Quick and Dirty Reviews

Uh oh, friends, this time it’s another one of our “Quick and Dirty Reviews” segments.  Today it’s largely dirty, like most of it leans towards the “please wash me thereafter” score.  Even the header image is dirty as the editor pieced it together without even seeing what it had to do with anything.  Cole Olson gives it to us quick, and dirty for the sampling you’ll find below.  Unfortunately, some of these bands have yet to realize the beauty and neccessity in using Bandcamp, especially to provide sample tracks.   A few of our dirty folks can be heard on other sites no one uses, like Sound Click, but because the embedding size was extremely large we decided against it to save space and so each band with a proper Bandcamp presence, which is free in case you’re about to flame war us in the comment box, was given their due.  See how nice the little Bandcamp slim looks with the rest of the article?  Kind of didn’t want to gum that up with a huge Soundcloud bubble taking up 1/4 of the damn page, so it didn’t happen.  That’s reserved for full reviews.  Anyway, join Cole and embrace the filth.


Nephelium – Coils of Entropy

Somehow Canada, the place where all niceties are born, have been spawning all of these death metal bands. The only reasonable conclusion is that Canadians need an outlet for their anger. Nephelium is one of those bands that have a lot to vent with Coils of Entropy, a thematic album focusing on the inevitable doom that will come from the second law of thermodynamics that states “the total entropy of any isolated thermodynamic system tends to increase over time, thus approaching its maximum value. Therefore, the entropy in the universe as a whole increases in a steady function of its various thermodynamic components. Entropy is the only quantifiable force acknowledged by the physical sciences, that picks a particular direction for time, sometimes called an arrow of time” (straight from the Coils of Entropy liner notes). This scientific approach to entropy is a pretty fucking cool concept and accompanied by pretty fucking good music. The vocals are fast and potent, the drums are technical and percussive, the guitars give good direction, but unfortunately the bass is a bit lacking. There is plenty of variety and surprises in each song but there is almost too much. It gets hard to digest in one listen so the best approach is one or two songs and then refresh the palate before moving back in.  Score: 4 / 5 Nephelium Official Facebook 



Vortice – Host

Meshuggah. Meshuggah. Meshuggah. If you haven’t heard of Meshuggah, then there is nothing that can be done for you. Meshuggah is credited with creating djent; a genre based on palm muted guitars, poly-rhythms, and djentwhores inspiring dozens of bands in the last 5 years to djent as hard as they can. Hate it or love it, it is here and won’t go away soon. Vortice is one of many bands inspired by Meshuggah and do a decent job. Host is 9 tracks long but it might as well be one. While all the songs are heavy, melodic, and djentabulous, it really ends up being the same thing hashed out over and over again. These gents clearly have skill but what they lack is originality. Their vocalist sounds incredibly similar to Jens Kidman as well, which doesn’t help their case either. Host didn’t do much for us but it isn’t bad enough to throw it to the hounds. The album art is also pretty neat.  Score: 3 / 5 Vortice Official Facebook 


Kollapse – S/T

I recently committed an injustice to all Danish people when I referred to Redwood Hill, a band from Denmark, as Dutch. I won’t make the same mistake here with Kollapse. Crust and hardcore is the name of the game with a filthy, brooding sense of darkness and slight misspellings. There isn’t much to delve into as the six songs hover around 3 minutes in length but that also goes for the quality of the music. Just as Vortice lacked originality, these guys have produced nothing exciting. The dark sound isn’t monumental, the viciousness equivalent to your neighborhood dog, and will probably remind you of another opening band you wish to ignore to see the better acts. If you don’t believe us, they have it for name your own price on Bandcamp so you don’t have much to lose.               Score: 2 / 5 Kollapse Official Facebook


