Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Today's Greatest Metal Album of All Time \m/

Made Me Do It by Swedish melodeath powerhouse The Haunted. 
The second full length from the band that arose from the demise of legendary Swedish death metal band At The Gates, Made Me Do It was the first of the group’s to include vocalist Marco Oro. Oro was the replacement for the original singer Peter Dolving, who in 2003 again joined the band and continues to lead the band. The album starts off with a short instrumental number that gives the listener a feeling of doom and dread that lets us know what we are about to experience. The main riff is a sinister piece of writing that, combined with the double bass pounding in the background, forebodes a truly immeasurable experience to come. The next track, “Bury Your Dead,” is a crowd favorite every time they play live. It is an incredibly fast and brutal piece of melodic death metal that is quite possibly the definitive song to mosh to. Complete with a mid-tempo part in the middle that lures the listener in before picking back up with the brutality, limbs are never stopping when this song is played live. The guitar solo might not be the most intricate or technical piece ever, but it fits perfectly in with the song showing that complete songwriting does have its place in metal.  Much of the album continues in the same fashion as “Bury Your Dead,” fast, intense, and unrelenting. One track that stands out as being a little different is the ultra melodic “Hollow Ground,” one that does have the trademark growl of Oro and amazing guitar work of Patrik Jensen and Anders Bjorler, but also includes some clean singing in the chorus. It is a track that gives the album a brief respite from the beating the listener’s eardrums incur throughout.  However tracks like “Leech” and “Human Debris” continue the onslaught that bash the listener over the head until submission is taken.  This album was one of the leaders of the melodic death metal sound that continued with Arch Enemy, Amon Amarth, Hypocrisy, and many more which has inspired countless bands in today’s scene.  To bring back memories of your youth (for those of us not in our teenage years) do yourself a favor and go back to this beast of an album and relive mosh pits that helped spur your interest in metal in the first place.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Swedish Death Metal Playlist

By this day and age, every respectable metalhead knows about the legendary Swedish death metal scene. They have influenced just about every single death metal band that has come out in the past 10 years. Many of these bands started around the same time as the amazing bands from Florida that basically created death metal (Death, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, etc.). Even though we all know these bands, sometimes its good to go back and listen to these originators in order to pay our respects to the legends. So here you go, some of the greatest death metal bands that we will ever be witness to.

Dismember – Override of the Overture
Entombed – Left Hand Path
Grave – You’ll Never See
Unleashed – Shadows in the Deep
At The Gates – Kingdom Gone
Carnage – Dark Recollection
Vomitory – Pure Death
Desultory – Visions
God Macabre – In Grief
Therion – Future Consciousness

Friday, April 22, 2011

Nevermore Loses Two Integral Members

In another blow to the metal world, Seattle's own progressive thrash behemoths Nevermore lost guitarist Jeff Loomis and drummer Van Williams. Both were founding members of the seminal metal band that put out one of the best albums of 2010. Many are speculating that this separation came about because of the success of Jeff Loomis' solo album as well as singer Warrel Dane's solo album. In addition, the pre Nevermore band Sanctuary reunited for a few live dates (one this writer got to witness and was blown away by) and could become a full time band again. This appears to be the end of Nevermore, even though that has not been told to us by the remaining members of the band. Here is a statement made by Loomis and Williams:

"In a mutual decision Jeff Loomis and Van Williams have decided to leave Nevermore. The time has come to pursue our own paths from the group. Due to internal struggles and ongoing issues within the band, we feel it is our time to move on. We would like to thank all of our fans around the world for their years of love, support and enthusiasm. This was not an easy decision but a very necessary one at this point, may we all meet again someday, somewhere in time."

Information from http://www.metalunderground.com/

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

K.K. Downing Retires from Judas Priest

Some sad and quite perplexing news has come down from British heavy metal legends Judas Priest, that founding guitarist K.K. Downing has retired from the band, just before their last tour is to begin. Having previously announced that they are going to retire from music, Judas Priest stated that they are going to go out in style with a massive world tour to give their fans one last chance to witness the majesty that is JP. While they will still sell out every stop along the way, I believe that everyone will feel a little emtpiness inside as the whole band is not together on stage for their last hurrah. We still wish the best for Downing as I am sure that this was not an easy decision to make. Here is the  band's press release:

"It is with regret that Judas Priest announce that K.K. Downing has formally retired from the band and will therefore not be joining them on their forthcoming Epitath Tour.
"The band respect his decision and naturally all wish him well.
"Having thought long and hard about how to proceed, Rob, Glenn, Ian and Scott uninimously agreed that they should go ahead with the tour and not let the fans down around the world.
"Fate also stepped in and delivered the perfect replacement - 31 year old British guitarist Richie Faulkner - he has blended into the band perfectly and is a great talent who is going to set the stage on fire!
"The Epitath tour will include songs from every Judas Priest album and also tracks they have never performed on stage, plus all the old favourites!
"With a new album due to be released next year, the Metal Gods are preparing to tour the planet once more - Heavy metal at it's best with lasers, lights, bikes and hellfire! It's a show not to be missed!"

Info from http://www.metalunderground.com/

Friday, April 15, 2011

Newest Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal

The phrase “history repeats itself” is often thrown around these days and always seemed like an easy answer to what has been happening in recent times. The fact is, many times the phrase is completely true! In the metal community it was recently seen with the retro thrash scene. Bands such as SSS, Havok, Evile, Lazarus AD, and Municipal Waste brought forth sounds that reminded us of the amazing bands that began the thrash world back in the 1980’s. Some people, such as this writer, loved this new batch of bands that revitalized a slowing down sub-genre while others saw it as a group of young kids trying to pretend to be part of the past that they weren’t around for. Either way, it has been an exciting time giving a new generation a chance to enjoy a brilliant genre.

Now it seems as though there is another group of young bands bring that “retro” theme to their music. This New New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal is bringing back the days of Saxon, Accept, and others that brought in the original sound. From the originators such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Warlock, this new group of bands are taking their ideals of heavy music, soaring leads, massive melodies, and hard partying and bringing it into new ages. So here are a few of the biggest bands that are on the front lines of the wave. Make your own decisions on what you think of it.

Holy Grail – My Last Attack

Cauldron – Chained Up In Chains

White Wizzard – Over The Top

Enforcer – Midnight Vice