Sunday, December 26, 2010

2010 Year In Metal Recap

As 2010 comes to a close, we look back on all that has happened in metal in the past year. For good or for bad, it has been one crazy year. Great releases, untimely deaths, amazing shows, reunions and break-ups, just about everything has happened in the past 365 days. This is the time that we revisit all that has occurred in 2010; remember the good times, reflect on the bad times, and simply listen to all the kick ass music that has been penetrating out ear drums. These are some of the biggest moments of metal in 2010.

One of my most anticipated returns of 2010 was that of Polish death metal dynamos Decapitated. This band originated back in 1996 when most of the band was in their teenage years. Undoubtedly no one would realize that this young band would create some of the heaviest death metal ever to have the pleasure of demolishing the world’s aural sensibilities. They created some of the most technical death metal without sounding snobbish and simply noodling all over the place. Back in 2007 tragedy struck; a car accident occurred that killed the 23 years young drummer Witold "Vitek" Kiełtyka and put singer Adrian "Covan" Kowanek into a coma. Most thought that there was no way that the band would continue. However, through perseverance, the band has reunited with a new drummer and vocalist to bring the masses untold brutality. They played shows in the UK, Australia, and the US and completely destroyed everyone in their path. The world anticipates new music from this uncompromising and goal-driven band.

Tragedy plagued the world when on May 16, 2010, one of the leaders of metal, one of the originators, possibly the greatest vocalist of all time, Ronnie James Dio passed away as a result of stomach cancer. Truly one of the saddest days of my life was when I heard of Dio’s passing. Truth be told, I had been drinking the night before and I read rumors on the internet of his passing and I simply did not believe it. When I told my friend that night of what I read, we both scoffed and treated it as simply another internet rumor. However, when I got up in the morning and started to see all that was written about Dio and his passing, it all started to hit home. I called my friend and informed him of the tragedy and was beside myself. Holy Diver did not leave my stereo for days because I wanted to breathe in all that I could from one of metal’s masters. From his days with Black Sabbath, to Rainbow, to his own self-titled bad Dio, he has consistently put out great music and never lost his vocal abilities, even in his later years when most vocalists do. The world truly mourned when they heard of his passing, and they still do to this day.

Another metal legend passed away this year, one month before Dio did, Type O Negative lead singer, bassist, and composer Peter Steele. He helped create and continue goth/doom metal that even lead its way to the mainstream as most people have at least heard of Type O Negative. With hits such as “Black No. 1” and “Christian Woman,” doom metal and gothic music combined and invaded the mainstream. Peter Steel became a star and made a subculture popular. As a result of heart failure, he passed away on April 14, 2010, and left an indelible mark on the world of heavy music.

One of the biggest pieces of news of the year was the fact that the Big Four of thrash were finally going to play shows together. Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax were four of the seminal bands that started thrash metal and they were finally going to play shows together after almost 30 years of playing as bands. They each have had their own moments of brilliance and have stood alone on their own merit. Across the board they have all been deemed as standards that new bands today try to live up to. To a lot of people this was fantastic news, those people all lived in Europe, because that was the only place they were going to play. Even though all the bands are from America, none of their announced shows were in the US. There is still hope though as they announced that there will be more shows in the summer of 2011. Even though they are in Europe again, there is a glimmer of hope that they will put together some shows here in the United States.

On Tuesday, December 7, the world was told that one of the originators of heavy metal, a constant heavy hitter of power metal, Judas Priest announced that they will soon be retiring. They told the world that there will be one final world tour and that would be the last we will ever see of this amazing band. There are plenty of skeptics that believe this is one of those farewell tours that are not as they seem. Some people think that the band will reunite in a couple years to do more shows because the world does not seem the same without JP. Even so, we all need to go out and see these shows in order to give these titans of metal a proper send off. Long Live Judas Priest \m/

Nergal, main man of the Polish blackened death metal titans Behemoth announced that the band would take a little hiatus from touring and recording due to a tragic health scare. This leader of the darkness has been brought down to earth from the debilitating disease leukemia which ravages a person’s white cell count in their bone marrow. However, through the power of the metal community, awareness of this disease has spread and a great deal of money has been raised. Marrow drives have been organized and one metal fan found out that he was a perfect match to donate blood marrow to Nergal. Rumor has it that a successful surgery has been undertaken and Nergal is resting comfortably.

Announcing their return to the metal world this year was Swedish thrash trio Coroner. This was huge news as they had been retired since 1996. Coroner released such legendary albums as Punishment for Decadence and No More Color. Having been around since 1983 Coroner began at the same time as most of the seminal thrash bands of our time and their reputation as an unrelenting tech-thrash band lives on today. The metal world rejoiced news came that they would reunite for France’s legendary Hellfest music festival. Coming shortly after that announcement was the news that they would hit the shores of the US for more tour dates such as playing Maryland Deathfest.

