Blog Archives

Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2002 / #6 – #4


MetalCatWhere were you on the night of September 4, 2002? Can you account for your activities at that time?

If I had to answer those questions, it wouldn’t be beyond the bounds of probability that I was in my office listening to one of these bands. Of course it’s just as probable I was playing “Baldur’s Gate” and reloading because I got killed so often.

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 1998 / #12 – #10


MetalCatThis morning there was a magnitude 5.3 earth tremor in South Africa. It was felt across most of the country, which meant it shook things up as far as a thousand kilometres away.

Strangely, Black Metal Cat was playing his music at just about that exact moment. His new amp arrived on an Abnormal Load truck.

 

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 1996 / #4 and #3


MetalCatThe way my hit parade has sorted itself out with considerable assistance from Dark Metal Cat, it happens that today is a very proggy day. It also happens that both bands are exceptionally good at their styles of metal, ja?

So, herewith two monster bands in one post. Come to A Metal State Of Mind NOW!!! for bonus music at no extra charge.

 

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Mammal’s Merry Memories: Symphony X – The Divine Wings Of Tragedy (1997)


Good memories don’t have to be ancient. They can be as recent as yesterday. This one goes back to 1997, which sometimes feels like yesterday.

Symphony X had released three albums before The Divine Wings Of Tragedy came out. It instantly became and has remained my favourite SX album. One powerful reason for its lasting appeal is the title song, which takes up more than a third of the album.

The song doesn’t have the structure to be called a symphony. Instead I call it a sustained caprice. If the term is sightly unfamilar to you, a caprice is a sudden change of mind, and it often takes the form of a flight of whimsy.

There’s not much that’s whimsical about this song. It does, however, contain any number of changes of mind — in style, melody, time signature and mood. It is an engrossing combination of acapella, symphonic, orchestral and heavy metal sounds in one glorious prog metal package.

 

 

EP Review: Brutai – Brutai


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This should come with a warning-sticker that says “highly addictive music”.

A good friend of mine has been saying lots of positive things about the five tracks on this EP, and after a couple of spins I have to say he’s right. This is an impressive collection of groovy songs with a progressive and modern sound, which should appeal to fans of classic heavy metal just as much as it will to people that prefer newer styles. It’s slightly reminiscent of both Symphony X and Iced Earth, with heavy, hard-hitting music and melodic singing, but Brutai also mixes in elements of metalcore and progressive death metal, which gives a nice edgy feel to their songs.

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Mik’s Top 100 Favourite Albums of All Time #75-71


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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 almost a year 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.

#75 Symphony X – The Divine Wings of Tragedy

I discovered this band in a record store in Stockholm. This song ‘Sea of Lies’ was playing through the speakers, I liked it immediately; the melodic heaviness with dark undertones and fantastic choruses and composition was something I hadn’t heard before and I bought the album the same day. I’m glad I did, it has given me so many great experiences over the years. Released in 1997, it’s still their best album in my opinion.

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Album Review: Max Pie – Eight Pieces – One World


TITRE.EPSIf Max Pie had not landed in our inbox I doubt I would have ever explored the contents of their latest release Eight Pieces – One World.  Let’s face it, that’s a pretty unique (interesting) name does not match any of the musician’s names.  I figured that was the case.  After exhausting limited Max Pie research avenues, I have no idea why they chose that moniker, so let’s press on.  The important thing is that I gave it a shot and “impressed” is one word I can use to sum up my first impression.  After one spin, I am no less than hooked on their epic Dream Theater-style melodies and crunch of reminiscent of Symphony X – definitely two styles that work well together.  The Belgian quartet’s sophomore effort boasts 54 minutes of music across eight songs.

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Album Review: Shadows Over Lothadruin by Wind Rose


The debut album, Shadows Over Lothadruin, by the Italian Symphonic Power Metal band Wind Rose is an interesting listen.  On one hand I found myself quite captivated by the rich melodies, huge symphonies and orchestrations, and huge guitars and vocals.  On the other I kept slipping into the ‘been there, done that’ state of mind.  Now, I don’t think having your musical influences shine on a record is necessarily a bad thing and it has led to many great albums.  But, when I’m listening to a record and find myself constantly going, ‘oh, that sounds just like Symphony X, Dream Theater, Blind Guardian,  etc.’ it pulls me out of the experience some when it happens enough times.  But I really like those bands, so what’s the problem?  You see how the angel and devil are pulling on both sides here.  But all in all, when I reached the end of Shadows Over Lothadruin, I found myself satisfied with the release.

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Reggie’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time #90-86


Continuing on with our Top 100 list at The History of Metal, I bring you my next five with a little bit of justification.  If you haven’t checked out The History of Metal or THOM as we call it, please do it’s a cool forum to talk about and share metal.  The page creator does a great job as keeping topics fresh and he also takes the time to pose challenges to the group; Top 100 Albums being one of them.  I think the best part of this whole challenge besides getting to see everyone else’s choices is to reminisce about why I love these albums so much.  It gets me listening to some of these I haven’t heard in a while.  Not to mention, seeing everyone elses favorites gets me to explore some things I haven’t heard yet.  Enjoy!

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Theme Thursday – Fan Videos II


Many of our blog posts here at A Metal State of Mind are backed by links to videos on YouTube.  We do that so you have something to reference to.  It also helps spread the word about new and exiting music and even bring back memories of years past.  In the process of seeking appropriate videos to accompany our posts, we come across some pretty cool videos created by fans.

This Themed Thursday is dedicated to fans that make their own interpretation of a song.  I am posting some of them here because I think they are either well done, represent the song well, or just pretty cool.  Plus, if you haven’t heard of any of these bands, you might want to explore them even further, though these bands represented with this post are not so obscure.  This is a part II of sorts from an article Matt did a while back on atleastimhousebroken.  You can check that original post here.

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