Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category
According to the official Metalscape Wintersun “Time” release date counter, it was 7 years and 20 days since the legendary album was announced until it was finally released. That’s a lot of Time indeed, and as such, a lot was expected.
Wintersun’s debut album “Wintersun” is still one of my favorites to date. Great melodies, solid production and all around fantastic songwriting made every song on that album a classic. It’s one of those albums that stays with you and brings fond memories whenever you hear one of its awesome songs. Which is why the news of a second Wintersun album were received with hysterical euphoria among the 5 people who know what a Wintersun is (Jari Maenpaa included).
It actually grew into some sort of religious watch, as the new album’s release had taken on a deeper meaning for some people, and words like “greatest metal album of all time” and “holy shit” where commonly used to describe the advent of what eventually, on the pinnacle of its hype, was to be acclaimed as the event that would supersede the second coming of Jesus Christ, in the form of a metal record.
Anyway, the album got relased to general internet rave. It took me about a month to actually get the album myself and give it a proper listen. I’m not fond of long ass reviews, so here it is in a nutshell: Meh.
Absu is without a doubt, one of my favorite bands of all time. I like pretty much everything they’ve ever released, including their “comeback” album, 2009’s “Absu”. But with this, the second in the new trilogy, Absu seems to be lacking some fire. I don’t want to say they’ve lost it yet.
In one word I would have to call the album, unimaginative. All the elements of Absu are there but nothing really stands out, it almost feels like these are songs they cut out of the 2009 release because they simply weren’t all that good.
Every Absu release has at least a few sections where to this day but I can’t help but grin and get all giddy because of the sheer brilliance that is blasting through my ear holes. This is usually due in a big way to Proscriptor’s drumming. Syncopated drum patterns driving under a sky of solid of wailing leads with a carfull of solid riffs.
This time around there doesn’t seem to be much off-the-wall or out-of-the-box drumming like we’re used to. It’s just standard fare played at hyper speeds. This only draws attention to the mediocrity of the rest of the arrangement. There’s no cool fusion-y stuff going on and the album as a whole sounds very “Vanilla”.
The ambiance of the album is also lacking. Other Absu releases truly earned the “Mythological Occult Metal” moniker. They sounded as if some ancient Celtic beast had been awakened and was creating music via three guys from Texas. This album sounds like three guys from Texas with great musical ability got together to sing about some ancient Celtic beast. Similar, but in no way the same.
2.5 out of 5
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Argentinian Folk Metal band DOLMEN have made their debut release, Anhelos Ancestrales, available as a free download through their label, ANCESTRAL TUNES.
The album is a fairly refreshing folk metal with some prog elements and some light synth work. The female vocalists voice is beautiful and since everything is in Spanish, I can pretend she’s singing about having sex with me. It’s free and certainly worthy of a download.
Movie reviews? On Metalscape? You bet your ass.
It’s a fun movie. The intro is pretty cool, helps you relate to the characters because you don’t know what the fuck is going on either. You got the original jungle setting and military dudes freaking out. The whole “we’re being hunted” thing is done alright. I do have a problem with Laurence Fishburne being a survival badass while also being a fatass. Also, Adrien Brody is now an action hero? Are we being serious here? Another thing that bugged me was that the Yakuza dude killed a predator with a sword. I mean I guess being japanese and all he might know his way around with a sword, but that doesn’t mean he’s a hardened modern day fucking samurai. And to kill a Predator with a blade? That must’ve been the pansiest Predator of all Predatoria (their home planet, look it up). The dude died too so I guess it’s not that lame.
Also, when the fuck are these predators gonna get some sort of device that allows them to see in a more conventional light spectrum? This infrared stuff is all nice and cool but when someone starts a big fire/gets covered in mud, it all goes to shit. Here you have the most fierce hunter on the universe and he can’t see his prey worth a shit because it covered its face with mud. Good going there guys.
“-We got a young teen with a series of 4 inch deep cuts all along her torso starting from her neck and ending near her vagina. We found the culprit; This 18 year old kid was cowering in fear near her, he must have hidden the knife up his ass because we, the average United States of America police force, responded to some random neighbor’s call about some kid walking down a sidewalk in less than 20 seconds. Actually scratch that, I think we may even have arrived on the scene in like 16 seconds. Damn we’re good. I’m actually surprised a little bit there. Anyway, we got 14 squad cars on his ass and arrested this crazy killer kid who most definitely committed the most gruesome murder we’ve ever seen in the history of this piece of shit town. Well maybe that one time where a bunch of parents chased down a janitor in their cars and burned him alive is not too far off, but since back then we just didn’t give a shit about murder and the parents simply walked away, we can just assume it never happened.”