This has truly been a diverse year for metal with legends passing, great bands reuniting, amazing albums being put out, and any many intense tours. For a list of some of those great albums check out our favorite albums of the past year. Let’s hope that 2011 brings us as much joy as 2010 did by getting much more great new albums and tours. Be sure to support the scene by buying the albums, going to shows, and buying the merch. Be sure to continue to follow us here at NW MetalHead Productions presents \m/ All Metal All The Time \m/ as we will be sure to bring you new music, more reviews, and more metal fun. We hope to add new features to the site in order to give you all a better place to get all your metal news.

Keep those horns up !!!!!

-NW MetalHead

Friday, December 17, 2010

New Metal Playlist

I haven’t done a playlist since my successful genre series of playlists and I feel that it is time to bring out a new one. This time I do not have a theme running through my list, it is simply made up of some bands that I am currently digging at the moment. I have already given out some of my favorite albums of the year and given some of the top news of the top bands of the past year, so I figure that I am going to give some love to more underground bands. You may or may not have heard these bands before but either way I hope you all enjoy my latest playlist.
Teitanblood – Infernal Dance of the Wicked
Exmortus – Triumph By Fire
Kvelertak – Ulvetid
Blasphemic Cruelty – Poisoned Lust
Cor Scorpii – Ei Fane Svart
Hate Plow – Prison Bitch
Portal – Black Houses
Psoriasis – I Breathe Sarin
Deteriorot – Ritual Ceremonies of Blasphemous Horrors
Mar De Grises – Shining Human Skin

Monday, December 13, 2010

R.I.P. Chuck Schuldiner

Here we are, in the year 2010, at the doorstep of 2011, and extreme music is growing every single day. It is difficult to believe how far the music has come since the pioneers started playing something that was different, something heavier than everything else that was on the radio. As new music progresses and innovative subgenres are being formed every day, we must take time to remember the originators of metal. From the mainstream success of bands like Black Sabbath, Dio, Metallica, and Deep Purple, to the more underground bands of Death, Possessed, Venom, and Candlemass. Without albums such as Scream Bloody Gore, Seven Churches, Black Metal, and Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, we would not have death metal, thrash metal, black metal, or doom as we know it to be today. I am not saying that these were the be all and end all of those particular genres, but they were undeniably pivotal in the growth of extreme music. Many kids today are simply listening to music that has come out in the last ten years and not going back to discover where this music came from. Sadly, not all of these bands are around anymore because time does not always treat metal bands well. We lose legends such as Ronnie James Dio, Dimebag Darrell, and, the main reason I am writing this article, Chuck Schuldiner. December 13 marks the 9th anniversary of Chuck’s passing away due to cancer. As much as we portray these legends as god-like, we have to come back to reality to realize that they are very much mortal. Chuck has been called the Father of Death Metal for his innovations with his band Death, whose entire catalogue is celebrated in the metal community as some of the greatest contributions to music that we have. Even as the band moved into a more progressive sound, Death continued to show the incredible musicianship that death metal can possess. From Chuck’s vocals to his songwriting to his style of guitar playing, you can hear his influence in just about every death metal band today. It is highly doubtful that any band would say that Death has not been a source of inspiration to them as death metal would not exist in its state without them. Albums such as the aforementioned Scream Bloody Gore, Leprosy, and Human, paved the way for extreme music and their sonic faculties can be heard in so many different bands today. So today we take time to remember our fallen heroes and make sure to spin their records in order to pay homage to their legacies. We will continue to lose these legends that broke new ground in music and we will never get more music from them again. There will be countless articles written about them as time moves on but we need to remember them on a daily basis so that they will not simply be memories.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Judas Priest Announces Farewell Tour

After storming the world for nearly 40 years and taking their very special brand of heavy metal to all four corners of the planet, JUDAS PRIEST - one of the most influential heavy metal bands of all time, have announced this will be their final world tour!!

However, the mighty PRIEST will certainly be going out strong as they rock the planet starting in 2011 on the massive EPITAPH tour - hitting all the major cities throughout the world they will be playing the songs that helped make the name JUDAS PRIEST synonymous with heavy metal!

With all guns blazing and amps cranked to eleven, the band will be giving all their fans one last chance to witness the ultimate metal experience that is JUDAS PRIEST!

JUDAS PRIEST will be starting their world tour in Europe - we have just confirmed the following festivals for 2011 -

9th June Sweden Rock Festival, Sweden
11th June Sauna Festival, Finland
17th June Copenhell Festival, Copenhagen, Denmark
19th June Hellfest, Nantes, France
22nd June Gods of Metal Festival, Milan, Italy
25th June Graspop Festival, Belgium
23rd July HIgh Voltage Festival, London, UK
5th August Wacken Festival, Germany


Stay tuned as we announce more dates - information will be forthcoming soon - so start getting prepared to rock one final time with the incomparable JUDAS PRIEST!!

