Jump to content

What Are You Listening To?


khaos
 Share

Recommended Posts

On 6/24/2022 at 10:08 PM, FatherAlabaster said:

Blood Incantation is a great live band. I still don't like Starspawn but seeing that stuff in person was a totally different and much more compelling experience.

I am a bit the same, although I do *like* Starspawn and wouldn't have checked out Hidden History if I didn't, but it was a bit murky by comparison. I like the ebb and flow of Hidden History. It tells a good story. If that is "prog" fair enough. I just see it as a well constructed death metal album. Even Obituary (the grandaddies of meat and potatoes death metal) did sort of soundscape intros/interludes and that is why Cause of Death is by far their best album. 

Anyway you slice it, seeing Blood Incantation after two years of no gigs was very welcome. So far I don't even seem to have got covid from the excursion.

My understanding is that the new EP is all wacky synths and stuff (haven't heard it as Century Media released it and they don't do bandcamp - which is why that label sucks). The buddy that I went to the BI gig with loves that shit, but it would be a shame if the next proper album leans more on ambience than death metal. That is when bands lose their way.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/24/2022 at 10:40 PM, GoatmasterGeneral said:

So I am one of those people who is able to totally separate the music from the message and from the artist. Apparently not everybody can. We all know that some black metal artists over the years have been bad people, just like I'm sure there have been bad people involved with the making of any sub-genre of music or film or literature or whatever. But I don't feel the need to screen every band to weed out the shitbags nor the need to comprehend, dissect and approve of all their various messages. Same way I don't need or care to know if all the factory workers and company employees at the companies who make and sell any of the products I use regularly are good/bad people. I'm not the thought police.

Taking the time to "weed out the shitbags" would be a full time job and completely pointless in terms of the perpetual quest for happiness that we are all on*. That is in the same ballpark as a conspiracy nut that seeks out as many conspiracies as possible in order to make themselves irate and miserable.

But, if you're minding your own business and come across a shitbag, it seems perfectly natural to want to avoid listening to it (music) or watching it (movie/TV) from that point on, or supporting that shitbag in any way. It might still be objectively good "art" but there is so much content out there you are unlikely to be missing out on anything life changing. Its just fucking music, or its just fucking TV.

It is a poor analogy to consider whether you would investigate the views of a factory worker to decide if you want to use that company's products - but entirely logical to want to avoid using a company's products if that company as a whole turned out to be massively unethical (or some other standard you disagreed with). Like, they cut down half the Amazon to make toilet paper or something.  If you respond "I don't care, if I like the product I will buy it no matter what; it is so soft on my ass" well, that is your choice. I think it is sad to care so little, but it is basically how the vast majority of consumers act.

*to completely contradict myself, trying to be an ethical consumer is really fucking painful and not at all helpful in the quest for happiness. For example, researching where/how your prospective shoes are made will make you irate and miserable for a number of reasons, but I do it because I think people should know where the products they use come from.  Righteousness trumps temporary misery. Just. Although, that ignorance is bliss, is not in doubt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, JonoBlade said:

Taking the time to "weed out the shitbags" would be a full time job and completely pointless in terms of the perpetual quest for happiness that we are all on*. That is in the same ballpark as a conspiracy nut that seeks out as many conspiracies as possible in order to make themselves irate and miserable.

But, if you're minding your own business and come across a shitbag, it seems perfectly natural to want to avoid listening to it (music) or watching it (movie/TV) from that point on, or supporting that shitbag in any way. It might still be objectively good "art" but there is so much content out there you are unlikely to be missing out on anything life changing. Its just fucking music, or its just fucking TV.

It is a poor analogy to consider whether you would investigate the views of a factory worker to decide if you want to use that company's products - but entirely logical to want to avoid using a company's products if that company as a whole turned out to be massively unethical (or some other standard you disagreed with). Like, they cut down half the Amazon to make toilet paper or something.  If you respond "I don't care, if I like the product I will buy it no matter what; it is so soft on my ass" well, that is your choice. I think it is sad to care so little, but it is basically how the vast majority of consumers act.

