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Sonic Cathedral’s female-fronted roundup for April – Part 1/2


SC logoI’ve heard it said that Sonic Cathedral agreed to let Metal State publish a digest of their reviews because I train the Sonic Cathedral unicorns. This is untrue. Their unicorns are untrainable. It is very dangerous to stand in front of them when they are moshing. It’s also dangerous to stand in front of their unicorns.

Sonic Cathedral reviewed nine female-fronted albums during April. We’re doing a two-part digest of those reviews, including the album details and a very short summary of each review. Here are the first five. Part 2 will cover the next four.

 

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Album Review: Nightwish – Endless Forms Most Beautiful


613dW-xBHFL._SY300_Album:  Endless Forms Most Beautiful

Label:  Nuclear Blast

Songs:  22 (deluxe version)

Length:  2 hours; 38 minutes (deluxe version)

Previous Albums:  Angels Fall First (1997); Oceanborn (1998)’ Wishmaster (2000); Century Child (2002); Dark Passion Play (2007); Imaginaerum (2011)

Genre:  Symphonic Metal

Location:  Finland

I had high hopes for a newly invigorated Nightwish.  Not that Anette’s departure was a blessing, I actually liked Anette with Nightwish quite a bit.  Lineup changes happen and sometimes it is unfortunate. But, after hearing Floor’s initial performances with the band on various YouTube clips I maintained the hope that Nightwish would continue to pump out highly fervent symphonic metal to the masses. I read that Floor was with the band during the recording process which was something new for the band.  This led me to believe things would be just different this time around.  Sadly, the only thing that is different that Nightwish acquired a new singer that’s sounds equally as excellent their previous front-ladies, but the passion in their music seems to be largely absent.  Read the rest of this entry

Sonic Cathedral’s female-fronted roundup for January


SC logoOne of our innovations for 2015 is an alliance with Sonic Cathedral, the website that specialises in reviews of albums by female-fronted bands. Collectively, the Sonic Cathedral team is probably the best team of experts in the world on the types of female-fronted music we at Metal State don’t cover too often, notably symphonic metal and Gothic metal. SC covers a lot more ground than that, however, featuring FF albums in various genres of rock and harder metal as well.

We’ll be presenting a highlights roundup of the Sonic Cathedral reviews every month. Our coverage will include the album details, an intro from SC, and a link to the full (and often extremely comprehensive) review on SC’s website.

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2012, #9 – #7


MetalCatThe number of genres and sub-genres of modern metal far exceeds the total number of genres that existed in Western music 30 years ago.

There are more bands today playing classic-style heavy metal than there were at the height of heavy metal in the 1980s.

Since the advent of online music streaming and buying, more metal albums are released every month than the total number of albums of all kinds of Western music in 1980.

No one can possibly listen to every new metal album… but, oh man, it’s fun trying!

 

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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: 2009, #8 – #5


MetalCatHave I mentioned that Simone Simons is the most beautiful woman in the world and I <3 her? “Design Your Universe”; we all do that, unconsciously and instinctively, all the time. Everyone’s brain interprets external stimuli and experiences differently. We all internalise, modify and store memories that can never be the same as anyone else’s. Each of us does effectively inhabit our own, unique universes that our minds build for us.

If a Simone Simons is a twin-rotor helicopter in your universe, it must be a very interesting place.

 

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2008, #20 – #17


MetalCatMost of you were too young to listen to metal before this year. You were still doing “The Wheels on the Bus” and “Humpty Dumpty”. To help you catch up on some of the great music of the most recent years, I’ll be posting 20 songs per year from 2008 and after, not 15 or 10 songs. That’s four songs per day for a year per week excluding weekends.

If you’re still too young to listen to metal, see my parallel series, “Mammal’s Thousand Years Of Nursery Rhymes”.

 

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2007 / #6 – #4


MetalCatNear the top of my song ladder for 2007, two giant bands bracket a relative unknown. Symphony X and Epica shouldn’t need any introduction. Age of Nemesis, however, gained little following outside their native Hungary. That’s a pity.

 

 

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2003 / #6 – #4


MetalCatMy goodness, today we have a head-to-head between Angela Gossow, my favourite female growler, and Simone Simons, my favourite metal soprano. That’s just how the sorting worked out.

Black Label Society and Ozzy bring the temperature back down to normal in my office.

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2000 / #3 – #1


MetalCatIt does happen. The three songs I’ve chosen as my top favourites of 2000 all feature clean singing. I’m not particularly biased towards either dark or clean vocals, although most of the metal I listen to these days does have plenty of growling.

Dark Metal Cat has a growling purr and a clean sandbox.

 

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