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Mammal’s Best of 2015 – Part 8/10


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Parrots dance to music they like. Few types of birds do. Parrots, however, move to music in ways they never move to anything else. They ignore slow beats, so there are few if any funeral doom parrots. If you want a dancing parrot, play speed metal. That gets them moshing, bobbing their heads up and down while they shuffle from side to side like goofed-out metalheads.

I mention this because I don’t have a parrot. If I get one I’ll call her Thrasher. If I can find a male to mate with her, she’ll hatch out metal chicks.

There are no parrot songs in my selections for today.

 

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Mammal’s Best of 2015 – Part 6/10


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Over the weekend I checked the album selections for 2015 on quite a few websites that cover the various genres I love. Some of them, especially those with long lists like mine, feature bands I’ve never heard of. No doubt my lists include bands many people don’t know.

I believe I speak for all of us at Metal State when I say we end every year with a nagging, twitchy feeling that we missed something great during the year. It’s almost certain that we did. In the last 12 months we were offered a couple of thousand albums to review. No person, and no team of four reviewers, could possibly listen properly to that many albums.

To the bands that did make it onto my lists, even if I ranked you #50 that means I liked your work more than a few hundred other albums I played and enjoyed. The same goes for the lists my weird esteemed colleagues have posted. More good music is being made now than at any time, and I’ve been listening to plenty of music during most of my two-thirds of a century on this planet.

 

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Mammal’s Best of 2015 – Part 5/10


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Today’s the day I knock a bunch of you off your branches. If you haven’t learnt how to fly yet, put padding under your tree before you climb up to your roost.

As I mention non-stop, I love many, many kinds of music. So do a lot of you. I know some of you, though, think country music is to metal as Voldemort is to Harry Potter. To you folks, let me irritate you further by stating that country music has some of the best voices of any genre, and it’s lovely background music after a long, lazy Sunday lunch.

 

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Mammal’s Best of 2015 – Part 2/10


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I don’t want to give anything away, so I’m keeping my deadly, home-made crossbow. But enough of that, let’s focus on more lethal stuff than Mediaeval weapons. May I make so bold as to say there are some absolute killer albums in my selections today?

Why did I rank my top albums in numerical order of preference? Every time I listen to anything from any of them, I wonder if I shouldn’t merely have listed them alphabetical order. It’s bloody marvelous to have so much good stuff to blast the wax out of my ears and other nearby orifices.

 

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Album Review: Queensrÿche – Condition Humän


queensrycheconditioncd-300x300As I age (I’m in my lower 40s now) I ponder the fate of my long-standing favored bands.  Let’s face it we’re all getting older and for me that means there will come a time when I read a story about a favorite band of mine quitting or retiring.  Queensrÿche, along with the Big Four bands and many others have been around long enough that I dread the day of their eventual end.  I thought Queensrÿche might have been headed there earlier than necessary with their former vocalist at the helm and all the craziness that ensued.  But damn, Queensrÿche dusted themselves off, picked up a great lead vocalist, and threw some uppercuts.  2013’s self-titled album paved a new foundation for the band and there appears to be no looking back…only aiming forward.  Read the rest of this entry

Roundtable Review: The Sun Explodes – The Calm, The Storm EP


TCTS ArtworkLabel:  Self-released

Release Date:  May 18th 2015

Songs:  5

Length: 23 minutes

Genre:  Creative progressive rock

Studio Albums: Emergence 2012, We Build Mountains 2013

Location:  Carlisle, UK

For fans of: Circa Survive, Children of Nova, Dream Theater, Tesseract

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Sonic Cathedral’s female-fronted roundup for April – Part 1/2


SC logoI’ve heard it said that Sonic Cathedral agreed to let Metal State publish a digest of their reviews because I train the Sonic Cathedral unicorns. This is untrue. Their unicorns are untrainable. It is very dangerous to stand in front of them when they are moshing. It’s also dangerous to stand in front of their unicorns.

Sonic Cathedral reviewed nine female-fronted albums during April. We’re doing a two-part digest of those reviews, including the album details and a very short summary of each review. Here are the first five. Part 2 will cover the next four.

 

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EP Review: Trepalium – Damballa’s Voodoo Doll


TrepaliumLocation: Poitou-Charentes, France

Genre: *Big breath…* Off-the-wall progressive jazz/swing death/thrash/groove metal

Release date: 9 February 2015

Label: Klonosphere

Previous releases: Through the Absurd (CD, 2004), The Holy Party (DVD, 2005), Alchemic Clockwork of Disorder (CD, 2006), XIII (CD, 2009), H.N.P. (CD, 2012)

Tracks: 6

Length: 24 minutes

Recommended to: Fans of Destrage, Meshuggah, Protest the Hero, Diablo Swing Orchestra

Mammal’s rating: 5 out of 5

Trepalium are highly esteemed in France for their wildly eccentric and addictive style of metal. They’re not yet totally famous around the world, although four of the five members have been together since 2000 and the present members started making demos in 2002. If you’re not familiar with Trepalium but you love the most musical of experimental metal, be prepared for Damballa’s Voodoo Doll to blow you away in an orgasm of creativity. Read the rest of this entry

Album Review: Subterranean Masquerade – The Great Bazaar


SubMasq-TheGreatBazaar-CoverLocation: New York, USA

Genre: Symphonic progressive metal

Release date: 13 January 2015

Label: Taklit Music

Previous releases: Temporary Psychotic State (EP, 2004); Suspended Animation Dreams (album, 2005); Home (EP, 2013)

Tracks: 7

Length: 39 minutes

Recommended to: Prog metal fans of Orphaned Land, Haken, Leprous, To-Mera, and Oriental and Middle Eastern metal; neo-prog rock fans of  *Frost, Blind Ego, Galahad.

Mammal’s rating: 5 out of 5

Visiting every corner of “The Great Bazaar” is an experience of unfolding wonder and amazement. Subterranean Masquerade are purveyors of musical splendour and delight. Their integration of any number of metal and prog rock styles is constantly unpredictable, varied, and jaw-droppingly delectable.

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