среда, 22. новембар 2017.

Kombo #31

 Written by: Lord of Hate.

"Humanity Zero", from Greece, brings "Withered in Isolation", a very well-conceived death-doom metal release. It sounds brutal and extreme without having an extreme death metal sound setting. Their power resides in the atmosphere instead of a brutal distortion. Guitar leads have some melancholic tunes, very well combined with some occasional violin and keyboard interventions, which are usually moderate along the album except for the last track, which has too much keyboard in it. Putting that track aside, it’s high-quality death-doom with a very personal sound. 8/10.

The Spaniards "Moribundo" are a good example of very brutal and heavy death doom metal with an extreme sound setting, in their "Raíz Amarga" debut album. Well produced, well played, well sung. Nevertheless, it’s not all about brutality because these guys have occasional piano arrangements in every song. Maybe, it would fit much better in a band like Humanity Zero, but when a band sounds as brutal as Moribundo, the piano is just unnecessary. Surprises? Yes. A couple of sections with blast beats. In general, it’s a band for fans of slow brutal music mixed with melancholic piano tunes. 7/10. 

From Brazil, we have "Dirty Grave". Their album "Evil Desire" is some sort of hard rock in the early-70s style, influenced by Black Sabbath and probably also by some other satanic bands from then. Something special with this band are the really fast solos and the doom-oriented slow parts. Much more metalish than any other hard rock band in the style, with a lot of groove in it. There is enough tempo variety as for not getting bored; nevertheless, you have to be pretty much into this kind of rock. Not for fans of fast music. Very solid, all the instruments combine with each other and the vocals fit particularly well, which is something hard to find in underground bands of this kind. 9/10. 

The Argentinian band "Granada" delivers "Sincronizado", a good example of southamerican groove metal (sung in Spanish) with a thrashy death metal influence. Music stays groove most of the time, with some sparks of mid-high speed here and there, even with a bit of slow-and-short blastbeats at some moments and a few melodic sections. Well produced, but the weakness of the band is trying to be too eclectic. Too many influences involved, without being powerful enough as for impressing anyone. If you like underground groove metal bands that try to show off how “original” they are, go ahead and grab it… but you won’t get impressed, anyway. 5/10. 

The Czech Republic has always been fertile land for bands with an original sound. This time, "Solfernus" is no exception to the rule thanks to their album "Neoantichrist". We could say it’s some nice-and-fast black metal, in general, although there are some slow (and not great) songs. Perhaps, the most similar stuff would be early-Zyklon’s fast parts; but these guys still have their own sound. There is a good variation of rythms and a good dose of blast beats. Their weakness? The melodic arrangements: one acoustic guitar in a couple of songs, some choral vocals in another, atmospheric keyboards in another, and so on… These guys could be significantly more solid without them, but those occasional stuff just don’t help. A band of very talented musicians who still have room for improving their songwriting. 6/10.

уторак, 21. новембар 2017.

Radius


Šta biste vi uradili da se iznenada osvestite usred nedođije, sa povredom glave i u blizini polupanog automobila? Uz to, kao da nije dovoljno, ne sećate se ničega o sebi. Ničega, čak ni imena. Logično i sasvim normalno, pojurili bi niz put da pronađete bilo kakvu pomoć, telefon, policiju, nekoga u prolazu. Međutim, prvi automobil koji naiđe i koji pokušate zaustaviti jednostavno sleti s puta. A, u njemu mrtav vozač potpuno belih očiju!

Dok sablažnjeno pozivate pomoć, uspevate da u džepu
pronađete svoju ličnu kartu i saznate makar svoje ime. Nastavljate potragu za bilo kim ko vam može pomoći, ali u prvom restoranu na koji naiđete svi su mrtvi na isti način kao i vozač automobila. I ne samo to, nego kada uplašeno izletite napolje, umalo izbegnete da vas pregazi automobil pun mrtvih. 

