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MikeyC
Official Greeter of Broken Hills

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 5:16 am
Posts: 10757
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:53 am 
 

Sprawl - Cybionic Black Art
Ever since I got this, I've been listening to it a lot. At first, I thought it was okay, but after a couple of listens, I realised how good this actually is. The black metal compositions here really do take a back seat to the electronic sounds that dominate the album. They make the album as unique as it is, and, while the album is quite unorthodox, it would probably be another black metal album without them.

Even the vocals have range, and clean vocals are present at times. It just gives the album a new path to go down, which, in this case, isn't a bad thing.

Finding the CD can be hard, as I found a lone copy from a guy on eBay who couldn't speak English for 40 Euros, but there's probably a download torrent floating around. Recommended for those of you who enjoy electronica/industrial black metal, or weird shit in general.
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Masticati
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 10:52 pm
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Location: Thailand
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:12 pm 
 

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Last edited by Masticati on Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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MazeofTorment
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 11:06 pm
Posts: 2039
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 3:41 am 
 

Nokturnal Mortum - The Voice of Steel

As of the last week I've been spinning the new Nokturnal Mortum album The Voice of Steel and am actually having to hold myself back from listening to it too much. I get the trendwhore comparisons but I think there comes a time when its so successfully done that an aspect such as that ceases to matter. I think this album is a perfect example of that. This album is only, really, about 35% the NM that everyone knows. The rest sounds like a completely different band and honestly, that's why it does sounds so good! I'm a big believer in taking an album for what it is alone and trying not to compare it too much to previous releases. I think such comparisons often times are weighed too heavily. Simply put, the album is huge. Its massive. Maybe a little all over the place at times? Yeah. Perfect? Not by any means but damn, its still really good. I like the fact that the album is well produced as well. It really helps in clarifying the soundscapes they create. Of which, by the way, I find to be very uplifting, soaring, and powerful. I never thought I'd use the word uplifting in reference to a NM song but the album really has a way of making me feel sky high. Especially the fourth track, the melody on that song is one of the catchiest folk melodies I've ever heard and I could honestly listen to it all day.

And did I mention that apparently they got really good at playing guitar now too? Seriously, never before has NM displayed such skill on the guitar. Plenty of epic, well written solos can be found on this album. Even a psychedelic , Pink Floyd esque moment can be found on this album. But....it works somehow, I think. For the most part the album is folk oriented but the fierce, black metal NM that we know and love does make an occasional appearance. And again, like with the Pink Floyd example, every so often the album definitely branches outside the typical guidelines for what a black/folk metal album sounds like. In other words, they keep it interesting and yes, its a bit of experimentation but I think it works and the end result is a huge, atmospheric album of epic proportions that contains many layers to digest. This album has a feel about it that smells of Bathory to me and Blut Aus Nords classic Memoria Ventusta pt 1. Superb album, highly recommend it. I know I'll be buying it if I can ever find a way to get a hold of it! NM fans, definitely check this out and even if you're not and maybe get the occasional folk/black metal boner and would like to give it a whirl, I would also highly recommend it.
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Phosphorus
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:20 pm
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:51 pm 
 

I know its Saturday but I have been milling over this album for quite some time.

Altar of Plauges - White Tomb

I don't think that I have been this frustrated by an album in a long time. My first listen I thought that this album was amoung the best that I had heard all year, a definate top ten. After about 10 more listens however there are a few very glaring and discouraging things that keeps this album from being truly enjoyable.

This band plays a fusion of post rock and black metal, and fuses the two of them together well. This is evident in the first song: Earth. The first 15-20 minutes of the album is amoung some of the better metal released in this past few years. The band displays a very solid song structure that consists of fast paced hypnotizing riffs that build into a strong climax with a very strong sense of conclusion. When the band is in this state every note that they play drips with passion and conviction. However the band does not stick to its strenghts.

For the second half of the album the band meanders into semi-ambient territory and experiments with more a more doom oriented sound than anything. The problem with this is that they do not do it well. The song seems to stagnate for the 5 or so minutes that they experiment with this. While they attempt to return to the faster pace of the first song afterwords the build ups and climaxes are not nearly as complete as they were at the beginning of the album. Its as if all of the passion is gone in the riffs now and they are just playing overly long segments to add to track time.

Overall this album displays almost two differant bands, I certainly hope that their next full length displays the passion of the first song while dropping much if not all of the lifless meandering of the second.

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DrOctavia
Do Dark Horses Dream of Nightmares?

Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 9:02 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:01 am 
 

Slayer - World Painted Blood

I am honestly very surprised by this album. 'Blown away' would definitely be too strong, but 'surprised' certainly fits. This is the album Christ Illusion should've been, seeing as beyond the stupid title and shite production lurks a pretty solid musical core. Granted, some of the lyrics are quite heavy-handed and the intermittent spoken word parts are pretty bad but when the band finally gets around to playing some riffs, they rock pretty hard. That guitar tone is quite rancid, admittedly, and for the (far too boring) opener all I could think of was how it sounded like a cross between a fart and a twanging rubber band, but that doesn't steal the magic from the album's better moments such as "Public Display of Dismemberment", "Unit 731" or "Beauty Through Order". Certainly the band is aware of their modern deficiencies in the variety department, as the songs come and go pretty quickly; this isn't a return to the fantastic songwriting of South of Heaven. In this regard though, I can't be too hard on them as the album doesn't overstay its welcome. Overall, not too shabby for a band I was on the verge of writing off completely.
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Phosphorus
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:20 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:39 am 
 

As someone who enjoyed Christ Illusion more than disliked it, would you say that World Painted Blood is kind of the fulfilment of the potential on that album? If so I'm definitely going to check it out... I've kinda been hesitating because of the very mixed reviews on it.

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MetalHearted
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 2:48 pm
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:05 am 
 

King Diamond - The Pupper Master

Well, this album isn't quite new for me, but since I've been listening to it repeated for the last couple of weeks I'll write about it anyways. This album has a very romantic feel to it, primarily because of the inclusion of female vocals playing King's lover, but this doesn't detract from the metalness of the album by any means. There are some absolute rocking tracks on here, and not just the ones without Livia's vocals. Magic, for example, has one of the most catchy, headbanging riffs I have ever expirienced right from the get go. Conversely, there are also many parts on the album that I could only describe as being utterly beautiful. The ballad "So Sad" (aptly named) is excellent, and I typically hate ballads, even renouned ones by Judas Priest and the like. I guess you could call some parts of this cheesy, but I really got into the story and music of the album and it didn't seem that way to me. If any other band used the same story it wouldn't be the same, but King Diamond has a way with storytelling.

