While extreme metal fans worldwide continue to wish like hell that 2008’s Carcass reunion tour would turn into something more permanent, Bill Steer’s musical passion has led him down a very different road, the guitarist eschewing death metal for some good, old-fashioned heavy blues rock with his trio Firebird.
Perhaps because their last release, Subject to Change Without Notice was released six years ago, coupled with the music industry’s short-term memory loss – not really anyone’s fault, as a plethora of albums are released every week – the understated brilliance of the Cleveland, Ohio quartet has largely gone unnoticed.
From the opening explosion sound effect, the Montreal band launch into a slew of technical death metal tracks with a definite black metal influence. Deep growled vocals that rise into high-pitched shrieks accompany some precision guitar playing, but things rarely stay in one particular groove for long.
What separates Houses of the Unholy is the band’s penchant for psychedelic melodies and harmonies, not to mention that all lyrical themes are about serial killers. Church of Misery is an extremely heavy doom band, that varies from slow and melancholy to fast and crunchy more often than you’d expect.
The following metal/hard rock reviews were published yesterday in Hamilton’s VIEW Magazine and while they are online, it is with a bunch of indie rock reviews so I decided to throw just the metal/hard rock-related ones up on Hellbound…
Clutch’s current musical incarnation, which dates from 2004’s Blast Tyrant to this year’s Strange Cousins From the West, has been a remarkable creative renaissance, with blues superseding stoner rock, and not surprisingly, when the final third of the show focused on the newer material, things truly took off.
Adrien Begrand reviews Clutch’s most recent tour stop in his base city, Saskatoon, SK.
Sinister wrote guitar riffs that were choppy and contained that classic old school death metal sound, but the band also could inject the speed to up their attack to an almost grindcore style. Mike Van Mastrigt’s vocals were very low and guttural for that time and I’m sure influenced a lot of the bands soon to follow.
The blasting, ferocious drumming, growling vocals and classic old school death metal riffs pierced by the occasional tormented lead breaks, all of the sheer violence with thrashing power and a good dose of chaotic melody where needed makes this an essential album.
Russia’s Forest Stream have released their second full-length album after their almost fifteen years of existence, and the end result is a collection of songs that really work in all their multiple elements and many potential influences.
The Red in the Sky is Ours did not depart from the core tenets of the genre, but it did offer a vision of death metal that stood apart from its peers. Based on that singular vision, The Red in the Sky is Ours has not seen its power diminish with the passing of time; hence the reason that it deserves to be celebrated as a “classic.”
Tate Bengston explains why At The Gates’ The Red in the Sky is Ours is Hellbound’s first Classic Album.