Welcome to some quick reviews! This is a condensed segment featuring a couple snap reviews for albums and EPs that have been in rotation over here lately. Give a look and listen to the records below. You might just discover a new favorite or something to hate!
A Perfect Circle “Eat The Elephant” Album Review
It’s been 14 goddamn years since we’ve last really heard from A Perfect Circle. That final signal came with the launch of 2004’s “Emotive”. Now, they’ve returned with the highly anticipated follow up “Eat The Elephant”! How does it square up in comparison and how does it stand on its own merit?
Well, it’s immediately clear that some changes have occurred. This is A Perfect Circle at their most stripped down, mellowed out, and possibly vulnerable to date. That aside, the songwriting is good and the album features the familiar witty edge and cynicism of Maynard’s lyrics. It all just lands around a much different era than what we witnessed with previous releases.
There are plenty of standout tracks to be found here. The single called “The Doomed” is the heaviest on the record. “By and Down the River” pulls some nice guitar work. “Eat The Elephant” is a quiet and insecure intro letting the listener know what they’re getting into. “Feathers” made for a very nice moment towards the end. For the most part, I enjoyed all these tracks but some were a bit more sleepy and forgettable than others.
Enjoyment of this album will largely land on the expectations of listeners. If you’re expecting a direct successor to where the band left off many years ago, expect some form of disappointment. In some ways, this sounds closer to a Puscifer record than the output of older APC. If you’re just expecting some good music, then this is an enjoyable record.
To sum things up, “Eat The Elephant” gets a 7 out of 10. It’s a good album in many ways but a bit anti-climactic in others. I’m sure many fans from the the APC, Tool, and Puscifier crowd will enjoy the ever living shit out of this LP no matter what. It’s also very nice to have APC back in the loop (pun intended). Now, we’ll have to wait and see what happens with this Tool album!
Sectioned “Annihilated” Album Review
Buckle up! This band is the aural equivalent of several G forces crushing the body! Sectioned (a band sharing several members in common with the mighty Frontierer) are a batshit crazy band making a beautiful cross between Mathcore, Hardcore, Grind, and Powerviolence. Their sound could easily be recommended for fans of The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, and Car Bomb. However, they definitely bring their own brand of insanity to the table as well.
On the tail end of April, they released a monstrous record by the name of “Annihilated”. When you press “play” on this thing, absolutely no one is safe. It is the perfect encapsulation of anger mixed with chaos barely contained on wax. The full record packs in 13 tracks and not a single drop of mercy.
It’s hard to pick favorites on this album because the whole thing is nonstop destruction. I would just recommend starting from the top and letting the auditory overload roll through your puny consciousness. It’s worth every second. It might not be for everyone, standing as the pinnacle of music for scaring the uninitiated but still… worth every second.
The whole band deserves a good pat on the back for thinking so far outside the box when they compose these monstrosities. There’s certainly no shortage of talent or distortion fried creativity to found among the ranks of this five man wrecking ball called Sectioned. Show them some love and support if you enjoy the work they’ve been putting in!
To try and put a lid on this, I enjoy this record from front to back and can’t wait to see it on the frontlines of development for sonic weaponry. “Annihilated” is absolutely dangerous and you should approach it with caution. This one deserves at least a 9 out of 10.
Slugdge “Esoteric Malacology” Album Review
I’ve saved what is arguably the best for last… All hail Mollusca! Slugdge is an incredible team of musicians between Matt Moss and Kev Pearson, who also recently brought The Black Dahlia Murder’s Alan Cassidy into their ranks (not for this album, mind you). Their craft boils down to hyper creative, slug and story driven Blackend / Progressive / Technical Death Metal which easily lines the cutting edge for the genre.
Their latest LP by the name of “Esoteric Malacology” hit this year and has proven to be thoroughly enjoyable through and through. It’s been a go to album for me as of late for good reason. It’s 8 tracks are just damn enjoyable and push the genre in just about every way that it should be pushed. There’s not any glaring weakness to this album as the band continues to evolve in a number of terrifying and exciting new ways. This is truly a step up from their previous work.
Under the extreme metal umbrella, I’d say Slugdge do an excellent job of mixing innovation and… wait for it… fun! That’s exactly why “Esoteric Malacology” is such an endearing experience. Beside its innovative moments, it also dips through some terrain that’s been traveled by greats across the metal genre which makes it settle all that better in the ears.
It also bears saying that the production and just the entire presentation are impeccable. It’s hard to believe that this entire LP was pieced together by two dudes living in the middle of nowhere, UK. This project is absolutely massive!
Between the fact that I keep coming back to this album and it’s one of the most lush Death Metal releases I’ve heard in quite some time, I can’t deny the slugs their well deserved crown. Expect this one on album of the year lists. Put some Slugdge in your luggage! This ‘un gets a 9.5 out of 10.