*to completely contradict myself, trying to be an ethical consumer is really fucking painful and not at all helpful in the quest for happiness. For example, researching where/how your prospective shoes are made will make you irate and miserable for a number of reasons, but I do it because I think people should know where the products they use come from.  Righteousness trumps temporary misery. Just. Although, that ignorance is bliss, is not in doubt.

Problem here (in the states anyway) as I see it Jon is that once a company reaches a certain size it is almost guaranteed to be "massively unethical" or it'll soon get swallowed up by a larger more massively unethically sound corpooration. It's not a matter of some of us not caring or just loving some particular product regardless, that's not the point at all. The point is where are the better alternatives when brands A, B, C & D are all owned by corrupt, greedy and unethical conglomerates? The products on our shelves have many different brand names printed on their packaging but unbeknownst to many they are mostly all owned by something like 10 gigantic multinationals (Kraft, J&J, P&G, Mars, Nestle, Unilever...) that are almost certain to be massively greedy and unethical. That's at the supermarket, but then the clothing manufacturers have their own little shitty unethical cabals as well. So what's a poor boy to do? Opt out of society and get a place out in the wilderness where I can build my own dwelling, kill my own food, make my own soap, sew my own clothes and make our shoes out of old discarded tires so as not to support any evil corporations?

I respect the fuck out of anyone willing to go to those kind of lengths to make a principled statement like that, but I don't see myself as ready or willing to take that hard of a stance, especially with the 8 year old to think about. So like many of us first worlders I guess I'm content to stay in the dark about a lot of things (like your excellent shoe example) because understandably like most of us I don't want to make myself irate and miserable.

If that makes me part of the problem in your view Jon-O then I guess I'll have to accept that. I reckon life is arduous enough without going looking for more things to be pissed off about. I applaud and admire the fact that some people like you care so much about seemingly everything and I wish I had it in me to follow your oh-so righteous lead Jon but I don't. Surely you're aware that you are on the extreme end of the spectrum of righeousness? I think we all have to decide for ourselves if we believe righteousness trumps temporary misery. Or how much righteousness is enough to make us feel like we're good people who are doing our part.

As far as the part about minding my own business and randomly stumbling over shitbags in the entertainment world goes, well the problem there is whose word are you going to take on who's a shitbag and who's not? Has everyone done their due diligence and adequate proper research? Should everyone who has been accused of something bad or unsavory or insensitive or maybe they just reportedly made an offhand comment or they've allegedly been thinking bad/wrong thoughts, are they all automatically guilty and exiled now until proven otherwise? Is that how this works?

Seems like a slippery slope to me, like a return to McCarthyism if you will, a society where basically anyone can accuse anyone else of almost anything and effectively end them with or without any supporting evidence. The court of public opinion, where there's smoke there must be fire. I think that's dangerous because it's been my experience that a large portion of the public as a whole is incredibly ignorant and stupid. Not all of us obviously, but enough to make me uncomfortable blindly trusting strangers. I am a bit of a skeptic by nature anyway.

I've also found that if I don't go looking for shitbags I won't find very many. I like to mind my own business and I expect others to do the same. I'm just not going to lose sleep over worrying about other people's social or political views, whether they're entertainers or public figures or whoever they might be. Life is too short. Unless they're lawmakers or governors or people in positions of actual power that affect us all, that's different. But musicians, actors, athletes and garden variety celebrities enjoying their 15 minutes? No. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

If that makes me part of the problem in your view Jon-O then I guess I'll have to accept that. I reckon life is arduous enough without going looking for more things to be pissed off about. I applaud and admire the fact that some people like you care so much about seemingly everything and I wish I had it in me to follow your oh-so righteous lead Jon but I don't. Surely you're aware that you are on the extreme end of the spectrum of righeousness? I think we all have to decide for ourselves if we believe righteousness trumps temporary misery. Or how much righteousness is enough to make us feel like we're good people who are doing our part.