(Quoted from Judaspriest.com)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2010 Favorite Metal Albums

As I have talked about before, I am not a huge of “best of” lists. However, it is that time of year when the music world is inundated with “best of the year” lists and we are forced to hear that Avenged Sevenfold put out the greatest album ever. That is complete BS in so many ways. So what I am writing now is my “Personal Favorites of 2010.” This is by no means a best of list and because music is subjective there cannot be a greatest album. What I want to put forth is a list of my favorites and have other people discuss which ones they liked. This way a debate can be created and more bands can be introduced to more people. So here it is, my list of albums that I have thoroughly enjoyed over that past year.

Eluveitie - Everything Remains As It Never Was
Coming back strong this year with a new album of folky goodness is Eluveitie, the Swiss powerhouse that never fails to deliver. Strong songs such as the title track and “Quoth the Raven” show off the death metal side as well as their clean folk side. This band has several dimensions that work well together that made this album a must have.


Blasphemophagher - ...For Chaos, Obscurity, and Desolation
Stepping up this year with a heaping blast of death/black metal pandemonium is Italian hate mongers Blasphemophagher. These beasts created an album of extreme metal magic that seems like it could blast through the speakers and rip out your soul right out of your body. Tracks such as “Fleshripping Terrordeath” display the evil constructions that this maniacal band has spewed from their puke ridden bodies. An album for the whole family!


High On Fire - Snakes For the Divine
Stoner metal maestros High On Fire came back this year with one of my favorite albums I have listened to in ages. This album is so bottom heavy and so full of amazing riff after riff that you will want to listen to it back to back to back. The album never gets boring and stays heavy after repeated spins. This one will definitely be on many year end lists this year.

Immolation - Majesty and Decay
New York’s own Immolation put out an album of pure death metal. These legends have been around for so long it is reasonable to think that they have lost their touch and would simply put out a decent album that people would buy based on their name alone. However, Immolation did not rest on their past success and put out an amazing album. Incredibly heavy, loud, and punishing, Majesty and Decay fits right along with the rest of Immolations illustrious back catalogue.

Hour of Penance – Paradogma
Brutal death metal has been flooding the scene for awhile now and there are many bands out there that are terrible, playing simplistic music that offers nothing innovative or original. Hour of Penance are not one of those bands. Their newest album Paradogma is a brilliant follow-up to the incredible The Vile Conception. Tackling the issues of religion and society, they are not afraid of raising issues of controversy that might get them in trouble with certain groups of people. However, that anger fits perfectly along with their heavy sound. Definitely a band to follow in the next few years.

Misery Index - Heirs To Thievery
Death metal, grindcore, and organized chaos; all ways that one can use to define Misery Index. Their newest album is one that surprised a lot of people by just how good it was. The mastery that they use to combine death metal and grind is very impressive and no one, in my opinion, has put out a death/grind album of this caliber in awhile. I can’t say enough good things about this album.

Nevermore - The Obsidian Conspiracy
What can I say about Nevermore that has not already been said by countless others. Combining thrash and prog into one tasty treat, The Obsidian Conspiracy displays the undeniable talent that these Seattleites continue to demonstrate with each album. The incredible vocals of Warrel Dane and the beauty of and intricacy of Jeff Loomis’s guitar are never more evident than on this album. Do yourself a favor and buy this album, along with the rest of their albums.

Witchery – Witchkrieg
Witchery are a “super-group” that has been around for 5 albums and they continue to get better with each release. Witchkrieg shows off the newest addition to the band, former Marduk frontman Legion. His black metal style of singing brings an added dimension of heaviness that makes this incarnation of the band an undeniable force. This is possibly my favorite album of the year.

Allegaeon - Fragments of Form and Function
A relatively new band, only putting out an EP in 2008, Allegaeon burst out onto the scene with a tremendous melodic tech death album. I purchased this album on a whim and was pleasantly surprised. From beginning to end, this album is unrelentingly brutal with enough technical ability to impress the most hardened critic. Showing the new wave of young brutality while not conforming to the deathcore grave, Allegaeon have proven that they can be a force to be reckoned with in the near future.

Electric Wizard - Black Masses
If you don’t know who Electric Wizard is by now, then you would be hard pressed to call yourself a metalhead. True purveyors of doom, this quartet of metal heavy hitters always put out some of the year’s best music time and time again. Black Masses is no exception, bringing the as low as possible. The weight of their music cannot be measured as it constantly gains more heaviness with each listen. Straight from the bowels of the center of the earth, Electric Wizard never disappoint.


