Friday, September 24, 2010

APOLLO ENDS by Sculptured

Schultz from Tokyo Damage - back again, with another WORTH IT FOR WEIRDNESS metal album.

Thanks to Cobras for big-upping my site.

Apollo Ends is one of the most amazing albums because it’s so fucking subtle.

Normally when dudes go all “avant-metal” in your pants, they try to bowl you over with super technical or super crazy stuff (like UNEXPECT or KAYO DOT or MR BUNGLE or whoever).

But “Apollo Ends” is fucked up in such a subtle way that you wouldn’t even know you had your mind blown, unless you got down with some sheet music and headphones. What I mean is, dude is doing the same totally middle-of-the-road melodic death metal .. . but playing mostly wrong notes. The type of melodic mistakes you’d normally expect from a musical beginner that didn’t know music theory. Except this guy is doing it on purpose, and it makes you kind of sea-sick after a while.

Seriously, after I heard APOLLO ENDS, I checked out his previous album SPEAR OF THE LILY IS AUREOLED and LILY was totally normal melodic stuff. Like dude clearly knows how to count his myxolydian modes and whatnot. IT MAKES NO SENSE.

Let me try to explain why this is so special: most people who do dissonance either go all “hi-art” style (Stravinsky, Schoenberg) or go all “evil” style (metal bands who play mediocre riffs with all diminished chords).

But SCULPTURED invented a whole new way to do dissonance: the melodies sound like someone was absent-midnedly humming them into a computer, while doing something else (minesweeper, porn, writing music reviews for obscure sites, etc.). . . and then had the melodies quantized by a really stupid program. So subtle , and so well-produced, it’s hard to believe it a) exists and b) is that fucked-up.

Like they they’d finished recording their little slick melo-death album and it was all super perfect but maybe the engineer didn’t get to blow the bass player as was promised, so late at night after everyone went home, the engineer maliciously pro-tooled the fuck out of all the guitar parts, pitch-shifting every third note a half-step off, while leaving everything else very glossy and super perfect. Except that scenario doesn’t explain the trombones.

Lots of trombones.


The Thing That Should Not Be said...

WOAH BABY!! This sounds RIGHT up my alley. I love Wrong Metal. I'm downloading this right now, and the sound I imagine in my head is like a metal US Maple or Time Of Orchids. I hope the REAL sound is as good as my imaginary sound!

The Thing That Should Not Be said...

Yes. it is. ESPECIALLY the whistling on 'Snow Covers'. This is almost a metal Shudder To Think at times, and I mean that in a GOOD way.

Helm said...

It is Schoenberg 12-tone composition if memory serves. He has to make stuff sound 'wrong' to hit all the pitches. I count Sculptured as an interesting failure because the music means nothing to me even after years of listening. But they're interesting.

Grk! said...

I'm sold. Thanks!

Aesop said...

This is my bandmate in Agalloch's band, brilliant record.

Don Anderson said...

This is actually now my favorite review of the record, even after 11 years. Thanks for posting and spreading the word! - Don/SCULPTURED/AGALLOCH