Posts

wtd134

Wake the Dead Fri, Jan 11th

The Wake the Dead band who are mostly from the SF Bay Area, blends traditional Celtic music played on acoustic instruments with the songs of the Grateful Dead. They’ll be performing at Don Quixote’s International Music Hall in Felton, CA on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 8pm. The band includes Danny Carnahan, a singer, fiddler, and player of just about anything with frets, and a two-time NAIRD (National Association of Independent Record Distributors) “Indie” award winner, Sylvia Herold, guitarist and amazing singer, Paul Kotapish, tasty and talented mandolin and guitar player and occasional vocalist, Kevin Carr, singer, fiddler, whistle & pipes player, Maureen Brennan featured on harp, Cindy Browne on bass, and Brian Rice on percussion.

 

jr

Kensington Blues Comin’ Back: Remembering Jack Rose

December 5th marked the three-year anniversary of the passing of guitarist and visionary Jack Rose. Over those three years the brilliance of his music has remained constant. His unwavering dedication to not only wowing listeners with his brilliant technical skill, but writing actual songs set him apart from the pack of Fahey imitators and practitioners of American Primitive-lite explorations in folk monotony. Take a listen to some of his songs below. Seriously, listen. Your life will be better for it.

Alec-Icon-Radio1

Brootalisk’s Top 25 Loud Rock Albums of 2012

How does one attempt to define a year that has experienced a continually expanding range of sensations through the means of musical endeavors? Is it even possible to describe the feelings that 2012 has displayed, whether they be sadness, contentment, pain, or exuberance? The answer is no. It is practically impossible to express the emotions that one has been subjected to because no one but one’s ownself can truly know what it felt like when one soared to new heights and reached the crescendo of a particular song, or traveled through the murky depths of a record to reach the climax and leave utterly exhausted yet entirely fulfilled. However, with all that said, it is still a worthy undertaking to recommend, and by doing so acclaim, works of art that have been known to emit a certain uniqueness about themselves, and will relinquish the audience with a sense of admiration. The following 25 albums are, in this humble writer’s opinion, some of the greatest artworks in the musical scene that our generation has been lucky enough to witness and experience first hand.

 

#25: Dethklok – Dethalbum III

Dethklok has always been about satirizing the metal genre, and while Dethalbum III still accomplishes the feat, it’s also a great example of the kind of talent Brendon Small possesses. From the song writing to the instrumentation, Dethalbum III shows just why Dethklok is the most brutal force in the universe.

 

#24: Alcest – Les Voyages De L’Âme

While more post-rock/shoegazey than black metal, Les Voyages De L’Âme is nonetheless a powerful album, and while it doesn’t quite reach the heights that made Écailles De Lune a force to be reckoned with, it is still a great example of frontman Neige’s sheer talent and the near endless possibilities when combining two seemingly different genres into one massive soundscape.

 

#23: Between the Buried and Me – The Parallax II: Future Sequence

If you come into The Parallax II: Future Sequence knowing what to expect, you will leave sorely confused and perhaps a bit bewildered. Don’t overhype the album (like one Loud Rock Director might have done), and instead let the music naturally flow into you. You’ll enjoy the record much more that way.

 

#22: Daylight Dies – A Frail Becoming

Sometimes it takes a band longer than others to fully mature and ripen into a full fledged dynamic force of nature, but in Daylight Dies’ case, it is well worth the wait. A Frail Becoming is Daylight Dies best record yet, and showcases their confident but not overly eager sound and style.

 

#21: Monuments – Gnosis

Gnosis isn’t the most well put together album, nor is it the most heartfelt, but what it lacks in emotion it more than makes up for in sheer technicality and entertainment. It’s not something you listen to when you want to go on an aural escapade through your mind, but rather a guilty pleasure that’s easy to get into but complex enough to keep you coming back for more.

 

 

 

Best Loud Rock EPs

#5: Circle of Contempt – Entwine the Threads

 

 

#4: Agalloch – Faustian Echoes

agalloch

#3: Revocation – Teratogenesis

 

 

 

#2: Apostate – Λ ♦ Λ ♦ Ø (Against All Odds)

 

 

 

#1: Chimp Spanner – All Roads Lead Here

 

 

 

 

 

 

shfrontcover

 

#20: Skyharbor – Blinding White Noise: Illusion and Chaos

After leaving Tesseract, Daniel Tompkins has been creating his own musical path, with experiments such as In Colour and Absent Hearts, but by far his most successful work has been in Skyharbor and their debut Blinding White Noise: Illusion and Chaos. However, while Dan’s vocals are some of the best in the genre, it’s Keshav Dhar’s songwriting, and the awesome guest appearances, that truly make this album a must listen.

 

#19: The Sword – Apocryphon

Arguably the most progressive record to come out of The Sword, Apocryphon sees the Hard Rock outfit stay true to their unique brand and style, yet move in the logical next step after the sci-fi goodness that was their 2010 release, Warp Riders. 

 

 

#18: Sylosis – Monolith

Thrash has had some trouble staying relevant in the metal realm in recent years, but Sylosis has made their contribution and imprint on the genre with Monolith, a “monolithic” record that should have no trouble reaching out to fans who have already left the genre.