Some honorable mentions include: Ares Kingdom – Incendiary, Nominon – Monumentomb, The Ocean – Heliocentric, Arsis - Starve For The Devil, Athiest – Jupiter, Melechesh - The Epigenesis, Dark Fortress – Ylem, Orphaned Land - The Neverending way of OrwarriOR, Watain - Lawless Darkness

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Metal is Just Noise

BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!! This is an argument that many a non-metalhead has used to attack those of us that love extreme music. “It’s just 5 guys playing their instruments really loud while a guy screams,” this is something that I have heard many, many times. The problem is that Metal has some of the most accomplished musicians and prolific song writers around. While there are the few that are trend hopping jokers, the true artists outweigh them ten-fold. Whether they started out by studying music at college, attending prestigious music schools, or learned from the masters of the genre, no one can deny the true musicianship that goes into metal music. And for those around that do not believe these statements of fact, here are some great examples.
Flo Mounier of Cryptopsy has long been one of the greatest drummers around. Shown expertly on albums such as None So Vile and Blasphemy Made Flesh, Mounier has consistently shown his expertise with his instrument, even going so far as releasing a DVD of his drumming. Here is a small sample of his drumming, note that all of this footage is in real time, nothing is sped up.
Guitar is one of the most obvious instruments of showing off metal’s musical expertise. The next video is from tech-death geniuses Gorod. This example from the duo of Mathieu Pascal and Arnaud Pontaco shows the dexterity and musical ability of what goes into a death metal song. It is simply amazing.
One of the most criticized factions of metal music is the vocals, saying that it is nothing but screaming. In reality that is not true in all forms. In prog, power, even some thrash, the vocals are many times beautiful that can contrast the harshness of the rest of the music that creates something magical. One example is that of Warrel Dane, the lead singer of Nevermore, Sanctuary, and his own eponymous band. Here exemplifies that of his amazing voice.
However there are a majority of bands that have vocalists that have extremely harsh vocals. Screams, yells, growls, and many other adjectives describe the sewer dwelling sounds that are emitted from many vocalists. What many people do not understand is that it takes a lot to be able to scream 250 days of the year in front of hundreds or even thousands of people without destroying your vocal chords. Metal singers work at their craft and are able to scream and growl in tune with their music day in and day out without obliterating their voices. For example, here is Mikael Akerfeldt, lead singer and guitarist of legendary prog-death band Opeth. He is able to sing as sweetly as a nightingale and growl like a diseased mutant rising from the dead all in the same song.
So there you have it, perfect truth that metal is not simply 5 guys screaming in a booth and playing their guitars loudly, it is much more than that. Metal is the response to the mainstream crap that inundates the world, the music that dumbs down our youth, and doesn’t let the world know and understand anything else than what corporations let them. Hopefully more people can learn and understand this underground world that we all know and love.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nergal Health Update

Behemoth frontman Adam "Nergal" Darski, diagnosed with leukemia this summer, has checked in from a Polish hospital. Here you go:

"Hello everyone! I’m still in the hospital but in quite a good shape so I write to let you know about my health and the further stages of treatment. I’ve been through four planned chemotherapies and have stayed in hospital for over 3 months now. I’ve gone through the whole therapy smoothly, though I also had a couple of difficult moments. All this means I finish the stage of pharmacological treatment and I am about to start the irradiation and then the marrow transplant. Yes, we’ve found a donor! Having searched for months, the fundation has found a person whose genotype is identical to mine. It would have been difficult to achieve if it wasn’t for the support of so many people. Most of all, I want to express my admiration for Dorota - my wonderful and devoted fiancée. She did everything she could to help me and many other people, regardless of adversities and comments which were often unfair. Your help is invaluable! Thank you! I love you. On behalf of me and all other people ill I thank everyone who registered in the bone marrow bank regardless of origin, skin colour or religion. The concerts for charity have been organised all over the world and people of show business, bands and, most of all, the fans got deeply involved. You are beyond great! One of you made my transplant possible, but remember, your attitude may save many others in need. So I appeal to everyone: don’t stop the madness! The march for victory continues! Horns up!'"
(from www.lambgoat.com)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Metalcore / Deathcore Playlist

Here it is, the last in our series of genre playlists.About four years ago, there was no place that you could hide from metalcore/deathcore bands. They were rising out of every conceivable corner of this entire world. Containing a mix of hardcore beats and vocals with the guitar lines and hooks of Swedish melodic death metal bands, metalcore bands “created” a sound that was more accessible to people not generally into metal music to begin with. What went wrong with this genre is that it became so easy to make a band popular that the majority of bands were simply following an exact formula to create success. There was hardly any originality or personality behind these bands and a sense of staleness was imparted to these groups. However, there are still a few shining lights in this much maligned genre. Here are some bands that don’t follow that rigid formula that killed a genre as well as a few of my personal guilty favorites that got me into metal that do follow that formula.

