Archive for the Metal Category

Amesoeurs – Amesoeurs

Posted in Metal on July 11, 2011 by

Post-Black Metal; 2009


Hey. Sorry it’s been 10 days. To be honest the first 8 of them just went by without me thinking about it, and then the last two I’ve had a lot on my mind but finally found some time (and some will) to do this. I’ve noticed I haven’t been listening to very much Metal lately, which made me kinda sad, and I still haven’t but this is an album I’ve known about for a while. I really haven’t listened to Metal since Nadja. I oughta find some new stuff. Anyway. This is French, as you’ll be able to tell by the song titles. The genre is one you may not have heard of but it’s fairly self-explanatory. It combines Post-Rock and Black Metal. Well. It can be argued that the album is mostly Post-rock with certain tracks containing HEAVY Black Metal influence. Track 7 (I won’t bother with the title) for instance is clearly a well-produced combination of the two genres whereas a lot of the tracks on the album contain minimal Metal influence, only taking the most melodic bits of Black Metal (lol?) to use. That’s ok though, Post-Rock is better than Black Metal.

This is another good female singer, I’m noticing I like more of them than I thought. The growled vocals that only appear in one or two songs are done by a guy and the rest are sung pretty sweetly in French by this girl. It’s actually a fitting language for the music, like I can’t see English working with these instrumentals, at least not as well as French. This is pretty upbeat for either of the two genres, it’s nice that this isn’t a generic genre combination. They bring something unique to the table. They’re a hard band to describe. In fact, I think I’ll just leave you to it.

1. Gas in Veins
2. Les Ruches Malades
3. Heurt
4. Recueillement
5. Faux Semblants
6. Trouble (Éveils Infâmes)
8. Video Girl
9. La Reine Trayeuse
10. Amesoeurs
11. Au Crépuscule de Nos Rêves

Stand-out tracks:
Au Crépuscule de Nos Rêves


Nadja – Touched

Posted in Metal on May 30, 2011 by

Drone Metal; 2003


I’ll get to the point. Stays Demons is the reason to listen to this album. It’s Drone but it’s almost a combination of Drone and Shoegaze. It’s actually musical. It has a noticeable melody and it’s a beautiful one, even if it is only 3 chords repeated on the guitar for 10 minutes. This is music. People have tried to tell me it’s not. (Well not Nadja, they were referring to Khanate) But it’s music for patient people who can really appreciate intricacies. It’s 10 minutes of mostly the same two sections of the song’s structure but each time a section is repeated it’s slightly different. Noticing all the musical twinkles and glitter is what will make this enjoyable. Notice how the hi-hat (if I’m actually using my drum terms correctly here, which is unlikely) is slightly off-tempo every now and then. Notice that single note in the higher synth registers that doesn’t change for the whole song and marvel at how it manages to sound good time. Notice how the whispers of the lyrics (the song has one line: “the touch of your hand on my brow stays demons.” I get so much out of that one line with how life is for me right now) add to the ambiance the song creates. So the reason I pick this song out of the 5 as the most important track is because of how it manages to be Metal but beautiful. That’s not a word you’ll often use for Metal. But this. The song is pure Drone Doom. No doubt. I think it’s the fact that it’s in a major key (C Major, to  be specific) is what gets me. There’s very little Metal you’ll hear in major keys and most of it just doesn’t sound quite right. This does. It sounds so right.

The rest of the album. Again, there’s 5. Tracks 1 and 3 are the incessant waves of guitar feedback and no melody but still good songs. Tracks 2 and 4 are the here’s a very prevalent and very awesome melody that we’re gonna play over and over with only the slightest variations in sound and you’re gonna love it without even knowing why tracks. Track 5 is Untitled and unimportant. Frankly, listen to Stays Demons. I don’t care if you listen to the whole album. Just listen to Stays Demons and if you’re interested then go for the rest of the album. I love it, or I wouldn’t have posted it. But maybe without Stays Demons I would love it quite a bit less.

1. Mutagen
2. Stays Demons
3. Incubation/Metamorphosis
4. Flowers of Flesh
5. [Untitled]

Stand-out track:
Stays Demons


Sleep – Dopesmoker

Posted in Metal on March 4, 2011 by

Stoner Doom; 2003


^My own upload

This album is two songs. Or really one song and a bonus track. The title track, Dopesmoker, is 1 hour and 3 minutes long. The song is massive and foreboding before you even start listening to it. I listened to it yesterday and felt really good about myself for the rest of the day. Finding time to listen to it is a hurdle but the listening itself is never a negative experience. Finishing it all in one go is satisfying on several levels including being able to say you’ve listened to an hour long song (where most people think that 6 minutes is pretty long), being able to say you’ve heard possibly the greatest single Stoner Doom piece in Stoner Doom history, and just having listened to an awesome album.

