Metallic Taste of Blood — Doctoring the Dead
(RareNoise RNR053, 2015, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2015-07-15
Well, if they’re going to use the term “math-rock” on their website, I can use it too, at least for comparison. First, I’d say Metallic Taste of Blood doesn’t sound like any math-rock band I know of, and if I were asked to sum them up in a short phrase, I’d say “noisy avant-rock.” There may be some odd meters involved, but they are far from being the most notable thing about the music – which is Eraldo Bernocchi’s guitar playing, ranging from sheets of fluidly shifting noise to spaced-out echoes of clean sustained tones. What he doesn’t sound like is any other guitar player I can think of. At times it may seem that Metallic Taste of Blood is a 90s King Crimson crossed with Boris in one of their doom-drone phases, slow, heavy, drop-tuned. There are breaks from the wall of low sounds, like a really fun Belew-on-acid bit in the middle of “Ipissimus,” some appropriately freaky synthesizer work from guest Roy Powell of Interstatic on the title track, and the relatively fast riff on “Pashupati.” While I enjoy the album a lot, its fault is the too-frequent return to their default sound: plodding tempo with the same tone on the guitar (it’s a really cool sound, but anything overused can get old). That’s why the previously mentioned breaks are so important, and why the role of Colin Edwin on bass is crucial. (Incidentally, it’s also why listening to Doctoring the Dead on headphones, especially earbuds, would prove unsatisfying – much of what makes the music work might well be inaudible.) His differing tones in the low register are generally kept clean, as distortion would only make him disappear into the guitar sound, and sometimes even have a slinky feel reminiscent of Mick Karn. While the guitar is playing long sustained tones, the bass is active, if not exactly busy. Metallic Taste of Blood is definitely worth checking out, and cranking loud on a system that can give you the full dynamic and frequency range.
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more