Reviews - W
This is thrashy stuff with a few twists. The drumming sounds a bit atypical, beat-oriented. The rough and tough vocals have some melody to them. The guitar solos are nice ditties that even though not unbelievable, do have a bit of personality. Sounds like a young progressive thrash band still not settled on what their sound will be. However, I do believe that the thrash riffs are still too generic and even weak. Have all the thrash riffs in the universe already been invented and people just keep recycling them? Dude.
WATCH THEM DIE - BASTARD SON
CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS
Looking for good thrash? No need to look further! This is the band's second release and it's certainly a pounding, thrashing album. There really are not that many good, straight-up aggressive thrash bands, and veteran bands like Overkill aren't exactly getting any younger. Also, some bands that are considered thrash, like The Haunted, have way too much punk and hardcore. Watch Them Die has been reading the minds of Slayer fans. If you thought this band was metal-core, think again, because I hear no core, only thrash in the music, with some short moments of slow parts. The vocals are pretty growled, not shouted, borderline death metal, if anything, but you can make out relatively easy what Pat Vigil is saying. The drumming is from the Exodus/Slayer school of speed: not that technical, but energetic and pounding. The guitar riffs lash out fast and they move quickly into other riffs, while the vocalist is going nuts screaming. It's certainly good to hear a newer band getting to work and thrashing, not messing around. They cover "Armageddon" and sound good doing it. It doesn't sound particularly black-metal or Bathory-like, but it sounds raw and thrashy. Most importantly, the band sounds electrified.
WE HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY - AND THE ENEMY IS US
CRASH MUSIC INC.
What kind of a name is that? Do people actually say, "Hey, let's go see We Have Seen The Enemy"? The booklet says "We Have Seen The Enemy", so I guess the answer is yes. Hey, I have an idea! Why not come up with a longer name that no one can pronounce or actually wants to say, like, "We Have Seen The Enemy Drinking Our Wine, Sleeping In Our Beds, Taking Our French Fries And We Think That One Day We Might Do Something About It, Man, Because That Ain't Too Cool, Yo"? Stop being stupid, people! You're not that clever. And people are not that patient. By the way, if you are still reading this, dear metalhead, you should know that this band loves At the Gates a whole lot. They do the gun motif, as "Slaughter of the Soul", too. The singer sounds like he is doing his very best to sound like Tomas Lindberg. He's not doing a bad job, either. Ah, but that's the problem, isn't it? Imitation or creation? Sounds too much like imitation. The first few minutes, you think, "Huh? That's cute." Then you think, "Huh. Why are they doing that?" Wait! I just got a phone call from Elvis Presley and he told me that this band is actually named "Enemy Is Us". OK?! By the way, shouldn't that be "Enemy Is We" because you are supposed to say: "This is I", and not "This Is Me"? See?!
WESLEY WILLIS - GREATEST HITS VOLUME 2
You'd have to hear this to believe it. It's one of those things that if I were to try and describe this, it would never come out right. Essentially what this is, is a big black guy yelling utterly ridiculous lyrics, over even more ridiculous synthesized soundtracks. Is it "good"? Well, no. Is it funny? Hell yes!! You kind of have to have a sense of humor to appreciate W. Willis. I personally don't like any of his songs because they're "great", but rather because they make me laugh, and put me in a good, silly mood. What more can I really say? Just give Mr. Willis a chance. I guarantee it will affect you in some way.
WICKED INNOCENCE - "OMNIPOTENCE"
This disc is also another great album that I reviewed in "Before D.", but must review it again because I feel bad comparing them to CARCASS. After listening to this band several more times, I could not believe how extreme, excellent and complex this album was. Comparing them to CARCASS was not completely false, what I meant to say in my first review, was the way they both had such complexity and how original this album is compared to the excellent "Necrotisicm Descanting the Insalubrious" album, their final excellent piece of work, I think. Any way, the vocals range from a clear talking, to an extreme screaming, to a low growl. The music is so fucking complex. So many riffs in one song. Also, the drumming is excellent. Every one into extreme, complex music, should really get this release. Just remember, you must listen to this more than once to fully appreciate this excellent and classic extreme release.
WIDOW - ON FIRE
CRUZ DEL SUR MUSIC
The men and woman of Widow are not your usual heavy metal: it's traditional, Iron Maiden-ish (guitarwise) metal with clear singing and death/black screaming and a horror element. "The Preacher's Daughter," for example, has Lili and Cristof singing a man-and-woman dialogue. Lili does traditional singing, while he does clear vocals and growling. It's a bit of a schizophrenic, horror, old King Diamond-ish song. The Iron Maiden element: 0the guitars sound like they're singing the words/chorus, too. Widow sounds like a band from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. The sound is vintage, classic heavy metal. Actually, the production and singing also has that quality: not polished; it's gritty, as well as oldschool-sounding (is it on purpose or lack of money?); the singing is not air-raid siren, either; it's traditional, but it's not really high, like Primal Fear. A clarification, the screamed vocals are important for this band. It is constant, always present; it is there, but it is used selectively, not in an overwhelming fashion. If you like traditional old-school metal and are always looking for lesser known, underground bands to check out, it would behoove you to search this.
