A Metal State of Mind’s Slightly New Direction For 2015


scanners-originalReaders, bands, artists, publicists, and friends; 2014 was a great year for metal in both quality and quantity.  We greatly appreciate your support!  We did as much as we could…reviewing enough material for an album review just about every other day in addition to other articles.  We were literally posting, in most cases, multiple articles a day.  Seriously, who has time to read all that?  Between roundtable reviews and solo reviews…all that metal kept us busy.  Having said that, here is what we have in store for 2015.

We are adopting a new policy of less is more.  It sounds cliché I know, but really we need to prevent burnout.  There is just too much music to review and no matter how hard we try, the list of “albums pending” continuously expands.  The first order up for business is reducing the total amount of album reviews to somewhere around a couple per week; sometimes more, sometimes less.  We will also be curbing our frequency of roundtable reviews.  Though they are fun and offer multiple opinions on the same album, we all live in different countries and coordinating such a review takes a bit of effort.

These new site modifications do not mean we will stop talking about you.  We want to listen to your music and talk about it, but spreading the gospel of metal is going to come in various forms as well as album reviews.  Sometimes we may just post your new album or video directly to A Metal State of Mind or feed it to one of our social media outlets.  We might feature your band as an album stream or album stream of the week.  We are going to focus on strong, though less frequent album reviews.  In the end, we hope to offer more discussion or opinion pieces, lists, themed articles; basically more things to engage with you as a loyal reader.

We hope you’ll be hanging around with us in 2015.  We look forward to another year of increased viewership and subscriptions.  Thank you so much for hanging out with us and talking about something we all have in common; metal!  Thank you so much for following us into our fifth year!

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Full Album Stream: Cult of Occult


CultOfOccultThe temptation was great. The words “sludge doom” immediately made me prick up all of my ears and my cat’s ears too. The temptation led to a fine reward – an introduction to the intentionally evil occult sludge doom of Cult of Occult, who may be the most evil band in France or maybe all of Europe.

The challenge was also impossible to resist. Cult of Occult are on a quest to spread the darkness wherever they cast their sinister shadow. Would their Satanic evil be more powerful than my occupational evil? In my nearly 65 years I’ve been a journalist, a PR consultant, an editor, a publisher, an IT manager and a website designer. What could be more evil than that? But there’s more. I’m very close friends with Bharti the Trans-Dimensional Bunny, whose most cynical trick was to invent the Universe, then humans, then all the gods.

To my horror, Cult of Occult didn’t flinch at the mention of Bharti. That’s how demonic they are. We’ve been in contact a few times and I’ve learnt the depths of their depravity. For example, I told them I’d sold my soul on Facebook a few years ago and asked if their souls were for sale. They replied: “We have no soul left, but listen to our songs while worshipping the Master and he’ll probably contact you for a deal.”

If their Facebook page is to be believed, you can book them to perform at black masses, sacrifices, Satanic rituals, dark ceremonies and unholy meetings.

Would they really watch while a coven of witches ripped a human apart? Well… maybe the stage names of Cult of Occult give a hint about how evil they actually aren’t. I can’t imagine a real demon would name itself George PompiDoom, Gary McDoom, Jean Paul BelmonDoom or Jean Claude VanDoom.

But enough of that. As I’ve told these guys in the same breath I used to call them evil bastards, their album is 110% my kind of music. Check these guys out on Facebook and hear their self-titled album on Bandcamp. Evil, maybe; wicked, bloody hell, yes!

 

 

 

Game Review: The Evil Within (Xbox One)


D_093155118539I can’t think of a game in recent memory that has been more overblown than The Evil Within, at least in the survival horror genre.  Tango Gameworks took cues from just about every other horror game out there; Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Outlast, etc., and put them all into one mashup, hence, it’s unoriginal!  I will give the developers props for a few things, but seriously how many puss-filled, pulsating, veiny, acid-spewing, bulging mucous looking sores-on-walls am I going to see in these kinds of games?  Time to come up with something new; let’s get back to scaring the crap out of gamers with suspense instead of wowing us with the fantastically grotesque.

