Friday, December 28, 2007

Top Ten of 2007: Tusk - The Resisting Dreamer

Julie Christmas's side project Battle of Mice released one of my favorite records last year in the form of 'A Day of Nights'. blending the harsh, dissonant metal of bands like Isis and Neurosis with a one of a kind female vocal performance, it was a side of metal that i had really never heard before. basically most post-metal is distinctly monotone in the vocals. Isis' Aaron Turner may sound tortured, but he is basically like a guitar without any effects; he can be distorted or clean. Julie Christmas essentially put that idea to rest and let out one of the most terrifyingly, volatile vocal performances ever. imagine the squeaky voices of Bjork and Joanna Newsom thrown through the vocal linguistics of Diamanda Galas. Christmas lets you feel her pain on 'A Day of Nights' through her unabashed, charismatic, story telling and cries for plea. the guitar playing behind her on 'A Day of Nights' is unsurpassed in its simplicity. the rhythm section, a slow plodding monster that beautiful accents, Christmas' variety of howls. anyways, the point is nothing ever really sounds like 'A Day of Nights' and i wasn't expecting anything else to. it was one of a kind its pure emotion involved with a very metal performance. of course, this was all before i had heard Tusk's 'The Resisting Dreamer'.

battle of mice's 'a day of nights'
'The Resisting Dreamer' is a collaboration between former Breather Resist vocalist Evan Patterson and Kayo Dot front man Toby Driver with the back up of 3/4ths of Pelican playing behind them. where A Battle of Mice was very devoted in making a certain kind of atmosphere with 'A Day of Nights', Tusk seems holy been on forming a trinity between The Jesus Lizard, Pelican and Kayo Dot. i only say Kayo Dot, because of Toby's tortured vocals on track 2 which are interestingly enough very similar to Christmas' on 'A Day of Nights'. Tusk is totally noisy and epic all over 'The Resisting Dreamer' and the even manage to pull off a sixteen minute noise track without making it seem boring. these two bands are obviously pushing for a more interesting take on the long overdone post-metal. Battle of Mice with their strangely anthematic atmospheric metal, and Tusk with their forways into making post-metal less sterile and over produced and turning it into something raw, almost reverting back to a simpler more 'hardcore' time.

tusk's 'the resisting dreamer'
both of these records have had tremendous replays in my collection. excellent with any form of psycho-active and just all around heavy, stoned reflections on various perspectives of life. they both share a common line in their mix of very serious music with almost childish perspectives in terms of their vocals. Tusk is clearly one of the best records of the year with it's obtuse take on post-metal and if you have any interest in the versatility of metal, i suggest you take a look at both of these albums.

tusk's 'the resisting dream' (2007)
battle of mice's 'a day of nights' (2006)

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