RoundTable Review: Dream Theater – The Astonishing


Dream-Theater-The-AstonishingAlbum:  The Astonishing

Label:  Roadrunner Records

Release Date:  29 Jan 2016

Songs:   34

Length:  2 hours, 11 minutes

Genre:  Progressive Metal

Studio Albums:  When Dream and Day Unite (1989); Images and Words (1992); Awake (1994); Falling into Infinity (1997); Metropolis Pt 2:  Scenes from a Memory (1999); Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence (2002); Train of Thought (2003) Octavarium (2005); Systematic Chaos (2007); Black Clouds & Silver Linings (2009); A Dramatic Turn of Events (2011); Dream Theater (2013).

Location:  United States Read the rest of this entry

Album Review: Black Tusk – Pillars of Ash


0781676729425_300It’s been a while since Black Tusk’s EP Tend No Wounds graced the paged of A Metal State of Mind.  Somehow, I missed the 2014 EP, Vulture’s Eyes; it’s impossible to catch everything, right?  At least someone back me up on that.  So, here we are with Pillars of Ash, the first full album release since 2011. Was it worth the wait? Well, if you are into sludgy, hardcore-infused metal, then my short answer is yes.  Despite coming in at just 35 minutes, the album packs a punch that I am sure will be inspiring a frenzy of circle pits or at the very least, a few thrown chairs.

Read the rest of this entry

Tales From Bandcamp: Abbath by Abbath


a4109216292_10Brandishing one of the most iconic faces in metal, black metal’s resident jester has left (or was forced out) his original band Immortal and is taking a stab at the thing as a solo artist.  Honestly, upon hearing this, I’d be hard pressed to not say he was already a solo artist during his days with Immortal.  His eponymous solo debut is basically a continuation of the frozen land of Blashyrkh.  So, if you love Immortal, you will love Abbath’s solo work.  In fact, while it doesn’t really push any boundaries, this is some of his most solid work to date.  Sick riffs, blistering speed, and snarling vocals.  What’s not to love?  Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

Roundtable Review: Winter Thrice by Borknagar


borknagarwinterthricecdLabel: Century Media

Release Date: 22 January 2016

Songs: 9

Length: 56:52

Genre: Prog/Black/Folk/Viking

Location: Bergen, Norway

Read the rest of this entry

Matt’s Top Ten Video Games of 2015


1959297_10206164339936666_1142094078543243929_n

Just like it was for glorious metal, 2015 was an outstanding year for gamers.  Tons of new and exciting games big and small which pushed the boundries of the medium were released this year. And while I didn’t get to play everything that 2015 had to offer, what I did play were some top quality experiences that I will be playing for many years to come. My main gaming machines are the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS as well as a PC that needs to be upgraded before I can play most games from the current gen (ie. PS4), so while things like Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3 seem like obvious choices for my list, I won’t be able to play them till I upgrade to a PS4 or better PC.

Also worth noting that while I’d drop the remaster of Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask for the 3DS at a high spot, I’m not including remakes/remasters here.  Though, it is easily one of the best remasters ever and it’s a remaster of my all time favorite game.  If you got a 3DS, it is an essential purchase, even worth buying the console for!  I’m also omitting games that were released in Europe in 2015 but not US until 2016 (and vice-versa), so you’ll see them on my 2016 list (namely Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam).

So, without further ado, here’s my ten favorite games released in 2015.

Read the rest of this entry

Roundtable album review: Wolfhorde – Towards the Gates of North


WolfehordeLabel: Inverse Records

Release Date: 22 January 2016

Songs: 9

Length: 45 minutes

Genre: Folk Metal

Studio Albums: Deathknot (2010), Nyvinland (EP, 2012)

Location: Keuruu, Finland

Read the rest of this entry

Album Review: Megadeth – Dystopia


megadethdystopiacd-300x300Album:  Dystopia

Release Date:  22 Jan 2016

Label:  Universal Music Enterprise

Songs:  13

Length:  55 Minutes

Genre:  Thrash Metal

Previous Albums:  Killing is my Business…and Business is Good (1985); Peace Sells…but Who’s Buying (1988); Rust in Peace (1990); Countdown to Extinction (1992); Youthanasia (1994); Cryptic Writings (1997); Risk (1999); The World Needs a Hero (2001); The System Has Failed (2004); United Abominations (2007); Endgame (2009); Thirteen (2011); Super Collider (2013).

Location:  United States Read the rest of this entry

A very big list of lists


 

Logo2

This is a catalogue listing rather than a typical Metal State post. One of our followers, MT, suggested I should post text listings of all the albums I featured in my Best of 2015 hit parades during the first two weeks of January.

I’m going to list many more than the 90 albums I ranked on Metal State… 167 albums, in fact. On Metal State I featured 50 metal albums and the top ten each from my prog rock, space & psychedelic rock, jazz & jazz-related, and “other music” hit parades. On other sites I posted longer lists of my non-metal selections. So here we go with my top 50 metal abums plus many honourable mentions; top 50 prog rock plus honourable mentions; top 20 space/psych rock; and the same top ten jazzy and “other music” lists as I posted on Metal State previously.

Read the rest of this entry

Mammal’s Best of 2015 – The Winners


Logo Winners

 

My heartiest congratulations go to the winners in all of my categories. So does my deep gratitude to all of the finalists and winners for making such great albums in an excellent year for all the types of modern music I love. To you good folks who’ve been following my hit parades, I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing some of your picks included in my lists, and I hope you also found something new to explore.

Keep on rawkin’.

 

Read the rest of this entry

Mammal’s Best of 2015 – Part 9/10


Logo

 

Close-up of my left ear.

Close-up of my left ear.

Crunch time approaches. We’re into to the Top 10 in my metal hit parade and the runners-up in my other categories. I’d love to have all of the albums in today’s selection. Oh, wait, I do!

Some of us are born with big floppy ears, some are born lucky, and I’m a guy with big floppy ears who got lucky too.

Without music the world would be a much poorer place. Without metal and prog and all my other loves, the world might as well not exist. My ears and my brain would have nothing to do.

 

Read the rest of this entry