Album Review – Dendritic Arbor / Sentient Village // Obsolescent Garden EP (2015)

Follow the exploratory path of madness by a talented five-piece band whose main objective is to provide us distinct extreme music from multiple perspectives.

Rating5

“Different music from multiple perspectives.”

Dendriticarbor_Svog_cover-page-001If you visit the official Facebook page by American Progressive Black Metal quintet Dendritic Arbor, that’s the short and sweet description you’ll find about the eccentric music by this band hailing from the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the United States, and let me tell you there couldn’t be better words to describe their challenging and lunatic creations and experimentations. I myself consider labeling them as “just” a Progressive Black Metal band a limitation to their unique scope and creativity,  but that’s something I’ll leave up to you to decide after you take a listen at their brand new EP entitled Sentient Village // Obsolescent Garden.

Formed in 2012, the band composed of Maxwell Beehner (guitars, vocals), Adam Henderson (guitars, vocals), Thomas Bittner (bass), Chris McCune (drums) and Kyle Lambert (responsible for the “noise”, or whatever that’s supposed to mean) is on a hot streak since their inception, releasing high-quality extreme music no matter if it’s just a single, a full-length album or an EP like Sentient Village // Obsolescent Garden. Featuring a more-than-unusual album art designed by Hannah MacAulay and Maxwell Beehner (Ageless Christian Records), this avant-garde four-track album will demolish you like a wrecking ball in its 20 minutes of psychedelic rage.

The weird noises in the beginning of Cotard Delusion (a rare mental illness in which an afflicted person holds the delusion that they are dead, either figuratively or literally) might deceive you a bit, making you think the music by Dendritic Arbor is not as heavy as promised, but as soon as the sonic carnage arises with an explosion of blast beats, absurdly demented guitar riffs and disgruntled howls and barks by both Maxwell and Adam, sounding like there’s a horde of hideous trolls making noises behind the band, you’ll realize these guys are not fooling around. However, things get even more demonic (and therefore better) in Failed Manifestations, a top-notch mix of Black, Death and Thrash Metal, all at once in a powergrinding turmoil, not to mention the “trolls” who keep vociferating their evil spell against mankind. In other words, it’s a complex, progressive and totally destructive nightmare for the faint of heart.

Dendritic Arbor band pictureKeratoconus, which by the way is the name of a degenerative disorder of the eye in which structural changes within the cornea cause it to thin and change to a more conical shape than the more normal gradual curve, offers the listener brutal slamming Black Metal with no shenanigans, with drummer Chris McCune simply crushing everything with his inhuman beats. And what the hell are those wicked lyrics about (“Ruby moonlight harvesting the growth. / golden fishbone, lodged into the throat. / guess whose eating from the trash again?”)? Anyway, Latex, the most progressive of the four tracks, is an eldritch canticle forged in the pits of hell, where the whole band focuses all their strength and vileness to generate an idiosyncratic sonority until it becomes just a fading eerie noise to put an end to the album.

In a nutshell, Dendritic Arbor are not among us to provide us relaxing or charming songs, but a disquieting tsunami of Extreme Metal aiming at your ill-fated soul and your filthy heart. And with Sentient Village // Obsolescent Garden, available at their BandCamp page, they continue their exploratory path of madness that will send to your ears, as aforementioned, distinct heavy music from multiple perspectives.

Best moments of the album: Failed Manifestations.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2015 Independent

Track listing
1. Cotard Delusion 3:44
2. Failed Manifestations 3:25
3. Keratoconus 6:08
4. Latex 7.37

Band members
Maxwell Beehner – guitars, vocals
Adam Henderson – guitars, vocals
Thomas Bittner – bass
Chris McCune – drums
Kyle Lambert – noise

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Album Review – Chip DiMonick / Uncaged EP (2015)

Everybody break out and raise your fists and glasses to this electrifying mix of Hard Rock and Punk Metal.