Also, one thing about KD that I have always admired is the way he uses multi-tracking. Some of the harmonies he uses are really quite spectacular, and compliment his already stellar voice wonderfully. This is present to some degree on all of his albums, but it truly shines here.

All in all, this album is up there with "Them", Abigail, and The Eye as one of my favorite King Diamond albums, and quite possibly one of my favorite albums of all time. I would wholeheartedly recommend this to just about anyone.
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Acrobat
Eric Olthwaite

Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:53 am
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Location: Fortress Northallerton, North Yorkshire
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:46 pm 
 

Listening to Sabbat's Evoke album a lot recently. On the one hand I was expecting this to be a lot more overt Venom/early Bathory worship. Although the influence is still certainly there (Bulldozer bass et al) - I was very surprised by the clearly Mercyful Fate inspired lead work; it adds a nice eerie touch to the whole album. I guess 'The Curse Of Pharaoh' was a dead give-away! The vocals, too, are great. I'm impressed so far I'm looking forward to exploring more of this band's work. I'm not sure why I didn't do so beforehand...
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Rottenrectum
Metalhead

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Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:52 pm 
 

This week I discovered Kalisia - Cybion. I still haven't grasped it all, it's really deep and requires much attention. There is a lot going on but it drags me in quickly and I notice new things every time. The fact a death metal band can put saxophone in the music and make it work is just awesome in itself. I should take time soon and read through the lyrics because that will probably make me appreciate it even more.
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MacMoney
Man of the Cloth

Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2002 10:17 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:40 am 
 

ANationalAcrobat wrote:
Listening to Sabbat's Evoke album a lot recently. On the one hand I was expecting this to be a lot more overt Venom/early Bathory worship. Although the influence is still certainly there (Bulldozer bass et al) - I was very surprised by the clearly Mercyful Fate inspired lead work; it adds a nice eerie touch to the whole album. I guess 'The Curse Of Pharaoh' was a dead give-away! The vocals, too, are great. I'm impressed so far I'm looking forward to exploring more of this band's work. I'm not sure why I didn't do so beforehand...


Huh, I have never really analyzed their music before, but thinking back on it, that's a lot what they sound like. Venomy riffs combined with leadwork very reminiscent of Mercyful Fate with a distinctly Japanese flair. I should really look more into them.

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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10213
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:12 pm 
 

MacMoney wrote:
ANationalAcrobat wrote:
Listening to Sabbat's Evoke album a lot recently. On the one hand I was expecting this to be a lot more overt Venom/early Bathory worship. Although the influence is still certainly there (Bulldozer bass et al) - I was very surprised by the clearly Mercyful Fate inspired lead work; it adds a nice eerie touch to the whole album. I guess 'The Curse Of Pharaoh' was a dead give-away! The vocals, too, are great. I'm impressed so far I'm looking forward to exploring more of this band's work. I'm not sure why I didn't do so beforehand...


Huh, I have never really analyzed their music before, but thinking back on it, that's a lot what they sound like. Venomy riffs combined with leadwork very reminiscent of Mercyful Fate with a distinctly Japanese flair. I should really look more into them.


Ah, yes, sabbat. I haven't listened to them much lately but I recently bought "The Dwelling" on CD after having a copy for years, and it's sort of rekindled my enthusiasm for the band. You guys should definitely check out their later stuff...particularly, "Karisma" and "Satanasword". "Karisma' is probably the band's most overtly Japanese-sounding album; just about every riff and lead on that thing has a crazed, kamikaze feeling to it. The first three songs in particular just blow my mind. I scoff at anyone who can still call them the japanese Venom after hearing this album.
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Evil_Johnny_666
Reigning king of the night

Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:54 pm
Posts: 3997
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:27 pm 
 

Abominatrix wrote:
MacMoney wrote:
ANationalAcrobat wrote:
Listening to Sabbat's Evoke album a lot recently. On the one hand I was expecting this to be a lot more overt Venom/early Bathory worship. Although the influence is still certainly there (Bulldozer bass et al) - I was very surprised by the clearly Mercyful Fate inspired lead work; it adds a nice eerie touch to the whole album. I guess 'The Curse Of Pharaoh' was a dead give-away! The vocals, too, are great. I'm impressed so far I'm looking forward to exploring more of this band's work. I'm not sure why I didn't do so beforehand...


Huh, I have never really analyzed their music before, but thinking back on it, that's a lot what they sound like. Venomy riffs combined with leadwork very reminiscent of Mercyful Fate with a distinctly Japanese flair. I should really look more into them.


Ah, yes, sabbat. I haven't listened to them much lately but I recently bought "The Dwelling" on CD after having a copy for years, and it's sort of rekindled my enthusiasm for the band. You guys should definitely check out their later stuff...particularly, "Karisma" and "Satanasword". "Karisma' is probably the band's most overtly Japanese-sounding album; just about every riff and lead on that thing has a crazed, kamikaze feeling to it. The first three songs in particular just blow my mind. I scoff at anyone who can still call them the japanese Venom after hearing this album.


I must say that I'm a huge Sabbat fanboy. Though (shame on me) I never really listened to any Mercyful Fate (I should change that) so I never saw their influence, I pretty much only saw Sabbat as black/thrash metal band slightly influenced by Venom (particularly on Karmagmassacre). Seriously, it's a band which to me have some of the most consistent (quality-wise) discography, more original albums or not. They never broke (never reunited), never came back from mediocrity, they always kicked ass. So picking up a favourite is really hard as it often changes depending on which album I listen more at that time, as they are all different and very good. Though I think I have a small preference over Fetishism as it's the first album of theirs I listened, I just love the malevolent production and Sausine must be one of the coolest instrumentals around. So yeah, you should check them up more. Their first five eps are also really good but are a lot less original, but the riffs sure do the work.

