The guitars that destroyed the world! The most over the top L. P. since Slayer's "Reign In Blood" in '86, and Ministry's "Land of Rape and Honey" in '88. The result: somewhere in between and beyond! Y'could say the antidote for "Shiny Happy Alternative" people (you know who you are). The culprits in this aural drive-by are Max Cavalera (vox, gtrs, bass, programming) of Sepultura and Alex Newport (vox, gtrs, bass & programming) of Fudge Tunnel. With assorted guest homiez like Dino Cazares (Fear Factory / Brujeria), Igor Cavalera (drums) and Andreas Kisser (gtrs) of Sepultura getting their licks in. Max and Alex let it rip and don't let up until the very end, beginning with "Wasted Away", to "24 Hour Bullshit," on which Dino adds his crushing guitar style. This one sounds like what you must hear while being devoured by a huge great white, "CHOMP - CHOMP!" They also have the lyrics to back up the musical assault. Lyrics range anywhere from commercials to doing things for yourself. 'Cockroaches', 'For Fuck's Sake' , and 'World of Shit' all stand out. The latter has a killer groove that you would expect from Ministry or 1000 HOMO DJ''s. 'Sick Life'. another strong track (surprised?), comes across like a reunion of Tony Iommi's bastard sons--Heavy! You're right Max, it does feel real good to be a punk loser!
JELLO BIAFRA / MOJO NIXON & THE TOADLIQUORS
"Will the Fetus be Aborted"
Yee-haw!! That damn Biafra has done it again. The mangling of the gospel tune 'Will the Circle Be Unbroken', gets the treatment, transforming the title track into a spoof of anti-abortion nuts. 'The Lost World' is a great tune, kinda like a souped-up rockabilly version of the D.K.'s class 'Jock-O-Rama'. 'Drinkin' with Jesus' is Mojo's turn, a tale of knockin' back some cool ones with the Holy One. I have one question-it happens to you too, Mojo? (Double Yee-Haw!!) 'Achey Rakey Heart' is a cover of you-know-what-song, take from A.T. L.P. by Eugene Chadbourne and Evan Johns, 'Terror Has Some Strange Kinfolk' (look for it). A nice added is the death metal style background vox. Demand that it's added to WWVA's playlist. HAW!!
I have seen the future of rock 'n' roll and his name is Von Imo. Advance yourselves! Staleness does not exist in this universe. Just check the title track for example (all 3 versions). Imagine Gene Pitney thrown into the space age. That's kinda what you get with this, sort of. This stuff is indescribable. 'Radio World' constantly pulsates with lines and an awesome solo from saxophonist Juno Saturn. Von Imo, besides being an excellent vocalist, is also a very accomplished musician, playing guitar and bass, as well as (of course) programming. 'Inside Shadowland' has a robotic groove and guitar solo (shreddin'!) that comes outta nowhere. 'Leave Your Body', 'Be Yourself', and 'This Is Pop Rock' are humorous and full of cool advice. Von Imo, destined to rule the rock universe and beyond! He transmits, you will intercept!
MY DYING BRIDE
"Turn Loose the Swans"
(Futurist / Peaceville)
Chilling, haunting, whatever terminology you choose to use, the ultimate goth-metal band has returned: My Dying Bride. Led by vocalist Aaron (no last names!), who has to be the ultimate poet in metal today. Sheer brilliance. Andrew & Calvin are the guitarists, Martin on violin and keyboards, Ade (bass) & Rick (drums) are the dynamic rhythm section. The songs start off with 'Sear Me '93', which is sparsely orchestrated by Martin and accentuated by Aaron's groaning vocals. 'Your River', 'The Snow In My Hands', & 'The Crown of Sympathy' (which so far has to be the spookiest thing I've ever heard) all lay waste to the concept that metal is stagnant, never evolving. The title track is patented M.D.B. in that you never know what's going to happen next. Not ones to follow the crowd, they set the trend! 'Black God', the closer, is another sparse piece with added female vox. So far one of '94's best. Watch for tour!!
(Futurist / Peaceville)
"Heeyyy!!" Anathema are the perfect example of a band that brings freshness, as well as some moments of the past, & make it their own. You think of old Celtic Frost, or of course, Sabbath. But they've definitely carved out a niche for themselves in the world of doom. This is really a bargain 'cause you also get the "Crestfallen" E.P. enclosed on the disc. Two for the price of one, you could say. 'Sweet Tears', 'Sleepless' (which surprisingly has a Buzzcocks-like bounce to it), 'Sleep In Sanity', 'All Faith Is Lost', & '...And I Lust' stand up to anything in the goth-metal vein. My fave is 'The Sweet Suffering' which has a haunting (you use that word a lot when referring to this genre) melody line from guitarists Daniel & Vincent. Out of 14 tracks, there's 9 great ones. Not too bad. A must for any Death/Gothic fan.
The Sab's return with an L.P. that's not too bad, but not exactly excellent, either. Kicking it off with the lead track 'I Witness'. Awesome turn! Featuring Geezer's trademark bass. I haven't heard anything this heavy from him since 'Zero The Hero'. Cool!!! The first four songs are strong. 'Psychophobia' has a bit of irony behind it. "It's time to kiss the rainbow goodbye." I wonder who that's a reference to, hmmmm? Things get fucked up with songs like 'Immaculate Deception', 'Dying for Love', & 'The Hand that Rocks the Cradle'. What is this!!! Complete mush!! You get the feeling of latent power, like if they really wanted to they could crush the competition like bugs, but it's never really fulfilled. The Sabs try to pull it off with closers 'Cardinal Sin' (which in the beginning sounds like Zep's 'Kashmir'--huh?!!) and 'Evil Eye'. This last one has a funny sing-along chorus. Not bad, not great. Maybe we expect too much from our idols.
Bands and record labels looking to get your material checked out, send it to Kirby Stokes, 1320 N. Cleaver St., Chicago, IL 60622. You can reach the "Korner" by calling 312-342-8703. Demo's from unsigned bands welcomed.
Watch for Kirb's interview with My Dying Bride in the next issue of THE ROC.