Saturday, October 21, 2006
" Containing members of Beyond the Sixth Seal, The Red Chord are a band from Revere, MA that play a mixture of technical death metal, grindcore, and metalcore. The band is known for its spastic rhythms similar to that of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Cryptopsy and Mastodon. Vocalist Guy Kozowyk runs the label Blackmarket Activities, home to bands such as Animosity,From A Second Story Window, Deadwater Drowning, and Ed Gein." (From last.fm)
Clients [Deluxe Edition] (2005)
Friday, October 20, 2006
Yyrkoon are a Death/Thrash band hailing from France. They have dark and fantastical lyrics. Occult Medicine speaks of torture, the creation of life by the hand of man, the occult, and the rampages of hordes of abominations. Their follow up album to that, Unhealthy Opera, is based around the cliche of H.P. Lovecraft thematics. Their music is very heavy and almost feels clastrophobic. It creates a very dark and intense atmosphere. This is a good thing to atleast check out if you are a fan of Death or Death/Thrash.
Occult Medicine (2004)
The history of Diablo Swing Orchestra:
"The Diablo Swing Orchestra dates back to 1501 in Sweden, where history tells the tale of an orchestra that played like no other. With music so seductive and divine that the ensemble overwhelmed audiences all over the country, and people from all social classes took them to their hearts. Their performances rapidly earned a reputation of being feral and vigorous and gained the orchestra a devoted crowd that followed them around.
During the later half of the 16'th century the criticism against the church dictatorial ruling had intensified. Gifts and tenancies had made the church extremely wealthy, and since the money merely was used to strengthen their power the discontent among the people was growing. To many people the orchestra presented them to a new view upon things and a way to cope with everyday life.
The church witnessed how their influence over the people decreased and began to depict the orchestra as treacherous, saying their intentions were anything but righteous. The orchestras extensive use of the prohibited tritonus interval in their music as well as their excessive lifestyles was facts that were not looked mildly upon. During church services priests slandered the music saying it was an insult to Christ himself. However, when this attempt to reduce the orchestras popularity failed, the church began to use more desperate measures in order to regain its former power. The Devils orchestra became the slogan they used and the members were accused of being everything from devil worshippers to the spawn of Satan. This catchphrase eventually caught on and became the popular name of the orchestra. When even these efforts shown futile the church ultimately framed the orchestra members for a murder and a ruthless manhunt began. The following two years the orchestra lead the lives of outlaws and were forced to perform in barns and outhouses, where only a strictly limited number of people were allowed to attend. Luckily generous people provided them with food and somewhere to sleep.
In order to capture the orchestra the church issued a reward to the person that could provide such information that lead to the capture of the orchestra. The sum was so large that the orchestra, tired and weary of living as fugitives, realised that it all had come to and end. They knew that sooner or later someone would reveal their whereabouts and the decided to go down in style.
But before doing so they all signed a pact saying that their descendants were given the task of reuniting the orchestra in 500 years and continue their work of spreading thought-provoking music. Six envelopes were therefore sealed and given to trustees of the orchestra to pass on to family members.
They announced their final concert publicly as a grandeur finale. Thousands of people showed up and even though it was almost no one who could actually hear the music, the massive sing-along of the crowd granted the performance to be the most talked about in history. Thanks to the huge amount of people the orchestra was allowed to play until their last song when armed guards finally managed to storm the stage and arrest the musicians. They were sent prison and later sentenced to death by hanging.
Stockholm 2003, by mere accident two of the original orchestra descendants meet in a music shop and began to discuss music. It later shows that they both have received a strange letter from some ancient relative containing instructions on how to reunite The Devils Orchestra. They both become very excited and though some genealogy they managed to find all of the remaining successors in a period of three months.
Unfortunate all of the original scores were confiscated and burned by the church back in 1503. So music-wise the new orchestra were left with no directions on what to play. After some meticulous discussions it was agreed upon that the music should be like a modern version of the old orchestra. Annlouice was chosen to front the band, her angelic yet powerful operatic voice was perfect to bring a bombastic feeling to the music. Pontus dance-influences and programming skills came in handy since the orchestra wanted the arrangements to sound a bit more futuristic. He shares guitar duties with Daniel who also is the main composer in the band. Andy brought some groove to the mix adding powerful slapping and funk-oriented bass licks, while Andreas's energetic drumming made sure the songs are driven and pulsating. Together with Andy, he lays the solid swinging foundation of the band. Johannes's theoretical knowledge and stunning technique combined with an emotive cello-playing style made him essential to the bands sound.
Together they answer to the name of Diablo Swing Orchestra and are determined to honour the legacy of their ancestors."
All of that makes for interesting Avant-Garde Metal. A big thank you to Draomere for supplying myself and the rest of the folks over on Gaia with this album!
The Butcher's Ballroom (2006)
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Elvenking are a power/folk metal band. They have a very interesting sound, making heavy use of the violin, the usual occasional acoustic parts and, the high power metal vocals, which at times themselves have a folky aspect, sounding almost Celtic. This is certainly some excellent listening for the power metal fan or anyone willing to try something new.
