Retro Roundtable Review: Textures – Polars


polars-4f273e55ef3b3Label: Listenable Records

Release Date:  2003

Songs:  8 tracks, 56 minutes

Genre:  Progressive metal

Studio Albums: Drawing Circles 2006, Silhouettes 2008, Dualism 2011

Location:  Tilburg, Netherlands

For fans of: Strapping Young Lad, Cynic, Meshuggah, Dark Tranquillity, Iced Earth, Gojira

Read the rest of this entry

Know your enemy: Dynamic Range Compression


DSC

More and more bands are releasing limited editions of their albums on vinyl. This is not just to meet a demand from the nostalgic who enjoy the physical packaging and feel of an LP more than a CD. These days it is generally true that music sounds better on vinyl than on CD.

It shouldn’t. With the great advances in digital sound technology, a CD or high-quality digital music file should sound identical to the best-quality analog recording on vinyl – to the human ear, anyway.

There’s a big problem with a lot of digital music, though. It’s called Dynamic Range Compression (DRC).

Read the rest of this entry

Johnny Wore Black – A Cut Above (Single)


artworks-000085118344-9q8op4-t200x200On the 28th of March, Johnny Wore Black released their much anticipated debut album, “Walking Underwater Part 1.” It was full of atmospheric elements combined with dark and melancholic vocals soothing to the psyche.  Click here for the review of that album.  Just five months later…that’s now in case you are counting; a new single, ‘A Cut Above’ is upon us in preparation for, as you might have guessed…”Walking Underwater Part 2.”

While continuing with an atmospheric and emotive style, ‘A Cut Above’ is more upbeat lending itself to more of a hard rock vibe.  If you thought the sophomore album would be a continuation of this year’s earlier release, ‘A Cut Above’ certainly does not intend to let us think that.  The song will also be accompanied by a “new and intriguing video.”  No doubt, it will be interesting to see what is in store for “Walking Underwater Part 2.”  For now, their is no set date for the second installment except that we can expect “later this year” (most likely October) for the new music.  Click here to follow Johnny Wore Black and check out their progress and videos they have already released.  Head over to iTunes to pre-order today!

 

Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2000 / #3 – #1


MetalCatIt does happen. The three songs I’ve chosen as my top favourites of 2000 all feature clean singing. I’m not particularly biased towards either dark or clean vocals, although most of the metal I listen to these days does have plenty of growling.

Dark Metal Cat has a growling purr and a clean sandbox.

 

Read the rest of this entry

Roundtable Review: Thantifaxath – Sacred White Noise


unnamed-2Label: Dark Descent Records

Release Date:  April 15th, 2014

Tracks:  6

Length: 44 minutes

Genre:  Unconventional, mysterious, anonymous black metal

Studio Albums: Thantifaxath EP 2011

Location:  possibly from Toronto, Canada

Read the rest of this entry

Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2000 / #6 – #4


MetalCatIt should be obvious why Dark Metal Cat put one of today’s songs on the iPod and played it until the battery died. Now, while I’m linking to the other two songs, he’s listening to “Eye of the Tiger”.

 

 

Read the rest of this entry

Song of the Week – While We Sleep


An album that screams awesomeness, “Shadows of the Dying Sun” was released earlier this year and is still ringing in my years.  End of year list contender?  I think so!  ‘While We Sleep’ was the first single accompanied by this cool video.  For those that haven’t heard the album yet, this is one of the more tame songs.  For a dose of exquisite blast beats check out ‘Black Heart Rebellion.”  It is sure to knock your socks off.  Overall, an outstanding album.  Click here to check out the review back on 1 May.  Have a great week.

Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2000 / #9 – #7


MetalCatI listen to huge amounts of melodic death and progressive metal. Nu metal isn’t a genre I follow closely. When a good song happens along, however, it sticks.

Dark Metal Cat also doesn’t follow nu metal closely. He does, however, follow a huge number of mice and geckos.

Don’t dare tell him he can’t follow a tune. He has very, very big, sharp claws.

Read the rest of this entry

Album Review: Kings Among Men by Crimson Shadows


PromoImageThere are a few metal sub-genres that I’m pickier than a toddler at the dinner table with.  Of the ones I am most picky with, Power Metal would probably take the cake.  In my opinion, good Power Metal needs to have something I call the cheese factor (superfluousness, theatrics, high-flying-ness, not taking things too serious-ness, etc)  balanced in the right place.  Not enough cheese you end up with one of those sad solo Timo Tolkki records, too much and the band is just a parody of itself (Rhapsody of Fire excluded).  Get it in the right and you end up with some of the greats like Helloween and Stratovarius.  Now, to add to my pickiness, since I can go pop one of the already Ch-balanced records in any time I want, a new Power Metal band really has to do something unique and original to grab me by the shorty hairs and get me to pay attention.  That’s the hard part and probably why I haven’t fallen for a new Power Metal band in quite some time now.  Enter Canada’s Crimson Shadows and their major label debut and sophomore record Kings Among Men.

Read the rest of this entry