Sunday, December 25, 2016

George Michael dies on Christmas 2017

George Michael, who wrote Careless Whisper, died today at 53 years old. He passed away peacefully at home, and police say there were no suspicious circumstances.

Wham! Ugh, please 2016, don't take anyone else away from us! Now I really have to watch that Behind the Music about the guy.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Liturgy is black metal's savior

Brooklyn's Liturgy approaches black metal truly individualistically. It's black metal, definitely--not speed, thrash, grind, hardcore, punk, or anything like that. This, to me, is black metal and no other genre. Yet, Liturgy's sound and visuals are not fully, rigidly black metal--there's just no other term available with which to compare them, because no other band sounds like Liturgy. It's why they're more famous than contemporaries who dwell in works of the past, in non-innovation and repetition of sound.

Liturgy represents growth, fury, defiance, and beauty--even hope. They're like a fine wine. They're like a crazy new friend who comes into your life. Sometimes they're a depiction of heaven--rare, wondrous, and breathtaking. They blend so much together so deftly, both within black metal confines, and breaking out of said confines, spilling over effortlessly. Black metal as a genre cannot hold the greatness that is Liturgy. They shine forth with a power none may restrain.

No other band sounds like Liturgy, so if nothing else, they're unique. That alone warrants further exploration.

So y'all know I love Zev Deans, and he of course has had his hands in some Liturgy videos, because he picks awesome bands with which to work. Here, watch some more of his stuff here at his website's music page, if you want. He's got a growing body of unique work, aided in large part by Ghost, one of my fave bands alive today.

Peep this video for "Returner," track 3 from Liturgy's 2011 album Aesthetica, directed by Deans. This'll give you and idea of how Liturgy started, which will lead into where they went.

So that's pretty black metal-heavy, right? But the religious and church and high-minded aspects are there. Aesthetica was Liturgy's second album; on 2015's The Ark Work, that religious aspect was heightened--the music alone exemplifies this. The visuals compliment the mood perfectly--the album art, and the way Ark's music videos look.

Liturgy definitely has a mind toward high heights, and they use concepts of God, angels, and an ever-expanding brightness as vessels of conveyance. It's nothing like what actual churchgoers would feel free to conjure. It took a backing away from religion and its ever-safe-tenets, to give us a real look at a possible God we do not understand, but could feel safe in the embrace of. It's about vulnerability. It's about accepting what is before you, and the brilliant warmth you feel when you realize it's not going to be anything but positive and enlightening. It's like the closest you can come to an acid trip without the acid.

This video for "Quetzacoatl," directed by Aujik, exemplifies this perfectly.

Two people, witnessing this swirling whirlwind of angels. Isn't it great? That the music is constantly going in unexpected directions amplifies the feeling of "this is new and amazing." You can't help but just fall into Liturgy's arms. You have no idea what to expect, but what they're giving you is beautiful.

A few days ago I listened to The Ark Work in its entirety, and I had this thought, near the middle-end of the album, where everything is really quiet, and solemn, and there's this wavering keyboard thing going, and the mood is really meditative, and accepting, and quieting, and it really made me feel at peace. It was like, a true peace. Not one that panders to our desires for sugar, it was a truly relaxing thing. It sounded religious too. Like a religion that wouldn't detest me. Like something I'd actually like to be a part of.

Then all of a sudden, the music blasts into this unbelievably positive and intense whirlwind of major-key, symphonic, fast-as-fuck black metal. But is it black metal at this point? There's nothing black about it. It's just Liturgy. It's a bright, shining future. I had this thought: "They're giving me heaven right now." They're just giving it away. It's recorded, it's there. I may consume it. It's a gorgeous depiction of heaven and it made me feel like I was floating, as I was standing there drying dishes. That it's not being played in huge cathedrals, but in homes and kitchens like mine, seems a waste.

Of course, Zev had to make more than just one Liturgy video. Peep this The Ark Work album trailer he directed, and feel your jaw drop at the sheer power of the visuals, combined with that shaking keyboard thing I mentioned above:

So okay, next watch this live video from 2015. I love the way this venue is set up. I want to be there, one of those kids walking out the door to smoke a cigarette; one of those kids watching the show; one of those kids playing the show. Liturgy is humble up there--not trying to wow you with theatrics, but with true musical innovation. The bassist and drummer are also hawt.

Here's the last thing, it's "Follow" from Ark, from 2015, played in a studio where you can hear everything perfectly. The bell guitar effect is so cool along with black metal rhythms. It's controlled chaos. The vocal processing is really cool too, I want to know how he does that live.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Soul Day

It's Soul Day here at Sound Revue, and to celebrate, we've hand-picked these excellent so nice videors for your. So, to enjoy. Help me. With giving a hand for these, my--pre-video explainiations. My explainies.

