A Metal State of Mind Goes on Hiatus

Hiatus implies that we may be back at some point down the road, but the feeling right now is that this will be permanent and the decision is mutual between the four of us.  What can I say, we’ve simply run out of steam…all of us at the same time.  However, the possibility exists this website could be dusted off in the future.  You never know.  It’s been a great run…6 years we’ve been at this.

We would like to thank all the readers that engaged with us discussing important things in life like Metal.  Thank you to all the publicists, bands, artists, and everyone else that found us and gave us a chance to say something about your music.

From Reggie (me), Matt, Mik, and Chris…thank you for everything!

A Metal State of Mind 2010-2016.

Reggie’s August (2016) Roundup

Continuing with what I think will be my regular review format (short and sweet), it’s time to discuss what I was spinning in  August; a variety of interesting things to say the least.  In fact, I was quite pleased with everything I took the time to listen to.  It may be worth mentioning though, that I will not just post only what was released in the last month, but also what was new to me even if it was released months ago. Or even years ago…

downloadCarnifex – Slow Death / Death Metal / Deathcore – Released on 5 Aug 2016 by Napalm Records

A solid dose of brutal riffs.  What more can I say?  Carnifex carnage continues.  There are no ballads on this album!  3.5 out of 5  Read the rest of this entry

Reggie’s July (2016) Roundup

July was a plentiful month for releases with Fates Warning, Centinex, Periphery, Black Crown Initiate, and Revocation leading the charge; at least concerning the albums I was able to get a hold of and take the time to listen to.  Here is a quick rundown…


Fates Warning – Theories of Flight / Progressive Metal – Released on 1 July 2016 by InsideOutMusic

For fans of the earlier days of Fates Warning, this should be right up your alley. It’s tight, progressive, melodic, and heavy. It’s a solid Fates Warning album; probably one you’ve been wishing for, for a long time.  4 out of 5  Read the rest of this entry

The Metal Elitist

tumblr_niwmgl7li31thdy8lo1_500I am not sure when I first started seeing people toss the word elitist around within the metal community.  I thought we are all playing for the same team whether your preferred genre be death metal, black metal, thrash metal, or blackened-technical-atmospheric-doom oriented metal with a touch of industrial-sludge.  After all, metal is metal even if your favorite band is Korn, right?  Apparently not.

Metal elitism exists, unfortunately.  If you are unsure you have ever met a metal elitist, you may very well be one.  But, here are some traits I have noticed about metal elitists while scanning forums, websites, and blogs for my daily dose of metal happenings.

  1. No matter what band you like, the metal elitist will always say they suck.
  2. No matter what shows you have seen live, they pale in comparison to those the metal elitist has been to. Even if you have seen the same bands live from the same tour, the show they saw in their city was better.
  3. You spent three days at a metal festival and had the time of your life. The elitist will still brag about the festival they went to 10 years ago…and it will have been better.
  4. No matter how jazzed you are about anything metal or metal-related, the elitist will take that away from you and crush your soul.
  5. Chances are, most of the music the elitist listens to is shit you’ve never heard of.
  6. You’re standing in line waiting to get into a show. They look at you and look at the shirt you are wearing and based on that shirt, their eyes roll and they turn around and ignore you.
  7. Everything the elitist likes is “the old shit.” They rarely, if at all, praise anything new.
  8. The elitist cannot be bargained with.
  9. The elitist’s opinion cannot be changed.
  10. If you are talking with an elitist and you agree with everything they say; congratulations, you are also an elitist.

c434f14efdeda11f14ac045f308a42c0Bottom line:  This shouldn’t be taken seriously.  However, it shouldn’t matter if someone is total fanboy (or girl) just can’t stop going on and on and on and on about Kamelot as if other bands don’t exist.  We’re all part of the metal family and should treat each other respectfully and respect others’ opinions.  Sometimes the best part of going to a show or hanging with metal friends is talking about metal, shows, lists, and being introduced to new music.  We should be a tight knit community and not allow ourselves to become divided by pointless snobbery. Strength in numbers, I say!

Tales from Bandcamp: Belfry by Messa

a2246686038_10From the opening drone and Om track to the closing acoustic folk song I can totally say I have not been enthralled with such a shattering doom album since Pallbearer’s latest outing. Messa have crafted a monumental debut overflowing with suffocating atmospheres and bluesy doom thunder topped off with sultry female vocals that will hypnotize you as they invoke demons to consume your flesh.

Mixing the droniness of Sunn O))) with the psychedelic edge of bands like Subrosa and the bluesy occult punch of The Devil’s Blood or Blood Ceremony, each song is nothing short of completely engaging. Whether it’s the slow burn of “Babalon”, the Freebird-freakout of “Hour of the Wolf”, the doom-clarinet jam on “Blood”, or the driving riffing on “New Horns” there is always some trick up Messa’s sleeve to draw you even deeper into their rituals. Even the ambient interludes are inspiriting. Little touches like the crackle and hiss of vinyl punctuate how much care went into this record.

If you have any love for doom metal in your veins (of course you do!) you need to go to Messa. Our Father who art in doom, Messa be thy name. Thy riffs come, thy will be done. On Earth as is in Inferno.

As usual, listen, force your friends to listen, force your enemies to listen, give the band money, support music and shit. Peace Love and Metal!!!!

