This month’s Dysgeusia sees our Getintothis writer Mark Davies getting to grips with catchiness in all it’s visceral forms.
So, it is at this point in the year where people tend to start turning around and going “Holy shit, it’s February already, what am I even doing with my life?”, and any New Year’s resolutions, unless you are one ruthless and determined individual, have long been broken. It’s okay though, no one expected you to become a revolutionary new person by the end of 2017 willingly, that’s the kind of change that can only be tempered by time and the encroaching fascism of the western world.
Dramatics aside, there have been some great announcements pertaining to new album releases this month, along with a whole host of new bands hitting the scene, so those are the main items on the agenda today.
Up first as we discussed last month, Mastodon had hit the studio over the winter, and have finally announced their impending heavy-hitter Emperor of Sand to be released via Relapse Records on 31 March 2017, and with that massive news they also bring us a single with which to whet our appetites, Sultan’s Curse.
Mastodon – Sultan’s Curse (Relapse)
From the outset, we can tell that this is the sound those fellas from Atlanta have been honing over the past three albums. After some faint chimey cymbals, the opening riff is direct and in your face with it’s grooviness. Troy Sanders familiar growl enters almost immediately after, with Brent Hinds‘ singing not far behind with his favourite jangly finger-picked guitar parts. Some reed organ layers are also undulating throughout to complete the proggy image. A middle section featuring the haunting vocals of drummer Brann Dailor fills out our vocal harmony for a triple-vox-attack, and cements Mastodon‘s place at the top of their game.
You can hear how polished these guys have become simply from this one track, the riffs are now more refined and precise, the production is crystal clear, and of particular note is how far the band’s singing voices have come from their first outing as a vocal trio on 2009’s Crack The Skye. The passage of time is a key concept here, the band have suffered some awful personal tragedies over the past few years, which they have most certainly used to fuel this beast. You’d be a fool not to keep an eye out for this one on release day.
Sikth, those wacky lads known as equally for their furious schizophrenic spoken-word monologues as they are for their ballsy drop-tuned progressive riffs, are back. Again. So after their beginnings way back in the early 2000’s, and subsequent two albums and EPs, the band split up in around 2008. Then a funny thing happened called “djent” which is essentially a progressive metal spin-off genre, the main proponents of which were citing Sikth as one of their major influences, causing the then-defunct band’s popularity to soar.
After much teasing and a very successful crowdfunding campaign, the band reformed in 2014 and put out their heralded Opacities EP, to great critical and fan acclaim. After a quick vocalist change, the band have kept on fighting and hit the studio to work on putting out a much-needed full-length album, and as a gift to us ravenous fans, the first single of which No Wishbones is now available.
Sikth – No Wishbones (Millennium Night)
The band have never been afraid of change, their sound thrives on it, frenetic riffs and tempo changes are their lifesblood, and this new single whilst containing the familiar Sikth elements also puts a new heavier and more aggressive spin on their already angular approach. The middle section to this track probably being one of the grooviest tech riffs we have heard in a while, and though we aren’t ever sure of what we’re going to get with this band, I think it’s a safe bet to call this one of our albums of the year. Guitars and drums are being mixed and produced by top-notch audio extraordinaire (and Periphery bassist) Adam ‘Nolly’ Getgood, which, if you know his already massive roster of work in the prog-metal world, is huge news. Heck yeah.
Whilst we’re on the topic of change, we’re gonna slow things down a bit here with an acoustic album from a fellow called John Garcia. You may know him from a little 90s stoner metal band called Kyuss, which also featured Queens of the Stone Age‘s Josh Homme on guitar duties. Why are we bringing his acoustic album to your attention then? Well, firstly because this thing is catchy as hell and we needed to tell somebody, and secondly because it actually features a number of Kyuss tracks Garcia has remixed along with some originals, to spawn this little monster of an album.
John Garcia – Kylie (Napalm Records)
The first single released for the album, Kylie, is a encapsulating example of what to expect from this album. His signature powerful voice is obviously at the forefront here, accompanied by some wonderfully vintage strumming, strings and piano to really augment the late 70s rock sound he is going for here. The album The Coyote Who Spoke In Tongues is available now via Napalm Records and we heartily recommend you check it out.
Speeding things right back up, we bring you a legendary Norwegian Black Metal band Nidingr whose new album The High Heat Licks Against Heaven is some of the ballsiest chaos to cross our desks since Cultes Des Ghoules! This is not the blast-beating, reverbed-to-death, recorded-in-a-bin black metal you might be used to (at least not all of it), as these guys moved into much groovier and crustier territories long ago. Instead, the vocals are up front and ripping your face off, the guitars are audible and punky, the basslines are downright funky and the drums, though powerful enough to snap your neck, retain a sense of playfulness. These guys are blasting viking-influenced Blackened death metal, and they want you to know they have a great fucking time doing it.
Nidingr – On Dead Body Shore (Indie Recordings)
The track featured here is jarring slab of tasty black metal composition courtesy of guitarist and founding member Morten ‘Teloch’ Iverson, a man who also has a hand in scene giants Mayhem, as well as early roles in bands such as 1349, God Seed and Gorgoroth, so the band’s credentials are without question. A key theme with a lot of new releases this month is catchiness, and Nidingr are no exception, this thing slays.
Rounding out our month we bring you the latest effort from american giants Fit for an Autopsy. These guys have been steadily gaining momentum since their 2013 effort Hellbound which was a great leaping point to technical death metal for those deathcore fans who had become disillusioned with the endless breakdowns and lack of effort put into the songwriting of their preferred genre. It was heavy, technical and all kinds of brutal, without compromising on songwriting with gimmicks. Their next album came in the form of 2015’s Absolute Hope Absolute Hell which continued in the same vein, but refined the sound that much more, and added more technicality. So, we now bring you the first offering Heads Will Hang from their upcoming release The Great Collapse out via eOne/Good Fight Music on 17 March 2017.
Fit for an Autopsy – Heads Will Hang (eOne/Good Fight Music)
The tracks opens wth some straight up Gojira worship, which is never a bad thing in our books, so open string strikes and pick scrapes aplenty here! It’s technical and groovy, and leads into some solid gutteral work from Joe Badolato the bands newer vocalist after they got “Nate Johnson-ned” mid-tour in 2014 (a vocalist notorious for abandoning the bands he is in). Again, we almost hate to use the word now but with a chorus like that, how could this track not be catchy? Some lovely clean singing towards the track’s middle section which breaks out into another ball-busting gutteral-fest, these guys have it all. Indeed, if their track record is any indicator, these guys are overdue a big break. Keep an eye on FFAA.