Plebeian Grandstand – False Highs, True Lows; Verdun – The Eternal Drift’s Canticles (2016)

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Plebeian GrandstandFalse Highs, True Lows (Throatruiner Records / Basement Apes / BLWBCK / Tapes of a Neon God, 29 April 2016)

 

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VerdunThe Eternal Drift’s Canticles (Throatruiner Records / Head Records / Lost Pilgrims, 29 April 2016)

 

When there’s a new Throatruiner Records release, you can pretty much be guaranteed it’ll be filled with plenty of gloomy, yet intensely vicious music of exceptionally high quality. That’s been the case each time I’ve heard anything from this French label (including a few that I’ve written about), and the two we’ll be discussing today — one by toulousains Plebeian Grandstand and the other by montpelliérains Verdun, which both came out back in April of this year — are no exception.

And for some additional good news, at least for readers who live in the U.S., Plebeian Grandstand will be kicking off an American tour this weekend! After you’re done reading about these albums, divert your eyes down to the comments section to check out all the relevant details. Bonne écoute!

 

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In Case You Missed It: Stéphan Forté – The Shadows Compendium

Stéphan FortéThe Shadows Compendium (Listenable Records, 28 February 2012)

Ugh, I can’t believe it’s only Wednesday. Last week, with the holiday and me adding on a vacation day, I only actually worked three days… which I think has now totally spoiled me, because I keep feeling like the workweek should be just about over. This sucks. I spent most of the past couple days listening to some ultra-heavy monolithic death metal, which is usually great for settling the nerves and calming me down. Right now it isn’t really doing it for me, though, and I’m afraid the next person that bothers me is going to end up with a pretty nasty punch to the throat unless I find a better way to chill out. Considering the fact that the majority of the time, I deal with the pain-in-the-ass people over the phone or by e-mail, the whole punching thing might be a bit awkward, but believe me, I’d find a way.

So that brings us to the subject of this review, since I was looking for something totally different to listen to. How about some guitar-driven instrumental metal? Probably not something you’d expect me to gravitate towards, especially since I’ve discussed some of my thoughts on the genre previously, and how it can really rub me the wrong way unless it’s done just right. I was a bit skeptical too, at first, especially when I saw this album cover (see above) and noticed how much this guy looks like a French Steve Vai with a bunch of eyeliner. But then I decided, what the hell, I can be open-minded and at least check out a song or two, then move on to something else.

Well, I’m glad I did give this album a chance, because honestly I was pretty impressed by the quality, and — if I can say this without having it sound like a backhanded compliment — I was surprised by the overall lack of pretension and pomposity that one normally expects from solo guitarists (e.g. Yngwie, etc.).
 

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