Old Season – Archaic Creation

The Irish don’t really do metal. Despite being neighbors with the UK, who have spit out some of metal’s biggest bands, they have barely produced metal bands of prominence. Old Season has managed to survive in such a starved scene since 1993 only producing a few demos, EPs, and releasing their only album, Archaic Creation, in 2009. Old Season plays some epic heavy/doom metal and sound similar to legendary Doomsword. At first listen nothing clicked and it sounded rather plain but after a few more attempts it began to emerge as something good. Guitars are top notch, the keyboard/synths are not dominating, and the vocals are pretty good. The only downside is that the bass is a tad too low and there isn’t much variety. A good 10-15 minute song out of these guys would bring out their full potential. They only have 700-some likes so go check em’ out and support some good ole’ heavy metal.  Score: 3.5 / 5 Old Season Official Facebook


Sodamned – The Loneliest Loneliness

Sodamned is from Brazil and the The Loneliest Loneliness is their only full release. There really isn’t much to say here because generally, death metal from Brazil is the equivalent to Chinese fake merchandise. It looks the same but the quality suffers. For whatever reason, the sound isn’t really dark at all for death metal. It just sounds cheap with shitty vocals,  uninspiring guitars, and a bass that can only be heard when the bass knob is turned all the way up. There are times where it sounds a bit more melodic with some more light-hearted melodies and chord progressions, which is when this album manages to catch some light and shine. It hurts to thrash on bands that exist in very non-metal communities because it certainly does not help their scene to grow if all the stuff that comes out of there is treated as garbage but there can be no mercy in these words.  Score: 2 / 5 Sodamned Official Facebook


Bolt – True Colors

According to Bolt’s Facebook, they’ve been a band since 1997 and are considered the founding fathers of “Helsinki Hardcore.” Bolt plays classic hardcore punk with typical hardcore lyrics and just generally mimic many other popular hardcore acts. Like some others that have been reviewed here, they don’t play anything too noteworthy or surprising. The entire album can be jammed in one sitting but nothing will get you to stop and say, “Wait, what track is this? I gotta hear it again.” This isn’t a bad album by any means but it isn’t exciting either. To really enjoy it, you have to be dedicated to the Finnish hardcore scene and enjoy acts such as Cutdown and Worth The Pain.  Score: 3 / 5 Bolt Official Facebook


Invasive – Extended Pain

The deeper and deeper I get into this Quick and Dirty review post the more and more I learn how much I don’t know about the heavy metal scene. Going through this box of CD’s and checking out each band’s Facebook has shown me I don’t know diddly about the scene. Invasive are a four-piece out of the U.K. and get surprisingly heavy for just a “heavy metal band.” The guitars here really fucking chug and the bass is thick and complements the guitars pretty well. The drumming is more technical for your average heavy metal act providing more than just a basic rhythm with some very solid drum kicks. The vocals, though, is where this album loses prowess. His lyrics are shouted more than sang or screamed and he experiences some rough transitions where he loses his sound and trips over himself. He also loses ferocity at awkward times such as the beginning of “Shattered Grains.” This band would also greatly benefit from another guitarist. Don’t get me wrong, the single guitarist does a good job but they could do a lot more with another.  Score: 3.5 / 5  Invasive Official Facebook


Forgarður Helvítis – Gerningavedur

How and why this ended up in our pile of CDs is beyond me as this album was released in 2002 from this Icelandic band [Editor’s note: deal with it.]. The sound is grindcore and it is the same fucking sound throughout all the short 24 songs.This reason alone is why grindcore can be such a trashy genre filled with little to no creativity. The lyrics are Icelandic but there is nothing remotely understandable that spews forth from this guy’s mouth. It sounds like pure nonsense. Pure noisey nonesense. The last three songs are the only thing saving this from being a 0 out of 5 because they are the spark in the undying blackness. There is such a violent cacophony of sound on track 24 (I have not the slightest inclination to type it out in Icelandic) that was truly frightening. Tracks 22 and 23 had better buildup and parts of not just pure-noise.  Score: 1 / 5  Forgarður Helvítis Official Facebook


Written by Cole Olson