Friday, April 30, 2010


This blog was influenced by this:

I have thankfully rid myself of most of the soundtracks I have owned in the past. When I was younger, soundtracks were an additional way of getting music I would not have heard otherwise. I owned quite a few over the years. Now, I have gotten rid of all but two, neither of which I really listen to much anymore.

The first point I want to make is that just because I owned the soundtrack, does not mean I enjoyed the movie. Hell, I haven't even seen the movies for a couple of these, nor would I want to.

These are the soundtracks I have owned with some random notes about them:

I have never seen the movie, or even the original movie and I never intend to. I believe I bought this thing because it was extremely cheap and it had some decent songs on it. Megadeth provided "Go to Hell" one of the better songs the band has released after pushing for a more mainstream sound. Faith No More and King's X both had very good songs. The rest range from listenable to "oh my fucking god why won't this end?!" Lots of glam bands on here, including the bad Slaughter, Winger, Kiss, and Love on Ice (who?). This really is terrible with the exception of the three songs listed earlier which are mercifully all on one side and only a Primus song comes between them.

I can't remember why I bothered to pick this up. There must have been a reason, but I can't think of one. Most of the songs I liked were all on other albums, such as Ministry, Rob Zombie, Monster Magnet, and Rage Against the Machine. Other than Ministry, there are no other metal songs. There's lots of techno, a genre of music I find irritating. I have no idea why I wasted the money on this. Thankfully I no longer own it. The movie was good though.

This movie was the brainchild of Twisted Sister's Dee Snider about a man obsessed with body art and inflicting it upon others, mostly young girls. I don't remember it being terrible, but it wasn't good either. The soundtrack had its moments: tracks from Megadeth, Anthrax, Pantera, Crisis, and Twisted Sister. This soundtrack was my first exposure to several nu-metal bands such as System of a Down, Sevendust, Bile, Soulfly, and Kid Rock (which song also featured Eminem before ANYONE knew who the hell he was). None of the songs really stood out much. The Megadeth song appeared on an earlier album and the Anthrax song was pretty good if I remember correctly.

Awful soundtrack. Tolerable movie. Not a single metal song on the entire thing, this soundtrack consisted entirely of nu-metal groups like Slipknot, System of a Down, Sevendust, Coal Chamber, Dope, Powerman 5000, and post-grunge groups like Creed, Staind, Fuel, and Finger Eleven. It also featured a group called Ear2000 which had David Arquette (the annoying actor) on vocals and some really horrible rapping. My brain hurts just thinking about it.

With a name like that you would expect a good soundtrack. You would be wrong, but you would expect it. This is an animated movie that I'm pretty sure I saw. It's all violence, boobs, and gore. But it's animated. Did I mention that? It's animated violence, boobs, and gore. The soundtrack featured such "luminaries" as Billy Idol, Monster Magnet, MDFMK (KMFDM backwards, get it?), Insane Clown Posse (to date the only song I have heard from this group), Puya, Sinisstar, and Coal Chamber. The only metal songs were from Pantera and Machine Head. Actually good songs from both bands though. Oh yeah, this movie was animated.

I don't remember seeing this movie either, but then all of The Crow movies were exactly the same. Near destitute man in love dies brutally as well as his lover then comes back to exact revenge. Did you know that one of the recent ones starred Ed Furlong who peaked as an actor when he was 11? This thing had two songs I liked on them: the Static-X track featuring Burton Bell of Fear Factory on vocals (it was a Ministry cover), and a song by Danzig. Not nearly good enough to keep it as the alternative rock and techno bullshit made up most of the rest of it.

I'm pretty sure I never saw this. I've seen tons of bad vampire movies though, so anything's possible. As for the soundtrack, we have tracks from metal bands Slayer and Pantera. We also have a decent cover of the Berlin classic "Metro" by System of a Down. Then there's a whole lot of shit by groups like (hed) p.e., Taproot, Endo, Saliva, and Linkin Park. Yikes.
EDIT: I forgot to mention before the comment from Kelly reminded me, the Pantera track is awesome. It's easily one of the best later-era Pantera songs. Just a killer song.

This came out at the same time as another cave-going horror movie The Descent. But, whereas The Descent was extremely creepy and downright frightening, The Cave really sucked. Probably an unfair comparison. This was the first and only movie soundtrack I got after nu-metal hit rock-bottom and metalcore took over. I didn't spend any money on this which is why it doesn't irritate me so much that I still have the damn thing. A friend of mine just gave it to me because it was too heavy for him. I say "meh". We have Nightwish (the ubiquitous "Nemo"), Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, Trivium, Lacuna Coil, Bleeding Through, Strapping Young Lad, It Dies Today, and Mastodon. We also have the ear-grindingly horrible Candiria, Diecast, and Atreyu to show that all is not right with the world.

The problem with soundtracks is that once you get past the one or two good tracks, there's a whole lot of bullshit.

Any soundtrack stories out there?

Dusting Off a Cassette Pt. 42: Hard Music Vol. 1

I bought this somewhere in Canada. I don't even remember where. It was at this music store in kind of an outdoor shopping center, possibly near Edmonton. I don't remember. Anyway, there's a lot of stuff on here. There's some good stuff, some great stuff, and some wretchedly horrible stuff (I'm looking at you Clawfinger). This is also noteworthy because it is the first time I heard Slayer and Ministry.

That Canada trip was fairly important in my formation as a metalhead. I bought several random cassettes during the trip, including the ever popular (mystifyingly enough) Quiet Riot. I also bought this cassette, the Sepultura Roots CD, my first metal t-shirt (also Sepultura which I have since lost), and my first issue of Metal Maniacs. This is probably when I stopped being a casual fan of the genre and became much more.

Anyway, enough sidetracking, on to the compilation!

This was a single off of the band's first release after Vince Neil was kicked out. John Corabi is actually a pretty decent vocalist and he lent a harder edge to the band's sound. The riffs had a heavier bottom end and were more powerful as well. Of course people didn't listen to the Crue because they were heavy so the album flopped. It's a decent song though and highly underrated.

This is a cover of a Cheap Trick song done when John Bush took over on vocals. I don't like Cheap Trick so I don't have anything good to say about this song. This was only available on the Japanese release of Sound of White Noise.

NFM. But, this is my favorite song by Stone Temple Pilots. It wasn't long before Wieland descended into major drug addiction and completely flaked out. I like this song quite well even though it is a major grunge ripoff.

This is another cover song, this time of the hardcore group Poison Idea. They actually pull this off quite well. Dimebag's riffs are razor-sharp as always and Anselmo's voice seems to fit the style. It's fast, nasty, and aggressive. I like this quite a bit better than I thought I would.

I first heard Ministry on this song right here and what a mindfuck. This song is an absolute juggernaut. It features inhumanly precise riffs, pounding drums, and shrieking vocals. This was a great introduction to the band. For some reason though, I have never really looked much into them further.

Also, this tape was the first time I ever heard Slayer. This song is not the most representative of the band's output, as it's a longer song and considerably more melodic. However, it got me hooked. I picked this album up very quickly and soon picked up everything else by the band.

This song single-handedly drew me to listen to Danzig. But, I had heard it some time before. I already knew this song well by the time I got this compilation.

Grunge rip-off band. NFM. Don't care for it at all.

Skid Row came out in the last few years of the hair metal/rock scene. They were never as irritating as their contemporaries of the time and were in fact, a whole lot more metal. This song is a blistering testament to that. This is a great song.

This is my favorite track by Dream Theater. I had taped this song off the radio at some point and always enjoyed it. For some reason, I don't own the album this came from. I only ever bought one Dream Theater album.

This is the opposite of the Skid Row song above. The verse parts are okay, but my god, the chorus is obnoxious. No thanks.

King's X is a difficult band to pin down. Existing somewhere in the realm between heavy metal, hard rock, punk, and psychedelia, the band plays with a variety of influences. The one thing they could always do is play amazing songs. This is no exception.

Faith No More was an early band that helped me get into metal. My older brother and some of his friends loved the band. This helped influence me. This is one of their better songs, which I already had on cassette prior to this compilation.

This is some sort of mix of funk, metal, and alternative rock. I don't particularly care for it.

Awful mix of hard rock with rap vocals. This is just fucking terrible. Plus it's the edited version so we get "fucker" replaced with "sucker" throughout. Embarassingly bad.

Well, obviously this is one of Sabbath's best songs. Hard to believe that it nearly didn't get recorded at all. How different metal would have been.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Compilations: Terrorizer Fear Candy 78

This was the free CD sampler included with the most recent issue of Terrorizer with Varg Vikernes on the cover. This is the first chance I have had to listen to it. They did things differently this time, combining the signed bands and the unsigned bands on one CD. Interesting idea. I guess we're supposed to vote for our favorite unsigned band too.