“-That’s odd, that same kid you brought in got his chest hollowed out somehow in about 10 minutes after you locked him up. Isn’t that just fucking weird?”
“-No but seriously, that shit’s just weird. Don’t you think something else may be going on here?”
“-Nope. Let’s just go about our day like nothing happened. Let’s not interview anyone, let’s not put some detectives on the case, let’s not run any forensics on these bodies, let’s not demonstrate the least sign of standard police protocol. It’s probably just hormones, you know how these crazy kids are.”
The spooky parts are predictable, the characters are pretty shallow and the plot doesn’t make sense. Also, is it weird that I find this kid’s face more disturbing than Freddy’s?
Fucking unnerving I tell you.
Or “Odin’s Ethical Principles” (correct me if I’m wrong here Sheriff) is Norwegian Svart Metallers-Gone Prog Enslaved’s latest album, and according to our very own wayward soul Fungar, the thing is a “fucking mini-masterpiece”. It strikes me as odd that Fungar would allow himself to pass on judgement on metal music, because being such a devoted and long standing Metalscape fan himself, he should know that the only person with the right mindset to entertain such pretentious ego bolstering stunts is me. And only me. You got that, Fungar? Ok then, let’s procede.
First off, Internet, the first instance of Enslaved going prog dates back to the amazing intro for 793 (Slaget Om Lindisfarne) off of 1997′s “Eld”. When did 2003′s “Below the Lights” came into play as the official transition from black metal to prog? I have no idea.
Now, the album. I’ll tell you one thing, I fucking love Enslaved. Stuff like Storre Enn Tid, Tyngre Enn Natt and the entirety of the “Monumension” album are just things of unrivaled epicness in the assumed realm of black/prog metal. “Axioma Ethica Odini” is not. It’s as simple as that.
I don’t know why every review I’ve read for this album gets off by saying that this is some sort of masterpiece or fantastical voyage through music. I mean, it’s not a bad album, but as far as “masterpieces” go, I don’t think it quite fits the bill. There’s a few moments in the album where the music rises above the “meh” and dips its feet into the upside down pool of the “cool”, but to tell me that the thing is a riveting, exhilarating mindfuck from beggining to end with a straight face is a disservice to you, me, Enslaved and music.
You want the quasi-prog Enslaved’s been content with doing ever since Isa? Go ahead and get this album. You want music that would fit these reviews? Go listen to Convoys of Nothingness off of “Monumension”.
So I’m sure that people around here have heard about this new Black Metal documentary ‘Until the Light Takes Us’. It debuted at Film Festivals a year or two ago and has been playing for limited stretches at limited numbers of Cinemas ever since then. It was playing at Cinéma du Parc here in Montreal so I decided to check it out.
First of all, anyone who has at least a limited knowledge about the History of Black Metal won’t learn very much from this film. The only new historical (as it were) bits that I took away from it were a few juicy anecdotes, that were however so juicy that they were almost worth the ticket price – namely Varg’s very detailed (and grimly hilarious) account of Euronymous’s murder. The film presents its overriding theme well though; it shows the ways in which Black Metal was essentially misunderstood by the media and thus presented to the world in a different form; that Black Metal, in its essence, is therefore still unknown to all save for a relatively small group of people. True Black Metal, or more precisely it’s spirit, still survives as an esoteric phenomenon because it was never in essence revealed to the world. It’s an optimistic message to an underground mentality.
The film really excelled in how well it portrayed each personality visually (also worth the ticket price are a few heroic appearances made by Abbath and Demonaz from Immortal). Moreover, the soundtrack – fantastic. All of the appropriate metal fare plus some unexpected but welcome others, most notably ‘Boards of Canada’, a Scottish electronica outfit that supplies Fenriz’s nightly trudging with a bleakly melodic backdrop that is as cold and icy as the forest surrounding him. It’s a great movie to watch and to listen to. Go.