We're all part of the problem. I'm careful not to get too high up on that high horse, because it's a long way to fall. Every day is a compromise. I try to think about ethical/consumer issues just enough, but be on the right side of not being miserable. If you buy less (shit you don't need) in general then it makes for a lot less problems, if that is any help.

15 hours ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

Seems like a slippery slope to me, like a return to McCarthyism if you will, a society where basically anyone can accuse anyone else of almost anything and effectively end them with or without any supporting evidence. The court of public opinion, where there's smoke there must be fire. I think that's dangerous because it's been my experience that a large portion of the public as a whole is incredibly ignorant and stupid. Not all of us obviously, but enough to make me uncomfortable blindly trusting strangers. I am a bit of a skeptic by nature anyway.

While the whole "cancel culture" thing is a minefield, how many cases of "cancelled but innocent" have there actually been? Like in the #metoo movement, did not pretty much every guy accused of something terrible actually do it? 

How slippery is the slope really? Just wondering and not defending modern celebrity obsessed/social media driven culture - because I hate it and ridicule anyone who does. I'm just not so sure it is the threat you think it is. As you say, there are a vast number of profoundly stupid people out there, but so there have always been. These days you tend to get polar opposite courts of public opinion anyway, so you get cancelled in one court and will be a hero in another.

So, can anyone think of one instance of a lynching in the court of public opinion based on an accusation with no evidence? Again, I am generally interested.

A return to McCarthyism seems unlikely because for that the governing body has to control the narrative, and that does not really happen very easily now. I am sure a certain segment of your country considers the January 6 probe already a complete return to McCarthyism. But, what you do, just not investigate anything? Ultimately, ideally, you collect evidence and see where it lands. 

Hmm. Mankind sucks. But, so it has always been. No better, no worse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, JonoBlade said:

Hmm. Mankind sucks. But, so it has always been. No better, no worse.

But we struggle on...

SHEARWATER - The Great Awakening. Reminded me of late Talk Talk with hints of the late and much lamented - by me at least - Scott Walker.

HUNDRED YEAR OLD MAN - Sleep in Light.Too long and I lost concentration well before the end. I need to listen again to decide about this.

SCHRAT - Alptraumgänger. Who recommended this? Thanks whoever you were and sorry I can't recall.

SACRED SEEDS - Migration. Some quiet electronic music before bed this cold (-1C already) night.

Yep, mankind sucks but music is an open sky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/27/2022 at 3:55 AM, JonoBlade said:

I am a bit the same, although I do *like* Starspawn and wouldn't have checked out Hidden History if I didn't, but it was a bit murky by comparison. I like the ebb and flow of Hidden History. It tells a good story. If that is "prog" fair enough. I just see it as a well constructed death metal album. Even Obituary (the grandaddies of meat and potatoes death metal) did sort of soundscape intros/interludes and that is why Cause of Death is by far their best album. 

Anyway you slice it, seeing Blood Incantation after two years of no gigs was very welcome. So far I don't even seem to have got covid from the excursion.

My understanding is that the new EP is all wacky synths and stuff (haven't heard it as Century Media released it and they don't do bandcamp - which is why that label sucks). The buddy that I went to the BI gig with loves that shit, but it would be a shame if the next proper album leans more on ambience than death metal. That is when bands lose their way.

 

For me it's the riffs on Hidden History that make it sound "proggy", not so much the clean guitars and atmospheric bits. I agree that it's really well put together, regardless of what does or doesn't qualify as "prog" in a DM context. The clearer/fuller-sounding mix, the variety of textures, the overall flow, the guitar parts... lots of little things worked together to make it immediately compelling to my ears. I'm not opposed to a bit of one-minded hamfisted bludgeoning, but I've always been most drawn to the bands that had a wider range. Cause Of Death rules, my favorite Obituary album by a mile.

Talking about this made me go back and listen to Starspawn again, and I got a bit more enjoyment out of it this time around. Good parts in a less compelling whole. There's still something annoying about it to me - between the vocals, and some of the leads, and the overall sound, it feels like it's trying too hard to be a throwback in a way that doesn't benefit the music. Obviously that's not an objective judgement. Maybe I'll come around to it. Maybe I'll just listen to Timeghoul.

