France the land unparalleled for its wine, cheese, architecture, romance, art and architecture. Gojira being no exception to that. L’Enfant Sauvage is probably the most anticipated metal release of the year. They’ve done a prodigious job with their 5th studio album. The song structures are byzantine as a labyrinth. I am not going to make myself believe that Mario Duplantier is a man with only two hands and two legs. Period. He could probably chuckle along with hemidemisemiquavers, redefining precision drumming. Joe Duplantier shows an incredible exhibition of guitar and vocal performance along with Christian Andreu on guitars and Jean-Michel Labadie on bass. Rarely heard but their technique of vocal harmony is one of a kind. The textures, ambiences and atmospheres are marvels by themselves. This album is a power house, a superlative balance of aggression, speed, control and accuracy.
Explosia has mind scrambling beats, riffing and some classy variations. Title track L’Enfant Sauvage is a sweet pounding groove dominated track ,the last 90 seconds are to die for. The Axe is the melodic masterpiece of the album. Liquid Fire has too many saucy harmonies, calculatively going helter skelter and heading back to base. The Wild Healer is pure fun to listen to, something that you’ll never see coming. Planned Obsolescence is back to heavy business and progressively structured, the last minute is pure magic meant to put your head down and hear yourself breathe. Mouth Of Kala is such a tight track with some buttery breaks, there’s punch of mammoth proportions to this track. The Gift Of Guilt initially has a vague sense of oriental metal heading into some deep dive-bombs and screaming vocal harmonies. Pain Is A Master has epic amounts of texture , it’s a extremely peculiar trance and pounding drum-bass coordination . Born In Winter is an illusion of simplicity in parts and the opposite of that in parts but is totally the latter throughout, the bass stands out vivaciously. The fall is the last track on the album, the vocals vary in texture and atmosphere which left me perturbed.
[P.S. Do not work out while listening to this band ever.]
June 26, 2012 Agalloch release Faustian Echoes which is one track 21 minutes 34 seconds. It is a two-part song based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s epic masterpiece “Faust.” From the beginning it has a mesmerizing display of versatility. Aesop Dekker is on a marathon of blast-beats with variations. Don Anderson , John Haughm and Jason William Walton have brought upon us all the goodness Agalloch has always brought upon us but in a new light. It’s their longest track recorded ever. They have flown their flag high and immaculate in maintaining supreme standards very few others have managed , in a league of their own and untouched. Majority of this song being recorded live has brought in an essence which the cassettes of the 90’s used to produce with the rawness and the modern production value is shown by the marvellous quality of layering and effects fills, change in backgrounds used for recording. I wouldn’t say Agalloch have outdone themselves but they surely have once again done what they do best and will always.
The Official Release
This year Tesseract revealed their 2nd EP and done a extra ordinary job going acoustic. There’s everything in more than generous proportions of creativity, skill, ambience and last but not the least, being Djent.
First track ‘Perfection’ has incorporated and intro as well as a track in it, a song for the broken hearted with some solid use of tape delay. Second track and my favourite ‘April(acoustic)’ is probably for the first time Tesseract is using proper acoustic guitars with ambient organisation manifested in it. Amos Williams has done a killer job in this track with extremely clear and dominant bass presence. Considering ambient arrangement and vocals, for technique and creativity there’s an obvious influence of The Mars Volta which is totally surprising but more than welcome. ‘Origin’ is based on their overall clarity as a band and point to point coordination of the Djent-prog drums and bass. ‘Dream Brother’ is beauty personified; it is human moods changing with corresponding energy levels through a band pass filter of a moderate range over modulation. From Tesseract’s point of view I can understand why they recorded Eden 2.0 (Extended Version) to give a taste of what they’re known for their claim to fame, with full sound of frequencies that attention may be paid to or not, but make a concrete difference to the vibe.
TesseracT with Elliot Coleman On Vocals
This album left me awestruck, almost anyone would like most of the tracks here. Their horizons have most definitely expanded and they’ve done one thing which most bands can’t do while doing the previous, their reaches to audiences of various other genres will positively increase.
I’m writing this because I felt it’s something I should have ages ago. It is to describe the importance of bass in a band. The bass guitar is considered a simple instrument to learn especially when it is compared to the guitar.
The facts are that there are a few elementary factors why mind sets are set that way.
* Generally people pay attention to the guitar primarily, i.e in that range of frequencies.
*Generally people cannot distinguish between the bass and the guitar.
* Generally people do not pay attention to that detail.
* During initial stages the bass guitar is an easier instrument to play than the guitar
* Many people who play bass call themselves bassists even before the blister phase, hence they also fall in the general people category.
*Generally people considered bass as an extra
*Slapping and popping sounds very intriguing and cool but insane precision and technique is required.
The difficult part is that in the string section of a band not a string quartet, the bassist is the backbone along with the drummer. The bass has to be in sync with the drums at all times whether it be improvising, playing by the ear, or what’s been rehearsed. Maintaining tempo is the up to the bassist without which the entire cause if stage performance is lost. Filling the communication gap between drummers and guitarists(notice the void if a bassist stops to catch up compared to when a guitarist pauses to catch up), all the punch that we get when we hear is all bass, changing moods. And the biggest plus is that there is no better instrument for laying out the foundation for scales.
I strongly dislike the lack of credit given to bassist compared to the effort that goes in. Consider this the best of bands have had guitarist taking bass duties and not denying that they do an incredible job of it, but do realise very soon that it’s a integral part of their sound and can’t be compromised or substituted hence bring in the big guns to take up that duty and the difference in sound evolving is remarkably noticed.
Listing examples of songs that wouldn’t have existed the way they do without bass.
1. Pink Floyd – Money
2. Led Zeppelin – Dazed And Confused
3. Black Sabbath – N.I.B
4. Opeth – White Cluster
5. Pantera – Domination
6. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Apache Rose Peacock
7. Scribe – Mastibhari Muskaan
8. Guns N’ Roses – Sweet Child O Mine
9. Guthrie Govan – Wonderful Slippery Thing
10. Incubus – Psychopsilocybin
11. Alice In Chains – Would
12. Steve Vai – Crying Machine
13. Karnivool – Roquefort
14. Korn – Freak On A Leash
15. Tool – H.
This is a very contemporary set of songs where it is actually easy to ‘make out’ how essential a role the bass has to play.
I don’t know how to conclude this and at this point of time am wondering why I even wrote this. Why is said I should have written this ages ago is because the scene has improved now or atleast that’s what I feel, earlier the disregard given to the bass and how anyone would becoming a flawless bassist was considered a walk in the park without taking into account what a mammoth task it is in reality.
Gass and Black release an album after six years and god knows why they did, they did a stupendous job of promoting their high standards of idiosyncrasy. The cash used to produce this entire album should have been used for a better cause, like feeding the rich(that bad). The only thing these two were actually appreciated for which was their sense humor and they couldn’t reproduce even that.
Nothing spectacular in any track, they thought they’d make a music career of out of being funny but they are out of words, music and definitely out of rope to hang onto. They’re so obsessed with balls and cock they made it their album cover. Degenerate, derogatory and self destructive . I took such a dislike to this album that I downloaded it, heard it, wrote this and then hit shift+delete. The one thing that this album has accomplished is that it can make anyone irritate themselves.