Oh, and Satanasword... seriously, Temis Osmond was in fucking (black) fire, "Nekromantik" (14 minutes) is massive and follows the instrument closer and he just rips his guitar. He does also a particularly good job on "Letter from Death" from Karmagmassacre. I really wonder how they will sound without him as a new album should come somewhere in spring. Aww, you guys just made me listen some Sabbat, I never can get enough of them.

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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10213
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:06 am 
 

Evil_Johnny_666 wrote:
Abominatrix wrote:
MacMoney wrote:
ANationalAcrobat wrote:
Listening to Sabbat's Evoke album a lot recently. On the one hand I was expecting this to be a lot more overt Venom/early Bathory worship. Although the influence is still certainly there (Bulldozer bass et al) - I was very surprised by the clearly Mercyful Fate inspired lead work; it adds a nice eerie touch to the whole album. I guess 'The Curse Of Pharaoh' was a dead give-away! The vocals, too, are great. I'm impressed so far I'm looking forward to exploring more of this band's work. I'm not sure why I didn't do so beforehand...


Huh, I have never really analyzed their music before, but thinking back on it, that's a lot what they sound like. Venomy riffs combined with leadwork very reminiscent of Mercyful Fate with a distinctly Japanese flair. I should really look more into them.


Ah, yes, sabbat. I haven't listened to them much lately but I recently bought "The Dwelling" on CD after having a copy for years, and it's sort of rekindled my enthusiasm for the band. You guys should definitely check out their later stuff...particularly, "Karisma" and "Satanasword". "Karisma' is probably the band's most overtly Japanese-sounding album; just about every riff and lead on that thing has a crazed, kamikaze feeling to it. The first three songs in particular just blow my mind. I scoff at anyone who can still call them the japanese Venom after hearing this album.


I must say that I'm a huge Sabbat fanboy. Though (shame on me) I never really listened to any Mercyful Fate (I should change that) so I never saw their influence, I pretty much only saw Sabbat as black/thrash metal band slightly influenced by Venom (particularly on Karmagmassacre). Seriously, it's a band which to me have some of the most consistent (quality-wise) discography, more original albums or not. They never broke (never reunited), never came back from mediocrity, they always kicked ass. So picking up a favourite is really hard as it often changes depending on which album I listen more at that time, as they are all different and very good. Though I think I have a small preference over Fetishism as it's the first album of theirs I listened, I just love the malevolent production and Sausine must be one of the coolest instrumentals around. So yeah, you should check them up more. Their first five eps are also really good but are a lot less original, but the riffs sure do the work.

Oh, and Satanasword... seriously, Temis Osmond was in fucking (black) fire, "Nekromantik" (14 minutes) is massive and follows the instrument closer and he just rips his guitar. He does also a particularly good job on "Letter from Death" from Karmagmassacre. I really wonder how they will sound without him as a new album should come somewhere in spring. Aww, you guys just made me listen some Sabbat, I never can get enough of them.


Yes! Osmond was great. Did you get a chance to see them live with him? I did..they played "Nekromantik", too! What an experience that was. I could have wished for a longer set, but of course that's often the way it goes. I agree that "Fetishism" is a damn fine album...and yeah, I love the sound on that one.."Ghost Train" is really one of my favourites.

But seriously Johnny, do I read right? You've never listened to Mercyful Fate? DO yourself a huge favour and check out the 80s albums by any means necessary.
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Evil_Johnny_666
Reigning king of the night

Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:54 pm
Posts: 3997
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:53 pm 
 

You mean you saw them at Montreal in 2004? Man, I'm terribly jealous of you as you also saw Sigh with the Barbatos/Bastardator after show in 2007 (yeah, I know, I know). I'm 19 so I was too young back then to know them as well as being able to get in a bar. That must have been sick... Anyways, hell I only got into King Diamond recently and have yet to listen to an album in its entirety. It seems these days I don't really have any motivation to download torrents (as I don't buy as much as before), I'll make myself an obligation to check them out in the weekend.

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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10213
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:00 pm 
 

Evil_Johnny_666 wrote:
You mean you saw them at Montreal in 2004? Man, I'm terribly jealous of you as you also saw Sigh with the Barbatos/Bastardator after show in 2007 (yeah, I know, I know). I'm 19 so I was too young back then to know them as well as being able to get in a bar. That must have been sick... Anyways, hell I only got into King Diamond recently and have yet to listen to an album in its entirety. It seems these days I don't really have any motivation to download torrents (as I don't buy as much as before), I'll make myself an obligation to check them out in the weekend.


Alas, I missed the Montreal show, which apparently had a differetn set list (would have been fantastic to have seen both). Instead, I saw them in Chicago with The Chasm and Deceased. Definitely a concert-going highlight of the last few years.

By "King Diamond", I take it you mean his solo stuff? If so, the early Fate stuff is quite a bit different, and in my view vastly superior. I've never been too crazy about King's solo output. Even the real classics like "Abigail" and "The Eye" seem not to bowl me over as they do many.
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MacMoney
Man of the Cloth

Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2002 10:17 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:41 am 
 

Abominatrix wrote:
I scoff at anyone who can still call them the japanese Venom after hearing this album.


Yeah, I didn't mean to imply that at all. It's just the barebones of what they could be described as. But Gezol is a much superior riff- and songwriter compared to Venom and that certain weird Japanese flair makes them quite unique.

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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:06 am 
 

MacMoney wrote:
Abominatrix wrote:
I scoff at anyone who can still call them the japanese Venom after hearing this album.


Yeah, I didn't mean to imply that at all. It's just the barebones of what they could be described as. But Gezol is a much superior riff- and songwriter compared to Venom and that certain weird Japanese flair makes them quite unique.


Well, they did sound quite a bit more like Venom in the earlier days, so the comparison isn't exactly wrong or anything like that..it's just that there's much more to them than that and people seldom seem to acknowledge really how much they changed over the years. Actually, I guess it's more accurate to say ttat they simply incorporated a whole host of new ideas while maintaining the core of their sound, since they always re-record and play live their oldest songs even today, and hell, even some songs on "Karmagmassacre" (which I never felt was as good as "Satanasword", by the way) could even fit musically among their early 90s/late 80s output. Albums like "Karisma" and "The Dwelling" and to an extent "Satanasword" really play up the Japanese angle though and have a true sense of grandeur and riffs that you'll not hear elsewhere in black metal, especially coupled with that crazed thrashing sound they have.

