Blog Archives

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 Top 15 Albums of the Year + Honorable Mentions


2015-woodWell, here we are again, another end of year list.  First, big thanks to you for reading and engaging with us.  I have to say, this year’s list is more well-rounded than previous year-end lists.  I guess it is because I continue to get exposed to new bands and others that have been out a while, but are new to me.  Take my #1 for example.  I knew they were out there, but took it took me a while to sit down and have a serious listen.  I am glad I did.  One major difference between this year and my other lists is the (almost) absence of thrash metal bands.  While there are a few, not as much as I would normally have on my list.  Seems as though my taste in progressive based metal is expanding.  I guess it’s time to see for yourself.  Enjoy, and let’s have another great year in metal. Read the rest of this entry

Reggie’s Top 15 Albums of 2013


Black Bomb A, Olympic (Nantes) 17/11/2006Initially, I was going to limit my best of 2013 list to just my top 10.  My reasoning was to make my list as tight as I could only highlighting the very best of what moved me during the year.  After looking back at how many albums I listened to or was exposed to, that number hovered around 270 albums.  So, I decided to expand my list to the same standard as previous years. Despite increasing my list to 15, it still only highlights about 5% of all the albums that graced my ear drums this year.  So, what I present to you for the year 2013 my top 15, plus five more honorable mentions that will be posted in the vicinity of this list.

Read the rest of this entry

Mik’s Best Albums of 2013, part 2


soilworkthelivinginfinitecoverlarge#10 Soilwork – The Living Infinite     Review

Soilwork is back, better and more inspired than ever before. With their speedy guitars, brutal drums and blasting choruses this double album is an uplifting and energizing and most of all a VERY FUN listening experience.  Listen here.

.

a1111012061_10#9 Boysetsfire – While A Nation Sleeps…

Straightforward, heartfelt post-hardcore. The songs are very powerful, much thanks to the strong, captivating melodies and the vocalist with his charismatic attitude and emotional voice. Listening to this album gives me energy and strength and it’s perfect for a good, loud, headbanging sing-along. Listen here.

.

karnivool-asymmetry#8 Karnivool – Asymmetry 

I know this is not the most accessible album. But once I took the time to understand it, it was very rewarding. I love the dark, murky atmosphere and the underlying, unsettling mood. The eeriness of the bass lines and the unconventional, complex drumming. I’m a big fan of their previous albums too, but this one gave me even more of a challenge and really hit the spot for me. Listen here.

.

Benea-Reach-Possession#7 Benea Reach – Possession 

I loved their previous album and was very happy to find that ‘Possession’ is just as good and many times even better. The songs are unexpected and unique in their nature, the songwriting is creative and organic and the singer is definitely an important piece in this; he performs a wide range of styles with confidence and power. Listen here.

.


a0934133983_10 #6 White Moth Black Butterfly – One Thousand Wings
       Review

Yay, I get to include my favourite singer on another best of the year-list, third year in a row now! Even though it’s far from metal, this album is very special to me in many ways. It’s dark, personal, honest and incredibly beautiful and not only because of the outstanding vocals. The lyrics are thought-provoking and ‘Ties Of Grace’ might be the best song ever created.  Listen here.

.

OceanPelCV#5 The Ocean – Pelagial             Review

This is not a band that has interested me much before. But the effort of a concept album with meaningful, philosophical lyrics where every song is named after the different layers of the ocean, the much more proggy sound made me want to check it out. The massive, constantly changing and flowing sound grew on me, slowly. Very slowly. Until the whole album finally ended up in my top 5 of the year. Listen here.

.

a3585520410_10#4 Earthtone9 – IV 

There are many bands that were new to me this year on my list, Earthtone9 is one of them. It didn’t take long for me to start to love their progressive, almost sludgy feeling, the effortlessly executed melodic hooks and the huge attitude. They have an intelligent, bass-y sound and together with the confident, edgy singing they have given me many unforgettable tunes this year. Listen here.

.

a0976646613_10#3 Altar Of Plagues – Teethed Glory And Injury              Review 

Thrilling. Challenging. Intense. And extremely rewarding. This is an album packed with depth, darkness and tortured pain executed in the most beautiful way. Primitive and intimate music with a forceful and disturbing atmosphere. ‘Teethed Glory and Injury’ is very addictive and has been my number one choice all year when it comes to really dark, heavy music. Listen here.

.

tesseract-alteredstate#2 TesseracT – Altered State             Review

‘Altered State’ is my most played album this year and I love it to bits, both the instrumental version and the original one. This is TesseracT forging their own unique path; this is a confirmation of their remarkable talent when it comes to creating strong, layered musical structures combined with an intense, emotional atmosphere. These songs are magical. Listen here.

.

a2186825124_10#1 Caligula’s Horse – The Tide, The Thief & River’s End           Review

To place higher than TesseracT on my list, that’s quite the achievement! Caligula’s Horse managed to craft and put together a collection of songs that meets all my requirements for The Perfect Album. I have never heard songs that feel so honest and alive, amazing guitar solos with so much emotion and incredible vocals with equal amounts of mighty power and fragile beauty. I have never before owned an album that touched me so deeply. This was my big mindblowing surprise of the year. Listen here.

