Monday, April 9, 2012

Mystery solved


















Pay no attention to the man behind the wheel of the DeLorean. 

Always wanted a bong n' Weird Tales sonic treatment of Jesus' stillborn, time-traveling twin, & thanks to the fanatically fervent High on Fire, here it is, quite the Easter egg. On number six, De Vermis Mysteriis, Kurt Ballou's production, following messrs. Albini, Endino, & Fidelman, is still too Valley of the Kings dry -- O how these lucubrations Lovecraftian Blochian long for The Art of Self Defense's wet smoke inhalation -- but, in correcting the one drawback of the last LP, voice & guitar have been restored to their rightful place in the mix, though whatever acrid adult libation Mr. Pike swills in ritually sacrificing his larynx, 1)sign me up, I'll be a big hit on Halloween, 2)no fucked knob twiddle needed in the face of such stellar howls.

Chaotic opener Serums of Liao doesn't imprint as ruthlessly as past album introductions -- Baghdad, Devilution, & Fury Whip are red giant imposing -- but 'tis early in its life, & the seasick solo sticks like peanut butter on the brain, & here we go, Bloody Knuckles feeds on Slayer's rich, tasty courage, grit between the teeth. Des Kensel's masterful control of whack-a-tom starts the speed & sleep splatter of Fertile Green -- let me pause for a moment & state that within a just world, any minute now this guy would begin to usurp Lombardo's throne in the hesher consciousness. The dude owns, consistently.

The crawl-birthing-a-stomp of Madness of an Architect drones the ears like a rusty cheese grater, & it's beautiful, the other side of the looking glass to the voiceless melodicism of Samsara that renews the psychedelic side trips of Death is This Communion, & being an understated showpiece for too-underrated bassist Jeff Matz, who quickly flips back the switch, the rest also congregating in Spiritual Rites whose stop-start pacing gleefully recalls Rumors of War, an extra gear thrashed for good measure.

King of Days, O, it proceeds like the Weedian, but sandblasted with unexpected Cosmic Requiem-era hues of Cathedral melancholy. The grinding title track is arguably the weakest piece which is surprising, & speaks to the 18/01 strength of the entire album, such as found in the paired final responsorials, the stoned Motörhead cohort march of Romulus and Remus, & the eerie breathing space 'fore the final charge of Warhorn, expert, expanding gradations within the band's specific palette.

Some bands I dig a smidgen more, some albums punch the emotional gut a bit harder, & this isn't their finest hour (too much speed, too little groaning, fucked-up turbulence), but if a stranger asked hey Randal what is metal? I'd probably pass them a High on Fire record, & this is ain't a bad place to start.

14 comments:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Pull up a chair, fill your bong with fire, and have some rusty cheese and peanut butter...
~

Randal Graves said...

The masses don't seem to like the metal. That's fine, MORE FOR ME BERSERKER.

Prunella Vulgaris said...

This needs a "That's His Fucking Metal Face" tag.

Randal Graves said...

YOUR ATTEMPT TO RUN MY BLOG IS A STENCH IN MY NOSTRILS.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

That's his blogging face!
~

Prunella Vulgaris said...

YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF HEGEMONIC MASCULINE NORMS IS MERELY A MANIFESTATION OF CULTURAL IMPERIALISM, YOU CHAUVINIST. THE AYATOLLAH SCOFFS AT THY HEADBANGING.

Randal Graves said...

if, straungely, my blogging face is eerily similar to the rest of my faces.

YOUR WORDLIE ALCHYMIE IS OF THE DIVILL AND HIS AGENTES VPPON TH'EARTH, KNOWN YS THAY AS STRUMPETTES.

Beach Bum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beach Bum said...

Holy Cow! Madness of the Architect sounded like a combination of a demon possessed alarm clock and my mom-in-law with the alarm clock running off in fear.

Jim H. said...

This something you do is something you do well. Besides introducing me to a whole new seam of, well, rock, it... well, I enjoy your style: melancholy, yet melodious.

Tom Harper said...

Great sound. Nice acid-rock/metal synthesis.

susan said...

You really do write great music reviews. I can hardly wait to read your opinion of Scott Joplin.

Randal Graves said...

BB, okay, that just made me laugh. Time for a metal-themed sitcom. Sure, the pot n' beer jokes will go stale after the first two scenes, but that's never stopped 99% of sitcoms before.

jim, thanks man, but aren't you supposed to be vacationing?

tom, figured you'd dig them. My personal preferences are for the debut and Blessed Black Wings, but all six are worthy additions to your cheap, particle-board CD case.

susan, think we might want to leave such reviews up to those with more than a passing familiarity.

Demeur said...

Help my bag of snarky comments is missing. Maybe it got lost in the explosion today.