Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Fast Finds

Ok, it's 2014 and the first Fast Finds Picks of the New Year are not about breaking new ground but about rediscovering some great music from the past decade and beyond. There's plenty of time to cover all the new stuff next week. This week we go mildly old school. Dust off the bench seat, roll up the cuffs of your trousers and let's take the back roads. Nice and easy.

Celtic Frost - Monotheist
While one of my closest friends always bought, listened to and enjoyed Celtic Frost, I had a passive listening response. Not enough patience, always looking for heavier and extreme stuff. Finally I stopped to listen and man have I missed the boat on this album. I was always attracted to the cover art for some reason. There is something really mysterious about that face. Is it a demon, a monster...those penetrating eyes. The music is just as mysterious. Many textures and layers. There is very little you can compare to this sound. Dark, intense and at times reflects a gothic/industrial slant. The vocals are varied, the riffs sludgey and the drumming although somewhat sparce plays an important roll in giving everything a bit of a punch. I had heard a lot of hoopla about this album when it was released. After all these years I get it. It was justified.

Life of Agony's River Runs Red, is a masterpiece. Of course I have to own the live recording of this album. This is special since this would be their last official release after being together for 2 decades. Mina Caputo has continued to release amazing solos. Many of the members of the band are involved in projects as well. Will LOA ever reunite? Who knows? I do know they capped off their first 20 years with a great combo CD/DVD. If you're a fan of LOA, this is a must have. The crowd reaction at this performance is a testament to how popular this band is across the globe. Not only lyrics but whole passages of the phone messages are heard being recited by fans. Mina and crew are on top of their game, every track is delivered with as much energy and power as the original recording. As an added bonus they perform some of their most popular post RIVER RUNS RED classics including "Love to Let You Down", a track off their last studio album.

DECEASED - Supernatural Addiction
This is another classic. All of the tracks are inspired by the literature of writers like Edgar Alan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. I own a few pieces of original art from the artist who created this cover art so I've always had a sentimental connection to it. Deceased's style on this was straight up speed metal meets biker rock by way of NWBHM and the hoarse vocals were closer to hardcore than to straight up death metal. A combination that was ahead of it's time and still sounds current. If you don't own this, it's a damn shame.

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