Bite-Sized Reviews #16

Here we are with another Bite-Sized issue. Today we’ll be venturing through Veilburner’s modern death-black metal, Fliptop Box’s and Shikobi’s rock tunes, while finally landing to Summit’s blackened avant-garde. Enjoy your trip!

Veilburner – The Obscene Rite (USA, 2016)

This one was presented as experimental black metal/death metal (with industrial, psychedelic, and prog influences) for fans of Deathspell Omega, Akercocke, and Dodheimsgard”. Indeed I wouldn’t call this just straight black metal, more like a general mixture of traditional thrash, black and death solutions plus modern dissonant ones and a sprinkle of variety. I found the riffs to be well accompanying the respective sections’ moods. The dissonant chording gives some extra flavor, in addition something sounds like fretless guitars and bass in places, if my hearing is not faulty. Nice -probably programmed- drumming as well. That being said, the general musical depth in songwriting and arrangement, and the care for the dissonant aspect specifically, is miles far from a comparison with Deathspell Omega but you can definitely feel an influence. Some sections are very reminiscent of the French innovators, as for instance the slow tempo, spoken sections with wacky licks underneath. Advised if you still like a good balance between the old and the new school.

Fliptop Box – Catch22 (Greece, 2016)

This rock EP was introduced as “for fans of Danzig, Alice in Chains, Volbeat , Therapy” and may I say, it feels even too much Volbeat, vocals are a straight copycat. This is basically Volbeat who accidentally set up their gain knob a tad higher and experimented with a few melodeath-ish riffs. Honestly it really lacks personality and I can’t explain why I shouldn’t be listening straight to Volbeat at this point. Not saying it’s badly done, but come on, be yourself a little more guys.

Shikobi – Pull The Trigger (USA, 2016)

Melodic pop-rock with 90s crossover, nu-metal and grungey sensibilities, it isn’t really anything more or less than that. It could remind you of Pearl Jam, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Linkin Park or Rage Against The Machine in places but doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. More than that, the fact that those exact bands are mimicked and resembled in certain passages through similar, identifiable iconic approaches to arrangement, tells that Shikobi have little coming from their own bag. Might be ok to wear your influences on your sleeve, but what does “Shikobi” reduces to then? Performance and recording-mixing could be way better as well, since it says it’s been produced in Seattle but feels home recorded at best.

Summit – The Winds That Forestall Thy Return (Italy, 2016)

This Italian one-man project led by Mr.Gramaglia (also mastermind for the atmospheric black metal act The Clearing Path) bends the boundaries between post-rock, post-metal and the modern dissonant metal avant-garde. Well, have a listen to get it in person! Overall brilliant arrangements, great instrumentals and cinematic atmosphere, as engaging as immersive. One of those records that make a 10-minute epic flow away like a 3-minute track. Impeccable production as well. Tasteful creation, really advised to any music lover.

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About Andrea "Rizzo" Rizzieri 39 Articles
TSL co-founder, co-owner, editor, and in charge of everything-that-comes-with-that. Born 1992, I always had the vocation to learn everything I could later never accomplish to save my own life. I am indeed a failed guitarist, drummer and so much more! Er, I’d better write about music I like for the time being. Although my musical past has been firmly rooted in rock, punk and metal, I appreciate any kind of music as long as I find it artistically interesting. I have a split personality by which part of me likes anything musically forward-thinking, inventive or just of general “good taste”, and part of me likes being blasted by all-out intensity and dissonance.

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