All posts by Guido

I'm just a geek.

Bolt Thrower, Morgoth, Vallenfyre @Muziekodroom, Hasselt

Source: Metalblade

It is a dreary sunday evening when we get in the car to drive down to Hasselt for an evening of old school death metal with Bolt Thrower. One long, straight road from Eindoven and then we cross a bridge, end up right next to a channel and there is the Muziekodroom. An awesome venue with the old feeling of excitement and danger attached to the experience for us as first time visitors. We get in and start enjoying the noise.

Vallenfyre
Having ex-members in their ranks from bands like At The Gates, Paradise Lost, The Haunted and what not, it must be clear that this band definitely has plenty of experience under their belts. The set is filled with quick jokes by vocalist Greg Mackintosh, about his ex-wife and other silly topics like religion. The death metal of them has an old school quality to it, but feels sludgy as if infused with the gothic and doom inflluences the bandmembers draw from their other groups.

Its interesting how they also pull of a grindcore track in the same vein as Napalm Death in the time of scum. The set is strong and convincing, but with a band fully aware of the sonic violence that is still to come. Taking it easy on the crowd seems to have been the mission, but that doesn’t mean not having fun.

Morgoth
The German band Morgoth has had many names, split up a bit and got together again because they just can not give it up. Well, why should they? The Tolkien inspired group is clearly in the mood to get the audience pumped with their bulky no nonsense sound, pounding and spitting out song after song, giving of a slight punkrock/oi! vibe while at it. Playing songs from over two decades of metal, the band surely has not lost its energy.

Funny element is the well ment enthousiasm of vocalist Marc Grewe, who is obviously of the generation that didn’t fully master the English language, which leads to some funny moments. He never stops firing up the stage with songs dedicated to the other bands, to oppose racism and such and just by jumping up and down and shouting. The music sounds less complex and dense, but is entertaining for sure.

source: Muziekodroom

Bolt Thrower
With an epic melody playing, the band enters the stage. The Warhammer 40k inspired banner decorates the back of the stage, where the band members position themselves, all smiles and cheerfull. Though the band hasn’t released an album in almost ten years, the name remains one of the house hold names for the death metal genre. Starting the set quickly, mainly frontman Karl Willets stands out for his endless smiles and joy. Pictures with fans, hugs and all, everyone is having a ball.

The real kick-off for the set is the obvious ‘World Eater’, pounding ever onwards like a huge all-crushing siege tank. The wide choice of songs from their back catalogue gives the band plenty of liberty to bring a bit from everything. The steady rhythmic guitar play brings a tranquil vibe over the stage, even when heavy songs like ‘Anti-Tank’ make the Muziekodroom shake on its foundations. The steady rumble of the drums makes heads bop and fists rise.

From the epic ‘The IVth Crusade’, to the brawling ‘No Guts, No Glory’, Bolt Thrower could just do whatever they’d do in the rehearsal space and still conquer the venue with their war inspired songs. The tight playing and energetic performance make fan favorites like ‘Warmaster’ (another Warhammer song!) and ‘The Killchain’ to a great experience. This batallion still conquers, wherever they go.

This review was published on Inlog.org

Much Busy, Such Happenings

I’ve been busy, so much lately
That every time I get some time to spend
I end up drunk or sleeping in
And I miss you, you’re busy too
We call each other up, when we’re messed up
And say we’ll meet in the New Year.

– Frank Turner, ‘St. Christopher Is Coming Home’

Wow, so yeah that was a long silence. I’m dreadfully sorry for that, but life sometimes just catches up on you. I’ve stuffed the free time I had with playing some WoW and reading books. There was not much I have to say, so that explains a lot.

Source: The Sleeping Shaman

So what is new? I finally purchased tickets for the one and only Roadburn festival. That was a pretty hefty purchase. As most people know, I usually visit shows and festivals as a journalist and thus my only expense is drinks and food (and merch, lets be honest, I love myself some merch). Roadburn is however something special and I need to witness it. I got to chat with Walter for a moment, might get to do something for their blog if he’s keen on it, so that would be pretty awesome. So much awesome!

