Question: Been reading your blog and also your twitter for a while now dig and ive been wondering. why is it you think when you say you dont like certain bands, the press goes on about them like they are the saviours of a genre in respect of the reviews and also the coverage they get? The two I can think of recently are Portal and Skeletonwitch, although to be honest i do actually like what portal are doing as a band because at least they are trying somthing different (although its heavily indebt to morbid angel). From:
Answer: Is this the Portal street team emailing? You're persistant mate, I'll give you that. Y'know, its very rare for me to pass comment -good or bad- on this blog on any new band, I'm not a journalist so my opinions on bands are mostly kept to myself.I empathise with new bands - we have plenty of newbies on this label aswell- most are simply trying their damndest to do their best and to get noticed in the scene, so public criticism is not very helpful.
Eighty percent of the mails this blog receives is from new bands who want an A&R opinion of their music, I'm trying to avoid turning this blog into an A&R forum for new bands. Also I've been in the game long enough to know that bands can go from promising to devastating in like 6 months, which makes a mockery of any criticism, and on the downside, can also ruin any chance of Earache signing them in the future.
I was asked twice about Portal on this blog, and don't like em, I just don't get what the fuss is about,its actually not avant-garde enough for me because it sounds like early Akercocke to my ears, though the headgear is a wonder to behold. If other people love em, then thats great.Most of the stuff on Profound Lore leaves me perplexed, to me, its like the sound of Black Metal in its death throes. When the tag "avant-garde" or worse still, "progressive" becomes the accepted bench-mark by which bands are judged, its gotta be the death-knell. When style takes precedence over substance then its time to hang up the guitars. One Profound Lore band I am digging is Krallice though.
As for Skeletonwitch, my tweet was prompted by my shock and surprise at seeing them adorn the cover of Terrorizer mag. I'm not saying they don't deserve the accolade, any band who tours as much as Skeletonwitch, who tour like dogs, deserves all the breaks. Mostly it was a reaction to the description of the band in the mag: "blackened death-thrash".Now that is a pretty honest depiction of how the band sounds, but its also absurd, 3 genres in one tagline is what I'm objecting to.
I've followed Skeletonwitch closely for ages, and came close to inviting them onto our new school Thrash comp "Thrashing Like A Maniac" but the deathy/black vocals ruined it for me, somehow made the band non-thrash to my ears.
The new wave of Thrash scene - which has been covered in this blog since 2006- is rapidly splitting into 2 camps.The 'pure thrash' bands- Gama Bomb, Bonded By Blood, Violator, and the 'Thrash, but with other influences' brigade, which journalists are predictably lapping up, as a hint of black or a dash of death, well, its more familiar territory to them. How long before corpsepainted thrash band is heraled as the best new thing. Well, at least they dont live in the 80s!
For the last year, Earache has received thrash demos by the bucketload from bands who obviously were playing Death or Black Metal a year or so ago, but switched genres, because its now cooler to play Thrash.
Somehow the bands which single-handedly brought new life into the ailing scene, and blazed the trail for modern Thrash, are all of a sudden derided because they have no deathy parts, or blackened parts, and no mosh parts.
It's gonna be fun to see how it pans out.