A review I did on the Polish metal band Azarath on the Dark Art Conspiracy website. A great band for those who love Behemoth and Vader.
CHECK OUT REVIEW: REVIEW: AZARATH – IN EXTREMIS
GIVE THE BAND A LISTEN
THE FINAL WAR
Genre: Symphonic Death Metal
Lyrical Themes: Ancient Rome
Country of Origin: Canada
This is a side project of Kataklysm’s Maurizio Iacono.”Ex deo” is Latin for “from/out of God”. So, if you enjoy Kataklysm, you will probably love rocking out to this Roman Metal project as well.
Above is a (relatively) new Amon Amarth video released January 25th, 2016. ‘First Kill’ is from Amon Amarth’s new album, Jomsviking, available March 25th. Album Pre-order + North American Pre-sale Tickets available now at http://www.amonamarth.com.
The production quality of this video is excellent. I also appreciate that the vikings in this video are dressed in a way that is closer to the way historians believe the vikings dressed, rather than what is typically depicted in the media. For instance, much of the way the characters on the History Channel’s ‘Vikings’ dress is more like leather outfits from the biker bar.
I’m guessing the album itself is about the Jomsvikings, a semi-legendary order of Viking mercenaries, or brigands, in the 10th and 11th century. They were staunchly Pagan and dedicated to the worship of deities such as Odin and Thor. They reputedly would fight for any lord able to pay their substantial fees and occasionally fought alongside Christian rulers. Although they were Pagan, the institutions of the Jomsvikings in some ways anticipated those of the Christian Knightly Orders of the later Middle Ages.
In terms of song writing, Amon Amarth doesn’t disappoint. Catchy. Fun. Bad ass.
Don’t miss their 2016 tour as they pillage a town near you.
I stopped watching TV on the regular about ten years ago. Yet one of my major disappointments (in the occasions that I do watch the boob tube) is that there was no longer a music channel, just MTV (the reality TV channel) and VH1 (the reality TV channel that sometimes had music). So you can’t imagine my excitement when Sam Dunn – the director of several heavy metal documentaries – announced that there is going to be a whole freakin’ channel dedicated to metal. This means more metal documentaries, more metal videos, and the exploration of the millions of sub-genres of metal (including the ones that you never knew existed – or the ones that don’t exist yet). Like how about Pirate Jazz Metal? Does that exist? Maybe I can just create it out of thin air. And what about the prospect of metal commercials? Commercials for things like soap that ooze goat’s blood on you in the shower? (Okay, maybe that idea needs to be work-shopped a bit)
So anyways…something definitely to look forward to. Thank you very much Sam Dunn!
September 23, 2015 | Categories: Black Metal, Death Metal, Doom Metal, Folk Metal/Folk Music, Grindcore/Metalcore, Groove, Heavy Metal, Industrial, Melodic Death Metal, Metal News, Music, News | Tags: banger, channel, dunn, metal, music, sam | Leave a comment
Nile’s newest album “What Should Not be Unearthed” opens up like a blast of fire melting the face off a demon. They’re back heavier and faster than ever. This is quite a feat considering that Technical Death Metal has been on the way out recently. And many Death Metal bands have gone towards a more progressive or groove driven direction; which is understandable, because it’s often hard to be even heavier than what already exists, especially after Death Metal has been a genre for 20+ years.
But Nile delivers a fist full of death metal that punches you in the face with its heavy riffs, dynamic tempos, and liquid hot solos. Some of the riffs are familiar, but there are definitely some clever new licks thrown in. And of course, this album brings together what Nile fans love – fast, death metal riffs mixed with middle eastern instrumentals and scales.
KARL SANDERS DISCUSSES HIS INTENTIONS AND OPINION OF NEWEST ALBUM
In an interview with Metal Wani, Karl Sanders (Nile’s Vocalist and Guitarist) said he wanted to take a different direction than their last album, “At The Gates of Sethu.” Sethu was a very clean and technical album, written for studio perfection. But as Karl says, this newest album was all about the fans, and giving them what they want. It was also more about feeling than technicality. “Is it heavy, does it emotionally move me?”
Many interviews and reviews have already dealt with the technicalities of the music. In short, I will say in this album there are more mid-range growls than the low growls of the past (I can actually understand the lyrics!). The guitars and bass are also turned up a bit higher in volume than previous albums. As George Kollias (the drummer) is quoted as saying, “I can’t hear my fucking drums!” (Metal Wani). In terms of skill level, the song “What Should Not Be Unearthed” was apparently one of the hardest songs George Kollias has played in his life.
But what I’d like to delve into is the meaning behind the music – the vibe – the soul of the album so to speak. Topically, this is about things that shouldn’t be unearthed (yeah I know, the title says that, duh!)
The following was said about the artwork: The story behind the title goes deeply beneath everything we have already known, and we may not be ready to face. With the art I excavated the theories of an elder ancient civilization which could give the origin to ancient Egypt. That’s why you can find a new ingredient in the band imagery, pointing at some higher obscure intelligence, eroding and covered with time. (Nuclear Blast)
So there is definitely this theme of an eerie, and an ancient spirit being accidentally unleashed like some horror movie mummy.
