Aaron Lariviere

Comments from fb789819835

Good call! It bothers me that this band is barred from Metal Archives for being too folky. Very cool band making some distinctly weird sounds.

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August 4, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – July 2015


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August 4, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – July 2015

This month skews more “black” than the past several, no question, which is due to the particular releases that graced our ears this month. If anything, the voting bloc currently skews towards death metal over most everything else, though this month was light in that department. Ian and I will both rep hard for the trad metal bands when they release things worth hearing; again, this month was pretty dry on that front. That said, keep your eyes and ears peeled for a new track from Satan next month (possibly the best of all NWOBHM hands, and most definitely the best one still going in 2015), and even the new Saxon sounds pretty solid. August will be loaded, and I expect a diverse batch of bands.

Out of curiosity, which “less aggressive” material did we miss this month? I’m always down to hear something good that missed my monthly radar.

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August 2, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – July 2015

Doug and I like to argue whether Immortal Bird actually play grind like the band claims. I say existing along “the punkier edge of death metal”, along with their stated intent, takes them far enough to count. What do you guys think?

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July 31, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – July 2015

I forgot to do my customary bonus tracks post this month, but here are a couple randoms that missed inclusion:

IMMORTAL BIRD – excellent “grind” project from Rae Amitay and company. Doug and I argued endlessly over why this is or is not grind, with him calling it modern black metal and me disagreeing noncommittally. Whatever it is, it’s great, and there’s a good chance it makes it onto the list next month.

WINDHAND – Not a new track, but a snippet of a potentially great album. I hate album teasers with irrational fury, but hey, killer band so what the hell.

BLACK DAHLIA MURDER – Never been able to muster a whole lot of excitement over these guys despite their best efforts at being incredibly reliable and technically quite excellent. Meanwhile, this is the best thing I’ve heard from them, which bumps the needle a bit closer to the red.

CUT UP – Rather awesome grindy Swedish death from dudes that played in Coldworker. Coldworker might be familiar for their ties to uber-legends Nasum, who have sadly departed the mortal plane. This reminds me of Nasum mixed with Swedish death metal, which is pretty great. I would have fought harder for this if we didn’t have Cattle Decapitation and a pile of other unpleasant death metal in the same month.

SABBATH ASSEMBLY – not really my thing, but it might be yours. Folks have compared this to Hammers of Misfortune, who are excellent, so there’s that.

LOCRIAN – with each release it gets harder to call these guys “metal,” but I thoroughly love what they do. In the past I’ve described this track as “Jean Michel Jarre jamming with Alcest,” and I’ll stick with that.

THORNESBREED – noisy black industrial-tinged chaos, not unlike a black metal version of that band Autokrator (https://autokrator.bandcamp.com/releases) who released one of the most impenetrable death metal / noise crossover albums I’ve ever heard earlier this year on Iron Bonehead. This is slightly more fun than that, but equally bleak and excellent.

ACRANIA – mostly notable because I’ve never heard anything remotely like it, Acrania fuse latin music, thrash, and something approximating death metal into an unholy stew of nonsense. It’s actually pretty good for what it is, but it’s a bit outside my usual comfort zone for bastardized ‘world’ sounds.

FAILURE – not metal, still cool. I figured these guys get plenty of coverage in dB so we may as well mention them here. yes, it sounds like a Pink Floyd / Beatles mashup and everyone has pointed that out (including their tour manager). It’s still pretty great to hear from a long-dead band that no one dreamed would resurface. I caught their first reunion gig in LA and had a wonderful time; glad to have them back, and now I need to track down the new album and spend some damn time with it already.

I probably missed a pile of stuff, but work beckons from beyond.

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July 1, 2015 on The Black Market – The Month In Metal: June 2015

Murg is monstrous–absolute killer tunes, definitely in my top 10 for the year.

Another one that surfaced around the same time and scratches a similar itch is the equally foreign Misþyrming (pronounced Misthyrming, I think). The band hails from Iceland, they play a cavernous but surprisingly melodic variation on black metal, and the album dovetails neatly with the Murg record for back-to-back black-on-black listening sessions.


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July 1, 2015 on The Black Market – The Month In Metal: June 2015

I’m either a true diehard or a total poseur when it comes to Slayer because I completely write them off after Seasons. I know a lot of folks that legitimately love Divine Intervention and God Hates Us All, but neither of their post-classic “good” albums does much of anything for me. Never mind the rest of the latter-day garbage. Christ Illusion and World Painted Blood are little more than shit-stains on the honor of of heavy metal (see: Playing With Dolls http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaHe4z9mA74), but I digress.

All that said.. I kinda like the new Slayer jams (or the last two, not “Implode,” which sounds exactly as bad as all other bad Slayer). Maybe Hanneman was the one secretly sucking all these years, not Kerry like we all assumed!? Only time will tell. I’m not exactly keeping an open mind for the new album, but I’m morbidly curious to hear the damn thing.

