Week in Review: 9/7/14

black metal & brews

Hey guys, this week’s Week in Review post is coming in a bit late because I work a day job to bring in the big bucks so that I can pay my internet bill that keeps this site online. Hopefully you can enjoy these mini-posts over your beer of choice tonight instead of with your morning coffee. What are you drinking? I’m enjoying a collaboration from Fort George, Boneyard, and Block 15 entitled 3-Way IPA. It kicks off with big tropical fruit and a nice frothy head before mellowing out into smooth, floral, and crisp citrus notes with surprisingly low bitterness for a Pacific Northwest IPA. I’ve heard a lot of fuss about this beer and it’s well warranted. So, you’re here for this week’s happenings, and it’s time for me to give ’em to you.

– As most of you surely do, I occasionally download music on the internet. What do I download? Mostly out of print stuff, as I tend to avoid downloading things I could be supporting financially. I recently visited one of my favorite sites for tape rips, Terminal Escape, and downloaded a wild split between Palabra and Nerve Beats. The Nerve Beats side doesn’t do much for me but the oddness of Palabra’s side has been a welcome palate cleanser for my brain between metal albums this week.

– Speaking of metal albums, I can’t stop listening to this teaser track from the new Grimoire album. Don’t know who Grimoire is? Neither did I, but it seems to be a solo project of Fiel from Forteresse and Ephemere, so keep an eye on this majestic black metal album as its release nears.

– I checked out the new single from Cannibal Corpse for the first time this week. Perhaps it’s old news to you guys, or perhaps you don’t even know why I’m talking about it here. I remember being much younger and being blown away by Cannibal Corpse when I saw them live. It was a truly professional death metal show and as a vocalist myself (yes, I know, anybody can sing in a metal band, spare me the lecture) I was impressed with George Fisher’s form. However, it seems that the band has remained stagnant since 2006’s Kill, with Fisher continuing to display his fondness for fitting too many syllables in each breath and the band offering more of the same. It’s not that it’s bad, but you’ll forget it as soon as it’s over. I’m not surprised, but I was hoping for something fresher than this with such cool throwback album art. I’ll always hold a soft spot for these guys in my heart, even if newer output fails to grab me the way they once did.

– Since I’m taking a moment to acknowledge bigger names that might not otherwise be on such a niche site, I noticed this article from Time mentioning Guinness and their attempts to ease their way towards the growing craft beer market by adding two porters to their roster, allegedly based on recipes from 1796 and 1801. While I still prefer supporting little guys in my own neighborhood as much as possible, it’d be deceitful of me to pretend that Guinness wasn’t one of my staples earlier in my adult life. As one of the only widely available dark beers, it excited me in a way the big name lagers never could have and opened me up to some of the more specialized drinks. I’m not sure if these beers will even be available in the states, but I’m curious to see how folks will react. It’s probably not something I’ll try, but the attempt is interesting. How about you? Do you think this is an attempt to capitalize on the growing craft beer scene or would you like to try it and see how Guinness handles this new undertaking?

– I often encourage my readers to contact me if they want my opinion on something or if they just want to share something awesome with me. One of my most devoted readers, who will go unnamed here only because I’m not sure how he would feel if I directly mentioned him, sent me a lengthy email after last week’s Week in Review post and asked for my thoughts on a couple of albums that I hadn’t yet heard. I figure I’ll take a moment to mention these. First off was the new Pallbearer album, Foundations of Burden. While the album certainly has its moments, I found it hard to sit through all at once and actually have only listened to it one or two songs at a time. It’s well made, but it becomes something of an endurance test unless you’re in the mood for the very precise kind of doom that Pallbearer creates. The other recommendation I received, however, is the sort of doom that may take forever to listen to but is so addictive, I didn’t even notice how quickly time slipped away. The album in question is the magnificent new release from Profetus, As All Seasons Die. It’s a beastly offering and one I’m glad I heard. This may have totally escaped my radar otherwise but is easily among the best doom I’ve heard all year.

– Because I love watching the metal community get upset about things it perceives as a threat to the integrity of metal music itself, I really enjoyed Adrien Begrand’s article about Japanese pop stars Babymetal on NPR. Their music isn’t necessarily that appealing to me, but they’re doing something few other bands are doing and they’re becoming wildly successful with it. If this is what it takes to stir the pot and remind folks to stop taking things too seriously for a minute, I’m totally behind it. First I’ll just need to figure out how to sit through an entire Babymetal song without hitting the skip button.

– Did you read my earlier review about the band Urzeit but find you missed the opportunity to purchase their demos? They’ve been reissued on a compilation tape, entitled Die Geschichte bisher, which comes with previously unpublished lyrics. The whole package is rather attractive and is definitely worth your time if you don’t have it yet.

– As an enthusiastic (but admittedly newer) fan of electronic music in most of its many strange forms, I’ve been enjoying perusing this surprisingly comprehensive list of great electronic albums from the 1950s and 60s. Whereas a lot of articles of this nature are in some sort of lazily assembled top ten format, this is a thorough and informative read, complete with links and related acts. I don’t expect I’ll be an expert by the time I’m done slowly examining all of these, but I’ve found a lot of exciting new tunes this way, which makes me pretty happy.

– Have a little time to kill? Want to watch some videos about beer that aren’t just me sitting with cassette tapes? Beer Chow collected a handful of entertaining videos and posted them in a single place. I’ll admit that most of these aren’t going to provide a lot of new information for my readers who keep up with their beer culture and some seem a bit self-congratulatory, but if you’re anything like me you’ll enjoy watching these anyway, especially the pairing of the “I’m a craft brewer” video and its subsequent parody.

– Finally, for your weekly dose of absurdity, here’s one of the best things The AV Club has ever created, a video of David Yow from The Jesus Lizard interviewing Lil Bub, the internet cat celebrity. As a fan of Yow’s music and a supporter of cute animals of any nature, I appreciate the fact that this video exists. Watch it and enjoy.

That’s it for this week. Did I miss something important? Do you disagree with an opinion expressed here? Send me an email and I’ll try to address it next week.