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Posts Tagged ‘Neurosis

Northern hemisphere: Winter is not over yet!

Southern hemisphere: Winter is coming!

People living around the equator: lucky bastards!

Here´s new fuel to fan the flames of your winter depression, Breach from Luleå,  high up in Northern Sweden where winters are long and dark. Gripping ultra intense bass driven heavy noise, somewhere between New School Hardcore, Doom and Noise Rock. Or in other words: Neurosis, Shellac, Unsane, Entombed, Voivoid and whatever now comes to your mind. This band has a great deal of talent and on their second full length “it´s me god” from 1997 they give you the proof for that. Breach create a very dark and brooding mood, a tone-painting of frustration, glimpses of hope, but mostly just darkness. But there is beauty in this darkness…

Replenish the empty.

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yakuza

You won´t get the chance for too many metal bands at urbanology, so don´t chuck away this chance 🙂 … have a try

I only remember one other metal record at this blog (beside some metal-influenced hardcore bands), Sepultura´s milestone  “roots”. And I like to listen to well done metal from time to time, but only a very few records are worth a posting. Similar to samsara (to millions of followers of Hindu and Buddhism, the term samsara is the endless cycle of birth, suffering, death, and rebirth, something which only the truly enlightened can ultimately transcend) metal music has always had a cyclical quality, as many bands have been inspired by the seminal albums of the genre, but few have actually managed to achieve that musical awakening, that one epiphanical piece of work that not only stands out above the music of their peers, but also shakes the sound right down to its foundations. Instead, most just keep perpetuating the metal clichés. But in the last decade at the edges of metal a new breed is on the jump, listen for example to the instrumental beauty of Pelican or the epic and dark stories from Cult of Luna (from Umeå). Of course there were bands like Neurosis or Tool before.

When you look at the fine gatefold cover and read that there is a band member that plays saxophone and clarinet, you know it’s not going to be the usual metal album. Nothing like any metal you’ve heard for quite a bit, Yakuza is a breathe of fresh air to the waves of today’s metal. The band delves into world music with the enthusiasm of a four year-old running through a music store for the first time, banging this, strumming that. But Yakuza’s crucial point is their inclusion of saxophone and clarinet. Blending electric and organic instrumentation is never easy for such extreme-leaning bands, but as Yakuza proved on their bold, eye-opening “Way of the Dead” (2002), which prompted skeptics to wonder just how they’re going to market music like this, the band does have the ability to appeal to spin-kicking youngsters, post rock hipsters, and jazz lovin’ oldsters alike, if only they can maintain an adequate balance of the aggressive, the experimental, and the melodic throughout the course of an entire album.

Some parts of “Samsara” are definitely stronger than others. The record (with a splendid production by Matt Bayles (Isis, Pearl Jam)) would have been an perfect album had the focus been more on the maniacal side of the band’s sound instead of the mechanical, but it is still an inspired, diverse, invigorating piece of work that will leave listeners wondering just what this highly talented band is capable of accomplishing next. Well, put on the headphones, clear your calendar of distractions, indulge in the mind-enhancing substance of your choice, and let the whole freaky thing slither into your brain from beginning to end.

Back to the mountain.

Ulme used to be a popular noise band in Europe in the 90s that was often compared to bands like Neurosis and also brought a noisy grunge influence into the music. At the release concert of their third full length in 1999 the band did split up, they beat each other up on stage over a girlfriend. Seven years later the band of three brothers (today minus one of the three, Ulme have a new bassist) came back and gives you a noise-punch of four tracks in your face. Again Ulme are mixing the spirit of the 70s with the heavyness of the 90s, noisy guitars, hypnotic, rolling grooves, interspersed with calmer moments – painful vocals, melancholic melodies and outbreaks of bestial wrath. Ulme are back and still are able to show the world what good rockmusic is all about, doomy and groovy, Nirvana is shaking hands with Black Sabbath on a post-hardcore dancefloor. Music like the elm (Ulme is german for elm) on the front cover.

In the beginning there was this glowing.


always open minded! feel free to leave a comment if you like or dislike the music, the review or just this blog in general. make the monologue a dialogue! (and receiving some responses keeps me motivated)

normally I try to post new stuff once a week, quality not quantity, so the front page shows you the posts of the last month, but there is a lot more to discover, just click your way thru the older entries.

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