Zaraza? Infekcija? Zombi apokalipsa? Ne, nema živih mrtvaca, samo obični. Neverovatan indie film kanadskog bračnog para koji od početka do kraja vodi misterioznu priču nečeg što je granični SF, a mnogo bliže trileru i misteriji. Novi detalji se otkrivaju u malim koracima, priča se razmotava taman tako lagano da vam pruži uživanje, a opet dovoljno brzo da film ne bude dosadan. No, uticaj niskog budžeta može se primetiti, ali je gledaocu potpuno svejedno. Sasvim nova priča, puna obrta i lomova radnje, uz jedan pomalo čudan ali logičan završetak. Ne nudi nikakve odgovore, samo postavlja pitanja. Ko smo mi? Da li smo nezavisna bića ili samo sklop svojih iskustava? Koliko možemo promeniti ono što smo bili ako se toga ne sećamo, koliko možemo prihvatiti ono na šta nemamo uticaja?
 
"Radijus" nije film za opuštanje, ali jeste odlična priča za popuniti devedesetak minuta gledanja i nešto duže za refleksiju viđenog. Topla preporuka.

уторак, 14. новембар 2017.

Thor: Ragnarok


Pojavio se novi "Tor". U bioskopima, dabome, ali to je manje bitno nego činjenica da se pojavio i na sajtovima koji omogućuju opušteniju opciju gledanja, uz hladno pivce i neko meze, pa da uživate kao pravi Vikinzi. Oni kojima se ne dopadaju filmovi pravljeni po stripovima ovde će verovatno reći: "Opet?", pošto "Marvelov" filmoverzum već ima, čini mi se 17 filmova. No, ljubitelji ove vrste relaksacije i uživanja će verovatno da se samo osmehnu i iskokaju kokice.

Lično ne vidim nikakvu potrebu da se ova vrsta filmova uopšte kritikuje - njihova svrha i razlog snimanja je sasvim jasna i tu nema dileme. Za filmadžije to je izvor konstantnih primanja bez rizika jer su likovi odavno isprobani i „prolaze“. Za nas, koji smo deo te "mase", jedini razlog je prosto, nepatvoreno i potpuno opušteno uživanje u par sati dobre zabave.

Kad sam započeo ovaj mali pregled i subjektivno viđenje filma, najteža tačka mi je bila kako ispričati priču bez spojlera. Naprosto čehovljevski snimljen, kao njegova puška – film je prepun detalja koji su svi važni i neophodni za primećivanje. Nijedna scena nije suvišna, nijedna situacija nije postavljena samo zbog vizuelnosti ili čistog popunjavanja minutaže. Čak i šatro kameo uloge (one u kojima se pojavljuju drugi likovi iz
filmoverzuma kome "Tor" pripada) imaju svoj smisao, potrebu i dozu duhovitosti (ko bude gledao, skontaće šta pričam odmah negde na početku).

Kasting je fenomenalan, glumci su se izuzetno našli u svojim ulogama, kako oni koji ih ponavljaju tako i oni koji su novi u priči. Na moje veliko, nemerljivo zadovoljstvo, Hulk je konačno dobio pristojnu minutažu tokom koje može pokazati sve svoje sposobnosti. Kako u nama omiljenom liku tako i u formi "Bednog Banera" čija zbunjenost situacijom je fantastičan "comedy relief". Ser Entoni je svoju ulogu Odina izvukao umetnički i majstorski, kao i obično, a ostale epizode je veoma teško posebno naglasiti jer su svi briljirali na svojim pozicijama. Nešto jače od dva sata fenomenalne zabave, akcije koju prekida samo humor, u trenucima kad se akcija i humor ne prepliću u potpunosti. Efekti su odlično urađeni, sa lakoćom uklopljeni u radnju, do mere u kojoj deluju sasvim prirodno. Kao nešto što je normalno očekivati da se desi.

Radnja kao radnja – klasika: Tor se bori da nešto ostvari, mnogi mu smetaju, ne može sam, ali se naposletku sve složi kako i treba da bude. Uz pomalo čudnovat utisak da je glavni negativac nekako ispušten iz filma bez dovoljne razrade. Ali, znajući "Marvel", to obično predstavlja otvorena vrata za potencijalni nastavak. Ukratko: sa izuzetkom poslednjeg "Spajdermena" kojeg bih najradije zaboravio jer me još peku oči od tog filma, Sten Li (kojeg ćete, naravno, videti i u ovom filmu u posebnoj kameo ulozi) je ovde napravio odličan posao kao i u svim ostalim filmovima po "Marvelovim" stripovima. Nema greške, vredi platiti ulaznicu da bi ovaj film odgledali u nekom od bioskopa, a nećete se pokajati ni tretnutka.

