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Metal Bulletin Zine #178 Washington state, US June 28, 2019 (#5 in June) Sawyer Path Nucleus Temple Koludra Haze of Summer Kat Mavradoxa
Moonlight Haze, The Lord Weird Slough Feg, Lifes, Howling Sycamore, Tony Mills, Pestis Inferos, Dreams in Fragments
 issues of this zine online:
Sawyer Path: Toxic Temptation April 13th, 2018
This recording is not from 2019 but from 2018, but it has only recently come to the attention of this publication. In terms of genre, it is metalcore. More specifically, melodic metalcore (or posthardcore, as the critics might call it today) with a big sense of catchiness and vocal melodies that are associated with, in very broad terms, pop punk. The fact is that they are good at writing songs that the listener will remember after the recording stops, and this should be of special interest to fans of metalcore and also maybe pop punk (but this guitar tone is thicker and tighter than pop punk, of course). Having the audience shouting back the lyrics during shows is important for the band, given the shout-along style on display. The lyrics are of a personal and emotional nature. Most of the lyrics reflect some relation with a close person, oftentimes very confrontational, very emo style, sometimes very vulgar or profane (lowering the intelligence of the music, but increasing the anger), and this will mostly seem attractive to audiences that want the lyrics to be a form of therapy. In other words, the shorter-song format and the personal lyrics means that audiences into the various styles of metalcore will find something to enjoy in this Canadian band.
Nucleus: Entity Unspeakable Axe Records/Me Saco Un Ojo Records 14 June 2019
Nucleus is in some ways some of the most old-school, classic-style death metal. The growling is low and is kept low throughout, and that’s it, in terms of vocals. The rhythm guitar tone and riffs are strictly along the lines of the classic styles. This may be the year 2019, but the band is going for something more timeless, something that won’t immediately stand out as a 2019 thing that listeners will identity. On the other hand, something is different and peculiar. On top of the chunky riffing, they consistently have somewhat odd-sounding notes. The reason that it sounds kind of odd is that the top-layer guitar parts are clearly not common in metal music forms. Usually, in these situations, death metal that is old-school might have some thrashy hooks, maybe some fast soloing, perhaps some melodic solos or licks. Usually there are these types of things that the listener subconsciously expects, and because they are not here in this old-school-minded band, Nucleus comes across as something a bit unique in 2019. Mostly, one could say that these are somewhat dissonant notes and these top-layer guitar parts is something that avid death metal fans really should hear for themselves. It is not super weird stuff, just off the beaten path, but overall this is not music that freaks out the genre’s loyal fans, just make them notice the little bit of uniqueness of this Chicago band. Nucleus is very purposefully unmelodic. If you are hoping for a catchy melodic thing, forget it, they will not throw you even a little bone. Instead, there are all sorts of guitar sounds that can be somewhat dissonant, sometimes it sounds like the lead guitar is
heading in a different direction from the rhythm, almost as if the idea were to keep the listener at a certain distance. Science fiction is important to the concept of this album. The artwork is not easily discernible, and it requires a bit of observation to make up your mind as what it is that you think you see. Similarly, the music functions in a way that it does not match the expectations of certain formulas. This is music for fans of serious forms of death metal. If you have tons of death metal albums and they bring you joy, you enjoy checking out the many varieties of styles that fall under the umbrella, then Nucleus will be of interest.
Temple Koludra: Seven! Sirens! To A Lost Archetype Transcending Obscurity Records 14 June 2019
1.Trimurti 09:24 2.Vajra 06:18 3.Grey Apparition 05:02 4.Namapura 09:44 5.This Diadem Will Last 08:46 6.Vertigo 09:10 7.White I Trance 12:27 total time 01:00:51 This German entity is a challenging trip into black metal experimentalism. Let’s take three out of seven tracks and let’s see what there is: number three, five and seven. Number three is “Grey Apparition” and it is about five minutes. It is a tightly-packed sound of a machine and human synthesis of black metal with a certain air of futuristic, processed dystopia. It would be generally accurate to refer to this song as fast, melodic black metal, with a very hi-tech feel, for the percussion does not sound like live drums. It is not five minutes of total blasting, but it’s a pretty fast one, for sure; this is a headbanging track. “This Diadem Will Last” is song number five. The industrial-robot-machine-dystopia of the slow-churning atmosphere is in full force. What is real and what is machine? The machine-human synthesis results in the processing of vocals, drumming, guitars and everything else, and the only certain thing is an industrial, cold machine world. This slow-paced tempo lasts for pretty much the duration of the track. This one, in that regard, is smooth, relatively easy to understand as atmospheric roboblackmetal or industrialblackmetal. “White I Trance” is number seven. Here’s a rough outline of the situation. The first four minutes is all-out black metal, more or less. Then a quieter segment until about 05:18, then the black metal returns until about 5:56, then silence, and by about 6:30 and forward, there’s a bit of random sounds (to make the listener think of space, machines, etc.). By the 08:00 mark, some guitar sounds are more distinguishable. By the 09:54 mark, all of a sudden, the fast black metal has come back to life and dies again by the 11:15 mark, and it is quiet/silence again until the end of the time. In summary, it is the black metal fans that will be main and first group of cyborgs to sign their names on the dotted line. Of the black metal cyborgs, it will be the more adventurous ones that will take this experimental entity like fish to water. Despite the experimentalism, there is a certain order, and catchiness, to the racket. Fun. Weird. Left field. Relax. Breathe. It will all make sense when you wake up again as a robot.