Today we have two new tracks from two established (though widely divergent in terms of record sales) bands. As I Lay Dying, San Diego’s biggest fish in the metal pond, give us “Within Destruction,” which can be streamed in glorious quality at their label’s web page. Baroness, from Savannah, GA, give us “The Birthing,” now available at their Myspace page.
As near as I can tell, AILD made a Pantera song. I think the specific song is “Rise” from Vulgar Display of Power, but in reality it could be any one of a dozen Pantera songs from their second and third albums. Even Pantera realized by The Great Southern Trendkill that they’d pretty much mined the tech thrash territory as much as they could. Anyway, the AILD song also sounds so heavily produced as to be virtually unrecognizable as music played by actual musicians. I have no problem believing the guys can play this stuff–the point isn’t that they’re a bad band–it’s that sending this stuff is produced and triggered within an inch of its life, sapping it of the energy that a live performance might have. Metal production has moved so far away from the sound of people playing in a room that anymore it might as well be manufactured by robots. I literally can’t believe this stuff was mixed by someone who’s worked with Napalm Death. Then there’s the fact that thrash just doesn’t appeal to me the way it did when I was younger, though I didn’t even listen to a lot of it. Oh well. I suppose as long as there are teenagers, there will be a niche that needs to be filled by sterile, aggressive-sounding but extremely familiar and safe metal. In spirit and commercial viability, this is a lot closer to Def Leppard than Napalm Death.
On to a better niche: Helmet meets Thin Lizzy with big riffs and hooks that makes me want to gun a sixer of Mickey’s and head down to some dirty hole in the wall venue. That’s Baroness’ end of the spectrum. If you don’t like this, it’s pretty much evidence that you don’t know the definition of “a good time.” Or, alternately, that you’re idea of a good time involves imported cheese, club drugs, or A Prairie Home Companion.