Gojira

#663: Going to the (Metal) Extreme! (Guest shot by Dr. Dave)

#663:  Going to the (Metal) Extreme!

By Dr. Dave

 

Disclaimer: I am not THE authority on this subject, or even any of its sub-subjects. I know what I like, and I love all of this stuff.  But I have not gone so far down this rabbit-hole that I have forgotten about Rush, or AC/DC, or the Cure, or Yes, or Neil Young, or John Lee Hooker, or Charles Mingus. I am not someone who would prefer to burn down a church than be caught listening to Steely Dan (love the Dan). But LeBrain requested this, and I have happily complied. It’s been fun to compile this (almost) completely random spiel on the more extreme end of heavy metal.

 

OK, so I need to get this out of the way at the outset. No discussion of “extreme metal” would be complete if I did not mention three particular, foundational bands – Venom, Bathory, and Celtic Frost.  So – what do I do here? Do I admit that I think that Venom is mostly shit? That I think that the Bathory boat left port a long time ago, and that I despair of ever really catching up? Do I admit that I like Celtic Frost more in the concept than the execution? Well, lookee here – seems like I just did all those things. Consider this me getting those things out of the way. (Side note: Celtic Frost released an album called Monotheist in 2006 that I really like. Tom G. Warrior also has another project called Triptykon that is extremely good. “Aurorae” is just such a great tune. Feel the slow, beautiful menace!)

 

“Taking the Black”

 

Immortal – I must start with this band, and in particular Sons of Northern Darkness, for purely personal reasons. This is the album that got me heading in this direction in the first place. It was in Peterborough, where I had a contract for a year at Trent University. I was introduced to this album by being told: “If you like thrash, then you will like this.”  And that is true. Much of the “extremity” of metal is working from that basis. To a 16 year old in 1986, Slayer was pretty extreme to people whose main metal reference point was a band like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, or Iron Maiden. Sons of Northern Darkness as an entire album is, as far as I’m concerned, a perfect exercise in heavy metal. Is it really fast for a lot of the time? Yes. Does it differ from Slayer? Yes. Is the attitude metal? Gods, yes. This is PURE metal, even if it is quintessential “black” metal as well. If you love early Metallica and Slayer, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t love this. It’s that simple. At the Heart of Winter is also stellar. I almost wanted to start killing people in traffic in Cambridge one day, but At the Heart of Winter kept me in my car and happy instead of committing murder. That is what I’d call a ringing endorsement.

 

Dissection – The song “Black Horizons” from The Somberlain. Epic.  A mix of death and black metal, resulting in a metal anthem that totally rules. The “messy” vocals and the speed can put people off, but this is incredible. It is not “well-produced” by contemporary standards. The snare sounds like something that would happen in your older brother’s shitty apartment’s bathroom. And yet…how does such seeming chaos resolve into something so perfect, so anthemic? Don’t even start to listen to this without listening to the entire song. It doesn’t even really start happening until half-way through. The lesson? You don’t need a lot of money and a great studio to record riveting metal. All you need is the balls. From 4:05 on it is just on a whole other level. And 5:33 is among the most metal metal moments I have ever heard.

 

Deathspell Omega – LOL OMG. Paracletus has to be my favorite full-length. It won’t let anything else be. You get it or you don’t. It’s that simple. One YouTube comment I have read about Paracletus called it enigmatic and maddening.  I’d have to agree. But, to help you on your way, I’d suggest trying the song “Malconfort” which encompasses everything “good” about this band in a fairly succinct (for them) five minute package. No one else can make guitars sound like this. It’s just as revolutionary as what Piggy did to the thrash riff with classic Voivod. Yes, this is meant to be difficult and disturbing. That’s why it’s extreme. Does it make sense?  Yes, in some alternate universe. If you can get down with that then do. Nothing else I say will make any difference. Of course, if you want to start with something a little more “accessible,” then I’d go with Drought. My favorite release, even if it’s not a full-length. The song “The Crackled Book of Life” is one of my favorite things recorded this century. The change at 1:30, and then the buildup that follows, never fails to get my juicy bits a-tingle.

Closely related is Blut Aus Nord, who are less chaotic and more industrial, but just as evil. Both are French, by the way. Sacre bleu!

