Hmmm... there are some interesting releases coming up, but the next couple weeks look a little dry. I’ll start with the horribly named BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME, who are releasing The Parallax II: Future Sequence. This is a follow-up to the The Parallax: The Hypersleep Dialogues, both in concept and sound. This isn’t my thing, but there’s a reason this stuff is popular. They are very talented, but, you know, not for everyone. There’s a lot of starts and stops in this, some wacky time signatures and stuff like that. Screaming, acoustic parts--this is pretty spazzy. I may actually be able to tolerate this more if they actually dug into a riff and kept it up. As a follow-up to the EP, if they want you to follow the thread through this and the first half of the concept, they do a pretty poor job at it. I have no idea what this about. Although preformed aptly, it is a little interesting, but the noodling is just too much for my beaked tastes, and it seems that they are playing tech for the sake of doing so. Check out the song “Bloom”--it just doesn’t seem to fit. I mean, I’m all for diversity, but this seems a lot like genre-hopping; plus there’s expansive progressive elements that I just don’t get. Hopefully my review is less scattered. This will not disappoint fans of this, but it has more noodles than a Chinese restaurant. Let’s keep it, you know, between the buried and them. 3 Fucking Pecks. ENSLAVED, wow, does this band just progress entirely on every record? I mean this record sounds like Enslaved, but not at all. I know, I’m pecking helpful, right? Catchy choruses, some “djent” drums here and there, this nods to both Opeth and Neurosis at times without sounding like either. Riitiir has parts that are wholly opposite yet complement each other, and I daresay one of the most courageous outings the band has had to date. Gone are the black metal elements--well, any traditional black metal elements anyway. I like this... I think, anyway. There’s not a lot to compare this to, which is a good thing. I mean, at least they're changing things up. I can’t get over the catchiness of the chorsuses; it’s strange at best, but executed so well. This is epicness defined. All the songs stand alone or as a whole. Check it out. 8 Fucking Pecks.
WEAPON's Embers and Revelations is black metal--think more first wave of classic black metal. There’s Bathory in here, for sure. It’s good, but not amazing; the production should have a little more bite for something like this. It feels mean, but not mean enough. This has trad metal elements, and one wonders what they’d sound like live--probably pretty nasty. The death metal really shines through on some of these tracks, and the black metal on others, making it seem a little scattered. The solos have a middle eastern feel, which is spot-on since I think they are from Bangladesh and now in Canada. If blackened death or deathened black is your thing, then by all means pick it up. I think in another record or so, they’ll be great. There are some great riffs here; I just think the production doesn’t give it the teeth it needs. Cool logo, though. 5 Fucking Pecks