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disma the vault of membros tshirt

Got in contact with Disma through facebook and was able to order a nice print and glow in the dark shirt. I love it. Hopefully get some more of their designs, it’s hard to choose which ones.

Vital Remains evil ~ death ~ live

Alongside the recent Abdullah purchase I grabbed this vital remains dvd. I never got too into vital remains, but always wanted to give them some more attention, so I thought this was a good addition. What sold me on buying this though was the amazing artwork included. I might give my thoughts on this one later, but for now here is what the dvd looks like.

[MUSIC REVIEW] Abduallah – Graveyard Poetry (2002)

Let me briefly go into how I learned about this band in the first place, it kind of coorelates with this review in the first place. Let’s rewind back to the early 00’s and I was just getting into the whole stoner rock scene, as an initiatory Black Sabbath (ozzy era) fan, I learned that a whole sub genre was created out of their sound and other bands, I am too ignorant to name. At the time there was a web site by the name of stonerrock.com. But it was basically a archive of all bands in the aforementioned genre of music. I would go through the bands randomly listening to different artists and hearing what was out there.

One of the bands that kept my attention was a group by the name of Abdullah. I had a scant amount of mp3’s of theirs. At the time my mom was heading to Chicago for some kind of business expo, and while we were there I got to go to this giant record store. And that is where I obtained their 2002 release “graveyard poetry”, a disc that got a lot of spins. Fast-forward a few years and my collection of music got expunged to gain funds for what I can remember for probably drugs or something irresponsible and not worth the abandonment of material possessions.

Well I was at a record store around here in my neighborhood. They have a small “metal” section of Cd’s, and I almost shit myself when I saw graveyard poetry there. It was a measly $5, so it was a no brainer and I picked it up. I know what your thinking, “cool story bro…”. But to me this was some kind of intuitive intergalactic sign, the cosmos were telling me to stop listen, and reminiscence with some of nostalgic relic.

Another side note, I actually remember conversing with the band over AIM (aol instant messenger) at the time, and I remember them telling me that they were going to be playing at Mac’s Bar (a local gig). I never did attend the show, which I still kick myself today. Maybe the band would have stuck together had they been given the support and recognition they deserved.

So the music here I can only describe as some psychedelic rock/metal with melodic clean singing. I can’t name a song that doesn’t have a catchy ring to it. It’s more upbeat then what I was typically listening to. But this is all played well and the vocals go great along with it. Listen I am not good at going into detail with musical details, you will just have to take my word for it. And give it a listen. You can find the full album on youtube.

Here is a liner note about the band…

abdullah is:
jeff shrilla – voice * alan seibert – guitar * ed stephens – bass * jim simonian – drums

graveyard poetry was:
recorded by paul hamann
at summa recording studio

bryan stauffer played piano on 13
jeff played drums on 5

artwork design by jeff

dedicated to jasper and matt shirilla
we love and miss you

contact us:
abdullah * po box 159
richfield, oh * 44286 * usa
abdullah@stonerrock.net
www.stonerrock.com/abdullah

not 100% sure if any of the contact information is still active or correct.

Purgation – Realm of the Dead EP 2000

Updates have been pretty slow for the month of March, being homeless and uninspired dragging me down. Anyways I wanted to share a unknown band I used to listen to all the way back into the early 2000’s. The band is named Purgation, and not to be confused with a death metal band from Kolkata with the same name.

Anyways they are a doomy metal band with clean vocal styles. I have listened to a sparse  amount of bands that are in this same variety, most notable would be Abdullah. The more known groups in this genre are good, but their consistency and ability to rationalize a sound that is both evoking and strongly despairing. Why would somebody fall deep into a pit, anger and despair are the responses. Purgation is a group whose message is of the christian variety, but it’s not in a preachy kind of way. Although I am certain when he says “will we wake up…”, off the track Slumber, he isn’t talking about literal sleep, but overcoming an impending doom for those who disbelieve in the faith.

