RSSAuthor Archive for J.D. Considine

Review: Babymetal – Babymetal

Review: Babymetal – Babymetal

he Japanese can make anything cute, even death metal. Consider Babymetal, the pioneer of kawaiimetaru, or “cute metal.” The formula is simple— three girlish idoru singing and dancing in front of an anonymously competent thrash combo—but the execution is exquisite, as it not only disinters the hooks buried deep in the death metal vocabulary, but […]

Review: Steve ‘N’ Seagulls – Farm Machine

Review: Steve ‘N’ Seagulls – Farm Machine

This ain’t no Hayseed Dixie. The Finnish five-piece Steve ‘N’ Seagulls aren’t just genre-bending with their bluegrassy remakes of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” and Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills”—they’re actively reinterpreting the tunes, finding fresh ideas instead of merely twanging up familiar refrains. In their hands, some of these songs sound as […]

Review: Full Devil Jacket – Valley of Bones

Review: Full Devil Jacket – Valley of Bones

Fifteen years is a long time between albums, especially if it’s from a debut to a sophomore release. But Full Devil Jacket make the wait (mostly) worthwhile. Where the sound on their debut tended toward grinding Alice in Chains-style malevolence, the new tunes offer more energy, lending the album an air of urbane aggression that, […]

Review: Voices — London

Review: Voices — London

Like the city it’s named after, Voices’ second album is sprawling, ambitious, and coldly beautiful. Ex-Akercocke drummer David Gray regularly drives the band with relentless blast beats, but the album’s best trick has to do with the way the quartet balances that fury against King Crimsonesque balladry. It isn’t just a matter of finger-picked acoustic […]

Review: Beak — Let Time Begin

Review: Beak — Let Time Begin

Loud is great, but everything at 11 all the time can get monotonous. Pull back occasionally, as ISIS torchbearers Beak do here, and there’s room for the volume to grow—until each surging climax seems somehow louder than even the heaviest metal thunder. Even better, the shifting dynamics bring a sense of drama, keeping the album’s […]

Review: The Contortionist — Language

Review: The Contortionist — Language

Recalling Opeth in their ability to pivot between choirboy prog and growling metal, The Contortionist bend across an even broader spectrum, moving from dreamy, Tim Buckley–style folk to lithe, chops-conscious fusion to harmony distorting post rock—sometimes all in a single song. There’s lots of technical dazzle, but the instrumental end is kept in check to […]

Review: Buckcherry — Fuck

Review: Buckcherry — Fuck

Just as Jay-Z rapped “bitch” repeatedly in “99 Problems” without once aiming the word at a woman, Buckcherry has built an entire six-song EP around the F-word without once invoking sex. They harness their profanity to antiestablishment rage (“Somebody Fucked with Me”) and life-sucks resignation (“Fist Fuck”), which lends a punkish, if dated, edge to […]

Review: Damona Waits — Eschatology

Review: Damona Waits — Eschatology

“Eschatology” may be the theological study of end time beliefs, but don’t come to this album expecting death-metal sturm und drang. Instead, the sound this quartet delivers is more along the lines of Tool’s approach: moody and intricate, full of carefully manicured guitar textures, evocative vocal melodies, and thoughtfully modulated rhythmic shifts. The album occasionally […]

Review: Eluveitie — Origins

Review: Eluveitie — Origins

For a band whose focus is the forgotten life of the ancient Swiss, Eluveitie is pretty exciting. Marrying death-metal aggression with Celtic folk lilt, the music weaves shredding guitar and skirling bagpipe into a cohesive and engaging fabric. It helps if you’re enough into creative anachronism to recognize a hurdy-gurdy or appreciate lyrics sung in […]

Review: Every Time I Die — From Parts Unknown

Review: Every Time I Die — From Parts Unknown

Bursting with ideas and ambition, Every Time I Die’s seventh studio album is a near-perfect blend of kinetic intensity and anything-goes writing. There’s amazing stuff crammed into the songs—boogie licks, guitar shred, odd time signatures, prog-schooled dissonance—but no lumps in the gravy, as each idea flows smoothly from the last. Credit the band’s chops for […]