Various Artists: Good Intentions: The CDs On My Desk

As I’m tired of the healthcare debate (Single payer, stupid.), too disappointed to even dedicate a half page to the Lockerbie bomber release (The oil, stupid.) and since everyone’s on vacation anyway (Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, stupid.), we’re continuing to make a dent in the stack of releases on my desk I’ve been ignoring for too long.

Grave Dominion VIII. This is another death metal record I should have been listening to every waking moment. Even in the shower. If I listened to this in the shower, dirt would just run off me in fear. Unless it was Swedish dirt. Awesome.

Dead Man Euphoria. You know, I feel like I’ve reviewed this record before, but I haven’t. Anyway, it’s post-Witchcraft Pentagram-worship, perhaps a bit more folk than most. Song arrangements are a bit clunky. For those with the taste. Not keeping.

Akimbo Jersey Shores. A Neurot Recording that has been languishing. It’s pretty capable stoner rock but there’s not really much to it. Good riffs, reasonably solid, but it’s not even frills I’m looking for, it’s hooks maybe. Or some decent singing. Might grow on me though. Keep. (Note: After listening, was persuaded to check out track 5. Ah, so this is why this band exists. A manly collection of riffs.)

Reino Ermitano Rituales Interiores. Female-fronted Spanish doom. Knock me over with a feather, ‘cause I’m swooning.

Helms Alee Night Terror. Post-metal with smatterings of Smashing Pumpkins-esque guitar work and a bit of Melvins-lite. Less experimental Sonic Youth quality as well, with all the feedback and male and female vocals. Kind of ambivalent myself, but I’m sure someone digs this. There’s things to dig. Not keeping.

Ehnahre The Man Closing Up. There is a slightly cool “I’m searching around a dungeon” feel to this, as in there’s something new around every corner, but this avant-garde metal project gets dull quickly. Maybe destined to be a Zork text adventure score. Not keeping.

The Legion A Bliss To Suffer. No teeth to this speedy euro-death metal. Not keeping.

Christ Inversion self-titled. Much as I find charm in sparsely produced crust-metal in black and white liner notes whose lyrical themes are entirely anti-religious, there’s a lot of them to choose from. This could be better than it is. Not keeping.

Necrophobic Death To All. Blackened death metal. I prefer mine served with a bit more Inferno on double bass, but hey, this isn’t bad. Pretty good actually. Keeping.

Hacride Lazarus. No.

Cold Northern Vengeance Domination And Servitude. I didn’t know an album could be ‘too pagan’ for me, but there I am. Fooled again. Next.

Alghazanth Wreath Of Thevetat. Rock solid black metal. Nothing escapes it. Certainly not Christians. Worthwhile. Keeping.

Totimoshi Milagrosa. A Shakespearean tragedy could be written on my lacking to listen to this disc until now. If rock radio was like this, we wouldn’t need health care reform, because everyone would feel better. Or at least not cheated. Keeping.

Shade Empire Zero Nexus. Before the 30 second mark, these guys went Gothenburg, industrial and prog-synth metal. Pretty much the way the rest of it plays out too, plus Leprechaun vocals. Do one thing and do it well. Pass.

Young Widows Old Wounds. I only held onto this promo because it was on Temporary Residence. I made the right decision.

Wetnurse Invisible City. When you’ve had it with every manufactured aspect of hardcore-influenced music that’s emerged over the years and lose your faith entirely in the genre, it’s records like that reaffirm your faith in its tenets. Kickass.

Therion Live Gothic. I was pretty sure I didn’t like Therion before, but now at least I know I don’t. Not keeping.

Oceansize Frames. Prog-minded art rockers who like post-metal, I remember a few songs from their Effloresce record being worthwhile. And a few songs off this are as well. Keeping.

Tombs Winter Hours. The sophomore release from Anodyne’s Mike Hill’s most recent project, Tombs stands above the Relapse noise-to-signal ratio with some intelligent post-hardcore in the Today Is The Day/Converge vein, though I do have to call shenanigans on tracks 3 through 5 being basically the same melody line and same key. Keeping.

Russian Circles’ Station. I’m so behind on this one, they’ve already got another record coming out in a month, although the Circles sure know how to put them out—this only came out May of last year. In the wave of instrumetal bands, they’re better than your average Pelican and worth a listen. Keeping.