#ValueMusic 3 August 2014: Metal Roundup!

This post covers my #ValueMusic goodies from last week. I’m not lazy; I was just hung up on finishing the giant post on security first.

I got 3 vinyl records at Amoeba this weekend, in various delicious flavors of metal!

Ghoul, Noothgrush/Coffins, and Arch
Enemy

Ghoul, Hang Ten EP (Tankcrimes, 2014): In the tradition of Gwar and Goblin Cock, Ghoul plays curiously well-crafted goof-metal. The production is excellent, with absurdly thick guitars that don’t obscure the tight bass and drum performances. Largely instrumental, the 6 tunes tell a tale of gruesome heroism in a Mad Max-style dystopia. From the liner notes:

The state apparatus had been torn limb from limb by the Mezmetron-addled horde. The last of the missing Basilisk’s security detachments were forced into hiding along with their leader, Commandant Dobrunkum. The streets were lawless. Out of the chaos thundered **The Midnight Ride of the Cannibals MC**.

High points: “Hang Ten” and “It Was A Very Good Year”.

Credits:

R.A. MacLEAN as KREEG ad TONY FORESTA as HENCHMAN #1 with DIGESTOR, CREMATOR, FERMENTOR, DISSECTOR and THE MORON CAVERN-SHACKLED CHOIR featuring GABE GALVER and R. LAWRENCE DiBARI with special narration by PETER SVOBODA.

Recording and Mixing: Salvador Raya at Earhammer Studios; Mastering: Dan Randall at Mammoth Sound Mastering; Cover Art: Sean Äaberg; Layout: Doktor Sewage; All music digested, cremated, fermented, and dissected by Ghoul except “It Was A Very Good Year” by Ervin Drake.

Noothgrush/Coffins split LP (Southern Lord, 2013): This record is a good introduction to 2 venerable doom/sludge-metal bands and to the genre(s) in general. Noothgrush opens the LP with classic Black Sabbath guitar and drum sounds: huge and dark. Although doom and gloom are the name of the game in this genre, Noothgrush are not above a little fun weirdness, including a sample of the Tusken Raiders cheer from Star Wars in “Jundland Wastes”, and a loopy monologue in “Thoth”. The band is, after all, named after a Dr. Seuss character. High point: “Humandemic”.

Credits: Dino Sommese: vocal; Russ Kent: guitar; Gary Niederhoff: bass; Chino Nukaga: drum. Recorded and mixed at Earhammer; mastered by Bob Boatright; artwork by Josh Graham.

Coffins take side B with awesome feedback, a ridiculously sludgey guitar tone, and a drummer who sounds like he has as large a cymbal collection as Tomas Haake. High point: “Drown In Revelation”.

Credits: Uchino: guitars/vocal; Koreeda: bass/vocal; Ryo: vocals; Satoshi: drums. Recorded and mastered at Noise Room; engineered by Shigenori Kobayashi; produced by Uchino and Coffins; all songs written by Uchino; all lyrics written by Ryo.

Arch Enemy, War Eternal (Century Media, 2014): Although Wages Of Sin is still my favorite Arch Enemy album, that’s probably just nostalgia. Arch Enemy records always have perfect production, perfect performances, and songwriting in the classic model of Iron Maiden. Even when Alissa White-Gluz is screaming her face off, which is most of the time, there’s always something to sing along to.

This is the first Arch Enemy record with new vocalist White-Gluz, who replaces the irreplaceable Angela Gossow, and Nick Cordle, who replaces Christopher Amott on second guitar. They’re both every bit as good as their predecessors, even reinvigorating.

For some reason, this is a “bootleg” vinyl, numbered from a set supposedly of 500, minimally packaged, and on transparent green vinyl. If it’s a marketing gimmick, it’s corny; I’d rather have spent the not-small sum on a properly-packaged LP with download codes.

High points: “Stolen Life” and “Time Is Black”; although the whole album is consistently solid.

Credits: Alissa White-Gluz: lead vocals; Michael Amott: lead and rhythm guitar, keyboards; Nick Cordle: lead and rhythm guitar; Sharlee D'Angelo; bass guitar; Daniel Erlandsson: drums. Per Wiberg: mellotron; Henrik Janson: orchestration, string arrangements; Ulf Janson: additional keyboards, orchestration, string arrangements; Stockholm Session Strings: strings. Produced by Arch Enemy; mixed and mastered by Jens Bogren; Staffan Karlsson, Nick Cordle, Daniel Erlandsson, Johan Örnborg, Linn Fajal: engineering. Costin Chioreanu: artwork, layout; Patric Ullaeus: photography.