Its simple, its angrily sang, nothing special in the guitar sections or drumming. But in most cases for me its typically the simple in style, who capture the most atmosphere and evoke emotional response. When I found this band, it was like a needle in a haystack. There is absolutely nothing about them on youtube, fortunately archive metallium had a page on them, and I was able to do more elaborate searching. After searching around, I came across their myspace page, and it has their EP in entirety so I am just listening to this, and thinking about the past.

Well nothing great, probably will be less updates for a while, being homeless and uncertain where I will be staying at, makes thinking difficult. I do have a laptop, and plan on making updates soon. 

Pestilence – Spheres – 1993

PESTILENCE – Spheres
Roadrunner 1993
Credits: Marco Foddis – Drums.  Jeroen Thesseling – Bass.
Patrick Mameli – Vocals, Guitar.  Patrick Ulerwijk – Guitar.

In the early 90s, a small flurry of death metal bands experimented with mixing death metal and jazz fusion.  Improbably, the results are almost invariably remarkable.  Pestilence was one such band, and Spheres was their death jazz contribution, a wonderfully crafted blend of jazz-themed riffs, odd time signatures, extremely synth-like guitar lines, and mature lyrics (they never bought into the gore schtick put forth by New Yorkers Cannibal Corpse and their ilk).  What else can I say: I love this style of music, and it thus follows that I love this album.  Too bad Roadrunner records hated it so much that it led to the demise of the band.  Pestilence plays advanced music that avoids the “wank-fest” trap that so many progressive metal bands fall into.  These songs never degenerate into over-indulgence, but reveal more and more individual character upon each repeated listen.  The riff to Multiple Beings, while not very complex, gets stuck in my head all day long.  There are many places throughout Spheres where the listener would swear a keyboard was being played – but it is all guitar synthesizers, something that was totally foreign to death metal at the time (and largely, still is).  To a fan of jazz fusion and death metal, Spheres, and its contemporary albums from Atheist and Cynic, is an absolute essential. Bottom line: Like fine wine, Spheres only gets better with age.

Review by, Mark

HYPOCRISY – The Arrival 2004

HYPOCRISY – The Arrival
Nuclear Blast 2004
Credits: Peter Tatgren – Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards.  
Mikael Hedlund – Bass.  Lars Szoke – Drums.  
Dan Swano – Lyrics.  Silenoz: Lyrics.

– After a relatively quiet January 2004, the year’s first heavyweight release dropped rather quietly onto store shelves.  Hypocrisy, always what I consider a criminally overlooked and underappreciated band, have been soldiering through the death metal underground practically since it began, and should be at near-legendary status – except they don’t seem to get the respect they badly deserve.  Their reputation was likely further damaged by the poorly-received Catch-22, an album largely influenced by American nu-metal band Slipknot.  In a controversial move, Tatgren decided to keep this new album firmly on safe territory, treading absolutely no new sonic ground whatsoever and releasing an album that for all the world could be Abducted Part Two.

The cover is eye-catchingly gorgeous, done in unified blue hues that represent the concept perfectly.  The three aliens, I presume, represent the trio of band members (drummer Lars has since dropped out of the band and has been replaced by former Immortal powerhouse Horgh) and their new – or, I should say, old – mindset: the alien theme that has made Hypocrisy so unique in the past is back in force.  Lyrically, Hypocrisy has always been about two things: alien cover-up conspiracies, and the (as they perceive) evils of Christianity.  The graphic inverted cross on the disc itself should erase any question as to their stance on organized religion.  The album opens up with an eerie chord progression and some experimental vocal effects reminiscent of Fractured Millennium, before kicking into a high-tempo thrash theme.  This is a rare occurrence, however, and most of The Arrival sticks to the tried-and-true Hypocrisy formula: slow or mid-tempo and crushingly heavy. While the album boasts nothing but solid songwriting, it is also largely repetitive of previous works, particularly songs like Eraser.  Criticism aside, I consider this album to be largely an artistic success, boasting the mid-period Hypocrisy that we know and love while seamlessly blending previous-awkward influences into a cohesive musical unit.  New World and Dead Sky Dawning are sure to be future classics.  Bottom line: heavy Hypocrisy returns with a vengeance.

Guest review, MarK