Throughout my childhood there have been many films that have captured my impressionable imagination and then warped and raped it. The Secret of Nimh, The Dark Crystal, The Brave Little Toaster, Labyrinth, Dumbo, Watership Down, etc. They were all able to lure me in with colors, cuteness, and imagination and then rip the rug up from under me and show me the dark, seedy underbelly of the world in all its twisted glory. I don’t know why, but I always tended to gravitate toward this style of film in my young age (and well into my teenage years and adulthood). Sitting at the top of horrifically cute films lies the 1971 cinematic masterpiece Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory starring the great Gene Wilder in the role he was born to play; the magically mad Willy Wonka. From the colorful cinematography to the densely dark under-themes of consumerism and greed the film didn’t shy away for a moment from the fact it was luring young kids into its mind-rape Ford Econoline van with pretty colors and promises of candy.
Another aspect of Willy Wonka that cements it as one of the greatest cinematic achievements is its soundtrack. From happy and uplifting ‘Pure Imagination’ to nightmare inducing boat ride song the music of the flick covered just about every reachable aspect of places ones imagination can go. And I’ll be damned if they weren’t catchy songs. Don’t tell me you don’t find yourself humming the Oompa Loompa songs from time to time. It was simply a quirky, fun, and occasionally dark bit of music. And do you know what else is quirky, fun, and occasionally dark (ok, a bit more than occasionally)? The long-standing oddball band, Primus.
Genre: Cinematic / Expressive / Progressive / Moody / Atmospheric / A Pinch of Desert Rock / Experimental
Length: 47 Minutes
Release Date: 23 Sep 2014
Albums: This is their 3rd studio album.
Location: Arizona, US
For fans of: Isis, Palms Read the rest of this entry →
Band: Witches of Doom
Genre: Hard Rock, Stoner, Goth
Release: April 2014
Label: Sliptrick Records Read the rest of this entry →
Album: Slab City
Label: Napalm Records
Release Date: Sept. 5th, 2014
Genre: Desert Rock
Studio Albums: Disastronaught (2012), Corned Beef Colossus E.P. (2013)
Location: London, U.K.
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!!!
Release Date: 24 Jun 2014
Length: 45 Minutes
Genre: Just Heavy Metal
Studio Albums: This is their 3rd studio album
Location: Canada Read the rest of this entry →
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
I know I’ve said this before, but a car company releasing free albums and EPs for metal and hard rock bands (they do indie and hip-hop as well)!??!? Well, if anything, over the past couple years Scion has been doing this they have released some really quality stuff like Revocation, Immolation, Enslaved, and Corrosion of Conformity. They have also introduced me to some cool bands as well.
Their latest band they’re promoting is a neat little grungy, stonerish hard rock band called Moab. With some chunky riffs, groovin’ low-ends, and a really unique alto vocalist this 70s inspired rock is well worth a listen to. Even more so since their sophomore record, Billow, is absolutely free. Listening to the album I got a Stone Temple Pilots meets early Soundgarden meets Black Sabbath vibe from it. You can download Billow here at no charge or strings attached and check out the video for “Whittled Away” below. Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
Release Date: 30 May 2014
Time: 39 Minutes
Studio Albums: 2011 – Super Van Vacation
For fans of: Kyuss, Monster Magnet, Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer Read the rest of this entry →
If you are into cool grooves and dramatic themes, you may want to check out this Hungarian band called Dystopia. They are torn from the hard rock sheet of music and possess strong, clean vocals and melodic harmony that makes them easy to absorb. They employ some special guests on their new album and you might here a growl here and there from bassist Peter Bajusz, but mostly the music is clean. The guitar solos are exceptionally melodic and enjoyable. Way To Unfold was released independently on 3 April 2014 and is their second full-length album, their first in seven years.
As the album starts off with some of their heavier work on Acid Smile and Devil’s Playground, the rest of the songs move from chunky riffing and fist-in-the-air cadences to softer, more melodic songs and back again. From beginning to end, Way to Unfold, is an enjoyable album and bit of departure, though a nice one, from the aggression of thrash and death metal I listen to on a regular basis. The album is available from bandcamp; just name your price. Check out the stream below.
For fans of: Shinedown, Alter Bridge, Firewind, Sevendust