The bad stuff is that I also had some costs for the car this month and a fine for parking, while standing a few meters past the sign that basically explains why I shouldn’t be fined. Like, what? Yes. Something like that.

On good matters, I did write my first PhD proposal. Not that I reckon to have huge chances, but I personally feel that actually applying was already a victory for me. A lot of oppertunities seem to present themselves, my girlfriend found a job and more might come. It’s a matter of staying on top and riding the waves.

I’ve also found out I’m rather closed as a person. I thought I overcame that years ago, but I don’t open up, am super defensive and not ablet o make proper connections with other people. This is something to work on. Well, time to start doing that in the next few months.

Should we be moral relativists?

Source: Sytereitz.com

When we answer this question on moral relativism, even there we could be right or wrong based on from where it would be answered. At the core of this lies the idea that truth has two faces. The first would be facts, facts we can all perceive and describe as real and part of the world we live in. The second would be the relative truth, which is related to how one believes the world ‘ticks’. By this I mean, that the views inherent to how we perceive the world, are relative to the beholder. With this argument I’ll proceed to look at morality.

Morality can also be described as something double in the sense how we perceive it. We see morality from our point of view as something that should be universal, but we know it is not. Still we’d be hard pressed to accept the idea that murder would be agreeable in different cultures or situations, sitting in the comfortable position we are in and reading this. So we are aware that our moral views are not universal, however we are not able to accept this fully. In this, relativism poses a problem in itself. But this is not the core problem when speaking of morality, but a problem of the ‘I’ which always mediates between us and the ‘world’.

So basically, assuming relativism is the way to go, this moral idea leaves a big problem in an organized world and society: there is no way to uphold any law. However, this may be the way to fit in relativism with a general morality. Earlier I posed the idea that murder could be ok in different cultures or situations, but at the core everyone believes certain acts, like murder, are bad. We also believe that stealing is bad, but it’s ok in certain situations. From this we may deduce that there is a general view on things that are bad, simply because they are harmful to others. More harmful in fact, than the good it brings. For example, if I’m starving and I’d steal a bread, my life would be saved, but the shopkeeper would loose 1 euro. There’s no question about the balance here.

So this leaves us with basic ideas, about what is wrong and what is right. Murder and theft are bad, but when I’m starving, theft might be excusable. Exactly there is the place we find for relativism, right outside the core moral judgements. Stealing remains bad, but the parameters we uphold to decide on a measure how bad it is exactly can vary between cultures, situations and moral visions. To an extent this is how national law systems already function and what seems plausible as a way of combinining a rigid and objective law system with the relativity of moral judgements.

Now, why would we not let the moral relativism reign? There’s the simple reason of it’s randomness, there would be no general law possible if we let go of the idea that some things are just wrong and unacceptable. If this would be a more fair and better way to go, then we would feel the central authorities on justice are repressing us.

I can’t remember what this was for. 

Writing pleasures

If you must write prose and poems
The words you use should be your own

– The Smiths, ‘Cemetary Gates’

Recently I wrote this article, in which I apply for a job at the Fontys high school, since they seem to be short on people and hire disputable figures. I’m not really angry or anything here, I just felt like I had something good to say about the topic, so I did.

Funny thing happens then, I was contacted about my earlier tattoo article by Dutch TV, this time I was contacted by someone from Fontys who wanted to give me a ring. It made me a bit cautious, maybe some threats of sueing me or trying to clear the situation? Maybe they decided to hire me, you never know.

So, the most miraculous thing was, that this person (I’ve chosen to be discreet on my blog about others) was just very impressed by the article and my writing, wanting to praise me on it. I must admit, I was a little bit stunned by that. I was told that many people appreciated the article and read it. That I wrote this article with a sharp pen, but was not vindictive in it. I’m very happy to receive such praise, these words mean a lot to me in this struggle to rise above my own insecurities.

So if I have a chest for confidence, a bunch of chunks of solid gold concerning my writing have filled it up after that conversation, for which I’d like to express my sincere thanks.