I neću vam
reći da mi se posebno dopalo ponašanje stanovite Valkire, a koja me je oduševila u sceni sa bocama pića.

четвртак, 09. новембар 2017.

Strahovlada #1 - Potlačena masa

Piše: Antonio J.

"Librarion", fanzine i DIY izdavačka kuća, je u poslednje vreme bio veoma aktivan, te je u kratkom roku predstavio gomilu izdanja. Jedno od njih je mini artzine pod nazivom "Strahovlada". Prvi digitalni broj, "Potlačena masa", je praćen numerama potpisanim od strane projekta "Dosis Letalis". Ako niste fan nojza i srodnih mu podpravaca, slobodno možete ignorisati muziku i posvetiti koji minut fotkama koje prate artzine.

Naime, Aleksandar Đević je ovde predstavio nekoliko zanimljivih ilustracija koje bi i zasebno lepo legle kao omoti nekih albuma, a koje svako može tumačiti na način koji mu odgovara. I upravo tu leži njihova najveća vrednost.

Što se muzičkog dela tiče, morate biti u nojzerskim vodama da biste našli povezanost zvučnog i vizuelnog dela, kao i onog poetskog na samom kraju broja (koji potpisuje glavni urednik Desya Lovorov). Lepa zamisao za koju se nadam da će se ustaliti kao stalna "Librarionova" postavka. S tim da bi bilo lepo da u narednim brojevima bude više ilustracija i tekstova, bilo poetskih ili proznih.

недеља, 05. новембар 2017.

Kombo #30

Written by: Antonio J.

A crew that goes by name "Asylum 8" is coming from Finland and "Repressed" is their first full-length studio effort. I must admit that they have done a good job here, although there is a space for improvement. Anyway, music here can be described as a mixture of industrial metal and "Commodore-like technodance". Don't get confused by the latter description, or terrified - keyboards and following sound effects are in the vein of the good old C64 video games, thanks to the SID chip. If it's easier for you to imagine how it all sounds like, think of them as "Machinae Supremacy" and "Sybreed" symbiant. But, when I first played this album, it reminded me of the Croatian band "Cyber Hate" because of it's energetic and groovy, yet melodic sound with really good production. 4/5.

Their countrymates "Kaos Krew" are on the scene for some time now. Their latest effort, titled "Returno", is a a decent release. I had much higher hopes from it after the first two singles (End My Pride and Panama) were released: it's good, but in the end nothing special. What we have here is something that could easily stand as a soundtrack for some of the games from "Quake" series. Mid-tempo industrial rock with unpolished (or, better to say - unfinished) production, strong riffs and rock'n'rollish solos. But, as I mentioned before, it should have been better. Three very good songs, one live bonus and a bunch of fillers. 2/5.

"C" is the third album released by the Scottish alternative metal band "The Colony". It continues at the same place where "Time of Wolves" stopped. From seven tracks that we got here, four of them are completely in the vein of their older material, while the other three are a bit different. You can hear how their sound became more sophisticated and consistent, so the variety of styles goes from classic heavy metal, across atmospheric prog-rock, to modern metal. At some points they reminded me of a band called "Pinwheel" from US. I once wrote that "In Flames" should ask these guys for a hint or two, hehe. It sounds like a joke, but I still stand behind that statement. And although I really liked this album, I feel that something is missing, like it's somehow incomplete. When the last song comes to it's end, I expect for the "party" to go on, but there's nothing but utter silence. And then I have to play it all again. 4/5.

Swiss legends "Samael" have a brand new album called "Hegemony" and it sounds as almost everything they have released in the last 14 years. From the "Reign of Light", all their albums (besides the outstanding "Above") sounds the same. OK, not exactly the same, but are all defined by the same genre criteria. I mean, all of these releases are really good, but the band is offering absolutely nothing new. There are some super-singles, as same as a lot of tracks that get catchy after a couple of listenings and that's just it: it is all predictable. 3/5.

