28 Jul 2011

Commissioner - What is Commissioner? [EP] (2010, Self-released)

Big Chocolate, the very active brain behind Disfiguring the Goddess, former lead vocalist of Burning the Masses, Abominable Putridity, Misericordiam and Malodorous, and producer, and Mitch Lucker, lead vocalist of the deathcore titans Suicide Silence, got together in late 2009 and created Commissioner. Soon after they released their first track entitled Consume, and in 2010 they released the first EP called "What is Commissioner?"

So what exactly is Commissioner? In order to answer that question, we must examine the release closer. Their musical style has been referred to as "Deathstep", supposedly a mix of death metal and dubstep, but to me it sounds more like a unique blending of deathcore like Suicide Silence and Disfiguring the Goddess and various electronic genres, not strictly limited to dubstep, but also borrowing elements from such genres as house and electro. As an example, the second track of "What is Commissioner?", entitled Pray for the Sun, has some very distinct dark electro tendencies, while The March has more dubstep elements. The deathcore elements too are very noticable and you can easily hear the influence from Suicide Silence and Big Chocolate's work with Disfiguring the Goddess.

This five song EP delivers over 15 minutes of greatly varied electronic deathcore. The tracks are greatly different from one another, in no small part thanks to the myriad of electronic genres masterfully incorporated into the music. Though I am no fan of Big Chocolate's electronic soloproject it is obvious that he knows what he's doing. Although the guitars are rather monotonous and uncreative, the drumming and vocals easily make up for this. The ever-changing programmed drums have a high level of detail and the five tracks are riddled with nice fill ins. The compositions are diverse and varied and all songs bring something else to the table, and thusly the release is far from the same over and over again, and it seems like they've worked painstakingly to finetune all the minor details to make the EP more wholesome, creating a magnificent flow throughout the entire release.

That being said, I feel that Consume is by far the best track on there, and it seems like the duo used more time and care on that particular song than on any of the others. An expection to the otherwise great flow and detail of "What is Commissioner?" is the fifth and last track, which is a Big Chocolate remix of Consume (A Big Chocolate remix of a Big Chocolate song? Seems rather redundant). I find this last track completely unnecessary and flow-breaking. While the other tunes fit very well together, this remix is completely out of place and doesn't really live up to the high level of detail and quality of the other four tracks.

Other than that I'd say the about 20 minutes of the EP are well spent. There are close to no kinks to be worked out, and I'm looking forward to the next release of Commissioner. I only wish the coverart wasn't so damn boring.
Overall this experiment of entwined genres is well made. The production and overall sound fits Commissioner tremendously well and the EP has proven that electronica and death metal is not as irreconcilable as one would otherwise think.

Mitch Lucker and Big Chocolate's COMMISSIONER project is like a mix of Suicide Silence and a version Psyclon Nine that doesn't suck. The generally high level of quality and detail grants this release 8/10 guitars.

1. Click Click Flash
2. Pray for the Sun
3. Consume
4. The March
5. Consume (Big Chocolate Remix)

COMMISSIONER official site

22 Jul 2011

Krotchripper / Mass Murder Messiah - Split (2010, Sevared Records)

Krotchripper from Illinois, who formed in 2009, have already since their creation released one five-song demo and this split, both in 2010. Mass Murder Messiah from Wisconsin formed in 2007 and released one demo in 2009 and this split in 2010. Brutal death metal as a genre has had a huge surge in popularity in the last few years and has experienced much musical advancement and has changed from the lo-fi production of the 90's to a more clean sound during the 00's. Krotchripper and Mass Murder Messiah, to me, represent the epitome of modern brutal death metal.