.

Mik’s Top 100 Favourite Albums of All Time #40-36


Top100

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 seven months 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.

.

#40 Negura Bunget – OM

I like Negura Bunget mainly for their flowing, hypnotic sound. I love the dramatic build-up in their songs and with the unconventional song structures and beautiful ambience. ‘OM’ is a very dark and spiritual piece of folkish black metal. The addition of folk instruments and lyrics sung in the band’s native language adds a wonderful and mysterious feeling to their music.

Read the rest of this entry

Mik’s Top 100 Favourite Albums of All Time #55-51


Top100

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 seven months 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. 

.

#55 Soilwork – Natural Born Chaos

This is one of the catchiest and most infectious albums I’ve ever heard. Impressive drums, frenetic guitarwork, brilliant clean vocal choruses, the typical positive Soilwork-energy. This album has it all. I like how they manage to balance heaviness with insanely catchy melodies and never become cheesy or boring to listen to. Every song on ‘Natural Born Chaos’ is fantastic and very “headbang-and-sing-along”-friendly. It’s Soilwork at their best.

Read the rest of this entry

Mik’s Top 50 – Intros That Instantly Grab My Attention #23-24


#24 Dismember – Dreaming In Red

“Flatlined and cold I lay, victim of their play
In the shadows of the obscure, my soul forever never more”

This intro rules, it starts off all mystic-like and goes on for a long time for being an intro. Then it turns into a guitar solo, before the vocals kick in. It’s nice with a guitar solo in the beginning of a song, instead of only in the middle or the end. This is such an awesome track!
From the album ‘Indecent and Obscene‘, released in 1993.

.

Read the rest of this entry

Slamming Spotify Spotlight – Noteworthy New(ish) Releases


metal_fan2Not much of an intro to write here other than here are some really great albums that have come out in 2013 that I’ve been digging on that are available on Spotify.  It’s a bit of a mixed bag without any rhyme, order, or reason (much like my music listening habits), some underground stuff, some popular stuff.  Maybe there’s something here you overlooked or never heard of.  Enjoy and give a shout out to any 2013 albums on Spotify you’ve been digging on!!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

Read the rest of this entry

Album Review: Soilwork – The Living Infinite


soilworkthelivinginfinitecoverlarge                                      Just buy it.

.

Soilwork has been one of my favourite melodic death metal bands for a long time, almost since they first started out. Like every band, they have had their ups and downs; good releases, fantastic ones and in the middle there were a couple of mediocre ones. However, this album more than exceeded all my expectations. It’s like they have wrapped up their entire music career, a little bit of everything they have done and more, in this one. ‘The Living Infinite’ is their ninth studio album and with it they have certainly managed to prove to the metal world that they are still a force to be reckoned with.

Read the rest of this entry

Album Review: Tempus Fusion – To End It All


tempus-fusion_2

.

As a modern Armageddon strips the world of its lifeline and plagues humanity with darkness…  

.

All that’s left to do..  is abandon all hope”

.

Progressive metal is where my heart lies. When I find a prog metal album with a fresh and captivating sound, my heart skips a beat out of pure joy. This is what happened when I first listened to Tempus Fusion’s  debut  “To End It All” a couple of months ago.  I would describe it as a mix between Gojira and Soilwork due to their dark atmosphere blended with heavy riffs and rolling drums, powerful vocals and unpredictable melodies.

The band was formed in the UK in 2009, by the guitarist Tim Goatham, who is also a member of the symphonic metal band Season’s End. The album is self-released, with a crystal clear production and the total playtime is almost an hour, every song is over six minutes long. Perfect!

The first track, Abandon All Hope, is a great opener and one of my favourites, with memorable riffs and a great variety throughout the song. That is also the definition of the rest of the album; parts with crushingly heavy drums and guitars, strong melodies and dynamic songs that create an interesting listening experience. It never gets too much or too “out of control”, you can easily hear that these songs all belong on the same album.  Many times the vocals sound as if they’re recorded from far away, which I feel has a major impact on the atmosphere of the music. The singer present a wide range of cleans and growls and has a voice that really suits this music style.

When listening I go through all kinds of different emotions and moods in the songs, starting with the intro speech full of fear and indifference. The first song continues into hopelessness and sadness, but at the same time I can’t help but feel happy because the music is beautiful and well written. The 22-minute title track To End It All  is full of energy, and floats through dreams, anger and passion.  Another track to pay special attention to is This Automated Nightmare, it’s stunning and fits perfectly after the long, heavy title track.

And they end it all with Mnemonic and The Predators Are Here, the heaviest songs on the album. It leaves me longing for more.

Rating: 5/5

For fans of Devin Townsend, Scar Symmetry, Gojira, Soilwork and TesseracT

http://tempusfusion.bandcamp.com/

http://www.facebook.com/tempusfusionband