Last few:

Blood Incantation - Hidden History 

Blood Incantation - Starspawn 

Abigor - Time Is The Sulphur In The Veins Of The Saint 

Desultory - Into Eternity

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, JonoBlade said:

We're all part of the problem. I'm careful not to get too high up on that high horse, because it's a long way to fall. Every day is a compromise. I try to think about ethical/consumer issues just enough, but be on the right side of not being miserable. If you buy less (shit you don't need) in general then it makes for a lot less problems, if that is any help.

While the whole "cancel culture" thing is a minefield, how many cases of "cancelled but innocent" have there actually been? Like in the #metoo movement, did not pretty much every guy accused of something terrible actually do it? 

How slippery is the slope really? Just wondering and not defending modern celebrity obsessed/social media driven culture - because I hate it and ridicule anyone who does. I'm just not so sure it is the threat you think it is. As you say, there are a vast number of profoundly stupid people out there, but so there have always been. These days you tend to get polar opposite courts of public opinion anyway, so you get cancelled in one court and will be a hero in another.

So, can anyone think of one instance of a lynching in the court of public opinion based on an accusation with no evidence? Again, I am generally interested.

A return to McCarthyism seems unlikely because for that the governing body has to control the narrative, and that does not really happen very easily now. I am sure a certain segment of your country considers the January 6 probe already a complete return to McCarthyism. But, what you do, just not investigate anything? Ultimately, ideally, you collect evidence and see where it lands. 

Hmm. Mankind sucks. But, so it has always been. No better, no worse.

But that's my whole point Jon. When you ask "can anyone think of one instance of a lynching in the court of public opinion based on an accusation with no evidence?" I honestly wouldn't know because I often don't care quite enough to put in the time & effort to dig deep and do my own research. At least not when it comes to celebrities. Believe me I hate all that "modern celebrity obsessed/social media driven culture" just as much as you do. 

I also have a huge problem taking anyone's word for anything, ever, especially when it's something I've heard in the for profit media, social media or word of mouth by sources I have not vetted. Extreme skepticism is one of my many flaws I guess. But I imagine that there are heaps of people who have been falsely accused of various things over the years (not just famous people) just like I know there have been many innocent men sent to prison and then released years later when exonerating evidence has been brought to light. We (society) don't always get it right.

There's a reason our legal system has been set up as 'innocent until proven guilty.' Even murderers, violent criminals and the dregs of society have the right to face their accusers and to a lawyer and to have their day in court. Is it really such a stretch from "cancelling" people on social media one day to "blacklisting" them the next as happened back in the Joseph McCarthy era? McCarthyism wasn't about "collecting evidence" it was a total witch hunt. Red fever, a commie under every bed.  Witch hunts are bad Jon, even though sadly a certain orange low life has completely corrupted the real meaning of that phrase by totally and intentionally misusing it.

I'm certainly not against investigating things (more facts and information can never be a bad thing) and I'm really not one to go around whining about "cancel culture" either, I generally don't even use that silly phrase.  I identify as lefty liberal progressive, and I believe the Jan 6 insurrectionists need to fry, especially Schlump who really deserves a bullet and a blindfold. I'm also not defending actual rapists, abusers or crims. I'm just saying that I think anything can be taken too far no matter how good the original intentions might have been.

I think we've gotten to a point where if any offhand comment can get someone essentially crucified on social media and totally destroy their livelihood then maybe we need to rein things in a bit and take another look. Because it works both ways, if we 'the righteous' can do it to them, then the deplorables can do it to us too. Where does it end? I think the principles of free speech should protect both sides equally, right or wrong. Again, I am not in any way defending murderers or abusers or criminals. But If someone just says or thinks things that we don't happen to agree with (or maybe wants to burn a flag) then I believe that's just the price we all have to pay to live in a free democratic society. It's not actually 1984 yet, is it? Do we still have time to fix this mess before all reason and sense is lost? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


  • Join Metal Forum

    joinus-home.jpg

  • Our picks

    • Whichever tier of thrash metal you consigned Sacred Reich back in the 80's/90's they still had their moments.  "Ignorance" & "Surf Nicaragura" did a great job of establishing the band, whereas "The American Way" just got a little to comfortable and accessible (the title track grates nowadays) for my ears.  A couple more records better left forgotten about and then nothing for twenty three years.  2019 alone has now seen three releases from Phil Rind and co.  A live EP, a split EP with Iron Reagan and now a full length.