Integrity – To Die For
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-r0h6yXSq8

Bleeding Through – Just Another Pretty Face
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AztRKCjWzgc&feature=related

Heaven Shall Burn – The Weapon They Fear
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-f8qItRY_OA

Despised Icon – The Sunset Will Never Charm Us
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g62ZFUrL42g

Through the Eyes of the Dead – Malice
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwzvVDd4BKw

Nodes of Ranvier – The Years to Come
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVGCYaxzCkY&p=4C8668933C80CE4D&playnext=1&index=4

Impending Doom – My Nemesis
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRhRwAAHNTI&ob=av2e

Converge – Eagles Become Vultures
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjZMySPcQfI&ob=av2e

Botch – Saint Matthew Returns To The Womb
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OI0_jmR8HeY

Dillinger Escape Plan – Panasonic Youth
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGNb-YT5ECA

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Electric Wizard - Black Masses

The band that many people believe to be THE preeminent doom band of today, Electric Wizard, has just released another amazing album this week, Black Masses. This band is undeniably one of the heaviest bands around and they continue to put out quality releases time and time again. Their new album is no exception as it continues on their tradition of slow moving heavy compositions that rattle your soul. Evoking much of Black Sabbath’s work, Electric Wizard is here again to destroy your colon with its immense riffs. Here is "Black Mass."



http://www.mediafire.com/?99j6hamzfqacjwm

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Heavy Metal Election

Its election season and I thought that we should have a little election here at \m/ All Metal All The Time\m/ This is going to be a simple who do you like more between bands of a similar genre. Either leave a comment at the end of this post or shoot me a message and I will tell you all the results in a few days. Let the world know who you think is the best!!!

Crossover:
Municipal Waste vs Gama Bomb




Death Metal:
Blood Red Throne vs Man Must Die




Black Metal:
Barathrum vs Urgrund




Grind:
Trap Them vs The Berzerker


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Football Soundtrack

Well the football season is in full effect and as usual my fantasy team is underperforming. Regardless of that fact, this is one of my favorite times of the year because football season and soccer season overlap. My two favorite sports are kicking into gear and asses are being kicked all over the place. The brutality of this football season is huge this year, hits are getting harder and excitement is growing. What I was thinking about was, “What music would be the best soundtrack to this carnage? “ And as usual, the answer to that question is METAL!!!! The speed of thrash, the brutality of death, and the pure balls of grind could be played at any football game and it would sync up just like The Wizard of Oz and Pink Floyd.

Imagine you are the quarterback for the Washington Redskins and you are lined up against the Dallas Cowboys and you see just across your front line a lion stalking you , never taking its eyes off you, and making you want to just throw the ball down and run for your hotel room. That lion is Demarcus Ware and he his waiting to burst through the line and completely obliterate you until you are nothing but a bleeding pile of putrid puss and feces. And there is no better soundtrack to that than Dying Fetus!
Dying Fetus – Justifiable Homicide

Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans is one of the best running backs that the NFL has seen in a long time. He is always capable of darting off on an 85 yard run and is always in danger of ripping well over 100 yards against any defense. The speed and technicality of his runs are reminiscent of thrash and all its glory. What else would make more sense for Chris to run against than Gama Bomb!
Gama Bomb – Zombie Blood Nightmare

The craziness that can come from offensive lines and defensive lines battling in the trenches is one that if filled with blood and sweat (and prrobably some other unmentionable fluids.) The O-line trying to push back the oncoming hordes of the enemy and the D-line trying to storm the castle that is the opposition can be a battle for the ages. With all the dirtiness and working man ethics of these two embattled opponents, grindcore would be the perfect music to ramp up their energy.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Allegaeon - Fragments of Form and Function

One of the biggest trends hitting the world of heavy music today is the rise of tech death bands. These are usually younger groups that play death metal but put more of an emphasis on the technicality of their playing abilities rather than simply trying to be the most brutal or heaviest band out there. With these bands, you are always going to hear an increasing number of guitar solos that sometimes seem to defy the world of physics in their intricacies and blazingly fast drums that batter the listener with more blast beats than the average drummer can even fathom. One of the newest bands to bring their version of technical death metal to the masses is Allegaeon from Colorado.  Their newest album entitled Fragments of Form and Function is a searing display of the beauty that tech death can deliver. This is their first full length album and it is a great way to start off their career.  According to the Encyclopaedia Metallum they play melodic tech death, which is a great way to describe their particular adaptation of death metal.  They have all the technical aspects that bands such as Necrophagist or Anata have but they don’t get bogged down with trying to just noodle all over the fret board. They are able to demonstrate their prowess as musicians while also writing great songs that never bore the listener. The album kicks off with “The Cleansing” which has an almost symphonic feeling to it that rushes the listener with high-speed and increasingly technical riffs. The song progresses from that almost symphonic beginning to the brutal beat down that us metalheads are custom to hearing.  The blast beats arrive and drive this song into a dark alleyway that would scare even the most hardcore MMA fighter. The vocals continue this beating with a typical melodeath delivery that fits in perfectly with their sound.  A gentle (in comparison to the rest of the track) bridge breaks the gap to the solos that are simply mind blowing.  It is not something easily described as they are uber-technical without sounding dry and stale. They continue to drive the song while showing off their extreme technicality. There does not seem to be a bad track on this entire release however some of the standouts are “Across the Folded Line,” “From Seed to Throne,” and “The God Particle.”  These songs demonstrate the band’s abilities as songwriters in addition to showing off their increasingly amazing guitar work.  This has to be one of the better releases of the year and no one seems to be talking about the.  This is indeed a must have album for anyone that listens to death metal in all its varied subgenres.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Doom / Sludge / Stoner Playlist


