One 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.
Posted in Album Reviews
Tags: Battle Beast, Cadaveria, Crisis Cult, Esseker, Gothic black metal, Gothic rock, Heavy Metal, Kings & Queens, Leah, Macbeth, Melodic Rock, Neo-Gothic Propaganda, Silence, Sombras, Sonic Cathedral’s female-fronted roundup for January, Symphonic Celtic Metal, Symphonic Metal, Unholy Savior, Voices of Destiny
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!
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?
Have 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.
Most 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”.
Near 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.
Black Label Society and Ozzy bring the temperature back down to normal in my office.
It 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.
Today’s selection is doomy and black. That’s the sort of music that soothes me and makes Dark Metal Cat happy enough to stop ripping the furniture apart. I would clip his claws if I had tungsten clippers. He goes through about four sets of strings per gig.
Platinum used to be the heaviest known metal that humans could handle safely. Denser metals tend to be radioactive. Iridium, which arguably has the highest specific gravity of the elements that doesn’t decay in fractions of a second, is toxic in its pure form.
I’ve discovered a new metal that can be as heavy as you want it to be. It’s called Mammalum. It seems to be just the right specific gravity to match whatever kind of metal I’m enjoying. I thought you should know that.