely powerless to resist this album. As much as I feel I should be vaguely embarrassed by it, the same way I should feel embarrassed about the Dungeon Master’s Guide on my bookshelf, I can’t help loving it.

Fatality – Beers From The Grave (self-released, 2010)
Goddamn, I love Fatality. I can’t help it. They’re so much more than a band; they’re a bundle of crass, explosive, obnoxiously positive energy spewing beer and shrapnel all over the Toronto metal scene. Every time I go to a Fatality show, I expect to break a heel, lose my keys, do a beer bong on stage and send ill-advised email messages at 3am. It is impossible to listen to this album without feeling that slightly sick, breathless roller-coasted lurch in my stomach, the feeling I get when I know a night out is going to get completely out of hand. That feeling might not come bottled, but somehow it has been recorded.

The Knockouts – Among the Vultures (Diamond Prime/Sound Pollution, 2010)
It was the gallop that struck me most about this record. In every song the pace thunders forward, like hooves on a racetrack. It lends the record a southwestern flavour that overwhelms the straightforward punky vocals. It was all I could hear, and eventually I stopped listening to the album as a complete entity and listened to that relentless gallop almost meditatively. Playing it in the background makes even the most mundane tasks seem like a train robbery.

Sacrifice – The Ones I Condemn (Sonic Unyon/Marquee Records 2009)
While this will out me as a pervert, The Ones I Condemn reminds me of nothing so much as an excellent Dom. Aggression that does not avoid melody. Complete control over apparent chaos. Tight knots that don’t cut the skin or loosen with a struggle. Softness as important as steel. Sacrifice definitely know what it’s doing, and tend to make me drool.

Look for Set #7 sometime next week!

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.