Napalm Flesh has been busy lately. In the last few weeks I’ve listened to more pop music than anything metal, but for good reason: I’ve been attempting to understanding my teen daughter’s musical tastes. So go ahead and get nostalgic, feel old or whatever else you think of when you recall the relationship between your parents’ music and yours—And no, I will not apologize for talking about how great my daughter is. Also included this week is a rather short rundown of shows and some CD reviews from the likes of Dying Fetus, Corpsessed, Sepultura, Exhumed and Draconian.
On Friday July 15, The South Shore Sports Bar & Grill hosts Deny Your Faith, Still-Born, Truce with Never Before and 2 X The Fall. $5 gets you in, tunes around 8 p.m.
Also on Friday, Rocky Mountain Hardcore plays host to Backwoods Burning, Vengeance and Sixteen Penny at Club Vegas (21+). $7 at the door, $5 in advance.
Next week, mark your calendars for Thursday July 21, because Lizzy Borden are coming to Club Vegas with local support from DieMonsterDie, Seventking and Visigoth. Advance tickets are $15.
Everyone starts feeling old, jaded, misunderstood or just flat out weird at a certain point in his or her life. I turned 30 this year, and in the scheme of things it’s really not that old. I feel my age from having a delightful, smart, beautiful and extremely intelligent 12-year-old daughter who’s rapidly approaching 13. Sorry parents with young children—especially metalhead parents who think their two or three-year-old rocking out to anything metal is an indication of their future taste—but you can never know what your kids may like when they start getting older. I recall my daughter Lindon banging her head to Iron Maiden, Motorhead and Metallica, all of which would send her into grumpy agony if they were played too long in her presence these days.
I recall being 12 surprisingly well. I remember my dad embarrassing me to no end when he’d sing along to the Beach Boys or Jimmy Buffet. Even if we were just in the car with no friends around, it would make me shiver and hunch over in my seat. Fortunately, my father started getting curious about my music when I was in my early teens. My mother was also interested. I’d be coming home with new albums at an alarming rate and what I thought was genuine interest was actually my mother being protective, as she would ask to hear the music I was listening to—she actually took some CDs out of my room when I was at school because she did not approve. My dad took the approach of trying to better understand my musical tastes, which throughout the years has landed my dad seeing Metallica, Pantera, Slayer (three times now to be exact) and Morbid Angel and lead to me accompanying him to see the Rolling Stones. Now as a parent myself I’m really trying to understand why my “tween” daughter Lindon likes the music she likes.
Lindon just acquired a fancier iPod than her dad’s—the way the younger generation has access to hear all kinds of music is mind-boggling. I remember snagging albums just because I liked the cover art or my impromptu metal head dad, Kevin Kirk of the Heavy Metal Shop, recommended them to me. Her iPod has the Internet, and I happened to mention a particular Internet radio station, which she is now a monster of sorts over. Having radio play songs in a particular genre or by artists you like is one thing, but having the option to skip through songs you don’t like is entirely another.
I’m not going to sit here and list all the artists my daughter listens to—that would probably result in writing a novel—but I find it interesting how she discovers what she likes. I think it’s important to take the time to listen and try to understand her musical tastes—but I’m fairly certain she plays Lady Gaga just to irritate her old pops. She does have the option to explore quite deeply into any type of music, but she sticks around what’s popular (to certain extents). My understanding of this is that it’s not only what her friends enjoy, but it’s also what’s comfortable to her and more likely to stick in her head than something completely out of the box. For the sake of comparison, thrash metal was my main love as a teen, and I recall being completely pereplexed when I heard Napalm Death. It took a few listens for me to like it, and even longer to become a fan. The thing I’ve noticed and love the most about my daughter and her tastes is that she has firm opinions and stands by them. Somehow she just got into the first Evanescence album, so I played some similar artists in the same vein. Her response to Within Temptation was, “It’s alright for a little bit, then it gives me a headache.” I can say however that one of her favorite artists, Weezer, was something she got into because of her “weirdo” Dad. I had a copy of Make Believe when it came out, which featured a song she had heard on the radio, “Beverly Hills.” She listened to the album, and now likes most of the band’s catalogue aside from the newer stuff, which we both think sounds a bit too “rushed.”
When I was in my mid-teens I often wondered what my possible future children would come to enjoy musically because I was already listening to some highly profane, obnoxious and evil music with no subject lyrically taboo or too offensive. I wondered how would my child top the “offensive” level of what I listened too. The fact is she really can’t top that, but she can listen to music that I find lyrically pointless and sonically simple, even though she could argue that her dad’s tunes are just as lyrically pointless and sonically simple. Lindon has every right to listen to whatever she wants, and the fact that she has her own opinion gives me all the ammo for the praise she deserves.
Every generation is going to like different things and grow up around different ideas. I thought when I was a teen technology was going crazy and advancing fast. I had no idea it would come to where it is now. I can be cynical and say technology is bad and it takes all the imagination out of things and is highly based on instant gratification. Thankfully Lindon balances her life, reading books like they’re candy bars, playing sports, camping and just being active. In fact, she’s outdoing her Dad at her age. We’re both stubborn, a bit shy, opinionated and thrive to discover new. When I was 12 I was getting into all kinds of trouble with my friends, stealing, trespassing, vandalizing and being a bully of sorts. Lindon takes on responsibility as a welcome challenge, she doesn’t travel outsider her comfort zone, and she’s active in her community in Flagstaff, AZ with community service and girls scouts. For her sixth grade year she achieved a 4.0 GPA for the entire year despite the fact she admits she’s a procrastinator (like her dad).
