Reviews - E
MORTAL COIL REC.
By now, you should be acquainted with the quality stuff that Mortal Coil Rec. has consistently been releasing. This second compilation offers yet another chance to find out about some of the underground's best. Included this time around are: Insatanity, Lividity, Disfigured, Splattered Cadaver, Sanguinary, Skinned, Immortal Suffering, Komatose, Myself Am Hell, Adnauseum, Evil Divine, Possession, Garden of Shadows, Deadpornstar, Dark Ages, Drawn and Q., and Gorge. This comp comes highly recommended by me, and especially if you are looking for an introduction to the scathing world of underground death. For only $5.00, you get a copy of the comp and a cool 1/2 size, pro. printed zine that goes with it and gives info on all the bands, plus a couple of interviews. What are you waiting for?
EDGUY - Rocket Ride
NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS
A division of moods of this "mid-paced-heavy-metal-with-hard-rock-moments" is as follows. The mid-paced but rocking, terrific tracks: "Sacrifice," "Rocket Ride," "The Asylum" and "Out of Vogue." They will please those enjoying albums before the German stars distanced themselves from power metal with "Hellfire Club." The "big time rock": "Wasted Time," "Save Me" (a ballad) and "Superheroes" are updated versions of White Snake, Def Leppard, etc. They are very poppy. "Matrix" is mid-paced hard rock, not really metal. Not bad, but ultimately suffers from boringness because it lacks energy. "Catch of the Century" is upbeat, poppy, rocking glam. The goofy moments are: "Trinidad" which is silly rock, like Aerosmith, Van Halen, etc. The last number is the unfortunately-named "Fucking with Fire," more glam.
EKTOMORF - INSTINCT
NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS
"Nu metal" and hardcore are the backbone of this chug/breakdown-oriented, Max Cavalera/Soulfly-inspired band. From the picture, they look like many of those dreadlocked, goat-teed bands. Of course, they curse every time they get a chance in a song, talking smack about people who talk smack about them, how people lie and are dishonest and rip-offs. Apparently, they are keeping it real by playing metalcore in 2005. Yeah, they talk about how tough they are, how determined they are, how real they are, how angry they are, etc. Furthermore, if you curse in every song, it means that you cannot possibly be a trendy bandwagon-jumping faker, right? Is this good? To me, this sounds just as good or better than Hatebreed or Chimara, etc. It's good, if you like that type of music. Basically, if you like the bands that Revolver magazine considers metal music, then you should be comfortable with this.
EMPEROR - "IX EQUILIBRIUM"
It is almost ridiculous trying to explain with words what this actually sounds like. This is of course, getting classified as "black metal" (and Emperor would have to sell out completely before they really shake that "label"), but this is not black metal. It has a black metal musical foundation, but you also get a symphonic sound of atmosphere, crystal-clear guitar-driven-marching music, great riffs, nice "lead" work, and all sorts of vocals, from a low-end death metal voice, to a high-end (yes, like Judas Priest, okay?) vocal approach, and even a monk-chant type approach. Complex is a pretty good description, and this release can not be understood with one listen. Finally, this is different, naturally, than "In the Nightside Eclipse", but somehow this release is no surprise. This is more like a progression, top quality metal!
EMPEROR - "EMPERIAL LIVE CEREMONY"
The name of this band has been spoken from many mouths, and for good reason. Over time, Emperor has shown that they completely grasp the concept of "black metal." Each release is a promise of blistering blast beats, absolutely insane guitar work, and "I've got a pineapple stuck in my throat that I can't swallow" vocals. (Nice way of describing the vocals!) This CD has nine well picked live tracks, two interactive screen savers (bios., discography, etc..) And the exclusive "I am the Black Wizards" video. The sound quality for this live disc is uncomparable! I was a troubled child, this CD fell in my lap, and now I'm better.
ENTWINE - DIEVERSITY
Entwine specialize in coming up with melancholic, grey, happy-in-misery, very catchy, upbeat, goth rock songs that are poppy and so sad at the time. How is the singing? Well, Mr. Juan Rivera, who knows and loves Lacuna Coil and Sentenced and this type of music, says that the singing is "girly, but it's good!" And as far as I know, the singer of this band belongs to the male sex. And good this is. The songs are ridiculously catchy, sweet and goth rock. This band sounds so happy sounding so sad. The songs are pretty short, around 3-4 minutes. The ten songs on here go by quickly because they are melodic. Oh, just in case: this is not slow music; it's upbeat, rocking, with pretty upfront guitars and active drumming, often emphasized with double bass. The record company claims that fans of HIM and 69 Eyes will like this band. I cannot say about that because I don't know those other two bands. I'll say this, if you like sad-but-happy goth stuff, often Finnish, you should enjoy the living daylights out of this album. Oh, yes, of course, the band dresses in black and dark colors (keeping it real, yo!) and has black, goth hair (except for the one funny-looking, E.T. member who has a bald head).