Dopesmoker is Sleep’s last album. It was originally released in 1999 as Jerusalem, split into 6 tracks because their label sucked. Tee Pee released the real final cut of this masterpiece in 2003 along with the bonus track, a live recording of Sonic Titan, a track they never got a studio recording of onto any album as far as I know.

The singer’s voice is deep and powerful. I could see him doing Power Metal, actually. In a throaty, slightly gruff bass he sings the first lyrics almost 9 minutes into the track: “Drop out of life with bong in hand, follow the smoke to the riff-filled land.” Not subtle at all, just like everything about this album. The singer goes on later in the song to tell the tale about the weed priests transporting the caravan carrying the sacred hemp seed through desert sands, across the Jordan River, and over holy Mount Zion to get it to the weed temple in Jerusalem so that the holy prophecy can be fulfilled and deliverance can come to mankind. Or something like that. Basically it’s a bible story but with marijuana. I’ve never smoked weed myself and don’t ever plan on it but maybe it would be better to listen to this album high.

Now the most important thing here is that this song is A FREAKING HOUR LONG. And it’s not like Colors by BTBAM where the album is basically one song but it’s got so many different sections that they could have easily divided it into 30 or more songs as easily as they did 8. No. This song is completely cohesive. When you finish it, it won’t feel like you’ve heard a whole album, it will feel like you’ve heard one song. I didn’t feel like it got tedious ever. It possibly could for you. It almost feels like Drone Metal, the way they can get away with playing the same note for over 2 minutes. The same disgustingly slow riff is repeated throughout the song. There’s only two guitar solos and they’re both pretty long but the song is pretty much 95+% riffing. It’s insanity, really. In a good way.

1. Dopesmoker
2. Sonic Titan (Live)


Gojira – The Way of All Flesh

Posted in Metal on February 6, 2011 by

Technical Death Metal; 2008


Just a quick story, I was listening to Oroborus as I was starting this review and one of the guys in the hall I live in walks in to borrow one of the Aaron Rodgers pictures that are hanging around all over the walls. One of my roommates is a huge Packers fan. He says “Are you listening to Metal?” I say yeah and a huge smirk appears on his face. I was like “what’s so funny?” He replied “It’s funny cuz you’re a classical pianist.” I laughed pretty hard at that.

This album was on a list of 62 albums that I was supposed to review in a single month. I never finished that challenge but I’m glad this was pretty early on the list. I listened to about 30 of the albums and this was, if I recall correctly, my 5th favorite. Other amazing albums I got from that game were I Hate Myself – 10 Songs and Sleigh Bells – Treats.

Gojira is a French band that’s a bit hard to place in a single genre although I feel Technical Death Metal really is very accurate. Listening to the intro of Oroborus, it’s possible to get suckered into thinking this is a Melodic Death Metal band since it starts off with a great bass line and some melodic trills on the guitar. The drummer has a really clean bell sound to one of his cymbals and uses it frequently, that sound is one of my favorite things a drummer can do. He also does another one of my favorite things a drummer can do in The Art of Dying, which is snare accents in really odd timing. The intro to that song is SUPER impressive and makes me wonder how much rehearsing they had to do to get everyone counting right.

The songs range in tempo throughout. The slower songs, Yama’s Messengers for instance, have a Doom Metal feel to them and the guitar just feels a little heavier. They’re used as outlets for some of the best sounding double bass anywhere on the album and riffs that lack a good bit of melody, but still have just enough. Midtempo songs like Toxic Garbage Island and Oroborus vary the most in sound. Oroborus is the most melodic song on the album and Toxic Garbage Island might be the most atonal and The Art of Dying is just… the best. Really fast songs are a bit more rare on the album but they make appearances. Namely All the Tears and Esoteric Surgery. All the Tears has more Metalcore style screams as opposed to the really dark (on some of the songs it almost sounds like the vocals are technologically enhanced. This is DEFINITELY true for A Sight to Behold but I can’t exactly tell for any of the other ones), heavy screams on most of the other songs. Definitely an album for any modern Metal fan.

1. Oroborus
2. Toxic Garbage Island
3. A Sight to Behold
4. Yama’s Messengers
5. The Silver Cord
6. Adoration for None
7. All the Tears
8. The Art of Dying
9. Esoteric Surgery
10. Vacuity
11. Wolf Down the Earth
12. The Way of All Flesh

Stand-out tracks:
The Art of Dying
Yama’s Messengers


Electric Wizard – Black Masses

Posted in Metal on December 26, 2010 by

Doom Metal/Stoner Doom; 2010


No review for this one. I’m pretty tired and I haven’t listened to this enough times but I wanted to get this up today in lieu of The Sword’s album since they both play Stoner Doom and they both made one of the best albums of this year. Also, Venus in Furs isn’t a cover. I was disappointed too. But if you REALLY wanna hear a Doom Metal cover of The Velvet Underground, Monster Magnet have an actual Venus in Furs cover you can find on youtube.

