Tuesday, August 7, 2012

New Releases 7/31 - Testament, Sinsect

Changing up the blog output just a little bit this week, instead of a Sunday-Wednesday post. Tuesdays will feature New Releases, Thursdays will feature Backcatalog Additions, Sundays will continue to be Sunday Morning Blues. Not sure if the change will bring better reviews, but I'm hoping it will.

New Releases From 7/31
Broken Heroes Vol. Three
Label: Self Released (Bandcamp Site)
Genre: Noise, Industrial, Ambient

The third in the Broken Heroes series. With each volume of three tracks Sinsect has taken his music into darker and slightly noisier places. Vol. Three keeps going down the same hole, this one is a very dark set of songs. While still the same kind of power-noise/industrial Sinsect is known for, they also veer towards a very dark ambient sound. Additionally the three tracks have a bit of a theme to their naming, with loss being the overall scheme of things. While I enjoyed the first two volumes, it's volume three that feels the most coherent, and is the best of the three I think. The progression is like walking down a path, deeper into woods that are growing darker with each note.

Dark Roots Of Earth
Label: Nuclear Blast
Genre: Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal

The first time I put this album on for a spin I had to double check it was the new one, and that I hadn't accidentally put on one of their late 80s/early 90s albums. I haven't really checked in with Testament in a long time and wasn't sure how their sound had evolved. It hasn't, not terribly much. Which is both a good thing, I like their sound as it was, and slightly jarring as the new record sounds so close to their older stuff.

But, after a few listens the songs are simply rehashed versions from Souls Of Black or Practice What You Preach, nor are they mere continuations of the death-metally sounding stuff from Low. It's a new record, to be judged on it's own merit. Testament still has it's chops - solid thrash metal with visits into the grumbly mess of death metal. It's a pretty good album for metal fans and more solid proof that 80s thrash can last the ages (if you're a good enough band) without needing many changes.

Between Testament and Overkill you can get all the solid thrash you need both old and new. And I love that about them. So what does stand out here to set it apart? Well, three tracks have gotten me to pause and tap along to the rhythm; Rise Up, Native Blood, and True American Hate. Each of these pounds out a catchy rhythm, and gives me that band-your-head feeling I love so much.

A good album, a good band, and a great "new old school" feeling to it. I may have to go back and pick up the Limited Edition version with the bonus tracks and DVD extras. . .

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