For some reason, I was lost on the vocals the first time I heard Act of Defiance on YouTube. Now that I have had the album experience blasted through my skull, the vocals are stronger and more complimentary than I remember. After listening to Birth and the Burial, it leaves me to believe that Broderick and Drover were looking to play something much heavier than were authorized on Super Collider, their last effort with Megadeth before moving on. If you are a fan of early Big Four-era thrash then Act of Defiance should interest you greatly. With a vibe that reminds me of classic Testament and Exodus, there is no shortage of tight riffs, guitar solos and pure, raw thrash appeal. 3.75 out of 5.
Label: Metal Blade
Release Date: 21 Aug 2015
Length: 48 Minutes
Genre: Thrash Metal
Previous Albums: This is their debut.
Location: United States
It isn’t too often a metal band get sponsored by the United Services Organizations (USO) to play free shows on military installations. I am not saying it never happens, but it’s rare and even rarer that I get to be part of the event. Hellyeah was the sponsored band of the evening and kids were not allowed at the Yokota Air Base, Japan, venue. It was probably a good thing since it was beyond loud. Spinal Tap would say it was #11 loud. I couldn’t care less about all of Chad Gray’s F-bombs he was politely asked not to say, but damn it was one of the loudest shows I have ever been to. My lovely wife was my date and I think she walked away a fan. Yep, she just validated that statement and followed up with stating that she thought the show was well-played, Tom Maxwell did a great job with all that southern twang in his guitar, and that Chad Gray was a really good, active frontman. I can certainly confirm that. I got tired watching him and that says a lot about his presence on stage. The dude is a mover! Read the rest of this entry →
Label: Lorna Vista Records (USA), Spinefarm/Rise Above (Europe)
Release Date: Aug. 21st, 2015
Genre: Doom Metal/Psychedelic Rock/Pop
Studio Albums: Opus Eponymous, Infestissumam
Location: Linköping, Sweden
If there’s a single band that personifies heavy metal more than Iron Maiden, fill me in. Metallica? Lars is a dweeb who sues his fans… and Lulu and angry saints. Slayer? They have become caricatures of themselves. Black Sabbath? Sharon Osborne and 1984-1990 happened. Judas Priest? Close, but lack that little something special. No, there isn’t a band out there that can out metal Iron Maiden and after 30 years of inhabiting the embodiment of heavy metal they still continue to be metal as fuck. For example, while recording The Book of Souls, the bands 16th studio album, Bruce Dickinson was suffering from a cancer on his tongue he reportedly got from kissing his wife in an Australian manner one too many times. He went on to record his parts on the record with golf ball sized tumors in his tongue and throat. He then kicked that cancer’s ass. Metal as fuck? I think so.
Because he wasn’t singing when he was at 100%, while still excellent, you can hear that Bruce is really pushing himself. That imperfection is what makes Iron Maiden so perfect and so metal. What is at the core of ‘having a metal state of mind’ more so than determination? Even when lambasted for records like No Prayer for the Dying and Virtual XI Steve Harris and Co. kept their cool, improved themselves, and kept on delivering countless amazing shows and a stack of great songs and albums. With a string of albums that were pretty damn good but not up to the exceedingly high Iron Maiden standards, the English gents, determined as ever, rise to the challenge and attempt to deliver their biggest album to date.
Think of those final chapters in Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic novel The Road (or the far inferior film adaptation if you must) where the characters find themselves upon the shore absorbed in grey. Think of trees so weak that even the touch of a beam of pure sunlight of light could disintegrate them into ash. Think of ocean waves so proud and majestic they refuse to give into the silence of an annihilated world around them as they rumble and crash into the end of their journey. Think of the sorrow of what humanity has done to this august planet. Think of the mighty rebirth of what will be when She shakes this disease (and claims Her plastic ;) ).
Using an effective and emotive combination post-hardcore/metal, doom, sludge, and black metal Hope Drone create a cyclonic atmosphere of a world gone to ash. Cloak of Ash is a miasma of despair, yet amid this there is a certain quality of beauty to be found upon its grey shores. It’s an interesting beast to say the least. Check it out! Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
Posted by ChristopherMammal
Many thanks again to our buddies at Sonic Cathedral for sharing their reviews of the last month. In case you haven’t seen one of these posts before, we do a digest of their reviews. They specialise in rock and metal with female vocalists.
Everyone who is or wants to be anyone in FF rock and metal must, must visit Sonic Cathedral. They have a website/online store and a Facebook page. I don’t know any music site that goes into more depth in its reviews.
