Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

May 16, 2013

Joel Grind ~ The Yellowgoat Sessions

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Style: black metal, heavy metal
Label: Acid Rat
Year: 2013
Home: Portland, Oregon

Members ~ Joel Grind ~ guitars/drums/bass

Some may know JG as the frontman & founder of Toxic Holocaust. This solo album will be welcomed by those familiar with the earlier days of Toxic Holocaust as on one hand JG has pulled some of the same primitive soul & drive from those days into The Yellowgoat Sessions. On the other hand, this is far more dark & carnal that reaches beyond rediscovering Toxic Holocaust to its roots & the fathers of black metal. Early Motorhead & Bathory have been thrown out as comparisons & they are quite accurate. But, other bands could be used as comparisons as JG has created an album, recorded over two days no less, that is anything but slick commercial metal, but instead recalls the early days of raw, heavily distorted & reverbed, not the most technically challenging but solid heavy metal. That's not to say that it was recorded over a tape player & suffers from bad production, not at all, only that you'll find a lot of comparisons here with the underground metal that was coming out in the early 1980's before thrash became the norm. Actually, it's less of a comparison & more of an absolute flashback. This has those trademarkable driving distorted guitar rhythms that marked early Motorhead, W.A.S.P. & countless other bands, though the former is a pretty solid comparison, while every so often a guitar solo briefly appears. It's not the most musically diverse album, but that does little to remove any enjoyment from this great release. While even the nostalgia aspect doesn't hurt or making it sound too imitative, probably because this particular sound hasn't been nostalgia to death & still remains fresh ... or maybe JG just has a great hand on what makes good metal. One secret is it isn't overly cluttered, technically complicated nor mind-numbing fast & the lyrics are understandable. The album doesn't do a mind-numbing onslaught of careening guitars but just drives with a metal reverbed groove that isn't heard much anymore. This is retro metal album recorded in a spurt of creativity & JG had enough sense, more than a lot of bands, to keep the kitchen sink at home. His lesson of simplicity should be studied. Some folks may know that Toxic Holocaust started as a solo project so why is this not under that band name, as what's the difference? The difference is that Toxic Holocaust has now become a band, while this is truly a solo album & JG doesn't want to disregard the band that has formed making it into a solo gig with session players. Check this release out. You won't be disappointed.

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