All Out War – Dying Gods…The metal side of the NYHC scene

A couple of weeks ago, All Out War released a new EP called “Dying Gods” and before talking about this, I think is important to talk a little bit about the band first, since, despite they are very know in the NYHC and HC movement, the metal scene is not very familiarized with them.

All Out War, started playing around 1991, and after record several 7” and various lineup changes, they released their first full LP titled “Truth in the Age of Lies”. Since the album gained some recognition, they signed with the most important HC label of the 90’s, Victory Records, and release their second LP “For Those Who Were Crucified” in 1998. The band remains working with Victory releasing one more album titled “Condemned to Suffer” until 2004, when the band officially announced they finally separated. In 2007 the band reunited, and released two more albums, also under Victory Records: “Assassins in the House of God” and “Into the Killing Fields”.

Having said that, I know that many of you guys are already thinking: ok they are an important Hardcore band, but what is the deal with metal scene? Well to answer that, we must go back in the 90’s, when bands in metal music in fact, experimented with the mix of several styles and techniques. All Out War, along with Integrity and Merauder, are seminal bands, in what we know now days as Death Core and Crossover trash, and just as Dark Tranquility, In Flames and At the Gates, are respected as pioneers of the Melodic Death metal, these bands must be regarded as pioneers in the Hardcore metal sound. Please not confuse the Hardcore metal and crossover with Metal core movement, because is way too different.

So, what can I said about “Dying Gods” EP? Well, personally, the band still having the same energy as almost 20 years ago, and I have to admit that is amazing that these guys always try to sound fresh, without compromising their original sound. This EP, is darker than their predecessors, and this is not that common, in hardcore bands, the concept, the lyrics, the cover, everything is obscure. The sound reminds me more to early Morbid Angel records, rather than Cro-Mags, for example.

The album open with “Dying Gods” in which the first highlight, is that, Mike Score vocals reminds the style of John Tardy from Obituary, giving to the album a more metal sound. The song outro, fits perfectly as intro to the next song because in a complete contrast, is a dark acoustic guitar passage. “Vengeance Reigns Eternal” shows the classic All Out War sound, but this time showing more Tampa death metal influences, such as the trashed guitar solos and “cannibal corpesesque” riffing.

“Nothing Left to Bleed” is a very Slayer influenced song, it reminds me a blend between “Divine Intervention” with “Geminis”. On “Servants to the Obsolete” you can hear the classic hardcore metal of 90’s, which could be used as a great tribute to Merauder, because of the strong guitar riffs. “Choking on Indifference” is another example of the trash influence on this band, with a heavy intro, hardcore chorus and a great guitar solo. The song “Arise” is the more hardcore oriented song on the album, providing a nice vibe on it. The ending song “God is Dead” is definitely the most different song on the album, because, is the first time I hear All Out War playing a classic heavy metal influenced song, and it is so great the hear some melodies on the chorus and even some female voices, which provide an amazing end to the album.

In conclusion, this could be the most metal influenced album of the band so far, and this is not necessarily incredible, since at this point, All Out War probably feels with more freedom than never, to experiment with any genre they want. It is a very recommended album to any hardcore fans, but I really want to encourage to all metal fans out there, to give a chance to this album, I’m pretty sure that is not gonna disappoint you.

Please, leave you message and opinion in the Comments box, I really want to know your thoughts about this album.

See you next time around!

The Future of the Black Metal sound?

Lately I been very focused into a new metal sub-genre, that is bringing something, that in my opinion is very interesting: Post-Black Metal/ Blackgaze. I’m putting both labels together, because the bands associated to them, are commonly linked somehow, but they actually are not exactly the same.

This trend was born in France around 2002, with bands like Wolves in the Throne Room, Alcest and Amesoeurs considered as pioneers. Some albums regarded as seminal are Burzum’s “Filosofem” and Agalloch “The Mantle”, among some other which combine the classic Black Metal sound with a more atmospheric sound, neo folk influences and even electronic passages on their songs.

What is interesting about this sub-metal genre, is the fact that, blends two distant genres, such as shoegazing (e.g. My Bloody Valentine) with the rawness of the Black metal sound. Blackgaze, it is basically more like the classic post-punk (e.g. Joy Division) and shoegaze sound with clean vocals, blended with some black metal passages, generating a darker ambient than the classic shoegaze sound.  Common examples of this sub-genre are French bands such as Les Discrets and Alcest.

In the case of Post-Black Metal, is quite different, because the sound is based more faithfully on the classic Black Metal sound, but the guitar sound and melodies are very similar to shoegazing structures. Blast beats and black metal growling are commonly present, although the bass and drum lines are very influenced by progressive rock and post punk. Two bands regarded as Post Black Metal, are the French Wolves in the Throne Room and Irish Altar Of Plagues.

In conclusion, this new trend seems to be quite accepted, but do not actually reaches the point in which people start to talk about it, and of course, start to generate some controversy. Regarding the case of Post Black Metal, and in my own personal opinion, seems a very natural next step of the genre, although, I do not consider that this is the future of the Black Metal scene. Blackgaze, on the other side, has been more accepted by the alternative music scene, because even if you can listening some black metal influences on it, is not black metal at all. If you are the kind of person that actually delight bands such as The Gathering, Anathema and Antimatter, you should definitely try Blackgaze, especially the one provided by Alcest, I’m pretty sure that you gonna enjoy as much as I did.

I guess that for the black metal puritans, and maybe the not so puritans; Post Black Metal, could be an actual insult to the scene; but if you consider yourself a black metal fan, that is open to experiment with new sounds and trends, then I strongly recommend you, listen the albums from Wolves in the Throne Room “Celestial Lineage “and Altar Of Plagues “Teethed Glory and Injury” (which I personally enjoy it really much).

Finally, I hope this post has been of your interest, and please post your opinions, because I really would love to know them.

See you next time around!

Monstrance Teaser #1 – A Destructive Death Metal Blast from the past

It’s been a while since the last time a true Death Metal album was released; but right now we are in presence of a new dawn of the aforementioned genre: MonstranceKarma After The Storm.

So far we are just able to listen the first of a series of snippets posted on Monstrance youtube channel; but based on this, I can anticipate, that the album is going to be a 90’s death metal revival: A mix of trash, heavy and modern death metal. All blended with a perfect technique and music execution.

In addition, don’t forget Monstrance, includes the unique Carlos Regadas (ex-Carcass) in which could be the most important project on his career.

We definitely must looking forward to this album.

Regards!

Angel Varado