When the term “heavy” was coined in correlation with music, it was used to describe a little metal band called Black Sabbath. Their sound resembled the effect of a thousand woolly mammoths trampling an entire village.  And the music that they created is the wonderfully titled genre called Doom, a name that simply exudes heaviness.  Two offshoots of this genre are stoner and sludge, subgenres that create a sound just as heavy in similar but different ways.  I have combined all three of these subgenres in order to create one of the heaviest lists ever. Get ready to be crushed!
Black Sabbath – War Pigs
Electric Wizard – Dopethrone
Acid Bath – The Blue
High On Fire – Hung, Drawn, and Quartered
Lesbian – Black Forest Hamm
Shrinebuilder – Pyramid of the Moon
Confessor – Condemned
Jex Thoth – Son of Yule
Bongzilla – Amerijuanican
Candlemass – Bewitched

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Nekro Morphosis Promo 2010

Nekro Morphosis Promo 2010
The newest demo from Seattle black metal monsters Nekro Morphosis has arrived. It is a limited listening experience as it is only three tracks long and two of the songs came from their 2009 Split from the Clit with Drakul. Both “The Death of Morality” and “Walking With the Dead” emanated from this split and are a heaping dose of raw black metal and do not disappoint.  They both give a frigid feeling of death that will chill you directly to your bones.  There is a very raw, low-fi sound that has been created for these tracks. Blisteringly fast drums with fuzzed out guitars that sound like chainsaws ripping apart the flesh of the unworthy create the basis of this evil sound. Screaming, raspy vocals are added on top to complete the unholy sound that encapsulates these two tracks.  The newer track, and the one that kicks off the release is called “Under the Guillotine” and it comes with a much fuller sound. The production levels of this song are much clearer and denser sounding than the other two tracks. What makes this song so good is that it retains the raw feeling of the other two tracks while containing this sound that is much richer and will be better at gaining newer fans that are not into the really raw sound.  In addition, it has more of a death metal feeling than the other two tracks.  At times there are guttural growls that fit neatly into the flow of the vocals that bring an added dimension.  It shows the band’s ability to easily move between their black metal sound into that blackened death metal sound that is being heard everywhere these days.  What makes it worthy of being listened to, is that they don’t simply copy what Behemoth do, they bring those two sounds together and make it a raw noise that fans of both camps of metal can enjoy. All in all it is a very solid release that everyone should pick up. And what is great about this release is that the band has put it up for free for everyone. Download it now at http://www.megaupload.com/?f=S7FBMYC6. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Grind Playlist

Dirty, filthy, sweaty, fast-paced, and pissed off. These are all way to describe the pure mayhem that is grind music. When you go to see a grind band play, it’s never in an amphitheater, or even in the larger clubs in your area. It is always in the smallest, seediest clubs or basements with no air conditioning and constantly has the smell of beer and vomit engulfing the room. When all you want is pure angry music that you can bash the walls in with, grind is going to be that choice. Not hyper-technical nor purely melodic, it is simple, fast, and always brutal. So come break a sweat to these purveyors of fury and rage.
Nasum – Wrath
Tard – Indecent Proposal
County Medical Examiners – Casper’s Dictum
Trap Them – Flesh and Below
Insect Warfare – Necessary Death
Agoraphobic Nosebleed – El Topo
Phobia – Rise Up
Repulsion – Radiation Sickness
The Berzerker – No One Wins
Brutal Truth – Denial of Existence

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Greatest Metal Lists

As I sit on my couch today reading the latest issue of Terrorizer and leaving the TV on in the background, I am confronted by something that has confounded me for a long time; the existence of “greatest lists.” In the magazine there is the “40 Riffs of Sickness,” a list of the greatest riffs of all time and on TV there is the list of 100 greatest artists of all time. Pretty much any weekend on VH1 there are 2 shows that will always be on, reality “stars” on dating shows and lists of the greatest something of all time. Now, I am not dumb, I know that these are not some mathematically calculated lists by panels of experts that determine what actually makes someone or something better than another, rather it is just based on a poll of whoever they can get a hold of. When VH1 creates the greatest artists of hard rock, they consult everyone from James Hetfield to Kerry King to a random comic they pull from the local night club.  Most of these people have no real insight into what makes a great artist, it is simply which one they believe is most popular.  Therein lies the real problem with these lists, the basic premise of “greatest.”  If these lists are truthful they would all be titled “The Most Popular” or “Artists That We Think Will Make Us The Most Money.”  That is why just about every list contains the same people over and over again. It gets pretty tedious to watch or read these lists because they become so monotonous that you can predict the order of them almost every time.
                However, that may be the beauty of creating these lists. Creating a debate is what these people want as a result because any conversation that leads to intelligent thoughts on differing ideas can only bring about more ideas.  Whenever someone says something like, “Megadeth creates the greatest music of all time,” someone else is bound to say, “That is ridiculous because they don’t hold a candle to Angelus Apatrida!” And the main reason for their argument is that Angelus is less known of and therefore superior, however they won’t say that outright.  Even though that is an absurd argument it does one thing that is great, it brings more bands to the forefront and allows a greater number of people to discover new and exciting bands.  Angelus Apatrida is a great band and by mentioning them in the same statement as Megadeth will only gain them more fans. 
                What I am getting at in this little editorial is that while these lists have no factual basis, because they are all subjective to the creator, they are mildly entertaining and can have the ability to create some good conversation and debate.  In addition, best of lists or greatest list should be solely designated for year-end lists or suggestions for someone new to the genre. If they are created at any other time of the year, they are completely useless because they are not bringing in any new information. Year-end lists allow people to remember all the great albums of the past year, to be introduced to albums/bands they missed, and to create the debate that I mentioned as being beneficial to the existence of the genre.  The more debate created equals more interest in the music and discovering new bands.  If they are done right, these lists can be very valuable to metal.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Folk Metal Playlist