I'm not turning into Crick or anything here :lol: but I have two other Japanese records to talk about:

Genocide: "Black Sanctuary"
Wow, this is pretty amazing, dark and somewhat oddly charactered heavy metal. The songwriting is a bit all over the place, but I enjoy the unhinged feeling it has and the fact that unless you've listened to the record a fair amount you really can't tell where they are going next sometiems. The vocalist is really phenomenal and the guitarwork is full of wild solos and some pretty dark riffs. They do have a bit of a Mercyful Fate feel, but definitely a ratehr original sound. Vocalist actually reminds me of John from Slauter Xstroyes, but with more of a low range and the ability to ascend to stratospheric heights from a low toned note, kind of like what you can hear on Agent Steel's old albums.

Sigh: "Scenes from Hell"

Well, the orchestra sounds pretty awesome...the brass instruments in particular are really stirring and well handled. I don't however like how all the depth in the sound picture seems to be given to the orchestral elements. I got used to the little poppy snare sound, but I can't condone that thin guitar tone, especially from a band as experienced and professional as Sigh. Where's the crushing weight of those guitars? Nowhere to be found. Even the leads have a thin, neutered-seeming timbre to them. Pretty irritating, really. Also, I am theoretically in favour of big orchestral bombast merged with Sigh's metal sound, but I miss the psychedelia and rocking parts from the old days. I almost wish they'd go back into the sort of territory they were exploring with "Gallows Gallery". "Scenes from hell" continues the trend from "Hangman's Hymn" and sometimes even out-speeds its predecessor (there is some really fast shit on here), but damn, that guitar tone almost ruins it for me.
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DeathFog
Temporally-Displaced Fossil

Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2003 9:20 am
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Location: Estonia
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:48 pm 
 

matrixmetal wrote:
Just one thing I would argue about your conclusion that Mayhem is no longer atmospheric, I must disagree. I witnessed Mayhem's 25th anniversary Blackenedfest tour in Seattle earlier this year and it certainly had "atmosphere", excellent lights, excellent sound, Atilla costumed like a monk from the dark ages swinging his hangman's noose and screaming like a banshee at every opportunity. The Mayhem atmosphere beats any other show I have seen this year.

I understand that it might be very hard for a European black metal band to tour the World with a decent light show and "atmosphere" so I give credit to the Mayhem crew for doing a great job with the atmosphere. The lights, smoke and sound were outstanding and fitting for a band of such legendary quality. [I have videos if you want to see them posted..]


I would really like to see those videos you are talking about. The one's found on youtube seem to hae been shot in the "bad" days. The exception if Attilla's performance with Enslaved ; they played Life Eternal and it was better than any Mayhem performance I've seen on video.
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Dark_Gnat
Metalhead

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:20 am 
 

Danzig's first 3 LP's have been in my player a lot lately. I've had them for years but I never really "studied" them.

Although not as heavy as my usual fair, I really enjoy the over-driven blues approach, and Glenn has an excellent voice. I've been catching myself humming the melodies or singing in my head. It's simple, yet effective. Great riffs, great melodies, occasional moments subtle of brilliance. The drumming is very strait-forward, but very well done.

I would recommend this to anyone who like bluesy doom with clean lower pitched vocals, catchy guitar lines, mid-paced pounding drums, and an all around "evil rock" feel.

Even if you prefer more extreme styles, these are nice "breather albums".
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into_the_pit
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:03 pm 
 

Phosphorus wrote:
As someone who enjoyed Christ Illusion more than disliked it, would you say that World Painted Blood is kind of the fulfilment of the potential on that album? If so I'm definitely going to check it out... I've kinda been hesitating because of the very mixed reviews on it.


I liked christ illusion quite a bit when it came out, but that was nothing compared to world painted blood. that album is simply amazing and the best slayer record since reign in blood imo.

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MaDTransilvanian
Caravan Beyond Redemption

Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:56 pm
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Location: Romania
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:29 am 
 

MazeofTorment wrote:
Nokturnal Mortum - The Voice of Steel

As of the last week I've been spinning the new Nokturnal Mortum album The Voice of Steel and am actually having to hold myself back from listening to it too much. I get the trendwhore comparisons but I think there comes a time when its so successfully done that an aspect such as that ceases to matter. I think this album is a perfect example of that. This album is only, really, about 35% the NM that everyone knows. The rest sounds like a completely different band and honestly, that's why it does sounds so good! I'm a big believer in taking an album for what it is alone and trying not to compare it too much to previous releases. I think such comparisons often times are weighed too heavily. Simply put, the album is huge. Its massive. Maybe a little all over the place at times? Yeah. Perfect? Not by any means but damn, its still really good. I like the fact that the album is well produced as well. It really helps in clarifying the soundscapes they create. Of which, by the way, I find to be very uplifting, soaring, and powerful. I never thought I'd use the word uplifting in reference to a NM song but the album really has a way of making me feel sky high. Especially the fourth track, the melody on that song is one of the catchiest folk melodies I've ever heard and I could honestly listen to it all day.

And did I mention that apparently they got really good at playing guitar now too? Seriously, never before has NM displayed such skill on the guitar. Plenty of epic, well written solos can be found on this album. Even a psychedelic , Pink Floyd esque moment can be found on this album. But....it works somehow, I think. For the most part the album is folk oriented but the fierce, black metal NM that we know and love does make an occasional appearance. And again, like with the Pink Floyd example, every so often the album definitely branches outside the typical guidelines for what a black/folk metal album sounds like. In other words, they keep it interesting and yes, its a bit of experimentation but I think it works and the end result is a huge, atmospheric album of epic proportions that contains many layers to digest. This album has a feel about it that smells of Bathory to me and Blut Aus Nords classic Memoria Ventusta pt 1. Superb album, highly recommend it. I know I'll be buying it if I can ever find a way to get a hold of it! NM fans, definitely check this out and even if you're not and maybe get the occasional folk/black metal boner and would like to give it a whirl, I would also highly recommend it.