Right from start to finish this split delivers the unrelenting blast-brutality that you have come to expect from the slamming brutal death metal bands of today. Seldom does this release ever slow down, and mostly only because of the few samples that are scattered around the tracks. Krotchripper delivers great slamming parts with groovy headbang-forcing riffs and guttural throat-shredding vocals. While the riffs are not very varied or memorable, they still fit really well into the tracks.
The eight tracks by Krotchripper all fit well together. The flow throughout Krotchripper's part is great and the only interruptions are the samples. The consistency of the songs is remarkable and most of the tracks are outright awesome, although they are not exactly memorable. The vocals and songs in general feature very little variety, and some tracks are somewhat mediocre and standardized. Structure-wise the tracks are not very different from each other.
Only the last track "Echoes of the Trollish Wake", which sort-of serves as an outro for Krotchripper's part, really stands out from the rest of the material by being more intricately composed than the rest of the tracks. There does seem to be a tendency to just do chug-a-chug riffs during parts of some of the songs, but generally the riffs are okay.
The production is fitting for the genre, but sometimes it can be a little muddy.
Overall Krotchripper's part of the split is a magnificent show of brutal force, but it features no surprises whatsoever. Krotchripper is 100 % straight forward drummachine powered slamming brutal death metal, and if that is what you're expecting, you won't be disappointed.

With gurgling guttural vocals, more intricate song structures and fast as fuck blasting drummachine, Mass Murder Messiah continue the same fast-paced brutal death metal that Krotchripper started out with. The few samples seem somewhat wellchosen and are better incorporated into the tracks than what is customary for brutal death metal bands. The modern sound is representative of the newer sound of slam and the tracks are generally well composed and have a sort of technical expression.
Compared to Krotchripper, Mass Murder Messiah's part of the split is more varied, both tempo-wise and songstructure-wise. The groovy riffs make this part very enjoyable. The last of the ten Mass Murder Messiah tracks, "Kiss the Muscle", features guest vocals from Shaun Lacanne of Putrid Pile fame and from the producer of the split, Scott Creekmore. A nice touch, but not something you would notice if you didn't know it was there.
The tracks by Mass Murder Messiah are mixed much louder than Krotchripper's and it seems a little wierd that the volume rises when Krotchripper's part is over.
The production of Mass Murder Messiah is more clean and less muddy than Krotchripper, providing a more clinically precise sound.
There's no doubt that Mass Murder Messiah deliver exactly what you would expect after having listend to Krotchripper. More of the same kind of fast and heavy brutal death metal with incredibly deep vocals. Unfortunately Mass Murder Messiah suffer from some of the same problems as Krotchripper. Many of the songs flow together and aren't very varied, but this band has more intricate compositions which make the tracks a little more interesting.

All in all it's a great split. The bands fit together perfectly, as they are very similar but without sounding the same. The tracks flow along excellently and there are no tracks that except themselves from the general brutality of this split.
The very fitting coverart of Mike Majewski from Devourment is only ruined by poor printing. The back cover looks like it was xeroxed on a 15 year old printer and the front cover just doesn't have a very high resolution.
If you are into bands like Putrid Pile and Insidious Decrepancy you will definitely love this split.
Despite the slight lack of creativity and variety, this split has so little bad about it that it deserves a staggering 7/10 guitars.

1. Krotchripper - Krotchripper
2. Krotchripper - Here Kum the Troll
3. Krotchripper - Putrescent Pools of Piss and Bloody Chunks
4. Krotchripper - No Escape
5. Krotchripper - Bloodbath (feat. Goremonger)
6. Krotchripper - Terrorfucked (feat. Devon)
7. Krotchripper - Rotten Meat Rottisserie
8. Krotchripper - Echoes of the Trollish Wake
9. Mass Murder Messiah - Live Human Dissection
10. Mass Murder Messiah - Parasitic Bacterial Infections of America
11. Mass Murder Messiah - Trache Fuck
12. Mass Murder Messiah - Left for Dead
13. Mass Murder Messiah - Suffering Through the Suffocation by Means of a Gore-Filled Colostomy Bag
14. Mass Murder Messiah - Frozen Torture Tomb
15. Mass Murder Messiah - Purification Through Uncreation
16. Mass Murder Messiah - W.A.M.W.
17. Mass Murder Messiah - Penance Through Dismemberment
18. Mass Murder Messiah - Kiss the Muscle

KROTCHRIPPER official site
Sevared Records official site

13 Jul 2011

Blog reboot

I've been busy with school. But now I'm done with school, so I'm rebooting the blog. I'll start reviewing again, but I'll be focusing on releases rather than shows. My main focus will be on whatever people send me and the new stuff I buy. I'm also planning on doing some interviews if I can get away with it.

Edit: Also, new design! I like skulls