I don't know a lot about this band yet. Every time I see their name though, there is some mention of Autopsy, so members of that band must be involved here. Musically, this sounds like Autopsy, doom-laden, dirty and raw death metal with punk influences. This is really good. I will have to check this band out further. According to Wikipedia, yes members of Autopsy are involved and the band has been around for quite awhile. Not sure how I slept on that one.

I already own this album and love it. I do not have anythign to add. Unleashed is a great Swedish death metal band.

I also already own this album and like it even more than the Unleashed album. Nothing more to add.

This is an odd track that combines a variety of influences from hardcore, sludge metal, stoner rock, and death metal. It's kind of like Maston meets Death. It's not too bad really. I would be interested in hearing something more from the band before making up my mind though.

With a name like that, this has to be black metal. It is, sort of. There are also some major folk influences involved here. It's very raw. I don't know how to feel about this. I don't think I like it much. Apparently they're from Slovenia. Interesting.

First of all, fire your sound guy. I had to turn this way up to hear it. What I heard was old-school sounding death/thrash metal. The musicians are all very good and the vocals are impressive. This band sounds a lot like older Possessed with a little more distortion and some Exodus thrown in for good measure. It's quite good, if you can hear it.

This band has made a little bit of a name for themselves recently. They play melodic black metal in the vein of Dimmu Borgir's early work. There's a lot of backlash against this genre lately. I don't mind it when it's done right. These guys all seem like capable musicians. I like this pretty well. The symphonic parts do tend to overload the sound a little and it does kind of lose things at the end, but those are the only negatives.

I don't care much for this. It's post-rock/metal I suppose, sounding like Neurosis, Isis, and all of their copycats. I don't have much use for this style of music.

Now we get to the unsigned bands. Who's deserving of a record deal? Who's deserving of being an unsigned band? The gripping conclusion in a few paragraphs. I bet you can't wait.

Prediction: death/doom. I appear to be correct. Very slow, melodic, but with death metal-style vocals. There are even some gothic metal elements. This is pretty decent. When I was in my Tristania/Nightwish phase, I would have fucking loved this. Now, I like it okay. It's interesting enough to hold the attention. I'm not sure I would buy an entire album like this, but the band is worth looking into.

Prediction: black metal. I'm two for two. The band seems very influenced by Dissection and other groups of their death metal-influenced black metal ilk. The drums pound away while the guitars are playing a slower circling riff. I like stuff like this. I would like to hear more.

Prediction: blackened death metal. We have tremolo riffs, pounding drums, and deep growled vocals. Yep, I'm three for three. This is actually fairly melodic, with frequent keyboard passages to calm things down from the harsh vocals. I like it quite well.

Prediction: death/grind. Well it's definitely death metal, not so much grind though. We'll call it 3.5/4.0. This sounds like a less well-produced Deicide without some of the speed. It even has similar layered vocals. It does have lots of keyboard parts which sound a little off. Not bad, work on the production and this could be pretty good.

Prediction: deathcore. This was predicted based on the really stupid band name. And correct again. The problem I have with deathcore is there is just not much originality in it. All the bands pretty much sound the same. I can't tell if this is good deathcore or bad deathcore. The breakdown is pretty annoying.

Prediction: blackened folk metal. Damn, I missed one. This is apparently industrial-tinged metalcore. Think Scar Symmetry with more core influences. The industrial influence is really, really minor and mostly consists of random keyboard effects. Nothing else is captivating enough to hold interest.

Prediction: folk metal. Damn, missed another one. This is actually sludge/stoner doom. There is a female vocalist, but I am not a big fan of these vocals. Not sure why, they just don't do it for me. The riffs are heavy and interesting, but I don't like the vocals enough. Still not bad though.

I think my vote will go to Blodsgard on this one. No offense to everyone else.

Random Thoughts: Remix Albums?

A few years back, remixes of major pop songs were everywhere. They often bore little to no resemblance to the original version. It was often a means for producers to fit as many hip hop and pop artists into a song as possible. Mariah Carey became infamous for remix videos in which she was nothing more than eye candy while a truckload of rappers performed during one of her so-called songs.

Metal was not immune to the remix phenomenon. It was particularly lead by industrial-minded metal groups such as White Zombie and Fear Factory. There have been other bands that jumped on the bandwagon, but these two were the leaders. So we can all blame them for one of the more regrettable trends in metal during the 1990's.

I somehow managed to acquire four of these atrocities, with varying levels of badness for one reason or another. At least metal remixes bear at least a slight resemblance to the original version.

This was the first remix album I owned. It's a remix of the Astro Creep: 2000 album. I think I wanted it because it had "I'm Your Boogie Man" on it, a song previously only available on some soundtrack or other. Of course I didn't realize that this would be a remix as well. I think I might listen to this album once a year or something.

This is a remix album of the Demanufacture album. I listen to this even less than the White Zombie remix album. I think I bought this because I thought it was a new album. How naive I was. They made the songs significantly longer and boring as hell. This is an excruciating listening experience at longer than an hour.

This is an EP that features two halves. The first half is live performances of songs from the Fight album War of Words, including one old Judas Priest song. The second half features remixes. This one isn't so bad, mostly because it's short and the songs are somewhat enjoyable.

This may have been the first remix album in metal, a remix of Fear Factory's Soul of a New Machine. I got this in a double CD set with the aforementioned album. There are only five tracks on it and they're reasonably short. That's the only thing making this okay.

So, yeah. I don't intentionally buy these anymore at all. Actually, I don't really remember any remix albums being released lately. No big loss there. I would have posted pictures of these things, but I don't want to encourage these types of releases.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Favorite New Bands of the 2000's Pt. 9: Lair of the Minotaur

How metal can a band's name be? "Lair of the Minotaur" is just about perfect. It's haunting and malevolent. I will admit, the name is what got me to look into the band. I didn't know much about them before picking up an album. I just knew that that name absolutely fucking ruled.

Then there's the music and lyrics. This band uses a lot of metal cliches in its music, but manages to not sound cheesy. They have albums called War Metal Battle Master and The Ultimate Destroyer, yet they don't sound cliche. Their lyrics are centered around mythical battles, beasts, and warfare.

Musically, the band comes off as a thundering monster. They play a mix of doom/sludge and thrash metal. The riffs are thick as molasses, but fast and skull-crushingly heavy. The vocals are sometimes shouted, and other times screamed. This band is relentless in its ferocity. It's just a great sound.

I own three albums by Lair of the Minotaur.

CANNIBAL MASSACREThis was actually the first album by the band that I picked up. Album is a bit of a misnomer though. This is actually a mini CD featuring only two songs: the Extended Skin Reaping Mix of the title track and "Horns of the Witch". The title track is long and does feature some meandering noise towards the end, but otherwise is doomy and gloomy, and heavier than fuck. The second track is just over a minute in length and speeds by like a rampaging minotaur should. I think.

THE ULTIMATE DESTROYERThis is the band's second full-length album. I don't yet have their first. But this album absolutely kicks ass. It's very fast, dirty, raw, and explosive. Even the few times the band slows things down, it's still thunderously heavy. There definitely appears to be a Greek monster theme going on with songs referencing the Gorgon and the Hydra. I like Greek mythology, so this is all good for me.

WAR METAL BATTLE MASTERMore of the same from the band on this album. Although, it sounds like their riffing has sharpened a little bit and the vocals seem a little more aggressive. This is the band's best album to date. The band also released its first music video off of this album for the title track. Featuring lots of blood, gore, and female nudity, it's definitely a crowd pleaser. This was the album that made me a big fan of the band.

The band also released a new album this year. I don't have it yet, but I will as soon as I find it. For now, you may see a review over at my esteemed law school colleague's blog at Full Metal Attorney:

Compilation: Contaminated Vol. 6

Relapse Records has been releasing a series of compilations called Contaminated. These compilations feature most of their major recording artists and are usually pretty cheap. I got Vol. 6 in an ebay lot which included some CDs I wanted by Overkill, Venom, and other bands. For some reason I have only listened to this once before, despite owning it for nearly three years now. So, this will be like an Initial Impressions. I am also not real well-familiar with many of these bands. Relapse has been much more of a grindcore and stoner rock label over the years. Many of these bands are not metal. Although, there are some exceptions.

This is some sort of metalcore band with stoner doom/sludge-like riffs. It's surprisingly not that bad. I don't think that I would pick anything up by this band, but this isn't terrible. It could have been a lot worse.

Obviously Mastodon is a huge name now. This song though came off the band's full-length debut when they were just starting to make noise. This is the Mastodon that I prefer. The much more metal riffs and harsh vocals are superior in my mind to the progressive meandering of their later material.

Burst is widely regarded as a major influence on groups like Converge and The Dillinger Escape Plan. I don't like either of those two bands and I don't like this either. NFM. Next.

