Postcards From Natalie Zed: Lucky #13

For her lucky number thirteen installment of her ongoing Postcards series, Ms. Natalie Zed offers up five new reviews that span the metal world, including groups from Israel, Germany, England and Canada. So, without further adieu, here is another installment in her series of bite-sized critiques.

Melechesh – The Epigenesis (Nuclear Blast, 2010)

Dominated by sense of urgency and malice, the genius of The Epigenesis lies in its percussion. The rhythm throbs like the heartbeat, the stentorian breathing, of a Sumerian dragon. The drums evoke ritual, battle, threat, intimidation and victory — they swallow you whole.

Suidakra – Book Of Dowth (AFM, 2011)

My affection for Suidakra makes me think my ears are pregnant. Melodic death metal, plus Celtic folk seems like the peanut butter and bacon sandwich of the aggressive music world. but it’s delicious. Trust me.

TesseracT – One (Century Media, 2011)

Atmospherically, the album is so warm, so bright, but then is falls into an uncanny valley of not-quite-ness that’s deeply unsettling. It’s like being at a perfect, lab-created replica of a beach, unable to shake the knowledge that the sun is only a UV lamp and the individual grains of sand were produced in a factory. I can’t help but hold myself at a slight distance to keep the eeriness from getting under my skin.

Titan (Canada) – Colossus (Feast Or Famine, 2010)

In Clive Barker’s Books of Blood, there is a short story called “In the Hills, The Cities,” wherein tens of thousands of people strap themselves together to form giants. The image of 40,000 people walking together as a single goliath suits Colossus perfectly. It is an immense, shambling, crushing thing, but somehow fragile, almost certain to fall apart or go mad in its multiplicity.

Sylvus – The Beating Of Black Wings (self-released, 2011)

You are walking down a hallway. Water drips from pipes above your head; it smells of decaying iron, or blood. There is noise at the end of the hallway, behind a door, frightening, metallic noise. Guitars squawk likes birds of prey, cymbals bleat and throb. Shivering, you press your eye to the keyhole. The music is distorted, distant, strange. You close your eyes, hold your breath and listen. The air around you stirs with the beating of wings.

Sean Palmerston

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