You know, I never really liked Iced Earth until Stu Block joined the band. I am sure that is going to make some people squirm a bit, but it’s true. I thoroughly enjoyed Dystopia and if I remember correctly, it made my Top 15 the year it was released. Their new album, Plagues of Babylon, is set for release 6 Jan 2014 in Europe and 7 Jan in the U.S. This self-titled song has been out for a few weeks and gives us a decent sample of what is to come. It does sound a bit like Iron Maiden half way through the song which is not surprising. Dark City off of Dystopia had a similar vibe. Based on this one song, looks like Iced Earth may very well be on heavy rotation in my music library in 2014. Iced Earth is on tour now in Europe until December and will resume another (headlining) European tour until late Feb 2014. Enjoy!
Checking out Almah first thing on a Monday morning proved to be beneficial. It’s perfect for the gloomy start in my part of the world. Unfold is their forthcoming 64-minute opus that embodies an intricate pattern of Dream Theater-like progressive elements and combines them with the more uplifting components of power metal. Almah maintains a delicate balance the keeps the band from bathing in cheese. The 12 tracks possess a wide variety of rhythm and groove that emanates numerous influences noticeable to me such as Extreme, Dream Theater, Fair Warning, and Helloween. For a 64-minute album, Unfold is a quality composition that can lift the state of mind on any day of the week. Yet, it still has the necessary hard-rocking, riff-tastic elements I can tap my foot to, especially with the opening song In My Sleep. Overall, I enjoyed the album’s rhythmic balance between power and progressive elements.
Caligula’s Horse has crafted songs that are so alive and so powerful that I get tears in my eyes. Their music makes me do more than just listen, I’m feeling it, I’m living it.
Genre: Progressive rock/metal with a unique, modern and intelligent sound
Recommended for fans of: Opeth, Pain of Salvation, Porcupine Tree, Karnivool, Dream Theater, TesseracT, concept albums, interesting music
Tags: Album Streams, Australia, Australian Metal, bandcamp, Caligula's Horse, Dream Theater, Full Album Stream, Heavy Metal, metal, Music, Music Reviews, Music Videos, Opeth, Pain of Salvation, Porcupine Tree, Prog Metal, Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock, Rock
Interview with Pete of Baroness/Concert Review: Baroness & Royal Thunder at Tunnel Club, Milan Italy Oct. 15, 2013
Spending many years crafting, evolving, and honing one of the most original sounds in music today, Savannah, GA band Baroness have carved quite a niche for themselves that transcends musical genre barriers and deeply appeals to fans of all styles of rock music. If one can say anything about Baroness, it would have to be about how incredibly hard-working and determined its members are in bringing their love of music to their fans and delivering it at the highest quality possible. Even a terrible tour bus accident which could have easily killed any member of the band couldn’t hold founding members Pete Adams (guitars/backing vocals) and John Baizley (lead vocals/guitars) from powering through serious injuries, healing themselves up, and reforming their rhythm section after Allen Blickle (drums) and Matt Maggioni (bass) very understandably took leave of the band. Just a little over a year since the tragic accident Baroness have once again jumped onto the tour bus and returned to Europe to continue putting audiences in awe with their stellar live shows.
On Oct. 15th I was fortunate enough to be able to catch up with guitarist Pete Adams when they stopped in my city of Milan, Italy to play a show at Tunnel Club with Royal Thunder. After witnessing my first live experience with a band I have followed for over 10 years and my chat with Pete I have found myself with an even deeper respect for the lads in the band. All of the passion Pete put into his responses to my questions was reciprocated ten-fold when him and the band took the stage and the amount of smiles and good vibes the band exuded off-stage came with them onto the stage in a very uplifting way of saying ‘we’re back’.
