Metal Head Problems

I know, I know, I’m a terrible person, what with all the lack of posts going on at the moment … But, I can change! We swears! We swears on … on, the precious! Yes, we swears on the precious!

… Anyway, found the following new meme (I say ‘new’, it’s probably existed for over a day now, so by meme standards it’s practically from the dial-up era), and it gave me a chuckle. Plus, it’s relevant to this blog to boot! Hooray!

This one was my favourite, but you can find more HERE. Real, actual, readable stuff to follow sometime later today. Probably.

New Aborted, & Unreleased Deftones

Any fan of Deftones will have no doubt heard about the album that never was: Eros. For anyone who is unaware of its existence, it was an album due for release sometime around 2008-9, but due to the tragic accident that subsequently killed bassist Chi Cheng, the rest of the band decided not to release the album. Since then, fans everywhere—myself included—have long wanted to know what it sounded like, and wished really hard that it would eventually see the light of day.

On the anniversary of Chi’s death, Deftones’ vocalist Chino tweeted a link to the song ‘Smile’, one of the songs from Eros. You can listen to it below:

Deftones—Smile

 

I’ve listened to the track several times now, and I can honestly say that I think it’s a great track. I’ve personally felt the past two (released) albums haven’t caught my attention as much as their older albums, they just didn’t do it for me. It’s understandable that such a dramatic turn of events, and subsequently having a new band member as a result, would have a noticeable  effect on the band’s sound. So coming across a ‘new’ song of theirs that I thoroughly enjoy brings with it a mixed bag of feelings; whilst I would love for them to release Eros it also forces me to wonder whether the loss of Chi means they’ll never make another album I could really get into. I remain hopeful, and, to be fair, their latest album Koi No Yokan was significantly better than Diamond Eyes. Even better would be if they regain their full force and release something as incredible as White Pony, but for that I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

On a more upbeat note, the new Aborted album The Necrotic Manifesto is out at the end of this month (which, by the way, I should be reviewing for About.com), and a new track, ‘Coffin Upon Coffin’ has just been released for general perusal, through Terrorizer. Check it out below:

Aborted—Coffin Upon Coffin

As you’d expect, the lyrics are packed with dictionary-plundered brilliance, the riffs are suitably aggressive, and Sven’s vocals are instantly recognisable. I’m still hoping that the album will throw a few songs more reminiscent of their Slaughter & Apparatus / Strychnine.213 period (my two favourite albums), but from what I’ve read in interviews it doesn’t seem likely. A shame, but not the end of the world; Aborted consistently make superb death metal. I also prefer this track to the other track they’d previously released, which I posted about here.

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So now we play the ‘Waiting for the end of the month’ game.

Attila Gave Me Leprosy Through The Medium Of Sound

Being the ultra-cool, rad hipster that I am, I spend more time than is ever necessary on Reddit, resulting in me knowing far more misinformation, memes, and trivial ‘facts’ than I might otherwise have come across without the help of several million people chasing imaginary arrows. Maybe that’s why I like it. Anyway, I’ve been working my way through a thread on the /r/metal subreddit on the topic of the worst metal songs people have heard (here). There are several videos on there which are genuinely priceless, and I will cover more of them in later posts (because, like, dearth of content ideas and all that), but the one that stuck out the most for me today was the apparently serious effort by Attila, and their track ‘About That Life’.

Picture the scene. You have the song-writing ability of a fourteen year old virgin, and wish to tackle the social and cultural dimensions of a high flying hip-hop star with only your white, suburban male upbringing to go by; I mean, you’ve watched a number of Jay Z videos, so you’re practically an expert.

But you don’t like hip hop! Well, Eminem is pretty cool and Snoop Dogg talking about making women wet whilst David Guetta fucked about on his MacBook was awesome. But you’ve listened to a lot of metal, finding Hollywood Undead, Limp Bizkit, and Emmure to be outstanding sources of inspiration; they featured at the top of your friends list on MySpace. How best to combine these passions into something truly special?

Predictably, Attila was started in high school by fuckwit-extraordinaire, and ‘vocalist’, Chris Fronzak. Whilst everyone else was busy thinking that referring to all women ever as ‘the bitchez’, & every single guy that isn’t you as ‘the faggotz’, was what people who had mysteriously eluded evolution might say, Chris was furiously taking notes. Or making spaghetti shapes. Who knows. What’s important to note is that this Bach of our generation managed to combine the raw feel of emotion, the very intensity of our earthly experiences, with the absolute pinnacle of douchebaggery. This sonic cancer has somehow managed to be committed to CD; one can only presume that the sound engineers must have been wearing hazmat suits.

Hazmat_DEA

‘We’ve just finished the first mix, Mr Fronzak’

How to describe the music? Well, imagine if Fred Durst fell madly in love with Frankie Palmeri, they made love, and in the style of the film Junior, one of them fell pregnant. Horrified, they decide to have an abortion. Now imagine that aborted foetus, lying lifeless on a petri dish. Out of nowhere pops ‘J-Dog’ from Hollywood Undead, who promptly flips the contents of the petri dish onto a set of mixing decks and starts furiously scratching. The resulting sound is what Attila release as albums. Sod black metal, this is what evil sounds like. It’s as if they wanted to condense beer pong and its players into an aural experience.

