Roundtable Review: Underworld by Symphony X


Symphony_X-Underworld-Front-Label: Nuclear Blast

Release Date: 24 Jul 2015

Songs: 11

Length: 64 Minutes

Genre: Thrash/Power/Progressive Metal

Studio Albums: Symphony X (1994); The Damnation Game (1995); The Divine Wings of Tragedy (1997); Twilight in Olympus (1998); V: The New Mythology Suite (2000); The Odyssey (2002); Paradise Lost (2007); Iconoclast (2011).

Location: NJ, United States

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Album Review: High Country by The Sword


The Sword High Country Album CoverSome bands evolve, some metamorphose.   If you look at a butterfly you can still see the remnants of the shriveled caterpillar body still hanging around but for the most part the entirety is changed after a brief cocooning period.  Unlike evolution where the change takes place over a huge period of time and many key features are still kept in tact, metamorphosis yields something quite different from its original and the process of change is quite abrupt.  You could say a band like Opeth evolved into the prog rock powerhouse they are today slightly changing it up album after album.  And Clutch took metamorphosis path when they injected some gospel/blues rock into their sludge metal sound on their self-titled sophomore record (the cocoon phase) and then fully embraced it on their third album, The Elephant Riders, where the metal edge was heavily toned down but still had a glaring presence.  With both bands, if you listen to their latest in contrast with their earliest works, they are almost completely different bands but still maintain their cores.  Metamorphosis is, however, a much more pronounced change.  For their fifth full length album, High Country, The Sword have metamorphosed into something quite different from their sludgy doom metal beginnings.

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Double Album Review: Geof Whitely Project – Supernatural Casualty [and] Circus of Horrors


Geof Whitely Albums

Location: Staffordshire, England

Genre: Prog-related Rock

Release dates: Supernatural Casualty, 3 August 2015; Circus of Horrors, 31 October 2015

Label: Self-released

Previous releases: An album every few months during the last four years, no kidding

Mammal’s rating: 4.25 out of 5 (both albums)

I haven’t previously reviewed two albums by one artist for a single post on Metal State. But then, not many artists release albums as rapidly as Geof Whitely does. He is one of the most prolific composers and recording artists in any type of modern music.

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Roundtable Album Review: Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction


TheAnthropoceneExtinctionLabel: Metal Blade Records

Release Date: 7 August 2015

Songs: 12

Length: 46 minutes

Genre: Death Grind

Studio Albums: Homovore (2000), To Serve Man (2002), Humanure (2004), Karma Bloody Karma (2006), The Harvest Floor (2009), Monolith of Inhumanity (2012)

Location: San Diego, California, USA

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Album Review: Fear Factory – Genexus


downloadAlbum:  Genexus

Label:  Nuclear Blast

Release Date:  7 Aug 2015

Songs:  12

Length:  60 Minutes

Genre:  Thrash / Industrial

Previous Albums:  Soul of a New Machine (1992); Demanufacture (1995); Obsolete (1998); Digimortal (2001); Archetype (2004); Transgression (2005); Mechanize (2010); The Industrialist (2012)

Location:  United States

A great and wise man said that the new Fear Factory sounds like the Slayer of the 90s.  As I pondered such a thought I was taken aback by this statement.  Was the great and wise man a fan of Slayer of the 90s?  In the 90s, I saw a Slayer headline with Fear Factory as the supporting act.  What an amazing coincidence, I thought.  Did the great and wise man know this?  Did he read my mind?  Hack into my computer?  Did he see that tour too?  I asked the great and wise Matt what he meant.  He said that “Slayer was consistent, but not really doing anything new” or something close to that affect.  He hit the nail on the head concerning Fear Factory’s latest output. Read the rest of this entry

Tales from Bandcamp: The Mist Bearer by A Diadem of Dead Stars


a0970717836_10Feeling the need to zone out and relax these days?  Then check out this neat instrumental atmospheric folk metal record The Mist Bearer.  Taking cues from the nature themed sections of bands like Wolves in the Throne Room, Soar, and Agalloch this one man band from Vólos, Greece writes ethereal compositions that personify they majesty of the rolling mountains and lush land that surrounds his homeland.  The lack of vocals, bar some hypnotic chanting, really drive the relaxation factor of this record into zen territories.  It also makes me want to finally get around to visiting Greece.