Talking to other metal admirers has certainly opened my ears to a world of music I barely knew existed. I have to say, my library has expanded quite a bit over the years though meeting friends in blogs and social forums. A recent conversation on a facebook forum called “I, Author of Despair” led me to do some soul searching on songs that define my taste in music, more specifically heavy metal. When asked, I usually tell people I just like the aggressive nature of the music, but after thinking about it for a bit I realized there are so many other reasons that define my particular taste…reasons that opened the door to my favorite genres and opened further doors to new ones. Those 10 reasons in no particular order are Speed, Cadence, and Flow; Rhythm and Groove; Guitars; Presentation and Appearance; Disposition; Artistic Impression; Technicality; Poignant Intelligible Lyrics; Storytelling; and Aggression. Although some of the bands used to articulate the things that define my taste can cross over into multiple areas, I use them as good examples of why it defines my taste in music.
Fact: Muppets make anything more awesome. Fact: Queen is an awesome band and Bohemian Rhapsody is an awesome video. Fact: Haken’s new single “Cockroach King” is prog metal awesomeness.
What happens when you mix all these awesome facts together? You get one of the most awesome videos you will ever see. I really can’t see how Haken could have visually represented “Cockroach King” any better and the nods to Queen are just too cool. Give it a watch along with their other super trippy video for “Pareidolia”. Both are off their new album The Mountain which in super quick review format (full review coming soon…ish) is a must for any self-appriciating fan of anything prog and if you don’t check it out you should feel ashamed of yourself. Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!
“It’s extremely liberating in the digital age to approach composing and creating in this manner.
Infinite paths to explore, reinterpret and re-present.”
Release Date: August 27, 2013 on Puscifer Entertainment
Length: 60 minutes
Genre: Alternative, industrial rock, experimental, electronic
Don’t Shoot The Messenger EP, 2009
“V” is for Vagina, 2007
“C “ is For (Please Insert Sophomoric Genitalia Reference Here) EP, 2009
Conditions of My Parole, 2011
Donkey Punch The Night EP, 2013 and three remix albums
Recommended for fans of: Nine Inch Nails, Tool, A Perfect Circle, electronic music
For those of you that visit us regularly, you probably know that we love metal! But, sometimes we allow ourselves to be inspired by the not-so-metal sounds of other artists. And, when I say not-so-metal I just mean not the extreme of death or black metal and everything in between. It still has to rock for us to talk about it. Johnny Wore Black (JWB) is that artist I have been following since the release of the song and video for All The Rage quite some time ago.
In this case I am talking more of a Porcupine Tree vibe…the songs released so far are slow, but dark, moody, and melodic with occasional boosts of harder edged rock. Since All The Rage was released, Johnny Wore Black doused our senses with two other songs; Noise and Up In Flames…all very enticing songs further increasing my anticipation for a full-length album. Well, at least we finally a name for that album…Walking Underwater and it should be released in early 2014. It’s still a ways down the road, but keeping with some kind of playbook for song releases, Johnny Wore Black released another treat. Here are my thoughts on Gift of Desperation.
Sorry I haven’t done one of these posts in a while. Time to get back into the Bandcamp swing of things with one hell of a doozy. Since I came across Pox Americana by Jim Strange with The Proud & The Damned I seriously have not been able to stop listening to it. Fresh and original are an understatement. They could be best described as a Gothic Americana Doom Rock band. There are big fat riffs, a terrific alt-country feel, Opeth-like Gothic atmospheres, and vocals that have slight Count Dracula air to them (Probably best compared to Peter Steele or Glenn Danzig).
If you have an interest in hearing some of the awesome things that can be done within the doom genre, do not hesitate a second to check this album out. The American roots feel of the music paired with the bombast of metal will suck you right in and that voice will wine, dine, and 69 you. And for you cheapskates out there, Jim Strange has made the album at no cost to you, so download away, but be sure to show your appreciation by giving them a ‘like’ on their Facebook page or telling all your friends about this über-cool doom band you found and force them to listen to it (violently of course ). Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
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.
# 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.