 

MGLA – best black metal band on the planet right now IMO. Direct and catchy, great riffs, phenomenal drummer with great grooves and a sense of drama. The repetition is built into the sub-genre itself, but their changes make it so worthwhile. If you want to see how an “extreme” metal band handles the “live and in concert” experience, then you will want to check out their live shit on YouTube. One of my favorite bands at the moment, and this moment has lasted for almost three years. Exercises in Futility is as good a place to start as any. One of my favorite albums released this century so far. The first track typifies what I love about them – the riffage is hooky yet dissonant at the same time, and the drummer’s approach to his cymbals is utterly unique. You have to train your ear to “get this,” but once you have then nothing else will ever scratch that itch.

 

Drudkh – “Only the Wind Remembers My Name.” They get much faster and more complicated than this, but this is my favorite tune by them. This is what a classic “Black Metal” band should sound like, except that there is that guitar solo, one of my favorite ever, which turns this song into something so much greater. Listen to that solo: it’s worth more than a hundred “glam rock”/”pop metal” solos put together.  But they have so much else to offer. They combined their black metal with post-metal with A Handful of Stars and as far as I’m concerned, that is an incredible album. Start with the beginning of Microcosmos to get the full black metal flavor, and then go to A Handful of Stars. The latter album is why I love Agalloch so much. So similar, yet different. And what I’m talking about here is HEADPHONE METAL. This is not “party metal”.  Listen by yourself, in a dark room, with raging volume. Yes, there is a guy growling at you, but he’s just barking orders. What you need to accept is the grove that the drums and guitars are laying down. Is it too fast? Then just lay back and absorb it. You will get it in time.

 

AgallochAshes Against the Grain baby. Love this. Sink in. Hooks aplenty, but this is taking time between the hooks. Requires patience. Don’t let the vocals put you off. Listen to the instruments. The voice is just another instrument. Remember that. Climax? Yes please! These guys basically wrote the textbook for “post-black metal,” and much of that involves (mostly) the patience it takes to arrive at the climax. And it has atmosphere galore. Favorite song is likely “Falling Snow.” Goosebumps every time.

 

Wolves in the Throne RoomThrice Woven is the latest album, and it easily made my top-10 for 2017. If you don’t get into this then you might as well just give up on Black Metal entirely. It has of all the faults and all the virtues of black metal. Is it too fast? Then just listen and bob your head to the half-time. If you don’t like the riffs themselves, then give up. And, of course, the vocals are nutty. Par for the course, people. This album is pretty much as pure as it gets without being recorded in 1991 in some Norwegian asshole’s basement.

 

(I would be remiss in talking about Black Metal if I did not mention Burzum. Filosfem is absolutely crucial, and your reaction to this album will largely dictate your reaction to Black Metal for the most part, though it is often slower than Mayhem or Darkthrone. “Dunkelheit” is the main song I’d take for a spin, and yes the production can be VERY irritating. The vocals are certainly disgusting, but the sense of mystery and otherworldliness is all there in spades. Atmosphere, repetition, and a strangely seductive discordance is the order of the day here. I totally get why people dismiss it, and I totally get why people dig it. It is the anal sex of music, after all. Also, Varg Vikernes is a garbage person, so that’s a deal-breaker for some. And yes, there is a strong current of fascism and Neo-Nazism running through a lot of black metal, which totally sucks balls.)

 

UlverBergtatt – “Capitel 1 – Troldskog Faren Vild”.  Clean vocals, driving pace, wicked riffs – this is essential early Black Metal that is still accessible to those who don’t like it when goblins “sing.” Good bass motifs (if you really listen for them), and a full-on nifty guitar solo. Yes, the production is dodgy compared to today, but that really doesn’t matter. For a beafier cover of this, check out Winterfylleth’s version on their latest album. But the original, sweet Jayzus – the acoustic interlude around the 5:50 mark, and then the new riff and groove after that? Fuckin’ stupidly awesome. No respectable headbanger can have a problem with this. AT ALL.

 

Winterfylleth – Kings of English black metal (screw Cradle of Filth). They have the anthemic qualities of Iron Maiden but are more aggressive and abrasive. But that “abrasiveness” in the riffage is the whole point, and once you train your ear to accept riffs that aren’t just in fourths or fifths, you will be hooked. “The Swart Raven” is as good an example as any to exemplify why I love the black metal style of riffage (well, that and Mgla).