Nifelvind, Finntroll‘s new album is out now in Europe. That doesn’t mean it’s not available anywhere else though… Anyway, I’m giving it a listen right now and with every song I’m reminded why Finntroll is such a great band. They will never top Jaktens Tid in my heart, but that doesn’t mean they have to give up on making good music. This album continues the troll’s quest for expanding their sound and folksing up their metal in ways untried before. The result? A very enjoyable album.
A lucky writer for Terrorizer online got to take a listen to the upcoming new album from Immortal, “All Shall Fall”. James Minton gives a colorful track by track description.
‘All Shall Fall’
Where ‘Sons Of Northern Darkness’ rushes out of the gates like a horse with its arse on fire, the opening title track of the new opus flows like cold molasses with snowy industrial ambience. Then it’s straight into trademark melodic riffs, colder than an Inuit’s snatch with a subtle ‘Hanger 18-esque tone and uplifting ascending chords. There’s deeper vocalisations, thundering, phased guitar and delicately woven leads making this cross between ‘One By One’ and ‘In My Kingdom Cold’ less ‘Sons…’ part two more Immortal 2.0.
This concert really wasn’t going to be a highlight for me. I was mainly looking forward to Municipal Waste, and to see if Children of Bodom played anything good. But when As I Lay Dying had to cancel and were replaced by the mighty Suicidal Tendencies, I began to really look forward to this show.
God Forbid: We showed up late and missed these guys. I’ve heard mixed things about them but never bothered to really check them out.
Municipal Waste: I’m a pretty big fan of these guys, so I was pissed that we only showed up for the last 2 songs (Fuck trying to go anywhere with more than 3 people btw) but they were solid from what I saw. I don’t think they were used to having such a big stage and didn’t take advantage of it. I look forward to seeing them in a smaller venue sometime though.
Children of Bodom: What can I say? Practically the definition of sell out, they opened up with Silent Night, Bodom Night, and played Bed of Razors towards the end. By that point though, I was just waiting for them to end it so I could drive a nail without burning out the teeny bopper girls jumping all over me creaming in their panties.
I can’t say there’s been a band I’ve been this disappointed with live, at least I could laugh at Dragonforce, but I went through a big Children of Bodom phase and it’s like Alexi took the money I spent on their early albums and wiped his ass with it on stage. His “Hey look guys I’m Americanized” tough guy bullshit was out in full force. “FUCK YEAH IVE NEVER SEEN A FUCKING PIT THIS FUCKING BIG I WAS SO FUCKING HUNGOVER THIS FUCKING MORNING BUT YOU FUCKING GUYS MADE ME NOT FUCKING HUNGOVER AND FUCKING I FUCKING FUCKER FUCKER BITCH HATECREW MOTHERFUCKERS!”. If I remember correctly this guy used to have an accent.
It also didn’t help that during some slower song this dude was dry humping his girlfriend and his ass kept banging into my leg on the back thrusts.
Fuck Children of Bodom
Suicidal Tendencies: The pain of the Children of Bodom set was washed away as soon as Cyko Miko came skipping out on stage. I’ve been listening to these guys forever. They were one of my Dad’s favorites and are now one of mine. The crowd thinned quite a bit, the area that was pretty jam packed during Children of Bodom was now sparsely sprinkled with groups of kids who didn’t know what the fuck was going on, “WTF? Where’s As I Lay Dying?”. Looking at all the Suicidal Fans like they were crazy… Which made the opener “You Can’t Bring Me Down” all the more fitting.
Who the hell you calling crazy?
You wouldn’t know what crazy was if Charles Manson was eating Fruit Loops on your front porch
They played a lot of good stuff, Send Me Your Money, War Inside My Head, Possessed to Skate, Cyco Vision (This is when a glimmer of recognition shone through the crowd towards the back), and Pledge Your Allegiance as a closer.
As usual it was part rock concert and part motivational speech from Mike. He’s been doing this for close to 30 years, and you can tell he wouldn’t change a minute of it.
Lamb of God: This band has always been a mixed bag for me, so I didn’t have much opinion on seeing them. But as usual they put on a good show, solid playing from every member in the band. And they were fun to watch. They dedicated the song Contractor to Suicidal Tendencies, if every song they wrote was more along the lines of that one I would probably enjoy Lamb of God a good deal more.
Overall I had a good night, and No Fear was giving out free drinks after the show so it was all good. Suicidal Tendencies is going to be in Europe in June, don’t miss them.