Blog Archives

Album Review: Soen – Tellurian


soen-tellurian-7113“I will fight the system, break it down and redesign it, I don’t want anything the way it’s created by them. Where is my right to choose, if all the options are theirs?

Release Date: November 4th 2014 on Spinefarm Records

Tracks: 9

Length: 53 minutes

Genre:  Atmospheric progressive metal

Previous releases: Cognitive 2012

Location: Sweden/US

Recommended for fans of:  Opeth, Leprous, Rishloo, Riverside, Karnivool

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2011, #20 – #17


MetalCat

Rare photograph of a New Zealand alligator playing the Belgian violin.

Yet again today I encountered some of the weird prejudices that prevail in the world of popular music, as in FM radio and the current Top 20 Best-Marketed Hits of the Week.

The young fellow I spoke to in a store was surprised that someone of my age, which is 64, would listen to modern music at all [Prejudice 1]. He was even more surprised that I would listen to something as weird as metal [Prejudice 2]. When I mentioned that I would be posting some of my favourite music from Sweden, Belgium and New Zealand, he exclaimed: “Oh, well, I wouldn’t listen to it anyway. I don’t listen to anything unless it’s from England or America because I can’t understand the words [Prejudice 3].”

I could add [Ignorance 1] but maybe they don’t speak English in New Zealand. Isn’t it a region in Mongolia?

 

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2008, #4 – #1


MetalCatDark Metal Cat has issued an advisory that this series has come under the scrutiny of the NSA because today’s episode includes no American bands. American metalheads may laugh at this allegation. Yeah? How did the NSA know what I was going to select before I did?

So today we have Amon Amarth, Sieges Even, Opeth and To-Mera. Dark Metal Cat has issued an advisory that the NSA has listed all of those band names as code words for secret meeting places where “strange people” in the USA listen to European bands.

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2005 / #6 – #4


MetalCatFrom my selections today it looks like I’m doing a hit parade of Swedish metal. Do you Swedes appreciate how much the metal world owes to your country? You do? Good. Send each of us a Volvo, thanks.

Maybe I should rearrange my sets of annual hit parades and do three American bands in a row. Then we’ll each get an apple pie. Dark Metal Cat wants his with huge dollops of cream.

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2003 / #3 – #1


MetalCatIt may seem ironic that Chimaira wins one of the top three spots in my year-by-year hit parade a week after they finally split up, supposedly for ever. They made a live come-back that reportedly drew ridiculously small audiences.

Whatever the reasons for their calling it a day, I wish all of them well. They gave me some good listening, which is ultimately all that anyone can ask of a band.

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Songs of the Week: Moon Above, Sun Below and Eternal Rains Will Come by Opeth


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!!!

Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2002 / #3 – #1


MetalCatThis selection completes ten years of my personal hit parades. Looking at the medals table to date (i.e. 2002), Sweden has had five of my favourite songs of the year; the USA, three; and the Netherlands and the UK, one each.

From this it is manifestly clear that my best musical place in the world is right here in my office, where I can listen to the best of every country.

At the end of the 21 years, I must work out a points system to name my top music country, my top band and my top metal genre over two decades.

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Roundtable Review: Pale Communion by Opeth


Opeth_Pale_Communion_album_artworkAlbum: 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

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2001 / #2 – #1


MetalCatOpeth does it again, taking Number One spot for the fourth time in the nine annual lists I’ve selected so far. Arjen Lucassen also does well again, this time with Ambeon.

 

 

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 1999 / #2 – #1


MetalCatI’ve done seven years of my 21-year hit parade. This is the third year where the winner is Opeth. With My Dying Bride as runner-up, it must have been a very atmospheric year.

 

 

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