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Digital Subscriptions > Terrorizer Magazine > Terrorizer 279 > ALBUM OF THE MONTH

ALBUM OF THE MONTH

WHO YOU GONNA CALL?

UNEARTHLY TRANCE

‘Stalking The Ghost’

RELAPSE

Ryan Lipynsky is one of those guys who has become a mark of quality – you just know that every band he’s in will be great. His track record is faultless, from Thralldom to The Howling Wind, from Serpentine Path to Hollow Senses or Force & Fire… despite the varying degree of his participation on these bands, they all carry that unmistakable grit, that murky kind of sonic darkness that falls down through the gutters of doom, sludge, black metal and even punk sometimes. Still, Unearthly Trance have always been the special one among the special bunch of Lipynsky bands. Not only have they been the most consistent and long-lasting of them all, with some truly unforgettable records along the way (‘The Trident’ and especially ‘Electrocution’ for yours truly, but opinions vary healthily among Unearthly Trance fans usually), but it’s always felt like the “main band”, the sort of linchpin, the nucleus from which all the other bands and projects make sense. It was tragic to think Unearthly Trance might never return after a few years of inactivity, and therefore it is a celebration to receive ‘V’s successor seven years after that monstrosity came out. This has always been a no-frills kind of band, and it’s no huge surprise that they seem to have hit the ground running. Anyone who’s seen them live in the past few months (that Desertfest appearance was truly crushing, for instance) could see that everything was as if the band had never gone away, and ‘Stalking The Ghost’ is the natural follow-up to ‘V’, no matter how many years have gone by in between. More varied than most of their other records, allowing itself some rough thrash-outs here and there and even a seemingly quieter moment or two which nevertheless never allow the intensity levels to drop from the red, ‘Stalking…’ is everything that sludge and doom should have evolved to become. Aggressive, confrontational, rife with despair and disgust, with intelligent lyrics to match the rabid, merciless mood of the songs, melodic enough to become memorable and even hummable but never to the point of losing its primal feeling of rage and fury. The trio puts in top form performances, Ryan’s acrid throat, hateful delivery and jagged riffing finding perfect support in the rumbling low end of Jay Newman’s bass and Darren Verni’s remorseless battery, and Colin Marston was the right guy in the right place to capture everything with the exact amount of grime and sonic fog, without allowing it to lose clarity and power. “An esoteric ritual of seismic doom”, says the press release, and it’s just that.

[9] JOSÉ CARLOS SANTOS

CRYSTAL FAIRY

‘Crystal Fairy’

IPECAC

By what order of magnitude can a group be called “super”? That’s now an easy question to answer: just point to this Crystal Fairy record. Quite aside from members of the Melvins, Crystal Fairy also boast the talents of tourmates Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez of At The Drive-In and The Mars Volta. Quite an impressive line up by any standards, and on paper definitely worth listening to.

And it is in practice too. Among the prolific output of the Melvins, this is a stand out but as heavy as their influence is, that’s not the only story. Buzz and Dale are as pummelling as ever next to the disciplined Omar, but the absolute star of this piece is Teri’s gorgeous vocals – a sneering lesson in siren-esque seduction with her stream of consciousness lyrics a perfect match for the barrelling, spontaneous, heavy-as-whale-hearts grunge, like the good old days of riot grrrl. The self titled song is a case in point, boasting a spiralling, suffocating riff wound so tight the vocals catapult into the stratosphere.

While even the most dedicated fan of Buzz and Dale would concede that the amount of work they put out in their Melvins guise makes keeping up with their output a full time job, to say this is their best work in years would be true, if it weren’t a gross disservice to Teri and Omar’s presence here too. Just strap yourself in and fly away.

