Blog Archives

Album Review: Kobra and the Lotus – Kobra and the Lotus

Kobra-And-The-Lotus-Kobra-And-The-Lotus-Front-Cover-by-Eneas-300x300Named in part after lead singer Kobra Paige, Kobra and the Lotus create a classic style of metal in the vein of Dio and Iron Maiden with a slight touch of power metal thrown into the mix. I also hear influences from other Canadian bands such as Into Eternity and Annihilator.  Her unique vocal style is powerful and after having seen them at Download 2012, she definitely has the chops both in the recording booth and on stage.  After their short lead-off performance that year on the second stage I was anxious to pick the album up, but it did not surface on iTunes until now.  And sorry to say, I was just too lazy to actually find a place that sells CDs that would probably carry Kobra and the Lotus.  Oh shit, there’s this thing called the Internet.  I have no excuse!  So, without further delay, here are my thoughts on their self-titled sophomore effort…finally.

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Song of the Week: Sky Chariots

One band I feel that is criminally underrated is this sludgy, nwobhm-ish, prog metal band called The Lord Weird Slough Feg.  Maybe it was lack of publicity or their name that made people not take notice, cause I’m sure that if one would take a couple minutes to listen to them, the music certainly isn’t anything that would turn any metal fan sour.  Anywho, someone over at Metal Blade Records has finally given this long-running, storied band a shot to gain some more fans by signing them to their label.  One of the best parts other than even more people will be able to enjoy Slough Feg, is that Metal Blade is re-releasing 3 of the bands earlier albums all done up with some cool packaging and a shiny new coat of remastering.  A 3 CD boxset will be released on Feb. 5, 2013 and will contain Twilight of the Idols (1999), Down Among The Deadmen (2000) and Traveller (2003).  Of the 3 I have Traveller, and can attest that is a damn fine record.  The other 2 I am looking forward to hearing, especially after hearing the single track that Metal Blade has released.  “Sky Chariots” is simply damn fine heavy metal and should appease nearly all metal fans of all colors.  Check the tune out, get excited for this neat box set re-release, and get even more excited for the fact that a new Slough Feg record is most likely coming out pretty soon.  You can do some backtracking into the bands ginormous back catalog while you wait.  Enjoy!!!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

Tales From Bandcamp: Possession by Christian Mistress

Damn is this album one hell of a rocker.  Filled to the brim with a doom laden style of NWOBHM mixed with a nice grungy production and a non-over-dramatic female vocalist, Christian Mistress hits all my buttons in the rights spots for what I love to hear out of a modern-retro band.  And in case you’re wondering, I don’t think Christian Mistress is a Christian band as their lyrics revolve around mysticism and all that other fun cult-ish stuff.  But who really cares, they could be singing ‘Jesus Loves the Little Children’ and I’d still be rocking out as long as they did it with that sexy guitar tone, sultry vocals, and driving rhythms.

Possession is Christian Mistress’ major label debut and I think Relapse Records made an excellent choice when signing this band (they style of production they use probably saved the label a couple of bucks too.  And bravo to Relapse for being one of the first major labels to fully embrace Bandcamp).  Front to back I totally dig this album and of all the ‘vest metal‘ (AKA Doom Metal) out there, these guys stick out to me with their high energy and presence.  So check out  Possession, the video for “Pentagram and Crucifix”, and let us know what you think.  Enjoy!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!!

Band Links: Facebook Bandcamp Official Site

Label: Relapse Records

EP Review: Monument – Rock The Night

Whenever a new band is unleashed on the scene I feel I have to take out a pad of paper and count how many different influences and genres I hear.  Though it’s great way to mix things up; I am a fan of that old-school rock/metal vibe that drives nothing more than catchy hooks, clean guitar solos, and that high-pitched Rob Halford-like scream.  This is where Monument’s debut EP, Rock The Night, stands out among the new generation of metal bands.  Their EP is exactly what I just described and better yet, a cool throw back to Iron Maiden and Judas Priest and the rest of the NWOBHM.  Metal is doing great and thriving again as a genre, but we need bands like Monument to remind us of where part of the foundation of today’s metal came from.

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Full Album Stream: The Crystal Eye by Sinister Realm

Need a dose of some great traditional metal, well here you go.  Taking a lot of inspiration from Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Man-O-War, Sinister Realm‘s 2nd full length album, The Crystal Eye, completely rocks.  It’s chock full of huge riffs, superfluous solos, fist pumping choruses, manly chest hair, and war horse galloping rhythms.  There are more hooks in every song than in a salt crusted fisherman’s tackle box and plenty of opportunities to sing along with the “whooooo oooo oooooooooo”s to trick you neighbors into thinking that you have transformed into a werewolf.  Probably the thing that I like the most about this record is that it does have that 80’s old school sound to it, but at the same time it carries its own personality and feels quite modern with some neat prog tendencies mixed in.  So go break out your leather or denim vest (your choice), crack open a Tab, then ball up your fist and raise it high, and rock out to some Sinister Realm.  Enjoy!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