That's very encouraging. I've been waiting around to buy the album, but perhaps I'll sample some more songs online and maybe even download the entire thing before I get around to buying it. I've heard nothing but praise coming from everyone concerning this album, except of course for those few die-hard NM/Temnozor haters out there.

Your mention of how their guitar-playing skills have improved was something I had noticed too over the past couple of years. Having heard and reviewed the Eastern Hammer split they did two years ago with North, Graveland and Temnozor, I noticed that the re-recording of Kolyada not only featured better production but also much better guitar playing and that the band's skills were steadily improving over time. I'm glad to see they're keeping that up. I still doubt this album will be able to top the band's two best releases Twilightfall and Lunar Poetry, however.

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hellhammer161
Metal newbie

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:50 am 
 

into_the_pit wrote:
Phosphorus wrote:
As someone who enjoyed Christ Illusion more than disliked it, would you say that World Painted Blood is kind of the fulfilment of the potential on that album? If so I'm definitely going to check it out... I've kinda been hesitating because of the very mixed reviews on it.


I liked christ illusion quite a bit when it came out, but that was nothing compared to world painted blood. that album is simply amazing and the best slayer record since reign in blood imo.


Really??? Hearing that makes me want to go check it out now!
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AngeldeathGreg
Metalhead

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:06 pm 
 

first post in this thread... love the idea.

Over the last month or two, I've been on a huuuuuge Australian kick: Denouncement Pyre (just got their new shirt!!!!), Cemetery Urn, Gospel of the Horns, Nocturnal Graves, Abominator, Destruktor, Ignivomous, Impetuous Ritual....


but I'll delve only into two of these:

CEMETERY URN - Urn of Blood

I would not hesitate to say this is the best death metal album to come out since... well, I dropped out of the scene in 2004, but I'd still argue this the best thing since Nile's masterpiece "Black Seeds of Vengeance" in 2000.

Anyway, this is perfect death metal: equal parts Suffocation, Morbid Angel, old Deicide, Incantation, and the violent Australian war ethic. PERFECT mixing, this is how death metal albums should sound. The drums stand out very much, but SOUND LIKE DRUMS. no annoying clickity blastclicking. I just love the SOUND of this record. The songwriting is genius... its simple, but not Obituary simple, but its technical and involved, but not to the annoying point of Psycroptic or something. This is just awesome fucking death metal.

Plus, I think they may have achieved the most brutal odd time signature riff of all time: the post-solo riff in "Legion of Fiends". I still can't figure out what the meter is... but its SO sick. Honestly, this is an album that I would buy multiple copies of, myself, so that I could give them to people.

For fans of: Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, Malevolent Creation, Suffocation, Skinless, Dying Fetus, Vader, and just about every sub-style of death metal. This is GREAT fucking music, people.




DENOUNCEMENT PYRE - Hell's Infantry

Just got this at the end of last week. This is their first CD release, a 6 track EP of pure unholy blackthrash. If you listen to any Australian war metal or blackthrash, you know what this will sound like: harsh, buzzing guitar grimness, shrieking vocals, and relentless pounding drums. The drumming here is excellently sloppy: Chris Volcano (Abominator, D666, Urgrund, Ignivomous, Destruktor.... doesn't this country have any other drummers? haha) is the one manning the kit, and he performs admirably. The sound is dirty, but you can hear everything really well, especially the kick drums, which are warm and thick sounding

I like DPyre because they are the most intelligent of the black-thrash war metal scene, in that their songwriting is actually involved and creative, and consists of more than repeating verse/chorus simplicity with no creative breaks and build ups. There are more than 3 parts to these songs. Its hard to pick a favorite track, but The March of Hell's Infantry really stands out in my mind. Its REALLY good; the songwriting, structurally speaking, makes me think of Morbid Angel in its distinct unique sections that flow together while still using breaks and transitions.

For fans of: Blasphemy, Darkthrone, old Behemoth, Destroyer666, Abominator, Bestial Warlust, Archgoat, Angelcorpse, Slayer, Gospel of the Horns, Nocturnal Graves, Nunslaughter

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Chaosmonger
Metalhead

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:09 pm 
 

For those looking for the new Nokturnal Mortum, I got mine from www.sepulchralproductions.com for $13. Just click on "mailorder."

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CrushedRevelation
Devil's right hand

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Location: Australia
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:32 pm 
 

Dark_Gnat wrote:
Danzig's first 3 LP's have been in my player a lot lately. I've had them for years but I never really "studied" them.

Although not as heavy as my usual fair, I really enjoy the over-driven blues approach, and Glenn has an excellent voice. I've been catching myself humming the melodies or singing in my head. It's simple, yet effective. Great riffs, great melodies, occasional moments subtle of brilliance. The drumming is very strait-forward, but very well done.

I would recommend this to anyone who like bluesy doom with clean lower pitched vocals, catchy guitar lines, mid-paced pounding drums, and an all around "evil rock" feel.

Even if you prefer more extreme styles, these are nice "breather albums".


Hell yes!! These three are masterpieces of "evil rock"! I'm the same, after hearing the ridiculously good Twist Of Cain and She Rides off the first album, it's almost impossible to shift the tunes out of my head. Actually that whole album rules from beginning to end. Same goes for Lucifuge and How The Gods Kill - fucking amazing.
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M3TALMANIAC750
Metal newbie

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:04 pm 
 

Bathory: Twilight of the Gods-

I have to say this is my favorite Bathory album- they lighten up a bit off of the shrieked vocals and it gives it such an epic feel. The use of more acoustic intros and flourishes really helps create this amazing atmosphere.
Its epic, it could be the soundtrack to a viking movie. Under the Runes makes me feel like I am fighting in an epic battle or something.

Mastodon: Blood Mountain

This is not my favorite Mastodon album but I love it. The music is really creative and more progressive than previous albums, yet it still has an incredibly heavy feel. They do a great job creating the concept through the lyrics and music. The music backs up what is going on in the lyrics perfectly.The lyrics are so cryptic at times, which isn't surprising based on the drug use.

this week has been all about atmosphere for me and album that has a definite atmosphere to it not just a collection of good songs. Its awesome where the music and lyrics mesh together to form a definite atmosphere.

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DrOctavia
Do Dark Horses Dream of Nightmares?

Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 9:02 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:19 pm 
 

M3TALMANIAC750 wrote:
Bathory: Twilight of the Gods-

I have to say this is my favorite Bathory album- they lighten up a bit off of the shrieked vocals and it gives it such an epic feel. The use of more acoustic intros and flourishes really helps create this amazing atmosphere.
Its epic, it could be the soundtrack to a viking movie. Under the Runes makes me feel like I am fighting in an epic battle or something.

I'm inclined to agree, Twilight is probably my favourite Bathory album. As much as Blood Fire Death and Hammerheart rock, Quorthon's viking period really reached its apex with that album and he really shows his influences off in a completely unashamed, bombastic manner. Everything from the bardic intros, that beautiful spoken piece in Through Blood by Thunder, to the sudden mountainous riffs and that awesome oh-so-Manowar bass solo is fantastic, and topped off with that magical Holst piece... it's just perfect.
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caspian
Wanderer of the Wastes

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:29 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:36 am 
 

currently listening to AJFA for the first time in a year or so. A few thoughts:

-Quite a bit of the stuff on it is the best stuff they ever did. Dyer's Eve instrumental break, Frayed Ends, TLITD's mellow break (quite the tear jerker), all of Blackened..
-Hetfield is and has always been Metallica. RtL proved that Dave ain't shit, this (sort of) proves that for Cliff. Hetfield (at least circa '88) could front Waking The Cadaver and still be great.
-Except for the title track and the instrumental, nothing on here is too long.
-Production doesn't hinder it, just adds to the clinical, furious feel.
-Lars is amazing on this album; not necessarily in technicality but certainly in composition of the drum beats (which I've always felt was his strength, tbh; he can't drum worth a damn but he knows what to play).

Think I should redo my review... 93% doesn't give this masterpiece justice.
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OlioTheSmall
Handsome (marsupial) Beast

Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:08 pm
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Location: Australia
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:06 am 
 

caspian wrote:
Think I should redo my review... 93% doesn't give this masterpiece justice.

Well then that certainly isn't justice for all... :roll:

Personally, I dismissed the album a while back as bland, boring and completely overshadowed by the three brilliant albums that preceded it. The only three songs that stuck with me were the first, the last and "One" (which I believe to be a prime metal ballad). Still, a lot of people really dig it and I have friends who also quite like it. One mate finds it interesting because he feels that it is the Metallica's most technical work and thinks that it is an interesting side of the band. It's possible that I passed judgment on it too quickly; it's the only 80s Metallica album that I haven't listened to thoroughly. While I have listened to it through a number of times, the last time was well over a year ago and I guess it wouldn't hurt to listen to it again.
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MacMoney
Man of the Cloth

Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2002 10:17 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:22 am 
 

caspian wrote:
currently listening to AJFA for the first time in a year or so. A few thoughts:

-Quite a bit of the stuff on it is the best stuff they ever did. Dyer's Eve instrumental break, Frayed Ends, TLITD's mellow break (quite the tear jerker), all of Blackened..
-Hetfield is and has always been Metallica. RtL proved that Dave ain't shit, this (sort of) proves that for Cliff. Hetfield (at least circa '88) could front Waking The Cadaver and still be great.
-Except for the title track and the instrumental, nothing on here is too long.
-Production doesn't hinder it, just adds to the clinical, furious feel.
-Lars is amazing on this album; not necessarily in technicality but certainly in composition of the drum beats (which I've always felt was his strength, tbh; he can't drum worth a damn but he knows what to play).


I can't agree with you on everything, but on the production I can. It's not the best production ever, but it does its job on the album very well. The bass is quite low, but it doesn't really bother the album at all. I've always thought Burton's influence on the band has always been overestimated. If he hadn't died, the Loads might be a little more adventurous, but that's about it. It's not like he really wrote that much material for the band. The album has its high points, but the most of the songs get kind of samey. Blackened and Dyer's Eve are among the best songs the band has ever written though, and To Live Is to Die has enough variation not to get boring. But songs like Shorest Straw, the title track and Harvester of Sorrow get very tiresome after the middle.

It's partly a good listen and their second best album in overall after Kill 'em All, but around sixty or seventy percent I guess.

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Acrobat
Eric Olthwaite

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:48 am 
 

Blind Guardian - Somewhere Far Beyond

One of the most obviously 'transitional' albums in my collection, and perhaps the band's most well-rounded release. However, Blind Guardian is an odd band for me; while I still enjoy them a lot I find myself at an odd place between worship and more "hey, this is cool". So, I guess I just enjoy them from time-to-time and don't consider them truly A-standard like, say, for other power metal examples, Fates Warning, Virgin Steele and Manilla Road. Anyway, the writing quality is certainly very high and the songs are largely enjoyable (only 'The Bard's Song - The Hobbit' feels lacking). The overall production is a big step up for them and the guitar sound is pretty damn cool for euro-power. But still, it's not something I can listen to everyday and my enjoyment is very dependent on my mood. A difficult album for me to assess, really, but usually an enjoyable one.

Sigh - Scorn Defeat

I'll keep it short for this: I like later Sigh and think what they do is very admirable but the albums I've listened to so far don't ever excite me as much as this. The experimentation is rather subtle in comparison to the more in-your-face moments of, say, Gallows Gallery. It's more a Morbid Tales than a Into the Pandemonium if you catch my drift. Anyway, it's a record to really immerse yourself in, and looks likely to remain my favourite Sigh album. The "Eastern force of evil" thing really summed them up -- it's spooky in the same way Mercyful Fate or Hellhammer might be but with that eastern twist (not that it sounds much like Fate or Hellhammer). It's like being chased into some ancient tomb by Jap-Nosferatu! Aggghrrr!
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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10213
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:40 pm 
 

ANationalAcrobat wrote:
Blind Guardian - Somewhere Far Beyond

One of the most obviously 'transitional' albums in my collection, and perhaps the band's most well-rounded release. However, Blind Guardian is an odd band for me; while I still enjoy them a lot I find myself at an odd place between worship and more "hey, this is cool". So, I guess I just enjoy them from time-to-time and don't consider them truly A-standard like, say, for other power metal examples, Fates Warning, Virgin Steele and Manilla Road. Anyway, the writing quality is certainly very high and the songs are largely enjoyable (only 'The Bard's Song - The Hobbit' feels lacking). The overall production is a big step up for them and the guitar sound is pretty damn cool for euro-power. But still, it's not something I can listen to everyday and my enjoyment is very dependent on my mood. A difficult album for me to assess, really, but usually an enjoyable one.

