Various Artists: Good Intentions: The CDs On My Desk

So I preempted the Labor Day festivities by getting fitshaced on a Thursday, leaving this column in my completely incapable hands on an early deadline Friday before Labor Day. Ever try to review a whole bunch of heavy metal with the kind of hangover that leaves you trying to remember long sections of the evening before?

No, I didn’t think so. I suppose you could counter that this is the bed I’ve made, but that’s the wrong attitude. You should still try it sometime. Feel my snobby editor pain.

Anyway, as I was kind of on a roll, I’m continuing the Good Intentions series, but bear in mind the context with which I listened to all of these records, except the Gnostic album, which was left off last week’s installment. Here’s hoping everyone was safe with the propane tanks.

Gnostic Engineering The Rule. The guts of Atheist (drummer Steve Flynn, guitarist Chris Baker and bassist Jonathan Thompson), with the addition of singer Kevin Freeman and second guitarist Sonny Carson, are Gnostic. As such, they pretty much rule if you’re looking for some no bullshit prog-death metal, but Kevin leaves a little on the table. Keeping.

Ender self-titled. Via New Zealand, the multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Dakers and drummer Logan Compain perform Isis-like instrumetal by the numbers to the point of mimicry. It’s not bad, but there’s nothing going on. Not keeping.

Destroyer 666 Defiance. One of the few death metal bands of note to make it out of Australia, Destroyer 666, fronted by K.K. Warslut, are about as awesome as their name sounds. Keeping, but I doubt I’ll revisit it.

Treachery self-titled. Drony weirdness in the Khanate vibe, but somehow, it got caught in the shower with some new wave band. Maybe brilliant, maybe idiotic, probably the later. This I’m donating.

Banished From The Inferno self-titled. Quirky grindcore. The grindcore is pretty standard, really, the quirkiness is the timing. The first track opens with a fade up and then a minute later, a fade out of a epic riff. Then after about three minutes of near silence, a grindcore song starts. Points. Keeping.

IXXI Elect Darkness. I feel like this is the kind of metal band David Lynch would really like, just because of their sassy Badalamenti-esque rhythms and the singer’s odd insistence on holding out his screams for as long as possible, which is well beyond the point where he should have. Keeping.

Merauder God Is I. Somehow, Merauder started sounding like Lamb Of God. When did this happen? Or did Lamb Of God just always sound like Merauder? Not keeping.

Callisto Providence. I can’t for the life of me figure out why this CD made it into my pile. I’m about as equally confused by their Italian folk and repressed ‘60s psychedelia influenced passages with some Bono-esque singing. This actually might be cool, but I can’t get past the vocal. Not keeping, possibly donating.

Those Who Bring The Torture Tank Gasmask Ammo. Grindcore as a genre has a hook deficiency, and sometimes bands are at below-healthy levels, without necessarily being any less brutal or heavy. This is one of those bands. Not keeping.

Dodsferd Suicide And The Rest Of Your Kind Will Follow. One-man black metal, sort of in the style of middle period Blut Aus Nord I suppose. You know, the kind of band named one thing, but has one guy who has another made up name (Wrath) as his stage name, even though he’s all of Dodsferd. Anyway, not bad. Keeping.

Volcano Tales From The Black Book. This has actually been sitting in an undecided pile from the first part in this series for whatever reason. I wasn’t sure if I liked it then. I’m still not entirely sure, but I do like the Motorhead vibe and the Iberian accent on the singer. The kind of band I would totally dig if they were my buds. You never know, they may be someday. Keeping.