Music Reviews

This is SolidState Volume 2

Various Artists

Solidstate

Although the Christ-crushing controversy of the nascent black metal scene dimmed some years back, in its stead arose a coalition of Christian metal and hardcore bands just as firebreathingly intent on counteracting such actions (church burnings, etc.). The label where most of these salvation-minded bands reside is SolidState Records, actually a branch of the long-established Tooth & Nail one. Granted, many ‘bangers might be otherwise leery of the label’s spiritual standpoint, but This is SolidState Volume 2 should serve as a handy ground zero for the treasure trove SolidState possesses. Among their best, then: the stymieing avalanche-crush of Zao, the Believer-informed tech-deaththrash of Extol, the Converge-meets-emo mathcore of Spitfire, the Gorgorothic minimalism of Lengsel, the discordant dirge/scourge of Training For Utopia, the new Hammerheaded hopefuls of Luti-Kriss, and the nu-metalled makeover of ol’ school thrashers Living Sacrifice (“Skinlab syndrome,” anyone?). Conversely, for as killer as the above bands are, SolidState also has its share of swill: among a few others, the simpering “emotion” of Embodyment, the overrated Stretch Armstrong, and the unfocused (and suitably disbanded) Focal Point. Like most comps, Volume 2 is a hit-or-miss affair, but the strength of the label’s best bands for outweighs the mediocrity of their lesser ones.

SolidState, PO Box 12698, Seattle, WA 98111; http://www.solidstaterecords.com


Recently on Ink 19...

Henry V

Henry V

Archikulture Digest

Blood, guts, and kicking butt in France — it’s the age-old story of Shakespeare. Carl F. Gauze once again enjoys the salacious violence and complicated plot points of Henry V, in the moody dark of Orlando Shakes.

New Music Now 011: Nora O’Connor

New Music Now 011: Nora O’Connor

Features

On today’s New Music Now, Judy Craddock talks to our musical guest, Nora O’Connor, about her solo album, My Heart, and the captivating new music she’s listening to right now. Tune in for great music, and more ’90s references than you can shake a scrunchie at.

Big Time Gambling Boss

Big Time Gambling Boss

Screen Reviews

Writer Kazuo Kasahara and director Kôsaku Yamashita transcend genre conventions to create the memorable film Big Time Gambling Boss. Phil Bailey reviews.

Frank Bello

Frank Bello

Features

Frank Bello’s new memoir Fathers, Brothers, and Sons: Surviving Anguish, Abandonment, and Anthrax takes us from a New York childhood, to Anthrax stadium tours, to fatherhood with the charming informality of a conversation with an old friend. Then I’m Gone, Bello’s first solo EP, provides accompaniment. Joe Frietze reviews.

%d bloggers like this: