MetalBlog by Steff Chirazi

\m/ Prophets, seers and a brilliant band return just in time \m/

METAL BLOG, Vol. 3 - by Steff Chirazi

With the world descending into yet further avalanches of chaos, it is both comforting and necessary that Killing Joke are set to return to our hearts, minds and ears with their 16th studio album Pylon, to be released October 23rd on Spinefarm Records, and if you want a taste of what they still do better than anyone else, check out the deeply feral, howlingly guttural, percussively-driven roar of “I Am The Virus”, frontman Jaz Coleman (poet, composer and one of the sharpest minds you will ever know) tribally leading the observations which Killing Joke have long-made about our society and which now seem more relevant than ever.

I am not joking, if you are reading this catching your ass and wondering WTF I am going on about, disengage your finger and use it to either research this seminal band or order some of their music immediately. Not only will you feel better, you will be experiencing a cultural injection, as many of your favorites from Faith No More to Ministry have taken their cues from Killing Joke’s sound, and Nirvana once paid the ultimate homage by basically playing a slower version of the riff to their classic “Eighties” for “Come As You Are”. Killing Joke never got legal about it, Nirvana copped to it and many years later, Dave Grohl ended up playing drums on their 2003 self-titled album (don’t be confused, their dent in 1978 was also self-titled but see, this is another reason they’re great, because they don’t give a damn and will call an album what they want). Make no mistake, Killing Joke, and the tribal following they have accrued since forming in 1978, are something you will want to be a part of. If you don’t, visit a doctor’s office immediately.

Speaking of ‘tribal’, I think we can all safety agree that Wacken is the most unique metal festival in the world, and one which generates it’s own tribe of loveable lunatics, some of whom camp miles away and never get to see a band because they’re too vested in their pop-up community! If you’ve ever been one of those people, or if those people have intrigued you, or if you simply love Wacken, then be sure to ask your friends, family (or own personal wallet) to fork over for a copy of the lavish DVD collection, 25 Years Of Wacken - Snapshots, Scraps, Thoughts & Sounds, the ultimate Wacken collection featuring three discs of the best performances on all stages and one of those brilliant books with loads of little passes and photos and ‘fiddly bits’ to see over and over again.

Sticking with the ‘tribal’ thing for another paragraph, get prepared for a new release from ex-Slayer drummeister Dave Lombardo and his deliriously off-kilter, skeedaddly, cranium-crunching alterna-punk-metal stew, while Kylesa’s new album Exhausting Fire sounds like it might’ve fueled the Manson gang in those Spahn Ranch caves. I Worship Chaos, the new Children of Bodom album, sounds like their most accomplished to date, pulling together some previously loose elements to forge a tight, thick and razor sharp collection of songs which walk a line between technical metal, straight thrash and some dither elements. It feels ‘big’ and could see CoB make the full leap to an arena act.

An intriguing EP hit my ears from Mercyful Fate veteran axe men Michael Denner and Hank Shermann, whose twin guitar attack is engaging but which suffers from vocals that just aren’t quite good enough to ride either with the riffs or with the expectation unwittingly set by the Shermann/Denner history (you know, King Diamond). But I must say that the new Black Breath album, cheerfully titled Slaves Beyond Death, smokes with a mid-paced, demonic sludge-dusted sound and heart-warming songs such as “Burning Hate” and “Pleasure, Pain, Disease”. Lovely. Now, you want a big, fat, filthy, greasy, ten ton hammer of a riff don’t you? Don't you?!!!!? Well, allow me to give you “Carcosa” from the latest High On Fire album Luminiferous, and if for some reason I have mentioned this already in a previous set of scribbles, then that should tell you to go and buy the goddam album because this riff is one the many noble yet utterly savage beasts from Pike and co’s latest offering.

I started by waxing lyrical about the sterling qualities of some great social commentators, and I’m going to close up shop tonight with thoughts on the new Megadeth track “Fatal Illusion” from their forthcoming album Dystopia(which isn’t actually slated for release until January 2016, but these days everything seems to be getting sold and discussed months and months before it’s release). Dave Mustaine, a platinum-coated riffmeister, has spoken of political and societal matters for the metal crowd since 1986’s Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?, and might well have written one of the greatest lines in metal history in the song “Hook In Mouth” (Little man with the big eraser/Changing hist-o-ree). So you’d be a fool not to pay attention to a new one from Megadeth, and it is classic Megadeth fare, twists and turns, razor riffs and Mustaine’s trademark snarling (with a light coating of grit giving his voice a smokier quality than usual). In fact, after a few listens, I figured out it’s direct-relative; “Good Mourning/Black Friday”!!! Fans and die-hards won’t be disappointed...

Until next time, Steffan – UDR Columnist.

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