As I said in the first part of this series, so much great music has been arriving at Metal State this year that it’s impossible to review everything. Yet it would a crime, not merely an omission, if we failed to bring the best of different types of music to your attention. Therefore, here’s another selection of superb bands with new or recent albums that deserve all the attention they can receive.
This episode covers some of the slightly more obscure sub-genres of progressive rock. It’s one of those occasions when I wear my Other Music cap. If you don’t already know, I ostensibly came on board Metal State to review and write about non-metal bands as well as the numerous flavours of metal that tickle my fancy and other parts. We will gloss over the real truth, which is that the Metal State team invited me to join them because I am irresistibly cute and charming, like a favourite garden gnome.
Today it was announced that Nintendo president Satoru Iwata had passed away on July 11th, 2015 due to a bile duct complication. To say that myself and the rest of the gaming community were shocked and saddened by this would be an understatement. What Iwata-san has done for video games is immeasurable. Starting in the 80’s as a programmer for NES games such as Kirby and the almighty Earthbound. He worked his way up the ladder eventually being named Nintendo’s president in 2002 spearheading the development and launch of the revolutionary Nintendo Wii. Along with the visionary Shigeru Miyamoto and Reggie “My Body is Ready” Fils-Amie he put his face out there and became a very public face for the company. Focused on transparency, making personal connections with Nintendo fans, and delivering high quality and above all, fun experiences, us fans looked forward to each installment of Iwata Asks and the Nintendo Directs. In a gaming scene that was veering towards homogenization he took the wheel and steered the climate of Nintendo into one of innovation and genuine personality. Even just a few weeks ago he responding and commenting on the feedback he had gotten from Nintendo’s E3 showing.
From my first NES console at age at 7 to last night spreading ink all over the place in Spatoon on the Wii U, Nintendo has been and always will be a huge part of my life. From helping create and grow friendships over some rounds of Mario Kart or Super Smash Bros to easing my sadness with the bright and colorful Mushroom Kingdom and Dreamland to waxing philosophical and adventuring into the unknown with The Legend of Zelda series and Earthbound, Iwata-san has either directly or indirectly influenced some of the most joyous moments in my life. The photo below is a shot of a bit of my current Nintendo collection (unfortunately things get lost and broken when one moves around a lot) and each piece there is more than just a game or character. Each is a memory of a good time and good times to still be had.
When someone dies I feel it is better to celebrate their life than mourn our loss. So, in honor of Satoru Iwata I would like to make a Top Ten of my all time favorite Nintendo games. Many will be obvious and maybe a couple out of left field will pop up and a looooooooot have been left out (I could have easily made this a Top Twenty or Thirty list). All are among the best games I have ever played and have returned to countless times. To put it simply, each game is fun. Quoting Iwata-san “Video games are meant to be one thing. Fun. Fun for everyone.” And with that quote he sums up why I love Nintendo and look into the future with nothing but positive vibes for the house he helped build.
R.I.P. Satoru Iwata. Thank You!!!
Give Praise Records, specialists in grindcore and grind-anything metal, are giving away their July sampler, “The Path To Grind”, containing tracks by 20 bands. Most of them are likely to be new to you even if you’re already heavily into grindcore. If you’re not, I can tell you there’s some damn cool stuff on this sampler. Of course it is all as brutal as anything gets.
As the advertisers say, “Act Now! Limited Offer!” The digital album is completely free via Bandcamp until about Wednesday, so get downloading this weekend.
The Bandcamp page contains the usual invitation to pay what you like, but Give Praise want you to ignore that. Just grab the sampler. Share it. They want you to do that too.
Here’s the full track list:
- ABORTION – Children Of Satan
- BRUCEXCAMPBELL – Humanity Deserves To Die
- CHOKED BY OWN VOMITS – Sweatpants Factory
- DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION – Suck It Up
- ENDLESS DEMISE – Seeds Of Destruction
- FUBAR – Death Or Doubt
- GORGONIZED DORKS – Your Wealth
- INTESTINAL ROT – Cranium Crushing Cannibals
- MESRINE – Blood Boils
- MOLOCH – Unendlichkeit
- OSK – Burning Human
- PROLETAR – Global Darkness Destruction
- RITUAL MISERY – Cult
- SICK OF STUPIDITY – Slumber Of Humanity
- SOIL OF IGNORANCE – Downfall Existence
- STRONG INTENTION – The Carnivore
- SUFFERING MIND – Down My Throat (DISRUPT)
- TO DUST – The Perspectivist
- VIOLENT OPPOSITION – Logic VS Retaliation
- WAKE – Smolder
As you can tell from the band names and song titles, there aren’t many songs about butterflies and sunshine in this selection. So, go here on Bandcamp and download some head-exploding grind. Blast the neighbours into the next county.