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Metallic Taste of Blood

Metallic Taste of Blood

(Rarenoise; US: 5 Jun 2012; UK: 28 May 2012)

Instrumental group Metallic Taste of Blood’s self-titled debut sits at the center of a multi-genre collision. Described by label Rarenoise Records as “schizo jazz metal”, the band’s sound undoubtedly has an unhinged component, but that description falls short of encapsulating its true eccentricity. Which is no surprise, given that the band’s various members have played (or currently play) with artists such as Porcupine Tree, Merzbow, Hardold Budd and Obake.

Jazz and metal certainly form the core of the album, but sweltering dub and neo-classical tinkering come into play, making easy classification elusive. Mercurial tempos and delightfully askew compositions establish the album’s contrasting moods, where shuffling percussion is buried by thunderous riffing, or gentle piano and pulsating bass are immersed in a vortex of avant-garde adjustments. 

Sonic autonomy is the key to Metallic Taste of Blood‘s success. Improvisational liberty is writ large, yet no brazen self-indulgence can be found. Challenges are to be encountered. Each track is an adventurous peregrination, on which the band clearly seeks to juxtapose vistas. But overall, no matter how varying the terrain, the end result is captivating and accessible. Metallic Taste of Blood showcases masterful, genuinely progressive metal that deserves a lot more visibility.


Craig Hayes is based in Aotearoa New Zealand, and he is a contributing editor and columnist at PopMatters. Alongside his reviews and feature articles, Craig's monthly column, Ragnarök, traverses the metal spectrum. He is the co-author of PopMatters' regular metal round-up, Mixtarum Metallum, contributes to radio shows and numerous other sites, and he favours music that clangs, bangs, crashes, or drones. Craig can be found losing followers daily on twitter @sixnoises.

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