Feels like #winning. Oh, I’m still for hire.

source: http://williamlevybuzz.blogspot.nl/

 

Ashley

This post is dedicated to Ashley, who assists Chris Guillebeau in his work. Chris Guillebeau wrote the book ‘The Happiness of Pursuit’, a nice play on ‘In Pursuit of Happyness’. A book that talks about setting big goals for yourself and then finding the joy in chasing those. A book I recommend to anyone who wants to give some direction to their lives. Really, the book is inspirational, funny and full of wisdom that you can use. Funny enough, when I told some people about the stories in there, the response was exactly like the people in the book said: They thought they were crazy.

Source: lifehack.org

Well I didn’t think so. I believe that things like visiting all countries in the world, cooking a dish from every country or taking a university course in one year instead of four is amazing. It shows dedication, passion and the right amount of crazy. I decided to write a message to Chris Guillebeau. He seemed to me like an approachable person who would like to hear positive responses to his book. I wrote an e-mail, saying how I felt inspired in this phase of my life, where I am trying to get things sorted and find my own purpose in life. I also wrote that I didn’t expect a reply, so that it was ok. I just wanted to share.

Big surprise, assistant Ashley M. wrote back to me. Now, I know that this is a person who doesn’t know me or my stupid problems, but the reply was kind and warm. About me not expecting a reply, she wrote: “Your statement about not sending messages because you don’t believe you’ll hear back? I totally relate to that. I used to believe that, too. But you’d be surprised what you’ll get back if you send it anyways. What have you got to lose? ” She also suggested I could try to write something myself for their website. I did, I hope they’ll post it because I believe it was a good piece.

I wrote a thank you e-mail to Ashley. Explaining I was going down this path of self-development and growth, how it wasn’t easy but messages like this give me that glimmer of hope. I got back another friendly e-mail: “It sounds like you’re moving in the right direction and I have no doubt that good things are in your near future. Life is so full of possibilities! You never know what amazing thing is going to come your way tomorrow. Keep the faith, Guido!” All Ashley really did was doing her job, but also being friendly and encouraging. It’s such an amazingly small gesture. It can mean so much.

Now, why am I writing a blogpost about this? Well, because Ashley, who doesn’t know me, was kind enough to look at my message in a positive way. I couldn’t do that for a long time and still struggle to look at myself and others in a positive way. The fact that someone across the ocean took a moment to send this kindness my way, is well inspirational and cool. For some reason I feel a bit stronger now. Better things are coming my way, as long as I keep working and believing.

Thanks Ashley. Sometimes something so little can mean so much to someone. I’ll start trying to do this more often. Do little nice things for others, just because it should be done more.

I also learned that if you want, you can reach out and get in touch with those you admire. I got replies from Karl Spracklen (metal scientist dude) and from Frank Turner (my favorite punkrock bard) in the past. Just be determined (and follow the link)

 

Source: mactoons

Sounds of the Underground #6

In this little segment I review sounds of the underground, music you might not find unless you really go dig for it. From Nerdcore hiphop to depressive black metal, I love music. So check it out and maybe check the albums I checked out for you.

HOD – Book of the Worm 

source: Hod bandcamp

Violent, intense riffs open up the new album by black death band HOD on ‘When The Ghouls Feed’. The daring sound of the Texas is definitely not for the feeble listeners and gnaws away at your eardrums. Unrelenting the band slashes and burns through their songs like ‘I Am Destroyer’ and ‘Death Whores’. Musically this is the black coffee I need around 11.30 in the morning when the lunch break begins to sound very attractive and motivation is low.

There’s a specific raucous and energetic feeling to the combination of Death and black metal that comes close to a clean sounding grindcore record, without the attempt to mask bad instrumental prowess by layers and layers of distortion. Not that these guys need that, they sound tight as a chokehold on ‘Beneath the Mountains Of The Scorpion’. What their whole message is eludes me, the titles seem to be pissed off and angry, but also a bit weird. No matter, the record is awesome.