Ah, here we go. I love Nile. I love their obsession with Egyptian mythology and some of the most down-tuned riffs and deep guttural vocals in death metal. This is an earlier song and Nile used to play really fast. This is the best stuff by Nile, they've gotten a little sludgy in recent years, but this was right at the height of their abilities.

This band is kind of odd. They're a progressive metal band from Brooklyn who combine unusual musical elements into their heavy metal. They are an instrumental band and have no vocals, so that's a little strange too. This is a bit of a slow-burning track. It takes a while to get going, and then never really goes anywhere. Pass.

I think I have made my feelings on this band clear on this blog. NFM. Next.

Noise rock, another scene I don't get. NFM. Next.

I wouldn't say I am a Skinless fan, but I enjoy them on occasion. Especially after the last few tracks on this. The band combines old school death metal with slam metal, it's pretty decent. I own the album this song is from.

High on Fire is quite possibly the next huge metal band. They have been gaining steam for some time now and their most recent album was a big success. This is from their second album. The thrash influences were not as prominent as the stoner doom influences (leader Matt Pike was in Sleep), but this is still a very good song. I haven't gone back to get much of this band's back catalog, maybe it's time to do so.

Exhumed is a death/thrash/grind band with very gory lyrics and imagery. This song is typical of the band's style, which is to say, I rather enjoy it.

This is a Swedish hardcore band. As I am not much of a fan of hardcore, this song does not really appeal to me. It's pretty heavy and all, but it just doesn't do much for me. The song does feature Tomas Lindberg of At the Gates on vocals. I suppose that's at least semi-interesting.

I've never really understood the popularity of Neurosis and other bands like them. This song is very slow and meanders around a whole lot for a long time. I can still say that I don't understand. This post-metal stuff just isn't for me.

Alchemist is a band from Australia that combines several different styles of metal along with tribal rhythms and other disparate musical influences. This is a very unique sound and the song is actually quite good. I may have to look into this band a little further.

Ah, Dying Fetus, one of the most influential bands on the slam death genre. Slam death is one of my guilty pleasures, so I quite enjoy most things related to the genre. Dying Fetus themselves are probably not a slam band any longer, but they still absolutely crush it musically. This is a typical representation of the band.

I don't know what to say about this band. I own one of their albums and they are all over the place. Grind, doom, death, thrash, black metal elements all mix in. They are a mindfuck. Some chemicals are probably involved, the legality of which I won't speculate. This song is pretty decent though, a bit more straightforward than most.

Nasum is a grindcore band with little to no metal influences. I prefer my grindcore with a healthy dose of death metal. Therefore, this song has little appeal to me. It's pretty much just noise. NFM.

More noise rock. More boredom. More NFM. Next.

27: "MATER"
This is boring and annoying. It's bornoying. NFM.

I'm starting to realize why I don't listen to this compilation much. There's not enough good music on it. Let's hope the second disc is better.

For some reason I always get Pig Destroyer and Cattle Decapitation mixed up. I want to start a band and call it Goat Mutilator or Chicken Filleter or Turkey Desecrator or Sheep Dismemberer. The grindcore band Pig Destroyer isn't bad, there's enough metal influences to keep me interested, but they don't do a whole lot for me.

This is a band very similar to The Dillinger Escape Plan. Draw your own conclusions about how I feel about The End.

Suffocation is an excellent band. I started listening to them after receiving this compilation. I now own five albums by them, including an EP, and a t-shirt. This song is just more high-quality work from the pioneering death metal band.

NFM, hardcore punk. Don't care. Next.

Sometimes, based on a band's name and song title, you can just tell what kind of music they play. Enter stoner doom (surprise, surprise) band Bongzilla. It's heavy, distorted Sabbathian riffing. Hey, that's stoner doom for you. Not bad at all.

This is probably an early example of deathcore. This band combines metalcore with grindcore, it's not too bad really. An interesting take on a genre, metalcore, that is usually very cliched.

This, I like. Cryptic Slaughter plays crossover thrash. The band reunited prior to this compilation being put together. This song appeared on the band's EP released in 2003. Then they broke up again. The vocals are tough to get used to, but the music rocks. Sometimes, that's all you need.

Pentagram is possibly the U.S.'s longest running metal band. The band dates back to the early 1970's. They play doom metal very influenced by Black Sabbath. This is definitely a band to check out.

Pure grindcore with little to no metal influence, and incredibly short. It took me as long to type this as to listen to the song. Slight exaggeration. NFM.

What the hell is this ambient crap? NFM, that's what.

Southern metal can sound pretty good sometimes. Think newer Corrosion of Conformity, Down, etc. This is another band in that vein. They sound pretty decent. Later on, Kyle Thomas of Exhorder would front the band, I would be very interested in hearing that. This song is pretty decent though. What a name. Just rolls off the tongue.

What a stupid name, but man does this sound good. Very fast death metal/grindcore. I'm impressed, despite having never heard of the band before.

More noise rock. This song is just really annoying and I don't see the appeal of the band. NFM.

I enjoy Soilent Green quite a bit. Mostly that's because of the presence of Ben Falgoust (Goatwhore). They play a mix of sludge, death, and grindcore. It's an eclectic mix of styles, but they pull it off pretty well. Overall, it just feels dirty. That's alright though. Plus, Soilent Green is made of people.

More superfast grindcore with no metal elements. NFM.

This is some sort of punk/rock side project group featuring members of various grindcore bands. I don't particularly care for it.

Hardcore punk, NFM. Next.

Sloppy-sounding goregrind band. It's pretty much all noise and filth. Surprisingly decent.

Finally another song by a band I genuinely like. Daylight Dies is a very good death/doom metal band out of the U.S. Extremely melodic and melancholic. This music is very powerful musically and very emotional. This song comes from a time when they used more harsh vocals. A great song.

This is just ambient noise and twiddling knobs on a keyboard. NFM. Next.

This is just droning noise. I don't understand drone and I don't consider it metal. Next.

Oh, that's it. That's fine then. I can see why I don't listen to this very often. For every one good song, there's several that are bad. Awful.

Blind Buy Surprise Albums Pt. 10: Diabolical Masquerade: Death's Design

I mentioned this album before on this blog. This is a very strange one. First, a little bit of a back story on the band. Diabolical Masquerade is a side project of Anders Nystrom (Blakkheim), guitarist of Katatonia. He is actually the only member, with occasional contributions from others. The band was conceived as a way for Blakkheim to compose extreme metal while Katatonia continued to mellow their sound. The music is based in black metal with elements of thrash and avant-garde metal thrown in.

Now, the album, as I mentioned, has its own backstory. The album was conceived as the soundtrack to a non-existent Swedish horror movie, similar to the Final Destination series, in which death is stalking people. The album contains 61 tracks broken up into 20 movements. The music is all over the place, one minute black metal, another thrash metal. There are frequent symphonic moments throughout.

I had heard something about this album soon after moving to St. Paul when my interest in metal grew exponentially. It intrigued me, but I had no idea how to find the album. It was out of print and hard to locate. Then, I ordered a Grab Bag on Century Media and this album was included. It's definitely a bizarre listen, but it's extremely captivating.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dusting Off a Cassette Pt. 41: Monsters of Rock Vol. 3: Molten Metal

I actually got this one before I got Vol. 3. If I had gotten Vol. 2 first, I probably never would have picked this one up. But, this one was significantly better.

You wouldn't know that from the first track though. I have never been much of a Kiss fan. This is a better song by the group, but it's not exactly good. I always preferred the songs Gene Simmons sang on than those by Paul Stanley. Not sure why. NFM.

Blech. Another glam rock song. Just terrible. NFM.

Ah, that's more like it. Yes, Motorhead has been releasing the same stuff over and over again, but when it rocks like this, it doesn't fucking matter. This is just Lemmy being Lemmy and it's great.

Amazing song from a great album. I already owned this album so not much more to add. This was always one of my favorites from White Zombie.

NFM. Nevertheless, this is pretty decent grunge rock by one of the better bands from the genre. I grew up with grunge so it doesn't bother me much. This isn't bad, it's just not metal.

Absolutely no complaints here. I really enjoy F&J and this was one of the first times I heard their particular brand of power/thrash metal. Great song, very fast and aggressive. I need to find the album on which this song appears.

This song is off of Fear Factory's first album on Roadrunner. It's much more death metal-inflected than their later material. It's a great song and I did pick up this album later on.

NFM. The hardcore band has had a major influence on metalcore and nu metal due to their frequent collaborations with rappers. I don't particularly care for Biohazard, but this song is okay.

This song is fast. I have not heard anything more on this band for some reason, but I am definitely interested. This is easily my favorite song on the album but they're not a well-known band. Shame.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Rolling Stone Fails at Lists;kw=[4541,14728,15098]

I didn't bother looking at the whole list of Rolling Stone's Greatest Guitarists of All Time List. Tony Iommi was listed #86. And they spelled his name "Tommy Iommi". Iommi, whose guitar riffs spawned an entire genre of music. At #86. Fail.

