Become a Believer in Autotheism

For fans of Between the Buried and Me, Opeth and Necrophagist

If you’re a fan of The Faceless, you’re probably wondering why I’ve listed Opeth and Between the Buried and Me as similar artists.  “The Faceless is technical death metal, not progressive,” you’re probably saying, while starting arguments in the comments section of a Youtube video.  True, their previous releases were tech metal through and through.  However, Autotheism, which was released on August 14th, is about as progressive as it gets.  Yes, it’s a strange transition.  But it still freaking rocks. Read more of this post

Periphery II: Back With a Vengeance

Here we are with Periphery II, the second album from melodic djent-metalers (I know they probably hate that term by now) Periphery. I’ve been following Periphery for a while now, through all the different singer changes, and I have to admit that somehow this release had fallen off my radar a bit.

Maybe the lack of enthusiasm stemmed from the last album basically being a bunch of Bulb (guitarist Misha Mansoor’s alter ego) songs being redone. To be honest, I can’t even to begin to count how many times I’ve been let down by new releases by some of my favorite bands. Call it the sophomore slump, or whatever else, but it almost seems pointless to build anticipation for an upcoming album these days.

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Wretched Returns with Son of Perdition

For fans of Between the Buried and Me, The Black Dahlia Murder, and Opeth

I never expected Wretched’s 2010 sophmore release, Beyond the Gate, to be as good as it was. It was leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor, The Exodus of Autonomy, and featured some of the most impressively original songwriting I had heard from an American death-metal band in a very long time. Well, the Northern Carolina metalheads have returned with their follow-up, Son of Perdition, last month, and though it may not be as huge a leap forward as Beyond the Gate was, it’s another strong offering from one of the most underrated emerging bands in death metal.

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Eclipse Leaves Listeners in the Dark

My first thought upon hearing the first few minutes of Veil of Maya’s new record: “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!” I couldn’t tell if this was some kind of joke. It sounds exactly like the last record. And the last record sounded exactly like the one before that. I’m really at a loss as to how the band could put this record out and not think it sounds too much like their previous albums.

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DEAD ON ARRIVAL: Opeth Is No Longer Opeth.

I just want to start off by saying that I have a bit of a bias in this review: Opeth is my all time favorite band. I even have their logo tattooed on my right forearm to prove how much I obsess over them. There has never been a Progressive Metal band with such musicianship and talent like these guys. When people think of Opeth, they think of masterpiece albums like Ghost Reveries and Blackwater Park, which included equal amounts of ear-raping death metal and somber acoustics with beautiful clean vocals. These Swedes have been doing that for over 20 years, and we still can’t get enough of it. In 2008, they released Watershed which was still metal as fuck, but leaned a bit more towards their softer side — but even still, it was goddamn amazing. We couldn’t wait to hear what their new album would bring. After three years of waiting, they finally released Heritage… and it wasn’t exactly what anyone expected.

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Hold up Your Horns for The Hunter

mastodon the hunter

In 2009, Mastodon swept the metal masses off their feet with their comparably slower, melodic epic, Crack the Skye. I’ll admit, before that record, Mastodon and I were only acquaintances in the metal spectrum – we’d hang out every once in a while, I’d always play their songs on Guitar Hero, but they weren’t a band that had earned their spot as one of my favorite bands. Crack the Skye changed everything, it cemented a regular spot in my playlists, and somehow, those proggy bastards found a way to outdo themselves yet again with 2011′s The Hunter.

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Speaking Volumes “Via” Breakdowns

For fans of: Periphery, Meshuggah, After the Burial

From Los Angeles, CA comes a group of young genre-benders called Volumes. Their sound can be described as a mix between chuggy “djent,” and post-rock flavored melody. Upon first listen, I found the album to be rather frustrating: the band’s chugging sections became very monotonous compared to the more melodic sections. My interest would be briefly piqued, but then I’d sit around waiting for the next memorable section.

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BAMF Spotlight: Dissipate

Every week, Wrecked will be highlighting 2-3 bands playing the upcoming Bay Area Metal Festival. We’re kicking this week off with Dissipate, an 8-string wielding, progressive death metal band from Livermore, CA.

For fans of Dying Fetus, Candiria, Sikth, Meshuggah, Massive Attack, Car Bomb, The Dillinger Escape Plan, etc.

Fun fact #1: I had my nose permanently broken while moshing to Dissipate back in 2006 when my old band played a show with them at Lucky’s Pizza in Dublin, CA.

Fun fact #2: Wrecked founder, Ivan Torres, was their vocalist at the time.

It’s nice to see that Dissipate is still around melting faces like candle wax. If you want to see a band that knows how to handle their shit live, then you need to check out Dissipate. This is technical death metal that is actually interesting, in my opinion. From their Into the Moat style vocals, to their unique blend of progressive, slightly math-y, and ferociously executed death metal, Dissipate is one of those bands that always breathes something fresh into an ever-growing more stale metal genre. That and they represent Livermore, which has been a breeding ground for some pretty sick acts over the last ten years. We’ve got some tunes and a music video for you after the jump…

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Between the Buried and Me & The Ocean are Coming to Wreck SF. Be There.

As most of you probably know, Between the Buried and Me just released the incredible EP, The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues this past month, and have already set out on a full US tour in its support. Brad gave the album a stellar 4.5/5, saying it’s the best thing BTBAM has done since 2005′s Alaska. On Wednesday, May 4th, BTBAM will be visiting our neck of the woods at Slim’s in San Francisco. I’m here to tell you how imperative it is that you all attend this show. It will be legendary!

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I Hate Protest The Hero Live

Protest the Hero live at Slims SF

I really do…

This hate does not spawn from anger because one of the members killed my cat or stole my girlfriend, but rather because this band showed me that I have a long way to go before I can write and perform music of this caliber. Needless to say, I went home the next day and feverishly practiced scales for the first time in months, maybe even years.

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Between The Buried And Me Blow Minds With The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues

Between the Buried and Me - The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues

Back in February, like most of you, I had the chance to listen to the first half of “Specular Reflection”, the first track off Between the Buried and Me’s latest EP, The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues (why the fuck does Google always try to correct “dialogue”?!). At first, my reaction was a bit lukewarm… BTBAM has always impressed the hell out of me with their creativity and technical capabilities, but have lacked serious replay value ever since Colors for some reason. After listening to The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues in its entirety, all I can say is “holy shit”.

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Happy Body Slow Brain’s Dreams Of Water

Happy Body Slow Brain - Dreams of Water

I recently drove up to Kelseyville, CA (read: middle of nowhere) to visit a close friend of mine. Before I started my drive, I decided there were a few albums I needed to listen to, including Dredg’s El Cielo, Protest the Hero’s Scurrilous, Thrice’s Beggars, and last, but not least, Happy Body Slow Brain’s Dreams of Water. Admittedly, a couple of those were a bad choice for windy mountain roads late at night since they make me a bit sleepy, but they all have one thing in common: they are phenomenal albums. Yeah, I’m looking at you, Happy Body Slow Brain.

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