Friday, December 24, 2010

End of the Week: Happy Holidays!

Holy shit, it's already Christmas Eve... fuck. As such, sorry about not getting much done this week, I'm sure you all know how hectic Christmas shopping can be. But rest assured, we're not a bunch of lazy asses like Metalsucks and Metal Injection, we're not slacking on the blogging to take a vacation, more shit will follow next week. For those of you who weren't paying attention this week, we did two things:

-We reviewed a cool Job For a Cowboy show

-We also gave you a taste of the deathgrind supergroup Murder Construct

I'm ashamed of myself to say that that's all, and since we didn't get a chance to get any Shit Hardcore Kids Wish They Could Play or Slam Spotlight segments in, I think I'll take this time to show y'all some of the stuff I've been slaying lesser mortals to over the past week or so, including a couple mandatory Xmas jams.

Squash Bowels- "Grindvirus"

If you're looking for top notch goregrind (and let's face it, who isn't?), look no further than this Polish trio. While musically they do tend to have the "wall of indecipherable noise" mentality that is commonplace in grindcore, the vocals are of the more familiar, standard death metal variety, as opposed to senseless shrieking and hollering. As such, they are a great gateway band for people who are curious about grindcore but might be turned off by the sheer chaotic madness of bands like Magrudergrind, Rotten Sound or Brutal Truth. The music is dense and there is definitely a lot going on at once, but it still has a solid structure that you can identify with rather easily, at least as far as grindcore goes. And obviously it's heavy, fast and brutal as all fuck, so what more could you want?

Skies Over Bethany- "O Come O Come Emmanuel"

I know what you're thinking. A devout Christian metalcore band doing a remake of a Christmas carol? Traitor! Hang him high! Alright look, we all have our guilty pleasures, and this is one of mine. As much as I love slam and grind and death and brutality, I'm still a sucker for a good melody from time to time, and these guys hit that particular soft spot of mine like a sledgehammer with this song. I don't listen to anything else by this band, but for whatever reason I really dig this one, minus the breakdowns. In their defense, a good friend of mine is friends with Skies Over Bethany and he insists that the clean singing isn't auto tuned, so that's the bassist's actual singing voice. Good job sir. Alright then, now that that's over, I promise that will be the first and last time SOB will ever be featured on this site.

Into Eternity- "Pain Through Breathing"

Now then, if we're going to be talking about bands with talented singers, as far as I'm concerned this band is the reigning authority on the matter. Let's see anyone else go from super high pitched, Manowar falsettos to growling to screaming and back to clean singing like Stu Block does. And what's more the rest of the band is very adept as well, creating their own signature style dubbed "progressive melodic death metal". I had the pleasure of seeing these guys open for Iced Earth a couple years back, and let me tell you, they tore the roof off that place. Unfortunately they haven't really been heard from since then, most likely due to lead guitarist Tim Roth becoming a father, but I'll keep eagerly awaiting their follow-up to their 2008 opus The Incurable Tragedy. Catchy melodies, well-written riffs, jazzy drums, shredding solos and nonstop energy sum up this Canadian quintet; they genuinely love what they do, and they're damn good at it.

Trans Siberian Orchestra- "Christmas Eve In Sarajevo"

Yeah, I had to. It just wouldn't be Christmas without the good old TSO. There's not much I can say about these guys that hasn't already been said, and this song is a timeless classic. It's incredibly emotional and powerful, meant to express the hardships and lament brought on by the war that raged throughout Bosnia in the early Nineties. Even on Christmas Eve, battles raged in the streets, gunshots and explosions shook homes, and more importantly the lives of everyone involved. This song attempts to capture that raw emotion, and in this writer's opinion does so beautifully. TSO regularly does tours every winter, and I have yet to see them personally, but I've heard it's something to behold. Future show review? Only time will tell.

Well, that's all for this week. Happy holidays everyone, let us know your holiday plans in the comments, and we'll see you all on Monday. Peace.


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