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June 30, 2015 on The Black Market – The Month In Metal: June 2015

Yeah, it’s quite good. I hear a whole bunch of Killing Joke goodness in there (which isn’t hugely different from Amebix goodness, if we’re being honest), and the album as whole does lots of neat things.

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June 30, 2015 on The Black Market – The Month In Metal: June 2015

My treatise on organs in metal (heh) starts and ends with Deep Purple. I’m sure plenty of others have done that as well (see the new Tribulation, amongst others), but that has to be the main progenitor.

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June 6, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – May 2015

(Check back in a couple days, James. I posted a ridiculously long list of bonus tracks with links as a reply to your comment but it triggered the site’s spam filters; it might not appear until Monday.)

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May 30, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – May 2015

Ask and ye shall receive… the deluge. A lot of great stuff came out; a lot of it easily could have been up here. And this is ignoring stuff like Lamb of God that I don’t personally like. Blurbs will be short, cuz this is a lot of stuff.

Enabler – great hardcore band we’ve written about in the past. the ending drifts into emo territory, but it doesn’t lessen the impact.

Cattle Decapitation – in a slower month I might have fought for this one. killer musicianship as always, and the “clean” screechy vocals from the last album make another appearance.

Peste Noire – haven’t spent any quality time with this, but it’s definitely weird as shit, sort of black metal, and very French. I haven’t been as stoked on their recent albums lately for whatever reason, but some folks apparently like this one.

Barbatos – ridiculous japanese punk-metal from the main dude from Abigail. the boobs on the cover accurately reflect the subject matter of every single song.

Bonehunter – another ridiculous metal-punk assault from Hells Headbangers.

Secrets of the Sky – borderline great progressive/melodic doom from these Metal Blade dudes. again, in a slower month I would have been all over this.

Endlichkeit – the kind of lo-fi black metal greatness you would expect Wyatt to write about. the album cover is hilarious, for what it’s worth.

Lustre – I love this band and probably would have pitched this track, but it’s been floating around for ages at this point even though it’s only been technically just released as a single (this actual track came out under a different name about a year ago). lo-fi, dreamy melodic ambient stuff that occasionally masquerades as black metal. if anything it sounds like Summoning, but it’s even less metal if you can believe that. the album isn’t as straight-through strong as their last few, but it’s still worth a listen.

Blaze of Perdition – excellent Polish black/death of the sharply executed variety. lots of neat clean guitar melodies overlay the blasting. killer record.

All Out War – this is mostly for the nostalgia of sharing something from these resurrected metalcore legends. moshy as fuck, fairly dumb, fairly predictable, still totally fun.

Blasphemic Cruelty – ripping and dirty death/thrash from Hells Headbangers. members of Angelcorpse and Ares Kingdom should clue you into how this will sound. violent, that’s for sure.

Coffins – as discussed in the Undergang blurb, Coffins play a very particular type of death metal and basically rewrite the same song/album endlessly. totally good for what it is.

Dystrophy – slightly proggy Floridian/Canadian SOUNDING death metal. i forget where they’re from but probably neither of those places (oh, looks like NJ – thanks, metal archives.) these guys are unsigned, so go buy their shit and support.

Vattnet Vaskar – hard to categorize, this taps into post-metal, black metal, and probably lots of other stuff. a lot of people love these guys, but i never quite gave them the time they deserve. there’s a lot to take in here, and it’s definitely a good place to start.

Entrails – i don’t think this was a single, but this is one of my personal favorite goofy death metal songs of the year. the chorus where he professes undying love to MURDER is just… timeless.

Cold Cell – nifty Swiss metal that actually sounds Swiss. meaning they summon both Celtic Frost and Samael and do something new with the Swiss sound. Kind of an unassuming record, but it’s surprisingly good.

Ghold – UK duo of bass and drums, kind of a blown out Lightning Bolt take on Big Business? it’s doomy and loud, but there’s an art-punk side that you don’t get from pure metal bands. this is actually a slightly older release that just started getting promoted this month. definitely not your run of the mill project, and definitely recommended.

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May 30, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – May 2015

Doug does an excellent job of never using his soapbox to talk about his own band, but I have no such qualms about bias: there’s a new Pyrrhon EP out there, and you all should listen to (and ideally purchase) the damn thing. I can’t be trusted to properly review it because I’m far from impartial, but as I was just discussing with the always awesome (and also non-impartial) Justin M. Norton, this record kills. It’s short and to the point, possibly grindier than before, and while it is horribly abrasive, it’s digestible in a different way than the full-length it follows. That’s all I’m gonna say; check it out below.


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May 29, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – May 2015

Agreed 100% on the last Trib. There were phenomenal ideas but every song ran too long, and the album was at least 20 minutes longer than it should have been. As a result I probably listened to it twice, then set it aside. I think Trib struggles with their editorial impulse in general, and you can hear that a little bit on the final track of the new album, which is the only thing that feels even remotely superfluous, but for the most part they curbed their indulgent impulses and delivered what is almost certainly the album of the year.

