Quickie Reviews: Atilla, Hell, Alice In Chains, Palms

601769_495610077170679_1177019305_nFor those inflicted with a healthy dose of ADD, here’s a nice round of quick reviews and a nice wide variety of new metal/rock releases.  So, after the jump take a quick gander at my condensed thoughts on these 4 albums.  Enjoy! Peace Love and Metal!!!

About That Life by Attila

No, this album doesn’t have sex icon Billy Joel in it unfortunately.  But what it does have is some death-core I was able to tolerate for more than 5 minutes.  Branded as ‘party metal’ by their PR guy, I guess the label works alright.  There’s not much depth to the themes and stuff other than ‘fuck shit up and get drunk’ fair, but compared to other ‘insert metal subgenre’-core bands out there I found their chugs and grooves pretty catchy at times and when they went into the whole rap style of vocals instead of the standard hardass-core growl and the occasional solo, the music actually had a bit of cool dynamic to it.  I’d say compared to fellow contemporaries like Emmure, Attila are a much more fun and interesting band that do have a unique style that helps them stand out some in that ocean of meat-core.  I guess you could say they are like Limp Biscuit if Limp Biscuit was a metal band.  Not really my bag, but if you happen to be into this style of music, you may enjoy Attila quite a bit.

III LP by Hell

Again, don’t confuse this band with the other band by the same name as they are quite opposites of each other.  One is a super-theatrical power metal band that takes its self way to seriously and the other is a one-man super-atmospheric black metal band that takes itself way to seriously.  The one in this review is the black metal one.  And actually, though quite pretentious and long-winded at times, the fact that Mr. Hell takes the music so seriously at times leads to a pretty neat listen.  The album was recorded on cassette tapes so it carries that old-school black metal feel that came from the production end and more often than not the exaggerated atmospheres to hit a stride and make a really tight and claustrophobic, grim and kvlt atmosphere.  An interesting listen nonetheless and fans of Wolves in the Throne Room, Mayhem, and Sunn O))), especially Sunn O))), should get a good kick out of the album.  Though you may want to act quick, only 472 cassette tapes are being printed .

The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here by Alice in Chains

If you want to talk about one of the best comebacks in the history of metal, look no further than Black Gives Way to Blue and listen to how triumphantly AiC bounced back onto the metal scene after dealing with the death of their prolific, loved, and irreplaceable vocalist Layne Staley.  The new guy William DuVall fit great with Jerry Cantrell and Co. and didn’t try to be Layne, but just himself and to provide the voice that AiC needs today.   It all worked wonderfully and I was curious as to how AiC would follow up that comeback now that William is a much more established and accepted part of the band and how his own talents would work into songwriting on the album.  Well, good news, it all works out pretty nice.  Jerry still has a very prominent part on the album in the vocal sections as well as his signature guitar style, but this time round William does have a much bigger role to play and his standout voice adds a lot of punch to the record.

Musically, if you know the established AiC sound, you’re getting more of that with a stronger focus on the sludgy side of their sound even though there are a couple nice ballads on the record.  Though The Devil…. didn’t hit me quite as hard as the previous, it’s still a highly enjoyable album that should please the vast majority of AiC fans.  Do check it out.

Self-Titled by Palms

Do you enjoy the slower jams by the Deftones like “Sex Tape” or “Digital Bath”?  How the transcendental atmospheres of the now defunct Isis?  If you answered yes to those questions, Palms is for you.  Composed of Chino Moreno (vocals, Deftones), Bryant Clifford Meyer (guitars, keyboards, Isis), Jeff Caxide (bass, keyboards, Isis), and Aaron Harris (drums, electronics, Isis), this supergroup is one delightful and mesmerizing listen.  You most certainly hear the Deftones and Isis influence in the music, but there is a whole unique feel to this release that makes it more than just Isis with Chino on vocals.  The atmospheric post-rock they play conjures some of the most relaxing and deep-hued images my brain can imagine and whenever I pop the record on I feel as if I am cruising in a convertible with the roof down and the wind blowing through my hair as I soak in the clean and cool night time desert air on a desolated Arizona highway.  If you are in the mood for a quality album to just chill out and lose yourself to, make sure Palms is on your to-buy list right now.

About RiffRaff

Just takin' it easy for all you sinners.

Posted on July 11, 2013, in Album Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I like the Hell-song, it isn’t spectacular, but well done. Sadly, I never had that enormous enthusiasm for “Black gives way to blue than” most people felt. But as huge fan of Alice In Chains I will buy the new record as well. I wrote a review about Palms by myself. To sum it up, I consider it to one-sided, too much idling, too less contrasts. It’s good yes, but nothing that knocks me off the feet and the assumably intended dreamy and lulling atmosphere doesn’t really get me, therefore the music is too inconspicous for my taste.

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