Posts Tagged ‘Chris Ayers’

Unsane – Visqueen

Since 1988, New York’s Unsane have laid waste to the hardcore competition with every successive release. Pioneers of the noisecore subgenre, their 1991 debut featured a decapitated man on a train track (an idea that Mexican death-metal junkies Brujeria would later tweak for their debut album art), and every album cover since then has highlighted […]

Grief – Alive

When Boston doom-metal mavens Grief rose from the ashes of crust/punk band Disrupt in the early ’90s, even the band didn’t think they’d last as long as they did. Unknowingly, they helped to found sludge metal/doom alongside Crowbar, 13, Eyehategod, and Buzzov*en. After five critically acclaimed albums on various labels—including a one-off on Century Media […]

Lesbian – Power Hör

A peculiar name for a peculiar band, Seattle’s Lesbian operate with the same style-hopping liberty as Kayo Dot, Estradasphere, Mr. Bungle, and Between the Buried and Me, in that they phase between techniques/moods much like hyperspace micro-jumps in the Star Wars universe. Unlike these comparisons, however, they tend to frequent doomier and more psychedelic realms, […]

Between the Buried and Me – The Silent Circus CD/DVD Re-issue

Volumes have been written on North Carolina’s Between the Buried and Me and their meteoric rise to math-/post-core demigods. For those latecomers who started paying attention after 2005’s benchmark Alaska, Victory has re-released the band’s sophomore album, 2003’s The Silent Circus, with expanded liner notes by the group and a bonus DVD of concert footage, […]

Fistula – “For a Better Tomorrow” EP

Sometime after their 2004 split with noise-mongers Burmese on Crucial Blast, Ohio sludge-slingers Fistula parted ways with drummer Aaron Brittain and lay idle for a year or two. Discussions with -16-/Scumchrist drummer Jason Corley lead to his joining the group and recording this five-song EP in anticipation of their full-length album, due later this year. […]

Hella – There’s No 666 in Outer Space

The term “hella” is the West coast equivalent of New England’s “wicked,” an intensive adjective used frequently to strengthen expressions, and both can be used interchangeably: “it’s wicked (= very) cold today” or “she was driving hella (= extremely) fast.” While Wicked is also the name of a book made into a Broadway musical, Hella […]

Life and Times, The – The Magician/Split EP w/ Nueva Vulcano EP’s

As true music fans, we hate to see our favorite bands go their separate ways, and the eventual break-up of Kansas City, Missouri’s post-hardcore heroes Shiner in 2002 was the equivalent of the earth cracking open and fire raining down from the skies. Thankfully, the recent trend of reunions allows us to look forward to […]

Asbestosdeath – Dejection Unclean EP

For every two mediocre black-metal records that they press, Southern Lord releases a truly phenomenal band that demands attention. Recently, fans have been graced with phenomenal albums from Earth, Clown Alley, Boris, Lair of the Minotaur, and now Asbestosdeath. This San Jose quartet released two seven-inchers; Unclean was self-released by the band, and Dejection was […]

Moho – …He Visto La Cruz Al Reves

Not since UK doom-riders Iron Monkey crawled back into their filthy warrens in the late ’90s has there been a worthier band to take up this mantle than Spain’s Moho. A typical power trio with a bassist/vocalist, they released the 2004 debut 20 Uñas to much critical fanfare, earning comparisons (and derisions) to New Orleans’ […]

Alex Skolnick Trio – Last Day in Paradise

When Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick jumped ship before touring for 1992’s hugely successful The Ritual, few fans seemed to notice on the initial dates (as there were no Internet postings back then). When the Return to the Apocalyptic City EP came out a year later, he was sadly absent, having been replaced by Forbidden axeman […]

Cable – Last Call

If not for Cable, there may have never been Isis…or Red Sparowes. Bassist Jeff Caxide played on Cable’s eponymous 1996 debut then left to join Isis. Cable’s influential 1999 album Gutter Queen was release number 26 on a then-fledgling indie label in Boston called Hydra Head. Many noisecore bands copied Cable’s formula for success, and […]

Various Artists – Sucking the ’70s: Back in the Saddle Again

Tribute albums bring out the best and worst in fan opinions: the love/hate continuum wildly diverges between tunes that mimic the original band perfectly—and those that’re so far from the originals that their most endearing qualities have vanished. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference, but this second installment of Sucking the ’70s from Detroit’s […]

Heavy Heavy Low Low – Everything’s Watched, Everyone’s Watching

Older metal fans might assume that nearly every band that hails from in and around the Bay Area would be at least slightly influenced by the early thrash of Metallica, Testament, Exodus, and the like. This is true, at least, for the near-teenaged wonders of San Jose’s Heavy Heavy Low Low. Why, in this world […]

