Shells of Revolution
Emperor Jones (2003)
soundtrack to the definitive stream of conscious sci-fi reality
bending drug-addled tour de cyber-ego novel.
story unfolds as our heroine, the Princess x-17 is taken to
a secret government installation, where she is subjected to
the Flaming Lizard Inauguration. As she hallucinates, she
recalls a song from her childhood in the net, a haunting western
ballad originally written for colonists on the moons of Jupiter.
She is dropped into the desert, forced to survive off scrub
brush and the rare lizard, while her brain scrambles frantically
to solve the puzzle of the meaning of existence. As the night
noises become menacing, she stumbles across the voodoo dance
rituals of the serpent cult. Wildly, she asks herself, what
would Oscillitron 6-5000 do? Unwittingly speaking the ancient
and sacred code, a key in a door between realities is turned,
and in steps Buddy Holly, miraculously rescued just seconds
from a fiery death. Love is instantaneous and the two prove
that, indeed, kinky sex does make the world go round.
conceptualized and beautifully rendered, Thin Shells of Revolution
is a seamless montage of varying atmospheres. Played live
in the studio but remarkably crisp, Shells takes the listener
on a roller-coaster tour of the esoteric, keeping things interesting
at all times. What more could you ask from a project that
employs a triwave picogenerator, a jew’s harp and a
it, love it, write your own epic to it.
In Their Darkened Shrines
Relapse Records (2003)
Metal is to Heavy Metal as slaves are to Pharaohs. All work
in the shadow of omniscient rule. As I see it, Heavy Metal
broke into the world and left soiled spandex, the term “headbanger”,
and black long sleeve shirts. In the aftermath the true got
tricky, built on the technical side, picked up the tempo,
tipped the hat to the Masters and moved on; all in the back
lot behind the pyramid. Many fans followed along and enjoyed
the brilliance of the guys who developed a concept and backed
it with music, whether it was Deicide’s Satanic shock
or Cannibal Corpse’s gore, King Diamond’s “plays”
or Megadeth’s Vic Rattlehead. Nile has come lately with
their own spin: Egyptology Metal. It works too.
Their Darkened Shrines is their latest full length, number
three, and the sound just keeps becoming more perfected. On
“Shrines” the music is intense. It’s death
metal that delves into blast beats from the Grindcore scene.
Simultaneously, there’s complex riffage that seems to
come about after a few listens. Nile’s albums, “Shrines”
included, are by far some of the most captivating metal around.
The album is virtually seamless; a segued whole piece that
takes the listener through an Egyptian adventure. It’s
like being on the Nile and floating past the sounds of doom
horns and men preparing for war. Parts that sound like soundtracks
from the Ten Commandments have me in my living room waiting
for Yule Brenner to watch his water turn to blood. “Shrines”
is successful in blending wrist breaking beats and ambulance
chasing tempo changes with the Arabian mode of music (i.e.
the Powerslave sound). This album without the accompanying
themes that set the mood of Ra’s wrath would be downright
too much. Like a preschooler riding a bull, the attention
wouldn’t hold on.
is straight up sweet. Nile is a perfect example of how concept
and roots should be married, in a arcophagus with a curse.
Eagles Rock! Fight! Win!
Mudflap Records (2003)
the alumni of the Rockland High School for the Mentally Challenged
and Spastic have put out a record (do they even call them
that anymore, or has the term gone the way of the dodo?).
Good for them. Somewhere, Daniel Johnston smiles, though he’s
not quite sure why.
kidding aside, the Eagles first full-length should go down
as one of the funnest releases of the year. A seriously rocking
disc that refuses to take itself seriously, Rock! Fight! Win!
pulls no punches sonically or production wise. The band often
sound as though they should be part of Ozzfest, and at other
times, they more resemble Fang, who, I believe, would thumb
their noses at such an organized brouhaha. Fang never had
the twin leads of “Billy” Chris Burns and Andy
Thomas (a.k.a. Alabama Thunder Pants), however. These guys
could possibly be the local equivalent of AC/DC, juiced up
on Tequila and cocaine, pureed in the blender that Austin
often can be, and spit out to gel sufficiently to Cool.
normally soft spoken Mark Hutchins comes off like a deranged
Lemmy; the lyrics range from the innocent to the profane,
a litany of pop culture (Steve Austin), drug culture (Crack
Drive, High On the Hog), biker/truck driver/drag racer culture
(Nassau Coliseum, Easy Rider), some perhaps autobiographical
tidbits (I am a Rocket) and the splendor that is all things
Rock (see: the whole damn album).
seriously fun, rocking disc guaranteed to give your next drag
strip riot the edge it has thus far been lacking.
Man Made Productions (2003)
first time you listen to this album you may be asking yourself,
what is this? Listen to it a few times and it still isn’t
obvious. It can’t be classified. Original music mixed
with fun and energy is a rare find, but one can find it on
the Significant Digits new album.
Austin locales have a unique sound, sometimes sounding like
old 70s rock, other times they come off as punk, and they
even manage to toss some country into the mix. Each song really
gives off a different class of music. Who cares about what
type of music it is, as long as it sounds good it shouldn’t
matter. “Calm”, the fourth song on the album really
made me sit up and take notice of this band. This song provides
listeners with some exceptional guitar music. They really
let the guitar shine in this song and it totally steals the
show. The next song on the album, “Blue to Grey”
sounds completely different. In this song they introduce a
male vocalist, and the contrast between the male and female
vocals gives them an entertaining new sound.
country tracks, “Poor Hat” and “Throw Away
Day” really threw me for a loop at first. Do they really
fit all the energetic guitar playing that proceeds and follows
them? But after listening to this album a couple of times
these songs actually grew on me and I realized they fit so
perfectly on this album. It made me feel as if I was on a
tour of Texas music, past, present, and future. This album
definitely deals out a distinctly different blend of original
tunes. I would suggest it to anyone who isn’t afraid
to venture out of their own musical boundaries.