Blog Archives

Mik’s Top 100 Favourite Albums of All Time #45-41


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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# 45 Ne Obliviscaris – Portal Of I


Ne Obliviscaris is a band I feel deserve a lot more attention. They are an extreme/progressive metal band from Australia and their debut ‘Portal of I’ ended up on many best of the year-lists in 2012, and rightfully so. The technically complex blend of progressive and melodic black metal with jazz and classical influences is stunningly beautiful. The violins play a big part in their songs and it creates a chilling, haunting sound that is impossible to not get addicted to.

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Reggie’s Top 25 Favorite Cover Songs #13 – For Whom The Bell Tolls


images moonsorrowI heard a lot about Moonsorrow before I ever took the time to listen to them.  Now, I can see why so many people love their music; they are a great band despite singing the lyrics in their native tongue.  That can be a turn off to some, but does it really matter if you know what they are singing about?  I think not!  Their cover of Metallica’s For Whom The Bell Tolls is a really strong cover.  Moonsorrow definitely made it their own.  While it’s important to retain at least some of the core sound, this version is definitely unique as far as cover songs go.

When I first heard Ride The Lightning, I think this was my initial favorite song and to this day remains one of my favorites on the album and a great song to hear live.

This is the clip live from Sofia, Bulgaria (Big Four), but if you want the original recording look to Ride The Lightning released in 1984.

This is the stellar cover from Moonsorrow off the EP Tulimyrsky.

Favorite cover song #14

Theme Thursday – Metallica Covers


I think most metalheads like a good cover tune. What separates a good cover from a bad one?  Do you like when the cover is basically exactly the same or recreated using  a basic shell of the original song?  For me, it doesn’t really matter as long as it’s good.  I like both kinds of cover tunes.  Some bands lend themselves to being covered more than others.  For example, how many Megadeth covers do you hear out there?  I think there are a few, but not enough to stack a CD full of Megadeth covers.  Is that because Mustaine’s vocals are too hard to recreate?   Is it because the guitar work is too hard for the average guitarist?  You hardly ever hear bands cover Anthrax or Opeth.  I have yet to hear a band cover Blitz’s unique vocals in Overkill.   I am sure there are rough and edgy recordings on YouTube out there, but for the most part they are very rare.

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Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #30-#26


Over on my favorite forum for rambling about metal, The History of Metal (it’s an open Facebook forum, so anyone, meaning you, can join and flap your jaw about metal with a wide variety of metalheads from all over the world), the admin made a challenge to all the members to create their top 100 albums of all time. Loving making lists I’m all on this. Between the ~1500 albums I have there is a lot to filter through and this has turned into quite a daunting, yet fun, challenge. This list will represent where I am with my favorite albums right now, if I were to do this last year or next year, while being similar, I’m sure there would be lots of differences. My only self-imposed limitation on this is I’m confining each band 3 albums in the list to avoid entire, very large, discographies over saturating it. Every 5 days or so I’ll make a post with the next 5 entries into the list. Fellow bloggers, I extend this challenge to you (and be sure to let me know where and when you’ll be posting it, I’d love to read it), and for readers without a blog join up with THOM and post yours there! Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

#30 King for a Day… Fool for a Lifetime by Faith No More

While the bulk of King for a Day… features the heavier material that FNM are known for Mike Patton, Billy Gould, Mike Bordin, and Co. took more deviations from their metal/hard rock roots. The uber-smooth crooning in “Evidence” makes me feel like those girls in those famous Beatles videos, the Tom Jones/Las Vegas inspired “Star A.D.” make me feel like a high roller, and “Caralho Voador” make me feel like I’m chilling on a nice tropical beach (with Satan). Then there’s the heartfelt ballads. “Take This Bottle” is a sweet little country inspired rock ballad and “Just a Man” with it big soul back up singing, fat grooves, beautiful lyrics, and amazing vocal performance by Mike Patton easily sends shivers down my spine. And then there is the heavy metal and groove filled end to the record with nutzoid tunes like “Cuckoo for Caca” and “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies”. With so much substance and diversity on this record, it has always boggled me why this record never received the accolades that FNM’s earlier work did.

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Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #60-#56


Over on my favorite forum for rambling about metal, The History of Metal (it’s an open Facebook forum, so anyone, meaning you, can join and flap your jaw about metal with a wide variety of metalheads from all over the world), the admin made a challenge to all the members to create their top 100 albums of all time. Loving making lists I’m all on this. Between the ~1500 albums I have there is a lot to filter through and this has turned into quite a daunting, yet fun, challenge. This list will represent where I am with my favorite albums right now, if I were to do this last year or next year, while being similar, I’m sure there would be lots of differences. My only self-imposed limitation on this is I’m confining each band 3 albums in the list to avoid entire, very large, discographies over saturating it. Every 5 days or so I’ll make a post with the next 5 entries into the list. Fellow bloggers, I extend this challenge to you (and be sure to let me know where and when you’ll be posting it, I’d love to read it), and for readers without a blog join up with THOM and post yours there! Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

#60 Tales from the Punchbowl by Primus

I still remember the day that I bought this record. Me and my family were taking a road trip to Florida to go to Disney and Tales… release happened to be one of the days we were all on the road. I kept having my dad take a random exit here and there in hopes that there would be a record store close by so I could grab my precious new Primus album and make the long hours of the drive pass by more quickly. After 2 days on the road we finally found a random record store and I got my Primus fix.

At first I didn’t know what to think of Tales… I wouldn’t call it a departure from Primus’ earlier work as all that bass heavy quirkiness is there. That dark atmosphere from Pork Soda also carried over, but initially I had mixed feeling about this album. It was just weird, for Primus standards that’s quite a feat. As time went on and I kept listening it really started to grow on me. The dark, psychedelic songs really started to click and before long it was getting regular rotation. The fun songs like “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver” and “De Anza Jig” were always a blast to listen to, but tracks like “Mrs. Blaileen” and “Glass Sandwich” really made an impression on me with an atmosphere unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. And then there’s the Pink Floyd-ish “Southbound Pachyderm” and the insanity drenched “Over the Electric Grapevine”, two of the best songs Primus has ever written.

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Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #85-#81


Over on my favorite forum for rambling about metal, The History of Metal (it’s an open Facebook forum, so anyone, meaning you, can join and flap your jaw about metal with a wide variety of metalheads from all over the world), the admin made a challenge to all the members to create their top 100 albums of all time.  Loving making lists I’m all on this.  Between the ~1500 albums I have there is a lot to filter through and this has turned into quite a daunting, yet fun, challenge.  This list will represent where I am with my favorite albums right now, if I were to do this last year or next year, while being similar, I’m sure there would be lots of differences.  My only self-imposed limitation on this is I’m confining each band 3 albums in the list to avoid entire, very large, discographies over saturating it.  Every 5 days or so I’ll make a post with the next 5 entries into the list.  Fellow bloggers, I extend this challenge to you (and be sure to let me know where and when you’ll be posting it, I’d love to read it), and for readers without a blog join up with THOM and post yours there!  Enjoy!!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

#85 Voimasta ja Kunniasta by Moonsorrow

When I first discovered the world of folk metal by way of Eluveitie I was instantly driven to go out and hunt down some more bands in the genre. In my search I found many great bands, but one day I came across a fan made video for the song “Sankarihauta” (posted below). Let’s just say that it was love at first sight and within a matter of minutes I ran out and grabbed my first of many Moonsorrow albums, Voimasta…. The epicness of this record is only superseded by some of the bands later works.

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Monday Metal Madness: Folk Yeah!


Looks like George Lynch and Co. (Dokken) took the poll last week with %100 of the votes.  Good choice guys!

Ahhh, folk metal.  An idea that looks insane on paper.  Mix folk instruments and melodies with intense and brash metal music, umm, yeah, sure.  But when put into practice folk metal is one of the most unorthodox and fun sub-genres of metal.  The melodies meld great with the crushing guitars, the diverse set of instruments add a new level of dynamic, and the often common themes of history, battles, and Lord of the Rings kinda stuff fits in perfectly with many of metal’s lyrical themes.

Here are 4 very diverse folk metal bands to go head to head for the Metal State of Mind Folk Metal Battle Trophy™.  Give a listen to the songs, which I picked as my favorite from each band, but other songs you may know of can also hold sway (ie. vote for the band, not the song ;) ), and then cast your vote.  Enjoy!  Peace Love and Metal!!!!

Korpiklaani

These Finnish booze hounds are the most cheerful of all the different folk metal bands out there.  That happy energy really shows in their songs as they sing about drinking booze, being a farmer, and winning battles.  Their music is almost always as playful as it is heavy and if it doesn’t put a smile on your face and a bounce in your step, well, you just need to lighten up a bit.

I also find it amazing that as much as the band seems to be always liquored up they are able to maintain a nearly annual album release schedule where each record is consistently a solid listen.

Moonsorrow

While the band themselves don’t acknowledge the folk metal label preferring to call themselves ‘heathen metal’, their music is still laden with a diverse set of folk melodies, themes, and sounds and instruments.  Their music has some in common with later era Bathory where he went and pretty much created Viking metal, but they take that concept and run a million more miles with it creating some of the best music that the whole realm of metal has to offer.  Moonsorrow is also one of the few metal bands that can write multiple songs that surpass the 30 minute mark and keep me completely engaged from start to finish.

Eluveitie

Probably the most popular of all the folk metal bands, Eluveitie take the Gothenburg sound and add a diverse line-up of folk instruments to it, including the goofy sounding and looking hurdy gurdy.   One thing the band does that I find quite unique and interesting is they often use the Gaulish language (a dead Celtic language) in their song which ties right in with their themes which revolve around the Gauls and the Gaulish War.  I also appreciate the fact that they keep their music diverse and not focus on the heavy 24/7 by adding beautiful and mellow sections and interludes to their albums.  They even released an ‘acoustic’ album that is well worth checking out.

Finntroll

If a bunch of trolls were to start up a metal band they’d sound like Finntroll.  While very aggressive and brutal the music is also delightfully playful and mischievous, just like trolls.  From album to album Finntroll just keeps getting better and better with their latest, Nifelvind, being one the best folk metal albums ever released. It’s also worth noting that founding member and keyboardist Henri Sorvali is also the founding member and guitarist of Moonsorrow.  He’s some kind of folk metal genius.

Storytellers Pt. II


Following on from the first post in the series dealing with concept albums, I thought I’d add my two cents about a couple of albums I think emulate what I enjoy most about records with stories: the interplay between plot and music. The best ones can be akin to the bards of old, strumming on a lyre or a harp whilst extolling the adventures and virtues of some hero or another. While the stories have obviously changed and adapted since then, some of that element is still present, particularly in some metal albums. One of the two albums I’m going to describe here is very much lauded at A Metal State Of Mind, the other perhaps a bit more unsung, both on this site and in general.

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Moonsorrow For All!!!


Today it was announced that Finnish heathen metal band Moonsorrow would now find their home at Century Media Records.  While I tend not to care often as which band is signed to what label, but the news of Moonsorrow and their new label is something to get excited about, especially if you live outside of Europe.

While I thoroughly enjoy Moonsorrow‘s previous label’s, Spinefarm, roster of amazing Northern European artists, I have to say they do a horrible job in the promotion and distribution of their bands (their website doesn’t even work :( ).  Finding CDs from the label, which does have quite a few big names on it such as Ensiferum and Soen, is a rather difficult venture even for one who lives in Europe.  For Americans and others, finding a CD by their artists is next to impossible.  They really do need to rework some things within the company (like getting on Bandcamp for example) if they’d like to survive.

Anyways, now that Moonsorrow is on a more intercontinental friendly label that means the rest of the world can get their hands on their music without having to pay exuberant import costs and the word of such an amazing band can get around much easier.  If you have yet to listen to these guys, do so.  I think I’ve peddled their wares plenty on the site, and won’t let up until the whole world knows the Epicness of Moonsorrow.  I’m hoping for the first release on the new label to be a long-awaited live album.  A brand spankin’ new record would be pretty righteous too.  Peace Love and Metal!!!

MOONSORROW, and Century Media Records are proud to announce a worldwide deal. The band comments: “MOONSORROW are thrilled to start working with Century Media, a label that is home to many fellow artists already! We never make our music half way or with compromises and we know our art is in good hands with people who have the same mentality in running a record label. Now, after a year since the release of our last album we are ready to begin creating something new. The new chapter in this epic journey of MOONSORROW!”

Jens Prueter, Head Of A&R at Century Media Europe: “I followed MOONSORROW since their early days and I’m very proud to welcome them now to Century Media Records. They’ll be in good family along with their countrymen Finntroll , Turisas and Insomnium. Two of the band members already have some history with us: Henri Sorvali is also part of Finntroll (even if he rarely plays live with any band) and Marko Tarvonen once moved from drums to guitar in the overlooked Death Metal allstar band Chaosbreed, who released an album that is as ‘brutal’ as its title.
Much has been said about the dark soul of Finnish Metal. A sound that is hard to copy for any non-domestic band. A sound out of endless woods, deepest sorrow and epic majesty. MOONSORROW are probably the most epic of all Finnish bands, not only because most of their songs are over 10 minutes long (sometimes even over 30 minutes), but mainly because they are able to tell stories that are older than written culture. You can follow them even if you don’t understand a single Finnish word. MOONSORROW are able to take you on journey through heathen times. I’m guessing I’m not the only one who can’t wait for the next chapter.”

Theme Thursday – Fan Videos: Pt. III


Continuing on with Fan Video series here are some more awesome music videos and tributes made by the fans.  A special thanks to all the budding video editors and at home music video directors, your love of the music video has provided me with countless hours of entertainment!  If you know of other great fan videos, let us know, we love watching them!!  Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!

Blind Guardian – War of the Thrones

It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of the Game of Thrones series (along with the books) and Blind Guardian.  When I heard “War of the Thrones” the first time on At the Edge of Time I was quite ecstatic.  Now Youtube user Chaoticgreece has taken the song a step further and combined them into an awesome tribute video to Game of Thrones.  Bravo!

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