What’s up, beaks and geeks? Your old boy Waldo is gearing up for the U.S.’s biggest metal party of the year. And while I’d LOVE to do a Maryland Deathfest-centric blog, there just aren’t enough new releases by those artists this time around; but, you know, fuck it, right? ZOMBIEKRIG release Den Vanstra Stigens Ljus, and while your boy Waldo doesn’t know much about these Swedes, this record is pretty fun. It’s their second full-length and it’s got that fun thrashy vibe, mixed in with a little Swedish power metal. I’m not saying it’s the best record of the year, far from it, but I was totally prepared to hate this and actually had a little fun listening to it, which in and of itself comes as a shock because, well, I’m a renowned avian hater. This is OK. 4 Fucking Pecks.
What does one say about a new ANVIL record? Well, most know what this is going to sound like tacky metal, sometimes proto-thrash that has its roots in blues-based metal. This is not my thing at all. I mean, just because you had a documentary doesn’t mean you deserve to be a rock star; even their contemporaries took a one-way train to nowhereresville. Maybe it’s me, but this guy's voice just grates on my nerves. I really don’t want to dislike this, but I definitely don’t like it. Plus, the record cover sucks. 2 Fucking Pecks.
Relapse is pushing Blood Drive by ASG. And while I won’t say I don’t like it, I can’t say that it’s pecking awesome either. I first became aware of them after doing a split with Red Fang, and this fits neatly into that kind of heavy, hard-rocking mold. It’s not bad; there just seems to be something lacking. That being said, there are screaming guitars, pounding drums. I know, sounds good, right? There’s something missing that I can’t put my beak on. Maybe it’s the clean vocals, maybe not. This is cool, but again, not amazing. 5 Fucking Pecks.
KYLESA, Ultraviolet. Never one to stray away from doing something different, and one certainly can’t say that all of their records sound alike. This one definitely strays from the path, not so much that you can’t tell it’s Kylesa, though. Clean guitars, heavy drums and riffing, and I think they were a three-piece when they recorded this. Although the presence of the band is still there, there are some moments that kind of shock the listener into wondering what record they are actually listening to. This is a dark record, and you can tell it comes from a dark place. The vocals here are wailing, drenched in reverb, and at times come across as the caterwauling of some tortured animal. Fans will not be disappointed, but this is a left-side step. 6 Fucking Pecks.