Unfortunately, no real interesting videos go released this week. Just ones with the band playing in a basement, abandoned warehouse, forest, etc. And you all know how much I love those. Silver lining being, I get to dig a bit back for stuff I overlooked throughout the year. Here’s one video and record I criminally overlooked until recently. So, hail Crom and check out the nightmarish visuals with a crushing sludge doom soundtrack. Also, check out the record, Blood Eagle; absolutely shattering stuff. Enjoy!!!
I was considering making these 2 songs the Video of the Week because the neat-o nature visualizers are damn hypnotizing, fit their respective songs perfectly, and would be perfectly acceptable as official videos in my book. However, RoadRunner decided to label them as official audio, so I would expect that something a bit more big budget is in the pipeline.
Anyhoo, in case you missed our Roundtable Review of Opeth’s latest, Pale Communion, some of us liked it, some of us not so much, and I flipped head over heel in love it claiming it belongs with the upper echelon of the prime Opeth releases. Every song on it is pure gold in my opinion and even cooler, my 2 favorite tracks from the record got this cool official audio nature visualizer treatment.
Eternal Rains Shall Come shows some stylized footage, of, well, rain and thunderstorms. Really cool, especially if you are the type of person that find comfort in just staring out into a rainstorm. The song is really damn cool as well. I love how it floats from upbeat, chipper moods to relaxing and slightly melancholy to punchy and powerful. Damn fine song and an instant classic in my book.
Moon Above, Sun Below showcases my favorite season as Autumnal clips hypnotize as Opeth takes you on a trip to the Harlequin Forest to see how much it has changed over the years. While the last time we visited the forest of regrets and our protagonist’s tortured mind was being chased on a Wintery and stormy night, we now see the forest in a different season and illuminated by the sun. It still has maintained a bit of menace, but without the cover of dark, refrains from baring its teeth opting to lull its prey into becoming lost within the flurry of trunks and branches until the dawn of night approaches.
Am I crazy in thinking that Moon Above, Sun Below is the spiritual successor to Harlequin Forest? (I embedded the song so you can listen and reaffirm my over-analyzing.) Have you listened to the new Opeth? What do you think? Love it, hate it, meh? Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
This one caught my attention by claiming to be a mix of surf rock and black metal, and a combo like that you don’t not jump on the opportunity to see if it’s something revolutionary or an absolute train wreck. To my disappointment a combo of Dick Dale and Emperor didn’t come to fruition (with the exception of a minute at the end of the record). What I consider surf rock, really wasn’t strongly present in the 4 songs. However, what I did here was a really interesting proggy atmospheric black metal record with a sunny, nautical feel. Like a combo of Rush, BtBaM, and Deafheaven.
Another thing that really caught me about the record is the positivity of the lyrical content, which fits the ‘happy’ black metal it coincides with. Songs about loving life, beauty, etc. It’s always nice when there is a break from the norm and The Apache Revolver pull it off quite well. This being the bands first substantial offering, it’s very well done and the potential these guys have is astounding. I am quite interested to see what they can do with a full length. Anyhoo, give The Morningstar E.P. a listen and let us know what you think. As always, if you like what you here, grab yourself a copy of the album and force your metal minded friends to listen to it. Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
Thanks to the great FB Page Hipster Black Metal for turning me onto this one (as well as many other cool records).
Slow, plodding, methodical, droning doom is rarely associated with adjectives like relaxing, uplifting, and beautiful, yet long time trio Earth pull it off again and again as they push the boundaries of the doom genre on each album. While their last pair of releases were a tad lackluster compared to the monumental slab of instrumental drone/doom that is known as The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull, they have just released one hell of a shattering record that soars the band to new heights.
Now with the inclusion of vocals in their still very instrumental affairs, Earth have really created their most engaging record to date. For music this thick and viscous, I shouldn’t be so sucked in, yet I am. I get this heavy White Album-era Beatles vibe throughout the whole thing, especially on the song ‘From the Zodiacal Light’, which really adds a unique flavor to the music.
If you are looking for some great zone-out/meditation metal this record should be right up your alley. Give it a listen and let us know what you think. Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!!
Album: Pale Communion
Label: Roadrunner Records
Release Date: August 26th, 2014
Songs: 8 +2 Bonus Tracks with digipack
Length: 55:48 (w/o bonus tracks)
Genre: Prog Rock
Studio Albums: This is their 11th LP
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
The second I saw the band name and cover art for Nightsatan and the Loops of Doom I had to click on it and see what it was all about. Expecting some sci-fi doom band I was pleasantly surprised that the record is a score for a ten-cent sci-fi schlock-fest film by the same name and the music is an homage to the glorious scores of 80s sci-fi and horror flicks like Blade Runner, Day of the Dead, Terminator, and 80s John Carpenter. Jam packed full of synths and more synths I immediately fell in love with this electronic cheese. Not really metal, but whatever, the band name makes it metal enough.
