Musings of a Metal Deviant, Vol. 4

In the fourth edition of Musings of Metal Deviant the Deviant offers his two cents on a few choice releases…

Napalm Death – Apex Predator-Easy Meat

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Napalm Death is an institution. It’s hard to pull up dirt on a band like who’ve consistently topped and contended with the best. 1989’s From Enslavement to Obliteration made the entire grind genre look like the Rat Pack and a couple years later ND were doing the same thing to the death metal scene. Their run of early 1990s full lengths provided extreme metal with a compositional blueprint of quality for its coolest facets. Now in 2015 we see the release of Apex Predator-Easy Meat, a record showing that after roughly 30 years of existence and 30 different members Napalm Death haven’t even motioned at straying form their grinding punk origins. They keep evolving; Mitch Harris doesn’t play as many simple power chorded riffs, the drumming isn’t thrashing as hard, and Barney’s voice has changed. While I enjoy ND mostly for their early 90s era, what they produce now is badass. They’re more of an experimental band than cut-from-the-cloth metal, and for that they’ve got my ear. Apex Predator-Easy Meat is a good listen and even better performed live.

 

The Kill – Kill Them…All

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The Kill: Doing the idea of modern grind some justice. It’s easy to be of the opinion that grind-core is a dead end genre but Kill Them…All is a blazingly intense 27 minutes that won’t need to try to hold your interest because it’s that good. Production wise, it’s a neat and catchy package. Being able to hear that the two musicians in the band are actually as good as you’re supposed to think is reassuring and the fact that, after 15 years, this is only The Kill’s second full-length is sick! Their tenure has mostly consisted of obscure splits and EPs for the rogues. Anyhow, this second full-length stays intense as grind does. Australian Metal!

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Sodom – Sacred Warpath EP

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I’ve never been huge into being “Sodomized”. Though I know they deserve their due credit, they’ve always seemed like a poor man’s Kreator. By the time they learned how to play their instruments, their German competitors had already cashed in on their masterpieces. But who’s to say, right? Sodom persisted and eventually made some legitimate contributions. The newest song, “Sacred Warpath” is great but nothing new, treading the sounds of 40-something year-olds generating evil. The first thing I thought to write it up as was somewhere between new Immortal and Nuclear Assault. On the one hand it’s kind of bland but on the other it’s a breath of fresh air. I know it may seem like I’m trashing on it, but Sodom are much better than ninety nine percent of new thrash because they aren’t trying to be Sodom. They just can’t help being so evil. If “Sacred Warpath” is an accurate sample of the record to come, I’d give it a high grade.

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 Venom – From the Very Depths

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Somewhere, Tom G. Fisher is “growing tired” of these cuts. My own self, I haven’t yet listened to Venom’s “From The Very Depths” and it’s already getting a high mark. The cover, escapism at its finest, says it all: This to be another pummeling and humoring record. I’m not so much an enthusiast on their music but I love the Venom brand, what they stand for. Asked, “Are the rumors true? You’ll sacrifice Madonna on stage?” Cronos, while swigging the bottle of bourbon replies “Why would we do that?…Fuck her on stage”. There are no frills with these people and as some of the first blackened metal, it counters on all the theatrical stuff it influenced. Venom who actually entertained and continue to do so are yet another band who’ve outlived their genre.

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Metal Deviant travels through space and grind…

We showed up at Molly’s tavern at about nine, had a few cheap pints and then split over to the Gramercy Theater on E 23rd. Voivod was hitting the stage as we walked in, sounding big – much better than I anticipated them sounding at this particular venue. The crowd was thin enough to move freely so we got to the bar fast, made our choices and got back to watch the Voivod. On any other night here it would’ve been a full moon eclipse, but Voivod is a strange band that pull even stranger people from the woodwork. This energy propelled the band and crowd through a solid forty five minute set which mostly concentrated on the core of Voivod authenticity: Killing Technology (1987) and Dimension Hatross  (1988). Watching them riffle off “Tribal Convictions”, “Forgotten In Space”, “Psychic Vacuum”, “Inner combustion” and  a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Astronomy Domine” (among other choice cuts) could very well be the cure for a number of psychotic diseases. At least it seemed so because the maniacs looked peculiarly soothed and mellowed when it was over with. The bar was even emptier than before so we saddled up, primed ourselves for the intensity about to ensue. By then you could tell whatever effects the Voivod set had on the crowd had worn off. Napalm Death hadn’t started checking the mics before most of the crowd was in a frenzied mosh and crowd surf pit. What was this music playing through the PA I thought? The Geto Boys? What a sick scene. An intro started rolling and before you knew it Napalm was firing off, blowing through classics. They too sounded full at the Gramercy. The crowd number didn’t subside and their intensity didn’t lessen. They only got more loyal to Napalm Death as the band grew tighter and sounded bigger. Highlights (to name a few) were “I Abstain”, “Plague Rages”, “Unchallenged Hate”, “Walls of Confinement”, “Suffer the Children” and “Vision Conquest”. The maniacs quickly dispersed after Napalm played their last version of “You Suffer”, for what was assumed to be the encore. We then regrouped with all of our own and fled back to wherever we thought we could get a quick few before calling it a Monday night.

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