Blog Archives

Tales from Bandcamp: Isolate by Mesarthrim


a0820628059_10One modern trend I will probably never tire of is the astral themed black metal records.  Agalloch with The Serpent and the Sphere, Vattnet Viskar with Settler, Krallice with Years Past Matter, and so on.  It seems that each time a trippy post black metal album uses the stars as inspiration an album its scope and berth are as wide as the glittering sea above us.  Keep the Astral Metal coming please.

Catching my eye on the Bandcamp homepage with a beautiful photo taken by the Hubble Telescope I was easily compelled click to preview Isolate by Australian band Mesarthrim.  What I did not expect was that it would cut so heavily into my Ghost listening time; an album I’ve been frothing at the mouth for and was released today.

Dear Astreria! This album is outright phenomenal.  Heavy doses of reverby keyboard notes and major keys give the music such a triumphant sound that is as big as its subject matter.  There’s that overwhelming sense of positivity that you get from power metal but without all the cheese, superfluousness, and…. ummm.. well, power metal.  Nearly every moment here is just so uplifting.  The ambient moments are equally relaxing and introspective and add so much to the ponderous nature of the songs.  They perfectly compliment the mystical nature of the core of black metal.

This is a monumental album and should be given some love and attention asap.  Best part is the band is only asking for a single dollar for this beast.  You really can’t go wrong taking a chance here.  This album will transport you to a far away place, give you peace, and when you return you will be a happier person.  As always, tell all your friends about the music if you like it and let us know what you though in the comments.  Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!

Stream of the Week: Pyramids – A Northern Meadow


a4095720660_10With equal parts avant-garde, black metal, ambient and industrial music the second album from Pyramids is quite an adventure. Pyramids favourite thing to do is experiment with collaborations (too many to list here) and remixes, on this release we find artists such as Colin Marston (Gorguts/Krallice), Vindsval (Blut Aus Nord) and William Fowler Collins. Fascinating and endlessly beautiful, “A Northern Meadow” embraces you warmly with floating clean singing and a claustrophobic touch in the melodies, as if it desperately tries to hold you close while slowly pushing you towards the edge of a deep, bottomless shaft. As strange as it might seem, that really appeals to me. Give it a listen!

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Stream of the Week – Whose Hearts Were His


This week’s Stream of the Week hails from Kansas City, Missouri.  Gabe Fry is the brain behind Whose Hearts Were His – his new solo project.  He was formerly part of Solace and Stable, a band we featured here on A Metal State of Mind a couple of years ago.  If you would like to check that project out as well, you can click here.  The new self-titled album is set for release in the near future – not date indicated just yet, but if I am supplied one I will let you know.  For now you can check out this track, Tongues Like Knives, to water your mouths for more of what’s to come.

For fans of:  Gojira, Between The Buried and Me, The Red Chord

Members:  Gabe Fry

Album Review: White Moth Black Butterfly – One Thousand Wings


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This is the stuff dreams are made of.

 

Release Date: November 11, 2013  self-released

Tracks:  11          Length: 48 minutes

Genre:  Cinematic, ambient post-rock/experimental

Recommended for fans of:  Sigur Rós, Enigma, Massive Attack, Olafur Arnalds, Daniel Tompkins

 

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Mini Album Reviews: Symbolic, Subscale, Fear Theories, Oceanus


symbolic scarvest frontcover-bigBand:  Symbolic

Album:  Scarvest

Record Label:  Twin Peaks Records

Release Date:  30 August 2013

Nationality:  Germany

Style:  Technical / Brutal / Death Metal

Death metal comes in pretty much four forms; groovy, brutal, melodic, and lastly technical.  Some bands do a good job of lacing together more than one of those aforementioned styles.  The lines could be drawn even wider, but for the sake of this review Symbolic is one of those bands that encompasses a little bit of everything.  Their complexities and rhythm stood out the most.  From the beginning track, Everlasting, I was impressed with their ability to be lace brutality with tight riffing and inject melody in between, but not the kind of melody that takes the song in a different direction.  Some songs are harsher than others, but they all seem to find a moment where guitar solos take over and a more rhythmic cadence sets the tone – The Greed, for example.  Another thing I found interesting was the song length.  With the exception of one rather short song, Mysery, the rest “average” 5-6 minutes.  The length of the songs accompanied with the varying tempo changes gives the songs additional depth.  The fact that Symbolic doesn’t adhere to one particular style of death metal opens the door for them to explore the spectrum of harshness; for which they leave no stone unturned.

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Album Review: Puscifer – All Re-Mixed Up


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“It’s extremely liberating in the digital age to approach composing and creating in this manner. 

Infinite paths to explore, reinterpret and re-present.” 

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Release Date: August 27, 2013 on Puscifer Entertainment

Tracks: 12

Length: 60 minutes

Genre:  Alternative, industrial rock, experimental, electronic

Previous releases:

Don’t Shoot The Messenger EP, 2009

“V” is for Vagina, 2007

“C “ is For (Please Insert Sophomoric Genitalia Reference Here) EP, 2009

Conditions of My Parole, 2011

Donkey Punch The Night EP, 2013 and three remix albums

Recommended for fans of:  Nine Inch Nails, Tool, A Perfect Circle, electronic music

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Album Review: Locrian – Return To Annihilation


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“Eternity in the midst of profound dusk, projected endlessly through this void

As a veil, as an aura, as an apparition, to awaken the world from its dream of itself”

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Release Date: June 25 2013 on Relapse Records

Tracks:  7

Length: 48 minutes

Genre: Post rock/Industrial/Black/Ambient

Previous releases: Debut full-length ‘Drenched Lands’ 2009, ‘Territories’ 2010, ‘The Crystal World’ 2010, ‘The Clearing & The Final Epoch’ 2012, ‘New Dominion’ 2012

Recommended for fans of:  Ambient, post rock, drone, industrial, experimental, atmospheric black metal

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Song of the Week – April


April’ is the tenth track from the progressive metal band TesseracT’s debut album ‘One’.  It’s not only my favourite album, it’s my favourite favourite album of all time, of all space and of all other things. It’s difficult for me to select only one song from it, since I always listen to the whole cd from the beginning to the end, but this track will give you a good example of their groovy, technical style and impressive songwriting skills. What I enjoy the most is the passion and sincerity in their music, their talent has amazed me since the first listen. The loud bass is pounding through my speakers and forms the perfect rhythm section together with the drums, the heavy guitars combined with ambient melodies create a complex, layered sound and the vocal performance is creative, emotional and flawless. What more can you ask for?

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Album Review: Lord Agheros – Demiurgo


Lord Agheros cover

“A colossal has seen the dark of night and light of day, it walked

into the depths of harsh lands of fire, saw lost souls,

stepped in mortals’ fertile soil and bathed in moonlight.

Now the colossal is free in a black symphony form called Demiurgo.” 

This is the fourth full-length from the Italian one-man band Lord Agheros. It’s a concept album divided into two parts and the first chapter contains tracks with atmospheric black metal elements slightly similar to Summoning’s music, while the second chapter is filled with lighter, experimental ambient music.  After a couple of listens the songs leave me with a positive impression and a wish to find out more about this sorrowful music.  Read the rest of this entry

Full Album Streams: Bloodrayne: Betrayal Official Score by Jake Kaufman and FEZ by Disasterpeace


I’m sure you have all noticed that we love our video games in these parts.  For me, a huge thing that really defines a game is how well it utilizes music to create a certain atmosphere which enhances the play of the game.  Just imagine if you took away the whimsical music from the Mario Bros. games.  The Mushroom Kingdom just would feel all that magical.  Here you will find two game scores from two modern indie games, both have very excellent scores that add so much to their respective games, it would almost be impossible to imagine playing them without any other music rolling in the background.

The first is the score for Bloodrayne: Betrayal by Jake Kaufman.  This Gothic power metal score rounds out the hyper-stylized look of the game and also compliments the games insane speed of side-scrolling action.  The speedier metal parts play when you are in battle slicing enemies up with your glaive, sucking their blood, and turning foes into mobile bombs to detonate on large groups of enemies.  There are also fast paced escape sequences that the music also enhances making the task at hand feel more urgent.  The more mellow Gothic piano parts work wonderfully for fleshing out the dark Gothic architecture of stages and really setting the tone for when the action is at a slow down.  On its own the score holds its weight being a fun and rocking listen.  Check it out, and if you are a fan of fast paced, insanely difficult side-scrollers, give Bloodrayne: Betrayal a shot.  Reviews online are mixed, some damning the game for being overly difficult, others praising it for being unwilling to compromise itself and it’s amazing hand drawn sprite based graphics.  Me, I loved it, and while challenging, it wasn’t that bad.  Contra and Mega Man are still much tougher games.

And FEZ, oh FEZ.  Where do I begin at how amazing this game is.  Well since I’m still cracking away at the games mind twisting platforming and cryptography puzzles I’ll start at the music.  No, this score is not metal in the slightest, but it’s still really damn good, and any opportunity I can take to talk about this mind melting game I’ll jump on.  FEZ is a game bereft of conflict, it just want’s you to relax and take your time exploring the colorful 8-bit retro world discovering treasure chests and solving some of the most clever puzzles I’ve seen in a game to date.  The game is all about relaxation and thinking in a relaxed state of mind, and along with the gorgeous visuals the music really helps achieve that goal.  If it weren’t for the soothing chip tune music, my Xbox may have been out the window as I worked out solutions to some of the games trickier puzzles (and some I’m working on now are really damn tricky, when was the last time you pulled out a pen and paper to play a game 😉 ).  This score works delightfully both in-game and out providing some great ambient music whenever you may need to just chill out.  Check it out, and if you are a fan of puzzle games and platformers you need to get FEZ now.  I’ll hold back go on how great this game is for when the eventual review comes, but I’ll just say, that it may quite possibly be my top game of the year.  “Reality is perception.  Perception is subjective”.

Bloodrayne: Betrayal Score

FEZ Score

Trailers for both games can be found after the jump.

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