Well, it must be a winter wonderland in Hell because Kyle has made it back for a second show in a row! He still managed to not full listen to one of the albums, but we’ll let it slide since he actually showed up and also brought a live review of a Clutch show he saw last week. Besides that, though, we have some great new albums we reviewed and music to played. We also take a moment to remember Jeff Hanneman, who as you know (unless you literally live under a rock) passed away this past Thursday morning. SLAYERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!
Reviews: Amorphis – Circle (Nuclear Blast); Arsis – Unwelcome (Nuclear Blast); Howl – Bloodlines (Relapse); The Ocean – Pelagial (Metal Blade)
“Todd, Todd, Todd. Mocha frappuchino, extra ice, is firmly entrenched at the number one position on my big menu board.” You guys (two of you) don’t know who Frank Caliendo is? You never saw him doing impressions of George W. Bush on Letterman or Comedy Central? Even if you don’t know who Todd McShay and Mel Kiper are, you owe it to yourself to check our Frank Caliendo’s non-sports related stuff.
Dead Skin Mask is my favorite Slayer song as well. But I’m not sure you could call Slayer the biggest heavy metal band of all time, unless you don’t consider Metallica and Iron Maiden heavy metal bands. From my perspective, Slayer is a band whose reputation has built over the years and only looking back on their career can they be called huge. When I was in high school, there were a lot of metal fans at school. But none of us were into Slayer. I can’t really explain why, because everyone was in to the rest of the Big 4 bands. The only thing I can think of is that Slayer’s reputation hadn’t yet been established when I was in high school the way that other bands such as Iron Maiden and Metallica had even though Slayer’s seminal albums had (just) been released at that time.
It sounds like skipping the Clutch show in favor of seeing Nails at Saint Vitus the next night was the right call. Although the Nails show was a little odd as well. One of the things I love best about Nails is their tone, and I was curious to hear how they would sound live. From where I was standing, they sounded like a wall of treble and not in a good way. However, when I watched 17 minutes of footage posted by Metal Injection, it actually sounded way better on their footage than my ears heard live. And the crowd was a little tame for a hardcore/grindcore act (or whatever you’d classify Nails as). The Nails frontman even said during the show “we don’t even know what the fuck (sub-genre) we are. And we don’t give a fuck.”
I’ve been listening to Unwelcome by Arsis all week and I think it’s only ok. It is the definition of a 3 for me. It’s not a bad album but it lacks any high points that really grab me. The song Unwelcome is really the only song that even stands out for me on the whole album. Some of the guitar solos are cool, but I expected a little bit more of the technical nature of the songs and guitar playing from them. I guess I wanted more of that “showy” nature on this album. The cover of Sunglasses at Night is a throwaway. Look, I’m a child of the 80s and I remember this song when it was originally released when I was a kid so it has some childhood memories for me, but Arsis’s cover of it is a novelty that I listened to once, listened to the guitar solo of it one further time, then skipped it every other time I listened to the album. So “Unwelcome” is a “welcome return to form”, Brian?
“New Jersey is the deep south of the northeast.” “There’s no pants for them in Brooklyn.” Hilarious!