When discussing folk metal, there seems to be a couple different sounds a band can have. There are those that go for the upbeat, humppa style that can put a smile on the darkest of all metalheads, and there is the grim, earthy style that embodies one’s heritage. It can be mixed with black, power, thrash, death; just about any style of metal, and still come out sounding fresh and inspiring. Here is my new playlist featuring that new subgenre that is sweeping the metal world, folk!

Alestorm – Over The Seas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rtxs1ymXLrY

Eluvietie – Quoth The Raven

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fXmSvHJNQU

Hollenthon – Y Draig Goch

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbSEGlm6jkg

Svartsot – Drekar

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olASehl5DHk

Windir – Todeswalzer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQ3m2CrB_54

Suidakra – The IXth Legion

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz8EfkS4KK0

Primordial – Empire Falls

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHvuXdhnieA

Blackguard – Allegiance

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U5ODjG6xuE

Equilibrium – Blut Im Auge

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yom8nNqmxvQ

Falkenbach – Heathen Foray

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UFtDA9T9gw

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Portnoy's Leaving

There has been a lot of news hitting the metal world lately. First off, perhaps the biggest is Mike Portnoy leaving prog geniuses Dream Theater. This was incredibly shocking news because this band was his creation and to see someone with such immense talent walk away is simply disheartening. In addition, it makes it all the more worse when he is sitting in as drummer for metalcore poster boys Avenged Sevenfold. Does this mean that he is joining this group of youngsters that don’t deserve a drummer of such gift? I think that I am on the same level as most true metalheads in saying that it is absurd that a terrible band such as A7X does not deserve Portnoy as he has consistently been a true musician with DT for 25 years and A7X is nothing but a wannabe Guns n Roses in that they are more about looks than their music. Although Portnoy says it has nothing to do with his joining of A7X it is hard to believe it.

"I BEG of the fans to please NOT hold A7X responsible for MY decision...they are just as shocked as you guys..I had been contemplating this and desiring a 'break' (not split) as long ago as last year...everything else is fully explained in the press release...thank you all for your support and understanding...this is the hardest thing I've ever done..." (metalunderground.com)

No matter what is said by all parties involved, this is a truly said day for one of the greatest bands of our generation. Hopefully this is just a temporary split as DT will not be the same without its heart and soul.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Black Metal Playlist

Darkened caves, frozen tundras, pits of hellfire, and of course, Satan! This is all part of what the mind conjures up when thinking of black metal. Dim lit, thinking man’s metal that came about from a frame of mind that was upset over the single minded nature of the mass majority. Here is a small look at the grim, frostbitten genre that has scared thousands for decades.

Barathrum – Bride of Lucifer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTIVQhGyq1w

Ceremonial Castings – When Winter Spectres Come

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSbfU-_6Om4&feature=related

Negura Bunget – Dedesuptul

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWP53sDeJSE&feature=related

Dodheimsgard – Horrorizon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FcUcLxfFEo

Ludicra – A Larger Silence

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BFUAOLXu-s

Archgoat – The Light Devouring Darkness

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPERi2MBN0Y

Rotting Christ – Nemecic

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81D5HfOnjqw

Peste Noire – Le Mesniee Mordrissoire

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoJUgl-tKWM

1349 – Sculptor of Flesh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDSSqAF-VdU

Emperor – I Am the Black Wizards

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ks29jnKD4o

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Behemoth's Nergal comments on his illness

BEHEMOTH's Nergal answers back to the overwhelming response of those offering to set up benefits in the vocalists honor

Singer's main goal is to raise awareness and get people involved by registering to be a bone marrow donor

Since news on Nergal's recent health issues has been released, the band, management, and label has received an overwhelming response from fans and bands all over the world asking how they can directly help Nergal. In response to everyone offering his or her help in terms of setting up benefits and shows to raise money for the frontman of the Polish blackened death metal band BEHEMOTH, Nergal has issued the following statement:

