While The Light that Dwells in Rotten Wood has been out for some time, yet I only stumbled upon it not to long ago after catching a recommendation of it from Panopticon’s FB page. I guess I got to get that first feeling of amazement that went through many long time fans of the band when this record first dropped in 2011. This record is one hell of a shattering work of art. Needless to say, 2 tracks into my first listen, it was an insta-buy.
A huge canvas gets covered with moods, imagery, and colors that would come from Bob Ross if he happened to be a black metal fan. Well pronounced melodies collide with goosebumps-inducing atmospheres and well thought out songwriting guarantees that you will be hooked into the music as it takes you on a journey through verdant mountain ranges and shimmering lakes. And while the misanthropic lyrics work to warn what our incessant negativity and lack of respect for nature will do to humanity, there is genuine love and optimism tucked away in them.
Lucky for me, Falls of Rauros have a new album releasing shortly this year, so expect for me to drool all over that the moment I get my hands on it. I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out and when you can get it in the near future. Until then, if you fancy yourself a fan of bands like Agalloch, Panopticon, Windir, and Saor, do yourself a huge biggun’ and give this record a spin. This linked remaster is the version I bought and while I can’t speak for the original master, the quality of the sound and production is out standing as it pours from my headphones. Enjoy!!! And as always, if you like what you hear be a chap and toss the artist a few shells and give the record a download. Peace Love and Metal!!!!!
Album: Take Over and Destroy – Vacant Face
Label: Comfort Point
Release Date: August 19th, 2014
Length: 47 minutes
Genre: Death ‘n Roll/Sludge
Location: AZ, USA
Really, NEW FUCKING REVOCATION!!!!! Need I say more?
Given last year’s self-titled record made my #1 Album of 2013, it’s pretty obvious I’m hyped for their release landing October 14th, 2014. This track just heightens the hype. Enjoy!!! And for you eager ones, you can pre-order the album Deathless here. Peace Love and Metal!!!
One thing I love about metal music is the seemingly infinite things that can be done within the genre. From Eco-Terrorist Dulcimer Black Metal to Transcendental Progressive Whale Metal, you think of it, you can do it. Metal is boundless and there’s no restrictions on what can be done. I fucking love it. And I also love digging around through our promos, Bandcamp, and suggestions from you guys and friends to find the next unique thing going on in the genre. However, sometimes I like to take a step back from the strange and unusual going on and give a listen to something more conventional. In my wake of being utterly obsessed with ‘nature metal’ (Agalloch, Saor, Panopticon) the past few months (and well into the future) I decided to seek out something traditional. And that’s when I came across this little gem on Bandcamp.
Playing big and powerful traditional metal with a hint of Celtic and NWOBHM influence, Darkest Era flat-out slay. Huge choruses, soaring solos, galloping rhythms, all that stuff you want from a traditional metal release. They’re not reinventing the wheel nor blazing trails, just simply creating straight-up awesome metal to throw your fist up to the sky and bang your head to. Each track is tight and packed with fun and engaging moments as well as stellar performances by each member. Particularly I enjoyed the vocals as they have a nice American Power Metal feel to them (none of that Mickey Mouse on helium stuff going on here, lol. Just kidding, y’all know I like my super-cheese Euro Power Metal ;) ). They’re super manly and I think my barren man-chest grew a few hairs and my beard got a few millimeters thicker. And for how traditional the style is, I’ll be damned if this isn’t one of the freshest traditional metal releases I’ve heard in some time.
If you’re in the mood for some simply great metal give Darkest Era’s latest release, Severance, a spin or 10. As always, if you like what you hear do the right thing and toss the band some beer money and grab a download of the record. Let me know what you thought of Darkest Era below and share with your metal minded friends. Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!
