metal reviews

Thor Brought the Thunderhawk to Denver

By | metal reviews, miscellaneous

If somebody asked me to describe the perfect concert going experience my description would go as follows:

1. An Alice Cooper cover band that turns out to be just one sloppy dude with poorly applied Alice Cooper make-up just screaming Alice Cooper songs into a microphone backed only by the audio tracks from his laptop and in-between songs he would play audio clips of Alice Cooper promoting shitty products.

2. A muted TV in the bar that played nothing but ALF episodes with the closed captions on so nobody misses a goddamn thing that abominable puppet is saying.

3. An audience that is only about thirty people strong but consists of a dude rocking a full on American flag leather jacket and dragon head rings as big as his fingers as well as a man in his fifties rocking a tucked-in-to his jeans Judge Dread shirt dancing the entire night away.

4. The Thunderhawk himself, Jon Mikl Thor, bringing his unyielding earnest, decades long devotion to his performance, complete in cape and viking helmet with rubber Mjolnir, wandering around the crowd during guitar solos and at one point making everybody sit on a grimy bar floor, mid song, so he can take quick break thusly exposing his codpiece to all.

5. All of this culminating in one glorious moment on stage and in the audience where you realize just how amazingly awesome all the ridiculousness building all night has become.

And then last night all of those things came true.

Your Weekly Metal Playlist 04.19.20

By | metal reviews, Uncategorized

Fuck everything. List to metal. Here’s some great new stuff I’ve been putting in my ears this week.

Waldgefluster – Mondoscheinsonaten
Waldgefluster have been releasing amazing album after amazing album and it boggles my mind more people aren’t listening to this band, or at least, talking about them. Mondoscheinsonaten is their fifth album of captivating and masterfully composed atmospheric, German, nature-oriented black metal, and it might be their most beautiful. It might be the most beautiful black metal album of the year. I can’t get enough of this band and in a year where black metal and a part of it’s fans are determined to make it a less fun and inclusive place while defending absolute garbage people and bands, I’m clinging to bands like Waldgefluster like grim fucking death.
Blood Command – Return of the Arsonist
And here were have a combination of pop punk and pop metal(?). Blood Command have that 90’s early 2000’s pop punk thing going on with an equal focus on the pop and punk but with a bit of metal’s aggression and instrumentation. This totally would have been a band I’d have been into after seeing them at a Warped Tour in the 90s. Super fun, super stylish and catchy as all fucking get out.
Inferi – The End of an Era (Rebirth)
Inferi’s highly melodic and technical death metal just hits all the right fucking notes with me and I can’t even deny it. I didn’t discover them until their 2014 album The Path of Apotheosis so I really have no opinion on their first album, which has now just been re-recorded and released anew. I can tell you that this album is a fucking melodic and technical riff machine that is so infectious it transcends infection. And that’s really all I was expecting or even wanting. This album rules and so does the band.
Inculter – Fatal Visions
Holy shit, this is a fucking shred machine. Insane black thrash from Norway. I didn’t think anybody was going to give Hellripper a run for his money yet here we fucking are. At least until Necromantheon get off their asses again. Get this in your life.
Hath – Of Rot and Ruin
I’ll cling to any new death metal that isn’t “old school” nowadays, especially when it’s a band that’s actually trying to do something somewhat original. Hath take on a melodic, technical, proggy, blackened mish-mash and do it exceedingly well and engagingly. There’s a lot of hype around this album right now and it might not be the “masterpiece” it’s being heralded as but it’s fucking damn good and vastly different then all the old school worshippers everybody is freaking out about.
Numenorean – Adore
Give me black metal that’s changing shit up and bushing the bullshit genre boundaries. Give me something that is even remotely different or at least reaching of other ideas and elements. Give me more stuff like this new Numenorean that makes black metal melodic and catchy and poppy and emotional and dark and miserable. Fuck black metal orthodoxy and the assholes that will surely rage about this. This album is rad and I hope you choke on it.
Allegaeon – Apoptosis
Colorado’s own Allegaeon blasting out the super technical, melodic death metal. Both technical musically and technical with the scientific anecdotes and themes, which is what I think makes Allegaeon stand out. They’re like a hyper melodic science experiment, one whose results are catchy ass riffs for days and technical wizardry that’ll make your head spin. Super solid release, again from these guys.
Black Sites – Exile
This is super fucking refreshing. Just straight up heavy metal with no genre tags. Heavy metal in its purest form but also, amazingly, not an homage or old school show off band. Just a modern take on the most distilled form of metal. For reference it reminds me of Armored Saint/ John Bush era Anthrax mixed with Cyclone Temple. There’s even a nice goth inspired song that makes me ache for that new Idol Hands, but that’s another story all together. This simply fucking rules. No fluff, no pretense. Heavy, fucking, metal.

