Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cattle Decapitation- The Harvest Floor

So let's start by saying that I like Cattle Decapitation. To Serve Man was killer, and Karma Bloody Karma was even better. And their live show kicks ass. And I totally love how they remind people how disgusting and vile we really are. Their pro-vegan stance and animal compassion ideas are very cool in a genre so filled with hatred. Next time you eat a steak, look at the cover of Human Jerky just to make sure you are cool with being a part of that. If so, more power to you. But more of you than would admit wouldn't like what you see.

So basically, they would have to fuck up for me not to like this album. They did not fuck up. In fact, they hit it out of the park. This is best CD album by far. The sound is the same basic formula. It is a mix of grind and more traditional death metal. Songs change tempos a million times, careen all over the place, and sometimes resemble avant guard free style craziness. They are amazing musicians and their vocalist has a perfect death metal grunt. This is not music for the un-adventurous.

So, all that is the same. What has changed to make this album the best they've done? Two things: songwriting and atmosphere. They have always been a band that could mix some catchiness into their trademark chaos. Every album had a couple of tracks where you could really here some rad melody underneath. On this record, every song has those melodies. This is so brutal, but so catchy. And this is a band that should inspire dread and a sickly kind of feel when you hear them. On this album, that atmosphere is present throughout. This album is dark and gloomy and emotional. Most bands in this genre can't or won't inject this kind of gut-wrenching sadness into their metal. And I don't mean doomy, I just mean dark and sad. You have to hear it to understand. And please do hear this. It is amazing.

Check out tunes here and buy the album for goodness sake. And eat tofu for dinner.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Psycroptic- Ob(Servant)

My last post of 2008 was my Top Ten records of the year. One of the big problems with these lists is you can't hear all the music that comes out in any given year, so some classics are gonna slip through the cracks. If I had heard this album in 2008, it would have made the list. Pretty close to the top.

Psycroptic are a technical death metal band from Tasmania of all places. They are only the second metal act from this country that I know of and listen to. The other is black metal weirdo Striborg who puts out some seriously damaged buzzing darkness. These guys play death metal with tons of intricate guitar runs and interesting tempos. They also write death metal melodies that are obviously influenced by thrash metal, which is to say that they are catchy in a more traditional way. The vocals are not as harsh as most death metal ranging from a hardcorish scream to a cookie monster-lite growl. They even manage to work in some metalcore sounding breakdowns without sounding like dicks. All in all, it is an amazing mixture. This is some headbanging, ass kicking, technical yet still brutal death metal. This is the record that anyone who is flirting with dm but is put off by the brutalness or the vocals should immediately pick up. This is not to denegrate what they are doing. Even though they write really catchy, memorable songs, they still are death metal to the core and all fans of the genre should be blasting this disc from every Ipod, car, and home stereo.