Album Review: Columns – Please Explode
Label: Relapse Records
Release Date: August 4th, 2014
Length: 35 minutes
Studio Albums: Just Another Species (MCD – 2010)
Location: NC, USA
While it’s been quite a long time since black metal has evolved from its anarchistic, church burning beginnings, it still amazes me how far the genre has come. Bands like Deafheaven, Agalloch, Moonsorrow, Wolves in the Throne Room, and Septicflesh have taken the genre in such wildly different directions and opened up what was a very closed community to many more fans. And to be completely honest, I would have never learned to appreciate tr00 kvlt black metal if it weren’t for those bands (and Emperor) easing me into the insane harshness of the genre.
Now taking the genre down a different path is Botanist. Utilizing major keys, a love of Sonic Youth, and a dulcimer (it’s an instrument in case you’re wondering) Botonist have crafted ‘happy black metal’. Flowers, plants, love for nature, all that lovely stuff personified in the music really make their new record, VI: Flora, pop. Thematically, the record is very black metal. It recounts a tale of a man becoming a hermit to escape all the hate and pain of the world and to surround himself with the beauty of nature and await the day when humanity eradicates its self and Mother Earth can reclaim and begin to regrow. Anyhoo, environmentalist warnings aside, this is a beautiful record filled with sounds and themes yet to be explored in black metal.
This is one of the more unique records I’ve heard this year and it’s well worth your time, if only to hear how far black metal has come since the days of Mayhem and Darkthrone. Give a listen and let us know what you think. And as always, if you like what you hear, toss the artist a few bucks and grab a download of the record. Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
Album Review: Blind Guardian – Imaginations From The Other Side
Release Date: April 5th, 1995
Length: 1 hour 8 minutes
Genre: Power Metal
Studio Albums: 9 plus 1 compilation album
Location: Krefeld, Germany
I’m a happy-go-lucky kind of guy, often to a fault. I always try to keep a smile on my face and keep talking/thinking about negativity to a minimum. I like things that make me happy, make me laugh, and are over-all optimistic in nature. Yet, my preferred genre of music is metal. A genre popularly known for its darkness, pessimism, misanthropy, obsession with mortality, etc. Of course, any well refined metal head will tell you that the vast majority of our music has much more complex, introspective, and positive themes, and it’s quite true, still there is a lot of themes and music to be found on the darker sided of the scale. And I love it just the same.
“But why do I love it?” I’ve asked myself quite a few times during my near lifelong obsession with the genre. In their opening lines of their latest release, Foundations of Burden, Pallbearer sum it up quite concisely and poetically:
The dark encloses all
Our works would be but ash
No knowledge of the time that crushes love to dust
Or the life that’s frozen deep within our veins
The light burns out our eyes
And turns each of us to ash
Our hearts, too hard to ever learn to feel
And mouths, laid open, deep in silent song
A concept band that plays proggy sludge metal about slugs. How novel. And like most novel things, I’m all about checking stuff like that out. What else I’m all about, when a record/band with a novel concept turns out to be freaking great and flat-out kicks some metal ass. Packed with elephantine riffs, slimy solos, viscous rhythms, and pissed off vocals this record is turning out to be one of the more interesting, varied, and engaging records I’ve heard this year. At times it sounds like Revocation played through a pool of sludge, at others kind of a blackened Mastodon; always kicking ass. Oh, and those song names and lyrics, genius!
If you’re hankering for something cool to listen to, do yourself a favor and give Gastronomicon a spin, I promise you won’t be dissappointed. The record is also ‘pay what you want’ if you happen to be on a budget (though, even if you’re poor as dirt, you’ll be cool enough to toss the band a few bucks instead of nothing, right? Right!?). Enjoy some Slugdge :) Peace Love and Metal!!!!!
Album Review: Fallujah – The Flesh Prevails
Label: Unique Leader Records
Release Date: July 22nd, 2014
Genre: Progressive Death Metal
Studio Albums: Leper Colony (EP – 2009), The Harvest Wombs (2011), Nomadic (EP – 2013)
Location: CA, USA