WILLOW WISP - "DELUSION OF GRANDEUR: (A GATHERING OF HERETICS)"
Full Moon Productions
First of all, I must once again comment on the fact that the main man at Full Moon Productions is one dedicated individual to his cause, even if I don't agree with it, one must acknowledge this fact. While not liking every band he tends to release on his label, he must be doing something right having lasted this long. Independent labels have come and gone, and Full Moon has been around a lot longer than many of you know. The reason I say he must be doing something right, is because most of his releases tend to be bands that sound like no other, and this band is definitely no exception. I'll tell you now, this is a release many might not like, for the fact they have a lot going on during their musical voyage. I faintly remember flipping through Metal Edge (or maybe it was Hit Parader?) a few years back, and seeing/reading a review of this bands demo. I wouldn't really classify this as a metal release, but more of a shock rock band with metal influences. Shock rock meaning a M. Manson type imagery band. This is a weird mixture of goth, black, and a hint of death metal, done in a unique way that will definitely catch the attention of the more open mined individuals in the underground. The vocals range from a high screech, a talking whisper, the usual goth/doom singing type voice, and finally to a death metal type approach, that is rarely used, oh, and with some female vocals that are thrown in, here and there. Some of the voices overlap each other, giving it various atmospheres throughout the songs. And speaking of atmosphere, all the songs vary in atmosphere, meaning each song has an identity, meaning that this release MUST be heard more than once to catch what they are trying to capture. If you're into experi-mental bands, that have a gothic type sound, keyboards, metal influences, mainly in the solo department , (see what I mean about different?) then you might want to check this out.
Combining a few genres, this band comes across as a pretty talented power black metal outfit. The bm blasting drumming, the bm-style vocals and the tight guitar work all sound in tune with bm, while the melodic, though not really clean, singing and the melody of the guitar suggest power metal. In addition, there are some viking-folk elements to round this album with a symphonic vibe, too. This sounds like a strong beginning for what they are trying to do. Promising, for sure. Let's see where the symphonic power black metal thing goes from here. I know the "category" I'm giving is stupid, but trying to describe this accurately is not easy. I could say that this is a fast version of Dimmu jamming with Stratovarius, but that sounds silly, too. They don't have a website, but check out
WITH PASSION - IN THE MIDST OF BLOODIED SOIL
In 33 minutes With Passion (what a corny name!) blasts and thrashes tightly and precisely, machine-like (in a good way), with harsh vocals and bring in an element of aggressive melody that's not sweet, and if anything, it's more melancholic. It's interesting that this is supposed to be "hardcore," but I don't hear the hardcore. I know that the picture of the band shows six guys looking like a hardcore band, but the music has more in common with Dimmu Borgir and Children of Bodom than anything else. Obviously, this band is not at that level and Iím not saying this is the "greatest" or the "best". However, it is a solid album and one that sets up a pretty good foundation for the future. I have heard this album so many times. It feels like I heard it some 25 times or something. The charm or the novelty does wear off after so many listens, which does say a bit about how good the album is.
WITHIN TEMPTATION - "ENTER"
I believe this to be a clone of THEATRE OF TRAGEDY. Death metal grunts, soprano vocals, atmospheric keys.... Maybe there is a lack of magic compared to T.O.T., but nothing really important. The sound is clear and powerful and the songs are really catchy. So if you're into that kind of stuff, don't hesitate to order this CD.
WOLVERINE - THE WINDOW PURPOSE
This is a re-release of the band's debut. While on their wonderful "Cold Light of Monday" the band seems to have found a very individual moody/melancholic sound, on this one they sound very much inspired by Dream Theater/traditional prog metal. They sound like they are huge fans of Fates Warning, Dream Theater and the like. Personally, I prefer the less prog sound. I realize these songs are well played and the guys are talented. It's obvious that their cup overflows with ability, from the drumming to the singing and guitars. I think the difference is that the songs have less feeling and sound too self-indulgent. Like I say, if you like Dream Theater-style music, there are many reasons to hear this.
WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM - Diadem of 12 Stars
Remarkable work, set within raw black metal, which despite its deceptive categorical limits, opens up a musical dexterity and variety that is a wonderful surprise. The four long songs take up 60 minutes and deliver, of course, lots of blasting and grim vocals, which interacts with twisted melodies, some clean singing, low growling, serene moments that, within the 13-minute-plus framework of the compositions, impress. It is true that with these types of songs there is no quick, immediate satisfaction. It's in the long term that the songs begin to make more sense. If it's not too offensive or hackneyed to state it thus, they are carrying out with black metal the spirit of what Opeth realized with death metal.
WORLD OF SHIT: S/T
True to their name, this is garbage; unbelievably bad, horrendous "death metal". I can not hear anything besides the stupid cookie monster. In tribute to this type of lyrics; I want to take an axe to the head of the cookie monster, then feed it to the maggots and then kill the maggots.