Dusting Off a Cassette Pt. 40: Monsters of Rock Vol. 2: Metal Masters

I don't even remember how I ended up with this. I went through a phase where I picked up a lot of compilation albums. I think I got Vol. 3, which I kind of liked, then picked this up. With a couple of exceptions, this one is pretty terrible. I guess it wouldn't be if I loved the hair metal/rock scene, which I don't. I like some bands, but not many. Very few of these bands are any good.

Kiss was terrible and embarrassing when they did the facepaint thing. Then they took it off and somehow managed to get worse. This song is excruciatingly bad. No redeeming qualities. NFM.

Ah, this song I like. I have always loved this song. This might have been one of the reasons I picked this album up. Sure it's cheesy but this song is great.

Krokus used to be good. They were not good on this song, sounding like an unholy cross between AC/DC and Poison. Ugh.

This is another great song. An early German metal band that had a major influence on power metal. This is the route mainstream metal should have taken, instead of the awful hair metal scene.

Okay, this song is supposed to be some hard-rocking song by a group of women. It's supposed to be sign that women could rock just as hard as men. Yet, it was written by Richard Marx. Enough said. NFM.

The whole second side of this is terrible, schlocky 1980's hair rock. I won't go into detail. Here's the track list. I hate all four of them. All four are NFM.

So, two worthwhile tracks on the whole thing. Metal Masters, indeed. Blech. I almost never listen to this anymore for good reason. Next Dusting Off a Cassette will feature Vol. 3 of this series which is a hundred times better.

Random Thoughts: Atomizer: "When I Die, I Wanna Die Violently"

This song is almost anthemic. Seriously, it's unintentionally hilarious but it's such a blood-pumping, fist-raising, rollicking barn burner that it keeps me going back and relistening to it time and time again. The vocalist sings about being ripped apart by sharks or torn apart by wolves.

Choice lyric: "Any idiot can die, but it takes someone truly special to go out in what I call a spectacular kind of way."

It is interesting to note that he's singing about his own death and not that of others. I guess metal has progressed a little bit in some corners.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Weekly Recap April 18-April 24

Oh, what a week it's been. I've had client meltdowns and problems with the dogs. My fiancee went to Missouri to pick up a horse. I was supposed to be with her, but I got a phone call this morning from the kennel we left a couple of the dogs with that said that The Reaper was loose and had been since 5:30 a.m. Understandably pissed, I had to borrow my parents' truck to go back to Norfolk to find my dog. So my fiancee went ahead to Missouri and I went home to find The Reaper. I found him within 15 minutes. All told he was at large for about ten hours terrorizing the countryside.

Not much metal news this week. I subscribed to Decibel recently and got my first issue a couple days ago. I also picked up the Terrorizer issue with Varg Vikernes on the cover.

The list:
Abominator: Subversives for Lucifer
Aion: Noia
Akercocke: Antichrist
Anacrusis: Manic Impressions
Apophis: I am Your Blindness
Armored Saint: Symbol of Salvation
Artillery: When Death Comes
At the Gates: The Red in the Sky is Ours
Atheist: Piece of Time
Bathory: Under the Sign of the Black Mark
Blind Guardian: Nightfall in Middle Earth
Cadaver Inc.: Discipline
Cellador: Enter Deception
Chaosbreed: Unleashed Carnage
Coldworker: Rotting Paradise
Cruachan: Folk-Lore
Cryptopsy: Once was Not
Dark Angel: Time Does Not Heal
Darkthrone: Circle the Wagons
Darkthrone: Total Death
Death: Leprosy
Deceased...: Behind the Mourner's Veil
Deceased...: The Blueprints for Madness
Deicide: Deicide
Destruction: Inventor of Evil
Dismember: The God that Never Was
Dodsferd: Cursing Your Will to Live
Drawn and Quartered: Merciless Hammer of Lucifer
Enslaved: Below the Lights
Entombed: Serpent Saints-The Ten Amendments
Forgotten Tomb: Negative Megalomania
Godless Rising: Rising Hatred
Gorguts: Considered Dead/The Erosion of SanityGraveworm: Scourge of Malice
Grenouer: The Odour O'Folly
Hate Eternal: Fury & Flames
Hate Eternal: King of All Kings
Helloween: Gambling with the Devil
Hirax: Not Dead Yet
Hypocrisy: A Taste of Extreme Divinity
Hypocrisy: Virus
Immolation: Dawn of Possession
Impaled Nazarene: Pro Patria Finlandia
Infantry/Pyrotoxic: Thrash Clash Vol. 4
Intruder: Psycho Savant
Metal Mayhem
Mornaland/Abominator: Prelude to World Funeral...
Napalm Death: Fear, Emptiness, Despair
Nebula: Apollo
Necrodeath: Into the Macabre
Necrovation: Breed Deadness Blood
Neuraxis: The Thin Line Between
Nightrage: Sweet Vengeance
Nocturnal Fear: Metal of Honor
Nominon: Terra Necrosis
Nox: Ixaxaar
Orphaned Land: Mabool
Ozzy Osbourne: No More Tears
Paths of Possession: The End of the Hour
Phazm: Hate at First Seed
Postmortem: Repulsion
Revocation: Resistance is Futile
Sabbat: Karmagmassacre
Sarcofago: Rotting
Sarcolytic: Thee Arcane Progeny
Satan's Host: Purity, Power, Perfection-999
Sepultura: Schizophrenia
Sigh: Gallows Gallery
Sodom: Sodom
Suffocation: Human Waste
Tribulation: The Horror
Trouble: Psalm 9
Vader: The Art of War
Vital Remains: Horrors of Hell
Woe of Tyrants: Threnody
Wolf: Ravenous

Lyrics: H.P. Lovecraft

I am a huge fan of H.P. Lovecraft's work. Every major horror author of the last 75 years owes a debt to Lovecraft. Many times his influences are obvious in the works of Stephen King and Clive Barker, as well as others. His influence can also be strongly felt in the lyrics of many heavy metal songs. That's why we're here today.

Where the stones lain,
thou will call his name

If thou know the Signs,
If thou know the Words.

When the Sun
Enter in the Ram,
And darkness are fallen,
Turn thy face
To the Northern Wind

Iah! Shub-Niggurath!

...Heaven can wait...
Great Black Goat of Woods
Worldly pleasures
I call thou!
...Waiting another day...

The sign of Voor
Rise in the sky
The seal is broken
The sign of Kish
Appear in the circle
The Gates are open
The Sign of Koth,
Elder thou watching,
Seals what was unfolded

Return on the Earth again!
Wordly pleasure!
Great Black Goat of Woods!

Kneeled thy body
By Archon of the Night,
Scent on the fire
The Seal of Blaesu
is tracing

I'll have their power
Becoming as a god
My soul is strong
I feel their stream
Growing within;
Black Horrors of the Night
Will kneel to me
I'll take their forces
and I'll order
Over them...


Ancient creatures
Who sleep beyond the time
Appear through mist and fire
Without shape,
Out of cosmic void

Is my soul condemned
From here to eternity?

Now that I open the Gates
I see the horror
That come out of time and space...

The Horror... The Horror...

Vile beyond conception
Floating in the air
Made visible by science
They're around you everywhere

In loathsome profusion
Archaic and arcane
These jellyish monstrosities
Are fucking with your brain

Confused to a state of repulsion
You stare at the unnamable spawn
Keep still - Don't move or they'll get ya
These flabby little things from beyond

Beyond aesthetic standards
Fouler than the night
Paralyzed you're screaming
As they're going for a bite

With a malignant purpose
Too unholy to be grasped
You slowly start to fathom
That this is your final gasp

Lo and behold the abominations
You try telling yourself you've been conned
But as they pierce your flesh you acknowledge
The flabby little things from beyond

With your preternatural eye
You watch before you die
Sights so vastly profane
You've gone beyond insane

Confused to a state of repulsion
You stare at the unnamable spawn
Keep still - Don't move or they'll get ya
These flabby little things from beyond

You know not your fathers' name.
Dope numbs the pain,
Ascend dark wooded hills to kane.
Your mothers' witches,
Burnt at the stake for sorcery.
You were conceived,
Upon the altar, rites obscene.

Child of Dunwich rise
You have your fathers' eyes
Child of Dunwich rise
End the world that you despise

Dunwich child,
Of whispered past now they'll learn.
High on the hill,
Black clouds gather now they'll burn
Bay at the stars.
"Why was I born at all?"
Hear voice of doom,
From other worlds your fathers' call.

Our time has come,
The end has begun...

