Album Review: Ghost Brigade – IV – One With The Storm


ghost_brigade_one_with_the_storm_54b7ab2377Label:  Music Kickup

Album:  IV – One With The Storm

Release Date:  3 Nov 14

Songs:  12

Length:  79 Minutes (includes two remixed tracks)

Style:  Hard to define

Previous Albums:  Guided By Fire (2007); Isolation Songs (2009); Until Fear No Longer Defines Us (2011)

Location:  Finland

FFO:  Paradise Lost, Katatonia. Opeth  Read the rest of this entry

Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2013, #25 – #21


MetalCatSince this is the last week of my year-by-year hit parades, I’m overindulging myself completely by posting my top 25 songs of last year. This’ll be good practice for making my list of my top albums of 2014.

Next week I shall reveal the true identity of Dark Metal Cat unless he gets me first with his very big paws and his very, very sharp claws.

 

 

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Album Review: Skyharbor – Guiding Lights


RGuidingLights_Coverelease Date: 10th of November 2014

Tracks:  10     Length: 69 minutes

Genre:  Progressive/ambient/rock

Previous releases: Blinding White Noise: Illusion and Chaos 2012

Location: India/UK/US

Label: Basick Records

Recommended for fans of:  Karnivool, Deftones, TesseracT, Steven Wilson, Tool

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Album Review: Black Map – …And We Explode


Black_Map_Explode_Cover_1500x1500_rgbLabel:  Minus Head Records

Album:  …And We Explode

Songs:  12

Length:  45 Minutes

Style:  Progressive / Alt / Grunge / Hard Rock

Previous Albums:  This is their debut

Location:  San Francisco, CA, USA

FFO:  Deftones, Foo Fighters, Weezer, Soundgarden, Nirvana, U2 Read the rest of this entry

Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2012, #3 – #1


MetalCatA couple of the songs that top my list for 2013 are rather long. They’re worth it, says Dark Metal Cat. Aeon Zen’s song is my ideal of what a prog metal song should be. Of course it leans strongly towards the prog quarter. The Wintersun song embodies just about everything I love about harder melodic metal. It’s one of the best songs I’ve heard in the last 64 years, 9 months and 5 days.

The shorter number by Diablo Swing Orchestra is so… out there… that it sets the bar for many types of experimental metal.

 

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Middle Eastern Magic: Orphaned Land – All is One


Orphaned LandOf all the Oriental metal bands from the Middle East, few can rival the international renown and the level of esteem held by Orphaned Land, from Israel. The sheer quality and immense variety of their music has won them fans across many metal genres in numerous nations of the world.

The line-up has changed over the decades that Orphaned Land has been performing and recording. There are and have been Jewish and Arab members of the band. The over-riding theme of their music – peace and unity – is very evident in this song, rated their most popular in a number of polls.

No doubt there are some who will complain, “All is not one, you blasphemer.” Tsk.

Album Review: Xerath – III


Xerath_III_CoverLocation: Basingstoke, Hampshire, England

Genre: Beautifully blurred; sometimes progressive death, sometimes orchestral groove, sometimes breakout extreme metal

Release date: 15 September 2014

Label: Candlelight Records

Tracks: 14

Length: 1 hour 9 minutes

Recommended to: Fans of Erra, Elitist, Beltane, Haunted Shores, Cloudkicker, Volumes, Structures

Mammal’s rating: 5 out of 5

The first two albums by Xerath, titled simply I and II, were sheer brilliance. Matching either of those releases, never mind topping them, would require a Herculean effort. Well, Xerath flexed their mighty thews and ensured that III is every bit as good as their previous work. In some respects I suppose it may be better. I’m not going to say it is, though. That would be like a believer saying God is better than God.

It’s quite a challenge to slot Xerath into any genre. Their musical approach is as wide as the sky and as deep as the place where angler fish have to carry headlamps.

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2012, #6 – #4


MetalCatBe glad you don’t live on the Planet of the Dolphins or in any other sub-aquatic civilisation. You can’t do chemisty, make fire or smelt metals under water. It would probably be even more difficult in salt water. I should imagine it would also be quite a bugger trying not electrocute yourself with a big amp.

On Water Planet there is no music except for The Whale Glee Club and the Coral Crackers.

 

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Middle Eastern Magic: Al Qaynah – Cihangir


You’ll usually find Al Qaynah’s land of origin listed as Afghanistan. That may be partly so, but Al Qaynah isn’t a band as such. It’s an international, cross-cultural, cross-ethnic and trans-religious project. It doesn’t have a fixed line-up. The contributing musicians send their tracks to be mastered together in Copenhagen.

In a few places you may also read that Al Qaynah plays “terrorist metal”, which is patently ridiculous and exactly the opposite of what Al Qaynah really is. It does aim to project a political message. The essence of that message is that all humans should strive towards understanding and agreement and seek to set aside prejudice and conflict.

Learn more about the project on Al Qaynah’s Facebook page. If you’re a musician and want to contribute some of your work to the project, you’ll read there how to do it.

Right, let’s listen to some peace rally music, 21st century style.

Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2012, #9 – #7


MetalCatThe number of genres and sub-genres of modern metal far exceeds the total number of genres that existed in Western music 30 years ago.

There are more bands today playing classic-style heavy metal than there were at the height of heavy metal in the 1980s.

Since the advent of online music streaming and buying, more metal albums are released every month than the total number of albums of all kinds of Western music in 1980.

No one can possibly listen to every new metal album… but, oh man, it’s fun trying!

 

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