Lockjaw “Predatory Trails Of The Spirit” Album Review + Stream…

LOCKJAW

Predatory Trails Of The Spirit – Digital Download

Dark Drug Records – Released December 23, 2017

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

Headquarters:
Milwaukee, WI

Previous Releases:
Goliath (2015)
Combat Ready (2014)
The Dirt Road To Inspiration (2013)
White Lies Black Heart (2012)
Dopamine Avenue (2011)
The Soundtrack To The End (2009)
11:11 (2007)
Starving For Salvation (2006)
Hell Inside (2005)
Dirty Minds and Smiling Faces (2004)
Looking Like A Devil (1998)

 

 

Review:

For the unknowing, this record is the 12th release from the dark recesses of HELLROCK HQ and is to date, THE best yet!! Eight tracks and 31+ minutes bringing forth further permeation of “Burnt Offerings” that are ever present in all things Lockjaw.

Featuring quite the pedigree of slots, ranging everywhere from stints with the likes of Mudvayne, Type O Negative, Damageplan, Wednesday 13, Hell Yeah, Prong, KMFDM, Powerman 5000 and Mindless Self Indulgence as well as Lords of Acid and Marilyn Manson. Using their self described weapons that include and are not limited to abrasive vocals, dark chord progressions and machine-gun electronics, Lockjaw is indeed stronger than ever in bringing the HELLROCK revolution into the minds of the masses.

The mind-behind, Medavon De Raj’e, is front and center and ready to take this to another level. The result is this collection of what could easily be listened to, in order, as a tale of ‘trails’ as the title suggests, that are crossed individually, one leading to the next. Coincidental or not, the effect of following along with each as they flow into the next ‘trail’.is that you naturally keep listening until the very end… almost like binge-watching an eight part series and it takes less than an hour to experience it all. And then you push play again, almost as if by an unconscious natural reflex, to take it in again…

Opening with “Blood Suckers”, three hits of a drumhead and we’re off with power chording and searing high notes layered over Medavon‘s signature sneer, saturated in that ‘knowing’ telling that allows easy comprehension, delivered with a clarity of enunciation that is missing from so many. ‘Make your move, and they suck your blood.’ Abso-fucking-lutely…

“Paralyzed” enters in a staggered electro tempo as you are reminded that ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ as the flow starts, Medavon describes ‘Just like a sting, that hits you so hard… right in the back, I can hear it break… wave goodbye to your hopes and dreams, at least for today…  sacrificed, I’m paralyzed…’ and another ‘trail’ is engaged.

Live Band Pic

“The Scavengers” is the big standout on this one for me with the punch-in-the-face jump to full throttle with churning riffs to push you forward and even as ‘The flies think that I’m already dead, inside of this shell, sometimes, I am…’ and you can feel the breath on your flesh as you are enveloped by the tale of another even darker ‘trail’. And even as this one ends, “They Follow” is truly the next bend we have just gone around in this half-point and is filled with an ominous texture that swirls of shadows and mist as you follow closer to keep pace of the direction heading to reach the next turn.

“Burnt Offerings” greets you with an instrumental morsel that is exactly the kind that delivers with a plushness that lets you hear every word that is never spoken. Quick fade power-chord and “Absolution” enters with a slow progression with those synth loops and clear guitar notes, lightly salted with reverb to give that ghostly haunting lilt underneath those machine-gun, electro-tempo segments that only accent the post-punk grin that lives within ‘this psychosis’ described.

“In The Weeds” is another stand-out from this album for me in that I hear a touch of each previous Lockjaw album as these four minutes flow past with a perfect cadence and gave me a feeling of familiarity with each brushstroke of Medavon’s painting that is his mastery of composition, arrangement and mix that he has honed to razor sharp edges.

Pro Band Pic

Closer “Rescue” could seem like a departure from the rest of the record with it’s soft almost spaghetti western guitar line and slower paced tempo, even as the synths float up from underneath. As soon as that voice delivers the diatribe that is this final ‘trail’, it ties itself to each of the previous seven tracks and is the absolute perfect book-end to what could be described in spots as ‘stripped-down’ and in other spots as ‘thicker than ever’, but is FULL-ON Lockjaw in all it’s glory…

Having witnessed them onstage multiple times, as well as having seen the rotating legion of members that deliver it live, from Jose and his solo’s to Baldii and his rhythm lines to Lowviolet‘s bass assault, all I can tell you is you simply MUST see them for the completion of your immersion into the world of HELLROCK, whether this is your first experience or the most recent of many!! Medavon and his compatriots deliver 200%…  EVERY TIME…

Share this album with every set of ears around you, support them live and as always, keep it LOUD!!

