Last week was a good week of releases, as far as we were concerned. This week…results are a bit more varied. That doesn’t mean there isn’t some great stuff in here (spoiler: there is) it just means, well, not all of it is great. The show is chock full of tunes though*, so get in here enjoy. Well, try to enjoy. Listen either way.
*Scumguts was cool with us playing music, but since we recorded a bit earlier than normal this week, we had the show all produced and ready to go before we heard back from them. So make sure you go listen with the link over there —>
The Duskfall – Where the Tree Stands Dead (Apostasy)
Hate – Crusade:Zero (Napalm)
Scumguts – Scumguts (independent)
Voices – London (Candlelight)
Byzantine – “A Curious Lot” from To Release is to resolve out April 7, 2015
You never know if you rate First Impressions but then you always rate them. Maybe I can settle this for you: you rate first impressions.
I was curious about that Voices album. It sparked my interest enough to wonder about it, but not enough to check it out yet. Now I know not to spend any time listening to it. I’ll stick with listening to the new Blind Guardian instead.
The question “where does metal go” is actually a great question. On the one hand, it seems like every logical extreme with music has already been explored. Metal bands have for all intents and purposes played all degrees of extremes in music. Doom/drone bands play as slow as can be, while tons of other bands have tried to play as fast as humanly possible (or faster). Grindcore bands play songs that are 2 seconds long, while prog bands craft songs that are an entire album in length. Guitar players solo in all 7 musical modes. Production values range from an ultra-processed electronic sounding sheen to deliberatly sounding like crap as a stylistic choice. Vocal styles in metal represent all ranges of the human voice, from operatic female vocals to gutteral pig squeals. All sorts of instruments have been experimented with, from violins to hurdy-gurdies to electronica. What’s left?
I actually have a few ideas to answer that question. First is microtonal music. The musical octave (or frequencies that vibrate in a relationship of 2 to 1) have been divided into 12 parts, or notes, that make up the chromatic scale. Why 12? There’s various reasons, but there’s no reason that it must be 12. There are various systems that divide the octave into 13, 16, or 19 notes. Or there can be notes with frequencies put in between existing notes. All this adds up to creating new and rather exotic sounds that can be made in such as way that hasn’t really been explored much in music.
Another extreme of modern metal is down-tuning. Guitars and basses have been down-tuned to the point where they sound like mud and are reaching the lower limits of what the human ear can hear. So my theory about “where does metal go” is that it can go in the other direction: up-tuning. Let’s tighten those strings. Or even better, let’s add another string to guitars that’s even higher than the high E string. That string might have to be shorter, but it could revolutionize guitar soloing to make those screaming leads leap up to even higher highs than can possibly be achieved by today’s 24 fret guitars.
Then my last theory which is along those lines of all these guitars with extra strings is to have instruments with LESS strings. 3 string guitars and 2 string basses could be the future of metal. Oh wait, the Presidents of the United States of America already do that.