Sunday, September 19, 2004

Drain S.T.H. & Denali

Lately I've been listening to my Drain S.T.H. CD, Freaks of Nature, a lot. It's been a while, so I'm reminded of just how good they are. Drain S.T.H. is a band from Stockholm, Sweden that formed in 1993. Their music is mostly a fusion of grunge and heavy metal, but it separates itself from the likes of Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. However, I don't think they were taken as seriously by audiences as they should have been because, as All Music Guide puts it, "they were simply too drop-dead gorgeous to be taken seriously by the notoriously chauvinistic metal masses." And they are really good-looking. But you don't even think of that when you listen to their music.

Their first album, Horror Wrestling, definitely sounds heavier than Freaks of Nature. the album I have. Horror Wrestling includes a cover of Motorhead's song "Ace of Spades" done at a quarter-speed of the original song. It's just as heavy, but it has distinctly a darker feel to it. I'll admit to not having heard much of this album. Can you tell? Hehehe...

Anyway, saying that Horror Wrestling is heavier than Freaks of Nature is not a knock on the latter. In fact, I would say that that's a bonus for Freaks of Nature. That means that it has more variety on it. The first track, "Enter My Mind," is an all-out assault of raging guitars and pummeling percussion and the next two tracks continue keep up that vibe. Then "I Wish..." takes it down a notch without making the album seem bipolar. After that track, the album gradually gets heavier and will sometimes reach that point of extreme heaviness created by the first three tracks and sometimes stay on the borderline.

I would also say that Freaks of Nature outdoes Horror Wrestling and most other bands of their genre in that they have a very unique and distinguishable sound. If not because of the lead vocalist's grindingly beautiful voice, but also because of the band's compositional skills. So all those who read this should check out Horror Wrestling and Freaks of Nature, the full albums they released before their break-up in 2000.

And just because I feel guilty about not connecting people to music, I'll link to an indie rock band called Denali. They've got an interesting sound that I really enjoy. I'm addicted to their song called "Hold Your Breath," which, conveniently enough, is available for downloading from their site. So go to http://www.denalimusic.com/ and poke around.

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