Sunday, 24 January 2021

The Snack Series: Doritos 3D and Ruffles Double Crunch Jalapeno Cheddar

Doritos 3D chili cheese nacho

Packaging: The overly modern package with the big 3D letters isn't super aesthetic, it's a bit too much. The red and white colours are very aggressive too. The main intent was to show off how three dimensional the Doritos actually is since that's the main selling point of that new flavour. Mission accomplished, I guess. It's just ugly. Looks like a 90s sport logo or something.

Texture: The 3D Doritos are bite sized and yeah, they're hollow. They're like small triangular balloon disks. It's a fun texture to put in your mouth. It's almost adventurous, that's the kind of chips people in Star Trek would eat if they were actually unhealthy and not boring.

Taste: A mix of spicy chili and their usual nacho flavour, the taste is pretty decent while nothing out of the ordinary or special. It works. I think the size of the chips helps for some reason, probably a placebo one. If they were the size of a normal Dorito, it would had been weird.

All in all, it's a gimmick Doritos and I'd rather see them do adventurous flavours like Sonic Sour Cream or the guacamole collisions or something


Ruffles Double Crunch Jalapeno Cheddar

Packaging: the bag highlights how thicc the chips are and shows us a big chunk of cheddar and those powerful jalapeno boys. I always liked the blue Ruffles bag and the add green on the bottom is a good mix to their classic colours.

Texture: if one of your desires in life were something like "hey I'd like those Ruffles to be twice as thick and crispy" then you'll be satisffiied. They're as advertised and that's appreciated. You'll need to increase the volume of your TV though.

Taste:  Similar to the Cheetos crunchy jalapeno cheddar in taste, it doesn't reinvent the wheel. The focus was given to the texture and that's ok. It's not overly spicy but it has a nice little kick and the cheese flavour isn't overshadowed either. I'm intrigued by the double crunch ketchup Ruffles as well.

Strong effort by Ruffles


Friday, 8 January 2021

Falsehood - Falsehood (2017) / 82%

Nah dudes, I agree

Falsehood from Edmonton features two members from death/black veterans Begrime Exemious but explores a different style of extreme metal. Crust is basically punks playing metal (or trying to) but the lines between punk and metal is getting quite blurry. It’s possible that metalheads can play punk as well! Anyhow the quartet mixes several influences into one potent patty of aggressive and uncompromising music.

Their approach relies heavily on heavy riffs and the repetitiveness of said hard hittin’ guitars. It’s cold, dangerous and it doesn’t mess around with the puck at all. They would have broken that fucking QAnon Shaman in pieces if they had the chance. It’s thundering politically inclined metallic punk taking no fucking prisoners. A mixing pot of death metal, sludgey doom, crust and hardcore punk, Falsehood is able to digest those influences and shit us something worthwhile and captivating. The dual guitars attack of Franky and Derek are fantastic and doesn’t show off at all, they’re there for the power of the riffs and they serve the songs. The guitar tone is disgusting (in the best way possible) and while there’s distortion, it’s never sloppy and badly written. Those dudes are solid musicians and the combination of the two guitarists with a very effective rhythm section created an aural devastation. A good example of how everything is so expertly combined is the eight minutes closer “Deceiver”, one of their slower but still super urgent compositions. The drums and bass are also very very good and it's something I focused on more and more after a few spins of the album. The backend of the album is rich and the tight and focused production definitely helps.

Protect the rich, serve the state

Mindless pigs fill us with hate

The vocals of Franky are pissed off deep growls, it's harsh and full of venom. What I like is that it's not a constant barrage of vocals, it's present like any other instruments and it plays its role within the band's music. Tracks like "Descent Into Madness" features vox only midway through the four-ish minutes track but when they start, damn. That track almost has a grindcore feel to it as it ends. They're good at showcasing their riffs and they let them breathe a while too. There's a few cleaner moments ("Waste" or "Militant Swine") and they bring forward some sort of depressive post metal stylistic exploration to the fold. It's interesting and doesn't feel out of place.

The only modern thing about them is their intent to combine old school styles together but ultimately, this combination creates something that could have been released ten, twenty or even thirty years ago. Like their left leaning themes, It’s pretty timeless for punk music. Throw Asphyx, Bolt Thrower and Amebix in a garbage bin and let the raccoons do their job, you’ll end up with something close to Falsehood.


Tuesday, 5 January 2021

John the Baptist – John the Baptist (2021) / 90%


Pour some (un)holy water on me!

I’ve been expecting a full length album from these guys for like four years now but it’s fine, they’re playing the long game in every aspects of their identity. The mysterious fellas are coming from a black metal background (Blood Red Fog in particular) definitely embraced true doom as it’s oozing from everywhere on that debut album. I’m embracing the depressive and morose start of the year even more with their downer music. 2021 will suck too y’all, better prepare yourself.

Obviously fans of Reverend Bizarre (as any sane people should be), John the Baptist is still a different entity than their ancestor. Sure, they have the same guitar, bass and drums formula we’re used to in doom metal (and other metal genres...) but they used their tools in a sprawling, almost funeral doom kind of way. It’s slow, brooding and thundering like an angry god.

It’s six songs for eighty minutes of music so put on your warmer socks since we’re going in cold. There’s no breaks either, they don’t let go and aren’t allowing you any toilet breaks. It’s a deluge (hehe, look at the artwork) of riffs, either slow, mid paced or sometimes even fast (!!!). The two shortest tracks, expertly placed in the middle of the album, showcases some faster riffs and the main melody of “Odds at Redemption” reminds me of Uncle Acid’s Blood Lust album but slowed the fucked down.

While still aiming at some sort of grandiose true traditional doom, I feel John the Baptist are also minimalist in nature. Things are kept rooted in aura of do it yourself-ness and relies entirely on the strength of their songwriting and musicianship while an airy and natural production engulfs everything. The guitars are heavy but relatively muddy (in a good way) and the drums are precise, loud and surprisingly subtle at times. The bass isn’t as hard as I was expecting but it’s filling the void with care. They let things breathe in the compositions and there’s a solemn atmosphere created by the simple yet catchy riffs here. There’s almost the same feel as on Evangelist’s outputs, it’s anti-Christian in a studious way. Even if they’re not epic doom like the Poles, there’s a few more epic moments such as the medieval war samples and the use of an organ on “A Glimpse of Valor” bringing more variety to the album.

The vocals are often the highlights in Finnish trad doom and while we’re not reaching the same high peaks as on the Hynninen albums (Reverend Bizarre, Spiritus Mortis) or even the ones fronted by Pesonen (The Wandering Midget or Serpent Warning), they’re pretty enjoyable. The deep, tenebrous and operatic vocals are well done and they’re somewhat under the waves, laying perfectly on the seabed.

Even if I’m a bit uncomfortable with some of the far right views the band could be linked to (Circle of Dawn, Nécropole, Finland’s black metal in general), this album is a gem of slow true doom metal and it’s great to know that this kind of stuff is still being created right now. It’s probably the best album of that specific niche to be released since Acolytes of Moros’ debut album. If your idea of good doom is fifteen minutes songs with a maximum of three or four riffs in each, buy this immediately.