As always, dig in your couch or the back seat of your car and toss this man some change (he’s only asking €0.50), share with your friends, and let us know what you thought.  Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

Album Review: The Boats of Glen Carrig by Ahab


PromoImageFor as much as I love doom metal one sect of the genre I’ve never really been able to get into is funeral doom, bar an exception or two.  It’s just a style that has to be particularly fresh and engaging for me to be able to sit through at attention as 10 plus minute long songs plod along.  So forgive me for remaining ignorant to the thunderous majesty know as Ahab for over a decade.  Self-proclaimed as nautical doom metal these Germans stay true to their Melville-ian namesake and produce dirges which require patience and a hearty pair of sea legs to really appreciate the payoff of a gorgeous, well-crafted world.  Slow and sludgy Ahab’s new album, The Boats of Glen Carrig, looks to be the bands most accomplished record to date.  Going back and checking out their earlier releases as reference points (Holy Shit!  The Call of the Wretched Sea is a beast!) it also sounds as if the band is pushing their sound into uncharted territory.  That may or may not be a good thing depending on how slow you like your doom metal.

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Roundtable Review: Cradle of Filth – Hammer of the Witches


Cradle-Of-Filth-Hammer-Of-The-Witches-Artwork-wpcf_300x300Label:  Nuclear Blast

Release Date:  10 Jul 2015

Songs:   13

Length:  69 Minutes (is that a coincidence?)

Genre:  Symphonic Black Metal

Studio Albums:   The Principal of Evil Made Flesh (1994); Dusk…and Her Embrace (1996); Cruelty and the Beast (1998); Midian (2000); Damnation and a Day (2003); Nymphetamine (2004); Thornography (2006); Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder (2008); Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa (2010); The Manticore and Other Horrors (2012).

Location:  UK Read the rest of this entry

Tales From Bandcamp: Obelisk by Goya


a4167963514_10A handful of years back Goya’s album 777 kicked my fuzzy stoner metal loving ass all over the place.  Hazy vocals, dissonant guitars, laid back drums, and crunchy grooves man.  So you’d be correct if you said I was looking forward to checking out Goya’s follow-up.  And here we are with Obelisk and Goya knocks it out of the park again.

This time we get a band that has taken a genre that can very quickly get stale and boring and livened it up with just enough bong rips to entertain us who no longer habitually partake in the inhalation of the sacred herb but still like the dank smell (and the occasional J).  Tighter and more varied songwriting hypnotize and captivate and big tripped-out, bluesy guitar solos and punchy drums add a beautiful contrast to the lazy drone of the riffs.  This is one hell of a trip into a well-crafted, surreal soundscape and shouldn’t be overlooked by any fan of the stoner rock/metal genre.

You know the drill, give the record a listen, dig in your couch for spare change, give the band money, tell your friends how much Goya kicks ass, drop us a comment or something, go about your busy day.  Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

Sonic Cathedral’s female-fronted roundup for July


SonC logoOur friends at Sonic Cathedral reviewed three albums in July. Two of the albums are hard rock and the third album is as much hard rock as metal. Accordingly, all three albums feature powerful, clean female vocals, considerable melody in the compositions, and plenty of driving beat and oomph.

Sonic Cathedral’s website and Facebook page focus mainly on metal with female vocalists. However, they also cover many types of rock. The SC July selections show how comfortably hard rock and heavy metal go hand-in-hand. SC is a great destination for fans, performers and promoters of what has become known as female-fronted metal and rock.

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