Posts Tagged ‘The One Minute Review’

Musing for a Minute on Metal; The One Minute Review

stopwatch

This is either going to work, or die a horribly, screaming, painful death very early on. There’s no doubt that any album needs to prove itself in its infancy so that it may be played continuously until it’s final notes. A popular consensus is that three tracks is what it takes for a yay, nay, eject or continue to play. For me the first track is very important, although I have given up on an album if the second, third and fourth track leave little to no impression, even following a blow my mind initial introduction. Imagine if you will a world in which you have a single minute to make the decision. Naturally, there are some genres in which this won’t work well at all and others where it will suit the music’s style. Take Akercocke’s “Praise the Name of Satan” (the opening track to ‘Choronzon’) for example, if I were base my opinion of the album on a minute of its intro alone then I would be hearing zero actual music (unless you count an angelic chorus as the backdrop against the talkie bit) and all soundbite about some guy droning on about witchcraft this, sacrifice that and who the hell knows the other. By this point I’ve lost interest completely. And have little to zero indication how the music will play out for the remainder of the album. Naturally, there will be elements that will need playing with in this particular the format. But, what the hey, let’s go with what we have for now. I’ve left the best news for last – I’m joined in this exciting venture by a close friend who has similar interests.

Without further preamble…

Much like the Attack of the Compilation pieces I believe a quite specific rating system would work for this format.

the one minute review confused header

Yea, I’m still confused and unsure

Worst/Avoid this like the proverbial plague – I’d rather spin a vintage Judas Priest album backwards in an insane asylum but not before letting the inmates loose and arming them with bendy straws and plastic sporks.

Ugh – This is like that one jug of milk in the fridge which you can’t for the life of you decide whether it has an odor or not (the date is indecipherable), it’s best not to drink it and you won’t if you have an alternate nearby.

Has Potential – There’s a certain something which elevates this above ignorable. It’s not great, but with a little work future efforts could well be. “Mmm, suck you do not, potential you have” in my finest Yoda voice (which isn’t that good).

Impressive – There’s no doubt about it, like a train full of hardened criminals (rapists, murderers, politicians) careening off the tracks into the gaping maw of a smoldering volcano, this is going places (whatever that means!)

Fuck me, this is Good! – Like finding a $50 note on the ground, stop what you’re doing and grab that shit, before it’s gone!

Naturally a decision cannot be made on the first minute of the first track alone. Let’s not be hasty here. Albums are often diverse and more often than not open up as the running order progresses showcasing the bands diversity, talent, and often a willingness to adapt and/or experiment in order to carve a niche of their own. What better way then, than to get a feel for this than by giving a few tracks a listen. Another two (as well as the initial one) to garner a better understanding of where this album might be headed.

The First Victim

As of late I’ve been struggling to keep up with the vast number of promos which have somehow found themselves in my Inbox. Admittedly it’s been a while since I’ve tackled a release from the Satanath stable, I’d like to rectify that. So, with dart in hand and blinder across eyes I throw the dart, smash the computers screen (what an ignoramus way to pick randomly) but come up with a name; the first victim of the very first One Minute Review Segment (it remains to be seen if there will be another?)

vehementor

Vehementor – Dungeons of Grotesque Symmetry (cd limited to 500 copies)
(Macedonia)
Release -June/24/2019
Satanath Records (Russia)/MurdHer Records (Italy)
https://satanath.bandcamp.com/album/sat252-vehementor-dungeons-of-grotesque-symmetry-2019

In the grand tradition of the other review pieces on this site (talent needs to be recognized) I’d like to commence this with a few words on the albums art.

Crimson. Lots of crimson, candles, steps and a foreboding figure in the background. But what is his purpose? Is he the “Vehementor”? And just what is this abode fashioned from? It appears as though it’s a living breathing entity, perhaps it’s a giant creature or a vast vagina this fellow has somehow stumbled onto and in. And cannot find his way out? We might never know. All queries aside, outrageous or not, this is a rather impressive image, one that hints at audio with ominous, perhaps Gothic, most undeniably evil, qualities.

For the purpose of this review I’ll tackle the third track. Entitled “Notorious” which strangely has nothing to do with a similarly named scallywag, an Irish M.M.A fighter, but more to do with…Hell I don’t know (I guess I need to give this a listen). And Drew will tackle the eighth track entitled “The Stronghold is Yours”.

Onwards. (setting the stopwatch)

“Reaper” (Track One; the introduction to both the band, the album and their style)

drew infared avi

Drew – Exactly what I was expecting based on my first track, at least in the vocal department. Nice, solid tempo but the music definitely isn’t straight up death. Nothing in the blast-beat department so far. Production is clean in both music and vocals. The artwork is just begging to be thrown on a t-shirt. A nice glimpse into what kind of looks like one of the many rooms of hell.

Really digging on it so far and have upgraded to an Impressive rating.

Cult – This isn’t at all what I expected. There are riffs here, of the infectious variety, clean production and a thrashy vibe with a mid- tempo, rather than an out and out brutal death and or blackened nature played at hyper-speed. Vocals hit at the thirty second mark and they’re of a raspy type, heavier than traditional thrash though not quite of a growling nature one usually associates with death realms, reminding me or the earliest of Witchery style (“Restless and Dead, “Dead, Hot and Ready”). Stranger still is that they are of the decipherable variety and that they fit the groove the guitars and drums provide. Although a break in pace hasn’t happened yet I’m left wondering if it might, as the track bears definite ominous qualities.

witchery dead hot and ready

In case you were wondering

I’d gladly give this an Impressive rating as this leaves me beyond curious as to what the remainder of the album offers.

Drews pick; “The Stronghold is Yours” (the eighth track)

I actually jumped straight to my track first without listening to anything for no other reason as to not skew my view of the band…and to be difficult. A screeching guitar effect blends seamlessly into what feels like a slowed down jam session. Shockingly, I really can’t get a feel for what this band is like based on 60 whole seconds of this track alone. But right around the one-minute mark is exactly where the vocals begin to kick in leaving me with a death impression.

So far, I’m leaning heavily on Has Potential.

 Cults pick; “Notorious” (the third track)
sepultura beneath

It goes without mentioning that this is a must own album! 

Classical, acoustic, guitar (electric) opens this track, much in the same vein of Sepultura’s “Beneath the Remains” though not quite with such the same epic vibe. An introductory vibe which lasts for a good fifteen seconds. The drums join at this point, then at forty-five seconds the oomph of another guitar and an interesting rhythm (which sadly this one-minute format will not allow this listener to hear the climax of) again, at a mid-tempo pace which sounds surprisingly clean. This isn’t the audio one might assume based on the cover art, but it is catchy. Only the smallest snippet of a vocal accompaniment accompanies the track before the (one-minute) buzzer goes off and I have to fashion this with a rating.

Impressive is again my opinion and I’m intrigued as to how the album might play out, but that’s for another day. I’m interested as to Drew’s thoughts (I scribbled and finished mine before reading them).

Well, there’s the first entry in the One Minute Review (Musing for a Minute on Metal) segment in the bag, it wasn’t perfect, but we tried! It’s best to remember that our opinions are based solely on one minute of audio and not the whole album so the final verdict could go either way, and could be light years removed from our verdict. Feel free to share, comment and/or suggest other albums which might be suitable for similar scrutiny.

 

Cult