Home is Gone – Triptych

Source: Home Is Gone bandcamp

Nothing like some bleak, minimalist black metal to shake up your day. I’ve enjoyed my listening experiment around 11.30, so I continue by checking out Home Is Gone from New York. The cover alone is amazingly minimalist. Like the three panel painting the title refers to, it has 3 songs of uncompromising metal. Windy distortion and almost blown away screams make up an almost comforting melody. That is however hidden in the mist.

The end result feels very minimal, very little is actually happening apart from the careful weaving of a tapestry of sonic force, that makes up something totally different. I feel it’s as those huge parades where everyone holds up a coloured square to form an image. That’s how the seperate sonic endeavours compile the warm sound that is the end result of this beautiful, but brief record.

MC Frontalot – Question Bedtime

Source: wikipedia

What? No Metal? Yes, it’s time for some nerdcore hiphop with the new release from my favorite MC. Rocking some highly intelligent lyrics, complex rhymes and corky homebrew beats, MC Frontalot has invented the genre and put himself at the forefront of it for years. So we have a quirky list of songs that critisize a lot of things, like disagreeing with your bedtime as an expression of the democratic concept of disagreeing with authority and justice. It’s funny, but there’s always a validity, relating to the real world.

There’s a bit more soul to this record, compared to previous straight up flows it seems. Frontalot always focusses on great rhymes and very, very catchy chorusses. I mean, they are sometimes so wrong that they’re awesome. Some skits are in between, to raise the fun level even further. MC Frontalot makes a lot of fun about himself too. So why would you check out this CD? Well, I love hiphop, I’ve said so before and written about it. I do however, not have a gun or deal drugs, nor do I have a lot of  bitches hanging around. I do play WoW, love Star Trek, enjoy watching hockey, reading books and feeling Irish in the Irish pub. Most importantly, I’m a full on geek who reads science for fun. So I love hiphop that speaks to that. This is just the latest album, where the Front reaches a whole new level of weird.

The Scintilla Project – The Hybrid
I’ve always had a weakness for Saxon and their vocalist Biff Byford. His epic style was always quite an attraction to me. The band he started on the side, inspired by a sci-fi flick titled Scintilla, was interesting to me for that reason. However, it is not really something I’ll advise you to check out. It really was not a good idea.

The old voice of Biff gives everything an epic edge, but the cheesy piano’s and extra singers just make this a drowsy Disney soundtrack with very little balls and power. Let me put it to understandable words. Why did no one like the albums Maiden did with Blaze? Well, this is it. The overproduced sound makes the riffs into ready made candy bars of artificially flavoured goods. Nothing good comes of this record, trust me.

If you don’t like metal, then probably this is your album though. I’m sorry, perhaps for those who really dig the most mellow songs of Therion?

Gone

Now you’re gone
I realize my love for you was strong
And I miss you here,
Now you’re gone
I keep waiting here by the phone
With your pictures hanging on the wall

– Basshunter, ‘Now You’re Gone’

Yes, it’s the first night in a long time when I’m alone again. An excersise for what might be the future if everything goes as planned. My girl is in Brussels for an internship and I hope fully that she’ll get it. Still it is a bit frightening, to be alone with Lenny the cat. It is the warmth next to me in the bed, the little things I notice when I get home, the pack of coffee milk that should have been put back into the fridge…. Those are the things I miss now.

It’s only for three days now, for a training that may get her an internship. Maybe she’ll come home on friday and nothing will happen. If she gets it, what would be awesome, she’ll be moving to Brussels for atleast the weekdays and for a year. Now, there is one way out of my canundrum. That would be a job in Brussels, moving there and living our life there from now on. I wouldn’t mind I think.

Source: Quoteswave

I’m so proud she got there. I will try to not let my fears get in the way of that. We’ll be fine, change is always a great thing because it shakes up the status quo you’ve started growing accustomed to. If they actually come, I’ll be sure to post about it when this becomes an option.

Probably with a better bit of lyrics. I do actually like Basshunter, sorry, guilty pleasure.

The Reading of Books #3

It’s been holiday times, so I had time to read some more than normally. I always love to see the pile I’ve gotten through afterwards. Currently enough other things to read and listen fill my shelves, so time to get on it.