Posted in News
Tags: Anfel, Beth out of Hell, Chaos Magic, Cinematic Gothic Metal, Experimental jazz-metal fusion, Fire and Ashes, Gothic Doom Metal, Grievances, Icy World, Inheritor, Karnataka, Melodic Metal, Mestizo, Rolo Tomassi, Secrets of Angels, Sonic Cathedral’s female-fronted roundup for August, Symphonic Metal, symphonic progressive rock, The Murder of my Sweet, Xandria
For how much metal delves into histories of their nations I’ve always been rather disappointed that the Native Americans are so poorly represented. Sure, there are songs about the Native Americans and even bands that capture the atmosphere of the spiritual aspects of Native American culture, but until now nothing I’ve heard has been full on Native American; capturing the history, the nature, and the spiritualism. Having a large part of my heritage being Native American (I’m of Seneca descent and grew up in NJ, a Lenni-Lenape region) I’ve always had interest in Native American culture, in particular the music. Naturally there’s always been a desire to want to hear the traditional music and tales blended with my favorite form of music, heavy metal (obviously). So you can imagine my glee when I saw that our very own Irmelnis had posted on her Facebook wall a link to an album preview for Heart of Akamon by Nechochwen, a full on Native American metal band. Not only did they come from a label I’m really starting to come to admire quite a bit (Bindrune Records) who hosts some amazing artist like Panopticon and Falls of Rauros but also integrate Lenape and other Eastern Woodlands Native American history and lore into their music. Damn straight I went right to the Metal State inbox to see if we had gotten a promo of the record. And oh yes we did, and oh yes am I more than content and have bought the entire discography already. Where has this band been my whole life? Read the rest of this entry →
While I do greatly enjoy albums with long instrumental passages and even entire instrumental epic songs, I much prefer to have some semblance of human (inhuman?) voice integrated into my listening sessions. For me, they help keep my attention with their dynamics and also help songs, album flow, and my mind, from wandering away. Post-metal is a genre that, when not put into talented hands, often falls into a trap of letting songs meander along for too long and finds itself losing the impact of the core of the songs. It also boasts quite a few instrumental bands; more than any other genre I can think of not named neo-classical guitarstabation. For the most part, I can think of a single instrumental post-metal band that has been able to craft records that are tightly written, give that Tantric, hypnotic feeling, can crush it when necessary, and are engaging. Now, I can add another band to that list; Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster. (the other band I was referring to is none other than Pelican)
Following the rule of crafting intriguing album covers to convey well what is on the album, Wires/Dream\Wires‘ cover caught my eye on Bandcamp and I gave it a click. I was treated to an hour of absolutely engaging post-metal I simply couldn’t stop listening to until the record finished. Rich atmospheres, mesmerizing structures, grand soundscapes, and a touch of Tool bombarded my ears and left me captivated. I got reeled in by some outstanding tone on the instruments that is at the same time lush and breezy yet thick and crushing. And the seamless interplay woven throughout each instruments respective roles had me enthralled nonstop.
Even though there are touch of vocals on the final song of the album this is a wonderfully crafted instrumental affair you should check out even if instrumental post-metal isn’t your thing. This is gripping record that hard to pull away from once you let it sink its teeth into you and a huge highlight in the realm of post-metal for this year. If you fancy bands such as Pelican, Isis, or God is an Astronaut you owe it to yourself.
As always, give the band some money and share with your friends if you dig on the record. Let us know what you thought. Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!
Posted by ChristopherMammal
Trying to pick out the very best death metal of the year so far was a bitch of a job. Of the many deathy albums we’ve been invited (and sometimes we’ve asked) to review, there are dozens I like. Eventually I decided the fairest approach would be to divide those albums into three groups – melodic and symphonic death; prog and technical death; and assorted death. That still left a pile of death to listen to.
Not that I minded, of course. Listening to and writing about music has become my consuming pastime since I sort of retired when I turned 65. Even so, I shall use one of the M-words to describe the nature of the task in hand. It was… no, not Majestic. Massive, yes. Monumental… yeah, that’s good because it fits so much of the music on my death row.
Max Cavalera has to be one of the busiest guys in metal at the moment; balancing three bands. Soulfly’s 10th album, Archangel, continues the barrage of thrash they have perfected over the years. We Sold Our Souls to Metal opens the album in blistering speed and angst followed up by the bone-crushing Archangel. Despite a revolving door of musicians entering and leaving the fold, Soulfly manages to maintain a staunch level of continuity. There aren’t any real surprises with Archangel, but in terms of band progression, album #10 is a step forward for the band compared to Savages and Enslaved. Overall, Max Cavalera shows no signs of slowing down and Soulfly’s Archangel is evidence of that. For a ripping good time…purchase, hit play, and try not to break anything. 3.75 out of 5
Label: Nuclear Blast
Release Date: 14 Aug 2015
Length: 46 Minutes
Previous Albums: Soulfly (1998); Primitive (2000); 3 (2002); Prophecy (2004); Dark Ages (2005); Conquer (2008); Omen (2010); Enslaved (2012); Savages (2013).