Beats the Hell Out of Me – Revising History

The first signing to Metal Blade’s short-lived Modern imprint in the early ’90s, Arizona’s Beats the Hell Out of Me were criminally underrated throughout their career. Their self-titled 1994 debut was a mixture of Helmet’s start/stop rhythms and Tool’s minor-chord fascinations. 1995’s Rolling Thunder Music added more atmosphere with ambient passages, experimental psychedelia, and the […]

Various Artists – Drum Nation Vol. 3

Magna Carta, famous for their prog-rock roster, truly pushes the envelope with their annual Drum Nation compilation. This year, however, the label foregoes the Brufords and the Portnoys of past volumes to embrace today’s top metal drummers and their creative instrumental showcases. All contributors are outstanding within the discipline, though there are a few that’ll […]

Volumen – Science Faction

Missoula, Montana’s Volumen have been compared to many, many bands, and this review is no different, in that it will attempt to discern this five-member musical collective from every other garage band with their own recording equipment. Self-described as “heavy New Wave and nerd rock,” they play far-out indie punk like Our American Cousin hopped […]

Firebird – Hot Wings

It’s still a bit strange to listen to hard-rockin’ UK group Firebird and remember their lineage: for the first twelve years of his musical career, frontman Bill Steer was one of a handful of the premier guitarists in extreme heavy metal. His first high-profile gig was playing on the first two albums by Napalm Death, […]

Thrones – Day Late, Dollar Short

Cutting his teeth in primordial heavy outfits Earth and Melvins, bassist Joe Preston is no stranger to avant-garde doom. Before he landed his current gig wielding the thunderstick for Matt Pike’s High on Fire, he was the brainchild behind the one-man-band (cum drum machine) Thrones, who has enjoyed two full-length albums and a slew of […]

Interview with Obituary

In the late ‘80s, the death-metal genre was first forged in the heat ‘n’ humidity of Tampa, Florida. After three of metal’s most durable records’including their 1989 debut Slowly We Rot and 1990 follow-up Cause of Death’the venerable Obituary seemingly peaked with 1994’s World Demise. After managing to squeeze out the tired Back from the Dead three years later, they went into permanent hibernation, and fans thought it was indeed the end complete. Excitement started to build in early 2004, however, when the band reconvened for a one-off hometown show, and the following year brought more gigs plus a new studio album, Frozen in Time, and Obituary sound like they haven’t aged a day. At the Hartford, Connecticut stop on their autumn East coast tour, frontman John Tardy was happy to talk about the band’s colorful history, his collaboration with rap artist Necro, and what the guys have been doing for the past seven years between albums.

31 Knots – The Curse of the Longest Day EP/Talk Like Blood

For many years now, Portland, Oregon has been lucky to have indie prog-popsters 31Knots residing within its boundaries. With three critically-acclaimed releases on Michigan’s 54’40’ or Fight! Records, the band’spearheaded by multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Joe Haege’has moved to the Illinois-based Polyvinyl label and released two excellent discs. 2004’s The Curse of the Longest Day EP was previously […]

Various Artists – Subdivisions: A Tribute to Rush

When Magna Carta’s first Rush tribute, Working Man, came out in 1996, fans frothed at the premise of the day’s best progressive musicians taking cracks at the venerable Canadian pioneers. Excepting Devin Townsend’s unforgivable vocal trashing of the sacred “Natural Science,” every track was a radiant impression of the individual player: Cynic’s Sean Malone, Mr. […]

5ive – Versus EP

Boston drone duo 5ive have excreted yet another EP, this one containing no new 5ive cuts. Instead, they’ve re-released their two tracks from 2005’s vinyl-only split with Kid 606, recycled nearly the same album cover art, and tacked on two remixes of ‘Soma’ by Godflesh/Jesu mastermind Justin Broadrick that bookend the brief (by 5ive standards), […]

Valis – Head Full of Pills

Founded in 1996 as a side project of Screaming Trees bassist Van Conner, Valis once boasted such membership as Mudhoney drummer Dan Peters and Tad bassist Kurt Danielson. Teaming up with his guitar-slinging brother Patrick, the band released their debut ’98 EP split with Kitty Kitty (Patrick’s full-time gig) on the sorely missed Man’s Ruin […]

Traindodge – On a Lake of Dead Trees

America’s heartland is a good place to find quality progressive chunk-rock, and Norman, Oklahoma’s Traindodge have been aiming to please since 1999. Their third full-length, On A Lake Of Dead Trees is raw talent: no Pro-Tools, over-production scams, or other chicanery here. Opener “Beckon The Inferno” brandishes the typical Traindodge sound of cranked-up, Season To […]

Transatlantic – Bridge Across Forever

For true proggers, this album is best purchased in its Limited Edition version, which contains a bonus disc of covers, demo snippets, and an interactive CD-ROM section, all housed in a hard cover with a beautiful full-color booklet and copious studio notes. The regular release of Bridge Across Forever is legend enough, as it’s easily […]