Tuesday, November 25, 2014
To be fair, this is much more of a progressive death metal album in the vein of Mithras and Nocturnus. The bass in particular reminds me very strongly of Nocturnus's classic The Key. The science fiction theme, complicated song structures, otherworldly bass sound, and deep vocals combine into a cohesive sound that really does give off the feel of a sci-fi concept album.
Each of the musicians is extremely gifted at their instruments. The bass is definitely the star of the album but the drumming and lead guitars are also top-notch. The drumming, while not as complicated as some progressive metal drummers (i.e. no polyrhythms and multiple time signatures) drives the music with its precision and intensity. The lead guitar work provides a lot of the melody of the songs and can go from almost neoclassical shredding to dissonant chord progressions fairly quickly.
The vocals of singer Sofia Silva are delivered in a raspy tone that calls to mind Sabina Classen of Holy Moses, who is one of my personal favorite female extreme metal vocalists, so I am on board. There is not frequently a lot of dynamics to the vocals, but they nonetheless fit well with the urgency of the music. On occasion the band utilizes clean backing vocals which provide a nice dichotomy to the otherwise more monotone vocal style.
One thing I did really enjoy with this release is that, unlike a lot of progressive metal bands, Neoplasmah craft complete songs, rather than a collection of musical segments. Songwriting appears to be just as important to this band as showing off their technical skills. The band takes things one step further by being able to blend all of the songs into a complete album rather than just a collection of separate and distinct songs.
This is an album that sounds better and better with repeated listens. There is a lot going on musically that can be missed and revealed in hearing it again and again.
Monday, November 24, 2014
The music is an unholy combination of doom, black, and crust. The opening track crawls out of the gate with the pace of a snail slinking to its demise. The pace increases to a more of a deathly gallop before returning to the dirge. The song definitely has a Sabbathian feel to it, despite the more modern influences.
The second track is a much more fast-paced song that sounds like Motorhead playing Venom. As a big fan of groups like Wastelander and Thargos, this song really catches my interest. If this is what the rest of Villainy's material sounds like, I am all in.
Unfortunately this is just a two-song EP, but it definitely piqued my curiosity to check out more by Villainy.
Sunday, November 23, 2014
This release is a quick, two-song 7" EP. Both songs are covers with the first being a cover of Grotesque's "Ripped from the Cross", and a second, much more outside-the-box cover of Chicago-based doom metal band Novembers Doom. Both tracks are presented with the grinding bottom-heavy riffs and pounding drums that Sinister has perfected over their long career. Vocalist/drummer (?) Aad Kloosterwaard has one of the most extreme voices in death metal, sounding much more like a deep, guttural croak.
There is not much to say about the Grotesque cover. It is definitely within Sinister's wheelhouse, fast-paced, frenetic death metal. It is unsurprising that Sinister is able to handle this song capably. The much more shocking cover is the Novembers Doom cover. Sinister infuses some clean vocals to capture the mournful tone of the original track. But the band sounds a little clumsy trying to slow things down and has a hard time conveying the tragedy and loss that Novembers Doom is so well-suited to capture. Sinister should probably stick to uncompromising, lethal death metal than trying their hand at doom.
So, two tracks, one pretty good, and the other not as well-executed, but certainly interesting. It is only a two-track EP so it is only recommended for hardcore fans.