 

Never got into Darkthrone, but if there is a Gorgoroth song I really like it is “Sign of an Open Eye” – stately pace, repetitive in a good way, and the riff has all the requisite dissonance without sounding like an orc was being raped in the recording of it. This could easily be a boring listen without the necessary submersion required to “get it” – kind of like a hobbit getting raped by an orc, come to think of it. And that’s OK. I’m not here to judge.

 

 

“Choose Death!”

 

Like my “relationship” to Black Metal, my appreciation for Death Metal has huge gaps in it. I do not particularly enjoy some of the essential bands in the genre, like Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, or Deicide. I typically like my Death Metal as some sort of hybrid, usually involving black or prog. Like I said at the outset, I am no purist or completist, and I think a lot of death metal is just dumb. But…

 

Entombed – Earlier albums like Clandestine and Left Hand Path put Swedish death metal on the map, spawning a legion of copycats, and single-handedly popularizing the Boss HM-2 distortion pedal. But for my money, it’s the death-and-roll of Wolverine Blues that really catches my ear. An essential 90s metal album for sure. Just give the title track for a spin. That is attitude and swagger, my friends.

 

Akercocke – “Shelter From the Sand” – this is what happens when you combine progressive metal, death metal, and black metal. Love this. How do you combine Mayhem, Death, and Rush? THIS. Again, if you’re going to get it you must listen to the whole thing. Everything goes sideways halfway through in a very good way. It goes in places that rule, and should be totally accessible even to people who hated the first half of the song.

 

CarcassHeartwork is the opus, as far as I’m concerned, though the earlier, grindcore stuff is good. Yes, their earlier stuff influenced many other bands, but the really GOOD bands picked up on this album. I remember seeing the video for the title track on MuchMusic’s Power Hour (remember that?) and really digging it at a time when I was getting deeply into thrash. And again, if you like the thrash then there is ZERO reason not to like this as well. With a different vocal style this would have been HUGE, but c’est la vie.

 

Death – Probably the true progenitors of the sub-genre, Death is the earliest bridge between thrash and death metal (other than Possessed, which gave the world Larry Lalonde, now playing guitar for Primus). Slower and less brutal than what death metal turned into, Death is nevertheless a band that anyone into thrash should appreciate, just like Immortal. My favorite of theirs is probably Symbolic, which features the mighty Gene Hoglan on drums. The curious thing is that “melodic death metal” (or melo-death) came around after Death, um, died, but I would argue that this band invented “melo-deth” already. Check out “Crystal Mountain” to see what I mean.

 

Cynic – Serious Death connection here, since Paul Masvidal and Sein Reinert both played on Death’s album Human. I bought Focus on cassette not long after it came out, and it took a helluva lot of getting used to. Like a hybrid of death metal and jazz fusion, with some weird robotic vocals. My favorite of theirs is “How Could I” – in particular the 2004 remix which has a gorgeous outro and ending. Just…..wow.

 

Paths to Possession – This is kind of a Cannibal Corpse spin-off (the “vocalist” is the same), but this is quite melodic. The riffs are much more interesting, and I first heard this around the same time I first heard Immortal, but the grim Norwegians really won my frostbitten heart. Nevertheless, this is still really good “death metal,” on the more melodic-side (at least on the guitar end – the vocals are still Cookie Monster on steroids). The first track of Promises in Blood, “Darklands,” is filled with killer riffs.

 

Sepultura (early) – These Brazilian titans were as much death metal as thrash in their early years, before they became the thrash juggernaut that gave us “Arise,” “Roots,” and “Chaos A.D.”  Mind you, those latter two albums helped create nu-metal (along with Helmet, another band whose place in history will be unfairly shadowed by garbage). But I’m not going to hold that against them. I’m not going to recommend anything, because you should really know who they are by now if you know that “heavy metal” is an actual thing.

 

Other bands: Gojira gets put in this category and I’m not sure why. Their last few albums are amazing, and I get it. Meshuggah needs to be mentioned, but they are somewhat controversial because many people hate what they have spawned (djent) in the same way that other bands I’ve mentioned have inspired lesser bands. Do I dig the Meshuggah? Absolutely. Obzen is a good starting place for some, their earlier stuff a better place for some others who prefer the thrash more than the djent. “Bleed” is, well, fucking exhausting, actually. I mean to listen to, never mind playing the goddamn drums. YIKES!