Serbian hardcore punkers "Metež" are everything that you need when you want to party hard! Their "spit in your face" lyrics and stampedish riffs are the shortcut to a blood collapse. Band's fast music simply crushes everything that's on its way and every beat is howling that they are taking no prisoners. This is how uncompromising attitude of "zero fucks given" should sound like. Simply excellent! 5/5.

субота, 04. новембар 2017.

No More Revenge?


Written by: Lord of Hate

A successful metal band kicks out one of its members. He swears he will get his revenge and decides to form a totally new group with a new name, new logo, new songs, new members, etc. He does his best to be better than his "betrayers". Then, some fans support the old band while others stick to the new "baby" of his favorite frontman. Sounds familiar to you? Well, if it does… sorry: you are old. 

Yes, because it doesn’t happen anymore. Haven’t you noticed that there are bands playing the same songs and using (almost) the same name? Do you know Venom? Well, you probably know "Venom Inc". Do you know "Terrorizer"? Perhaps you know "Terrorizer LA". Fan of "Entombed"? Now, you can also pick "Entombed AD". And there are a few more.  When those people formed those second-alternative groups, why didn’t they start a new offer of the same kind of music, without necessarily playing the same old songs over and over again? If all of the people involved in those double-sided bands are creating new material, why do they have so much trouble at making the new songs be as respected as the old ones?

I grew up (and suffered) in the 90's, when the 80's music was despised and underrated because rock and metal musicians were trying to "reach new frontiers beyond just distortion and speed". And it sucked! No speed, no brutality, no madness, but then… The new century arrived and the revival of real metal started. Glory at last! Old bands reformed, musicians playing fast metal again, it couldn’t get any better! But the music industry always finds the way to screw it up. 

In the new millennium, full of old metal gods playing at their best, any young band willing to be at least a little bit respected just can’t be picked up by labels, promoters and media without being well-known already. And by "well-known" I mean touring on a regular basis, having a consistent discography, etc. Whenever a band starts its path without having the money to become important by its own means their name and music mean literally nothing, no matter how talented they are. So when someone has to stay out from his former famous band, what does he do? Bang! He starts out a new band with almost the same name and dedicates a huge part of its live-set to make "their own version" of the songs that made them famous before. No place for "revenge-bands" anymore. No more creativity, no more tension, no more thrill for finding out what the new band is going to sound like. Just a bunch of old men repeating what they used to do… over and over again.

And we can’t blame them! It’s not their fault. Don’t claim they are a bunch of sold-outs. Anyone who plays music knows how hard it is nowadays to promote your new band while people don’t give a dime for your music if your name is not "big enough". Alright, alright… Maybe these musicians we talk about would have more chances than other people to be respected with a new group. So who is to blame? Music industry? Musicians and laziness for not doing anything new? Overrated music from the past? Narrow minds of the fans who only care about old songs? 

Who knows? Maybe it’s all of them or maybe it’s just something else. Whatever the case is, it’s impossible to deny that the revival of old metal is coming to an end. Those old musicians can’t play forever and the music industry is getting saturated by a lack of renewal of music genres. No matter what your kind of metal is, if you want to keep it alive there must be new bands. And the essence of every new metal band is trying to take the boundaries of music one step further. And I’m not talking about incorporating melodic elements or alternative instrumentation. That’s something worn out too!

Do you love old bands? They were once new and they did what they did by trying to break the rules while doing something different. They didn’t care about being called "lame imitators" or "wannabe"; they didn’t care either about "old school" back then. Can you imagine someone like Quorthon (from "Bathory") in 1984 saying "I’m too old for trying something new, let’s stick to the old school"? Can you imagine "Carcass" in 1987. saying "Let’s not use pitch-shifted grunts because that’s for experimental youngsters"? Or Scott Lewis (Brutal Truth) thinking "Why shall I play faster if blast beats sound fine at the traditional speed"?   All those people broke the boundaries of musical aggression by not giving a dime about established rules! 

Sure, there will always be someone who labels this article as "intrusive" or "unnecessary" because "you can’t tell people what to do". Of course, nobody can. But understanding what’s going on in the metal industry will never hurt anybody, specially if you have the balls to go out there and try to break the boundaries of musical aggression without repeating what your idols did!

Have a savage day!