Looks like there's some stuff worth talking about. Could it be? Two columns in a row? So, you leave Carcass, start a successful band, your ex-members make a comeback and kill it, and your singer quits. Where to now? ARCH ENEMY answer that with War Eternal. There seemed to be a lot of hurdles to overcome, and they at least put out an Arch Enemy record. Never one of my favorites, their version of melodeath doesn’t really have enough grit for me. This isn’t really any different: new vocalist Alissa White-Gluz doesn’t do much more than previous vocalist Angela Gossow did, and in general, they don’t really change their sound. They have always stood out to me as an example of trying to get on MTV Euro and not really going for the throat. The title track is pretty reminiscent of a number of Carcass songs, which isn’t surprising. It’s not bad, just a little too polished and sugary sweet for me. Fans will not be disappointed, but this really didn’t put the wind in my wings. 4 Fucking Pecks.
And one and kick and two and kick and three… get where I’m going here? Well, if not, check out MAYHEM's Esoteric Warfare. This is the sound of a band going through the motions. The first without longtime collaborator Blasphemer, new guitarist Teloch does a pretty good job of aping both Wagner and Euronymous, and comes across as a little more focused than any of the more recent releases. But there really isn’t anything different or distinctly Mayhem, something they’ve always managed to pull off in one sense or the other. While not really bad, it seems like they hit cruise control and are along for the ride. A grand declaration of blandness. I don’t know, I can’t decide if it’s just not there; although it’s not not there either… so… 6 Fucking Pecks.
One of the year’s most anticipated releases, TOMBS rock out Savage Gold. So far, pretty good. I’m pecking digging it. Drony, pretty, pummeling, with enough post-punk/rock thrown in to give it their own sound and not become a Neur-Isis clone. The production here is better than the previous releases and lets the band breathe and really get a little more sack to it than before (cheers, Rutan). There are some Joy Division-type metalgaze parts, and some upbeat moments as well, and I know people have hailed them as a black metal band. There are moments, but to pigeonhole this as one specific genre is a little weak. Pecking cool. 7 Fucking Pecks.
HELLYEAH, Blood for Blood: like I’m even going to listen to this. HELLNO