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Thursday, 23 February 2017

Reviews: The Mute Gods, Once Human, Dool

The Mute Gods: Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth (InsideOut)

Heavier, darker, are the major buzzwords you can ascribe to the second effort from Nick Beggs' The Mute Gods. Following on lyrically and ideologically from the bands 2016 debut record …Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth once again deals with the state of the world as it is today, "it's an examination of societal control mechanisms, and looks at the inevitable outcomes should we continue down dark, dogmatic pathways" the songs deal with politics, religion, the media and the environment and in these troubled times with the 'Doomsday Clock' at it's closest to midnight in decades maybe the lyrics on this record are more resonant and topical than ever.

Reflecting the dark times we face throughout the world the songs on this record are darker, harsher and more metal-orientated than it's predecessor while still retaining the melodic ear for pop hooks of the first album. As before the record was created by Beggs who plays bass, Chapman stick, guitars, keys and provides the vocals along with drummer extraordinaire Marco Minnemann on drums, percussion, guitars, soundscapes and Roger King who provides the bulk of the keys, some guitars and handles the production, these three multi-talented musicians all play off each other creating engaging, complicated, thought-provoking music with a socially responsible heart.

Take songs such as Animal Army, The Dumbing Of The Stupid and We Can't Carry On they all carry a message of defiance against the normality but also feature some stirring musicality, this is at it's most emotive on the instrumental Lament and the excellent, classic prog of The Singing Fish of Batticaloa which is a mainly instrumental piece displaying the full multi-instrumental range of the three band members. Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth continues where the debut left off, it's interesting, progressive music that makes you think without limiting itself musically. 9/10   

Once Human: Evolution (earMusic)

Logan Mader is a producer/guitarist former member of Soulfly and founding member of Machine Head, in recent years he has been behind the producers chair but this changed in 2014 when he struck up a musical rapport with guitarist/singer Lauren Hart, Mader resumed his role as axe man and Hart took the mic, revealing beneath her feminine features beat the heart of a demon such were her throat scarring, guttural roars. I loved the first Once Human album it was shot of adrenaline thrown into a brawl started between serial killers, violent, brutal and so appealing the record caught me by surprise and took my breath away like a left hook to the abdomen from Manny Pacquiao (Google him non boxing fans).

I actually said in my review that I hoped it would be more than one album deal and with the announcement of Evolution it seems that Mader is truly back in business. Since the last album they have added two guitarists in the shape of Skylar Howren and Max Karon flanking Mader along with Dillon Trollope joining as new drummer replacing Ralph Alexander, so on this second record the band now features three guitarists and one bassist (Damien Rainaud) meaning that they are probably the heaviest they have ever been and that is evident from the outset grinding death metal riffs of Eye Of Chaos and Mass Murder Frenzy the extreme vocals of Hart are still terrifying, work well with the groove-laden semi industrial rhythms see Drain.

Where as the debut was unafraid to experiment for better or worse, this one seems to have streamlined the band into a brutal death metal machine, there are fewer risks taken but with a voice like Hart's at the front, the riffs of Mader and co at the back it means that this record will rattle your skull from beginning to end. 8/10

Dool: Here Now, There Then (Prophecy)

Dool is a new project that features members of occult psych rockers The Devil's Blood, bassist and Job van de Zande and drummer Micha Haring, a former member of dark rockers Gold, guitarist Nick Polak along with guitarist Reinier Vermeulen and vocalist/guitarist Ryanne van Dorst. Their sound is bit of mishmash of styles with classic hard rock, Gothic pop and psychedelic metal all coming together to give them a sound akin to the sexual, creeping darkness of The Sister Of Mercy and the discordant grunge fuzz of Sonic Youth.

Ryanne is also known as Elle Bandita and has had lots of experience around the Dutch reality TV scene, she sees this project as the death of her AKA, she takes nearly all of the songwriting credits on this record but they have been gestated in a democratic studio environment drawing in all of the members personalities to form the songs whole Ryanne says the record is about "dreaming, ambition and will" the band's name comes from the Dutch for "wandering" so when the record builds songs around repeating, thumping guitar lines with a dark heart bleeding through on single Oweynagat before it's truly broken into pieces on Death Of Love which has Andrew Eldritch's leather-clad glove prints all over it.

The album works on a wide range of levels taking in various soundscapes but anchoring them all with a rock base, with doom-laden riffage on 10 minute opening track Vantablack and the sparse but creeping The Alpha in direct opposition to the more darkly romantic, snarling Words On Paper and the cinematic In Her Darkest Hour. Here Now, There Then is a record that plays upon the personality of it's creators, it's quirky, gloomy with a densely musical union of sonics. 8/10  

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