Slayer, Saviours, Baroness, Them Crooked Vultures, and Alice in Chains

Metallurgy

Phases & Stages

Slayer's World Painted Blood (American) album of the year? Find one more convincing. Like a soundtrack to cinematic year-high The Hurt Locker, the follow-up to 2006's equally war-torn Christ Illusion ("Jihad") issues a total armored response to its predecessor's punker rototill. WPB rains lyric hooks and rhythmic breaks bursting at every turn from a jack-in-the-box of raging disillusionment. Titular first mantra ("world painted blood, no sanctuary") plus "Snuff" ("torture, misery, endless suffering") and "Beauty Through Order" ("God did not do this") match the industrial shifts of "Public Display of Dismemberment" and security breach guitars on "Human Strain." Funeral home of horrors "Playing With Dolls" ("you'll wish you were in hell") also names a 20-minute short on the deluxe edition DVD, Frankenhooker as soundtracked by World Painted Blood. Saviours' Accelerated Living (Kemado) gallops stronger, faster, meatier than the Sword-in-the-stone ballast of 2006 bow Crucifire and the heavier artillery of its follow-up on Kemado two years later, Into Abaddon. Guitars increase a thousandfold, Sonny Reinhardt teaming with Matt Pike Jr., aka lead shred and holler Austin Barber. Lightning tempo morphs (opener "Acid Hand") and straight 1980s riff fusillades ("We Roam") alight High on Fire only faster, "F.G.T." unleashing a pure blitzkrieg of tempo and guitar volley. Howitzer "Slave to the Hex" will blister air guitarists and drummers alike. Baroness continues in the footsteps of Georgian antecedents Mastodon, uncorking second album Blue Record (Relapse), which parallels its former labelmates' Remission as a breakout disc, although aquatic CD art and the seafaring rhythms of "The Sweetest Curse" and "Jake Leg" spray hot 'Lantic seawater à la Leviathan. The backwoods ambience fleshing out the group's eponymous 2007 debut – Red Album – deepens here on fraternal order chorals ("Steel That Sleeps the Eye") and connective tissue interludes ("Blackpowder Orchard") that set up epic riff armadas "A Horse Called Golgotha," with its Brian May solar flare, and "O'er Hell and Hide." Eponymous DGC platter by Josh Homme, Dave Grohl, and John Paul Jones – Them Crooked Vultures – piles up more kills than it probably has any right to. The rhythm section's heavy elasticity boogies Humble Pie even as the Queens of the Stone Age frontman flirts with Darkness. Lyrical carrion "I know how to be lost in lust, not because you should, but because you must" on lead-off "No One Loves Me & Neither Do I" speaks to the time constraints of spontaneity in the face of sleek muscle burst "Mind Eraser, No Chaser" and the Cream-y mucous of "Scumbag Blues." Far too much real estate ("Interlude With Ludes") abuts a back-end wasteland ("Gunman"), but riff jewel "Bandoliers" yields no quarter. Not only does Alice in Chains' Black Gives Way to Blue (Virgin) toll open with "All Secrets Known" and thus confirm that the Seattle warlords' vocal doom belonged as much to creator Jerry Cantrell as heroin casualty Layne Staley, but only the guitarist could bend the riff to "Check My Brain" into one of the band's signature staph infections. Rather than attempt a straight, early 1990s flood of Death Valley grunge, Alice's first studio effort since the Staley era sticks close to the Boggy Depot of Cantrell's frontiersman strum, "Your Decision" another instant AIC classic seemingly left off '94's Jar of Flies. Similarly pollinated comes "When the Sun Rose Again." A tighter edit would neutralize the LP's "Acid Bubble" on the slippery slope of the second side, but that's a material issue when the bigger one is the closing title track, the album's stripped and most affecting haunt.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Slayer
Fun Fun Fun Shots
Metallurgy
Metallurgy

Raoul Hernandez, Nov. 11, 2011

Off the Record
Off the Record
Music News

Austin Powell, July 29, 2011

More Saviours
Fun Fun Fun Fest Preview
Saviours
Cavern of Mind

Austin Powell, Nov. 2, 2007

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Sabbath Crow
Carrion Highway Weird Sun (Record Review)

Michael Toland, Aug. 16, 2019

Texas Platters
USA/Mexico
Matamoros (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, Aug. 16, 2019

More by Raoul Hernandez
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

May 7, 2021

New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

April 30, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Slayer, Saviours, Baroness, Them Crooked Vultures, Alice in Chains

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle