Blog Archives

Monday Metal Madness – 56th Grammy’s


1015599-grammy-award-617-409It’s time for the *yawn* Grammy’s; excuse me I don’t mean to be rude, but this normally a waste of time for metal and for people who like metal.  However, this year might be a bit different.  Keep in mind this is America; we are talking about a country where metal is not as out in the open as it is across Europe.  I miss Europe!  I can see where my European friends would think this is a weak list of “metal” bands, and I would normally agree, but again this America and I want to point out one thing.  These are all metal bands.  Last year, Halestorm beat out Megadeth, Anthrax, Marilyn Manson, Iron Maiden and Lamb of God if I remember correctly.  Really?  Nothing against the catchy Halestorm, but they won out of sheer popularity and record sales.  They got played on the radio…during daylight hours.  It just goes to show that the people who run the Grammy’s and/or cast votes know nothing about “great” metal.  Again, nothing against Halestorm, I do like them, but how does a band like that beat such heavyweights?  The year before, Foo Fighters cleaned house and though they are a great band, I wouldn’t exactly call them metal.  Again, they beat out actual metal bands.

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Album Review: Caligula’s Horse – The Tide, The Thief & River’s End


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Caligula’s Horse has crafted songs that are so alive and so powerful that I get tears in my eyes. Their music makes me do more than just listen, I’m feeling it, I’m living it.  

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Genre: Progressive rock/metal with a unique, modern and intelligent sound

Recommended for fans of: Opeth, Pain of Salvation, Porcupine Tree, Karnivool, Dream Theater, TesseracT, concept albums, interesting music

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One Album – Three Perspectives: A Review Dream Theater’s Dream Theater


album_610_340Firs the first time, A Metal State of Mind (all three of us) are reviewing one album.  It’s something we have never done before and thought it would be cool to get three perspectives on one album.   The three of us have our favorite metal genres we gravitate to, but Dream Theater is one band we like that we all have in common.  Though we do not all agree on which of their albums are the best, you will find at least one Dream Theater album on all three of our “favorite albums” lists.  Therefore, it goes without saying, this is probably a good opportunity to compare our thoughts on a new album from a band that has impacted the lives of the three of us at some point in time.  Dream Theater’s self-titled album was released on September 23rd and here are or thoughts on their 12th studio album.

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Songs That Define My Taste In Music #6 & #5 (Reggie)


music-taste--large-msg-132724488296Talking to other metal admirers has certainly opened my ears to a world of music I barely knew existed.  I have to say, my library has expanded quite a bit over the years though meeting friends in blogs and social forums.  A recent conversation on a facebook forum called “I, Author of Despair” led me to do some soul searching on songs that define my taste in music, more specifically heavy metal.  When asked, I usually tell people I just like the aggressive nature of the music, but after thinking about it for a bit I realized there are so many other reasons that define my particular taste…reasons that opened the door to my favorite genres and opened further doors to new ones.   Those 10 reasons in no particular order are Speed, Cadence, and Flow; Rhythm and Groove; Guitars; Presentation and Appearance; Disposition; Artistic Impression; Technicality; Poignant Intelligible Lyrics; Storytelling; and Aggression.  Although some of the bands used to articulate the things that define my taste can cross over into multiple areas, I use them as good examples of why it defines my taste in music.

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Mik’s Top 100 Favourite Albums of All Time #50-46


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A while ago, at the same time as Matt and Reggie, I posted my Top 100 All Time Favourite (Metal) Albums over at the forum The History of Metal on FB. It took a good amount of time and effort to put it together, but it was so much fun! My taste in metal is always changing, so the list will not always look the same. In fact, it’s already a bit different than it was when I first put it together and posted it on the forum seven months ago.

I tried to limit myself to three albums per band to make the list a little more diverse and interesting. I don’t really consider the ‘test of time’-factor when selecting what albums that will go on my list, instead I measure it by how strongly the album has affected me emotionally and how much/often it has helped me through both good and bad phases in my life. That’s why you can find quite a few newer releases among my favourites too.

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#50 Tempus Fusion – To End It All

This is a prog metal album that really surprised me with its fresh and captivating sound. It has a dark, emotional atmosphere, heavy riffs and rolling drums, powerful vocals and interesting, unpredictable melodies. No filler songs and good songwriting. All that is needed to end up on my toplist of favourite albums.

