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Friday, January 25, 2013

2012 International Roundup part 2 - Sanguinary Misanthropia, WaterWays, Sons of Alpha Centauri, Hotel Wrecking City Traders and Bonehunter

This is the last of the 2012 round ups. The longer I’ve worked on them the more I’ve realised could be included. But I’ve got to stop somewhere and I’m sure those other releases will find their place around here at the appropriate time...

Sanguinary Misanthropia - Loathe Over Will ( Supremacy Through Intolerance)

At the time of writing, I will be getting to see these guys play tomorrow  tonight at “APOCRYPHAL CONGREGATION OF RITUAL DEATH” where I’m expecting to be pulverized by an impressive performance of intense dark and rhythmic Black Metal. But I’ll talk more about that later.

‘Loathe over Will’ is a slow but rewarding grower of an album. It’s full of interesting percussion, rhythmic changes and subtle melodies both in the music and vocals. This, of course is all flavoured with aggressive energy and dark hatred of everything. The title track, ‘Bellum ad Internecionem’ and opening tune ‘Revelations 16:4 - 6 (Ritual Opening)’ are particular stand out tracks for me. Both of which reflect the previous description very well. 

The thing I believe could make ‘Loathe Over Will’ a better listen however, is neither to do with the bands performance nor song writing ability. In fact both of those things are brilliant. It’s actually in the production, which is oddly also solid. It’s something in the production that I can’t quite put my finger on. I think it’s either that the guitars are slightly too dominant in the mix and don’t allow the drums and vocals to breathe as much as they should, or it’s because the recording has been pushed slightly too hot during the mastering process, resulting in the music’s natural dynamics being flattened. It may even be a combination of both or neither of those things. Whatever it is, it makes the album a more arduous listen than it really should be, and I say that knowing that this music isn’t supposed to be easy to listen to. This is where I can tell though, through repetitive listens, that none of this will be a problem live. In fact I know that this is where the music of Sanguinary Misanthropia will shine! Perhaps they could sort this out for the vinyl release, which “Loathe Over Will” is destined for.

WaterWays / Sons of Alpha Centauri / Hotel Wrecking City Traders - 3 way Split (Bro Fidelity)
I want this record! It’s a work of art. I mean look at the cover(s) and of course I’ll now tell you about the music contained within. (Which by the way, isn’t what you’d normally expect to be reviewed here but for some reason seems to belong all the same) It’s also the first time I've reviewed a digital promo copy. More of which I know are to come. 
American release
WaterWays, from Southern Calafornia, play gothic guitar pop in the vein of ‘Fields of the Nephilim’, but with almost celtic styled female vocal and a Portishead smoothness. Of the 4 songs here all are varied, dark and beautiful in their own right. Check out ‘The Blacksmith’:

European release
Sons of Alpha Centauri, from the UK, provide a single eight and a half minute track ‘27’. ‘27’ leads on perfectly from WaterWays, with it’s clean guitar opening which ebbs and flows through a journey of different rhythms, riffs and in and out of distorted highs and clean lows. 
‘27’ is the first of two remaining instrumental songs on the album, the second being from ‘Hotel Wrecking City Traders’.
Australian release
Hotel Wrecking City Traders, from Melbourne, continue on the path where ‘27’ finished and ‘WaterWays’ started with 'Pulmo Victus'. 'Pulmo Victus' which sees acoustic guitars, reverbed and delayed strings floating on top of their sub ten minute journey across a mist of looped guitar fuzz. It’s the Noisy climax of the album and the perfect closer.

Both ‘Sons of Alpha Centauri’ and ‘Hotel Wrecking City Traders’ do exactly what that shitty over hyped emperor's new clothing excuse for a band ‘Earth’ don’t. They create lively and interesting guitar driven instrumental rock which transports your mind to another place, and not boring half paced country/blues songs that really should have vocals but don’t. ‘Earth’ should really take a lesson from these guys or split up immediately! By the way I fucking hate ‘Earth’ if you didn’t pick up on that. 

This is the album you put on, on a warm Sunday afternoon, while you’re sitting out in the back yard and recovering from a hangover caused by the excesses of a Sanguinary Misanthropia gig you attended the night before. It goes well with a strong coffee, fruit juice or perhaps the hair of the dog that bit you. Definitely not pot though, that shit makes me insanely paranoid and want to curl up into the fetal position. 

Bonehunter - Turn up the Evil (Hell’s Vomit
“Turn up the Evil” by Finland’s ‘Bonehunter’ is the second release on New Zealand underground Metal label “Hell’s Vomit”. ‘Bonehunter’are self described ‘Street Metal Punk’. In my mind however, the best way to describe “Bonehunter - Turn up the Evil” is to get you to imagine what a Bathory EP would have sounded like if Quathorn had written and recorded six sexually suggestive/crass songs (seven if you include the intro) in the style of this:
Yes ‘Turn up the Evil’ is a fun 15 Minutes of catchy, dirty, rockin black metal. If that sounds like your thing you won’t go wrong with adding it to your collection. 
A suggestion for improvement on this release would be for the tracks to be widened and more bass to be brought out in the mastering. Something I noticed upon first listening was that after the attention grabbing (and dynamic sounding) occult porno intro of “Summoning...” The music seems to shrink down in contrast. Just a minor gripe though.
For fans of the aforementioned, Atomizer, Gospel of the Horns, Venom, Midnight and recent Darkthrone.

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