      Notable addition to the ranks for the current throng of releases is former Machine Head sticksman, Dave McClean.  Love or hate Machine Head, McClean is a more than capable drummer and his presence here is felt from the off with the opening and title track kicking things off with some real gusto.  'Divide & Conquer' and 'Salvation' muddle along nicely, never quite reaching any quality that would make my balls tingle but comfortable enough.  The looming build to 'Manifest Reality' delivers a real punch when the song starts proper.  Frenzied riffs and drums with shots of lead work to hold the interest.


      There's a problem already though (I know, I am such a fucking mood hoover).  I don't like Phil's vocals.  I never had if I am being honest.  The aggression to them seems a little forced even when they are at their best on tracks like 'Manifest Reality'.  When he tries to sing it just feels weak though ('Salvation') and tracks lose real punch.  Give him a riffy number such as 'Killing Machine' and he is fine with the Reich engine (probably a poor choice of phrase) up in sixth gear.  For every thrashy riff there's a fair share of rock edged, local bar act rhythm aplenty too.

      Let's not poo-poo proceedings though, because overall I actually enjoy "Awakening".  It is stacked full of catchy riffs that are sticky on the old ears.  Whilst not as raw as perhaps the - brilliant - artwork suggests with its black and white, tattoo flash sheet style design it is enjoyable enough.  Yes, 'Death Valley' & 'Something to Believe' have no place here, saved only by Arnett and Radziwill's lead work but 'Revolution' is a fucking 80's thrash heyday throwback to the extent that if you turn the TV on during it you might catch a new episode of Cheers!

      3/5
      • Reputation Points

      • 10 replies
    • I
      • Reputation Points

      • 1 reply
    • https://www.metalforum.com/blogs/entry/52-vltimas-something-wicked-marches-in/
      • Reputation Points

      • 3 replies

    • https://www.metalforum.com/blogs/entry/48-candlemass-the-door-to-doom/
      • Reputation Points

      • 1 reply
    • Full length number 19 from overkill certainly makes a splash in the energy stakes, I mean there's some modern thrash bands that are a good two decades younger than Overkill who can only hope to achieve the levels of spunk that New Jersey's finest produce here.  That in itself is an achievement, for a band of Overkill's stature and reputation to be able to still sound relevant four decades into their career is no mean feat.  Even in the albums weaker moments it never gets redundant and the energy levels remain high.  There's a real sense of a band in a state of some renewed vigour, helped in no small part by the addition of Jason Bittner on drums.  The former Flotsam & Jetsam skinsman is nothing short of superb throughout "The Wings of War" and seems to have squeezed a little extra out of the rest of his peers.

      The album kicks of with a great build to opening track "Last Man Standing" and for the first 4 tracks of the album the Overkill crew stomp, bash and groove their way to a solid level of consistency.  The lead work is of particular note and Blitz sounds as sneery and scathing as ever.  The album is well produced and mixed too with all parts of the thrash machine audible as the five piece hammer away at your skull with the usual blend of chugging riffs and infectious anthems.  


      There are weak moments as mentioned but they are more a victim of how good the strong tracks are.  In it's own right "Distortion" is a solid enough - if not slightly varied a journey from the last offering - but it just doesn't stand up well against a "Bat Shit Crazy" or a "Head of a Pin".  As the album draws to a close you get the increasing impression that the last few tracks are rescued really by some great solos and stomping skin work which is a shame because trimming of a couple of tracks may have made this less obvious. 

      4/5
      • Reputation Points

      • 4 replies
×
×
  • Create New...