Saturday, January 1, 2011

Frank's Metal Misadventures: Moss, Converge and Mitochondrion

In an effort to fit in better here at S4D I decided to venture deep into the black heart of all things metal. So I asked my beloved Rasputin (who has tried and failed many times to unleash my inner metalhead) to give me a definitive and varied collection of the best and most popular. It was his idea for me to make a record of my thoughts and thus we have the first installment of Frank's Metal Misadventures.

Mitochondrion - Parasignosis

This was the first death metal album I've ever listened to whilst not under duress. I was able to survive through it's entirely due in no small part to the not-so-ridiculous growling vocals that usually shrivel my musical vagina faster than Thom Yorke's face. Instrumentally-wise it's a lot of RARARAR with a bit of twang-twang-twang and some slower, pretty bits somewhere in the middle. I can imagine it's the kind of album that Dr.Phil puts on after a long day on set and then proceeds to ritualistically beat his wife. The ending is almost as eerie and off-kilter as her plastic-surgery laden face. In other words, it's pretty swell. My favourite of the three.

Did I mention the band name reminds me of grade nine biology class? An organelle that uses glucose and fatty acids to make energy? That's so satan.

Converge - Jane Doe

I was actually enjoying this for the first forty seconds until I heard that unmistakable, irritating tink-tink-tink sound like a pot being hit with a metal spoon. Ignoring that pet-hate I listened to what I thought was a woman 'singer' screaming for close to nine minutes only to find by the fourth track she was in fact a dude. The vocals remind me of my kid sister during one of her boyfriend-induced-rages where she incomprehensibly screams herself hoarse. Ah, young love. My favourite track for obvious reasons was "Phoenix In Flight" which was immediately followed by my thoroughly least favourite "Phoenix In Flames" (I suppose the juxtaposition is meant to be clever and witty or something). On that note I was kind of surprised by the lack of pretentious bullshit track names - they're really quite tame, possibly even lame. To me this album paints the picture of the kind of news story you hear about some crack-whore 'Jane Doe' who eventually tires of the constant beatings and shortchanging dealt out by her pimp, she wigs out and goes medieval all over all his arse with a rotary dial telephone. She takes one last hit from the pipe before burning the joint down with them both inside. Overall listening to this album wasn't what I'd call an enjoyable experience, though I doubt it's meant to be - I give it two crackpipes out of five (mostly for the cover artwork).

Moss - Sub Templum

I wasn't sure what to expect from a band called Moss. I was told it was 'sludge' metal which to me means it should sound equivalent to that foul, gooey substance that lines the inside of old drainpipes. And honestly if that's what they're going for then the first track nailed it. I could imagine this on the soundtrack of some film school freak's atmospheric avant-garde piece entitled "The Anti-Clockwise Rotation: Life Down The Drain" complete with long, tedious tracking shots of plumbing. From there it just proceeds to get weirder. A kind of constant jack-hammer sound overlaid with the occasional crash-bang or anguished scream. Once I [very quickly] got over the general creepiness of the thing it was just plain torturous, I too wanted to scream in apparent agony. Which lead me to believe anyone who would voluntarily listen to this for an extended period of time must be some kind of twisted masochist or simply put: a moron. Rasputin said this one 'crushes posers' implying only the brave and elite will endure this rubbish - not dissimilar to the cruel tests that fraternity pledges suffer. If this is the case I've still got a long way to go before I can call myself a sister in the House of S4D.