A friend and colleague recently thanked me for introducing him to the music of some bands he had never heard before. It was a nice gesture at the end of a long work week filled with professional and personal highs and lows.
Being someone who loves music especially rock and heavy metal it was easy to find a measure of musical catharsis this week.
At my most enraged I took comfort from new material released by Maryland grindcore masters Dying Fetus. Neither their name nor their music will be to everyone’s taste. However Dying Fetus are experts at their craft. Unlike most death metal outfits, their politics are humanist if not always humane. Their ability to link complicated riffs, varying time changes and brutal lyrics is for me a welcome musical treat. They are my favourite act in a genre that has over the years moved away from the ideals of Chris Barnes and Chuck Schuldiner, into stale corporate respectability. The tracks featured below are from their upcoming album, Wrong One To Fuck With, dropping on June 23rd 2017.
Throughout the band’s career, they have been fortunate to have some excellent drummers including Kevin Talley and lead singer John Gallagher. However current stickman Trey Williams outshines his predecessors both in precision and aggression. And he makes it look easy! As a drummer with experience playing in metal and grind-core bands myself, I envy Williams’s skills behind the drum-set and especially the ease and finesse with which he integrates complex rolls and blast beats into the band’s grooves. You can check these out at the links below.
Moving onto lighter musical territory, my “Loveless” playlist over the past week features some interesting American, Australian and Canadian acts.
Heading up the list are New York alt-rockers Highly Suspect with their track “Little One” off of their 2016 release The Boy Who Died Wolf. Admittedly I hadn’t heard of Highly Suspect until earlier this week when driving home from work. At the time it was the most poignant song I could have heard in light of the day’s events.
Also featuring on the playlist are Ohio based rockers Red Sun Rising with two tracks from their 2015 release Polyester Zeal. The band’s influences include A Perfect Circle, Alice and Chains, Soundgarden and Metallica – all superb bands. Learning from these masters of sound, Red Sun Rising have created a masterpiece of hard rock with Polyester Zeal. In short, Dear Reader, go check them out and buy their album!
Another impressive act featured below is While She Sleeps and their track “Silence Speaks” taken from their 2017 crowd-funded album You Are We. It is by far the most interesting and exciting piece of metalcore I have heard in years and both its emotive power and political themes found deep resonance with this writer.
While I’ll admit to not being a fan of most Christian rock music, good music is good music regardless of its source. Ontario based Thousand Foot Krutch are just such an example. Their music is accessible whilst still preserving their central beliefs. On display below is “Fly on the Wall” from their 2014 album The End is Where We Begin. The track is intended as a personal message from the band to the devil, but it is structured in a way that can be interpreted for the benefit of any listener. Though I’m not a Christian, I find the track both emotionally and spiritually soothing – and isn’t that a form of salvation?
Also included below is “Let Down” by New Jersey based post-hardcore outfit Palisades. The track taken from their 2017 self-titled album has enjoyed considerable radio play on satellite radio and its subject matter is no doubt familiar to everyone.
Following up on the above is “Like A Ghost” from Australian melodic rockers Opine. Opine is the most interesting and exciting independent music act I have heard in years and the Intellectual Plane will continue to follow their progress with interest. Opine possess an extremely talented line-up and there is a passion to their music that raises them above most independent acts. Though of a different genre, they remind this writer of metal giants Lamb of God, a powerful group that when allied with major label production continue to create masterpieces in their chosen field. It is my most fervent hope that Opine will continue to strive for excellence and will achieve major label support. If they do so, like Lamb of God, they will become icons of their genre. You can read more about Opine here at the Intellectual Plane or on their Facebook page. The Intellectual Plane eagerly awaits their forthcoming album scheduled for release later this year.
From Australia to America, the next track on our Monday playlist is “Breathe” by Nebraska based metal band Through Fire. Taken from the 2016 album of the same name, Breathe is a melodic angst ridden journey into an emotional heart of darkness. It is a cry for hope in a harsh and depressing world. It is an especially poignant song for this writer, conjuring sentiments of earlier grief and the possibility of hope for the future.
Hope for the future in the context of love and uncertainty can be found in “Foreign Cab Rides” by Los Angeles based punk-rock outfit Letlive. The track incorporates elements of jazz, rock and progressive rock to create a melodic thunderstorm. Foreign Cab Rides is taken from the band’s 2016 release If I’m the Devil…
Stone Sour’s “Anna” is a bonus track from the band’s 2010 album Audio Secrecy. It’s relevance to the list is found in the playlist’s title.
Finally in a throwback to 2001, the hit single “Blurry” by Puddle of Mudd rounds out today’s track list.
Wishing you all a great Monday and even better week!
June 19th 2017
Chris’s “Loveless” Playlist
1) LITTLE ONE BY HIGHLY SUSPECT
2) EMOTIONLESS BY RED SUN RISING
3) SILENCE SPEAKS (FEATURING OLI SYKES) BY WHILE SHE SLEEPS
4) MY MUSE BY RED SUN RISING
5) FLY ON THE WALL BY THOUSAND FOOT KRUTCH
6) LET DOWN BY PALISADES
7) LIKE A GHOST BY OPINE
8) BREATHE BY THROUGH FIRE
9) FOREIGN CAB RIDES BY LETLIVE
10) ANNA BY STONE SOUR
11) BLURRY BY PUDDLE OF MUDD