 

Slugdge – This is a very recent discovery, and I am frickin’ LOVING IT. With a name like that you’d expect it to be low, slow, and sticky. But it’s actually sharp, up-tempo, and technical (often with a strong Ackercocke vibe). This is the kind of band I really like to support, because they are going for a niche market – a couple of guys in England who never do live shows, and just basically make records that some people pay money for. The drums are programmed, but they sound pretty damn organic nonetheless. Their song and album titles parody other titles from metal (“Dim and Slimeridden Kingdoms,” “Spore Ensemble,” “Transilivanian Fungus,” “Slave Goo World.”  And the entire mythology is pseudo-Lovecraftian, centered on a cosmic alien space slug named Mollusca. It’s all very silly, but it is AWESOME. I am very happy to end this entire post with this. “Putrid Fairytale” or “War Squids” from brand new album Esoteric Malacology is probably where you should begin your servitude to the mighty Mollusca! This album is pretty much guaranteed to be on my 2018 Top-Ten list, unless Tool plans on releasing ten albums this year. Which would be the funniest thing ever.

Peace out, bitches!

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#537.2: 2016 Can Suck Balls – Year End Lists, Part 2 – J from Resurrection Songs

Please welcome — for the first time ever! — a guest shot from J from Resurrection Songs!  Please welcome J with his Top Albums list of 2016.

GETTING MORE TALE #537.2: 2016 Can Suck Balls
Year End Lists, Part 2 – J from Resurrection Songs

jIt’s been a right strange year. A right grim one if you consider the musical losses, not to mention the political shenanigans. Soon we’ll be populating a post-apocalyptic world. Hopefully more Mad Max than The Road. For some of us, at least. Soundtracked, it’s a year that I’ve been discovering more older releases than newer releases thanks to the writings and recommendations of fellow bloggers. However, there have been a fair few new releases that I have really enjoyed and I figured I’d hang out at Ladano’s place and say “here’s my top ten albums”.

The following are without a doubt my favourites of the year. These are the albums that grabbed my attention beyond the first side. That continue to pull me in. I am a man immersed in all their sonic awesomeness as I slip deeper and deeper into their grooves.

10. Gojira – Magma
9. The Tragically Hip – Man Machine Poem
8. The Cult – Hidden City
7. Black Mountain – IV
6. Sturgil Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
5. Causa Sui – Return To Sky
4. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
3. The Claypool Lennon Delirium – Monolith of Phobos
2. Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression
1. My Jerusalem – A Little Death

Note: Lists are tough, but the top five were particularly tough to separate (all stellar in my opinion). Also, I need to spend a bit more time with Bowie’s Blackstar, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ Skeleton Tree, case/lang/viers, and, of course, pick up the latest Leonard release now it’s available on vinyl.

J

#537.1: 2016 Can Suck Balls – Year End Lists, Part 1 – Dr. Dave

Welcome to the first of many year-end lists here at mikeladano.com!  I’ve decided to call this series 2016 Can Suck Balls.  We will discuss the celebrity deaths that plagued this year on my own list, but first up to bat is the man the myth the legend — Dr. Dave Haslam.  His heavier-than-fuck lists always generate a lot of interest, so Dave’s going first!

Please welcome Dr. Dave with his Top Albums list of 2016.


GETTING MORE TALE #537.1: 2016 Can Suck Balls
Year End Lists, Part 1 – Dr. Dave Haslam

dr-daveWell, it was an…interesting…year.  The deaths came fast and furious, and the tail end of the year for me went from the sublime (Cubs win!) to the ridiculous (Trump wins!).

It will be fun watching the dumpster fire that is the United States over the next year, and perhaps a few of these tunes will serve as a compelling soundtrack for that.


10. A 3-way tie between Opeth – Sorceress, Winterfylleth – The Dark Hereafter, and Nails – You Will Never Be One Of Us.

 

Why a three way tie?  Because “Top Tens” are an arbitrary convention.  I understand that we use the decimal system on this planet, but we’re talking music here, not distance, or measurement, or even the weight of your momma.  Opeth was certainly phenomenal live, and there are parts of Sorceress (particularly the title track) that I love, but there is a lot of fluff on this album, a lot of acoustic bits that just didn’t grab me.  If even 75% of it was of the calibre of the title track then it would easily be my #1 album.  As it is, it merely shares a tie with Winterfylleth, who are awesome, but released an album that was pretty meagre compared to their recent efforts, and Nails, a band I probably wouldn’t even like that much except that the pure, unhinged fury of You Will Never Be One Of Us pretty much encapsulates my reaction to the election of Cheeto Mussolini by our terminally stunned neighbors to the south.  Check out the title track (hmm, I see a theme here) if you want the most succinct example of unbridled aggression released this year.