The cold comes
The rats in the walls break
The deadly sound of silence
As time decays
You try to name the unnamable
A whispererer in darkness

Our hound smells you
The haunter of the dark
Will come to take you to our realm
Your life, your books
March in front your closing eyes
Beyond the walls of sleep

Lovecraft in the realm of the dead

Obsessed with Necronomicon
The Arab's wicked dream
You found a path to Azathoth
And walked the Dagon's realm

Your friends were haunted too
Do you remember Charles?
Or haven't you heard
The music of Erich Zann
The call of Cthulhu we disguised
With notes and raving rhythms
To spread the seed of lurking fear
Into the heart of man

Lovecraft in the realm of the dead

Your time is out you saw too much
You used the silver key
You know too well that minds like yours
Can never rest in peace

You stared at the abyss
You'll never rest in peace

You'll never rest in peace

Messenger of Fear in sight
Dark deception kills the light

Hybred children watch the sea
Pray for Father, roaming free

fearless Wretch
He watches
lurking beneath the sea
great Old One
forbidden site
He searches
Hunter of the Shadows is rising
in madness You dwell

Crawling Chaos, underground
cult has summoned, twisted sound

Out from ruins once possessed
fallen city, living death

fearless Wretch
He watches
lurking beneath the sea
timeless sleep
has been upset
He awakens
Hunter of the Shadows is rising
in madness You dwell

Not dead which eternal lie
stranger eons Death may die

drain you of your sanity
face The Thing That Should Not Be

fearless Wretch
He watches
lurking beneath the sea
great Old One
forbidden site
He searches
Hunter of the Shadows is rising
in madness You dwell

Metallica also had an instrumental song called "The Call of Ktulu".

Locked deep beyond the gate
Lost within the stars
Realm of the ancient ones
Malignant ones
Against the light
Power of the blackened sky
Hateful spawn "We are the chasm depths"

Come forth ancient ones, Tiamat Kutulu
Rise, greet the cursed with your wrath
My enemies are yours
Twist their minds with your spells
Crush their souls
With your infernal grasp

A scorn from the Absu
Kutulu snaps his jaws
Cauldron burns and receives
Crushing the voice of the tyrants
Raise the horns in blasphemy

Through the universal needles
The official healing knowledge spreads itself
Here in some dark and hidden places
Humans dedicate themselves
To morbid discoveries
Morbid experiments
And sleeps the occult... medicine

Studying the art of death to feel a morbid thirst
Old as the beginning of time
Mutilation creation of misery into the cave of hell
Into this diabolic place
And sleeps the occult... medicine

Steel instruments shine in
A lively light of green substance
Dead or alive
Bodies and souls are waiting for the contact with these macabre tools
They are only creations made alive

This is just a small sample. There are tons more.

Friday, April 23, 2010

So, Ozzy Does Have a Soul

This is pretty impressive actually.
A source said: "After searching his pockets [Osbourne] realized he didn't have any so handed him the gold necklace instead. ... The man could not thank Ozzy enough."

Dusting Off a Cassette Pt. 39: Metal Mayhem

This was another tape compilation I bought early on in my formative metal years. It was another favorite of mine due to the diversity of the bands and songs. I bought several of these compilations by Priority Records. This was among the best.

This was the first time I had heard Flotsam and Jetsam and I was very impressed. The thrash/power metal band has a distinctive sound and vocalist and this song blew me away. It would still be several years before I picked up this album. It was tough to find at that time. I own it now though, as well as another album by the group. This band is notable for being the band Jason Newsted was in prior to Metallica. He does play bass on this track.

A rare serious song by this otherwise humorous band. This one deals with teenage angst. It's also slower to accentuate the lyrics. Still a killer song. I already owned one album by this band prior to this compilation.

This is off of Prong's album of the same name which is much more of a crossover album than most of the rest of the band's output. It's one of Prong's better early songs. The drumwork in particular is incredible. I own three albums by this band, including the one on which this song appears.

This song is weird. It's not a metal song. It's more of a glam rock song meets jazz funk. I'm not kidding. There's even a saxophone part in it. It's a weird song but a decent listen. I never really checked this group out further. I don't intend to.

Surprisingly one of the first times I had heard Gwar. I was familiar with them. They were on Beavis and Butthead frequently (ah the world I grew up in). A goofy, fun song by a weird group. I own one Gwar album.

I have no idea what this song is. I don't care for it at all. The vocals are annoying and the music fails to grab me. Pass.

Kind of a weird one to put on this as this is a cover of a Pink Floyd song. Still an accurate representation of the science fiction, spacey weirdness this band become well-known for. Always a very creative band. This came right at the height of their careers. I have two albums from this band now, including this one.

This band was one of the early influences on the burgeoning tough-guy hardcore scene that was perfected (?!) with Hatebreed. It's defiant, angry, and aggressive. Pro-Pain always had quite a bit of metal influence, being more of a groove/hardcore band. This is their best song. I picked this album up.

Industrial rock bands had such long, weird names. This song helped me in my desire for more industrial music. But, it's not really all that great looking back on it now. Pass.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Random Thoughts: Songs I Would Like to Hear a Metal Band Play

My fiancee recently brought this to my attention and wanted me to write about it. Based on the technical proficiency of a lot of metal musicians, classical music could easily be transformed into metal. We got onto this topic recently and she mentioned how she would be interested in hearing Beethoven's 5th symphony performed by a metal band. I think it would work quite honestly. Can't you hear a group like Symphony X or Rhapsody of Fire attempting this? It could happen.

So, some other songs I would love to hear attempted by a metal band:

"The Devil Went Down to Georgia"
This could easily be done by a band replacing the fiddle with a guitar. It would lose a little something, but there are bands that could pull it off. We would need a band known for their speed, someone like Children of Bodom, early Blind Guardian, or Sonata Arctica to try this out.

"Bohemian Rhapsody"
This is an absolute classic song from the 1970's. This is an epic song, both in length and scope. Any power metal band should be able to pull this off. I would look for Kamelot to do it best.

I thought about "Smooth Criminal". The Alien Ant Farm version was interesting, though it would be entertaining to hear a thrash metal band take it. But let's see arguably Michael Jackson's greatest song covered by a group. A death metal version would be truly frightening, and would keep with the zombie theme.

"Carmina Burana"
I have heard a couple of bands attempt this. This is my favorite piece of classical music. Nobody has ever really gotten it right though in the metal world. The best was the gothic metal band Aion. Again, a symphonic metal band would do this well.

Random Thoughts: Industrial Metal and Industrial Rock

In eighth grade I went through a brief period when I was obsessed with industrial rock and metal. I am pretty sure it started when I picked up a Nine Inch Nails tape. I soon also picked up tapes by Stabbing Westward and God Lives Underwater. These were industrial rock bands with some metallic moments but were by and large more on the alternative rock side of things. This was the only real style I listened to beyond metal for awhile. It also did not last long. I soon grew tired of the music. I wanted something heavier.

It was around that time that I discovered Fear Factory. At that time, Fear Factory was combining industrial influences with metallic styles such as groove and death metal. This briefly restored my obsession with industrial music. I moved on to groups like Rammstein, Rob Zombie, and Static-X, who while not being metal bands themselves at least had that industrial metallic sound I was looking for at the time.

There are not a lot of bands that really combine industrial and metal well. Later Ministry is perhaps the best example. Incorporating thrash metal riffs with industrial rhythms, Ministry produces a disturbingly powerful wall of sound. Godflesh is the earliest band that managed to combine the two styles together. Other groups I have picked up on over the years with varying degrees of industrial elements in their metal include White Zombie, Grenouer, Daath, Skrew, Pitchshifter, Misery Loves Co., Inner Thought, Nailbomb, some Prong material, some Samael material, Strapping Young Lad, The Berserker, Anaal Nathrakh, and Zyklon.

This has long been a genre I have had some interest in. I can't really explain it. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of bands that do the style well, and even fewer that are still active. It seems to have mostly run its course. There are black metal bands now experimenting with the combination, but not many of which are very worthwhile, other than the ones mentioned above. I rarely listen to much of this anymore, but it's still a bit of a curiosity to me. Why are there not many industrial metal bands anymore?

Random Thoughts: Destruction: "The Alliance of Hellhoundz"

I'm listening to this song right now and this has to be some sort of record for most random guest vocalists in a single song. Besides the obvious Schmier (singer for Destruction), we have the following individuals, many of whom can be identified because they have such dynamic styles:

Biff Byford (Saxon)
Doro Pesch (Warlock, Doro)
Shagrath (Dimmu Borgir)
Speed Strid (Soilwork)
Paul Di'Anno (original vocalist of Iron Maiden, Di'Anno)
Messiah Marcolin (Candlemass)
Mark Osegueda (Death Angel)
Peavy Wagner (Rage)
Peter Tagtren (Hypocrisy, many others)

All on one five-plus-minute song. That's quite the impressive guest roster.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dusting Off a Cassette Pt. 38: Skullcrushers Compilation

I recently dug out some of my old tapes that were compilations. I bought this some time in either my eighth or ninth grade year. It was one of the first exposures to death metal I ever had. It blew me away and was a favorite tape in my collection. I have not listened to it for a long time, so this was pretty fun.

