Metal Bite-Sized Reviews: only for real men!
Featured today: L’homme Absurde, post black metal. Suffer Yourself, death doom metal. The Black Crown, melancholic heavy rock and Firmam3nt, post/prog metal.
Hey, only real men can read one. So, can you?
L’Homme Absurde – Monsters (Russia, 2016)
The sweet thing about Russian metal acts is that, more often than not, they all have their own idea of extreme metal. I don’t know why, but bands from Russia are unpredictable and you will have hard times trying to find out how a band should sound like by the label they have given themselves.
L’Homme Absurde makes no exception. They call themselves “post black metal”. You know I’m not a fan of pigeonhole-battles, but really, that label can be misleading. If you imagine echoing, ethereal guitar layers disrespectfully growing atop of odd drum beats you are going to be let down, my friend. What you can expect is an engaging and well played melodic black metal disc. Personally, it gives me Dissection-esque vibes, alternating clean to heavy yet crushing moments. And eventually it all converges to a few classic -and classy- heavy metal solutions in different parts of the record.
That being said, Monsters flows pretty neatly, with just a minor issue regarding drums. They appear to be overly flat, compressed and plasti-cy. It’s a present-day-and-age trend, but still…
Can’t reprove anything else, actually I should point out the bravery of the bass, which is rightfully placed in the “front seat” while the music gets calmer. And it makes the heavier parts even more granitic.
Suffer Yourself – Ectoplasm (Sweden, 2016)
And you already know it ain’t happy stuff.
This doom/death act coming from Sweden -but actually started in Poland– delivered quite a shocking yet mortuary disc. Ectoplasm shows a miserable bent for the ultimate art of depression. The buzzing-drone outro tune, Transcend The Void, works as a valuable addition to the album. And also the 19 minute long epic, Dead Visions, spreads malevolence all over the place. Featuring, amongst others, a creepy and shattering spoken vocal.
The Black Crown – Fragments (Italy, 2016)
Obscure, badass and heavy could all be fit The Black Crown’s new album. Despite this band is located in the sunny part of Italy -South, not far from Naples- the sonic ambience is everything but bright.
Imagine and mold the fuzzy, greasy synthetic works of NIN with the strong melancholy of Katatonia (from ‘The Great Cold Distance’ era) and the idea will start looming inside your head.
Unfortunately, the mixing is not always top-notch. It leaves the voice pops out too much here and there, while moving the drums farther beyond everything. The main issue is that it -the mixing style- is not cohesive from one song to another. This way, flaws get to be highlighted even more. Though, Fragments is one hell of an album you can’t let pass away. It is a powerful immersion of heavy rock, that more probably than not, will fly you back in the nineties. Nostalgic rockers arise!
Favourite tune: Pieces
Firmam3nt – Firmament (Spain, 2016)
Are you looking so fucking badly for something badass yet champagne-tasting, at the same time?
Do you need something with a huge drive still with strong, intriguing melodies?
Well, you got it, boy!
Firmament (or Firmam3nt) drew a big grin on my tired face. I was tired of listening to meaningless metal these days, but these “muchachos” saved my sorry ass. Their self-titled, debut full length comes to fulfill the union of prog metal and post rock. Or was it post metal and prog rock? Or … yeah, whatever. The point is that we have four, explosive tracks of wonderfully played instrumental music. The lack of the voice is a must -that means I was pleased they did not have a singer- yet the musicianship is even better. Not to mention the album has been entirely live recorded! … in both audio and video version!
Keep your eyes peeled for pretty much anything you are going to hear. Though, the bass plays some glorious stuff.