And that doesn’t even begin to describe the lyrics, which are ‘league of their own’ magical. I’ll reel off a few and try to analyse them, to glimpse at the soul of this 21st century poet.

“I like a bad bitch
She fucks me all night
Then she counts my money while I’m on my play station”

What I think Mr Fronzak is trying to relay, is that he enjoys the company of morally reputable women who have a penchant for mathematics; like a lusty female version of Count from Sesame Street. Why? Because Mr Fronzak realised that storing one’s money in banks in this climate of financial insecurity is unwise, thus keeps his money in bill form at his parent’s house. As counting is beyond beneath him, he is content to let his lady companion do it for him, whilst he relaxes on his games console. Curious that he doesn’t reference X-Box Live and Call of Duty, but perhaps that’s merely an oversight.

“I’m a bad motherfucker not a fuckin’ role model
Fuck church, hit a bong, nigga, smash a fucking bottle”

What’s interesting here is the problem that Mr Fronzak notes, that of being taken—presumably often enough to warrant a statement about it—as a role model. What’s curious about this is that the song is littered with messages about how to live one’s life, leading one to deduce that this deeply contradictory persona is fraught with internal tensions marred by outwards aggression and frustration. Perhaps he comforts himself in the company of the African-American community whom he is presumably referencing in a, one hopes, affectionate way. By tearing at the establishment, ‘fuck church’, and promoting casual drug use, ‘hit a bong’, we get a sense of the kind of lifestyle that Mr Fronzak chooses to associate himself with; perhaps, in time, we might come to recognise this latter day Pepys for the social commentary he graces us with.

The final statement I wish to bring to your attention is probably the epitome of the piece, and I present it to you in visual form in the hopes that it might help to demystify this poignant message.

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Standing in front of the house that they clearly bought and paid for with their own money, these young go-getters sum up their angst, fury, and worldly issues with the simple phrase ‘Suck My Fuck’. Whilst technically not making any sense in English, one gets the impression that this is a rallying call, a cry out against the financial insecurity they find themselves in, but not necessarily suffering from (indeed, Mr Fronzak alludes to ‘[having] diamonds but…threw them away cause [he] don’t give a fuck’). Or it might be a way of dispelling the women they find themselves surrounded by, raising a banner to a plight previously unaddressed. Observe the animation above; the women seem obsessed with gyrating around objects, first a stationary car, secondly a guitar. We might surmise from the information we are given above that these women are afflicted with a mental illness, an insatiable desire to sexualise the very world around them. As pioneers in this psychiatric field, the band play with the very structure of English itself to address the imbalance that might well be occupying these poor girl’s heads; ‘Suck my fuck’. Truly commendable.

Should you wish to hear this concoction of puberty gone horribly wrong yourself, I’ve provided the video for you below. Enjoy.

Attila— ‘How I Learned To Channel My Inability to Think’

A few About.com Album Reviews & Mumblings

So I’ve started doing the occasional reviews for Heavymetal.About.com. Thus far, I’ve reviewed Plebeian Grandstand’s ‘Lowgazers’, Dire Wolves’ ‘Aegri Somnia’, (both here) and a longer review of Cormorant’s latest, ‘Earth Diver’ (CLICKY).

I’m doing a few more for About this month, and I’ll post links here as soon as they’re live.

‘Earth Diver’ was a really disappointing listen, actually. After reading about how much hype they’ve been getting, and how positive things have already been rolling in about the new album, it was frustrating to listen to it multiple times and keep thinking ‘Am I listening to a different album to everybody else? This is really mediocre’. It’s one of the quirks of writing reviews I suppose. When I write reviews I try to just be honest about what I think, rather than try to guess what the average listener would think of the album. After all, what you like is fundamentally personal; the point of reviewing shouldn’t be to think that the reviewer has a better opinion than the listener.

Except that I totally do.  1395314139224

I listen to a lot of music, across a wide range of genres. I think reviewing an album is a lot like being, say, a sommelier talking about wine; with a wider range of experiences to draw upon the reviewer is better able to trek through what’s interesting, new, or creative. Or even what’s taken something a lot of bands do and done it much better. Sure you might like an album that gets bad reviews, and there’s nothing wrong in that, it just might be that there are many albums out there that do the same thing, or better than that album, which has resulted in that particular album drawing criticism. That’s not the only approach to reviewing, but it’s one I personally find helpful.

Unrelatedly, I realise that I’ve been less than super at posting much content in the past couple of days, which has nothing at all to do with me finding Pokémon Leaf Green in a pile of old things I hadn’t looked through in a while and starting a new game. Nor is it related to my partner getting me hooked on the TV series Avatar (I’m on the last episode of season three!!); incidentally, how did M. Night Shyamalan manage to make the absolute travesty of a film that he did with such excellent source material?

In other news, As I Lay Dying aren’t dead and buried (just like Tim Lambesis’ wife, amirite?! … Guys? … ). According to a relatively boring statement that everyone insists on pouring over like it’s the Pope writing about his sexual fantasies (I have no idea why that was the first thing that came to my mind … but admit it, you’d be curious), As I Lay Plotting is ‘sleeping rather than dead, and there are two separate projects to hold you over whether or not it is awakened again’. Who knows, maybe Tim will end up releasing far too many shitty black metal albums recorded on cassette to varying critical acclaim?