I was very familiar with Megadeth already. This song is originally off of the band's debut album. It's fast and aggressive and really sets the tone for this compilation. Dave Mustaine's banshee wail at the beginning of the song is an absolute classic. I did pick up this album after hearing this song on the compilation. I also have all of Megadeth's full-length albums and a couple of their compilation albums.

I knew the name Exodus but had not heard the band. This song is a tribute to the apparently quite crazy shit that fans did at their shows. Pre-dating moshing by several years and other pit madness. This is one of my favorite tracks off of this compilation and surprisingly I have not picked up this album by the band. I do have a couple of their other albums though.

From the pure thrash of the prior two tracks, we dive into a few tracks of hardcore-inspired metal. This song from the crossover greats Nuclear Assault is an extremely heavy tour de force. I am not sure why I have not gone further into this band's catalog. This remains the only song I have actually heard.

Prong has been pretty hit or miss with me. I own three of their albums, but even on those albums, they have great songs and some filler. This is a good song, but it doesn't match the power of some of their later material. It's a lot more simple than some of the stuff the band would come up with later. Still, a decent song. It's just no "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck".

This one surprised me. I had two albums by C.O.C. already, so I thought I knew what to expect. To be fair, I was only in my early teens. C.O.C. started out with much more hardcore influences and changed singers a few times. The albums I owned were more sludge metal and traditional metal. This is one hell of a song though.

This is it, the first real death metal song I ever heard in its entirety. And what a great first song it was. Obviously the first thing to take notice of is the extreme vocals, which are a little tame by today's standards. The music on this song is more of an ultra heavy thrash sound. That's what death metal was in the beginning though. I own four albums now by this band, including this one.

Voivod is weird. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what their sound is as it contains influences from thrash, hardcore, and progressive rock. Quite an eclectic mix. This song also features a lot of keyboard effects and strange vocal effects. Still, it made an impression. I own two albums by this band.

Hard to believe that this was the first time I heard this band. The guitar tone is what really grabs the listener. That and the crushing riffs and ramming speed. This is one of the better Celtic Frost songs. Tom Warrior's vocals are terrific on this track. I now own three albums by this band, one double album by their predecessor Hellhammer and one by their successor Triptykon.

The vocals on the Death track were extreme, but these put them to shame. John Tardy has always sounded like he gargled with a glass of battery acid before singing. This song was shocking for a young teenager to hear. I now own four albums by this band, including the album from which this track came.

Finishing things off on a lighter note, but by no means a slower one, is this Suicidal Tendencies track. This is the only other band I owned an album from prior to getting this compilation, but this track blows all of their other stuff out of the water. It's fast, complex, and metal as fuck. Plus, it's a rare song of triumph and hope in an otherwise bleak genre. What a great song and message.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weekly Recap April 11-April 17

What a week it was. My fiancee and I went back to Lincoln on Monday for the Overkill concert. Peter Steele of Type O Negative died, which was incredibly sad. Other than that, it was mostly business as usual.

Armored Saint: La Raza
Armored Saint: Symbol of Salvation
Azaghal: Omega
Blood Ritual: Black Grimoire
Bolt Thrower: Those Once Loyal
Candlemass: Candlemass
Dark Tranquillity: We are the Void
Darkthrone: Circle the Wagons
Deceased...: The Blueprints for Madness
Deicide: Till Death Do Us Part
Demilich: Nespithe
Despair: Beyond All Reason
Despised Icon: Day of Mourning
Dokken: Tooth and Nail
Eluveitie: Everything Remains as it Never Was
Entombed: Serpent Saints-The Ten Amendments
Ex Deo: Romulus
Gama Bomb: Tales from the Grave in Space
Grand Magus: Iron Will
Hour of 13: Hour of 13
Immolation: Majesty and Decay
Impetigo: Horror of the Zombies
Landmine Marathon: Sovereign Descent
Manowar: Kings of Metal
Mayhem: Live in Leipzig
Morbid Angel: Altars of Madness
Morbid Angel: Blessed are the Sick
Morbid Angel: Covenant
Morgion: Cloaked by Ages, Crowned in Earth
Nebula: Apollo
Obituary: Darkest DayPanzerchrist: Battalion Beast
Quiet Riot: Winners Take All
Sigh: Scenes from Hell
Susperia: Cut from Stone
Swallow the Sun: Hope
Swallow the Sun: The Morning Never Came
The Gates of Slumber: Conqueror
The Gates of Slumber: Hymns of Blood and Thunder
The Sword: Gods of the Earth
Toxic Holocaust: Hell on Earth
Triptykon: Eparistera Daimones
Unleashed: As Yggdrasil Trembles
W.A.S.P.: The Last Command
W.A.S.P.: W.A.S.P.
Woe of Tyrants: Threnody
Wolf: Ravenous

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Favorite New Bands of the 2000's Pt. 8: Swallow the Sun

Today is a Swallow the Sun two-fer. The band was formed early in 2000 and plays melodic death/doom metal with an incredibly haunting atmosphere. The band features lengthy songs with beautiful sweeping melodies, heavy riffing, and deep guttural vocals. It is very slow and incredibly powerful and emotional music. These guys must be really depressed or something.

I own two albums from the band:

For a more complete discussion on The Morning Never Came, look below. This is simply a beautiful album. And I bought it not knowing anything about the band or its music.The band's third album Hope is even more melodic, without some of the heavier metal moments on it. It's still very much a death/doom album, particularly due to the singer's vocals, but it's missing a little something. Not that that makes it a bad album at all. In fact it is a very good album, just not as good as the band's debut. There are more clean vocals this time around. The track "Don't Fall Asleep (The Horror Pt. 2)" is the best track on the album and was one haunting video.The band has released two other albums and some EPs that I have not been able to find yet, but I am definitely on the lookout.

Blind Buy Surprise Albums Pt. 9: Swallow the Sun: The Morning Never Came

This was a blind buy in the truest sense of the phrase. I saw this album at the music store one day when I was on my way to Omaha and seeking some new music to listen to on the drive. I was immediately enchanted by the amazing cover art. Despite not having ever heard of the band, and also not really knowing what doom metal was which was written on sticker on the album (this was very early in my extreme metal days), I picked it up. I was absolutely blown away.

This is some of the most emotional and melodic death/doom metal out there. Containing powerful sweeping guitar and keyboard passages melded with deep death growls. The music is often very slow, but unrelentingly heavy and heartbreaking in its somber atmosphere. The band pulls off one hell of a Candlemass cover as well on the amazing track "Solitude".

The cover art matches the music so well. Such a dark atmosphere with only a little light.

This is easily one of the best pickups I have ever done without knowing anything about the band or the music beforehand. I have since picked up one more album by the group and am always on the lookout for more.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Revolver Golden Gods 2010: Another Failure

Apparently this actually happened a couple of nights ago. And the real question is, how much of a failure was it?

Here's the winners list with some random thoughts from me:
Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society)
-Eh, I don't agree. Wylde was somewhat revolutionary in the early 1990's when he joined Ozzy Osbourne, but his style is somewhat tired now. I've never been a very big fan of his solo work at all.

Jimmy 'The Rev' Sullivan (Avenged Sevenfold)
-I mentioned this before, but I suspect this is entirely a tribute since he died earlier in the year. I've never been particularly impressed. Also, the glorious return of NFM.

Ronnie James Dio (Heaven & Hell)

Alice in Chains, 'Black Gives Way to Blue'
-Somewhat outside the box. Certainly a good album, but I'm not sure I agree with Album of the Year.

-Damn fine live band.

Dillinger Escape Plan
-Disagree. I've mentioned it before, I do not get why this band is so popular. I cannot get into them at all. To each their own. NFM.

Marc Colombo, Cory Procter, and Leonard Davis (Dallas Cowboys offensive linemen and members of Free Reign)
-Free Reign sucks. NFM.

Maria Brink (In This Moment)
-I don't see her appeal either. She's a terrible vocalist. She has a big rack, that's about it.

Robert England, aka Freddy Kruger
-Is he really into metal?


Initial Impressions: Woe of Tyrants: Threnody

I traded in some old music that I don't listen to anymore and picked up this one. This band played at the concert on Monday, although we were too late to hear them. I had heard of the band before, but had never actually checked out their music. I had some idea of what to expect, but apparently was wrong.

You see, I thought because of their placement on this concert on Monday night, that this band would be another retro thrash metal band. I was actually surprised that they are not. There are thrash elements sure, but there are also death metal and progressive elements here. It's essentially thrash metal-inspired progressive death. Take from that what you will.

