Friday, July 30, 2010

Fists of fury

Celluloid or vinyl (or plastic or digitally-encoded bits), doesn't matter. The samurai, like the musical troupe, must strike with ferocity -- unless the troupe's instrument of choice is the player piano, then it's a case of ropes and pulleys and the hope that your intended victim will follow the candy trail to stroll beneath this not very ferocious rambling. In short (too late), too much work. A sword's sharpness & that of six strings must be quick & lethal. Thus, more than a passing resemblance between the movie & its diabolically over-the-top troubadour namesake, Lightning Swords of Death. The Extra Dimensional Wound, whose sonic quality is meatier than their debut (not always an artistically desirable mutation in the grimier of metal circles but, in addition to stretchier guitarwork, this fucking huge bottom end noise should off kvlt skepticism) eviscerates with the precision of a Masamune whilst deploying well-placed hammer blows to the skull and whatever body parts are within reach just to make sure the victim's pleas remain in pooling blood where they belong.

Simplicity is a virtue here, flushed through oversized Bathory/Entombed riffs & straightforward orthodox black metal text peppered with more than a hint of Lovecraftian slime, delivered with that same sore throat-on-steel wool rage we all know & love.

Sounds alluring, but when those are the elements of your template, the spine-into-powder power of the riff is beyond key; it's the very ichor of the beast. So, do LSoD pass the death test?

Generally. Making a statement on an album after only a few dozen spins isn't the most prescient hark! the herald reviewers sing! one can engage in. Heads: I know some of my all-time favorites became so only after having years to percolate in the grey folds lost in attic mildew. Tails: instant gratification chord progressions are like Cosmic Candy. They may give your tongue (or in this case, fingers) a colorful workout, but as the last note rings into oblivion, you realize it was only a sugar rush. So you tracks that I'm wavering on, rest easy. You've got plenty of time. The others make me giddy as a schoolgirl tee hee.

The title track marches the album out of the gate before striding into full gallop, occasionally stopping to step on your neck. A couple of speedfreak workouts follow, including the gloriously titled Nihilistic Stench (no, the song isn't about Washington, D.C., though it should be. Number one, make it so). Zwartgallig, Dutch for both melancholy & the national soccer team, is an apt title for a nimble, ambient bass piece & palate cleanser for what is the best track on the platter, Damnation Pentastrike. Gotta be that rubberband faux-stop/start riff stumble. A couple of predominantly (sort of) doomy trudges through the aural muck present the album's magnum opus & closer, the kitchen-sink, eleven-minute & thoroughly excellent Paths to Chaos.

The seeds germinating in the rotten earth of their inconsistent debut have finally begun to blossom, and though no minor masterwork such as the bleakly stellar Remember Your Death of guitarist/primary composer Roskva's (Jeremy Stramaglio to his mama) Endless Blizzard side project, The Extra Dimensional Wound is a trauma worth smiling about unless you hate metal in which case I hope you read this whole goddamn post muahahahahaha, etc.


MRMacrum said...

Metal has it's place. On those days when I need what's inside rudely banged around so that some clarity might form in front of me, yeah, some good head bangin music often does the trick. But then so does Guy Lombardo.

What can I say.

Randal Graves said...

Oh sure, that's applicable to almost anything. I love me some beef stew, but I couldn't eat it for dinner every single day.

Tom Harper said...

Sounds cool. I'll have to search for them on YouTube; or see if Terrorizer Magazine has something by them on their next "free" (if you buy the magazine) CD.

I like instant gratification, but the best sounds (whether it's metal, jazz or whatever category) are the ones where your first reaction is "WTF???" And then ten years later it's still one of your favorites.

Tengrain said...

Graves, you swine!

I understand the new Up with People album is pretty good, too.

Lightening Swords of Death ("...they threw an army at him, and he threw it back... a piece at a time") sounds pretty cool, though, so I might try to rent that. It will be like fine dining at Ray's!



S.W. Anderson said...

Another richly descriptive, fascinatingly quirky review. So much so that, despite my ingrained lack of enthusiasm for the metal genre, I read this whole goddamn post.

So there, muahahahahaha!

susan said...

If it's half as much fun to listen to as it is to watch Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart To Hell I might just have to find a clip once I've fortified myself with a martini.

La Belette Rouge said...

You have to join Facebook. Why? To see me? No! To listen to Lisa Golden's daily dose of Morrissey and then, after you listen to it, you could write BRILLIANT reviews. Huh?

Have I told you lately that you are brilliant?And I did read this whole goddamn post.

Beach Bum said...

Along the same lines as Tengrain, Kenny Rogers is a awesome musical artist.

Demeur said...

Tell me this isn't one of your nails on the chalkboard ditty again. Is it?
That's it we'll have Tengrain blast Laurence Welk tunes at your home while Lisa blows champagne bubbles through your front window.

Randal Graves said...

tom, exactly, the ones that hit you a bit deeper after the fact. Since it's from the UK, doesn't Terrorizer cost you an arm, leg and kidney?

tengrain, one could say that it's the aural equivalent of a Famous Ray's dining experience. Keep this up, and I might make you an honorary metalhead, you synth popper you.

SWA, ha ha ha, sucker!

susan, it's fun for me. For thee? Hmm, Metal 8-Ball says "ask again later."

LBR, throw all the kinds words upon the Randal wall you wish, I still ain't joining Facebook. ;-)

Though Morrissey always gets points for being a morose bastard.

BB, we've had Pat Boone do metal stuff, where's Kenny Rogers' take?

demeur, that's such a surreal sight, I'm going to keep blaring this until that happens.