I’ve been spending a lot of time lately with Apostle of Solitude’s Last Sunrise (Profound Lore, 2010). These guys really stand out from the traditional doom pack thanks to Chuck Brown’s awesome Danzig-esque vocals. Brown is an ex-member of Gates of Slumber, but trust me Apostle of Solitude rule way harder.
The band also has a great sense of dynamics and knows when to bring the heavy and when to mellow the fuck out and pour on the atmosphere. The music and vocals are bleak and emotional without ever sounding cheesy or overwrought. There is a gravitas present on the album that other trad doom bands can’t hope to match with their pot-addled tales of wizards ‘n’ witches. In other words, seriously killer stuff.
A lot of fuss has been made over the cover art. Is it bad that I don’t hate it? To me it looks like it could be a still from some freaked out foreign film. Or maybe a romantic comedy gone sociopath? All I can say is, don’t let the artwork deter you in any way from checking out this sweet slab of doom.
There are also a couple of bonus cover songs tacked onto the release, my favorite of which is a spot on cover of the Misfits’ classic “Astro Zombies”. Personally, I would love to hear the Apostles doom this sucker out rather than be so faithful to the original, but the song does speak to the band’s Danzig influence, which is great.
Apostle of Solitude just happens to be in the midst of a brief tour. I’ve never seen them live, but I’d recommend doing so if you’re anywhere near these dates.
Jul 20 2010 8:00P The Court Tavern New Brunswick, New Jersey
Jul 21 2010 9:00P Ace Of Clubs Manhattan, New York
Jul 22 2010 9:00P The Bug Jar Rochester, New York
Jul 23 2010 9:00P Annabell Akron, Ohio
Jul 24 2010 9:00P The Metal Shaker Chicago, Illinois
Jul 30 2010 9:00P the Melody Inn Indianapolis, Indiana
Aug 7 2010 7:00P The Melody Inn Indianapolis, Indiana
Another recent discovery is Italy’s Children of Technology. This quartet recently released their first full length, It’s Time to Face the Doomsday, a catchier-than-syphillis blast of crusty Motorhead worship. Think Toxic Holocaust doing speed and whiskey shots with Lemmy while watching a Road Warrior marathon in a filth-ridden garage and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what these fuckers sound like. The album clocks in at less than 25 minutes, but CoT pack so many gnarly riffs and singalong hooks into that time that you’re still getting plenty of bang for your buck in spite of the abbreviated length.
Currently the album is only available on vinyl and cassette. I opted for the ultra-rad “radioactive green” cassette since I don’t currently own a turntable. Word has it that the mighty Hell’s Headbangers will be releasing a CD version this Fall, so those of you that aren’t into outmoded forms of technology will get chance to hear this shit. I e-mailed them with an interview request a while back but have yet to get any sort of reply.
Watain‘s Lawless Darkness has finally started clicking with me. I’ve been listening to the damn thing since before I interviewed Erik Danielsson for the now defunct Sonic Frontiers, but for some reason the album just wasn’t holding my attention. Much like Sworn to the Dark, this album is a grower, and it’s myriad depths probably won’t reveal themselves to you unless you are willing to sit down with the album and devote your full attention to it.
I think that’s the reason a lot of albums get written off. People either can’t or won’t devote the time and effort necessary to discern the intricacies of an album like Lawless Darkness. Even I don’t have time to give every CD the “king’s listen” it deserves. People want instant gratification, but oftentimes the best works of art just don’t lay themselves bare so quickly.
Perhaps I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind for it at the time, but I take back everything I’ve said about the band peaking with Casus Luciferi (although that is still my favorite Watain recording to date).
Personal rant time… when did record store clerks become so annoying? Unless I’m with my wife or one of my friends, I prefer to be left alone while browsing. No sooner did I start checking out the metal selection at the local FYE this weekend, then a clerk started stalking me. I was wearing a Sepultura Chaos AD shirt and the guy says to me “A guy who posts on one of the message boards I’m on says Sepultura is the worst band ever!” I felt like saying “That’s fucking great, do you and your message board buddy want a cookie?” but before I could come up with any sort of response, he says “I told him he didn’t know what he was talking about.” I said that Sepultura had gone down hill after Max left and kept browsing.
Just when I thought he had gone away and I was in the clear, he pops up over my shoulder again. This time he hands me the new Soilwork CD. At this point I wanted to say “Soilwork?! You’ve gotta be fuckin’ kidding me.” but instead I basically advised him that in my opinion Soilwork hadn’t put out a good album since Natural Born Chaos (some would argue they crapped out long before that) and I hadn’t paid attention to them since. With his Soilwork parade officially pissed upon, he went back to the register and at last I was left to browse in peace.
I’m sure he meant well and is a perfectly nice person. However, I like to be left to my own devices when browsing music, unless I am with someone who has similar tastes (i.e. my wife, my friends). Basically I’m a mean, curmudgeonly old son of a bitch who doesn’t want to deal with these young whippersnappers and their melodic metal. I especially don’t want one of them recommending shit to me or commenting on the band adorning my fucking t-shirt to try and get a reaction. Man, I’m a total asshole.
Anyway, I think I’ll be posting scatterbrained pieces like this every so often, just to get things off my chest. Any suggestions for bands or other metal-related subjects to be discussed are welcomed.