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May 6, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – April 2015

I also have to chime in to say how hard the new False album rules. A lot of it reminds me of In the Nightside Eclipse-era Emperor, but I actually prefer the organic approach that False takes to that sound. These guys (and gal) tend to get unjustly lumped in with other long-form black metal acts that typically rely on repetition, whereas False are more about forward progression than riff-hypnosis. Every song feels like a mini-suite and statement to itself, and the album as a whole is more monstrous for it.

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April 30, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – April 2015

I didn’t have time to contribute anything this month besides some votes of fury, so I give you instead a few hot bonus trax for perusal.

New craziness from CLOUD RAT. I haven’t digested this to the point where I can actually describe it, but they’re kinda punk, kinda grind, kinda visionary. This month was grind central, which never happens, but it’s thrilling to see.

UNLEASHED also returned with some left-field but somehow exemplary late-period Viking rage. I always root for bands that can best be described as “stalwarts”, but Unleashed have lost me on a few releases over the past decade (that Yggdrasil album did not make me tremble). Their last, Odalheim, was a huge step in the right direction, and I think their latest even more. Weirdly, they’re not really playing death metal in a traditional sense. The mix is too thin, the chords are too black, but the amount of hooks they managed to cram into this batch of songs if pretty extraordinary. It took me a few listens, but I love the new record now.

Another old-band resurrected: we’ve got a new one from SKINLESS. There’s not a lot to say, but this is how I pitched it to the guys: “punishing and ignorant new york death metal”. They just dropped a new video where a guy gets his face sliced off, so there’s that too.
NSFW face slicing vid:

And an obscurity to close this thing out: here’s some black-around-the-edges prog rock out of Iceland. It’s dark, strange, fairly awesome, and worth a spin.

See you all next month, friends!

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April 30, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – April 2015

If anything, it’s just a symptom of our collective taste, but I cant’ help but wonder if we were reading the same list last month. Last month had some black metal, sure, but it was by no means a majority. If anything, traditional heavy metal styles were vastly overrepresented, which had more to do with the randomness of releases in a given month:

Aktor = psychedelic trad
Lucifer = trad doom
Slugdge = melodeath (pretty far from standard death, fwiw)
Brothers of the Sonic Cloth = stoner doom
Enforcer = trad / speed metal
Sacral Rage = progressive thrash / speed metal
Elder = psychedelic sludge
Tribulation = a hybrid of everything, but not particularly blackened

And much of the ostensibly “black” stuff was nowhere near standard black metal, either:

Gehenna = sound like Motorhead
Enslaved = sounds like Opeth
Dodheimsgard = sounds almost nothing like black metal, or any other metal

This month: no argument, we found a lot of amazing black metal. Last month, I didn’t see what you see, clearly. The only other broad explanation I can offer is that black metal as a genre is still in the process of exploding its own frontiers: there are probably more good bands releasing interesting variations on black metal right now than ever before. The interesting stuff is what tends to get featured here.

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March 31, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – March 2015

I completely support Mike’s blind hatred of nu-metal and agree that those bands are at least partly responsible for “ruining metal” for a while. That said… I think you have to level more blame on Metallica, both for the travesties of Load and Re-Load, but just as much for the Black Album, which probably shifted the lay of the land more than anything else in the history of metal.

Metallica giveth, and they taketh away.

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February 26, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – February 2015

Ian nailed it regarding Enslaved. Killer, killer band overall, with something for everyone at some stage in their career. Personally, I’m a Mardraum guy, which has to be one of the most chaotic black metal albums I’ve ever heard. The riffing is savage and graceless, jagged edges everywhere. The last couple albums (starting with Axioma) aren’t really my thing largely due to the vocal juxtaposition, but the music is as strong as ever.

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February 25, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – February 2015

Killer song, album, and band. Mithras crush all, but this might be even better.

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February 4, 2015 on Sarpanitum – “By Virtuous Reclamation” (Stereogum Premiere)

Fear, Emptiness, Despair all the way!

This is one of those unenviable, not-actually-possible to correctly rank bands just because it boils down to which version of the band you like best and how much you value the important early records over the finely tuned later ones. I think the most fun with a band like this is to read someone else’s list which is invariably completely different from anyone else’s picks. For me, I like the death metal stuff in the middle best, though I don’t think I could make the argument that those albums are objectively “better” than stuff like FETO on the one end or Time Waits for No Slave/Smear Campaign on the other.

But yeah, my list has Fear Emptiness Despair up top, FETO 2nd, and Harmony Corruption and Utopia Banished close behind followed by Scum and Diatribes, then the rest of the later stuff in almost any order (since they’re virtually interchangeable). I’d say Inside the Torn Apart is probably the worst thing they ever did, but it’s still totally decent and listenable.

Damn, I gotta go spin some Napalm Death.

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February 4, 2015 on Napalm Death Albums From Worst To Best