The Winter Wake (2006)
The Winter Wake (2006)
Monday, October 16, 2006
"With their uncomplicated easygoing melodies and Sammet's high voice, Edguy is representative of typical European power metal. Their lyrics are often metaphorical, alluding to metaphysical or social themes: conformity (The Headless Game, Mysteria, King of Fools), dictation by the church (The Kingdom, Theater of Salvation), and dangers of modern civilization (Navigator, The Devil and the Savant). To express such themes, Edguy sometimes use esoteric and hermetic expressions. Yet some of their songs are light-hearted or comedic (Das Reh, Save Us Now, Lavatory Love Machine). Edguy does not claim to represent any ideology; Tobias Sammet claimed "We are not political and we are not religious; at least there is no key message in our songs telling you what to think in terms of anything". Edguy also employs lengthy and epic sections in almost every album." (From wikipedia)
The King of Fools EP contains the song "Holy Water" which cannot be found elsewhere, and the Lavatory Love Machine Single has the acoustic version of the eponymous song, so check those out too.
Lavatory Love Machine Single (2004)
Rocket Ride (2006)
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Borknagar is a unique band, playing epic extreme progressive/black metal. As The BNR Metal Pages says, "The band forgoes the simplistic blastbeats and shrieking typical of the early black metal bands, instead opting for a more majestic black metal sound ("epic metal" as Brun himself has described the style)." Quintessence marks Borknagar's last album with I.C.S. Vortex as vocalist, before he decided that Dimmu Borgir would be his main band, and has very epic music that is aggressive while still retaining the feel of a powerful soundscape that isn't too in your face and remains thoughtful in its own way. With Empiricism Vintersorg joined the line-up as the new vocalist, bringing his own unique touch to the band. Their most recent album (unreleased at the time of this post...) is acoustic, unlike Borknagar's other fare, and is very much a folk (acoustic) metal album.
Leviathan is a one man USBM project done made by Wrest. Leviathan's music is very slow, atmospheric, and downright creepy. Many of the tracks are long Howl Mockery at the Cross are long and they go through many shifts, resulting in disturbing soundscapes. Wrest's vocals are almost indescribable. It's as if they hiss and slither and push themselves forcefully from his throat and it just adds to the already eerie music. Howl Mockery at the Cross is a best of/compilation album, not be to be mistaken for the 2001 demo of the same name.
Howl Mockery at the Cross (2005)
"WINDMILLS BY THE OCEAN is the title of a recently unearthed recording from August 2003, the sole output of Boston natives Mike Davis, Dave Dunbar, Brooke Gillespie, Bryant Clifford Meyer and Thos Niles. Since the project's beginning and end, the creators have moved on to form such bands as 27, ANODYNE, ISIS, and RED SPAROWES, but the relevancy of this intense recording can be most appreciated now, three years after it's conception. The variety and depth to this (mostly) instrumental music documentation reaches far beyond those of any mere side-project, and the heavy-music genres are in dire need of something refreshing. These rock-based songs incorporate so many elements of "drone" the group could almost reside next to their celestial forefathers SUNN and EARTH, except with more melody... and drums. However, the usage of keyboard and electronic elements alongside several guitars make the album more comparable to SIGUR ROS than BLACK SABBATH, but without compromising any of the heavy metal elements the members have become most-known for. The additional usage of improvisation and mild repetition allows the listener to relax into a slow headbang across five songs that each surpass the six-minute mark. But what makes this album most impressive is the triumphant, anthemic feel to it, especially considering the group never even made it to the live setting. An important period of musical evolution is captured here, and Robotic Empire is proud to present it to you." (Amazon.com)
Windmills by the Ocean (2003)
The now split-up Ildjarn, a one man project by Vidar Vaaer (otherwise known as... Ildjarn), hailed from Norway and it shows. Ildjarn is pure Norweigan Black Metal to the core, with a production that makes other raw BM sound like Dimmu Borgir. This stuff is artful and immersive, but only if you don't mind horrible (Raw BM fans, read: excellent) production. Det Frysende Nordariket is a 25 song compolation of material from Ildjarn's early demos.
Det Frysende Nordariket (1995)
Cronian is a side project by Vintersorg (the man) and Øystein G. Brun, both of Borknagar. Cronian is extreme progressive metal that sounds almost like Borknagar gone arctic. The music sounds very icy, as was the intent, and has an excellent mood to it. When I bought the CD, it came with a sticker on the front that said "A challenging personal journey of the soul awaits you!" See for yourself. This is a must for any big fan of Borknagar or Vintersorg (both the guy and the band).
"The origins of Vintersorg the band come from a band called Vargartron in 1994. The band eventually folded, but Vintersorg (the man) decided to continue with some of the band ideas, and so Vintersorg the band was born. Mostly a one-man project with only a couple of guests helping out (though guitarist Mattias Marklund is now considered an official full member), the Vintersorg style is epic, post-black metal, with occasional folk influences. Vintersorg's midrange vocals are unique (the closest comparison might be Dan Swano's clean/non-death style), he is a fine vocalist and a very good songwriter, as the songs have none of the self-indulgence one might expect from a one-man band." (From The BNR Metal Pages)