If you are a fan of Slayer, and picked up their 2015 album Repentless (Nuclear Blast, then you might be aware of the three music videos/ short films directed by BJ Mcdonnell; ‘Replentless, ‘You Against You’ and ‘Pride in Prejudice’ from the album. Now serialized in a three issue series is coming out monthly from Dark Horse Comics, Slayer- Repentless the comic is written by Jonathan Schnepp (Metalocalypse: Dethklok, Collider on YouTube), drawn by Guiu Villanova (The Twilight Zone, 100 Bullets, Dark Shadows, Weird Detective), lettered by Nate Piekos (Darkhorse Presents, Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four, Green Arrow, Weird Detective) and colored by Maurico Wallace (Weird Detective, Magnus: Robot Fighter, Turok).Continue reading
Slayer recently teamed up with Metalocalypse writer Jon Schnepp and Twilight Zone artist Guiu Vilanova for a three-issue Dark Horse Comics series, and the trilogy is now available to pre-order. Continue reading
The year of the reaper continues to reach in and slice us right through our hearts as the music world has lost another giant. Greg Lake, bassist and guitarist best known for his work with Emerson, Lake And Palmer, King Crimson, and Asia has passed away at age 69 after a battle with cancer. Continue reading
Part of the charm of being in the heavy metal community is the fact that it is a real community, a group of diverse people from diverse backgrounds, beliefs and ethnic origins bound by a shared love and appreciation for all things heavy and metal. It gives a real sense of belonging, a shared understanding – a belief that the music that you love can open hearts and minds and generally make the world a better place.
If you’re getting the distinct sense that I’m filibustering and not actually getting to the actual review of the sixth album from Sweden’s Scar Symmetry, then you’d be right because if you like Scar Symmetry, my suggestion is that you look away now.
The Singularity, Phase One: Neohumanity (Nuclear Blast) is the first of a trilogy of records. The Singularity is a sci-fi (in the loosest sense of the word) concept album that revolves around the rise of “artilects (artificial intellects) with mental capacities far above the human level of thought” and that “by the year 2030, one of the world’s biggest industries will be ‘artificial brains,’ used to control artilects that will be genuinely intelligent and useful.” According to the band, the album focusses on the divide between “those who embrace the new technology and those who oppose it” due to the social issues caused by the rise of artificial intelligence and the emergence of trans-humanists adding artilect technology to their own bodies.” Of course.
Let’s not get too carried away with the ludicrousness of the story – what we have come here to praise, or not, is the music, isn’t it?
Well, as you probably know already, what you get is fundamentally a melodic death metal record that is exquisitely produced and efficiently and energetically performed by a band that appear to have gotten themselves something akin to a second wind. The problem is the entire enterprise leaves me utterly, utterly cold.
Granted, there’s a bit more on the melody and a soupcon of prog thrown in but that’s it really. You know when the choruses are going to kick in, know when the growly vocals are going to get really growly. It’s all just a bit, well, obvious. I thought the lyrics and subject matter in need of an editor and the overall effect of listening to this record was, I imagine, like being covered in a vat of cliché and self-regarding hubris. I’m sure there will be plenty of people that will praise this to the highest, revel in its supposed ambition and generally fawn around it like a sycophantic junior at an Elizabethan court: not me, though.
There’s two more where this came from, too.
You know, sometimes if it’s not doing it for you, then it’s not doing it for you. And The Singularity… is not doing it for me. At all. I can admire the effort here, the scope and the ambition, and I applaud the single-mindedness and the collective musicality. What I can’t do is pretend that I like any of it.