Ok so I'm in a hotel room in Colorado somewhere and I'm listening to Above the Light by Sadist, curtains drawn, room dark, screen glowing away, I got some stuff I need to write and I'm chipping away on that and all the while thinking "why the hell aren't there more cool metal bands like Sadist and Atheist" and I almost add "any more" but I try not to because as we know yearning for the days before the scene got watered down is some old-man, sour-grapes, to-be-resisted-at-all-times shit. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times, if you're not hearing the good shit it's 'cause you're not looking hard enough. (Your problem may be that you're looking for good shit in the same places where everybody else is looking for good shit. That there is some gold rush mentality, friends. Everybody's listening to uptempo faux-Dionysiac sweaty dance indie? You liked that one band that sorta kicked the whole thing off? Save yourself some effort: don't bother looking for the next band that's gonna be any good in that style, 'cause there won't be one. The pool gets crowded and the water gets nasty real quick.)
So I started doing some heavy-duty R.I.Y.L. dig-around-here thirty-second-soundclip-there stuff using Sadist and Atheist as parameters, and on eMusic I found this, which I can barely believe is current: it's so goddamn good. There's some retro element to it for sure - it the echo vox sound like Atheist, there's chugga-chugga from all four corners of the pit, there's a Judas Priest vibe in parts - but for the most part this album is a meditation on how to put in work in older styles without sounding like some goddamn worthless dude on a pine bench holdin' forth about how kickin' the action used to be. I could go on at length, and I may sometime, about how exactly Ambient Death accomplish this (short version: a few judicious and clever percussion overdubs go a long way toward establishing that you have original ideas), but for now I just wanted to mark the place. These guys kick ass. Good tunes, great groove, mystic solos. Hunt them down.
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