Suffocation / ….Of The Dark Light

...Of the Dark Light

Suffocation is an American technical death metal band that was formed in 1988 in CentereachLong IslandNew York, United States. The band comprises vocalist Frank Mullen, lead guitarist Terrance Hobbs, bassist Derek Boyer, rhythm guitarist Charlie Errigo, and drummer Eric Morotti. Suffocation rose to prominence of death metal and created a blueprint for the genre for the 1990s with their 1991 debut album Effigy of the Forgotten, and have released seven studio albums since formation. The band’s raw death metal style uses growled vocals with a downtuned guitar sound, fast and complex guitar riffs and drumming, open chord notes, breakdowns, and a sophisticated sense of songwriting.

…Of the Dark Light is the eighth studio album by American death metal band Suffocation, released on June 9, 2017, via Nuclear Blast. It is the first album to feature guitarist Charlie Errigo and drummer Eric Morotti.

The Analysis—-

Clarity Through Deprivation—-You have zero chance to prepare yourself for this release….the minute you press play it begins. I have to admit, this is much more accessible than I expected it to be. The instrumentation is superb….the technical aspects are fantastic. The deep sound of the music matches the vocal really well. I love this!

The Warmth Within The Dark—-Its amazing…..every song on this release just starts in a millisecond notice. The vocals are much more melodic ad accessible than you would expect. I though I would experience a Cannibal Corpse style band….but the finesse of this band is far advanced…the song structure is sound and really well delivered. I really like this.

Your Last Breaths—-With a great series of Death growls at the onset. This track is off and running. Much faster and chaotic than the earlier tracks, the song does move through remarkable shifts in the music…but always manages to come back to the sound it began with. The guitars are way down tuned…..delivering that heaviness….but the song is so well constructed…..you can’t possibly stop listening.

Return To The Abyss—-Actually a slight bit of an introduction lol. The aggressive nature of this track is amped up quite a bit from the previous tracks. This is full of driving music…the guitars seem to have a bit more clarity….the drums are maniacal. This is everything I could ask for and more.

The Violation—-The magnificently constructed mayhem continues in the same vein as previous tracks…..but it never seems to get monotonous or boring. There are some really nice chord shifts on this track…..moving from clarity to darkness. This is so well constructed……

…..Of The Dark Light—-This seems higher tuned and delivered with a ferocious playing style that makes me smile down deep. There are some remarkable breaks in the music…..reminding you how practiced this band must be to play in this style. There are points where the guitars literally soar….just incredible!!!!

Some Things Should Be Left Alone—-Again. a bit higher tuned and moving along as fast as the speed of sound. The track never loses intensity despite everything that is going on….when the vocal takes a break…it seems as if the music fills in and speaks for him. This is so well delivered…I really need to investigate this band more.

Caught Between Two Worlds—-Much brighter in sound than when this all began, this is not mainstream by any means….but still really accessible for those in the community looking for something they can really sink their teeth into. This is technical at it’s very best.

Epitaph Of The Credulous—-Ending the release. no more aggressive than the onset, the deeper guitars return and leave you bleeding from your eardrums. This is a fantastic journey that is delivered by musicians that are very very very good at what they do……this has never disappointed me…..at any moment. Remarkable!!!

***** out of 5

 

KMFDM / HELL YEAH

Hell Yeah

KMFDM (originally Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid, “loosely” translated by the band as “no pity for the majority”) is an industrial band led by German multi-instrumentalist Sascha Konietzko, who founded the group in 1984 as a performance art project.

The group’s earliest incarnation included German drummer En Esch and British vocalist Raymond Watts, the latter of whom left and rejoined the group several times over its history. The trio recorded the band’s earliest albums in Germany before Konietzko and Esch moved to the United States, where they found much greater success with seminal industrial record label Wax Trax!. German guitarist Günter Schulz joined in 1990; both he and Esch continued with the band until KMFDM broke up in 1999. Konietzko resurrected KMFDM in 2002 (Esch and Schulz declined to rejoin) on Metropolis Records, and by 2005 he had assembled a consistent line-up that included American singer Lucia Cifarelli, British guitarists Jules Hodgson and Steve White, and British drummer Andy Selway. Konietzko and Cifarelli moved back to Germany in 2007, while the rest of the band stayed in the U.S. In addition to these core members, dozens of other musicians have worked with the group across its nineteen studio albums and two dozen singles, with sales totaling in excess of two million records worldwide.

Critics consider KMFDM to be one of the first bands to bring industrial music to mainstream audiences, though Konietzko refers to the band’s music as “The Ultra-Heavy Beat”. The band incorporates heavy metal guitar riffs, electronic music, samples, and both male and female vocals in its music, which encompasses a variety of styles including industrial rock and electronic body music. The band is fiercely political, with many of its lyrics taking stands against violence, war, and oppression. KMFDM normally tours at least once after every major release, and band members are known for their accessibility to and interaction with fans, both online and at concerts. Members, singly or working together and with other musicians, have recorded under many other names, primarily Watts’ Pig, Konietzko’s Excessive Force, and Esch and Schulz’s Slick Idiot.

Hell Yeah is the twentieth album by KMFDM, it was released on August 18, 2017, on earMUSIC and KMFDM Records.

