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Sound Check

1/15/2014

cd GreenDeathGreen Death

“The Deathening”

Independent               

So here’s the thing about Green Death: I don’t know if they’re supposed to be any good. I mean, I know I enjoyed the album, but there’s something about the bitchin’ Eliran Kantor cover art and the title — “The Deathening” — that just seems a little tongue-in-cheek with shades of The Lone Rangers from the movie “Airheads.” But in this case, obfuscated intent did little to diminish overall enjoyment. “The Deathening” (I shall never get tired of writing that name) is a well-constructed album. And there is quality to Green Death’s product: Sol Bales is a vocal beast who deserves the lion’s share of the praise for the band’s more melodic sounds working as well as they do. My best advice for metal heads is to grab a copy and just not think too much. Why ruin the fun by worrying about what it means? CV

 

HIV

cd SMZThee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra

“Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light on Everything”

Constellation Records              

For its latest installment, the Canadian experimental rockers known colloquially as SMZ take the listener through a sweeping range of emotion in a scant six tracks. Most noteworthy on the album are “Austerity Blues” and “Take Away These Early Grave Blues,” both of which make up the center of the album’s set. The former is a sprawling, chaotic piece with vocals that serve less to tell a story and more as a scaffold for the noise to rest upon. But the latter track is where the album really plants its feet and shakes the Terra. Six and a half minutes of driving, relentless violin and guitar with vocals that call to mind Jane’s Addiction, circa “Mountain Song.” The rest of “Fuck Off Get Free…” may only be so-so, but those two tracks alone make the album worth the conversation. CV

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