The music is fast, aggressive, and in general very brutal. Thrash riffs tend to open the songs leading into some very deep guttural vocals. The drumming mostly consists of blastbeats, with the occasional fill. The guitar solos and leads are probably the most interesting aspect of the music. Some of the songs are definitely barn-burners. Fast-paced and energetic, these are typically the best songs on the album. Woe of Tyrants is best when they are blazing full speed through a song.

This band has been lumped in as a Christian metal band. I have not spent a ton of time analyzing the lyrics, but at first blush, I'm not sure that tag is warranted. They may be Christians who play metal, but it does not appear as if they have a real message. Religion is a lyrical theme, but that does not mean that they are preaching or anything of the sort.

I have listened to this album twice now, and have come around to it. I didn't care much for it the first time, perhaps because the progressive elements took me by surprise. But, this is a pretty good release from a young, growing band. We'll see what their future holds.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Century Media Grab Bags

Last week, I received one of these as a free gift for placing an order with the record label for more than $50.00. These things usually cost about $10.00. Not a bad free gift, I thought. I had done this once before soon after moving to St. Paul and just beginning the major metal listening habit. At that time, I received nine CDs that I loved, and one that I traded in. Pretty good ratio.

So this time, I was hoping for something similar, boy was I disappointed. I guess you can't argue too much about something free, but I only got two albums that I will continue to listen to. The others, I already had (can't fault them too for that obviously) or had no interest in.

The first grab bag:
Andromeda: Extension of the Wish
Candiria: 300 Percent Density (traded in)
Darkane: Insanity
Diabolical Masquerade: Death's Design
Finntroll: Jaktens Tid
Internal Bleeding: Alien Breed
Jungle Rot: Dead and Buried
Macabre: Dahmer
Tiamat: The Astral Sleep
The Crown (Crown of Thorns): The Burning

All told that was a pretty good haul. Some Swedish thrash, folk metal, progressive metal, death metal, slam death, and the phenomenally bizarre Diabolical Masquerade album. Two of the albums were even ones I considered buying myself. Only Candiria was traded in as I am not a mathcore fan.

The second grab bag:
Arch Enemy: Rise of the Tyrant (traded in, already owned)
Behemoth: The Apostacy (traded in, already owned)
Cradle of Filth: Cruelty and the Beast (traded in, already owned)
Despised Icon: Day of Mourning
Duff McKagan's Loaded: Sick (traded in)
Endwell: Consequences (traded in)
Nachtmystium: Assassins-Black Meddle Pt. 1 (traded in, already owned)
Nebula: Apollo
Terror: The Damned, The Shamed (traded in)
The Miles Between: Deceive? (traded in)

Not nearly as a good of a haul. I'm not a huge fan of the Despised Icon album and the Nebula album is okay, but the others I got rid of. Terror, The Miles Between, and Endwell are all hardcore groups, and I am not a fan of hardcore. Duff McKagan is a former member of Guns 'N Roses, and I don't care for his solo work at all. Glad I did not pay for this stuff.

R.I.P. Peter Steele

The lead singer and bassist of gothic metal band Type O Negative passed away last night. Type O Negative was one of the early metal bands I really got into. His distinctive deep vocals and surprisingly witty lyrics touched me from the start. It's sad to see him go. R.I.P.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Initial Impressions: Nebula: Apollo

I received this album in the same Century Media free grab bag as the Despised Icon album. I had never heard of this band before. However, sometimes you can tell what type of music it is just from the cover. I predict some sort of stoner doom.

And, I'm right.

When done right, stoner doom metal is fantastic. It can be energetic, yet incredibly heavy. It can be either fast or slow and both speeds have their pros and cons.

This album is decent. I don't think it's something I would have sought out on my own, but it's a hard-driving sound and it definitely gets the blood pumping. It feels like music built to drive an old convertible through the desert. There's a sense of fun and definitely a psychedelic vibe to the music.

The nice thing about these grab bags is you can get something you otherwise would not have checked out. I enjoy stoner doom once in awhile and it's not always easy determining which bands to check out on my own. This is a decent enough album to warrant future listens. It's just not something I think I would have picked up on my own.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Concert Review 4/12/2010: Overkill Plus More

At long last, the concert finally happened last night. I've been blathering on about this for quite some time. Ever since I heard about it, and definitely since I convinced my fiancee to go to it with me.

We were late to the concert. We both work in Norfolk and the concert was at Knickerbocker's in Lincoln, a two-and-a-half hour drive from our home. Thus, unfortunately we missed Woe of Tyrants and Evile. My fiancee was disappointed because Evile was her favorite name of the six groups, although she probably would have hated them if she heard them.

At any rate, we made it seemingly right on time for Warbringer's set. Vocalist John Kevill has a pretty good stage presence and some entertaining between song banter. The guitarists sounded great and the sound quality overall was quite impressive. The band is only about five years old, but they have a seasoned quality and an impressive live show. They could be huge.
Highlights: the snot rocket, "Total War", "Pray for Death".

Next up was God Dethroned. This was easily the most melodic band of the groups we heard. I loved their album last year, but as good as the recording was, their live show is even better. They were quite possibly the highlight of the night as their sound came off heavy as hell and melodic at the same time. I was slightly disappointed they did not play "No Survivors" but not surprised as that song has a guest vocalist who has far more range than Henri Sattler.
Highlights: "Under a Darkening Sky", "Passiondale", "Fallen Empires".

Then we came to Vader who essentially steamrolled the entire crowd. Despite being from Poland, they have a very committed following, even in Lincoln, Nebraska. They were heavy and brutal as fuck. The band is a little intimidating live, sounding like a caged animal, but they put on one hell of a show. It would have been great to just see them tear up the stage for an entire night. My only disappointment was that they did not play "What Color is Your Blood?".
Highlights: "Sothis", "Impure", "Demon's Wind", "This is the War".

And that brings us to the headliner: Overkill. The pioneering thrash metal band has proven to have more energy and power than many of their contemporaries. They were fast as hell and showed no signs of age whatsoever, despite this being their 25th Anniversary tour. It was D.D. Verni's birthday, and he still looks like a lost member of the Backstreet Boys. They played a long time, and my fiancee got bored, nearly fell asleep twice, and then started playing with my phone. The band brought some 12 year old up on stage at the end of the show to play "Fuck You" at around midnight, a move I am convinced could have gotten the band cited for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Nevertheless, one hell of a show.
Highlights: "Ironbound", "Fuck You", "I Hear Black", "Coma", "The Green and Black", "Rotten to the Core"

Note: This is from Wikipedia, it is not a picture from last night.
I picked up two shirts while there: one for Overkill, and one for Vader. I surprised the merchants by tipping them. This was my first real crazy concert experience. The other groups I have seen were not nearly as extreme. It was thus also my fiancee's first experience with an extreme metal show. She survived it too. We'll have to do this more often.

Initial Impressions: Wolf: Ravenous

Traditional metal has been making a major comeback lately. This has been mentioned multiple times on this blog. There are several bands that have come up lately that owe the base of their sound to the NWOBHM and other early 1980's metal styles. Wolf is one of the more well-known bands from this style.

I first heard of Wolf on the Encyclopedia Metallum on a post discussing bad album cover art. It's true, some of the early album covers from the band were atrocious. But, it was also made clear that the band was quite good. I later heard them for the first time last year on the sampler CD from Metal Hammer celebrating the New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal, a thing which does not exist, and nevertheless was very impressed.

The band, despite playing a more traditional style of metal, definitely does not sound retro at all. They sound modern, with faster riffs, and powerful vocals. They essentially sound like more of a mix of current power metal bands such as Hammerfall and Helloween combined with earlier 1980's influences like Iron Maiden. The music is melodic and fast, with thundering drums, blazing guitar solos, and lightning-fast riffs. The vocals take a little getting used to, but are not bad at all.

Wolf has continued to be an impressive force in bringing traditional-minded metal back. The band manages to do all this without sounding out of touch with the metal of today.

Initial Impressions: Deceased...: The Blueprints for Madness

As I mentioned in a previous post, Deceased... is quickly becoming one of my favorite bands. The deeply underground band has always made extreme metal with large influences from traditional metal styles. They are passionate about true metal and it shows through their music.

This is the band's second album. Released in 1995 originally, it has recently been reissued. On this album, the band is far closer to death metal than their recent material. That being said, it is still clear that this is the same band that created the death/traditional metal masterpiece As the Weird Travel On. The band essentially sounds like a mix of older Death combined with thrash metal groups like Dark Angel.

This is one hell of an impressive album. It's death metal, but it's much more complex with shifting song structures, amazing riffs, and some movie samples thrown in for good measure. King Fowley's voice is powerful, but it's the guitarists that really steal the show here. Between the riffs and the solos, this is an amazing performance by the band's guitarists.

It's apparent that this band has always been incredibly talented. Their early stuff, such as this album, is just as powerful as their later stuff. I have plans to check out more by this group.