"I haven't intended to manifest myself in any way and, especially at this stage, to share my feelings or any other news with the world for obvious reasons. It is simply too early for it. But it was YOU who provoked me to say a few words. Regarding my personal low opinion of humankind, I'm shocked by the reaction to my illness. I actually expected NOTHING yet received feedback which surpassed all expectations. I want to ensure you I read EACH mail I receive, although I'm unable to reply to all of them. The power of your words is pure magic and I thank you all for it. You are a gigantic indestructible army that truly inspires me in this difficult time. The fact is that a fight with this illness is going to last for many months. Most of this time I will spend in hospital and I will go through various psychophysical states. If you know the history of Behemoth you also know we achieved everything by hard work and a steely determination. The same goes for my private life. I happen to be a strong son of a bitch. I have no faith but rely on a 100% victory and I am sure I will get out of it stronger than ever. Sun Tzu in his 'Art of War' said that if you know your enemy and yourself the result of a thousand battles will not surprise you… I enter the ring with this Nietzschean attitude and I will leave it as a winner, as usual. Just watch and see!

So I want to emphasize that Behemoth will by no means goes through any hibernation state. Obviously all concert plans must be postponed until some unknown point in the future, but things are happening! Lately our newest video for '…Alas, Lord is Upon Me' has premiered and stirred up quite a storm in mass media, which fills us with utter pride. Plus we've just finished the project of our new DVD; Evangelia Heretika is a three disc release, a real encyclopedia of Behemoth with nearly 5 hours of material and a bonus audio CD that will be out in November (Metal Blade US - Nuclear Blast Europe). Expect an experience of visual madness as we went to hell and back to make it! Our official Webstore has been functional for a couple of days and official merchandise and some very exclusive stuff can be bought there. At the beginning of 2011, Peaceville in Europe and Metal Blade in US will reissue the EPs with new artwork, bonuses, liner notes, and more. As you can see, despite a complicated situation and difficult circumstances we're remaining active wherever we can.

Nergal's official view on benefit concerts, fund raisers, etc. is focused on marrow donations as a whole issue, not his specific situation. If you want to help Nergal the best thing you can do is set up a marrow drive or register to be a bone marrow donor. Every person that registers to be a donor increases the chances of survival for Nergal and every other person out there suffering from the same illness.

To learn more about how you can register to donate marrow check out:

http://www.marrow.org/

(From Metal Blade)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Exodus Concert

In lew of writing up a lengthy review of the recent Exodus show I attended, I have decided to simply show you all the greatness of such an event. Through the pictures that I took of the concert, you will be able to see the pure power, fury, and intensity that only a metal show can deliver. Death, thrash, and speed metal all made an appearance that surely left everyone happy. So here it is, the grandiose nature that is METAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bonded By Blood






Holy Grail






Malevolent Creation







Exodus





Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Power Metal and Progressive Metal Playlist

I have combined Power metal and Progressive metal into the same playlist for a couple reasons. 1. There are many, many bands that intertwine the two subgenres together and 2. I am not an expert by any means on either genre. However, one cannot deny the enthusiasm and grandiose nature of these impressive genres. The technical abilities of the two are incontestable and should be expressed to those who put them on the back burner because they are not br0000tal enough. So here we are; this week’s playlist is the one with melody and ‘power’ (I love puns) and is sure to please even those that are trve and kvlt.

Angra – The Course of Nature
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKL6ID_Dato&feature=fvst

Cynic – Integral Birth
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNGCJzPzAp0

Amaseffer – Zipporah
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raogFWirP4k&feature=related

Jeff Loomis – Miles of Machines
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nY-XDF_Ask

Thy Majestie – The Chosen
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qr-wa9IZvwc

Into Eternity – Spiraling Into Depression
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnISJvoCBbI

Blind Guardian – The Bard’s Song
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_tORtmKIjE

Fairyland – A Soldier’s Letter
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqNBXjXA6gk

Sonata Arctica – The Cage
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-4DnwPjuPM

Pagan’s Mind – God’s Equation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSoV1t5sSnE

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thrash Metal Playlist

Quite possibly my favorite of all the metal subgenres, thrash is the subject of this week’s playlist. Blazingly fast, extremely technical, and completely pure. Generating from punk and NWOBHM, thrash has been around for decades and will surely be around for many more to come.

Angelus Apatrida – Room 237

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1Tj8SQhFDM

Coroner – Masked Jackal

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzrOlKDIs28&feature=related

Ouroboros (formerly Dred) – Absent From Entity

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvO-jzjhTvQ

Mantic Ritual – One By One

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6qDKtFAI6Y

Demolition Hammer – Gelid Remains

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5FxtlPGIF8&feature=related

Razor – The Marshall Arts

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gO2G21Ucqk

Sepultura – Stronger Than Hate

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UbS7puncnk&feature=related

Skeletonwitch – Crushed Beyond Dust

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SCL7Pja5zs

Toxic Holocaust – Wild Dogs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQTAFs7wicY

Gama Bomb – Zombie Blood Nightmare

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d47rb5HGaVo&feature=related