Six Feet Under
Six Feet Chimaira arrives with their first effort featuring more than half of at least one of the Chimaira touring lineups (drummer Kevin Talley and guitarist Rob Arnold). In all seriousness, this is definitely still Six Feet Under, but with the biggest single upgrade in musicianship any band of this ilk has ever seen. Personally, I couldn't be more happy for Arnold. Having spent time just hanging out and talking death metal with Arnold on several occasions, I know first hand how much he respected Six Feet Under and Chris Barnes, so joining this band to him had to be the equivalent of winning the lottery.
7 Horns 7 Eyes
THROES OF ABSOLUTION
If there was a new age of Death Metal on the horizon, this would be it. 7 Horns 7 Eyes have created a hybrid death metal album that is a stylistic masterpiece of various genre and band influences. Many are calling this a Progressive Death Metal sound, and I guess I see that. To me though, they take some of the various soundscapes of heavy progressive metal, mix in some odd ball timings that would make Meshuggah proud, and layer death metal vocals over top of it to round out the sound. People are always looking for something different...well, here it is.
I have two like bands sitting on my hard drive right now - the new Job For A Cowboy release, and this release from the unsigned Solipsist. After a dozen listens to each, I am having serious trouble figuring out why exactly the signed act of the two is Job For A Cowboy. Stacked side by side, EXTINCTION PROTOCOL destroys the new Job For A Cowboy record...literally blows it out of my hard drive and into the recycle bin. C'mon Metal Blade - catch up with these guys.
SON OF PERDITION
There’s a reason that, for the most part, Death Metal stays seeded in the bowels of the underground and can never make a launch outward. There’s a reason that there’s never been a breakout Death Metal band outside of Cannibal Corpse (and, let’s be honest, of those that know their name, maybe 1 of every 1000 could name a song). The reason is, and always will be, the lacking creativity in the vocals. While hardcores will argue the point, it’s pretty much true that death metal vocals are universally the same. They are so much the same that many times when a death metal vocalist can’t make a gig due to illness, another guy in the band just fills in without any loss in quality or sound.
Meshuggah is a band that has a category all their own. I’ll call them Aspirincore. There’s only a few bands out there that play Aspirincore; Meshuggah, Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge, Candiria, probably a few more. With a term like Aspirincore, you might take that as an immediate negative, and you would be wrong. It’s just that these kinds of bands will give you a headache if you listen to them for too long at any point of any day. Their odd timings and even odder timing changes make them simply hard to follow along with.