EPHEL DUATH - PAIN NECESSARY TO KNOW
Some people want to hear something in-your-face weird, anti-song-oriented, and deliberately made to challenge your tolerance for nonlinear structures. If you think that you are one of those people, you are about to find out whether you are for real or not. Jazzy mellow guitar, then jazzy drumming, then wacky guitar sounds, annoying space technology-type of sounds. Then there are mellow pauses of bass and faint guitar, jazz guitar sounds, funky bass, stop/start. Mini drum solo, stop/start, silence, mellow guitar, and then finally senseless screaming, now the lounge mellow rock and yelling converge. Several stop/start moments, the yelling and the music don't fit, but they keep trucking anyway. Another pause, mellow, spacy guitar and non-riffs are spewed out; the yelling seems to jump into this thing at random. The yelling followed by pauses and mellow soundscapes is common. The guitar breaks into very brief jazz solos, bells ring, more bells, and then silence. At any rate, this is called "Few stars, no refrain and a cigarette" and "Crystalline Whirl". Do you know what the radio sounds like when you are flipping through all the stations? Well, this will give you a similar sensation, except that in this case all the stations play tripped out jazz, mellow jazz, jazz rock, jazz metal-core. Weird stuff. Are they trying to make the most ridiculously annoying album ever?
EVERGREEN TERRACE - SINCERITY IS AN EASY DISGUISE IN THIS BUSINESS
This band plays memorable, easy-to-get-into, melodic hardcore balanced out with some harder riffs and scream vocals. The songs revolve around hooks and melodies. Fans of melodic hardcore will be pleased because the band tries and succeeds in creating straightforward, upbeat songs that take only a couple of listens to like. The pop hardcore sound is mixed with the harsher vocals, which are present in every song, but the melodic vocals dominate overall. The guitar also follows a similar structure: the harder parts always work with melodic riffs for a memorable combination. A lot of hardcore lacks melody and goes for the constant breakdown, mosh parts. This is definitely not the case here. This isn't breakdown-centered, melody's important.
EXMORTEM - NIHILISTIC CONTENTMENT
Earlier albums have not really impressed me as particularly great. Make no mistake, this is brutal death, fast and blast, with guttural vocals and lots of dark riffs. I have heard this album what has to be some fifteen times now. It's not clicking. As soon as it stops playing, everything seems to fade away. Maybe I should not expect to remember anything. Sometimes that's cool, too. So, to write to this review, I have to be listening to it, like I am right now when I write this. It seems to me that this band has gotten more technical and complex, showing an evolving sound. They have a somewhat dissonant edge to them, while retaining a total blunt-force feel. I believe they are improving, but unfortunately, the songs are just not awesome. Put it this way: when I finish writing this review, I will put this away.
EXODUS: SHOVEL - HEADED KILL MACHINE
NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS
Where I stand on Exodus albums: I like "Bonded by Blood," but I don't care too much for "Pleasures of the Flesh". "Fabulous Disaster" has some truly excellent songs and guitar work, but it also has not so hot stuff, like "Cajun Hell." I wish some of those songs weren't on there. "Impact Is Imminent" is a furious, shredding force of mediocre songs; just not so good. "Force of Habit" is an album that I bought and got rid of pretty quickly, if I remember correctly. It had no power, as far as I was concerned. Nowadays I only own "Bonded". I was not expecting much from this album. I actually did not like it at first. However, after several listens, I have changed my mind: this is a powerful, exciting, fresh, roaring work, with strong and quality songs. True, the song titled "Going, Going, Gone" has a dumb name that made someone I know say "How lame!" upon reading the title. The screamer, Rob Dukes, does sound a bit like Steve Souza, but he sounds way more committed, more genuine than Mr. Souza. Lee Altus, known for his work with Heathen, a bunch of Exodus-inspired thrashers, has now joined his favorite band. I think this album shows that it's a good idea to have him here. Paul Bostaph, best known for his famous drumming with the Rolling Stones and the Ramones (among others), is a monster on drums here. Overall, there is an abundance of energy and a thrashing power on this release: dazzling solos, shredding riffs, and good songs with very little melody. The band sounds re-energized. It's ugly, blunt, unsweetened thrash.
EYES OF FIRE - ASHES TO EMBERS
This is music for when wrestling fans get depressed. Did you know The Rock has "feelings", too? Itís for people into depression and anger. I donít like this for a few reasons: the guitar work is a boring chug. The band relies more on electronica/ambient sounds. The vocals donít convince me, either, especially the "tough guy with feelings" screaming, which sounds out of place. I donít like the "victim of love" lyrics, like Pantera doing love songs, sounds artificially emotional.