Saturday, August 27, 2011
There will always be a place in my heart for Abuse, an album that revived my passion for grind and remained in constant rotation for two years. But as much as Abuse warms the cockles, Dirge has earned its keep. Insinuating itself into the interstices of my daily routine, Dirge has become the de facto soundtrack to 18 minute slices of my life. The album's treblier production and incisive riffs have the uncanny ability to cut through the din of commuter train drone, Manhattan street cacophony, subway roar and rumbling road noise. Dirge pushes punkier arrangements, chuggier chunks of distortion and some straight-up fistfuls of metal, dispensing a shocking jolt of adrenaline. Every time I crank this thing up, I feel as if I'm pissing on the proverbial electrified fence.
Rasyid seems to draw from a fathomless pool of essential grind riffage. His guitar work on Dirge remains intensely satisfying in delivery and diversity. I was slightly disappointed in the guitar tone on the album at first, but with time, I've grown to adore the bark of its mid-range distortion. These riffs intertwine synergistically with Fitri's absurd drumming to induce a feeling of falling continually down stairs, head first. Dirge is a maniacal rhythmic feast. Fitri's drumming remains primal, animalistic and inspired; he is the Keith Moon of grind in my mind.
Arif is a man of many voices, from porcine indigestion to wretchedly withered screams. He spews brilliant grind aphorisms throughout the album, constantly shifting tone in a dissociative downpour. Dirge's allure is magnified by its 'fuck off and die with a smile' attitude and brilliant lyrics. I can't count the number of times I've involuntarily screamed, “All go no emo!” while walking down the street; it's become a motivational mantra.
Abuse's magnificence was miraculous, its impact personal. Dirge's intensity is addictive, its effect a physical, utilitarian rage. Both are essential.
Earache is still offering Dirge as a completely free download here. Being a lover of plastic discs, I pre-ordered the CD before it came out.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Monday, August 08, 2011
Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been 96 days since my last metal show. Seriously. I broke that unfortunate streak on Saturday night by attending Disma's record release party for the titanic Towards the Megalith at Saint Vitus Bar. I was rewarded with superlative death of the old school and a surprisingly beastly set of bloodcurdling sludge from Coffinworm.
In the interregnum since I got a new job and fell off the face of the earth, Saint Vitus has risen to well deserved prominence in the New York metal scene. This well appointed bar and excellent concert space is situated in the northern wilds of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, on the very edges of civilization. As advertised, Saint Vitus is a “metal themed” drinkery, meaning metal is blasted so loudly in the bar area that any meaningful conversation is impossible. This is precisely what the clientele desire. The modest backroom (measuring roughly 2 ½ Brooklyn basements) is perfectly sized for a wide array of underground shows and features fantastic sound and views. I arrived at the end of a thundering set from the freshly unretired Unearthly Trance and found the space packed to the gills with a who's who of Brooklyn metal.
Coffinworm's When All Became None is an album that's grown on me like a slime mold. Its viscous sludge pierced by blackened-doom vibe has been hitting the spot repeatedly of late. I'm happy to report that the band and their tunes stand up well in person; in fact, they destroy. The vocalist's wretched scream and evident metalborne madness is a perfect foil to the lumbering annihilation of these tunes. In addition to fine cuts off When All Became None, we were treated to a new track (video below) that portends of good things to come from Coffinworm.
Judging by the packed room and jubilant atmosphere, Old School Death Metal is the shit, and Disma are riding the throne. I saw Disma destroy the stage last year when they opened for Immolation. Their live show was a sight to behold. At that time I had only recently acquired their cassette demo, The Vault of Membros; it hasn't left my tape deck ever since. Towards the Megalith is another story altogether. Riding a huge wave of hype, I had a bit of trouble absorbing its dense deathiness. But I've since accepted its bludgeoning goodness into my bowels, and I was excited to hear this music live.
Craig Pillard is a death metal legend, and he lived up to that billing on Saturday night. The unassuming guy belted out gurgling growls of the highest order and the crowd (including myself) ate it up. Hair was flying, necks were wrecked and a truckload of oranges were juiced. The band ably rode the fine line between taut mechanization and flailing destruction; I'd expect nothing less from such a prestigious assemblage of musicians. Towards the Megalith was played in order until the curfew cut it short, but that couldn't dampen the crowd's rabid enthusiasm. These songs were made to be played live; it was a pleasure having them rammed down our throats.