Welcome, folks, to another instalment of my last 3 CDs purchase. I am extreme by nature & this interest in all things heavy metal is unrelenting as the years go by. As I am also a guitar-inclined individual, I pay special attention to extreme bands with meaningful guitar inclusions. That's right. meaningful & nothing too devotional towards shred guitar. In the case of serious technicalities manifesting in heavy music, to me, these are a real bonus. Song focus is first & foremost.
1. Enslaved- Roadburn Live
I'm not too big a fan when it comes to live recordings because chances are, the songs covered were stuff I've heard before. Also, live recordings are mostly tampered with in terms of production to cover up imperfections before selling them off thus defeating the purpose of capturing live performances. Nevertheless, I do keep a lookout for bands with exceptional live vibes & Enslaved is one of them. This collection of tunes were from, you guessed it, the band's live performance in 2015's Roadburn festival. The thing with Enslaved is, they have this prog twist in their metal since 2004's Isa & it makes listening to them very enjoyable in a live context. The highlight of this release is the concluding number which is a Led Zappelin cover, Immigrant Song, which will surely become a hit come Thor's Ragnarok movie (November 2017). Sadly, this release is also the final performance for Herbrand Larsen (keyboards) who is responsible for the band's clean vocals. As at time of posting, the band has yet to find a deserving replacement.
2. Firespawn- The Reprobate
A meeting of potent characters- Firespawn in a nutshell. I was thinking, a supergroup like this might call it off after a spectacular debut but 18 months ahead, The Reprobate proved to be another lethal collection of songs. You might be thinking that this band is an opportunity for the members of Entombed AD/ Necrophobic/ Skin Eater/ Unleashed to further their respective band's agenda but it's simply a sum greater than its parts. To note- more lead fills heard here, guitar-wise.
3. Suffocation- ...of The Dark Light
A rather defining moment for the band with two new members Moratti (drums) & Errigo (guitars) who proved second to none in terms of expectations & technicalities. There was no pressure to outperform their respective predecessors, of course. The primary interest here, as presented by long time member, Hobbs (guitars) was whether this duo could keep up with the Suffocation philosophy. In any band context, song priority should precede other intrinsic issues. If the band gets this right, regardless of the line up changes, there will be no drastic turnover. Maybe Gilmour's role in Pink Floyd might ring a bell. After this exploit, it's good to know that Suffocation is still in tact & as coherent as ever.