Every decade or so, at least for me, I hit a “dry spell” as a music listener and/or reviewer. No one album sounds that great, rocks my world, whatever– hence the four-month absence of Sawtoothwave from the “new article” section of Awesome Websites Monthly.
I finally figured that, since there were no full albums worth reviewing, on this, my birthday in the early/mid/late 40s, I should hip you to what I have actually been listening to whilst I get up, or work out, or wash dishes, or fall asleep, or whatever. Sound good?
And maybe, just maybe, these tracks are extra good because they pierced my shell of indifference, my equivocal soul, my hemming-and-hawing eardrums….
So, in no order:
Carcass’ “Thrasher’s Abbatoir,” and “316L Grade Surgical Steel,” from Surgical Steel: blistering thrash-cum-archetypal death metal, ferocious as fuck, played by experts.
Hail of Bullets’ “Pour La Mérite,” and “Dak” from III The Rommel Chronicles: a lumbering granite Godzilla, destroying the earth and teaching you about World War II German commanders all the while.
Finnish thrash-ish band Stone’s “Get Stoned,” from Stone: catchy power metal/ thrash that went on to influence bands like Children of Bodom. Great stuff.
Skeletonwitch’s “Burned From Bone,” from Serpents Unleashed: typical Skeletonwitch, in that it’s thrash/black/power metal’s heavy yet disco-ish fury in less than three minutes.
Pelican’s “The Tundra,” from Forever Becoming: if the whole album were like this, it would be as awesome as their greatest album….
Sting’s (I love Sting and every ounce of his pretentiousness, you shut your damn face) “What have we got?” from The Last Ship: add some distorted guitars to this and it would be Týr’s greatest song EVAR….
Speaking of which, Týr’s “Hold the heathen hammer high,” and “Trondur I gotu,” from By the Light of the Northern Star: pagan metal that is an inspiring as a pre-battle pep-talk from a renegade Norse warlord. Fair warning: play either one and you’ll hum it for weeks; it will be more of an earworm that anything Kahn could have devised.
Shining’s “Healter Skelter,” from Blackjazz, and “I Won’t Forget,” from One One One: tenor sax as jazz that really loves metal, much like….
Peter Brötzmann Octet’s “Responsible/ for Jan Van de Ven” from The Complete Machine Gun Sessions: jazz, as metal as it gets.
Fontanelle’s “Traumaturge,” from Vitamin F: if Miles Davis, specifically the Miles Davis from Bitches’ Brew, wanted to make some metal– and rub some funk on it.
Tribulation: anything from The Formulas of Death, but you’ll only need one tune.
Eric Church’s “Smoke a little smoke,” from Caught in the act: Live— this country outlaw ends his tune about wine and weed with the main riff from Sab’s “Sweet Leaf” (love the audience’s collective What the fuck?)– what more do you need to know?
Pharoah Sanders’ “The Creator Has a Master Plan”: a 32-minute opus of revolving licks and paeons to marijuana and altered states in general.
Finally, we have Sloath’s newest work (though it was recorded at the same time as their first album, one of my favorites of all time): “The Deep Rift IV.” Just listen.
I’ve been me and this is my time. Thank you very much, I’ve been great.