9. Deathspell Omega – The Synarchy of Molten Bones

 

So Spellcheck flags “synarchy” as a spelling mistake, which casts a poor light on Spellcheck’s recognition of obscure political terms.  And, now that I notice it, Spellcheck also considers “Spellcheck’s” (the possessive form of the noun Spellcheck) as a spelling error as well.  What is my takeaway from this?  That Spellcheck doesn’t like being talked about, or having particular qualities or characteristics ascribed to it.  Well fuck you too, Spellcheck.  I don’t even need you, so blow me.

Anywho, this is a half-hour long EP, and it sure isn’t Drought, an EP from 2012 which demonstrated new levels of variety and composition from these devout French Satanists.  Instead, this returns to their classic sound: eerie, frenetic, bewildering, and very very fucking evil.  There’s a reason why these guys don’t do gigs – it would probably be impossible to do this live.  I can only chuckle at the thought that the U.S. Army uses Metallica or some other mainstream band to torture Muslim detainees when they could be using this instead.  Then again, maybe that’s for the best.  This music would likely have Navy SEALs shitting their undies.

Sample only if you’ve given up on sanity as a “life goal.”


8. Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep of Reason

 

Recorded together live in the studio, this album has a more organic sound than any of their more recent releases.  If you know them, then you know what to expect.  They are a consistent, well-oiled machine, and there are few surprises or major deviations here.  The song that really hooked me is “MonstroCity” (cool title, bro), which has a lurching, idiot-man-child-on-meth kind of funk to it – my favorite tune on the album.  This album almost didn’t make the list, as my ability to truly appreciate Meshuggah depends on my mood; however, since I have been in a “smash-shit-up” kind of mood lately, here it is.


7. Devin Townsend – Transcendence

 

This fucking guy.  Devy likely won’t get his proper due until years from now, but now is the time to get on board, if you haven’t already.  Is it my favorite release of his?  No (I’m looking at you, Ocean Machine).  But when you can be as heavy as Devy can, and be as melodically lush and compelling, then you are as far past the run of the mill as it gets.  As Rush rides into the sunset (did I mention that 2016 was a very trying year?), Devin Townsend is the Canuck that will pick up that torch and run with it.  Time to recognize this national treasure while he’s still alive.  Give “Failure” a listen and disagree.  I dare you.


6. Dunsmuir – Dunsmuir

 

My love for Neil Fallon (and Clutch) is hardly a secret.  He is the hard-rock equivalent of Tom Waits, but that comparison fails once I realize that Fallon’s tales and subject matter are even more compelling to a freak like me than Waits’.  The band behind him soars, snarls, and grooves in a way that sharts on much of what we consider “classic metal.”   This is why Vinny Appice replaced Bill Ward in Black Sabbath, and why Tim Sult can access limitless possibilities at the blusier end of heavy guitar.  “Crawling Chaos” should give you a good idea.


5. Alcest – Kodama

 

A fine return to form from the French pioneers of blackgaze (black metal + shoegaze).  Unlike last album Shelter, this one has bite to it, adding much appreciated energy to their lushly melodic soundscapes.  With clean vocals and blackish wails, blast beats and proggier grooves, Kodama is an almost perfect balance of their disparate influences.  Yes, this requires patience, and it is designed to be atmospheric rather than fist-pumping.  Go to bed, turn out the lights, spark one up, and listen to this at volume on good-quality headphones.  Immerse yourself.  “Oiseaux de Proie” should serve nicely as an introduction.


4. Gojira – Magma

 

A third French band on my list?  Tabernac!  This one’s a grower, not a shower.  This is a pretty new band for me, and I’m sure getting on the Gojira train at Magma station is like not getting into Mastodon until Once More Round the Sun or The Hunter (“Dude, like, haven’t you heard their early stuff?  It kicks this album’s ass, man!”).  Yeah, fine, whatever.  That doesn’t change the fact that this album has a certain something that I can’t quite put my finger on.  While they might have kicked your ass in a more aggressive and complicated fashion a few years ago, they’ve allowed some restraint and melody into their sound, and it has paid off in a big way.  “Stranded” is what sold it for me, starting with a Meshuggah-esque riff overtop a deep but spacious groove, which then morphs into a simple bridge riff that is as cool as it is accessible, until the three and a half minute mark, when the real earworm of the song kicks in.  Composition might be a four-syllable word, but it’s certainly not a four-letter word.  Sometimes simplicity really is the closest step towards genius.