Sigh - Scorn Defeat

I'll keep it short for this: I like later Sigh and think what they do is very admirable but the albums I've listened to so far don't ever excite me as much as this. The experimentation is rather subtle in comparison to the more in-your-face moments of, say, Gallows Gallery. It's more a Morbid Tales than a Into the Pandemonium if you catch my drift. Anyway, it's a record to really immerse yourself in, and looks likely to remain my favourite Sigh album. The "Eastern force of evil" thing really summed them up -- it's spooky in the same way Mercyful Fate or Hellhammer might be but with that eastern twist (not that it sounds much like Fate or Hellhammer). It's like being chased into some ancient tomb by Jap-Nosferatu! Aggghrrr!


Agreed. The occult feeling of that album is incredible. Demontage finally did a live cover of "At My Funeral"...I should try and get it up online somewhere. Anyway, don't pass up "Infidel Art"..I'm sure you'll like that one almost as much (it's probably my own favourite Sigh album).
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Evil_Johnny_666
Reigning king of the night

Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:54 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:06 pm 
 

Abominatrix wrote:
ANationalAcrobat wrote:
Blind Guardian - Somewhere Far Beyond

One of the most obviously 'transitional' albums in my collection, and perhaps the band's most well-rounded release. However, Blind Guardian is an odd band for me; while I still enjoy them a lot I find myself at an odd place between worship and more "hey, this is cool". So, I guess I just enjoy them from time-to-time and don't consider them truly A-standard like, say, for other power metal examples, Fates Warning, Virgin Steele and Manilla Road. Anyway, the writing quality is certainly very high and the songs are largely enjoyable (only 'The Bard's Song - The Hobbit' feels lacking). The overall production is a big step up for them and the guitar sound is pretty damn cool for euro-power. But still, it's not something I can listen to everyday and my enjoyment is very dependent on my mood. A difficult album for me to assess, really, but usually an enjoyable one.

Sigh - Scorn Defeat

I'll keep it short for this: I like later Sigh and think what they do is very admirable but the albums I've listened to so far don't ever excite me as much as this. The experimentation is rather subtle in comparison to the more in-your-face moments of, say, Gallows Gallery. It's more a Morbid Tales than a Into the Pandemonium if you catch my drift. Anyway, it's a record to really immerse yourself in, and looks likely to remain my favourite Sigh album. The "Eastern force of evil" thing really summed them up -- it's spooky in the same way Mercyful Fate or Hellhammer might be but with that eastern twist (not that it sounds much like Fate or Hellhammer). It's like being chased into some ancient tomb by Jap-Nosferatu! Aggghrrr!


Agreed. The occult feeling of that album is incredible. Demontage finally did a live cover of "At My Funeral"...I should try and get it up online somewhere. Anyway, don't pass up "Infidel Art"..I'm sure you'll like that one almost as much (it's probably my own favourite Sigh album).


That's a great choice, my favourite from the album. And I second Infidel Art, it took me some time to dig it, but now I just love it. More experimental and symphonic, but they still keep their black/thrash edge with some killer riffwork.

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AngeldeathGreg
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:36 am
Posts: 442
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:05 pm 
 

I'm just forewarning you guys:


Prepare for a LENGTHY diabtribe on the mighty ARCHGOAT from me later tonight.


They haven't left my player since discovering them last week. I haven't been this taken aback by a band in a long, long time.

In case you don't know them, imagine Darkthrone done through an Obituary song structure filter with craaaazy sub-demon vocals and with TIGHT USDM-based blast beating.

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the_bard_of_osyrhia
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:40 pm
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Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:12 pm 
 

This is a fantastic idea for a thread.

Akercocke - Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone

As a big fan of the three Akercocke albums I've had for ages I felt that it was time to finally check this one out. As soon as I pressed play the excellent production hit me and the music just seemed even better than on their other albums. It's also a lot more proggy in sound with the ten minute epic 'Shelter From the Sand' being a particular example of this with one section that sounds a bit like it could be from a Yes or The Flower Kings album. This is definitely an album I'll need to listen to a lot to get used to but it will be a pleasure to do so.

Yyrkoon - Unhealthy Opera

This reminded me somewhat of a heavier and more death metal Gojira. This band are also less technically complex which is nice really considering how needlessly technical sections of Gojira's latest are. That's enough comparison though, Gojira they are not. I am not massively familiar with a lot of extreme death or thrash metal but this seems an excellent combination of the two genres. It's heavy as hell and has some seriously fantastic riffs. Also the horror inspired lyrics are awesome and sometimes remind me of Lovecrafts works, albeit only in theme. Finally getting down to checking out more French death metal has been a real success so far.
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Pippin_Took
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:28 pm
Posts: 600
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:10 pm 
 

So, a couple of nights ago I was looking through iTunes for albums I hadn't played yet, and I was shocked to see King Diamond's Abigail sitting there. I've had the Mercyful Fate phase, where you really can't play anything else, but for some reason, haven't listened to much of King's solo material yet. So, before I went to sleep, got into bed, turned out the lights and put Abigail on through headphones...

...and what a tremendous album! 40 minutes of absolute mastery, exactly what I want from a metal album. Crushing guitar tone, with Denner and LaRoque flinging out masterful riff after riff, before duelling furiously with their expertly played solos. Audible and intricate basslines, backed up by honestly one of the best drumming performances I have ever heard - who knew Mickey Dee was such a legend?! Skilled and unusual patterns, some great use of the ride bell in particular, truly awesome stuff. And then a schizonphrenic ride through Hell of a vocal performance...screams, shrieks, death growls, raspy spoken vocals, choirs appearing out of nowhere like ghosts; if ever an album demanded a surround sound remix, for the vocals alone, it's this one. The lyrics are a delight; the best horror film that was never made, as King incants tales of death, despair and terror over the unholy clamour of his band of demon-possessed souls. The thing that really hits me is how unrelenting the whole thing is...from the intro track onwards, there are a couple of acoustic interludes, but otherwise this is non-stop metal destruction throughout. If there's anyone out there as foolish as me who hadn't listened to this properly before, go and get it! :headbang:

Although I'm a newbie to ongoing King vs Fate debate, I'm going to stick my neck out in the interests of prompting some debate, and place this on a par with Melissa, but not quite up to Don't Break the Oath. Both of those will need re-listening in the wake of this, but that's my initial impression... :D

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LoadTheSixpounder
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 12:44 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:08 pm 
 

Great idea for a thread, this definitely seems like something i'll make a weekly habit of!