But what no interview has discussed is the modern middle eastern implications as well.
CALL TO DESTRUCTION – OPENING ALBUM TRACK
The video for “Call to Destruction” very deliberately shows video footage of terrorist groups (like The Islamic State) destroying ancient relics. The lyrics very obviously point to this.
Call to destruction of the symbols of paganism
Grand monuments of idolatry
We must tear down these blasphemous edifices of heathenism
We must annihilate all that is pre Islamic
We must complete what the ‘Amr ibn al-‘As could not
We must tear down these relics of infidelity
Great and mighty works of blasphemy
Mountains of ancient heresy
Sacrilege encased in stone
From thousands of years before the Prophet…
So there is no mistaking that this is a theme (at least for that song).
Nile doesn’t just discuss the ancient Middle East, they also discuss the modern Middle East as well sometimes. For instance, in the “Those Whom The Gods” detest album, there was the song Kafir, which is the word for “heretic” or “unbeliever” in Islam.
So now it’s time for my conjecture (JUST MY OPINION, NOTHING OFFICIAL): I think the Islamic State’s destruction of ancient relics is relevant to many of the themes of other songs in the album. That may have been unintentional or intentional on their part (I don’t know). I just saw a theme: a theme in terms of unearthing or destroying relics of ancient history that should remain untouched. And the actions of IS/ISIS fit into that theme. “Rape of the Black Earth” discusses destroying entire blocs of history, objects that have not been disturbed for millennia, and temples of the Gods defiled. “Age of Famine” also references unheard of atrocities, noble women becoming slave and whores, and children being dashed against walls, and people turning against each other…hmm that sounds familiar to what’s in the news.
Now am I saying this is what this album is all about? No I am not. Karl himself said this wasn’t a concept album.
Or maybe the whole album was really just Karl describing his hatred of unearthing the precious Earth metals that create cell phones (see interview).(Or maybe that’s a joke…)
The last song is “To Walk Forth from the Flames Unscathed.” So perhaps this is somewhat of a hopeful ending to an album with several songs about the destruction and violation of ancient history.
Evil to Cast out Evil is a killer track. Check that out to get a further taste of the delicious mayhem that is Nile’s newest album.
EVIL TO CAST OUT EVIL
Genre: Death/Black Metal
Themes: Grimness, Darkness, Apocalypse,
Band Location: Bahrain
The name “Smoldering in Forgotten” was inspired by a Goatwhore song, “Upon This Deathbed of Cold Fire.” Smoldering in Forgotten is another great metal band to come out of the Middle East.
Their style was originally black metal, but now they’ve grown to encompass a large variety of styles: including death, thrash and even incorporating aspects of Arabic traditional music. Their dynamic, live performances have delighted audiences across the gulf.
The drummer Mohammed Ishaq says that it can be difficult to arrange a show in Bahrain and elsewhere in the region, because venues distrust metal bands and their often rambunctious fans. Yet metal in Bahrain has apparently come a long way since the band first formed in 2005.
Ishaq says, “Back then, the only way to see live metal was to watch the occasional covers band play at a hotel’s battle of the bands night, but since then, the number of metal bands in Bahrain has grown, as has the size of their creative ambition and their audiences.” (The National Arts and Lifestyle).I have no doubt that Smouldering in Forgotten’s dynamic live performances have helped the Bahrain metal scene grow over the years.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find much of their stuff on YouTube, but I believe the song I posted above is a good eerie and melodic introduction to their work.
“I believe in Satan
Who rend both heavens and earth
And in the Antichrist
His dearly misbegotten
The anguish ov our future
A Bastard spawned from lie
Born ov a harlot nun
Reign high in luxury
Aloft the kings ov man”
– Messe Noire Lyrics
Behemoth’s grim new video is a tribute to the Swiss surrealist H. R. Giger.
Giger is most famous for his role in the award winning visuals of the film Alien. He was named to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2013. Giger is well known for his depiction of human bodies and machines in a cold, interconnected (and often sexual) relationship. His works primarily feature nightmarish, demonic and alienesque landscapes.
The music video above is inspired by Giger’s surreal style, with its focus on large demonic doors, as well as Sharon’s attachment to an occult and demonic machine that drains her blood. The story depicted is the fall of an archangel and his triumphant rise as Lucifer.
I can definitely see much of Sharon Ehman’s own artistic bent in the video as well. Sharon Ehman of Toxic Vision is without a doubt a fucking genius and the top designer of metal and occult inspired style in today’s world.
The director of the video is Zev Deans of Panorama Programming.
Zev Deans said the following about this video: “The story of Lucifer’s fall, followed by his defiant rebirth, reminds me of Nergal’s own personal struggles of recent years. Like Lucifer, Behemoth has recovered from hardship, and they are stronger than ever. With Messe Noire, I was lucky enough to work with some of the most talented people in the genre. I owe the success of this project to the intense SACRIFICE that Sharon and the rest of team gave to this work.“
THE ART OF H.R. GIGER IN MOTION
(Sharon Ehman of Toxic Vision, as “Abysmal Queen”)