[8] STEVE R. JONES

FISH OUT OF WATER

KING BUZZO ON PLAYING OZZFEST WITH THE MELVINS, AND CHOOSING YOUR MUSICAL COLLABORATORS WISELY

“The Ozzfest top brass did not want us there AT ALL and made sure we understood that loud and clear. They treated us like dog shit for the whole trip. The only reason we were there was because Tool made them take us or they wouldn’t do the tour. Ozzfest REALLY wanted Tool and were willing to be black mailed into taking the Melvins in order to make it happen. Tool said they wanted at least one good band or Ozzfest could forget it. Most of the other acts on the tour were Korn sounding crap bands who neither Tool nor the Melvins could have cared less about. I’ve never cared for “new metal.” Actually before that tour I had no idea how bad most of this shit really was. It was appalling. These bands weren’t threatening or dangerous at all, they were just dull. For me bands of that nature didn’t even exist and still don’t. I have nothing in common with that world but nonetheless, there we were, right in the middle of it. I stood on stage at every show staring into that horrible mindless void of soul crushing nothingness. Lesson learned.”

1000MODS

‘Repeated Exposure To…’

OUGA BOOGA & THE MIGHTY OUG

Greek heavy rockers 1000mods seek to marry ’70s nostalgia and grungy ’90s licks on third full length, ‘Repeated Exposure To…’ (it’s ‘high sound levels’ in case you were wondering). Interestingly, combining these styles results in an album that sounds akin to the dusty desert rock of the likes of Truckfighters. Tracks like ‘Loose’ and ‘Groundhog Day’ have enjoyable rolling grooves and fuzzed out licks, but longer cuts like ‘The Son’ spend too long meandering. It’s the ‘different’ tracks that truly stand out, like ‘Electric Carve’s energetic, bouncing rhythms and ‘A.W.’s Nirvana-lite intro. However, coupled with a mix that often lacks bottom end, after a quick spin you probably won’t be seeking repeated exposure.

[5] JAY HAMPSHIRE

ARMORED SAINT

‘Carpe Noctum’

METAL BLADE

Armored Saint’s last studio album (2015’s ‘Win Hands Down’) was a stormer, for sure, but whether the world needs an eight-track live album from them right now is debatable. This is the first official live release from the band since 1988’s ‘Saints Will Conquer’, which was recorded thirty years ago but arguably sounds as good as this, and was certainly a more aggressive offering. The passing of time has admittedly allowed kick-ass songs like the wonderful ‘Mess’ to be included in the set-list, but with only eight songs on offer, it’s hardly an expansive collection. The band were certainly cooking when this was recorded, at Wacken in 2015, but this still feels like a stop-gap release for die-hard fans only.

[6] IAN GLASPER

AVERSIONS CROWN

‘Xenocide’

NUCLEAR BLAST

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About Terrorizer Magazine

I have never come across someone in the metal community who doesn’t love Bolt Thrower – arguably one of the UK’s most well-loved institutions of the last (almost) 30 years. But the band is no more and we are left with a brilliant legacy in the guise of the band’s back catalogue. Their albums conjure up some really amazing memories for me; from seeing them back in the day at shows in Wrexham and Birmingham, but also my teenage years, hanging out with friends and listening to vinyl, smoking fags, drinking tea and marvelling both at the amazing artwork and of course their savage riffs and beats. But out of that band has emerged a fantastic NEW band in the guise of Memoriam, and it’s a friggin’ honour to have them on the cover of this month’s issue. This is not about nostalgia however, this is a new start, a new beginning. I have been privy to hear their debut album for quite a few months now and it’s so good. This is a band who have started a new path of their own and whose members are forging ahead with fresh creativity. Exciting times ahead – and I truly hope you enjoy reading all about their story thus far, straight from their own collective mouths. Elsewhere, as always, there’s a load of amazing interviews about amazing bands both new and established to read through and discover, that’ll keep you from thinking about all the fucked up shit that’s happening world-wide right now. Thanks for picking up a copy – without you, the readers, Terrorizer is nothing! See you next month. Darren Sadler
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