Additional Links:
https://store.cdbaby.com/all/medavon
https://www.facebook.com/darkdrugrecords/

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Murder Love God “The Negative” Album Review + Video + Stream…

MURDER LOVE GOD

The Negative EP – Digital Download

Self Released – July 11, 2017

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

Formed 2007

Location –  Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA

Line-Up
Medavon DeRaj’e – vocals, music, production and creation (Murder Love God / LOCKJAW)
Jeremy Gardipee – modular synth and keys (Insekt)

Previous Releases 

2007 “Sell Me Your soul”

2011 “Killing Time V2.0”

2013  “Alter of Evolution”

 

Review:

The first time I heard Murder Love God, was a few months after we had gone to see Milwaukee’s own LOCKJAW for the fourth or fifth time and Medavon had shared an advance with my wife of an album he was working on. While listening, the first thing we noticed was that the feel was even darker and deeper as Medavon was perfecting the blue print for the style known as “Hell Rock”, a mixture of all parts industrial/rock/electronica with a twist of trip-hop thrown in. When recently asked to describe the ethos behind Murder Love God, Medavon replied,

“Undefined and unexplained pieces of rotting parts floating down the sewer to a destination unknown. Excessive thoughts and complaints portrayed through music from a sometimes twisted perspective. These fragments are broken and often bitter but hopefully a few will find them comforting or entertaining.” Each previous release, including the remix’s have been pretty incredible in their own right and hinted at ‘something more’ looming in the shadows, and with this EP, that ‘more’ is finally revealed for the masses. Five tracks, 22+ minutes and this one was released as ‘parts’ over the course of the beginning of this year, coming together as an EP released on 7-4-17.

Live Band Pic

Opener ‘Bipolar’ comes right out of the gate with that familiar staggered tempo that grabs your attention and refuses to let go as the stark-dark twists around you immediately as you grasp onto the consuming keys that seem to linger just out of reach and still, right there as Medavon’s ethereal vocals seem to come at you from all directions as you grab every letter of every word that flows forth and as the body falls into disarray as the song itself, and everything else winds to… nothing.

‘Can’t Look Away’ opens with a slightly faster tempo and Medavon busts right into a rapid-fire vocal that to my ears is a new twist that rides the cascades of ghostly guitar tones delivered with a  surgical precision that gives the body of this track the added feature of ‘plush’ that has never entered the MLG camp in such a manner and even the harmonics mixed with the pick-slides are an indulgence that fills the air to an even higher level of ‘completeness’ to make this one of the most concise songs to come from Medavon’s hand yet.

And then comes ‘Fire Walker’, the longest song contained on this offering and is the pick for the video teaser. This is the exact song to give a complete smattering of the flavors contained here in and shows the growth and purity that musically demonstrates a confidence earned and a maturity in the arrangements and running order that were there before, but not quite to the level that this release is burning with. ‘Cannibal’ is even more of the progressions that while natural, seem second nature here flavored expertly with the seasonings of the life-blood of…

Band Pic 2

Standout track on this one for ME, is the closer ‘Devil’s Favorite’. Shortest offering included, it has everything I look for and devour greedily from a Medavon composition; a relentless beat, full bodied and driving and that special lyrical twist given as only he can do with flair and rage all given with the roar of the master-purveyor of Hell-Rock, delivering with “To taste it, don’t waste it, just touch the sky and shake it…” and the tone is one of need as you have to run along to savor each drop of this glass of absinthe-stained tears to the very last.  If it doesn’t hit you between the eyes once you have traversed from first note to last, Medavon has a response for that as well…

“That is acceptable….my comfort is failed and my soul has been sacrificed by desire. Please enjoy my testimony.” Listen once, drink deep from his veins as he has poured them once more into his art and feel it flow through you… “A musical acid trip on the industrial tip.” he said.

If this is your first sample of, then by all means GET IT ALL like, YESTERDAY!! If you are already one of the ‘aware’, add this to your library and share it with ALL in your personal realm. Support them live if you are given the chance, and keep it LOUD!!

Links:
http://www.facebook.com/darkdrugrecords

http://www.facebook.com/mlgmusic

http://www.soundcloud.com/murderlovegod

http://www.reverbnation.com/murderlovegod