Various Artists: Good Intentions: The CDs On My Desk

As much as I’m somewhat lamenting the fact that I have to go through a dozen or so records every Monday, I could be kludging together with some kind of commentary on Afghanistan, health care, Max Baucus or David Letterman. I don’t think I want to write about any of those things, so we’re back reviewing records. It’s too bad this is probably the second to last installment in this series, because I certainly don’t relish the idea of getting back into responsible commentary.

Ah, the grass is always greener.

Bleeding Fist Bestial Kruzifix666ion. This is the type of thrash/black metal (though Bleeding Fist have labeled themselves “chaos metal”) that I really hope none of the guys in the band take seriously, because if they do, they’re basically The Darkness. See? Nobody wants that. Not keeping.

Culted Below The Thunders Of The Upper Deep. The Upper Deep, eh? Well, I’m not quite sure if Culted know what the hell they’re talking about, but there’s some pretty black funeral doom happening here. It’s a little hard of a sell—you’d have to like black metal and funeral to even take a bite out of this doomwich. Possible keeper or donation.

Chord Flora. They’re not fucking around about chords. Four tracks: “Am7,” “Gmaj(flat 13th),” E9” and “Am.” Including Trevor de Brauw from Pelican, this Neurot foursome of guitarists are each assigned one note from a chord and then drone as required. Keeper.

Man Must Die No Tolerance For Imperfection. I’m just imagining all tough guys doing their tough guy breakdown dance to the middle of “Gainsayer” and laughing. I’m half-tempted to do one myself. Not bad for some ultra-fine grind, but I prefer mine a little coarser. A donation.

Howl self-titled. …Like this. Though this only grinds a small percentage of its mostly sludgy time, the ethic is one of filthy, boozy nihilism. Pretty awesome. I’ll take more of this please, Relapse. Keeper.

The Family Curse White Medicine. When the sticker says “RIYL: Butthole Surfers, Jesus Lizard” (RIYL is “Recommended If You Like” for the curious), that essentially means you need to have a very open mind, cause it probably doesn’t sound like either band. And it doesn’t. Boorish art rock/punk lacking subtlety. Not keeping.

Weapon Drakonian Paradigm. I’m wondering if this band named themselves after the elective bosses in Final Fantasy VII. I think if they were, this would be slightly more interesting. As it is, it’s kind of every mid-tempo black metal band you’ve ever heard. Not a keeper.

Church Of Misery Houses Of The Unholy. This has been staring at me for months to listen to it. You know why I didn’t listen to it? Because I knew I’d like it to the point where I might not listen to anything else. Kind of makes reviewing a whole shitload of records at once hard. This kicks all kinds of ass. If Phil Anselmo heard this band, he’d crap himself, because these tracks (all dedicated to serial killers) are what Superjoint Ritual should have been. End of story. Keeping.

Suffocation Blood Oath. Dude, Suffocation. Thick and chewy New York death metal still delivering twenty years on. Blood Oath may not their best, but ignore at your peril. Keeper.

Lethargy Purification. Not to be confused with the former band of Brann Dailer and Bill Kelliher (now of Mastodon) of upstate New York, these Welshman sound closer to New South Welshman, given the stoner rock plus AC/DC sound on the opening cut (and the fact they’re on Powerage Records). But then this awful second cut comes in (“Innocence Serene”), and they try to bare their metal souls with a ballad. Fuck off. Not keeping.

Atheist Unquestionable Presence: Live At Wacken. The title is a little misleading because they’re not playing the album Unquestionable Presence all the way through (though four of the eight live tracks are from that record), but it’s Atheist, and therefore awesome. Also includes a second disc of hand-selected cuts (basically a greatest hits). Keeper.