Snubnose32 - Demo Ď98 www.snubnose32.com
This arrived on the doorstep having winged itís way all the way from the States. And itís the first time Iíve received something like this. All professinal, in a folder. Bio, photo, CD. The works. Very professional. Makes me feel unworthy of receiving something like that given that bios etc usually get tossed away. Still, I had a read. And it does sound impressive. Names like System of a Down and Snot are thrown in as bands theyíve supported. Venues like the Coconut Teazer and The Troubadour always sound so much more exotic than The Vic or The Old Angel (fine fine places that they are.) Itís like, it always "sounds" so much better when itís from elsewhere doesnít it? But thatís of no relevence. Because the proof they say, is in the eating. So I sat down with a knife and fork ready to devour. But I couldnít cut the CD. So I put it in the player instead.
Musically itís a fairly heavyweight 6 tracker, feeling to me like itís leaning towards yer common or garden Machine Headís of this world. This Head opens with a wah drenced effect before the pace picks up and the guitars settle down to bay area chug with slightly rapped vocals over the top. Itís a tried and trusted formula now. Did I type tried or tired there? Whichever.
Next up is Low which continues the blueprint. Thereís more of a stop start feel to the riff, and the production sounds fine. Snaps sees those Machine Head like guitar squeals rise to the fore as the guitars just do the detuned crunch in the background. Iíd really like to see a band like this once, just once, take this sort of thing and pop it into an uptempo thrash based thing. Just to see what it sounds like when bands play at anything other than a grinding speed. I mean, thereís no problems with this, it all sounds good. But so many do. I want something that helps me remember after the song has ended. Or even to know when one has ended and the next started.
Maybe Iím being harsh again. This really is good but oh, thereís another Machine Head riff again to start up Respect The Differences, though thereís a little funky bass thing just been snuck in there. Doesnít fit, and you wonder if the bassist just got that past the others on the mix. But itís such a tiny thing that stood out. Thatís all you need, something to standout. And at the moment, the rest doesnít.. I donít like saying that all the time, but maybe it tells you what you need to know. If you like Machine Head and that sort of thing, then your time would be pretty well spent checking this out. A damn fine scene demo. Time will tell if it manages to pass on to being anything more important.
Quite funny, well at least to me, was that this was submitted for inclusion in the publication Flat 1, which is actually where I live. Still, itís actually a better name than Yaz. Maybe I should take up the idea?
The CD is a very reasonable $4, which apparently includes postage from the States. If interested, International money orders or chequesmade out in dollars payable to: J. D'Ambrosio. Or well hidden $$$s (itís the one I go for, but shh, donít tell ok. Change some money to $$, then send as need, much easier than IMOís or cheques.). Include an e-mail and theyíll contact you to let you know itís on the way. Apparently.
PO Box 13446, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406, USA.
Emperor / Limbonic Art / Peccatum
April 15 1999
Hail metal brother. Er yeah. Ok, so for my very first ever foray into the live world of black metal, I set forth in the trusty chariot Murc, (so called apparently due to it's number plate and not having any other name for it at the moment) to the climes of Bradford, expecting to see plenty of corpse paint wearing metal muthers. Well, I got to Bradford anyway. Very little corpse paint to be seen, though plenty of hair, lots of black and quite a bit of leather. And that was just me. See, the point is, as this is my first dip into this particular cesspit of music, I don't know what to expect. So I'll run with the cliches. Remember, you can and should take the piss out of just about everything.
And it can be very easy to do with this sort of music. Don't expect titles. I don't know them. It does all sound very similar, but that's true of any music until you immerse yourself within it and gain some real knowledge and understanding. So anyway, as I got in, the first band, Peccatum (I think), were drawing to an end. Female operatic vocals mixed with male grunts and symphonic sounds. It strikes as a bit over the top, but then, I only managed to catch about 5 minutes of it, so I can't really judge.
But I did catch all of Limbonic Art. Well no I didn't, cos they didn't jump from the stage into my arms. You know what I mean. Three people, two guitarists and a keyboard / sample operator. The drum machine set on kill was a a star. Don't know how it managed to play so fast. Yeah. Uh, it was kinda strange. This sort of music is supposed to be extreme, yet it didn't seem it. The perhaps over use of keyboards meant it was almost like having a movie soundtrack going on, mixed with guitars that weren't overly heavy sounding on the riffage, and backed by twin grunt vocals, which occassionally also went for that deep singing thing. I actually quite enjoyed it, as did a lot of people judging by the response, but not sure I'll be investing. The best sight though of the evening, were the three plastic swords being held aloft in the middle of the crowd, in homage. Hail, and indeed, woaaaaarggggghhhhhhhhh.
And so Emperor. Well, it has to be said, Rio's was pretty much packed. And the band receive a welcome of conquering heroes as they walk on stage. And of course, there's no corpse paint. Which meant that Limbonic Art are the only ones that actually took part in that ritual. Here endeth the myth perhaps? They open with material from the new album IX Equilibrium, which is the only thing I partly know by them. The first thing that strikes me is the 6 string bass being used. Overkill mate, overkill. Next is the technical style of the music. A name that ran through my head for some reason was Megadeth. I guess because in my early days of listening to thrash all those years ago, Megadeth had the reputation of being technical stuff with a certain lack of stage presence. And there was a similar feeling here. Expertly played but ... But then of course, there's the crowd. And tonight a wave of divers take to the stage. And they get up and off. None of that trying to shake the bands hands, or have a conversation or "cooeee, look at me" stuff. Just done as it should be. Even some hardcore shows could learn from that.
The spectacle then is relatively minimal, the music atmospheric and bordering on the out of control fast at times. Vocally it goes from shrill to deep operatic, but you can still make out some of the stuff. You can sort of understand how this band may be able to make a minor breakthrough into bigger leagues. From the words being spoken, and the reaction around me, there's a fair mixture of old as well as the new, which seems to make most devotees pretty happy. And there's even an introduction where the guard is dropped just for an instance and a normal speaking voice is used. Pah, the sellouts goes the cry.
In all it takes about 70 minutes. 70 minutes to change my attitude, to make me get rid of all the piss taking and cliches. You must be having a laugh. The more I listen to something, the more I'll take the piss. But it was kinda different to what I expected. In some cases for better, in some for worse. But lo, the chariot Murc did get me home safely once more. Kinda handy when you get up the next morning to see that some roads at least in the general area of where I was were blocked by snow.