Various Artists: Good Intentions: The CDs On My Desk

It’s been a few crazy weeks and there’s been some clamor about some new “What You Go For First”s among the adoring public. Yet even as I near the end of these piles of CDs that have been sitting on my desk, new piles are emerging. Two fresh ones, basically. Damn these fourth quarter releases! I’ve got nuclear standoffs with Iran to opine about!

And goddamn, it’s a pity about William Safire. “On Language” was a fantastic column.

But I am nearing the end of all these promos. Thank goodness, because this fifth installment is taking a lot out of me. Listening to all this metal at once is making me feel as if I’m overcompensating for an iron deficiency. While I originally predicted this as being an eight part series, it looks like I may be able to do it in seven, depending on when I choose to decide that these newer piles are too new to include here, and are meant for regular coverage (perish the thought). Here’s hoping it’s as short as possible, but until then, here’s more reviews in the hope of giving me more desk space.

Lucretia’s Daggers Sad Flower Songs. A nice woman sent over her band’s album regarding this series of album rundowns, so I include it here out of the knowledge someone’s reading this. While this goth-meets-Blondie material has some charm, it’s not for me. Yeah, I’m heartless.

HDK System Overload. Appealing to the kind of prog metal fan who doesn’t want to look too prog, this unnecessarily heavy record might be something if it ever let its songs breathe, but high-tempo alternate picking is an unfortunate constant on System Overload. But even if they stopped, I’m still not sure it would be worthwhile. Not keeping.

Esoteric The Maniacal Vale. Okay, the shitter about this very promising album of funeral doom from the British lifers Esoteric is this is a two CD set, and for some reason, I only have the second CD. Hmm. Well, it’s a keeper, but only if I can find the other half.

Farflung A Wound In Eternity. You know, this has been sitting on my desk for a very long time (so long, the label MeteorCity is now defunct), but I realized that I’ve already listened to this. It’s actually pretty good, not great, but decent psychedelic stoner rock. Sold.

The Eyes Of A Traitor A Clear Perception. Overproduced metal for robot monkeys. I, for one, do not welcome our new mechanical simian overlords. Pass.

Cavity Laid Insignificant. I have a feeling this is what would have happened if Suicidal Tendencies grew up on Eyehategod. The hardcore punk sections are charming and all, but it’s the sludge and doom sections that get me, although they’re an odd pairing with singer Rene Barges’ bark. Could go either way on this. Needs more examination.

Root ­The Book. Okay, so I just realized this is the same band whose Hell Symphony I reviewed in this series about a month ago. Hell Symphony was actually a reissue of a 1992 release, explaining the lo-fi thrash style and generally strange black metal-esque sound. It was charming but I couldn’t figure out why. Well, it’s because it was 17 years old. The Book is also a reissue of the 1999 album. That clears things up. (So much for all those press releases I get, you’d think I’d know this.) The Book, all around, is a much stronger release and a kind of black metal cognac in its distinction. Some serious songwriting going on here, much, much better production (to the point where it barely feels black metal), and one of the most distinct singers I’ve heard in the genre—cause he sings! Crazy Czechs. Keeper.

Impiety Dominator. A 15 minute EP of solid and brutal yet unmemorable blackened death metal. There are so many of these bands now, and it’s not that these guys are doing anything bad, but it’s hard to stand out. Not bad. Will likely keep.

Bone Gnawer Feast Of Flesh. Yeah, you could say that there’s not a need for yet another Cannibal Corpse, but it’s worth it for the chorus of “Cannibal Cook-Out” alone. It’s pretty awesome. Keeper.

The Amenta N0N. There are few things more irritating than reading about a band that’s “not relying on all the clichéd shit” when they’re just writing Lamb Of God songs with synths. Shelve the cyborg ProTools shit, kids, you don’t know how to use it. Not keeping.