 

 

 #17: Wintersun – Time I

When a musician takes 8 years to forge a highly anticipated album, it will almost always disappoint fans, no matter the quality of the record, and Time I is no exception. However, don’t allow the voracious and unappeasable fans scare you away from the record. Though not quite on par with Wintersun’s debut, it is still just as epic and grandiose.

 

#16: Deftones – Koi No Yokan

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of a Deftones release and to instantly think that every single record is a masterpiece. While the reality is much more dull, this record certainly is not, being full of romantic charge and fleeting commotion. Koi No Yokan is no masterpiece, but it is still an exception work of art that is just as Deftones as any of their other releases.

 

#15: Cloudkicker – Fade

Ben Sharp, mastermind behind Cloudkicker, is something of a Do-It-Yourself musician. All his music, free on his bandcamp, is entirely made by himself and self released. Don’t let that fool you though; Fade is one of the most moving albums on this list. It’s greatness is subtle, but once found you will be able to explore the plethora of impressive musical talent at work here.

 

#14: Exotic Animal Petting Zoo – Tree of Tongues

Characteristically weird and bizarre, Tree of Tongues is, in a way, akin to watching something frightening but remarkably interesting in such a way that you simply can’t look away. There’s nothing about this album that should scare you off though; it’s crazy in all the right ways, yet accessible enough to keep you coming back for seconds and thirds.

 

#13: Meshuggah – Koloss

With everyone trying to copy the sound that has made Meshuggah a household name, Koloss shows the little kids how it’s done. The album is Meshuggah as Meshuggah does. Heavy, distorted riffs, and insanely brutal breakdowns, there is almost nothing not to immediately love about this album.

 

#12: Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind

Without the rind mindset, Converge can be incredibly hard to incorporate into your musical tastes. Their goal is simple: pummel you into the ground until you can stand upright no more. All We Love We Leave Behind may not change your opinion on the band, but there’s a definite subtlety about it that implies something a bit more harmonious but just as destructive, a refreshing take on the trademark sound Converge has utilized throughout the years.

 

#11: The Contortionist – Intrinsic

Some may call it pretentious, others may call it boring, but to many more, Intrinsic is an incredibly engaging and worthwhile listen that garners praise where it received criticism. If one gives it a chance, instead of writing it off as a bombastic piece of work, it can reveal an entirely fascinating auditory experience, straight from the heart of one of the premier progressive metal acts today.

 

 

 

Best Non-Loud Rock Albums

#5: Trioscapes – Separate Realities

#4: Rush – Clockwork Angels

#3: Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

#2: Swans – The Seer

 

swans

 

 

#1: Hammock – Departure Songs

 

hammock-departure-songs

 

 

 

 

#10: High On Fire – De Vermis Mysteriis

High On Fire has always been a good band, but they never dropped an album that could make them a truly great band. That is, until they released De Vermis MysteriisChanneling the sludginess Electric Wizard and the menace of Converge, De Vermis Mysteriis is a fantastic combination of different methods and styles while still being wholly High On Fire.
#9: Neurosis – Honor Found in Decay

An amalgamation of everything Neurosis has accomplished, Honor Found in Decay shows why Neurosis is considered one of the finest post metal acts in history. Although there are some very slight missteps present in the record, they don’t hinder in the slightest what the album represents: a celebration of all that has come to past, and a shimmer of hope for what the future holds. 

 

#8: Hypno5e – Acid Mist Tomorrow

Progressive and completely avant-garde, Acid Mist Tomorrow makes use of numerous tricks, some old some new, to create an atmospheric yet ferocious sophomoric effort. Although there are very unnecessary moments, such as the numerous employments of voice overs, but these are overshadowed by the air of breathtaking brutality that exudes from each and every song.

 

#7: Diablo Swing Orchestra – Pandora’s Pinata

It’s hard to be avant-garde while still being aaccessible, even more important, coherent. Yet, Diablo Swing Orchestra somehow manage to release one of the weirdest yet most intelligible albums 2012 saw. Full of skillful violin work and operatic singing, Pandora’s Pinata is arguably the zaniest-yet-strongest progressive metal work to come out this year.

 

#6: Amenra – Mass V

The second most soul crushing album on this list (see: #1), Mass V isn’t just an escapade into doom gloom, it’s created for the sole purpose of crushing your spirits with any means Amenra sees fit, and don’t doubt them for a second, no matter how optimistic your outlook on life is. If you’re not at the very least melancholy after listening to the album, you need to plug your speakers in and actually listen.

 

#5: Soul Cycle – Soul Cycle II

It can be hard comparing an instrumental record to albums with vocals of any kind. They’re an easy way to add depth to a song. However, Soul Cycle doesn’t take the easy way out, and with Soul Cycle II, vocals would have only taken away from the excrutiatingly precise instrumentation present on the album. This is arguably the finest instrumental album since Animals as Leader’s self titled debut.

#4: Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage

What can one say about L’Enfant Sauvage that has yet to be said? It’s not just Gojira’s finest work yet; it’s one of the single greatest albums to come out of 2012, and will most likely be considered a classic 5 years from now. When some reflect on what made 2012 the best year for metal in recent history, this is what many will point to with eager faces and banging heads.

