According to the music media, 2016 was an amazing year for metal. I only really liked three releases last year so either;
1. The press is full of shit, which we can kinda all agree on.
2. I'm getting too old to impress/I'm too grumpy due to being raised on Celtic Frost, Slayer, Venom, Possessed, Metallica and was actually around for first round of black metal AND death metal.
3. It was a pretty shitty year for metal in 2016.
Anyway, 2017 has hit like a ton of fuck-fists to the anus. I'm already totally blown away by the next two artists and both bring a different approach to their assault. First up is Japan's Friendship. Those of you who are into metal know the history of Japanese metal - totally fucking awesome grind/punk/sludge and pushing boundaries. Everyone knows S.O.B. and Corrupted but the list keeps going when you dig deeper. I've mentioned the great GreenMachine many times (Man's Ruin, I believe) but here to challenge them and Corrupted to the Throne of the Japanese Sledgehammer is Friendship. Only one song has been released via the NCS website so dig in and wear a mouthpiece.
Second up is the band ALTRARAGE (yes, all caps) from Spain. And when researching this band I found out that Spain (the country) is made up of autonomous communities which I found interesting. Anyway, ALTRARAGE are from Bilbao, Spain so if anyone reading this is from round those parts, you should be proud that your beautiful area wrought so much disgusting music. These guys are going to be labeled death metal and they have a lot of cavernous Portal love - but there is so much more going on here. Most death metal sounds like it was recorded/played by robots - which doesn't do anything for me. It's the exact opposite of what death metal is supposed to sound like. Instead, ALTARAGE blend the technical with the blurred and create a mountain of drone/death with some fucked up vocals. If you like Portal or wish Portal had a little more "riff" in them, this is for you.
These two bands have been on repeat in the Wendler house and weight room for last few days and they both have elicited metal boners, invisible oranges and spontaneous horns. I also got a band that makes Nails sound like Karen Carpenter.
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