If cheesy sci-fi synth music is something you can get down with, give the record a spin, it’s atmospheric and fun. If not, just watch the trailer for the film, which is undeniably metal as fuck. Now, if you excuse me, I need to go get my hands on that flick. Enjoy!!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!
Sometimes I wonder if I’ve died and gone to Heaven. The past handful of years have seen a resurgence of doom metal unlike any other genre out there. Back in the 90s and early aughts I had to scape and scrawl to find a new band out there releasing a quality doom release, and now I can’t even keep up with the amount being tossed my way. Maybe it’s because stuff like Bandcamp has made it easier to find them or maybe record labels are getting their shit together and realizing people actually buy this stuff. Whatever it is, it’s awesome, though maybe not for my old, worn down Candlemass, Cathedral, and St. Vitus records which aren’t getting as much attention as they used to. To add to the pile of outstanding doom releases this year, the debut album, Wisdom, by a little band called The Order of Israfel landed in my lap and into my heart.
Ok, something completely different for y’all with this one. As many of you know, I have love for video games just as big as my love for metal, with a special soft spot for the NES/SNES heyday of gaming glory. I have an even softer spot for Mega Man. Between the rock solid running, jumping, and shooting, beautiful art style and character design, and outstanding music, the only old school series that I herald higher than Mega Man is The Legend of Zelda. So, ya, I love me some Mega Man. Unfortunately, those bastards at Capcom teased me with a full on retro Mega Man revival with the kick ass Mega Man 9 and 10 they released some years ago and then pulled out from making more since they are bastards (the games sold wonderfully too, don’t know wtf they were thinking).
Anyhoo, before I get ahead of myself, a couple of months ago a game called Shovel Knight was released on PC, 3DS, and WiiU. It’s basically an homage to the glory days of retro-gaming with a lot of modern twists and pulls a lot of inspiration from the Mega Man series, especially in character design, graphical aesthetic, and above all the music. Mega Man pretty much has some of the best tunes of any game out there with their chip tune power metal punch. So, given the love Shovel Knight for the Mega Man series, to be a respectable homage to the Blue Bomber, the dev. team would have to find someone to craft one hell of a soundtrack. They found Jake Kaufman, and let me tell you he went above and beyond the call of duty. When a chip tune soundtrack is just as good out of game than in, you got yourself something special. This soundtrack ranks up there with the all time greats including The Legend of Zelda, Castlevania, Final Fantasy, and Super Mario Bros. Tons of catchy melodies, driving rhythms, and cheesy 8-bit goodness.
If you happen to be one of the few other people out there that actually enjoy some good chip tune music, this is a must have record. Even cooler, Jake did a second record with reinterpretations of the scores that is just as good. So, go play Shovel Knight (which is riding high as my Game of the Year so far) and download the soundtrack and reinterpretation album. Both are pay what you want, but tossing the artist the change between your cushions for their work instead of taking the record for free would be a cool thing to do. Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!
It always soothes my soul when I come across a chunk of proggy, shoegaze-y post-metal that has a truly original sound to it. For as much as I like the genre, I have to admit lots of themes do tend to get rehashed and repeated. Build up, crescendo, trippy section, atmosphere, atmosphere, rinse and repeat (not necessarily in that order). Here we have the newly released record Far Above the Pines by one man band Dust Sculptures, and while he does follow the structure a bit, there’s something about his sound that feels unique to the genre. Maybe its the weird electronic sections, the heartfelt clean vocals, the emotional punch of the heavier bits,or that melancholic atmosphere that somehow allows just enough light through to make the whole thing feel really uplifting. Whatever it is, this album is unlike anything I’ve heard before.
If you fancy bands like Isis, Deafheaven, Porcupine Tree/Steven Wilson, Skyharbor, Pink Floyd, or *shels I really recommend giving this record a listen even though none of those bands sound remotely like the album in this post. As always, if you like what you hear, be a great human being and toss the artist some spare change and buy a download of the album, and be even more super by sharing the recommendation with friends you think will dig the music. Let me know what you think of Dust Sculptures down in the comments. Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
There are a few metal sub-genres that I’m pickier than a toddler at the dinner table with. Of the ones I am most picky with, Power Metal would probably take the cake. In my opinion, good Power Metal needs to have something I call the cheese factor (superfluousness, theatrics, high-flying-ness, not taking things too serious-ness, etc) balanced in the right place. Not enough cheese you end up with one of those sad solo Timo Tolkki records, too much and the band is just a parody of itself (Rhapsody of Fire excluded). Get it in the right and you end up with some of the greats like Helloween and Stratovarius. Now, to add to my pickiness, since I can go pop one of the already Ch-balanced records in any time I want, a new Power Metal band really has to do something unique and original to grab me by the shorty hairs and get me to pay attention. That’s the hard part and probably why I haven’t fallen for a new Power Metal band in quite some time now. Enter Canada’s Crimson Shadows and their major label debut and sophomore record Kings Among Men.