Review: Wovenhand – The Threshingfloor
(Review by Mike)
Besides David Eugene Edwards love of combining two words into one, he’s also got a penchant for making haunting soulful music. Those who are familiar with Wovenhand and Edwards’ old project, 16 Horsepower, won’t be shocked by anything on this record; which is not to say that it’s stale or predictable, but rather that there are no radical departures from the sound he has established as being “his”.
Continuing to contradict what it seems like I was saying above, this album does have a few new tricks up the band’s sleeve: mainly the incorporation of some more Middle Eastern strings, which should come as no real surprise as this kind of sound was somewhat hinted at on previous Wovenhand records.
So just what is The Threshingfloor all about? Well, there’s certainly a more straightforward approach this time around in terms of Edwards directly speaking about God (so you black metal fanatics take note!) and on the whole the record is far more ‘subdued’ than previous albums. There are a few jumpers (namely the eighth track “Truth” which has an almost electronic, Nine Inch Nailsish beat to it). More typical fare on this album is closer to the song “Singing Grass”, which makes absolutely gorgeous use of acoustic guitars, violin, and some minor sound effects/field recordings (?) of what sounds like, you guessed it, wind rustling through grass.
Basically I’d recommend this record to any fans of the band as well as anyone who’s got a bit of an open mind when it comes to listening to music outside of your comfort zone. The Threshingfloor combines quite a few different sounds and style of music to create a really enjoyable listening experience. I could definitely see this being on my top ten list at the end of the year. Do yourself a favor: Head to Redscroll Records and snag yourself a copy.
INTEGRITY – “THE BLACKEST CURSE” CD/LP DEATHWISH INC 2010
(Reviewed by Josh)
For anyone who knows me, it’s no secret that Integrity is one of my
favorite bands. The hard mosh parts, blistering solos, and dark
imagery within the lyrics just totally nail it for me. I also enjoy
the bands more experimental side whether it be the mysticism of Holy
Terror, or singer Dwid Hellion’s various endeavors in noise & film. I
have an Integrity vinyl collection which has grown to be fairly large.
“The Blackest Curse” is the first full length by the band since 2003’s
“To Die For”. Initially announced for release in 2008, this was a long
time coming, but well worth the wait. Keeping in-line with the
secretive nature and dark aesthetic, the album artwork is sparse,
black & white, and comes with no liner note or lyric sheet.
The first song, “Process Of Illumination” starts off in typical Integ
fashion with a sample from a Manson Family member and seems to be
musically influenced by early 90’s Japanese hardcore bands.
“Simulacra” is dripping with so much Slayer-riffage that you get
soaked. “Before the VVorld VVas Young” is an epic track. Coupling
acoustic guitar with Dwid’s brooding apocalyptic whispers, eventually
building into a whirling thrash-filled nightmare while Dwid continues
to cast spells on your ears until it all comes collapsing in on top of
the sheer heaviness of itself. “Invocation Of The Eternally Coiling
Serpent” is another mosh-filled track that demands not to be ignored.
In fact, no tracks should be ignored or regarded as filler material.
I’ve very thankful that the production value is refreshingly dry yet
cohesive. Nothing turns me off faster to a hardcore record then
overproduction. KEEP IT GRIMY NOT GLOSSY. Hardcore is raw. Integrity
is raw. This recording showcases that.
I would say this album is most reminiscent of “Seasons In The Size Of
Days” both in feel and in structure. I hope to hear a few gems off of,
“The Blackest Curse” mixed into the set list of classic material at
the next east coast ritual.