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Roundtable Review: In Times by Enslaved


enslaved-in-times-recensioneLabel: Nuclear Blast

Release Date: 6 March 2015

Songs: 6

Length: 54 minutes

Genre: Extreme prog/Viking/black metal

Studio Albums: 11 previous

Location: Bergen, Norway

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Tales from Bandcamp: Moonlover by Ghost Bath


a0529726240_10It’s rare that something can execute being so violently melancholic and at the same time life-affirming and uplifting.  Last time I can think I’ve had those feels hit me this hard simultaneously was when I first saw the first ten minutes of the Pixar film ‘Up’.  It’s quite the enigma of emotional cocktails.  Ghost Bath masterfully pulls at heartstrings with the aptly titled Moonlover.  Whirlwinds of chaotic black metal peppered with lush soundscapes of post-rock all meld together to create this unique, indescribable sound of heart-wrenching beauty.  It’s just something that has to be heard to be understood.

And with that, I’ll leave this post short and let you all have at it.  If you fancy bands such as Deafheaven than this is mandatory listening.  All others, do give this masterpiece a shot.  Be prepared for some feels.  Let us know what you think!  Peace Love and Metal!!!!!

EP stream: Isolert – Isolated Soul


IsolertTwo Greek guys, Nick S. and Panos T., dropped us a line about their demo EP, now available from Bandcamp. These two guys are the complete line-up of Isolert, and they work at the speed of light.

They formed Isolert earlier this year. Already they’ve completed their three-track demo and had the cover art completed for the EP. Geez, it takes me three weeks just to decide I need to buy more coffee.

Their music is atmospheric, melodic black metal that makes me want to slap my speakers. Both speakers look so pleased and smug when Isolert is coming out of them, the superior little bastards. If I did that I’d also have to slap my eardrums for looking so smug and satisfied when Isolert goes into them.

Panos T. (full name Panagiotis Tsiglifis) is the guitarist. Nick S. (Nick Sidiropoulos) plays the drums. They both do vocals. Together they sound like five people. That may mean I’ll have to go to Greece and slap all five of both of them if they’re not already well into the planning of their debut album, because I want more of their music.

Meet Isolert on Facebook. Their page on Bandcamp where you can listen to the full demo offers the EP for “name your price”. May I gently suggest that if you like them enough to download them, you give them some money too. They won’t object.

Album Review: Forgotten Tomb – Hurt Yourself and the Ones You Love


colour coverAlbum:  Hurt Yourself and the Ones You Love

Release Date:  17 April 2015 (EU); 21 April 2015 (North America)

Label:  Agonia Records

Songs:  7

Length:  51 Minutes

Genre:  Doom/Black/Stoner

Location:  Italy

Previous Albums:  Songs to Leave (2002); Springtime Depression (2003); Love’s Burial Ground (2004); Negative Megalomania (2007); Under Saturn Retrograde (2011); …And Don’t Deliver Us from Evil (2012).

If you tried combining black metal, doom, stoner, and a bit of 70s style hard rock, do you think you could do it?  What could possibly go wrong?  Well, a lot could go wrong.  While stoner rock/metal tends to lean on the hippy, happier, beer drinking side of metal, doom is rather moody and laced with melancholy.  Not always, but mostly.  While black metal is extreme, 70s hard rock is far from it.  Combining all of those elements seems hugely challenging to me and seems like it would be difficult to process as a listener.   Read the rest of this entry

Stream of the Week: Pyramids – A Northern Meadow


a4095720660_10With equal parts avant-garde, black metal, ambient and industrial music the second album from Pyramids is quite an adventure. Pyramids favourite thing to do is experiment with collaborations (too many to list here) and remixes, on this release we find artists such as Colin Marston (Gorguts/Krallice), Vindsval (Blut Aus Nord) and William Fowler Collins. Fascinating and endlessly beautiful, “A Northern Meadow” embraces you warmly with floating clean singing and a claustrophobic touch in the melodies, as if it desperately tries to hold you close while slowly pushing you towards the edge of a deep, bottomless shaft. As strange as it might seem, that really appeals to me. Give it a listen!

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Album Review: This is No Fairytale by Carach Angren


a1683979843_2Like most suburban middle class American kids camping was a rather regular part of my summertime curriculum.  And like most camp outs in the middle of the woods a campfire was built at night and around it we sat telling ghost stories, roasting hot dogs, and making smores.  Those times are some of my favorite childhood memories, though not as cherished as they should be.  You see, there was always this one kid, let’s call him Little Billy, who really had a knack for crafting these really dark takes on the classics.  Instead of the man with the hook for a hand popping up behind the campers, Billy took it steps further and had the hook-handed man brutally bludgeon the camper, pop their eyes out with the hook, and suffocate on broken glass.  Then usually the camp chaperone would interrupt and end Little Billy’s macabre imagination.

Turns out Little Billy came from an abusive home filled with alcoholism, schizophrenia, and drugs.  This I never learned about until I opened the paper one day saw an article about how Little Billy had gotten drunk, beaten his girlfriend to death, and then took his own life.  Mutual friends and acquaintances filled me in on Billy’s childhood and my mind immediately recalled those horrible stories he would tell around the campfire.  Since then, I have never been able to look back on those memories the same.  Stuff like this is what I consider true horror.

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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 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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RoundTable Roundup – Metal State’s Top 15 of 2014!


tech-trends-2014By now you may have seen our individual end-of-year best albums.  If not, our main page is littered with individual lists of what rocked our worlds this year.  Please, check it out.  For those who stopped by, you probably noticed that we at Metal State have varied taste in metal.  Only a few albums made it across multiple annual lists.  Having said that, another list is about to get thrown into the mix; a first for this website.

Throughout the year we put together collective reviews we coined as “roundtable” reviews.  With all four reviewers providing comments on these reviews, we present to you our Top 15, strictly by the numbers.  It is worth noting that some of our roundtable reviews sometimes only include three of four reviewers.  To be fair, we left those albums off this list.  This Top 15 reflects only those albums where all of us could provide comments.  Read the rest of this entry

More Goodies of 2014: Schöngeist / Kreyskull / Myrkur / Slow Season / Synodik


SealThese albums all carry the Mammal Seal of Approval. So will the other Goodies of 2014 we’ll be sharing in the next few days. My seal is more powerful than the US Navy Seals and as handsome as an elephant seal.

This year we’ve reviewed close to 150 albums and posted streams, songs, videos and previews from as many again. We must have listened to about 300 other albums that we haven’t discussed. Some of those albums are more than worth mentioning as the year draws to a close.

Go on, give them a listen. They’re not presented in any order of preference.

 

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