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Mik’s Top 100 Favourite Albums of All Time #55-51


Top100

A while ago, at the same time as Matt and Reggie, I posted my Top 100 All Time Favourite (Metal) Albums over at the forum The History of Metal on FB. It took a good amount of time and effort to put it together, but it was so much fun! My taste in metal is always changing, so the list will not always look the same. In fact, it’s already a bit different than it was when I first put it together and posted it on the forum seven months ago.

I tried to limit myself to three albums per band to make the list a little more diverse and interesting. I don’t really consider the ‘test of time’-factor when selecting what albums that will go on my list, instead I measure it by how strongly the album has affected me emotionally and how much/often it has helped me through both good and bad phases in my life. That’s why you can find quite a few newer releases among my favourites too. 

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#55 Soilwork – Natural Born Chaos

This is one of the catchiest and most infectious albums I’ve ever heard. Impressive drums, frenetic guitarwork, brilliant clean vocal choruses, the typical positive Soilwork-energy. This album has it all. I like how they manage to balance heaviness with insanely catchy melodies and never become cheesy or boring to listen to. Every song on ‘Natural Born Chaos’ is fantastic and very “headbang-and-sing-along”-friendly. It’s Soilwork at their best.

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Mik’s Top 100 Favourite Albums of All Time #60-56


Top100

A while ago, at the same time as Matt and Reggie, I posted my Top 100 All Time Favourite (Metal) Albums over at the forum The History of Metal on FB. It took a good amount of time and effort to put it together, but it was so much fun! My taste in metal is always changing, so the list will not always look the same. In fact, it’s already a bit different than it was when I first put it together and posted it on the forum seven months ago.

I tried to limit myself to three albums per band to make the list a little more diverse and interesting. I don’t really consider the ‘test of time’-factor when selecting what albums that will go on my list, instead I measure it by how strongly the album has affected me emotionally and how much/often it has helped me through both good and bad phases in my life. That’s why you can find quite a few newer releases among my favourites too. 

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#60 Lord Belial – Enter The Moonlight Gate

A black metal album does not have to have a shitty “deep in the forest”-production to sound evil. ‘Enter The Moonlight Gate’ is a good example. I found this song below through a promo compilation I received when buying a magazine many years ago and I think it was my very first encounter with black metal. Now, this is a catchy, melodic song with folk-y elements that is really difficult to not get hooked by, so I’m not surprised I got slightly addicted to it. But that was good because it made me buy the whole album. And it’s a fantastic record from the beginning to the end.

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Album Review: James LaBrie – Impermanent Resonance


383-300x300James Labrie has got to be one of the busiest guys in metal.  He’s been a gust musician on nearly 20 albums and recorded an additional 18 albums between Dream Theater and his other projects.  Those are just the ones I know of…the guy is seriously nonstop.  Within just a couple months, fans will get to see both a Dream Theater album, the first with Mangini input, and another James LaBrie solo album called Impermanent Resonance, the latter of which the subject of this review.  The new album was released on 6 Aug 2013 and whether you are a Dream Theater fan or not, you should probably take a listen.  You may be surprised by what you hear.

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Album Review: Max Pie – Eight Pieces – One World


TITRE.EPSIf Max Pie had not landed in our inbox I doubt I would have ever explored the contents of their latest release Eight Pieces – One World.  Let’s face it, that’s a pretty unique (interesting) name does not match any of the musician’s names.  I figured that was the case.  After exhausting limited Max Pie research avenues, I have no idea why they chose that moniker, so let’s press on.  The important thing is that I gave it a shot and “impressed” is one word I can use to sum up my first impression.  After one spin, I am no less than hooked on their epic Dream Theater-style melodies and crunch of reminiscent of Symphony X – definitely two styles that work well together.  The Belgian quartet’s sophomore effort boasts 54 minutes of music across eight songs.

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Album Review: PTSD – A Sense of Decay


PTSD cover

The Italian band PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) was formed in 2005 and has now released their second album ‘A Sense of Decay’. The first thing to catch my attention was the attractive cover art with a picture of a colorful butterfly; half of it is alive and the other half is turning into dust. It’s beautiful. PTSD plays a style of alternative rock/metal that often strays into a progressive metal sound that reminds me of a melodic Dream Theater. There is also a slight feeling of bands like Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains and 30 Seconds To Mars.

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