Tales from Bandcamp: Empires of Ash by Sojourner

a0681834603_10I always appreciate when a band chooses a name that aptly describes what their sound is. Even more when they live up to it. Dream Theater, Agalloch, Moonsorrow, Cannibal Corpse, to name a few. With a lofty name like sojourner there is lofty expectations for the music to take me on one hell of a journey across sprawling landscapes and through magical realms. And boy does this debut of theirs deliver.

As equally majestic as it is furious, Empires of Ash channels that epic spirit of black metal bands like Summoning, Saor, and even Emperor. What really sets Sojourner apart from their contemporaries for me is how well they weave the folk instruments into their songs; a variety of flutes, piano, and cheesy-as-fuck synths (and I mean that in the best way possible) pour personality into the music. When ever they make an appearance they really heighten the atmosphere and give just the right amount of spine-tingling punch. Add in a smattering of pristine medieval-styled female vocals to break up the throaty rasps and the mystical element is delightfully accentuated. I also really appreciate the diversity of the songs on the record as well as the songs themselves. Some have touches of doom others bask in ballad territory. Each one has its own distinctive touch yet they all flow well together. This is definitely an album to be appreciated as a whole rather than piecemeal.

So, yeah, if you love yourself some epic folky black metal, do check Empires of Ash out. I see myself really taking a many trip with these Sojourners.  As always, give it a listen and if you dig it go dig in your couch or back seat for some spare change to toss to the artists, they deserve it. Annoy your friends with recommendations too!!!  Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!!

Album Review: Katatonia – The Fall of Hearts

katatonia_thefallofheartsFirst of all I am not going to mention that other guy from that other band that is known to be vocalist Jonas Renske’s buddy.  Not even going there.  I keep seeing those comparisons and it’s driving me nuts.  Second, it’s going to be hard not to be a bit biased because of my love for Katatonia’s depressively wonderful melodies.  But, The Fall of Hearts is upon us, all 1+ hour of it, and I must speak about it.  That’s a huge chunk of melancholy, but the good thing is that it doesn’t “feel” like an hour.  So, I expected the album to follow the path of Dethroned and Uncrowned.  I mean, let’s face it, that haunting remix of Dead End Kings was well transformed, produced, and engineered.  The live concert footage is killer!  Why not ride that wave?  I probably would, but that’s me.  I can milk a cow till she runs dry. Read the rest of this entry

Tales From Bandcamp: In Pieces by Oak Pantheon

a2504124681_10Some years ago I remember checking out an album by Oak Pantheon (2012’s From a Whisper), digging it enough to buy it, and then it kinda got lost among the mountain of mp3s on my player. Basically, it was a good album, but not memorable enough to really solidify itself in my consciousness. The band name stuck more with me than the music. Luckily, remembering the band name and associating it with something pretty quality I clicked on the preview for the new album, In Pieces, over at Bandcamp and an hour later left with more than just a killer band name fixed in my head.

Crafting an absolutely enthralling collection music, Oak Pantheon have delivered one of the most engaging atmospheric black metal albums I’ve heard to date.  Each track strikes balance between hypnotizing and ferocious, Earthly and astral.  Twists and turns that flow seamlessly rock you into a meditative state like laying back on a boat on an isolated sea. This album is a journey; a journey that will leave one changed. Outstanding instrumental performances to boot!

If you dig on bands like Vattnet Viskar, The Atlas Moth, Panopticon, and Agalloch, In Pieces is a must. If you just love well crafted music regardless of genre, this is a must. It will be a serious album of the year contender for me! Go give it a listen and a purchase if you enjoy it! Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!

Album Review: Metal Resistance by BabyMetal

originalWhen BabyMetal popped up some years ago with that very Japanese video for Doki Doki Panic, I got a good kick out of the metal/Jpop hybrid dancing girl trio, watched it a few times, shared it on the Facebook, and then went back about my business of being a trve br00tl metalhead. I guess a lot of people liked that video as it caught on like wildfire and more crazy songs and videos ensued, even a full album. Thinking it was a pure gimmick with no heart like most ‘produced’ bands I passed on it.  Not that I don’t have a soft spot for the occasional bit of Jpop, I do play a fuckton of Japanese RPGs (tips hat to the Persona composers) and I do love me some Maximum the Hormone, it just seemed like something that would be forgettable when the image was taken away.

Last month the new single/video for ‘Karate’ was released and of course I checked it out without hesitation expecting to dig it and then be on my merry way.  What I didn’t expect was how much it would catch in my brain.  Between that slick groove metal riff, infectious chorus, and chilling outro I kept saying to myself that the people writing the music for these girls really do have some damn fine chops. So, I decided to take the dive and check out the new record, Metal Resistance, to see how well it held up with the image removed and the music holding its own.  And boy am I surprised at how much this record kept surprising me.

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Album Review: DevilDriver – Trust No One

devildriver_trustnooneWhen Dez Fafara announced DevilDriver was going on hiatus back in 2014, I felt it was the end of the band.  Long-time band members were dropping off the roster like flies while Dez’s other band, Coal Chamber, was making a momentous comeback. I was beginning to think Winer Kills was the last album we’d see from DevilDriver.  But, that was not the case.  With Mike Spreitzer being the remaining musician with any sort of tenure, they recruited Austin D’Amond, Neil Tiemann, and a bassist (Diego Ibarra – listed as touring bassist) and began working on new material in 2015.  It was a short-lived hiatus and for DevilDriver fans, it’s a good thing because Trust No One takes DevilDriver in a slightly different direction than we are used to.

Read the rest of this entry