Your Weekly Metal Playlist

By | metal reviews

Here’s where I share only the awesome-est new metal from the week. I bet you didn’t know that any given week there’s a barrage of new metal being spewed in to the world and more times than not it’s incredible good and moving. Hopefully you can find something here to try or even something new that will make living on this planet more bearable for the near future.

Devin Townsend – Empath
Just listen to Devin Townsend. Just start with this new album and then get more. Devin is endlessly creative and entirely prolific with is musical releases and I guarantee you’ve never experienced music like his before.  If you need some sort of comparison I like to say his music is what I imagine The Wyld Stallyns music to actually sound like. It could bring peace to the galaxy. I’m endlessly a fan of Devin so this is more of what I like about him and his highly unique musical adventures.

Ellende – Lebensnmehmer
Ellende’s previous album Todbringer hit me right when I needed something fresh and new a couple years ago. Firmly German black metal but with enough flair and experimentation with the avant-garde to make it stand out, in my opinion Todbringer went criminally under the radar. Now, once again with a similar approach, Ellende’s Lebensnmehmer still plays in the avant-garde but focuses more on a traditional black metal approach. More blasting, lest experimenting. Where they diverge is with the theatrical elements like the grand piano or other instrumentation and soundscapes. Maybe not as creative as the previous but still extremely well done and interesting black metal.

Totaled – Lament
I am all about this crusted up black metal and crust in general nowadays. It’s so fucking satisfying and crust compliments every metal genre so perfectly. Totaled us it here to inform the ferocious nature of their black metal and balance it out with some fucking beautiful melancholic guitar parts and atmosphere. This one is fucking killer.

Aara – So fallen alle Tempel
Some fucking highly melodic and intense, furiously atmospheric black metal from Switzerland. At least I think it’s Switzerland. It’s April Fool’s today and Metal Archives are pulling some stupid fucking prank so I can’t check, but regardless, this album is a fucking ear-worm of high order. Just fucking furious all the time even when they throw in the beautiful choral chants and vocal parts. Just goddamn satisfying.

Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult – Mardom
This is another one of those bands that I enjoy quite a bit but forget how much until I listen to them even though I don’t listen to them that much. Yeah. Anyway, Slaughtercult pretty much fucking rules because they play straight forward evil black metal. All fury, no compromise. Maybe not as furious as a band like Horned Almighty but they give me that sort of vibe IE simply and direct devotion to their subject matter, which is to be fucking evil. Onielar’s vocals are fucking killer as they always are whether it’s here or when she’d doing duty in Bethlehem. This is a good “keep black metal evil” band for all you stupid fucks mad that your black metal bands are being called out for being full of racist fuckers. Slaughtercult brings the chops and isn’t full of racists idiots. As far as I can find. Please don’t be full of racist fucks.

Brutus – Nest
Excellent, excellent, post, hardcore, punk with some crust and atmospheric tendencies. Fucking brutally emotional and a vocalist that impresses with every god damn note. This is killer. Killer!

Hellripper – Black Arts & Alchemy EP
Did you know Hellripper fucking rules? Now you do so you should stop what you’re doing and out one of their blackened thrash brain smashers on and let it fuck your ear up. Seriously, black metal thrash fury done to a fucking tee with all the catchiness and aggression one demands of this music. Every other band playing this style wishes they were doing it as well as Hellripper.

Wormwitch – Heaven That Dwells Within
Wormwitch is sneakily becoming a favorite of mine. Melodic black metal with that crust influences. Reminds me of Skeletonwitch if they were slightly folkier and crustier. Super fucking infectious. Super killer.