Rating4

ChipDiMonick-Uncaged-CoverI’ve been receiving some feedback on the material added to The Headbanging Moose, saying this webzine is getting too “evil” with all the Death and Black Metal bands recently reviewed. As this is a very democratic webzine (and to avoid becoming “The Demonic Moose”), it’s time to soothe the mood a little with the top-notch Hard Rock by Pittsburgh-based band Chip DiMonick and their brand new party-all-the-time EP entitled Uncaged, the fifth release in their career. However, that doesn’t mean things are not going to get loud or nasty, so you better be ready to break out and enjoy the music by Chip Dimonick and his notorious crew.

Formed in 2005 and being voted “Best Punk Band” in the Iron City Rocks Pittsburgh Music Awards for the past three consecutive years, this Pennsylvanian quartet is back with two new members (DJ Carothers on lead guitar and Gregg Livengood on drums) and, of course, more of their Hard Rock/Punk Metal music, offering us all catchy tunes talking about love, hate and revenge, among other bitter topics. “Uncaged is all about breaking down the barriers that restrict who you are, whether imposed by yourself, society, or whomever”, said Chip DiMonick, founder of the band.

From the very first notes of the title-track, Uncaged, you can already get a sense of how interesting the mix of Hard Rock and Punk Rock in their music is. It’s gripping “pub” music, perfect to be played on any radio station, where Chip commands the festivities with the song’s sing-along chorus (“Hey, tonight we’re uncaged / You can’t hold us down / Hey, forever uncaged / Everybody break out”) while the rest of the band delivers solid Rock N’ Roll lines. And they keep rolling on with You Ain’t Punk, a message to their haters due to their aforementioned awards as “Best Punk Band” in Pittsburgh (“You ain’t punk, you ain’t punk, I bet you never saw the Misfits once…”). Talking about the music itself, it sounds like if Green Day (especially the riffs found in the classic “Welcome to Paradise”) met Motley Crüe: they managed to stay heavy even adding that specific Punk Rock sounding we’re used to listen on the radio, leaning towards fresh and exciting Punk Metal with highlights to the strong bass lines by Joe P.

ChipDiMonickPressPhotoThe band gets heavier and slower in That’s How Much I Hate You, a pure Rock N’ Roll tune thanks to DJ Carothers for his awesome guitar riffs and solo which would definitely be an excellent song for a strip-tease, despite its acid lyrics. Actually, I guess the lyrics would also be perfect for that special “presentation”, don’t you agree? Anyway, the following track, Lightning Bolt, is a smooth Hard Rock ballad that seems to have been crafted in the 80’s or 90’s so classic it is, with the great vocal performance by Chip adding the emotion the song demands. Girls will fall in love for this ballad, no doubt about that.

The last two songs in Uncaged are just as good and catchy as everything else, starting with Hand Grenade (check out the acoustic version HERE), another incredible radio-ready tune where all band members are throwing their “hand grenades” in the form of fast and heavy riffs in total sync with the drums by Gregg, boosted by huge doses of energy. Let me say that the fact it’s the heaviest of all songs has nothing to do with it being my favorite of all tracks. Or maybe yes? Well, the last track of all, Dig Deep, is yet again a melodic display of pure Hard Rock enhanced by hints of Rap Metal. And how not to feel inspired by these simple but very effective lyrics (“You gotta dig deep, you gotta have faith / Put all those doubts right in their place / When you’re dead and gone, you can finally sleep / But you’re alive right now so you gotta dig deep”)?

In a nutshell, pick any song from Uncaged, play it on the radio and you have an instant hit. As simple as that. And if you like what you see, go check their official Facebook page and also grab your copy of Uncaged on CD Baby, Amazon or iTunes. Let’s break out and raise our fists and glasses to the heartening music by this awesome American band.

Best moments of the album: Uncaged and Hand Grenade.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2015 Independent

Track listing
1. Uncaged 4:09
2. You Ain’t Punk 3:47
3. That’s How Much I Hate You 4:02
4. Lightning Bolt 3:39
5. Hand Grenade 3:04
6. Dig Deep 3:01

Band members
Chip DiMonick – lead vocals, guitar, keyboards
Joe P. – bass, backing vocals
DJ Carothers – lead guitar
Gregg Livengood – drums