 

#3: Enslaved –  RIITIIR

Equal parts alluring and downright breathtaking, RIITIIR doesn’t skimp any of the radiant beauty that has made them the reigning champion of black metal for two straight releases. Also, it’s most definitely worth mentioning that this record has the most powerful ending of 2012, and it is entirely indicative of the rest of the monumental album that is RIITIIR.

 

#2: Ne Obliviscaris – Portal of I

Seeing the crown up for grabs in the progressive metal dominion, Ne Obliviscaris didn’t waste any time in forging one of the most original and creative pieces of art of not just the year, but the entire decade. Portal of I takes the listener on a climactic journey in which one will experience some of the highest highs and lowest lows ever conceived. This isn’t just an album, it is the birth of a new band, one that is sure to release instant classics and garner unbelievable praise. Consider yourself lucky to experience a consummate band in their very beginnings.

#1: Downfall of Gaia – Suffocating in the Swarm of Cranes

It’s hard to describe something that has made you feel so many emotions simultaneously without ever being overbearing. Never before has an album had this kind of affect, destroying your very inner soul during the record’s second song, but slowly building you back into something so much greater and more understanding of the world around you. It’s grotesque, beautiful, disconcerting, and exhilarating all at the same time. But, don’t let the Downfall of Gaia’s obscurity scare you from listening to this masterpiece. Let Suffocating in the Swarm of Cranes’ musical content scare you away. Believe me, though, when I say this: you will, most willingly, come back for more perfect mind-bending cruelty and thoroughly enjoy every second of it.

 

 

 

 

KcprY

Electronic Chart Toppers for December

Top Electronic Music for the last month of 2012 (in order) 1. Flying Lotus – Until The Quiet Comes; 2. Boys Noize – Out Of The Black; 3.Flume – Flume; 4. Lindstrom – Smalhans; 5. Daphni – Jiaolong.

Music not enough? Want to see the videos? Check them out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZsQ56MSMNk

A Preview Of What 2013 Has In Store For Us Metalheads

2012 has brought upon us mere mortals some fantastic records. Big name bands, like Gojira, Enslaved, and Neurosis, have all presented amazing, high quality full length features that are sure to be regarding by some as instant classics, perhaps even winning an album of the year award or two. Even more obscure bands, such as Cloudkicker and Ne Obliviscaris, have been releasing phenomenal records. However, the 2012 year is almost to a close, and now is as good a time as any to start looking forward to 2013 and what potential masterpieces we can begin eagerly anticipating for.

 Cult of Luna Ready to Melt Our Faces

Cult of Luna, a post metal band hailing from Sweden, is set to drop Vertikal, their first record in 5 years. If their last two releases were indicative of anything, it’s that CoL are in the process of becoming one of the finest post metal outfits of our generation. Whether or not Vertikal will live up to the standard that’s become synonymous with the band, time can only tell.

 

BTBAM/Coheed/Russian Circles Tour

2013 will have just started, and already the biggest tour of the year (arguably) starts in February. Announced officially on November 5th, this tour features some of the best live acts in our generation, with Russian Circles opening and BTBAM co-headlining beside Coheed and Cambria. Prepare your anuses people. This won’t just be the most anticipated concert of the year, it’ll also be the geekiest.

 

Scale the Summit Will Give Us Another Summit to Scale

Letchford and company have been making a name for themselves as one of the best instrumental outfits currently around. Their last album, The Collective, was a great example of premium virtuoso guitar work.  According to the band, “We just started work on our next album. The material we have written so far is definitely pushing us into new territory.” In fact, the band very recently posted a new album teaser over on their YouTube home page. According to the  video, the record is called The Migration, and will drop sometime  in  Spring 2013.

An Amalgamation Of Promising New Material

Some more artists that have been hinting about dropping new releases  in 2013, but with much less details surrounding the albums, are Chimp Spanner, The Ocean, and Cynic. The Ocean have mentioned that they’re considering creating a full fledged instrumental album, which would be new for them, whereas Cynic and Chimp Spanner have been updating their respective Facebook pages with lots of teases about their new album in the works.

DISAPPOINTED

While I’m sure 2013 will be a good year for music, it’s just not going to be able to live up to the sheer amount of greatness that 2012 exuded. We’re all being spoiled this year, and I’ve sure as hell made certain not to waste this opportunity of awesome metalness this year. Have you?

El Vez December 19th

Because Elvis is an international institution that can communicate across national and cultural boundaries, it comes as no surprise that El Vez – the self proclaimed “Mexican Elvis” – has come along. El Vez, aka Robert Lopez, has been kicking around the L.A. underground music scene for nearly 20 years. While his records are excellent documents of the El Vez phenomenon, the only way to get the full El Vez experience is to see his live shows, which feature his band The Spiders from Memphis and the lovely El Vettes. Toss in the holiday season and you have a “Merry Mex-mas” celebration as only El Vez can produce. The El Vez Christmas Show comes to the Kuumbwa in Santa Cruz Wednesday, July 19th. Showtime is 7 pm.