You can give your child all the crap you want about their taste in movies, books and movies, but it’s just going to make them like it more. I still don’t fully understand why my daughter likes what she likes. She’s only 12, and the music and things I was into when I was 12 have substantially changed. So us “oldies” can sit and be cynical and bash the younger generations for certain things, but that’s exactly how life has always been for every different generation. Embrace the qualities that make your child or niece or nephew different. If you thought your parents were bad at knocking what you liked as a kid, stop and think a moment that you might be doing the exact same thing your mom and dad did.
The Dagger and the Chalice
Corpsessed = Grave + Demigod (Fin) + Entombed (old)
With death metal bands a dime a dozen these days, a first impression can be everything. This five-piece (two guitarists) death metal assault from Finland by the name of Corpsessed will give any death metal fan new or old something to be impressed about. What the EP’s six tracks may lack in brutal riffs they make up for in droves with atmosphere. I’m really trying to grasp the need for two guitarists here—it feels very much like it could’ve been done with just one, minus some very lovely soloing in “Crypt Infester.” The Dagger and the Chalice may be beefed with old school influences, but they manage to fit in with the new and old school vibe well. The production of the EP is nicely done—heavy on the murkiness and low bottom end in the vocals, bass, guitar and drums. Corpsessed definitely have a pass to go and unleash a full-length. The whispers of what could be on this EP definitely have me excited to see what Corpsessed can come up with next. –Bryer Wharton
A Rose For The Apocalypse
Draconian = Paradise Lost + Tristania + Theater of Tragedy (old) + Katatonia
Beauty and the beast (clean female vocals + harsh male vocals) styled gothic doom metal is a well established—I could list way too many bands that play in this style. The strength in Draconian’s A Rose For The Apocalypse isn’t in its, style but in its songwriting. From track one to album end, it’s hard not to be compelled by the beautiful melodies crafted by the band’s six musicians. The depth of sound from the two guitars is massive. Fdd the bass, drumming and male/female vocals and the layers just keep getting piled on to transfix listeners into blissfully beautiful metallic states. When I listen to a record I either want it to stir up strong emotions or have it take me on a journey and Draconian accomplish both objectives. There’s enough here to pull many thoughts keep drawing listeners in. This is by far the best gothic doom I’ve heard this year aside from Ava Inferi’s latest offering. –Bryer Wharton
Dying Fetus = Dehumanized + Cannibal Corpse + Broken Hope + Bolt Thrower
It had to happen—well actually, it didn’t, but why not? Dying Fetus has unleashed a covers EP upon the masses. The song selection for the EP is actually quite good with covers from Dehumanized, Bolt Thrower, Napalm Death, Broken Hope, Pestilence and Cannibal Corpse. It’s actually nice to hear the old Dying Fetus doing a bit of things they don’t normally do in their own music. Props to Dying Fetus for going out of the box a bit, but then again the song selection could’ve gone a bit more out of bounds—not like Six Feet Under Graveyard Classics out of bounds, but in the end these covers sound like Dying Fetus took some masterpieces and polished them up a bit. One could argue that the bands covered were influential to Dying Fetus, but come on, Cannibal Corpse killed “No Remorse” in a good way. All I’m saying is the band could’ve ventured a bit out of their genre zone a bit more. –Bryer Wharton
All Guts, No Glory
Exhumed = Cannibal Corpse + Carcass + General Surgery + Dekapitator
Damn, it’s never felt so good to be eviscerated, gutted and torn apart. Exhumed return from a six year hiatus with All Guts, No Glory, striking vengeance upon all the new variances of death metal. Consider what Cannibal Corpse and a bastardized early era Carcass might sound like hopped up on speed, LSD and PCP among other mind altering substances. While sounding as fresh as newly slain corpse, Exhumed also have the great tendency to sound completely rotten and old school. There’s some groovacious d-beat stuff going on, the but main thing you’re going to hear with All Guts, No Glory is grindcore with classic death metal shredding and soloing courtesy the man that basically is Exhumed—Matt Harvey—and insane drumming from Danny Walker. This is the best thing Exhumed have done in their career and I welcome with bloody arms what’s to come. –Bryer Wharton
Sepultura = Sepultura (era 1991) + Slayer + Soulfly
Pretty much every post-Max Cavalera Sepultura album has been flat out terrible suffering from poor songwriting, and a complete deviation from the thrash metal style that made Sepultura huge. Well folks, if you spin Kairos be prepared to be shocked. This record offers thrash back in full force, and would actually fill in the gap between Sepultura’s 1991 album Arise and its follow-up Chaos A.D. I’m not sure what happened—maybe the band realized they couldn’t experiment further or just had the strong desire to play thrash again. Kairos offers fluid songwriting and terrific production that’s going to turn some metal heads back on to the band and appease newer fans in a way they haven’t been satisfied since they first discovered the mighty thrash riff. This isn’t a full return to Sepultura’s glory, but it’s damn clos,e and it’s an album I can enjoy beyond its initial shock factor of fresh and exciting songs. –Bryer Wharton