Blog Exclusive CD Reviews

Abnormal Thought Patterns
CynNormal Lab Recordings
Street: 11.29
Abnormal Thought Patterns = Zero Hour + Cynthesis
The members of Zero Hour and Cynthesis are in creativity mode again, hence this EP from new band Abnormal Thought Patterns—which, other than guitarist Richard Sharman, is comprised of members of both aforementioned groups. In a nutshell, Zero Hour was prog metal for extreme metal fans. Abnormal Thought Patterns continues that extremity but digesting this EP would be comparable to eating a pinecone. Four of the EP’s songs seem to be a split or variation on one track called “Velocity and Acceleration” but the cuts feel more like variations of the same song rather than extensions of it. You can listen to the “Velocity and Acceleration,” or “The Machine Within,” and “Electric Sun,” and while their sound waves may penetrate your cranium and make some sort of impact which can be completely different each time, it’s still extremely hard to comprehend—I really cannot fathom how hard some of the guitar riffing displayed here is to play. Whether this EP is a precursor to a full-length or the band is just testing the waters as an instrumental project, any prog/math metal connoisseur would do well to give this EP some thought (pun intended). In the end the EP isn’t something that’s going to change metal, but it’s an experience for folks that love the geetar and all one can do with it. –Bryer Wharton

Anal Cunt
The Old Testament
Street: 11.22
Anal Cunt = complete noise
There’s nothing like saying goodbye by taking a trip down memory lane. There is a weird almost comedic irony about this release, planned well before the death of the man that is Anal Cunt: Seth Putnam. This is basically a collection of early Anal Cunt classics (or not-so-classics) compiled by the man, and the two disc noise monster also includes liner-notes written by Putnam. This is completely worth owning given the rarity of some A.C. releases—if anyone out there has every bit of plastic and wax A.C released, please provide photographic or other indisputable evidence and I’ll literally shit my pants in a public area. There are many gems and shits lying in wait for the willing to hear on this - it’s an insane collection of stuff that loosely resembles music. Reviewing every little tidbit is next to impossible. I do enjoy the fact that it includes portions of spilt 7” that would be nightmarish to actually track down. The split the band did with Psycho is something I’d love to physically own. There’s also the “Unplugged EP”—it’s must hear material, along with the probably many other bits of noise this monster offers that most folks have never heard. I‘m sure bits of this have wound up in the land of tape trading or piracy but it‘s just nice to have it all on two little compact disks. To note, a short trip to eBay yielded nothing from this compilation in original format—get it while‘s it‘s still steaming, friends. –Bryer Wharton

Street: 12.19
Vore = Malevolent Creation + Monstrosity + Vader           
Generally when we Americans think of Arkansas, we think of backwoods rednecks that love NASCAR. Well, now I can add something else to think about the “Natural State”: it’s the home of Vore. Gravehammer is my first insight to the death metal band. Going into this not expecting the earth to shatter probably helped me to enjoy the shit out of it. Vore play straight up American death metal heavy on the groove—really heavy. Some of the pummeling riffs do get me thinking Polish (a la Vader style), but when it comes full circle it’s Americana death metal. The album’s production beckons to listeners with its familiar style, makeing for a nice break from the rising crop of “Brutal Death Metal” bands that squeal like pigs and love to slam and slam away. Gravehammer offers quite a bit, and a hefty chunk of its songs run past six-minutes and graciously don’t get old, just better. The title track is actually seven and a half minutes of that good death metal stuff. “Doomwhore” and “The Claw is the Law” keep sucker punching listeners. There’s comfort in what Vore offer with Gravehammer—its familiarity makes it better than trying to figure out what Decapitated were trying to do with their latest album or what the hell the meaning of “djent” is supposed to be. –Bryer Wharton