Charlotte Brönte – The Professor

source: amazon

There is something specifically cozy about reading books by the likes of Charlotte Brönte. It feels like this book requires you to have a cup of tea or coffee with it and really get cozy with a blanket and some nice singer-songwriter (preferably British) playing on the radio. The story is the inner thoughts and experiences of a man, devout of real heritage, who flaunts his unwanted families offers to make his own fortune in the world. It’s a story that takes us from the grimy industrial towns of 18th century Britain to the warm city of Brussels where he finds occupation as a teacher.

It is a story of character building and growth, of love and loneliness and in the end of  a righteous set of affairs happening. While I wouldn’t recommend this as a very complex work that completely blows you away, it is nice to just feel cozy and homely once in a while.

Ryszard Kapuscinski – The emperor 

Source: Rastafari.homepage.eu

Many people might know Haile Selassie as a figure that is much revered in reggae music by the rastafarians. He was also the last emperor of a 1000 year dynasty in Ethiopia. A reformer and totalitarian in one, the man could not read or write, but ran a country as effective as possible in the limited time that was given to him as a ruler.

I bought this book in Poland, due to it having  a Polish author and also a topic of interest to me. It gathers up stories of the courtiers from Haile Selassie after the revolution. It was quite a dangerous undertaking to gather these stories in a country ravaged by internal strife, corruption and crime. Still it paints a clear image of an impossible empire that lasted much longer than it would have, it not for the smart rule of an emperor who wanted to bring together tradition and progress in an impossible marriage.

We speak of a man who dreamed of a united Africa, while maintaining an underfed population and an ever expanding nobility. A man who built palaces in the desert, while drinking water was not obtainable. He built highways and universities, but ruled without pen and paper. An amazing journey to the past.

Hannah Arendt – Eichmann and the Holocaust: It was sheer thoughtlessness that predisposed him to become one of the greatest criminals of the period.

It is hard to say something about this book. Let’s start by saying I purchased it at the Jewish History Museum in Warsaw. Tight security and still not fully open for the public, it is a book about the aftermath, about Eichmann who was considered responsible for what we now know as the Holocaust. Arendt describes a man who is a true bureaucrat, a man who loves procedures and papers and has little to no actual intellect to guide him. Stuttering and muttering his way through life, only being understandable when uttering movie one-liners, all the way to the gallows in Jerusalem.

Arendt analyses the stupid and sometimes unconscious and silly kind of evil, committed by people who just don’t think. She also discusses if it was right what happened to Eichmann. Did Israel have the right to just execute the man on their own ground? No, they did not and they knew it. If he should be executed in the end? Maybe he was the neck that had to carry the weight for all those thousands of bureaucrats who ‘just did their job’. I find it hard to judge, but so does Arendt, who leaves the reader to form an own verdict. Was this right? Was Eichmann guilty or was he just a victim of the zeitgeist? Did he ever fully understand why he was walking to the gallows? We can ask ourselves this and maybe become slightly better people ourselves in the process.

Charles Dickens – A Tale of Two Cities

source: Ecenglish.com

I guess this might be the most important work of Dickens apart from the fairy tales. Maybe it is not, I found that it was very poignant. Dickens shows the other side of the Revolution in France as an event that created an upheaval in society even though it might have rational and righteous causes. Dickens makes the common people picturesque and the nobility sensitive and full of class, but also gives a distinct charm to both. He doesn’t judge I feel, in his book, about the situations in France and England and whatever he may think of it.

The tale of Two cities juxtaposes the city of Paris and London with one another to the effect of showing the differences and also the effect. In truth, the English royalty reformed and reshaped with the social changes. France missed the ball on that and got itself into a nasty revolution that ended it’s royal family. Not that much changed. After the terror new tyrants arose and spend fortunes on war.

Still, the book deals with the small people. It has the romance and sacrifice of the times, but also stupidity, rigid rebellion and vengeance. Everything is in there, except lazers. I think this is a book that everyone should read and try to learn something about opposing views. Mostly that making enemies only brings grief.