Initial Impressions: Darkthrone: Circle the Wagons

Darkthrone has had an interesting career. Starting out as a death metal band, then putting out three absolutely classic black metal albums, including the genre defining Transilvanian Hunger, then slowly morphing into more of a blackened-crust band. Now the band has come out with a new sound that owes much more to traditional heavy metal. There's even clean vocals here.

This is an interesting direction for a band that has always defied expectations and done things their own way. At this point, most of the black metal elements have been removed from the band's sound, with only the vocal style remaining in that vein. The songs are a bit on the longer side for the band, but the songs feel fully developed, as if they could not be shorter. They are also some of the band's most memorable songs in years.

The music is much more than a simple riff, repeated ad nauseum on this album. The songs are carefully crafted, even featuring guitar solos and more complex riffs. The vocals from the two singers match well with the music. Everything still has a bit of a dirty, raw edge to it. There are still some punk elements to the music, but for the most part, this is an album centered around more traditional-sounding metal, without being retro.

Darkthrone have once again changed their sound, but also put out one hell of an album. I was intrigued when I heard they were going for more of a classic sound, I'm glad I picked this one up.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Weekly Recap 4/4-4/10

Well, it's been a week and I still do not have my home computer back. The screen adn inverter needed to be replaced. It's amazing how much you need a computer. You don't even really think about it until you don't have it. My fiancee is going nuts too. I think all her Farmville crops have died at this point. But she also has homework to do online.

So I don't have much news other than that. I've been a bit in the dark lately. I spent all day Friday at a seminar in Omaha, the only advantage of which is that I was a mere few blocks away from Homer's. I got new albums at Homer's last week by Darkthrone, Deceased..., and Wolf. Initial Impressions posts to come soon. I alos received an order from Century Media which included Triptykon, Immolation, Unleashed, Dark Tranquillity, Ex Deo, and Despised Icon.

Tonight, I will be heading to Lincoln to see Overkill, Vader, God Dethroned, Warbringer, Evile, and Woe of Tyrants. Can't wait.

Acid Bath: When the Kite Strong PopsAhab: The Call of the Wretched Sea
Ahab: The Divinity of Oceans
All That Remains: The Fall of Ideals
Anvil: Forged in Fire
Atomizer: Songs of Slaughter-Songs of Sacrifice
Atrocious Abnormality: Echoes of the Rotting
Bestial Warlust: Blood & Valour
Bleeding Through: The Truth
Carnifex: Hell Chose Me
Chimaira: Chimaira
Dark Fortress: Ylem
Dark Funeral: Secrets of the Black Arts
Dark Tranquillity: We are the Void
Darkthrone: Circle the Wagons
Despised Icon: Day of Mourning
Destroyer 666: Violence is the Prince of this World
Devourment: 1.3.8
Diamond Head: Lightning to the Nations
Embalmer: There was Blood Everywhere
Enslaved: Ruun
Ex Deo: Romulus
Exciter: Heavy Metal Maniac
Exodus: The Atrocity Exhibition-Exhibit A
Forbidden: Twisted Into Form
Gama Bomb: Tales from the Grave in Space
Gospel of the Horns: Realm of the Damned
Grenade: The Howling Damned
Immolation: Majesty and Decay
Jungle Rot: What Horrors Await
Kataklysm: Shadows & Dust
King Diamond: The Spider's Lullabye
Megadeth: United Abominations
Militia: Released
Negura Bunget: Om
Nocturnus: The Key
Nunslaughter: Hex
Outworld: Outworld
Primordial: A Journey's End
Primordial: To the Nameless Dead
Raise Hell: Holy Target
Ravencult: Temples of Torment
Riot: Fire Down Under
Rusty Eye: Possessor
Satyricon: Dark Medieval Times
The Black Dahlia Murder: Deflorate
The Black Dahlia Murder: Nocturnal
Toxic Holocaust: Hell on Earth
Triptykon: Eparistera Daimones
Unleashed: As Yggdrasil Trembles
Waylander: Honour Amongst Chaos
Zyklon: World ov Worms

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Metallattorney's Officially Sanctioned Opinions on Nirvana

I was reminded on my usual blog search that today is the 16th anniversary of the date when the world realized Kurt Cobain was dead. It's not the date of his death, it's the date his body was found. So given that, it's time to speak about my opinions of the "legendary" Nirvana.

I am by no means a fan of this band, but I never disliked them either. I remember that I was in eighth grade when Kurt Cobain died. I don't remember being upset or anything about it. It frankly did not have much impact on my life. However, I have had many friends who loved the band. I never understood that.

I think that was one of the first times in my life that I realized that my musical tastes were going to make me an eventual outsider. I never owned a single album by Nirvana. I liked the songs they played on the radio and MTV, but I never liked them well enough to buy an album. I was too busy buying albums by Metallica, Megadeth, Black Sabbath, and others. Yes, I owned some non-metal albums, but they were definitely the minority.

Anyway, back to Nirvana. I liked some of their songs okay, but I never felt strongly about them. They were just another band. Then, Cobain died, and they were huge and people were calling Cobain "The John Lennon of this generation" and the whole thing felt false. If Cobain had not died, what would his legacy be? He was a moderately talented guitarist and an okay songwriter, but he was never some genius. He claimed he did not want to be a rockstar, yet kept doing music videos, photoshoots, and talking to the music press. The man was full of contradictions.

It's sad that he felt the need to kill himself. I don't respect suicide. I think there are better ways of handling problems. I respect Cobain as a musician, although at this point I really don't care for his music. I respect Nirvana as a band, even though I don't listen to them. I do not respect Cobain as a person. He killed himself and left his wife to care for their baby on her own. That course of action does not make sense to me. So no, I will not be listening to Nirvana this day in remembrance of Cobain. Sorry.

I like Nirvana 2002 much better than Nirvana. Perhaps I will listen to that album.

Favorite New Bands of the 2000's Pt. 7: Ahab

Funeral doom is a tough genre to get into. For one, it is extremely slow, much slower than traditional doom metal. The songs are not structured the same either. Funeral doom songs just lumber along at the same monolithic pace. The music is not very accessible at all.

That being said, Ahab is easily the most accessible funeral doom metal band. The music features slow synthesizer and guitar melodies, lumbering drums and bass, and deep, guttural vocals with the occasional chanting section. The songs are all very long, seldomly less than ten minutes. They build up a foreboding atmosphere and an impending sense of dread. This is atmospheric music. It should not be listened to in the car driving cross country or in a crowd of people. It is meant to be experienced, more than heard.

I own two albums by Ahab, which are their only two full length albums.

The Call of the Wretched Sea is a concept album about Herman Melville's Moby Dick, even featuring passages from the novel in the lyrics. I did a full review of this album earlier on this blog, so I will not go in depth here. Just click on the "ahab" label at the end of this post to find it. This is the band's better album so far as it is more raw and emotional than the following album.Ahab released The Divinity of Oceans last year. As mentioned, the band is not quite as raw on this album. The music is a little more accessible and the production is not quite as muddy so it's easier to hear what is happening in the music. It's no less depressing than their first album though. This album draws literary inspiration from Nathaniel Phillbrick's In the Heart of the Sea and Owen Chase's The Wreck of the Whaleship Essex.It's quite clear that Ahab has a thing for nautical themes and literature about whaling. We'll see if they can continue this lyrical theme on later albums. Ahab introduced me to the funeral doom metal genre. I have not checked out any further bands to this point, although I intend to do so.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Initial Impressions: Despised Icon: Day of Mourning

Well I recently made a big purchase on Century Media and they sent a free grab bag of 10 CDs. More on that later. Despised Icon was one of those free CDs and I can honestly say that I was not very excited about it. I am not a big deathcore fan, only choosing to listen to two such bands: Through the Eyes of the Dead and Carnifex. Despised Icon is one of the originators of the style blending grind, death metal, and hardcore together. So, no I was not thrilled. I had heard one song from the band previously and it did not impress me.

So what's the album like?

Well it starts out with a breakdown. That's hard to do. In fact, the entire first track is a breakdown, on top of a breakdown, on top of a breakdown. Needless to say, not the best way to start out an album.

The second track is a little better. But, there's still breakdowns galore. The problem with this musical cliche is not that the breakdown is inherently bad. In fact, it can sound pretty damn good. Just look at Sodom's "Tired and Red". However, deathcore bands write the song around the breakdown. Thus we have an album that never seems to go anywhere.

The track "MVP" is awful. Plain and simple. This is the first song I had heard by the band and it gave me a bad impression of them then.

Every once in awhile, the band hits onto a decent groove and keeps that going...until they lead into another breakdown. This is a stereotypical deathcore band in every way, shape, and form. I'm just not sure what there is to be excited about with this genre. Carnifex and TTEOTD are okay because they play melodeath-style riffing around the breakdowns, but this band just lets it sit there. This is just terrible.