Roundup: Amebix; Masakari; Bastard Priest; Book of Black Earth; Roots Manuva

15 Oct

One of these men now makes actual swords

It’s been a funny few weeks at MDG Manors with the daily soundtrack veering all over the shop.

I’ve dabbled in grind, death, hardcore, hip-hop and a few things that defy description.

I’ve found some real gold in the past week or so, so read on for some tips for sonic satisfaction.

Amebix – Sonic Mass

This is definitely my unexpected discovery of the week. Crust legends Amebix have released their first album in 24 years and my, is it a corker.

Sonic Mass is definitely metal at its core but takes in British post-punk, Killing Joke-style goth and even apocalyptic folk.

There is even a hint of Neurosis in the more epic moments. An album that really rewards a full listen, I can’t recommend it enough.

Masakari  – The Prophet Feeds

A bit grindy, a bit hardcore yet surprisingly quite melodic despite the fierceness. I love the spoken word samples that range from Christopher Hitchens to a US soldier testifying.

The clip below isn’t truly representative of the album as there are usually barked vocals but I find the soldier’s words in this context really moving.

Bastard Priest – Ghouls of the Endless Night

I got into a bit of handbags at dawn in the comments sections of Invisible Oranges over this record. There’s a bit of a backlash in certain quarters against Swedish OSDM. I personally couldn’t care less as long as the music is good.

Bastard Priest aren’t the absolute best in show but they definitely pass muster if you enjoy punk-driven death metal with Sunlight guitar tone, which I do.

Book of Black Earth – The Cold Testament

I have spoken at length about how good this record is. I’m still listening to it and loving it yet more with each spin.

One of my favourite parts of this album is the pinch harmonics after about 1:50 on this song. Their rhythmic deployment really makes my neck snap regardless of what else I am doing, which can be embarrassing.

Roots Manuva – 4everevolution

Roots Manuva is without a doubt the best UK hip-hop artist ever. He is such a talented producer and can ride a soundboard as well as any of the Jamaican dubwise legends. Given that he’s no slouch on the mic, it’s a winning combination.

Anyhow, I was rather wary on first listen of this, his 5th album proper (there have been more if you include his “versions”, such as the mind-boggingly good Dub Come Save Me). That’s because he has largely eschewed monster analogue bass for something a bit more fidgety and electronic.

I’m still soaking it up but it has definitely had me jigging, which is a good sign.

5 Responses to “Roundup: Amebix; Masakari; Bastard Priest; Book of Black Earth; Roots Manuva”

  1. Full Metal Attorney October 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    The new Amebix album got at least one very negative review in Decibel (I think the one in Terrorizer wasn’t great either, but I can’t remember for sure). Now I’m not sure what to think about it, and I’m not sure if I’ll check it out or not.

  2. Kuz October 21, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    I know you are very selective about what to devote time to but I do think this is an excellent album. Would YOU like it, hmmm, not sure. Did you listen to the clip I posted? If you don’t like that or track 3, The Messenger, then maybe it’s not for you as they are real highlights for me. There’s quite a few love-it-or-hate-it aspects I think: particularly the very British post-punk/dark punk elements (usually a turn off for me) along with oddly Lemmy-ish vocals and the portentous Celtic vibe. It’s a quality record and an artistic statement, no mere cash-in on the famous name and certainly not crust punk (which Amebix were known for). I think its worth 45 minutes of your time whether you like it or not, just bear with it as the first two tracks are a bit non-metal (but make sense in the context of the whole album).

  3. Full Metal Attorney October 24, 2011 at 7:27 pm #

    The clip you posted has been taken down, but I’ve since seen some other good reviews. So I think I will be checking it out.

  4. Kuz October 24, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

    Thanks for the heads up about the clip, I’ve updated it with a better one (which I think is the band’s first ever official vid!) Hope you enjoy the album.

  5. Full Metal Attorney November 1, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    I plan to post my review tomorrow.

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