Grey Days

My eyes seek reality
My fingers feel for faith
Touch clean with a dirty hand
I touched the clean to the waste

– Metallica, ‘Low Mans Lyric’

Depression can be crippling sometimes. It makes me end up staring at walls, not even screaming at them, just staring at them. I’ve started reading a lot lately, currently enjoying the great book ‘The Happiness of Pursuit’, by Chris Guillebeau, which has given me a lot of good thoughts. The book deals with finding goals, finding things that really matter to you and then pursuing them. I like that idea a lot, it sounds so powerfull, so invigorating.

Source: Wazafied.blogspot.nl

In the meantime I’m stuck where I’m at and not seeing where to go. I’ve received the results of my personality test and they were not too pretty either. I pretty much am stuck between ‘oppositional’ and ‘avoiding’. Probably I’ve changed bits of that, but I’m not sure where the whole change is going if I don’t find a purpose that I want to follow. I have the accepted research proposal for Helvete magazine (scientific mag about metal), which I should embrace. It’s only a little thing, but it would be a great step for me as a person and affirm my capacities. I don’t seem to be the fast thinger, so I’m also reading a book on that.

I noticed that I’ve been getting reclusive, to the point of me almost hiding from colleagues and friends. I’m even hiding at home from my cat and my girlfriend. When I’m asked what’s wrong, I have to answer truthfully: “I honestly wish I knew…” That’s the worst about it, there’s no puzzle to fix or quest to complete to get through this. I hope the Incubate weekend will bring me a bit more energy and happiness. I’ve started feeling sick today, also not good. Let’s hope it passes soon. It’s hard to describe the feeling of that depression. It’s like a clowd is at the edges of my vision, also pressing down on my brow, making me frown deeply. There’s a general unwill to speak, I’d rather whisper or not talk at all actually. Everything looks black, there’s a powerless feeling in my body and mind. It’s truly grey days I experience. Anyone recognizes that?

I have the desire to do something with my life and on the other hand I want security. I want to make sure I can pay the bills and I can take care of my little family here. I also want to do stuff, go beyond what I’ve done this far. I feel powerless when it comes to that. What can I do? What is it that I really enjoy? I love working with people, it is my only true source of energy. Perhpaps there is my hook, so to say, to find something. I also love writing. I enjoy penning down stupid crap for hypothetical readers on my blog.

Today I got a call from a TV show about my tattoo piece on  The Post Online. I have to say, I didn’t read any comments, because they can really unnerve me. Same goes for facebook discussions, I avoid them. No reason to get angry all the time. It was a good chat on the phone, I had answers to the questions and I think I was interesting. We’ll see, it could really help my carreer. I also was turned down for a copy writer job and as the writer for Roadburn today and for some reason that weighs  a hundred times more on my conscience.

Glimmers of hope, they’re totally there. A good weekend of music and then again to gym and such, it’ll do me good. This book too, it’s really great. Maybe I’m just overly tired. I’ll just get a good nights rest. Thanks for sticking with me.

Sounds of the Underground #5

Time for some new revelations from the underground. I feel forced to not pick mysterious bands that no one has heard of this time, since there simply happen to be some brilliant bands I need to tell you about.

If you happen to have recommendations for me, they’d be most welcome. Leave me a comment!

Earth – Primitive and Deadly 

Source: echoesanddust.com/

The band from Washington has been a defining and genre-shifting force for ages and thus already captivated my attention in the past. Particularly the album ‘The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull’, from 2008, was amazing to me. Every album the band has produced since their conception in 1989 has been brilliant and different. This one has captivated me so much, that I’ll go into every song for a bit.

Starting with “Torn By The Fox of the Crescent Moon”, the cascading riffs wash down slowly but full of foreboding. The colour of the music indeed feels pale like the moon. Darkness is in the end the main element with which Earth is playing, but there’s a light as well in that darkness, which is tangible in this songs beaming peaks that pierce the clouds. The description of a serpentine approach in music is embraced to the fullest in “There Is a Serpent Coming”, which has some riffs that give the song a movie soundtrack quality. Mark Lanegan with his charcoal black rasp provides the repetitive vocals on this track, that is filled with anticipation and warning. Bleak sound is embraced by warmth in the voice and music, which leads to a magical musical experience.

