Melodic Death Metal

New Amon Amarth – Mjolner, Hammer of Thor – Review

Genre: Melodic Death Metal (though this particular song is more heavy metal in my opinion)

Location: Sweden

Themes: Vikings, Norse mythology

Two weeks ago Amon Amarth released their new music video for “Mjolner, Hammer of Thor,” from their new Berserker album.

Of all the Amon Amarth stuff I’ve heard, this is their most different sounding content yet. It sounds more heavy metal than their stuff in the past. Though I’m not sure if I’m a fan, because in my opinion, I like it when a band retains something of their signature sound, while changing it up in various ways. Behemoth, for example, does a great job of that. The Satanist was very different, but if you listened to it, you could definitely tell that it was Behemoth.

With this song, and some of the other songs I’ve listened to from Berserker, I wouldn’t be able to tell it was Amon Amarth (if not for the vocals). And this particular song sounded too much like a generic heavy metal song, of which there are already plenty.

My suggestion to Amon Amarth for their next album is to get back to their signature sound, what makes them them, what makes them unique, and find new ways to evolve that sound, rather than turning into a different band entirely.

 


New Arch Enemy – “The World is Yours”

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Location: Sweden

Lyrical Themes: Darkness, Humanity, Anti-religion, Rebellion, Society

Brand spankin’ new Arch Enemy, fresh off the presses. Up beat and killer. Love Alissa’s outfit too (I want it). The only thing I can criticize is the one problem that I usually have with Arch Enemy songs, that the transition between some of the riffs seems odd, but overall, good stuff with a positive message.


The Release of a New TV Channel Dedicated Entirely to Metal (BangerTV)

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!

LINKS

Banger TV

Banger Twitter

Instagram

Facebook


Smouldering in Forgotten – An Elegy (For Tomorrow), Death/Black Metal in Bahrain

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.

RELATED LINKS

smoulderinginforgotten

Smouldering in Forgotten Facebook 


“War Eternal” – Arch Enemy’s First Song With New Vocalist

Arch Enemy – War Eternal from Jennifer santis on Vimeo.

As you may have seen from my post earlier this week, Angela Gossow has recently stepped down as Arch Enemy’s vocalist, and has been replaced by Alissa White-Gluz, who was in the Metalcore band The Agonist. Some people have cried out against this choice because of The Agonist’s Metalcore style and also the fact that Angela is so amazing, the idea of replacing her seems unfathomable.

Yet from this video, I think that Arch Enemy made a damned good choice. This is only one song, so I can’t make a judgement about how Alissa will fit in regarding future albums to come. Yet at least in this song, Alissa’s vocals fit in very well with the established style of the band. She sounds almost exactly like Angela!

However, in future albums to come, I’d like to see if Alissa can add something new to the band in terms of style and sound. Alissa has shown in The Agonist that she is really good at switching to clean vocals after delivering some guttural carnage. I hope in future songs she throws in some clean vocals even though this is not exactly Arch Enemy’s style, it would be a huge waste of her vocal talent if she didn’t.

Cheers to you Alissa! I take my metaphorical hat off to you!


Arraigo – Nehuen (Fuego del Alma) – Video Official!

Fuego Del Alma translates into “Soul Fire”

Origin: Argentina

Themes: Argentinian Folk Lore

Genre: Heavy/Folk Metal

Gotta love it when bands sing in their original language. More bands definitely need to do this. I looked up the meaning of the word “Arraigo” itself and found out that it means “hold.” Why would a band name themselves “hold?” My translation may be shoddy, but I have a guess. My theory is that “hold” is related to an effort to hold onto traditional practices and lore. Perhaps the connotation of the word may have a more suggestive meaning that Gringos like myself don’t know about.

I used to work at a restaurant and learned enough Spanish to trade banter with the kitchen staff and ask where they kept hiding the juice. Yet when it comes to the subtleties of lyric and metaphor in music – I’m completely lost. I still hold to my original claim though, that I prefer music in the original tongue. It sounds more passionate and organic. Spanish itself is a beautiful language when sung to music, it has a flow that is romantic, warm and lilting like a gentle stream. English by contrast, with its hard sounds and many consonants, reminds me of glass shards jangling about on a tambourine.

Que amar deje de ser necesitarse”  is a passionate line with internal rhyming. It flows like cigar smoke on a summer breeze. Compare this to the translation, “That love is no longer needed.” This sounds about as dry and detached as a warning on the back of an airline safety pamphlet. You may now understand it, but some of the original magic is gone.

As to the band itself, Arriago does well to balance technical finesse and passion in their song writing. Fuego Del Alma is a fitting name for a song that truly ignites the soul.


Support Musicians – Buy Music – Black Dahlia Murder Rant

bdm2

Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder is not happy. He recently made a rant about fans and the music industry. Basically, TMDM has more than a million likes on Facebook. Yet their music sales are barely enough to keep the band in business. The music industry does not care about people’s feelings. A Record Label will only keep a band if that band is making money. If the band tips below a certain margin of profit – all those things fans love, the albums, the songs, the tours – all that will be gone.

Ever since digital downloads started taking off in the 90’s, the music industry has been going further and further down the tubes financially. Gone are the days of Rock Star Luxury. These days most bands eat Taco Bell three times a day and sleep in their touring van after shows. I’d say 99% of musicians also have another job – a crappy part time job at McDonalds or Five Guys – just to the pay the bills.

I’m sure there are other reasons for the industry going down hill, such as the promotion of terrible pop music and so on. Yet I think the decline in album sales has a correlation to the production of a crappier sound and a harder lifestyle for musicians who actually are talented.

So if you like a band – please buy their music! I know the economy is bad. I know some of you are struggling. But even buying one or two songs on itunes can help. Thanks

Here’s Trevor’s Rant:

trevor

“HOW IT IS: We have almost 1,000,000 likes on here. Will we sell 1,000,000 copies of Everblack? Fuck no! The reality is that 98% of you ‘fans’ are going to be content to steal the album and in turn we get nothing… a laughable fragment of the ‘likers’ will actually be cool and pick it up.


It’s not about the money, the reality is that we get chump change for CD (and digital) sales BUT WE NEED TO SELL THEM TO EXIST! If there are no record sales the music industry will stomp us out like a bug and it’ll be completely over… the sales show them ‘how relevant’ we are.
If you don’t buy the albums they’ll determine that there is no demand for TBDM, and there won’t be any more awesome concerts, tours, dvds nor new music. Sure we understand you may really love our tunes, but if you haven’t paid for them, it’s a total loss to us… all the love in the world isn’t going to mean shit in the end. We need your support and every two years I am going to ask the same thing of you and make the same goddamn argument.

Think of it like a vote… If you’d like to see us continue our reign of terror over the metal world, you’ll pick up a copy of “Everblack”. It’s as simple as that. – Trevor on behalf of The Black Dahlia Murder”

The Black Dahlia Murder “Into the Everblack”

Videos Promote Bands, But Buying Their Music is Even Better!