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Best of 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Slack   
Tuesday, 31 December 2013 11:49

My best of 2013 lists

Here’s the rundown on what we consider to be the best in entertainment of the year. While not as underground as one would expect from a person such as myself this is how it is J

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 January 2014 09:19
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Megadeth - Super Collider PDF Print E-mail
Written by Liu   
Friday, 07 June 2013 17:12

Tradecraft/Universal

Following Dave Mustaine's dubious and somewhat suspect early retirement, Megadeth came back with a pretty solid string of albums in The System Has Failed, United Abominations and Endgame. Then a horrible thing happened: Dave made up with immortal enemy Lars Ulrich. Can you believe it? After quitting drugs, it was his irrational animosity with the mediocre Danish drummer (from that other band whose name escapes me) that fueled his songwriting ire. I never got around to reviewing Thirteen (on account of my 2 years without writing one of these things), but the nicest thing I can say about that one is that it's not Megadeth's worst album (by virtue of there still being copies of Risk that haven't been rightfully tossed into an active volcano). It was one part compilation of unreleased songs that no one cared about and the other part brand new songs that no one cared about either, thus Thirteen was quickly forgotten about. And now we have Super Collider... but Dave and Lars are still buddies, so this can't end well.

Before we continue, imagine for a second a universe where the first four Megadeth albums don't exist. No Peace Sells nor a Rust In Peace and Countdown To Extinction is their debut album. In this universe, Megadeth playing fast-paced songs would be considered an uncharacteristic departure. And even in this universe, Super Collider would still be met with an indifferent reaction. There is no fire in this album. I can get the absence of any angst, but this is just phoned in across the board. Dave probably gets more excitement in discussing floral china patterns with his new buddy Lars Ulrich than he does writing new material. His backing band, consisting of Dave Ellefson, Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover, only sound like they're there to collect a paycheck. Broderick, who by all rights is probably a better guitar player than Mustaine, must be bored to tears playing this monotone material.

Last Updated on Sunday, 09 June 2013 12:00
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Weapon - Drakonian Paradigm PDF Print E-mail
Written by Philip   
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 16:56

I first came to hear of Weapon sometime in 2009 through the association of a member of two supremely masterful Canadian bands, Axis of Advance and Revenge. Vermin, as he is known, played bass for Weapon. As I learned later, it was only on an EP that I never heard. But this was all I needed to develop an interest. Over time I forgot why I had any interest in the band. Months later, when I found Drakonian Paradigm in the store I remembered being fascinated by the band, but couldn't recall why. I looked them up on my phone and found nothing informative but their logo. A primitive assortment of dangerous tools crudely built by ancient men with the need to kill spelled out WEAPON and lit torches in my chest. The logo was enough to sell me. 

The crudeness of these hateful weapons-as-letters was at odds with the sounds that first came from the speakers, an almost beautiful acoustic passageway that hinted at magic and mysticism. But no, this was a passageway into far fiercer territory. That fierce territory, once we arrived, was clearly the stuff of raw savagery. If riffs could cause a holocaust, these would do it. My, the fury with which they strike at the mind! Oh dear, the crazed razors they cut like! Melodies that simultaneously wrapped all ears in metaphysical straight jackets and transported one to freer lands where daggers grew on trees were weaving their way through the guts of man. Though familiar in many ways, I hadn't heard anything quite like it.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 October 2012 22:39
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Weapon - From the Devil's Tomb PDF Print E-mail
Written by Philip   
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 12:11

With debut albums there are rarely expectations. Aside from those few already familiar with the band through live performances, EPs, singles, or demos, the debut album introduces the vast majority of listeners to the band. For this reason, aside from word of mouth or visual aesthetics and other superficial aspects, there can hardly exist expectations for a band's debut album. One doesn't know what to expect, or what sort of musical worlds are about to emerge from their stereos. You take it as it comes and it either floors you with something incredible, bores you to death, or leaves you somewhere in the middle. Perhaps confused. Perhaps undecided. Perhaps with mixed emotions of love and hate. Weapon's debut did the former, flooring me with some unexpected and fantastic, original death metal, hardly ever delivering anything less than something ideal. But with sophomore attempts there are always expectations, even if slight or subtle.

Some are so impressed by a debut they say it's unlikely the band will reproduce that sort of magic on a follow up. Some expect nothing less than an equally excellent second album. But there's always an expectation, whether it be that the band remain true to their established sound, or that the band explore new territory and refrain from releasing the same album over and over again. A fan base has been established with the debut, and the sophomore runs the risk of disgusting the fans who were drawn in because of minute peculiarities and minor details that made the debut powerful. For this reason, a sophomore release can be tricky territory. Piss off old fans and hope to make new ones? Stay true to our core fans? Yes, now the awful fans must be considered. And while it's doubtful most bands who are true to their vision worry about what others will think of their music, there's always that minor pulsing thought, "It'd be great if the fans are into it..."

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 October 2012 14:04
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Photos: Behemoth, Watain, and more in Vancouver BC 4/21/2012 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Slack   
Monday, 23 April 2012 09:15

After hours of Skagit Tulip Festival traffic we finally made it across the border for Behemoth, Watain, The Devil's Blood and In Solitude. While I missed the Seattle show (I knew that the ceiling would be too low for the stage gear and fire) everyone who saw both stated that the BC date at the Rickshaw Theatre was superior. Check out our photos from this spectacular show here!

 
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