Monday, October 26, 2015

TNM Presents: The PoseurDome - Two Bands Enter, One Band Leaves

Last weekend, as I reached for a towel seconds after pulling out of your girlfriend, it occurred to me that for the past few weeks, not one single goddamn thing has happened in the metal world that has roused enough interest in me to elicit even the snide derision on which I so pride myself. This is in no small part due to the return of that undying idol to the poseur, bro-core worshipping fratboy masses that is the fucking guitar hero franchise.

Holy shit, is nothing sacred? Every single goddamn time one of these shitfest 'rhythm' games (for EXTREME want of a better term) gets released, every trve metal fan on the planet locks themselves in their purpose-built bomb shelters to ride out what is inevitably a nuclear winter of false buffoonery.

"Uhh, bromanski, have you ever even HEARD of Pantera? Fucking poser. Now watch me 100% Cowboys From Hell on medium."

Truly, it's a shitty time to be a metalhead. It's one of the unfortunately numerous occasions where your trendhopping buddies will swear black and blue that they've always been into metal but "Just don't like to go on about it."

Bullshit. The entire reason anyone ever listens to metal is purely and entirely for the purpose of going on about it. If you listen to metal and can go a full day without bringing it up even in full knowledge of the fact that the people you work with will think you are creepy as shit, you are nought but a filthy, flea-ridden poseur.

But metal is nothing if not incredibly enduring in the face of adversity. I sat through the unspeakable shame of the 90's metal scene AND the last two Opeth albums and yet still my faith in the incorruptibility of true metal has not been shaken.

It is days such as these, my brethren, where we must rally. We must not go quietly into that goodnight. We must demand more from ourselves, from one another, and most importantly of all, from our metal. I've decided to do my part by reviewing albums while emulating what is without any rational doubt the single greatest cinematic accomplishment spawned forth by sentient life, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.

Jesus Christ. I'm at half mast just thinking about it.

Not only is it a movie in which the main premise is two dudes beating each other to death in a massive cage, but it came out in the 80's, which most of you will recognize as being the decade wherein metal attained ultimate perfection. Never before has there been a more perfect emulation of the true tenants of heavy metal.

With this in mind, from now on, all my album reviews* are going to follow the example set forth by the beautiful simplicity of the ThunderDome: two bands enter, one band leaves. I'm sick to fucking death of these fucking Lord Byron metal reviews penned by pretentious knobs whose main purpose is obviously to show you how far they've gotten through their thesaurus instead of answering the only questions you want to know the answer to: is this album any good, and why?

Editor's note: TNM apologizes for the piss-poor graphical quality of the above image. Our graphics budget got spent on Jack Daniels and hair straighteners. Gotta be tough with the scruff, fellas.

Today's PoseurDome contenders come to you from beautiful, sunny Germany. Those of you clever enough to string together a sentence might remember that the last album I reviewed also came from Germany and their label thought I was so awe-inspiringly magnificent that they threw free albums at me like a chimpanzee flinging shit at the slack-jawed tourists bankrolling his captivity, hence the above two records.

You may also notice that both albums were released in 2014, and that I have rather unceremoniously decided that I don't give a pinch of shit. The reason for this is twofold:

  • A year in underground metal time relative to the passage of regular time is about 3.4 days, according to Einstein's theory of relativity.
  • My finger is so far from the pulse that the Hubble Telescope recently photographed it leaving the solar system.

Yarr - EPos

A metal band, writing songs about pirates? Revolutionary. I was barely even two tracks in and these guys had already stamped off my entire sheet for 'shitty gimmicky metal band' bingo. Mediocre musicianship? Check. 'Ironic' mashup of traditionally incompatible genres? Check. Pushing the joke beyond the point of tedium in a matter of minutes? Double fucking check.

Look, I'm not saying that pirates aren't metal. I'm saying that this album is more Captain Hook than Blackbeard. Right from the word go, it's crystal clear that these guys are having WAY too much fun. Granted, the lyrics aren't in English, so the entire album could be a pitch-black ode to raping and pillaging your way around the most depraved coastlines of history, but for the love of fuck, just listen to it. This is less a wacky death metal album and more the soundtrack for Pirates of the Caribbean on the day where the guy who was suppose to do the vocals showed up with a bad case of strep.

Yarr are desperately trying to be a heavier Alestorm, and Alestorm are fucking terrible. If for whatever reason you want to listen to some truly sick metal chops with a spoon fully of goofy bullshit slapped in for good measure, you might as well stick with Nekrogoblikon, a band that seems to have at the very least realized that if you're going to make fun of the insanity of the metal genre, you'd damn well better have the talent to back it up. Seriously, am I missing something here? What's the appeal? How in the hell did Powerwolf become one of the most popular metal bands on the planet? Does anyone actually think this shit possesses an ounce of merit? I weep for humanity.

I'll say it again for those of you stuck at the scummy end of the gene pool: metal is not supposed to be fun. It's not a joyous celebration of the diversity of humanity. This is not the fucking Rocky Horror Picture show. It's not like we all regularly dress up in ridiculous costumes, hand over hundreds of dollars and travel hundreds of miles to see hack musicians perform the same songs we've already heard a hundred times over.

Wait... Shit.

Immorium - Herbstmär

Yeah, now this is more fucking like it. Not even 25% of the way through and I've already turned into a weeping, blubbery mess on the floor of my bedroom. This is the most depressing album I have heard in years. You could be halfway through receiving back-to-back hummers from both the chicks from Butcher Babies and this album would still leave you wanting to fellate a shotgun.

I can unashamedly say that I don't particularly 'get' post-black metal. Who decided that we were collectively done with black metal to the point where we had to start prefacing shitty inferior incarnations of a once-proud genre with 'post'? If I smear horse cum all over my big mac before I eat it is it a post-burger? If I edit out every scene of Breaking Bad except for the ones where his cunt of a family do something obnoxious is it post-good television? It invariably ends up being black metal but with all the good parts taken out. I understand that it's supposed to be ambient and atmospheric and all those other words hack metal critics like to bandy about, but what atmosphere in particular are they going for? Boredom?

This album is all the shitty parts of a night at a strip club laid out end to end and repeated ad nauseam. It struts around on stage trying to get your attention and builds up complexity and rhythm to a point where you are ten thousand percent certain that you are mere seconds away from impending boobage, and then shuts off the lights like the massive tease that it is and leaves you sweaty, confused and ashamed, desperately clutching at a half-chub in the darkness as you reflect on how empty and vacuous your life must have become to reach such a devastating low point. It's all buildup and no payoff. It's all sizzle and no steak. Completely forgettable.

So, the maiden voyage of the PoseurDome is a real fuckin' doozy: one band turns metal into a complete farce, the other tries so hard to take it seriously that it forgets it's supposed to be making music. But only one may emerge victorious, and the winner is...

It's tacky, it's silly well beyond the point of frustration, but it was at least vaguely listenable, and, as the shorter of the two, the only one I managed to make it through twice. Plus, I'm concerned that if I recommend Immorium, I may be found to be legally liable when all of you start turning up swinging from your ceiling fans.


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