What started off as a pretty legit story line; cop responds to gruesome murders at Beacon Mental Hospital.  Cop sees some really strange crap and runs for life.  Cop and friends escape in ambulance (earth shakes violently); ambulance crashes in the woods; cop and friends get split up (of course).  Cop runs through woods trying to find his way.  And this is where things start to take a turn for the worse.  And when I mean worse, I don’t mean for the safety of the cop protagonist, I mean took a turn for the ludicrous worse in overall gaming experience.  Read the rest of this entry

Sonic Cathedral’s female-fronted roundup for January


SC logoOne of our innovations for 2015 is an alliance with Sonic Cathedral, the website that specialises in reviews of albums by female-fronted bands. Collectively, the Sonic Cathedral team is probably the best team of experts in the world on the types of female-fronted music we at Metal State don’t cover too often, notably symphonic metal and Gothic metal. SC covers a lot more ground than that, however, featuring FF albums in various genres of rock and harder metal as well.

We’ll be presenting a highlights roundup of the Sonic Cathedral reviews every month. Our coverage will include the album details, an intro from SC, and a link to the full (and often extremely comprehensive) review on SC’s website.

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Retro Roundtable Review: At the Edge of Time by Blind Guardian


MI0003036053Label: Nuclear Blast

Release Date: July 30th, 2010

Songs: 10

Genre: Symphonic Power Metal

Studio Albums: 9 other ones

Location: Germany

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Game Review: Game Dev Tycoon (PC)


profile_lThis review was created entirely by my 11-year-old son/game enthusiast…

I bought Game Dev Tycoon as part of the 2013 Steam Summer Sale.  Business Simulation games weren’t really my style then, so I thought “Hey, I’ll give Game Dev Tycoon a go.” As of now I’ve committed 132 hours of blood, sweat, and tears into this game.  This game is basically centered in the early 1980’s era when videogames were getting very, very popular.

So, I started my videogame developing Simulator Company with the name “Crank Incorporated,” named after Steam Corporation.  My company started out in a location that seemed like a garage that might actually be housing a DMC Delorean.  With $70K, I started development of my first game.  At the moment I had four game topic choices, one of those being “Racing,” so I chose that.  The second choice was of the genres RPG, Simulation, Action, etc.  So, I chose Simulation because I know that racing and simulation is a good combo.  The next choice was naming my game.  I saw some of the forum pages where people made hilarious names such as a military action game being called Call of Dooty, but that didn’t stop me from making a formal name for my racing simulator because I take gaming seriously. Speed Racer was what I chose; named after the somewhat successful film. Read the rest of this entry

Album Review: Marilyn Manson – The Pale Emperor


51GfuKen80L._SY300_Album:  The Pale Emperor

Label:  Hell, Etc.

Release Date:  20 Jan 2015

Length (deluxe edition):  66 Minutes

Songs:  13

Previous Albums:  8 studio albums

Genre:  Shock Rock / Industrial / Alternative

Location:  United States  Read the rest of this entry

Storytelling Videos: Crimson Dawn – Crimson Dawn


“The sun is rising now
And the mist is low on the ground
Scarlet is the morning tide
While we yearn for our time

Here on the hills on fate
With bows and swords in hand
We stand and we await
The armies of the dead

Crimson Dawn will arise
Blood will stain our skies

The air is wet and cold
It burns my tormented soul
This frightful moment never flies
In time it’s crystallized
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African Death from North to South: Scarab, In Oath and The Overmind


African MaskIt may surprise more than a few of you good people to learn how many African countries boast top-quality metal bands. Limiting ourselves to just one genre, the ever-popular death metal, let’s take a short journey from the northern end to the southernmost country of my home continent, with a halfway stop for lunch in equatorial Africa.

Thus our itinerary is mid-morning tea in Egypt, a lunchtime barbecue in Kenya and an afternoon beer or six in South Africa. At these events we’ll say hello to truly world-class bands. I’m not going to say much about each band. Let them tell us who and what they are.

 

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RoundTable Review: Sylosis – Dormant Heart


sylosis-dormant-heart-300x300Album:  Dormant Heart

Label:  Nuclear Blast

Release Date:  13 Jan 2015

Songs:   14 (including two bonus tracks)

Length:  67 Minutes

Genre:  Death/Thrash

Studio Albums:  2 EPs plus Conclusion of an Age (2008), Edge of the Earth (2011), Monolith (2012) 

Location:  Reading, Berkshire, England  Read the rest of this entry

Album Review: Arcane – Known/Learned


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Release Date: January 20th, 2015 on Sensory Records

Tracks: 2 discs, 16 tracks

Length: A little over 2 hours

Genre: Progressive metal

Location: Brisbane, Australia

Previous releases: Ashes 2007, Chronicles of the Waking Dream 2009

Recommended for fans of:  Pain of Salvation, Dream Theater, Caligula’s Horse, Fates Warning, Anathema

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