Album Review: Evil Nightmares by Ruler

When people talk about Iron Maiden they often are always referring to the Bruce Dickinson line-ups which started at the release of their third album, The Number of the Beast.  Rarely when there is mention of someone saying that a band sounds like Iron Maiden does the person making the comparison mean the Blaze Bayley years (and that’s for good reason) or the Paul DiAnno early works.  To avoid any confusion in this review, whenever I make mention of the great Iron Maiden I will be solely referring to the Paul DiAnno albums.  And just to run my mouth about Iron Maiden for a second more, Iron Maiden during the early years was absolutely great, and even though Bruce Dickinson is the superior vocalist, the albums with Paul DiAnno were great and I’ve always wished I could hear a couple more Maiden records from that era.  Now that that’s out of the way, the new debut album, Evil Nightmares, by the Italian metal band Ruler sounds like it could very well be the lost early Iron Maiden record, from the sound and style right down to the packaging and photographic aesthetic.  There is a bit of influence from bands like Saxon and Thin Lizzy tossed in, but man, is this an Iron f’n Maiden album, yet it really stands on its own.

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Album Review: Spell Eater by Huntress

To get the gorilla out of the room right off the bat, Huntress frontwoman Jill Janus is a very outspoken person that also is quite the looker who loves to flaunt her scantily clad body around.  She is also a Wiccan and has her own jewelry line which she has no qualms about hawking at any possible opportunity.  Even before the Huntress debut album hit many were saying that she was just eye candy and is a fake.  Well, imo, if she wants to plaster her sultry self all over the world and run her mouth about Wicca and sell her jewelery, let her, she seems quite happy doing so.  And if her wild child behavior leads to her contributing to an awesome debut record like Spell Eater, well girl, don’t f’n stop.  OK, that’s out of the way, now let’s talk about what’s really important, how out-of-control-awesome this album is.

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Full Album Stream: In Somniphobia by Sigh

So, since I browse around Bandcamp quite a bit, I feel restricted to just limiting myself to sharing just one album a week with you all.  So as promised I will still bring you at least one killer full album stream every Tuesday in addition to random days when I find a cool album for you to listen to.  And if any of you awesome readers ever stumble upon a band or artist that you think I should check out don’t hesitate to tell me about it (drop a shout in the comments, on the Facebook page, or via e-mail Metalstate[at]yahoo[dot]com).

Today I discovered that the album that is leading the run for my album of the year right now is available to listen to all the way through on Bandcamp.  Sigh‘s In Somniphobia is bound to be one of the most insane and unique albums you are bound to hear this year.  To keep the post short and the drooling to a minimum I’ll just link my review of it here if you are curious.  To sum this band up in short is difficult, but I’ll try.  They take a base of NWOBHM and black metal, toss in generous servings of jazz, classical, and progressive music and sprinkle with a mixture of various other musical genres.  It’s like listening to your best nightmares.  Top recommended songs are “The Transfiguration Fear” and the whiskey soaked jazz noir metal “Amnesia” .  Check it out.

And with more than enough high quality music Sigh‘s label Candlelight Records also has a ton of great release available for streaming and purchase (at very reasonable prices) on Bandcamp.  This list includes Opeth‘s earlier works, Isahn, Anaal Nathrakh, Orange Goblin, and Havok, just to name a few.  That should keep you busy for a while.  You can check all of that out here.  Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

Sigh - In Somniphobia

Backtracks: Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier

Fuck yeah!!!! Iron Maiden rules!!!! Buy this album now!!! end of review…

Ok, fan-boyism aside, this is, without a doubt, Maidens best post-reunion album.  Brave New World was super solid but toward the end it dragged on a bit.  The following two seemed to be filled with a lot of filler and sans a few standout tracks they didn’t really grab me in the way they used to grab me during my youth(not in that way you pervert!!).  “The Final Frontier” however is classic Maiden peppered with the progressive style they’ve been reaching for since they pulled it off on “7th Son of a 7th Son”.

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Happy Birthday to Number of the Beast

When I was a wee youngster an older brother of my neighborhood friend played 2 albums for us one that would go on and influence one of us in a huge way.  The first was Guns and Roses  Appetite for Destruction, I remember liking it a lot but not nearly as much as the album that he would play for us next which just blew my 6-year-old mind away.  That album was Iron Maiden‘s perennial classic album, The Number of the Beast.

The energy, the huge guitars, Bruce Dickinson’s soaring vocals and maniacal laughter, the fun, feel good vibe of all the songs.  Songs about Indians, songs about monsters, songs about invaders (which I thought was about aliens from space at the time, read: Space Invaders).  I remember how terrifying it was to listen to “Hallowed Be Thy Name” and how much I laughed at “The Number of the Beast”.  Ya, this album made a huge impact on me and I found myself getting a copy from my buddies brother and at around the same point in time I heard this album Iron Maiden had just released Somewhere in Time which was one of the first cassette tapes I’ve ever bought with my own money and the first heavy metal album purchase of my life (and so the obsession begins).

To say Iron Maiden is my all time favorite band is an understatement.  So, I give a whole-hearted Happy 30th Birthday to one of the greatest and most influential metal albums ever written.  Up the Irons!!!!!! What’s your favorite songs off of The Number of the Beast?  Peace Love and Iron Maiden!!!!

My Iron Maiden Tattoo