Chew on This

Can’t stand it? Get over it. Cookie Monster metal — the genre(s) where a voxdude woofs notelessly atop fretboard frenzy and a zillion whacks of kick drum — has got something for you.

Death metal, grindcore, metalcore, goremore, godslash, pottytrain and all those metals began around the dawn of the ’90s as a statement: We dare you to get any more extreme than this. Napalm Death, Cannibal Corpse, huzzah. Of course, when it was discovered that any slob could sound much like the originators (some of whom actually knew what they were doing), a planetary epidemic of cookie diarrhea gushed forth, each band vying to bleed, rot and blaspheme more stankily than the last. And kill christ if it didn’t get boring.

Later than you’d expect, alienated musicians with talent and drive got tired of making the same statement to the same 66 basement lurkers in every city. And behold, they began to treat their art as a mode of communication. The last several months have seen some fine examples of such evolution — heavier and more effective than ever, because darkfolk have figured out that stealth bombers do more damage than shillelaghs.

God Dethroned, The Lair of the White Worm (Metal Blade). Dutch vet Henri Sattler has shanghaied a whole new crew of youngbloods, including 22-year-old Allan Holdsworth fan Isaac Delahaye on guitar, and hewed an album that kills as much with its songwriting as its instro brutality.

*Only nine tracks! Quality not quantity — ain’t nothing magic about the number 13.

*Grand, heroic guitar melodies contrasting against bug-eyed double kick.

*Mighty grooves you can swing a pool cue to.

*"Sig-ma! Enig-ma! I open the door to a new di-men-sion!"

Full Blown Chaos, Wake the Demons (Stillborn). At first you might not sniff anything special about these New Yorkers’ determined onslaught — not much shredding. Then you’ll realize you’ve gladly soaked up the whole damn thing.

*They play together like one big animal.

*Many bands decide to change tempos by tossing dice every 20 seconds. Not FBC; they shift strong, like truck gears.

*Slow, simple riffs set against nutso drumming and vice versa. Multichrome structures.

*When they’ve used up an idea, they stop. (Thank you, punk rock.)

*No throwaways; the momentum keeps building.

*Textured production by Zeuss.

*Just played the Key Club with God Forbid.

Cephalic Carnage, Anomalies (Relapse). There is art in Colorado. From total fury to cobwebby arpeggios draped o’er grime, the well-traveled Carnage crew cut loose with their entire arsenal. If they don’t slay you, you ain’t human.

*Epics, fuck yeah: "Piecemaker." "Inside Is Out."

*Dynamics: loudness, silence, drama. This shit busts in on ya.

*Abstraction: In ways more conceptual than literal, C.C. have inhaled the spirit of energy jazz.

*Mood: It couldn’t smoke like this without the studio tweaksmanship of producer and Priest worshipper Dave Otero. And he’s young, folks.

People used to say it all sounds alike, and they were right. Used to. Were.


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