Hit the Road, Jack
Hey, we have three brand new albums again! Imagine that… Also, as promised last week, we have a rundown of all the tours in progress or coming around soon. Well, not all of them. I realized we missed at least two (and apparently got a few other pieces of information wrong…but that is the Internet’s fault), but that has all been fixed in the list below, so that counts for something. Right? RIGHT? That’s what I thought.
Obscura – Akróasis (Relapse)
Textures – Phenotype (Nuclear Blast)
Black Tusk – Pillars of Ash (Relapse)
- Cradle of Filth, Ne Obliviscaris, Butcher Babies
- Nightwish, Sonata Arctica, Delain
- Cannibal Corpse & Obituary w/ Cryptopsy, Abysmal Dawn started 2/12
- The Sword w/ Royal Thunder (3/20-4/16), Purson (5/7-28) 3/20
- Intronaut, Scale the Summit, North 3/15
- Unearth w/ Ringworm, Fit for an Autopsy (3/18-4/1), Reflections, Culture Killer (4/2-15) Great American Ghost (3/18-4/1), Hollow Earth (4/2-15)
- Norma Jean w/ He is Legend, Forevermore, Rival Choir 3/25
- Amon Amarth w/ Entombed A.D., Exmortus 4/7
- The Black Dahlia Murder (playing Unhallowed in its entirety) w/ Fallujah, Disentomb 4/8
- Kvelertak w/ Torche, Wild Throne 4/12
- Lamb of God w/ Clutch, Corrosion of Conformity 4/30
- Hatebreed w/ Devildriver, Devil You Know (5/13-6/4), Act of Defiance (6/5-11) 5/13
- Fear Factory (playing Remanufacture in its entirety) w/ Soilwork
We’re pretty much in agreement about Akróasis by Obscura. I understand what you are saying about how with almost all tech death, as a listener I don’t say “I gotta hear THAT song”. But I could make the case that tech death isn’t about crafting a melodic song with a big chorus. Tech death is about unconventional and progressive song structures often with odd time signatures that can change on a dime. Some bands like BCI, The Faceless, and Allegaeon might bring some traditional song structures and hooks to the genre from time to time while still bringing the insane guitar work to the fore. Bands like Obscura and Spawn of Possession aren’t trying to craft that big catchy sing-along chorus. They are trying to bludgeon you over the head with non-stop technicality.
I’m also not quite sure what to make of that last song on Akróasis, the 15 minute “Weltseele”. Unlike Nick, I tend to like long songs. I also tend to like songs that have an ebb and flow with contrast in them, as “Weltseele” has. But this song just seems a bit like a pastiche, in that they threw whatever they had leftover together at the end of the album. That idea can work brilliantly sometimes (such as the medley on Abbey Road by The Beatles), but in this case “Weltseele” doesn’t seem to hit the mark.
One minor note about the effects-laden, processed vocals that are featured on Akróasis is that Cynic was doing those about 15 years before Gojira.
As for upcoming concerts, of course several of them will be coming to town when I’m on vacation in Disney World in April.
2016 is starting out great compared to the last couple of years. Even if there might not yet be a 5 of an album for me in 2015, there have been averaging two releases a week for the past month that I’ve wanted to listen to. That’s way more than in the beginning of the past few years. Exmortus, Abbath, Borknagar, Obscura, Fleshgod, Magrudergrind, Holy Grail, Toothgrinder. Last year I don’t think there were 8 albums I even wanted to listen to that were released in 2015 until the beginning of April. Will 2016 simply be front-loaded in terms of releases? Or will this consistency keep up for the rest of the year?
For next week, it’s cool that you are reviewing Fleshgod Apocalypse. Their latest album, King, has a lot of music on it so it hasn’t sunk in fully yet, but it is certainly better than their last album. I’d also certainly recommend Magrudergrind. It’s powerviolence produced by Kurt Ballou, so how can you go wrong? I’m also giving Holy Grail’s latest a try. I recall that Nick didn’t like their last album, but I liked it and I think Brian did.