3. Deftones – Gore

 

I’ll save my rant about how unfair it is to lump these guys into the nu-metal category alongside vastly inferior bands like Korn and Chimp Trisket for a later time.  Suffice it to say that this album rewards multiple listens.  The story is that guitarist Stephen Carpenter had thoughts about stepping away from the recording of Gore because of how atmospheric and subtle the ideas were compared to their earlier albums.  And it’s good that he didn’t, because there is still plenty of succulent riffage here.  Chino Moreno is still a very versatile vocalist, going from a whisper to a scream to a croon in no time, and the rhythm section is always tasty and totally underrated.  “Pittura Infamante” is probably the best example of how this band has grown – although each of their last three or four albums are totally wicked.  This song resembles Gojira’s “Stranded” in that it shows how deceptive simplicity can be the secret weapon that veteran bands use to economize their songs for maximum appeal while still maintaining their true identity.  And watch out for one of the riffs of the year at about the 2:25 minute mark.  Wow.  Then again, listen to “Hearts/Wires” for a more relaxed version of this album.  Or the first track.  Oh fuck it.  It’s all amazing.


2. If These Trees Could Talk – The Bones of a Dying World

 

I had no idea that these post-rock alchemists got signed by Metal Blade, and I knew nothing about this album’s existence until I randomly came across it at Encore Records, which is where I had to special order their two previous albums about a year ago.  This is textbook post-rock, and if you are confused by that particular genre designation then listen to “The Giving Tree.”  It’s less spacey and discordant than Mogwai, less stoner-rock than Pelican, and much more immediate than Godspeed! You Black Emperor.  There are a lot of layers, textures, and dynamics to be explored with three (3) guitarists, and ITTCT indulge that potential without it all turning into a sprawling, unfocused mess.  I get a Steve Rothery vibe from “The Giving Tree,” although it is quite a bit heavier than you would expect from the heart and soul of Marillion.  I’m glad that music like this exists.  Sometimes you just don’t need a vocalist to get to the real heart of the matter.


1. Abbath – Abbath

 

After an acrimonious split with his Immortal bandmates, Abbath made the best Immortal album since 2000’s stone-cold classic Sons of Northern Darkness (one of the best heavy metal albums of the past 30 years, by the way), albeit under his own moniker and with a different rhythm section.  And that rhythm section kicks massive ass, driving the kind of militant and triumphant anthems that will inspire you to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of the women on some frosty tundra where glaciers loom and wolves lie in waiting to feast upon the bodies of the vanquished.  It doesn’t get more metal than this. Like Slayer, Abbath knows that downshifting to mid-tempo is where the truly heavy and epic begins, and “Winterbane” is a perfect example of this.  Merry Christmas, motherfuckers.


scan_20161119-2Close but no cigar: Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct (good, but too much meh); Russian Circles (haven’t heard it enough); Khemmis (so close…); SubRosa – For This We Fought the Battle of Ages (not as good as More Constant Than The Gods); Inquisition – Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Alter beyond the Celestial Zenith (crazy title, great black metal album).

 

 

My main obsession in 2016 that does not involve a particular album released in 2016:

 

Live MGLA – I’ve spent most of my YouTube time in the past year listening to and watching this Polish black metal band slay audiences and perfect heavy metal with an aggressive yet understated style that simply beggars comparison.  This is THE SHIT.  The drummer is unbelievable, the riffs are unimpeachable, and the compositions are incredible if you consider that hypnotism is just as valuable as anything “showy” or “obvious.”  This gets me hard more than anything else in the universe right now.  No grandstanding, no histrionics, no drama, no “image,” no trying too hard.   This is simply perfect heavy metal.  For a short, two-song sampler, check out “Brutal Assault 21 – Mgla (live) 2016”.   Or for a boringly- filmed but excellent-sounding full gig, check out “MGLA – Live at Dark Easter Metal Meeting 2016 – Full Show” on YouTube.

Dr. Dave