Category Archives: Exploring New Things

Every now and then we come across something that is just a bit different.

Sonic Cathedral’s female-fronted roundup for February


SC logoAs we did last month and as we intend to do every month, we’re very pleased to share some of the information posted during the month by our friends at Sonic Cathedral, the website that specialises in reviews of albums by female-fronted bands. Sonic Cathedral covers a wide range of female-fronted metal and rock.

Once again we’re presenting the album details, an intro from SC, and a link to the full review on SC’s website.

Sonic Cathedral has a web magazine and music store and a Facebook page. We highly recommend both of those places to female-fronted bands, labels and fans.

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Grinding Recommendations


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Corrupt Leaders

A selection of newly released grindcore.

French band Bind Torture Kill (BTK) gives us their first full length, death metal/mathcore influenced “Condamné” (January 26th, self-released)

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Free Download: Huge sampler collection from Relapse Records


downloadMastodon, Neurosis, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Orbituary, Necrophagist, Death, Dying Fetus, Baroness and many, many more…

Relapse Records is celebrating their 25th anniversary and in doing so they are giving us over 180 (!) songs spanning the label’s entire history, free of charge (or pay what you can, and please do). This sampler includes one track from almost every band that has released their work on Relapse since 1990.

Happy Anniversary Relapse Records! Let’s headbang!

An additional in-depth feature on 25 of their biggest releases can be read here

New videos in February


New videos from Carach Angren, Psycroptic, Exist Immortal, Red Seas Fire, Lay Siege.

 

Carach Angren – Two Flies Flew Into A Black Sugar Cobweb (symphonic black metal)

From the upcoming album ‘This Is No Fairytale’, out on February 23rd:

 

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A Metal-Prog Interlude: VOLA – Gutter Moon


I know and love VOLA, from Denmark, for their earlier and largely unheralded music. When I first heard them in 2009 they were a progressive rock band with a strong flavour of math rock in their compositions.

The new VOLA album, “Inmazes”, features a different line-up and a much more exploratory approach. It’s a beautiful merging of prog and math rock, prog and math metal and djent. I believe this must greatly broaden VOLA’s potential fan base. From my point of view as a metal-prog hybrid, this album will be too good to miss. It should be available now.

Find out more at VOLA’s Facebook page.

“Gutter Moon” is from the new album.

For comparison, “Like The Rainbow” is the first track on the 2009 EP, “Homesick Machinery”. Both songs are deeply satisfying.

 

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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Various progressive metal releases to get excited about in 2015


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This is only a small selection of the best upcoming progressive rock/metal releases, some that have already been announced and others from bands who are working on new material.

*It’s been almost four years since the last Symphony X and now it’s time for their ninth work of art to reach our ears. The band says they are going back to their older sound, a mix of previous albums “The Odyssey” and “Paradise Lost” (those are not very old…), less heavy,  more melodic and classic sounding. Interesting! It’s set for an early 2015 release. Listen to older Symphony X.

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*A couple of days ago I read a claim that “Australian prog will take over the world”, and felt there’s hope for a bright future after all! Arcane are contributing to this cause, after a successful crowd funding campaign, with their ambitious 2-disc concept album “Known/Learned”, fronted by Caligula’s Horse’s brilliant vocalist Jim Grey. The songs are divided on two discs – the first one being on the heavy, traditional side of prog and the second goes into lighter acoustic/folk songs. A deep, thoughtful story of a father and his daughter on a bittersweet journey through life. Release date: January 20th.

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Underground Metal from the Deep South


Kelly McCoyThe culturally and religiously conservative south-east of the USA, commonly known as the Bible Belt, isn’t the first place that springs to mind when you consider the roots of old-school, fuck-you-all death metal and black metal. Yet it’s given rise to some of the enduring stalwarts of those genres over that last three decades or more.

Extreme underground metal isn’t exactly popular in the Bible Belt. The kick-ass bands that start there go elsewhere in the US to find audiences who won’t damn them for all eternity for playing the music of the Devil. The more successful of those bands go to Europe to spread their type of music to new audiences.

The demonic-looking guy in the photo is Kelly McCoy, one of the seasoned movers in American underground metal and a champion of other extreme bands as well as his own. He invited Metal State to make a short journey into the hard, nasty, uncompromising shadowland of brutal bands from the Deep South. He introduced us to bands he’s with and to other bands who have chosen the same road to perdition.

The metal they play is raw. This certainly doesn’t mean raw in the sense of underdone or unprofessional… anything but! No, it’s raw in the sense that the flesh still drips blood when you rip it off the bones. It’s mighty powerful, deeper than the region where it originated, and I’m sure you’re going to find diabolical beauty in the music. I did. I have the scars to prove it.

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Various thrash and death metal releases to get excited about in 2015


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Thrashy and Heavy Shreds 

*Sci-fi thrashers Vektor have been writing on a new album for quite some time now. There’s no hint of a release date, they are still finishing up everything and we can only hope for another exhilarating Vektor space odyssey soon. In the meantime, here’s from previous masterpiece “Outer Isolation”

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*Angelus Apatrida is the name of an excellent thrash act from Spain, giving us their fifth riffage opus “Hidden Evolution” on January 19th.

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Various black metal releases to get excited about in 2015


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Last year was great for black and blackened metal of all varieties, we received goodies like The Great Old Ones, Infestus, Thantifaxath, Behemoth, Enthroned, Ifing, Emptiness and much more. I’m hoping this year will provide us with just as many quality releases, to make our existence darker and more uncomfortable. Just the way we like it.

The New Blacks 

*The ambitious A Forest Of Stars (progressive black) have already shared extensive information about their new album “Beware The Sword You Can Not See”, and it will contain panic, maggots, crumbling cities and mental collapse, presented in a neat package with the most gorgeous looking artwork. Out on February 27th. A taste from previous album:

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