Megan says there's some douchey cover of this from someone like Rod Stewart--is she right? Yes. It's by Simply Red. Don't pay attention to that, listen to this one. I feel like black singers have to sing this song, I see a white guy singing it and I'm like, aah stealing the limelight from black folk again, are we? Harold and the blues sing it like I want to hear it, personally.

When I graduated from high school, I moved to a small town outside Philadelphia to work for a staging, lighting, and sound company, doing shows all over the East Coast, including one where Billy Paul played on a stage I helped build in a Philly neighborhood. And in the video below, from his heyday, he is the epitome of smooth.

My first show at that production company was for Kool and the Gang. So even though they're not soul necessarily, I'm a put them on here and you can enjoy. I had this song in my head today, and had to hear it.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

My band has shows + here are the bands w/which I'm playing

My personal pan pizza pet project Freeze is slated to play The Central Saloon today (Thurs 9/15), and The Lair (blue house next to Lo-Fi on Eastlake) on Saturday.

Two weeks ago, I played Black Zia Cantina--nice people working there, punk vibe, cheap drinks, New Mexico-themed, 10/10 would recommend--which was kind of like a practice run for me. My last show as Freeze was at Lo-Fi about six months ago. Since then, my wife and I changed jobs, summer flew by, and my kids started school. Last August, I suddenly had three shows lined up for September, and another way out in December. When it rains, it pours.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

New Ghostblood song: Eviscerama

Ghostblood just released a new song, "Eviscerama." This is some impressive, clean-sounding, dirty thrash and speed metal. Right up my alley. Full disclosure: I know these guys. However, that is not what made me post this song. I posted because it fukkin ripps.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Anthony Fantano's "It Came From Bandcamp" series is a delightful romp thru indie gems

Anthony Fantano, The Internet's Busiest Music Nerd ®™, has a great series on his YouTube channel, entitled "It Came From Bandcamp," where he briefly reviews strange, odd, and often funny projects found on Bandcamp.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

White Lung: "Paradise" review

Paradise (May 2016, Domino), is White Lung's best-produced, and most ambitious record yet. Right off the bat, it's the classic White Lung sound we love, but with more variation, nuance, and with a bend slightly more toward the exploratory. I love it, I've been listening to it all day today. It's a brand new album, with a mostly brand new sound—White Lung has few contemporaries, thanks in large part to their guitarist Kenneth William. As I understand it, he wrote most of the material here, and worked really hard with the producer to give this album its sound. They had a mind to modernity, of which I'm always a big fan. The past sucked. We can do better, with music, with everything. White Lung personifies that future-facing mentality here on Paradise.

Friday, April 15, 2016

I gave Weezer's "Weezer (White Album)" three listens and I gotta say it's pretty good, plus the last album was good too

Weezer released Weezer (White Album) this month, on April 1, 2016. Being an old school fan of this band, and even having covered some of their songs, and even having taught myself to play guitar by playing along to Weezer, I gave it a shot, and an honest one—I listened to it three times from front to back. Being a short album, that wasn't an issue.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Freeze takes black, thrash metal in amazing new directions


Hey y'all, I just made this stuff. Got a show at the Lo-fi on April 03. Come out! Watch me shred. It'll sound like a full band, with me being playing guitar and killing the vocals.

It will be the first time doing a show on my lonesome.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Listen: Pale Chalice, "Negate the Infinite and Miraculous"

This is a band featuring the dude from Mastery.

I give you Pale Chalice, from the Bay Area—a wonderful place for black metal.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Dave Mustaine - Megadeth Interview 2016 - Dystopia, Gigantour & Not Re-Recording KIMBABIG

This is a cool interview with Dave Mustaine, talking about the nuts and bolts of touring, with an interviewer from Montreal. Here, Mustaine is measured, considers his words, and both men have fun with it.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Saor's "The Awakening" is beautiful black metal

Love the choral vocals and the different directions the guitars go. When black metal bands use keyboards as well as Saor does on this track, it's lifted—from what would otherwise be a noisy distortionfest (did I just come up with a new festival name?)—to an ethereal, even divine presence.

Saor is a Scottish one-man act by Andy Marshall. This 10-minute opus named The Awakening, above, is from his 2014 album "Aura." He enlisted guest musicians, apparently. Here's a review the album from Metal Archives.

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Pat Down | Episode Five | Matt Ashworth of

Now Matt Ashworth has been my homie lately, ever since we met just outside his office at Porter Novelli downtown in Seattle. He's a standup guy, and his website strives to promote lesser-known bands, and avoids talking about the bigger acts.

Matt is the guest on episode five of The Pat Down with Patrick Galactic, a Mountain House Television (MHTV) production.