Tag Archives: 2015

Danzig – Skeletons

Glenn sees your "Dad-bod" and raises you a "Danz-bod"
Glenn sees your “Dad-bod” and raises you a “Danz-bod”

The covers albums is almost always a dodgy proposition but I couldn’t help but hold out some hope for Danzig’s Skeletons. Partly because… Glenn F. Danzig! But also cause I knew the Evil Elvis was going to choose some interesting material to put through the metal wringer. And it’s the choice of material that saves Skeletons from being a total stinker. The performances are pretty ropey: flat vocals, lifeless drums and relentless guitar squealies along with a flabby sound that’s devoid of dynamics. There are dicey renditions of Sabbath’s N.I.B, Aerosmith’s Lord of the Thighs and ZZ Top’s Rough Boy, while a surprising choice, sounds like your drunken Dad commandeering the microphone at a wedding. Dad, stop! But Danzig gets bonus points for doing all these tracks his own way and, when you’ve got Glenn M. F. Danzig doing The Everly Brothers’ Crying in the Rain, it’s hard not to get a kick out of that… however much it sounds like the karaoke of your darkest fears. It’s worth having Skeletons just for that and its opening trio of tunes: Dave Allan and the Arrows’ Devil’s Angels is bashed out in delightfully Misfits-y style; the obscure soundtrack curio Satan (Theme from Satan’s Sadists) is brilliant and tailor-made for Glenn – “I was born mean, by the time I was 12 I was killing, killing for Satan”; and his cover of Elvis’ Let Yourself Go is a stomping taster for his planned Elvis EP. It’s definitely for fans-only but, for them, it’s a flawed-but-loveable glimpse into the great Fonzig’s interesting and eclectic influences. And if you’re not singing “I was borrrrn mean…” in the shower every day after hearing this, you’re a better man than me.

Danzig – Satan (Theme from Satan’s Sadists)

Veteris – Wolf Dawn

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I’m guessing this is the Necropolis but not 100% sure…

Veteris is a one-man thrash metal project hailing from Glasgow. I say thrash but it’s thrash of the blackest sort: shades of Venom, early Slayer and Bathory. Right up my street, in other words. 2015’s Wolf Dawn is Veteris’ only release and the two tracks here are very impressive. It’s proper old-school primitivism and if you’ve ever wondered if the worlds of surf rock and black metal would collide… check out these guitar solos! Veteris is currently working on a full-length album to be released some time this year so I’ll be looking out for that. Lots of potential here. In the meantime, you can check out Wolf Dawn as a name-your-price download on Bandcamp.

Obscene Entity – Lamentia

Obscene Entity - Lamentia (2015)
Obscene Entity – Lamentia (2015)

As Obscene Entity power into the climatic riff of the track Insanity Binds, someone shouts the word “fuck”. Now, normally that kind of posturing would have me rolling my eyes, thinking of Lars Ulrich. But the particular moment at which it is exclaimed, after the band have just powered through a veritable maelstrom of death metal riffs before returning successfully to the song’s main riff, it comes across as totally genuine. Even triumphant. You find yourself totally behind them. Fuck!

I can’t think of a better way to illustrate the joy of Obscene Entity’s debut album Lamentia.

Loosely based around the theme of mental fragility, this intense and heartfelt album pulls you down a rabbit hole of tortured death metal. The album starts off with the Gojira-fronted-by-Jeff Walker assault of Planetary Devastation. It’s a good, solid opener but the album kicks into another gear as Hymns of the Faithless veers from a dizzy, swirling riff midway through the track into a groovy, stop-start breakdown. It’s the kind of stuff that makes you gurn like Phil Anselmo. Listen to this on the bus at your peril.

Obscene Entity - now a four piece!
Obscene Entity – upgraded to a four-piece since Lamentia was completed

And from there on the album just seems to intensify, the band continually adding new elements and styles. The title track has a whirling dervish riff and ringing chords that bring to mind Emperor and Euphoric Vanity employs some guitar progginess in a wonderful Chuck Schuldiner vein. The twin vocals of guitarist Matt Adnett (also of Shrines) and bassist Calum Gibb keep things varied throughout: ranging from brute Behemoth growls to hoarse blackened snarls. But the top honours go to drummer Luke Braddick. For an album this vehement, it’s remarkably hooky and those hooks are powered and enhanced by Luke’s dynamic and tasteful playing. Throughout, the band plays a modern style but has a classic sensibility and chemistry: constantly reining themselves in, allowing space for all the parts to have maximum effect. This quality, aided by the powerfully clear production from Dan Abela, only adds to the album’s power and intensity.

There are a lot of approaches and influences on Lamentia and my only concern is that the band haven’t quite found their unique voice yet. But it’s never derivative and the prospect of the band developing and finding that voice on future releases is tantalising. But until then, there’s plenty to enjoy and gurn at in Lamentia. It’s unreconstructed death metal performed with remarkable skill, piss and vinegar. Expect to see this in my end-of-year Top Ten, it’s a fantastic debut. Fuck!

Obscene Entity on Bandcamp:  http://obsceneentity.bandcamp.com/

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