Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"The Pale Horse" - LEGEND

When it comes to giving a perfect example of metalcore, I can’t help but to think of The Pale Horse by LEGEND. When making this album the members of LEGEND definitely made sure that all the requirements for being a metalcore band were met, from the riffs to the mandatory breakdowns that are followed by one-liners, gang chants, and almost incoherent vocals.

After listening to the first track on this album the first thing that popped into my head was, “Awesome, another band that ripped of Bury Your Dead and The Acacia Strain.” In a scene like today’s you need something to set you apart from your fellow peers, and that is something LEGEND is missing in the album. Don’t get me wrong, The Pale Horse is a decent album. It is well written and slightly sets itself apart from all the other metalcore bands but let’s face it, the only reason this band even got signed was because of Chad’s background in the music industry.

The lyrical content of this album strongly suggest that Chad Ruhlig has some emotional problems that he needs to work out. Half of the songs are about the hatred Ruhlig has for a certain someone and the other half seem has if they are trying to be uplifting and positive with lyrics like, “I found a way to prove to you that I’m more than you think. I will never break.”

So with the sound of The Acacia Strain and Bury Your Dead and similar lyrics to The Ghost Inside, no wonder all the kids love this album, it’s a familiar sound.
2 out of 5


Thursday, July 7, 2011

"I Am Not What I Am" - Young and in the Way

“I Am Not What I Am”, the album title grabbed my attention as soon as I saw it on bandcamp. Hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina, Young And In The Way have been around since 2009, bringing to the hardcore/metal world a great blend of hardcore blackened crust. With 1 full length, 2 EP’s and a split with the great Torch Runner on their belt, YAITW are here to cement themselves into your mind by delivering one of the most punishing albums this year, putting their debut album “Amen” behind them.
The opening track itself gave me goosebumps, using “Requiem” by Gy├Ârgy Ligeti from 2001: A Space Odyssey, it produces one of the most eerie openers of any album. That is until the drums and guitar come in, sounding like the end of the world. After that is done, comes “And We Have Kill Him” which brings a familiar sound like Rot In Hell, New Lows, & Trap Them, fast and angry. But I have to say that this record is pure evil. The angry that bleeds out of this along with the vocals. Kable has one powerful set lungs because his vocals are outstanding.
Least favorite moment of the album was the instrumental “With Strange Aeons Even Death May Die” felt more like a filler than an intro into a song. I am really glad it was the only instrumental song on this album, hut didn’t discourage me to stop listening at all, I just wanted more of the ferocious band. In fact, they punched me in the face with the title track. Shouldn't have doubted it for a second.
YAITW brought it back with the title track “I Am Not What I Am”, and it just battered me, completely taking me by surprise. The shouting of the last lines on it were visceral at best. “They have your blood, christ-filled pigs, obey their throne, you have no shelter” making the message to us clear. They made this record to destroy and make you feel desolate. I hope you can stay still while listening to this album, I sure can’t.
This album not only is it fresh, it breaks the mold of hardcore, by bringing the most evil album this year, Young And In The Way are here to make sure you hear them. I hope you are ready for this album because it’s a ride to the deepest abyss of hardcore. Dropping you with the track “ Ascending The White Mountain” you will want more. So buckle up and take this for a spin, you will not be disappointed with one of the best albums this year, it will leave you devoid and angry, asking for more.

4.5 out of 5.


Monday, July 4, 2011

"Dirge" - Wormrot

It was a good day when I lurked over to Earache Record's US webstore and learned that the Singapore grinders, Wormrot, had released a second album. After the 22 minute masterpiece Abuse that was released in 2009, I was eager to get into round two.

What differed from my previous encounters with albums is that Earache was simply giving this album out. FOR FREE! I know. I know. No mediafire necessary for this one. Their marketing technique was interesting. Give out a high quality digital release of the album for free in the hopes that people will spend the $20 to get a limited pressing of colored vinyl or a t shirt. Well Earache. You win. I bought two. They knew everyone was going to steal their shit so why not promote the physical products that people still want? Genius.

At first glance, you at least have to give major props to Andrei Bouzikov for the majorly brutal album art. It screams Cannibal Corpse in gore yet lacks the shitty middle school artistry we've come to stomach from CC all these years. The ruin in the background coupled with the melting flesh would indicate some type of war bombing. Fuck if i know. If it is, it's politically driven like much of Wormrot. The attention to detail in the flesh wounds and rubble are astounding. Bouzikov's imagery is disgusting and I love it.

Next the title of the album is, in it's own right, a winner. In case you didn't already know a dirge is not a delicious fruit, but a style of song played during a funeral procession. How fucking brutal is that?

The brutal keeps on coming. Warming you up with No One Gives A Shit, the grinders three pile drive you into the thrash of Compulsive Disposition. I have no idea how they do it. Every single track on the album is fresh. They never seem to be repeating themselves like most other grind gods before them. Song after song you're thrown something totally new. Major blast beats, thrash, guitar solos. A large part of this bands success comes from their drummer, Fit's, bottomless grab bag of beats and the bands ability to change movements without taking (or giving) a breath. Everything is unrelenting until Deceased Occupation where the band falls into this dark groove. Of course it doesn't last long. Every song is under 2 minutes. The album wraps it all up with A Dead Issue and The (well titled) Final Insult as a victory lap.

It's a very solid album. The recording quality is a definite step up from Abuse but it lacks bipolar nature it had track to track. Dirge flowed. It started with a drone introduction and left you with a pissed stomp with many ear fucks in between. Abuse was like your ADHD cousin after the christmas cookies had been laid out. Dirge was a mature and slightly more refined piece of work.

The stand outs were as follows: Spot A Pathetic, Evolved Into Nothing, Principle of Puppet Warfare, and Manipulation.

4 1/2 out of 5



Welp. I guess this is as good of a place to start as any.

Cult Culture is a metal review and local distributor for all things heavy. From the most melodic of feel good hardcore to the most extreme bowels of pornogrind, the intent is to try and promote it all.

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