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!!!!
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.
Posted by Reggie
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).
Posted by Reggie
After 2013’s Temper Temper I was a bit skeptical about a new Bullet For My Valentine album. When initial reports spread that Venom was more reminiscent of earlier BFMV, I thought it was enough of an excuse to buy new music and give it a try. In short, what I heard was accurate. The new material is much less “pop” sounding than Temper Temper. This can only be a good thing. After numerous spins, I find the first half of the album is stronger than the latter. As the album played on, my interest dwindled a little bit. However, tracks such as No Way Out, Army of Noise, and Broken really kick up the adrenaline. Worthless is one of their anger-management-I-hate-you power ballads BMFV does well. Overall, Venom is a solid BFMV album that should please long-time fans. 3.5 out of 5
Label: RCA Records
Release Date: 14 Aug 2015
Length: 58 Minutes
Previous Albums: The Poison (2005); Scream Aim Fire (2008); Fever (2010); Temper Temper (2013).
Location: United Kingdom
Two-thirds of the way through the year, I find that the four unreviewed ’core releases I’ve enjoyed the most were all issued in the opening months of 2015. There have been many other good ’core albums in our Inbox, but these are the ones that call to me most sweetly. Two of the four are EPs, not full albums, which goes to show yet again that quality matters much more than quantity in music.
As always, my picks are sub-genres of the melodious and experimental ilk. That doesn’t mean I’m soppy, it reveals that I’m half hippie.
The albums and EPs are listed alphabetically by name of the artist. Any rating of 4 or more on Metal State equates to “Geez, gotta have this!”
Since I received the promo for the debut record from Myrkur I believe I have hit a record for the amount of times I have written and then deleted my review. This is by far from saying that there is little to say about the album. In fact, there are lots to say about this groundbreaking record. I just didn’t want to fall into cliché over-emphasizing that the record is a one-Woman project nor under-emphasize a solid female voice in black metal. I didn’t want to beat the dead horse of picking on the kvlt elitists I’ve seen saying not such nice things about any black metal that isn’t Mayhem or Burzum (and then pretty much becoming no better than the elitists themselves). I also didn’t play into Myrkur’s image which forgoes sexuality but delivers some much-needed femininity because it kept turning into a diatribe for a more balanced female voice in metal and that would be better left as a separate rambling and not a review. I wanted to say how much I love the shamanistic and ethereal nature of M but that kept becoming a love letter to the finer facets of modern black metal and over-emphasizing Garm from Ulver’s involvement in the creation of the record. I wanted to quote one of my favorite The Big Lebowski lines, the one where Maude talks about ‘vagina’, but it just felt hammy. I would have liked to touch upon some of the alien and almost Lovecraftian nature of the heavier moments but just wasn’t able to clearly get my point across.
There was a lot I have to say, but lack of an angle I could commit to and some writer’s block just made me say fuck it. However, a record this good should not go unrecognized regardless of my difficulty in writing up a review nor did I want to spend so much time on something and not produce anything. So I decided to just shoot some words from the hip and post it up as one of my ever-so-famous Tales From Bandcamp posts to let you readers out there an opportunity to discover this great entry into the pantheon of black metal. Give it a listen, share it with your friends, toss some money at the artist, and let us know what you thought. Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!
Location: United States
Genre: Progressive Death Metal
Release Date: July 24th, 2015
Length: 1 hour 13 minutes
Studio Albums: An Absence of Clarity (2011)
So much good metal has come out during the year to date that it’s impossible to listen to all of it. In black metal I took a long time to select the 15 best albums I’ve heard this year, then narrow that down to the five I like the most up to now.
Those who know me won’t expect my top picks to be old-school, aggressive, scrotum-busting tirades of fury and deafening thunder. Because my taste is influenced by my love of prog rock and other non-metal, I tend to prefer the melodic, symphonic, progressive or atmospheric forms of the various metal genres. As for my taste in black metal… hey, blame Dimmu Borgir.
Posted in Album Reviews
Tags: Arktos, atmospheric black metal, avant-garde black metal, Beautality, Black Metal, Carnival of Flesh, Ebonillumini, Einfallen: A Tale Ov Torment & Triumph, Mammal’s most recommended new albums, Mother Augusta, Post Atmospheric Black Metal, Stories from a Fallen World, symphonic black metal, The Burning Sun of Despair, The Pulse of Mourning, Thurisaz