Monday, November 30, 2009

Dispatches from Powerviolence: Small Brown Bike is Back Together

Photo from

I feel bad for sitting on this one for so long. At the beginning of October, Small Brown Bike announced they were getting back together. Not only do they have some shows scheduled, but they also said they are putting together new music, and to prove it, released a 7” with two new songs on it entitled “Composite, Volume One.” The lineup is the original members, so we should all expect the great music we loved from the band before they broke up.

Check out the band's new site here: Small Brown Bike

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Review Your Face Off: Behemoth - "Evangelion"


Behemoth, one of Poland’s best known metal bands, started out as what would be considered a more straight-forward black metal group, but that’s changed over time. Nowadays these fellas deliver a blackened death metal sound, which is fine by me, because I can still get my rage on to it.

Overall, I think this release is pretty solid. There are some songs that I think are great, and there are some songs that I could do without. Musically, Behemoth gives you a big, fat dose of what you’d expect from a blackened death metal band. Generally, everything is at a super fast tempo, and while bludgeoning, the listener still gets the opportunity to hear the amount of talent everyone has. Inferno is fantastic with his drumming, and all guitar work is pretty intense. Behemoth uses a lot of Middle-Eastern influences throughout the compositions, and although they don’t use it nearly as much as a band like Nile, it opens up a certain amount of dimension in a genre that can lead to extremely similar sounding bands. Lyrically, it’s no surprise that most subject matter deals with the occult, and the vocals are kept in a growl.

“Ov Fire and the Void” and “Lucifer” are the standout tracks in my opinion. The others on the album are all good, but they can suffer from starting to sound the same after awhile. I’m not necessarily saying the album gets boring, however; I’m more or less pointing out that you can forget a new song has started.

I would definitely recommend this to someone who’s interested in black metal, death metal, or blackened death metal, but I would slap a disclaimer on there that it’s not going to be the best out there.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Old Timers: Sleep - "Dopesmoker"


Alright, I’m sure some of you out there are asking why Dopesmoker is coming up as an Old Timer, since it was released in 2003. First of all, I would like to point out that when we first started Old Timers, we explained that we weren’t positive how old something would need to be in order to qualify. So, this album was released six years ago, and since I’m an editor for the site, I say that’s fine.

But wait! Like an amazing infomercial, there’s always more. Turns out, this album has a past some may not know about. It was released in a slightly different form under the name Jerusalem as a bootleg and then officially in 1998 and 1999 respectfully. The label carrying Sleep was causing issues, and the band didn’t want to edit any portions. However, since the song was already tracked and whatnot, it ended up getting released as said bootleg split up into sections instead of the 105 minute single song as the band intended, and then was later picked up by a label. So technically, this bitchin’ tune goes back to the 90’s. The version I am yapping about in this post is the 2003 release put out the way the band had always wanted.

So now that I got all that information out of the way, you can set your dicks to hard and get ready for the actual reasons this record is getting a post. The main reason, of course, is that it’s fucking awesome. If you want to get into stoner metal or doom metal, this is a great place to start, and if you’re already into said genres and haven’t heard this, ask your mom to bring you to the mall to pick this shit up. The version going as Dopesmoker contains the epic title track and another called “Sonic Titan,” which is recorded live. “Sonic Titan” is much shorter and a bit faster paced, but it’s not the real reason to grab this record. It’s all about “Dopesmoker.”

Listening to over an hour and a half of metal is always gnarly as balls, especially if it’s uninterrupted. Although slow, “Dopesmoker” remains super heavy, and Sleep makes sure you’ll be nodding your head like a hippie at Woodstock. Plus, while the main structure is fairly repetitive, things are broken up nicely with guitar acrobatics and musical lulls in order to keep the listener interested. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll probably zone out from time to time, but that’s the point isn’t it? Every time you return to this behemoth you’ll remember why you’ve been listening to it for so damn long, and you’ll certainly be ready to continue on.

I definitely think this is an album to revisit or check out if you’ve never given a listen. Put it on in the car with your grandma; she’ll love it.