Saturday, September 25, 2010

Neurosis - "Live At Roadburn 2007" CD

A Neurosis gig must be an exhausting experience for the band (as well as audience). Witness this superlative and potent recording of a massive Neurosis live experience from 2007. "Roadburn" amply exhibits both the raw, grueling heaviness and subtle moodiness of this veteran post-punk/noise/metal/psychedelic group as well as any studio recording has, before or since.

The band kicks things off with the 9-minute scalding of "Given To The Rising", which alternates between ambient interludes and monolithic stabs of swollen ferocity. "A Season In The Sky" begins with gently dark acoustic guitars, but soon builds to a huge swell of doomy grind with the fearsome, full-throttle vocals of Steve Von Till. "At The End Of The Road" is an atmospheric beast with creepy electronic effects that are more aligned with industrial music than metal or rock. Again, it all comes down in a hail of Neurosis' now-influential post-SWANS grind and lurch. This is a potent, all-consuming sound that transcends genre.

"The Doorway" closes it out with a maelstrom of noise, electronic effects, and tribal drums that demonstrate the awesome physicality and spiritual power of this band. And at 77 minutes, this is as near to an essential Neurosis document as I've yet to hear. (Neurot Recordings)

Neurotspace (label)

Neurosispace (band)

Friday, September 24, 2010

"Truth Or Dare: A Critical Madness" DVD (director: Tim Ritter)

This low-rent Michael Myers knockoff from 1986 has been advertised as being some sort of lost "classic", and to it's credit, there are some memorable and gory scenes that compare favorably to the B-grade slasher flicks of the era.

"Truth Or Dare" is the tale of a middle-class businessman who finds his lovely wife in bed with another man. This sets him into a tailspin of self-destructive impulses, and increasingly sadistic homicidal outbursts. Impressive are the real auto stunts (and explosions), gratuitous gore, and several titillating breasts. So score a few points for these trash-cinema staples.

Still, some of the acting and dialogue is flat (the "scientific" speak of the therapists is just laughable), and there are some major plot fallacies and unexplainable scenes. For example, the murderous protagonist steals a car and somehow manages to come up with a chainsaw, a medieval mace, and a machine gun soon thereafter. Eh? Sure, the back seat of my car is well-stocked with weaponry, too. Hah!

It's not an altogether awful flick, but there are far too many problems here to make this one worthy of the "lost classic" tag. And the closing theme song is a tragically overwrought 80's-style power ballad. Ewww! Talk about closing with a whimper. (Sub Rosa Studios via MVD Visual)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Front Line Assembly - "Improvised Electronic Device Tour 2010"

Vancouver industrial stalwarts Front Line Assembly have released this video to promote their current world tour (and supporting their new CD, "Improvised Electronic Device"). As a fan and listener to FLA for 22 years, I think this is their best work in many years. In addition to the superb "I.E.D" release and "Shifting Through the Lens" single, there's a supposedly limited remix EP for "Angriff" due for release at the merchandise stands on their tour. This 8-song EP includes mixes by Tim Skold and Project Pitchfork, among others. For details, visit the official FLA site at: Mindphaser.