“From the Zodiacal Light” features the warm and captivating vocals of Rabia Shaheen Qazi from the band Rose Windows. Though musically far distincts, the vocals show similarities with those of The Devil’s Blood. Mystical words over soaring music and droning rhythm. Southern rock flavor is definitely detectable in the weeping guitar sounds of ‘Even Hell Has Its Heroes’. The sound seems to slow down while the chords are reverberating in the air. It’s the sound of the desert, with the sun shining in your eyes and twisting your vision, hallucinating and shrill sounding. The slow beat dragging on in the endless space around you. A similar sound can be heard on ‘Rooks Across The Gates’, featuring once again Mark Lanegan on vocal duties. This landscape is bleaker though and after almost ten minutes it just fades away.

Oh, check this interview by Steel for Brains with Dylan Carlson.

the xx – the xx / the xx  – Coexist

source: wikipedia

When the debut of this band came out, I was very keen to get my hands on it and review their sounds. I thought it was beautiful, haunting, cool and the sound of a drive through a city in the very early morning or in the deep of the night. Recently I got back into the xx and decided to listen to that other album, which I sadly ignored at the time.

The hazy youthful sound of the debut already demonstrated something unique that probably would not be reproducable. The band was on that fragile moment between youth and adulthood, expressing the sublime angst of that point in an excellent album.  That foggy, misty feeling of an early day, fresh and new, was captivated in the sounds on that first record.

That is the downfall of Coexist. Though it takes on the mellow beats, the minimal sound and gentle tones with whispered vocals, it lacks that fresh sound. The crisp break of dawn has been lifted and the monring sun has made the fog evaporate, it feels like a rehashed version of that moment when the fog was on the leaves and the cold was still in the air. When the words are whispered, no clouds appear from the mouth, just sounds. This time the angst is replaced by adulthood, certainty and a carreer. No longer is the magic in the air. It was a moment in time, that has now past. We still have the songs though.

Pallbearer – Foundations of Burden

source: Stereogum

The epic doom of Pallbearer is much appreciated in the world that adores it, so that makes it worth mentioning on itself. I like the epic quality of their sound, which reminds me a bit of Candlemass, even if it’s only a feeling for me as a listener. The clean and strong vocals are a main reason for that opinion I would think.

Oh, the pallbearer is part of the ensemble that carries a coffin. That’s kinda the drag they put in their doom, minor and sadness. It’s really everything you could want from a doom record, including its accessability. This is easy going stuff, nothing harsh, just bleak and heavy as you would want it. If you are even slightly into doom and you love feeling a bit sad with some heavy, slow guitarwork, check this band out for real.

High point is in my opinion the song ‘The Ghost I Used To Be’. Check it out. All crushing riffs, soaring guitars and picturesque vocals and strenght. Power metal meets doom? I don’t know, but this song I love.

source: austin chronicle

Perfect Pussy – Say Yes To Love

What got me tuned in to the band Perfect Pussy was not their music, but their charming singer Meredith Graves. An interview passed around on UPcoming (with a tacky headline in that ‘You won’t believe’.. line they’ve been pumping out like there’s no tomorrow), where she undressed while being interviewed. It was so captivating, that you forget that a beautiful lady is undressing. She spoke about punkrock, identity, looks and the self.

The music reflects that peculiar nature in a way I think. No distortion, just violent, wild passion is what the music expresses. An eclectic mixture of punkrock, noise and lofi rockmusic. The sound is energetic, uncompromising and light. The jangling guitar and the rattling drum form a warm tapestry of ragtag sound, that for some magical reason still sounds like a song.

Songs like ‘Big Stars’ and ‘Dig’ feature the almost proclaiming vocal style of Graves in their best shape. Powerful and relentless blurting out words of defiance. It is a great record and a great band that doesn’t seem to have many problems being out there and against the norm.