Iced Earth - The Dark Saga [1996]

I've been riding a general Power Metal/NWOBHM kick this entire week, but revisiting my favorite Iced Earth album definitely seemed like the thing to write about. Being a fan of the Spawn comics will help one appreciate the lyrical content of this album, but it's really not necessary as the musical and vocal content is simply outstanding. The songs range from the melancholy and touching I Died For You to all-out thrashers like Violate and The Hunter (the latter features some particularly excellent leads from Randall Sawver) and of course Matt Barlow's crowning achievement, A Question of Heaven. All in all, it's a great album and one of my all-time favorites in metal.

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Smeg_head
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:39 pm
Posts: 184
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:38 pm 
 

LoadTheSixpounder wrote:
Great idea for a thread, this definitely seems like something i'll make a weekly habit of!

Iced Earth - The Dark Saga [1996]

I've been riding a general Power Metal/NWOBHM kick this entire week, but revisiting my favorite Iced Earth album definitely seemed like the thing to write about. Being a fan of the Spawn comics will help one appreciate the lyrical content of this album, but it's really not necessary as the musical and vocal content is simply outstanding. The songs range from the melancholy and touching I Died For You to all-out thrashers like Violate and The Hunter (the latter features some particularly excellent leads from Randall Sawver) and of course Matt Barlow's crowning achievement, A Question of Heaven. All in all, it's a great album and one of my all-time favorites in metal.


I haven't been on here for a while but this is a great thread so I thought I'd contribute.

Dark Saga is also by far my fav Iced Earth album. 'The Hunter' is an all time classic song and the sheer power of this entire album cannot be refuted. The musical variations on the album, the smooth softening and hardening of tones, is pure class. Schaffer totally advocates his musical ability on the album. I'm not gonna lie, as much as I think Ripper is a good vocalist, I was only too glad Barlow came back, his voice suits the atmosphere of the band in a way that Ripper's doesn't. As of recently, Iced Earth seems to be getting the recognition it deserves. I remember there was a time when rare metal heads gawped at my 'dark saga' tshirt saying 'you've actually heard of Iced Earth?' which I was surprised at considering they are such an awesome band.

Anyhoo, another album I've listened to this week for the 3rd of 4th time is Gamma Ray's most recent effort 'To The Metal' (2010). I must say, i enjoyed it immensely. In all honesty, its nothing new, they're not doing anything original from their other stuff but when it comes to bands like 'Gamma Ray' you know what you're getting, good, strong power metal, there's no beating around the bush with them. With songs like 'Rise', 'Time to live' and 'Shine forever' you can't help but be uplifted. Too boot, it was great to hear the voice of Michael Kiske after so long, he has a fantastic voice and sounds completely at home on the song 'All you need to know'. You can just sense that the band just love doing what they do and thats making energetic, lyrically inspiring, strong and powerful metal emphasized particularly with their most catchy, upbeat, sing along number 'To the Metal'. I can't help but love their effort and passion.
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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:45 am 
 

Dragonauta: "Cabramacabra"

I admit it, I was led to seek this out because someone drew a comparison between my band and this one. "Never heard of them", I thought..."they must be so-called stoner doom, with a name like that." Indeed, metal-archives seemed to confirm this...but listening to the album reveals something rather unexpected. They don't sound even the slightest bit like Sleep, Kyuss or Black Sabbath. They're very heavy, with a sound more akin to modern heavy metal than anything else. The riffs are fast, tight and rhythmically complex at times, and there are indeed slower numbers to accentuate that "doom feel"...far more God's Tower than Orange Goblin if you know what I mean. Songs sometimes feature clever tricks and tasteful breaks like the Spanish-sounding clean guitar stuff in the first song. The band has an undeniable charisma that makes them damn likeable, and the vocalist sure contributes to this, with a style that can usually be best described as a vicious yet melodic snarl, though he occasionally delivers some dark tenor wails, too. Listening to this album confirms what I always thought..Spanish sounds very cool when belted out in an aggressive manner with heavy guitars. And, you really do have to play this thing loud!
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Hush and hark, without murmur or sigh,
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:52 am 
 

LoadTheSixpounder wrote:
Great idea for a thread, this definitely seems like something i'll make a weekly habit of!

Iced Earth - The Dark Saga [1996]

I've been riding a general Power Metal/NWOBHM kick this entire week, but revisiting my favorite Iced Earth album definitely seemed like the thing to write about. Being a fan of the Spawn comics will help one appreciate the lyrical content of this album, but it's really not necessary as the musical and vocal content is simply outstanding. The songs range from the melancholy and touching I Died For You to all-out thrashers like Violate and The Hunter (the latter features some particularly excellent leads from Randall Sawver) and of course Matt Barlow's crowning achievement, A Question of Heaven. All in all, it's a great album and one of my all-time favorites in metal.


What a piece of trash that album is. Complete shallow, disposable horseshit - no integrity, no musical depth, nothing. It's like they took their early albums (which are still nothing great) and just decided to remake them without even really putting any thought into them. Very weak, commercial sounding stuff.

Excalion - High Time (2010)

This album is stunningly good - poppy, sure, but it's got a lot of charm to it, and the band worked hard to make each song likable and unique, with frosty, swirling synthesizers and crunching, melodic guitars clashing with Jarno Pakkonen's deep belting voice like a raging storm. I don't know why; I just really dig this. The hooks are magnificent, the music is captivating and wondrous and the package is one of great integrity. There are all sorts of cool things going on here - some of the keyboard melodies are just ace, or perhaps a sterling, emotional chorus, or maybe a combination of the two. It's very self contained music that creates a new interest with every song. Excalion are going places, and this album is proof of that.
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