Blog Archives

Tales from Bandcamp: Aura by Saor


a1739750011_10Rolling hills, mystical lakes, breathtaking valleys, etc.  All those wonderful things you think of when you think of the Hinterlands of Scotland are magnificently personified through the music of one man band Saor.  Heavy on the awe and wonder of nature this atmospheric blend of folk and black metal simply awes.  The folksy layers build a shamanistic sense of wonder while the flurries of the black metal make you feel as if you are a fallen leaf being carried along gusts of wind down and out of the majestic Scottish landscapes.

To say Saor’s recently released album Aura is anything less than a masterpiece would be a gross understatement.  With production that sounds both sharp yet maintains that warm tone I look for in my ‘nature metal’ and songs that are as engaging as they are epic this is one record that you can not miss this year.  If bands like Moonsorrow, Panopticon, Vintersorg, or Wolves in the Throne Room do wonders to your ear drums, I implore you to click the play button of the Bandcamp stream below.  And, as always if you like what you hear, which I’m sure you will, click that buy button.  Let us know how much you loved the album in the comments!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

For more Saor give ‘em a ‘like’ on Facebook, check out the equally awesome debut record Roots on Bandcamp, and get tons of other info on the official site.

New videos for metal lunatics


HeadacheThere are two common factors in this selection of new videos. One, they are all hard ‘n’ heavy. Two, they are all the sort of music that makes non-metal people splutter: “You must be crazy to listen to that stuff.”

So, tighten your strait jackets, tell all your hippie friends to leave the room, and crank the volume up to 11 to satisfy your insanity.

Here, chew on this packet of ball-bearings while you listen.

 

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Album Review: Hail Death by Black Anvil


GD30OB2-N.cdrIf there’s one thing I’ve noticed about the majority of bands hailing from New York, it’s that they have a penchant for being uncompromising, direct, to the point, and pull absolutely no punches.  It must come from the non-stop pedal to the metal lifestyle of its denizens as the hustle and bustle throughout one of the worlds most bat shit crazy cities.  Just look at the city’s storied hard-core scene and you’ll soon realize that none of those band take no shit from anyone.  New Yorkers also know how to party, and that also shines through in the East Coasts style of thrash.  Now, when we take the uncompromising side of NYC and mix it with its happy-go-lucky party side and jack it up on a base of black metal, you get a nice unique mix resulting in a little gem of a band called Black Anvil.

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Song Of The Week: Infestus – Devouring Darkness


I made a wish in the beginning of this year, after my music library started being “over-progged”. I wished that 2014 would bring lots of good black metal. For the first two-three months it didn’t seem very likely to happen, but then *BOOM*… I was hit with one great black/blackened metal release after another. ThantifaxathThe Great Old Ones, So Hideous, Dirge, Ifing, Plebeian Grandstand and my latest find: Infestus. It’s a solo effort, released just last month and on Infestus’ Bandcamp page it says “incredible”, “engrossing” and “sophisticated”. All of them are true, very much so!

After listening to the song above, I bet you can’t resist checking out the full album, so here you go:

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The Great Black Metal Debate


Is  old-school, uncompromising black metal better or worse than the modern styles of progressive, atmospheric, melodic or symphonic black metal? Or are they equally good in their different ways?

This topic sparks more frequent discussions, debates or fights than most metal topics. Some fans are so biased towards either the old or the new approach that they steadfastly refuse to listen to the other approach.

I won’t take sides. I will make one technical observation which has nothing to with the music itself – modern black metal does generally seem to benefit from better engineering and production.

This video was posted on YouTube a few years ago. It’s still very relevant and interesting. So… what do you think?

 

 

Album Review: Earth Diver by Cormorant


a2140768649_2When take a gander at some of the reasons some of my favorite bands have remained my favorite bands over the course of decades one reason always seems to take the forefront.  The ability to grow and evolve, not afraid to make dramatic changes, while remaining true to a core sound or style that initial made me a super-fan in the first place.  These kind of bands give me something to look forward from release to release as I know I am going to get lots of new alleyways and avenues to explore.  They keep their career fresh and I get a variety of albums to listen to (unlike just more or less needing a single album that sums up the bands catalog) all with different experiences contained within.

Enter Cormorant.  A couple of years ago when they released their sophomore album Dwellings my ears picked up on the unique blend of blackened prog rock tinged with hints of classic metal and instantly became a super-fan of the Bay Area band.  As par for the course, since I liked their current record so much I ponied up the cash for the back catalog expecting more of the same that was on Dwellings.  To my delight, their debut album Metazoa was a much different beast than the record I was spinning ad nauseam, yet was still very much a Cormorant affair.  They just needed a third record to prove they were the real deal and not just a fluke and they were pretty much guaranteed a spot in my coveted Realm of Upper Echelon Bands.  I was very much hoping this would happen.  Then tragedy struck; Arthur Von Nagal, the bands front man, lyricist, vocalist, bassist, and major songwriter contribute made the decision to leave the band to pursue in a career of video game development (FYI, that really freaking awesome Walking Dead game that won all them awards, he was on that team.  Go play games made by TellTale, their all great!).

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