A pile of album reviews: Doomriders, Lewd Acts, Gil Scott-Heron, Eels & Chris Clark

by | Mar 3, 2010 | MUSIC

Doomriders
Darkness Come Alive
Deathwish, Inc.
The hellhounds in Doomriders have released their sophomore full length. Darkness Come Alive is a classic blend of old and contemporary metal. With heavy riffs and duel guitar harmonics, its hard to not like this album, even if you don’t like metal. It’s easily one of the catchiest and memorable albums of the metal/hardcore genre to date. Every song has its own feel and hooks. Doomriders utilizes their ability to do some serious shredding with knowing when to take it slow and keep your head banging. Some songs remind me of Danzig, some of Entombed, and I feel that’s what this album is: A devil child between Danzig and Entombed. Bear witness to the works that the metal gods have created. Darkness has truly come alive in Doomriders.
-Knox Colby

Doomriders
Darkness Come Alive
Deathwish, Inc.
The hellhounds in Doomriders have released their sophomore full length. Darkness Come Alive is a classic blend of old and contemporary metal. With heavy riffs and duel guitar harmonics, its hard to not like this album, even if you don’t like metal. It’s easily one of the catchiest and memorable albums of the metal/hardcore genre to date. Every song has its own feel and hooks. Doomriders utilizes their ability to do some serious shredding with knowing when to take it slow and keep your head banging. Some songs remind me of Danzig, some of Entombed, and I feel that’s what this album is: A devil child between Danzig and Entombed. Bear witness to the works that the metal gods have created. Darkness has truly come alive in Doomriders.
-Knox Colby

Lewd Acts
Black Eye Blues
Deathwish Inc.

Hailing from San Deigo, California comes the bloody, visceral, and cruel behavior that is Lewd Acts. Their newest release entitled Black Eye Blues keeps with their 1980s style hardcore roots, but with a mournful twist. The music on Black Eye Blues could be described as the sowing of anguish, gloom, distress, and grief into one ominous black shroud. Everything from this record from the guitar chords to the album art is painful. The vocals sound as though the vocalist just had the worst day of his life. All of this gloom and doom conglomerates into the perfect heartfelt hardcore album. Lewd Acts perfectly expresses these emotions during their live shows which are usually bloody and violent from start to finish (which is difficult for most bands to do). Its not easy to right fast and painful music and express it as openly as Lewd Acts does. This is what real rage and pain sounds like.
-Knox Colby

Gil Scott-Heron
I’m New Here
XL

Scott-Heron has been considered a musician and a poet since the 1970’s and has even been referred to as “the godfather of rap”, though his productions are not the kind of rap that today’s musical industry might considered an appropriate definition of the word. His slower and methodical tunes relay the similar message of today’s rap music, yet in a manner more rounded by ordinary life experiences and colored by beautifully worded poetry and a deep, understanding voice. Scott-Heron has created an album devoted to relaying a true impression of himself as a man and releasing his thoughts of inner turmoil.

The album speaks of “lonely men” and reiterates emotions of struggling to face acceptance with god, inadequacies, and the fear that he faces which causes him to run, not from himself, but rather from the fear of what may happen if he doesn’t. The man in this album associates with those in our society not afraid of leaving, but rather those too nervous to stay—too afraid of realizing that they’re the only one who remained. In this album, Scott-Heron nonchalantly explains that this is why, “I’m new here.”
-Robyn Michaux Schaperjahn

EELS
End Times
Vagrant Records

End Times is a nontraditional Eels album, if such a statement even makes sense. While the offbeat brainchild of lead singer E (Mark Oliver Everett) usually holds together some semblance of a band, this time he is essentially solo, playing almost every instrument himself. Indeed, the credits state: “Performed by E, with a little help from” the other band members, freeing Everett to pursue some intensely personal subject matter about divorce. This topic is well expressed in the rough demo feel of the recordings, as well as in the songs about intense loneliness.

This album does have a slightly less jagged feel than previous efforts, as most arrangements shun drums, synths and technological manipulation for acoustic guitar, creepily double-tracked vocals, and occasional strings and horns. It sounds strangely like E is talking to himself throughout, and the rawness of the lyrics is akin to poking at a deep open wound. E’s usual semi-monotone voice morphs throughout the record, channeling Neil Young (“Nowadays”) and John Lennon (“I Need A Mother”), but the most poignant moment is saved for last, when his broken voice sounds about twice his age in the drunken bum lullaby “On My Feet” – an uncomfortably uplifting epic, and the perfect finish to an appropriately downbeat Great Recession-era masterpiece.
-Cary J. Tipton

Chris Clark
Totem’s Flare
Warp

Chris Clark’s meticulousness preys on the boundaries of the spectrum―of what is groovy and what is shocking, of the range which our ears can hear, and of what our speakers can handle. Clark builds up his presence with a predatory-like composure: no hesitation, modesty, or wasted time. All traded for a staggering amount of control. His albums are sculpted down to the millisecond for maximal affectivity. He beckons you into his dark and beautiful world, one which is often manic. Though there’s always a reassuring break in the clouds. In Clark’s hands, one is both blissfully frightened and exalted, like riding a roller coaster for the first time.

Clark spares some of his most emotive work to date until the end. “Suns Of Temper,” after its steady muffled intro, shatters like glass, settling into a half-time beat. But ultimately it submits to the euphoric fracturing of its very identity, sine waves soaring and fluttering up around you in deafening reverb. With the meditative closer “Absence,” the album could not close on a more graceful and grounding note.
-Tyler Newbold

RVA Staff

RVA Staff

Since 2005, the dedicated team at RVA Magazine, known as RVA Staff, has been delivering the cultural news that matters in Richmond, VA. This talented group of professionals is committed to keeping you informed about the events and happenings in the city.




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