1. Black Mass
2. Venus in Furs
3. The Nightchild
4. Patterns of Evil
5. Satyr IX
6. Turn Off Your Mind
7. Scorpio Curse
8. Crypt of Drugula


The Sword – Warp Riders

Posted in Metal on December 24, 2010 by

Stoner Metal; 2010


There’s a lot of common musical subtleties lost on modern Metal. One of them is the art of staccato. I wouldn’t be able to explain it to those of you who aren’t so music term-savvy but that’s what Google is for, isn’t it? The first thing that stood out on this album (after the fairly mundane “epic” symphonic opening) was the grasp of staccato that both guitarists, John Cronise and Kyle Shutt, have. It really makes the first riff stand out and you’ll remember it for a while. The first track is instrumental, as it has been on their other two album’s although this is the longest of their three intros.

As with just about any Stoner Metal album, this album is about the riffs. Neither Shutt nor Cronise are masters of their guitar, but they can compose like nothing else. Unlike most albums Metal albums that are more focused on riffs than epic solos and mad guitar skillz, each song isn’t a wild, eclectic, and unfocused group of unrelated riffs. Each song has pretty basic song structure, but the single main riff in each song takes up most of the duration of the song. There’s a solo, of course, in every song, but it’s really unimportant compared to the rest of the song in MOST cases. In other songs, Astraea’s Dream for instance, the solo steals the show with relative ease.

You’ll wanna listen to the lyrics for this album. It’s a concept album! “The story of Warp Riders, entitled “The Night The Sky Cried Tears Of Fire” (written by Cronise), follows Ereth as he discovers a mysterious orb and meets the Chronomancer, a being beyond time and space who enlists him in a quest to restore the planet’s balance. Along the way he encounters strange warriors, mysterious witches, ancient androids, and a crew of space pirates with a vessel that will alter the course of history… a vessel known as, The Sword.” It doesn’t get much more Metal than that.

Tres Brujas is the second track on the album and the lead single. The Sword is actually one of the first Rock Bands I really liked. Haven’t been listening to Rock that long, actually, probably just over a year by now, and I got into them because The Black River (off their 2008 album Gods of the Earth) was on Guitar Hero: Metallica and it was awesome. So I had this sound of theirs in my head, and when Cronise started singing, I had to get on Wikipedia and make sure they didn’t get a new singer. I haven’t heard such a big change in vocal style since Scott Jeffreys in between Condemned and Unraveled. It’s mostly Tres Brujas though. He starts to sound like himself more on the later songs in the album. I’m glad.

I still feel like I have a lot to say about this album but I’ll stop here. One of the best albums of 2010. Go listen to it.

1. Acheron/Unearthing the Orb
2. Tres Brujas
3. Arrows in the Dark
4. The Chronomancer I: Hubris
5. Lawless Lands
6. Astraea’s Dream
7. The Warp Riders
8. Night City (lol cowbell)
9. The Chronomancer II: Nemesis
10. (The Night the Sky Cried) Tears of Fire

Stand-out tracks
Astraea’s Dream
The Chronomancer I: Hubris
The Chronomancer II: Nemesis


Electric Wizard – Electric Wizard

Posted in Metal on November 19, 2010 by

Doom Metal; 1994


Electric Wizard are very well known among Doom Metal enthusiasts, but not so much for this album. In 1997 they released “Come My Fanatics” and then in 2000 they released “Dopethrone” (their most popular) and those two are considered the two that are godly and changed Doom Metal but I think there’s just something about this one that I prefer. It’s supposedly very “generic for Doom Metal of the time” but still, generic for Doom Metal is very very good. Come My Fanatics and Dopethrone are MASSIVE albums that will blow you away, and that’s why they’re so famous. Electric Wizard grew into this sound that mixes Doom Metal with Space Rock and Drone Doom and those sounds aren’t so prevalent here. So you’ll hear more melodies, more acoustic solos, and just more musicality in general, and even though this album is still super heavy it doesn’t seem like the sole purpose of it is to hurt your ears with the volume like their next two works.

Lol so I’m burnt out on writing reviews after my massive  review of 10 Songs so forgive me for making this one short.

1. Stone Magnet
2. Mourning Prayer
3. Mountains of Mars
4. Behemoth
5. Devil’s Bride
6. Black Butterfly
7. Electric Wizard
8. Wooden Pipe
9. Illimitable Nebulie
10. Mourning Prayer, Pt. 1

Stand-out tracks:
Electric Wizard
Illimitable Nebulie
Mourning Prayer