Friday, December 18, 2015

PC Metal

Vastum was recently in the news after an interview with the bands vocalist did the rounds. This American death metal band got off to a promising start with their Carnal Law debut a few years ago but since then it’s been a case of diminishing returns with the follow up failing to impress and this new album, “Hole Below” sounding like a sampling of all the lowest common denominators of the current death metal scene. There are some trying to sound like Incantation riffs and “atmospherics”, groovy Bolt Thrower lite riffs hiding behind a whole lot of distortion and reverb heavy vocals. At times it reminds me of a catchier, friendlier version of that last Grave Miasma album but ultimately just as boring.

Feels more and more like if a band can say all the right things to the press then they get a free pass as far as the music is concerned. This year's best of lists have started to come out and it seems to be following this same pattern. If, however they say the wrong things or just were on the opposite side of the political spectrum then they could get blacklisted, banned, shamed on social media and dropped from festivals. Which seems like a weird place for metal to be in. Today, if a young/ new metal band showed off their Nazi war memorabilia collection would they be branded Nazis or would they just be a little eccentric and just “metal”? I think I know the answer to that. I’m just rambling now but yeah, creating a safe space in metal so everyone can feel welcome should mean that it's a safe space for everyone including racists, misogynists, homophobes and every one else people don't like. The state of metal today is just worrying and makes me sad. Anyway Dear Diary...

Another Sunday already. Moving to an early morning shift this week and not looking forward to it one bit.

The new seasons of Arrow and The Flash are killing it and Supergirl is pretty damn good too. DC is having a pretty great run on TV with all 3 shows hitting the right comic book notes. A 3 way cross over event is probably just wishful thinking but if it does happen, it could be very good. J’onn J’onzz’s debut last week was a very cool twist on Supergirl while The Flash/ Arrow crossover this year was just relentless fun. It was also cool to see John Constantine pay a visit to Star city and he fit into the universe very smoothly.  It would have been great if Amell and Gustin could have simply crossed over onto the big screen for the eventual Justice League movie. Anyway, at the moment DC TV is just good fun.

Spain’s Orthodox returned just as I was moaning yet again about 2015 being a disappointing year for heavy music. The band is down to just a 2 piece now but is still just as weird and wonderful as ever. Heavy doom metal but with enough tricks up its sleeve to always be interesting and this is an album I can really sink my teeth into. This is going to be on my playlist for a long while. Snail has a new album out too. This is some more shimmering, psychedelic stoner rock with a heavy bottom end and odd melodies. It’s been growing on me with every listen.  80s thrashers Viking made a low key but triumphant return this year with “No Child Left Behind”. What really works for this album is the band has stuck to a very 80s production and sound and while there isn’t anything innovative or path breaking about this release, it’s a solid thrash metal album and something I’ve played a lot over the last few months.

In other news, India heads off to Australia next month. After the 3-0 win at home against South Africa the team should be high on confidence. Australia will win comfortably though and it’ll be the usual mixture of fun and frustration to see another Indian failure abroad. Australia’s going to destroy our batsmen although our faster bowlers might just do well this time. Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma bowled surprisingly well in the few opportunities they got against South Africa.