The Analysis—-

Hell Yeah—-A contagious and remarkable dance beat opens this track. The sound transports me back to the awakening of the Industrial sounds and movement of the 90’s. This is a bit tame to me though….not quite as aggressive as usual….but catchy as hell….it seems like the creative juices are still in flow on album number 20!

Freak Flag—-Again, this is full of the 90’s style beats and direction that defined the band in it’s heyday….the step backwards, with all of the available technology available today, is a bit disappointing. As always, the chorus of the song…steered by the ever present female vocal shapes the direction of the song. This is nostalgic in sound…..and offers little new in sound.

Oppression 1/2 /Total State Machine/Oppression 2/2—–I don’t dislike this record…..but with everything that is going on in the world today, I expected more anger and ire. After the mundane intro, the music does open up into a fantastic gallop of noise that makes me inwardly smile. The words fascist and hate appear throughout…..perhaps they got the message….this shaped up to be a great track. A single for sure!!!!

Murder My Heart—-The lead off single from this release, this is a but tame and generic at the onset. I’m amazed at the lack of aggression and anger on this release. This is a’love song’ that leaves me less than impressed and inspired.

Rip The System V. 2.0—-This is more like it…..the song opens up with more aggressive beats, the female vocal disappears and Sasha delivers line after line of everything that is wrong in the world today. This is accessible….but meaningful enough to restore some of my faith in the band. This reminds me of Nitzer Ebb.

Shock—-Returning to a mundane and predictable sound, the music that plays underneath is the songs saving grace. The beats give off an urgency that steers the song despite the female love tale that ensues in the song. I love the sharp and direct beats.

Fake News—-Everything  I hoped this song would be and more. Fantastic lyrics that are timely and important…..a beat that drives the song to a pinnacle of excitement. A chorus that will live in the front of your brain for days….send this to that Trump guy will ya!!! This is fantastic.

Rx 4 The Damned—-I don’t embrace the female vocal of the song right away…but it really grows on you. This is the aggression and anger that I have been hungry for. When the voices join together for the chorus, the song becomes literally magnificent. I really like this…….all the noise I needed and more.

Burning Brain—-Continuing is the same vein as the previous track, the second half of this release far outweighs the beginning. Sasha delivers a vocal that borders on angry dementia that brings a huge smile to my face. This is the KMFDM I wanted from the very onset. Incredible!!!

Only Lovers—-Ugh…..not at all what I wanted…..this sounds like a dated Motels song. I hate the mood shifts…..just when the band finds a groove…..than this!!!????? Just crap….

Glam, Glitz. Guts & Gore—-Ending the release much better than it started, the band delivers a scathing and blistering musical backdrop that literally blows your head off. This is aggressive….driving……forceful and full of biting vocal. I freakin’ love this song. A masterpiece this one. Leaves a great taste in my mouth.

***3/4 out of 5

 

Nine Inch Nails / Add Violence [EP]

Add Violence [Explicit]

Add Violence is an extended play by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails. It was released digitally on July 19, 2017, two days ahead of its scheduled release date, under Trent Reznor‘s label The Null Corporation. It will be followed by the release of a physical component the week of August 8 and a CD release on September 1. A vinyl release was also announced with no release date set. This marks the second EP in a proposed trilogy following the 2016 release of Not the Actual Events. The final EP of the series is expected to be released before the end of 2017.

The album was announced on July 13, 2017, and the lead single “Less Than” and an accompanying music video directed by Brook Linder were released online. On July 18, “This Isn’t the Place” was released with an accompanying music video directed by Alex Lieu.

The Analysis—-

Less Than—-Right from the opening notes, this plays as one of the most accessible NIN tracks in recent memory.  The music is reminiscent of the early days of the band….the remarkable melody is addictive as hell. Reznor still maintains an edge an an anger, this is remarkable all the way around.

The Lovers—-Melding directly from the previous track, the blips and beeps are accompanied by a whispered, distant vocal. This track is markedly darker and sparse. Reznor sings with a tortured voice that leaves me a bit sad and introspective. The emotions displayed are remarkable. A really great track.

This Isn’t The Place—-Again, a moody and dark atmospheric intro. The sparse music plays like a movie soundtrack song. The slow plodding music fills you with some anticipation as you wonder where this is all going. The tortured vocal finally enters at the two minute mark and leaves me somewhat uninspired and unimpressed.

Not Anymore—-A bit more of a jaunty intro dissolves into a pleasant static noise that reminds me of the old days. Reznor delivers a vocal that lies underneath all of the noise. The music is super aggressive and still manages to be pretty accessible and pleasant to listen to. A favorite track of mine….layer of sound stacked on layer of sound…..fantastic!

The Background World—-Clocking in a over 11 minutes in length, this takes you on a journey all of its own. Trent sounds like a youngster…..his voice has not aged a bit. The level of emotion is as strong as the first note on the debut album….none of the purpose has been lost. The strains of slight orchestration that rides underneath the machines give the song a very full sound. The melody line is addictive and pleasant…..adding to the listening pleasure. The vocal comes in and out….fading behind the beats than stepping forward again. As I said…this is a journey in its own right. The track eventually dissolves into an unsustainable wall of white noise and distortion that leaves a sour taste in your mouth…..but you know to expect this from Trent.

**** out of 5