Posts tagged “review

Huntress – Harsh Times on Planet Stoked

Country of origin: Murica baby!

Genre: Heavy Metal

Lyrical Themes: Fantasy, Occult, Witchcraft, Hunters, Weed, Interplanetary Travels

Album: Static

One of the things I love about Huntress is that they are one of the few modern metal bands I can think of that are just flat out heavy metal. So much contemporary metal these days has to be wrapped within 50 different sub-genres that usually end with the word ‘core.’ Like I don’t know, what’s next? Nano-burrito-vulcan-fire-death-fist-core? Actually…that would be kind of cool.

But point aside, Huntress is a rare modern day Heavy Metal band inspired by the likes of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden.

Vocalist Jill Janus (who has been awesome enough to talk with me on more than one occasion) has said that this album, “Static,” channels the “crone” aspect of the Goddess (in terms of the whole Maiden/Mother/Crone archetype), a dirty, lusty, nasty old crone.

In terms of my reviews on all three of their albums in order of release; Spell-Eater was when they were first figuring out their sound. Starbound Beast was the most exciting album, with lots of punch you in the face awesome riffs, intense Rob-Halford-esque vocals, and headbanging solos. And Static was more of a laid back, groovy type album that you listen to when you’re smoking weed and eating cheetos. All good stuff though. If you love heavy metal, you won’t be disappointed with Huntress.


Nile Unearths Heavy New Album (Review)

Nile-What-Should-Not-Be-Unearthed-Artwork

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


RELEVANT LINKS

Official Nile Site

Get new album here

2015 Europe Tour

2016 Tour Dates


New Huntress Song – “Flesh”

“Flesh” is the newest song to be released by Huntress. The song comes from their album “Static,” which is scheduled to be released on September 25th. Vocalist Jill Janus (who has been awesome enough to talk with me on more than one occasion) has said that Static channels the “crone” aspect of The Goddess (in terms of the whole Maiden/Mother/Crone archetype). And from what I can see, it’s gonna be a dirty, lusty, nasty old crone indeed.

The song itself is about a female serial killer who transforms into a demon seamstress and preys upon women. She desires their flesh for fashion (like a demonic, lesbian, Buffalo Bill if you will).

Musically, it’s a fun, catchy, hard rock song.

Starbound Beast was such a killer album that it’s really going to be hard for them to top it, but I’m still looking forward to seeing what they can do nevertheless.

Get the details on the Static Album


Judas Priest’s “Halls of Valhalla”

Rob Halford is getting into Valhalla for sure – who else would the Gods want to make the music around there? 

After 40 years of delivering the world chromium plated heavy metal, faster than a bullet and louder than an atom bomb, the Gods of Heavy Metal still got it.

The song I listed above comes from their newest album “Redeemer of Souls” (2014).

When I went to their concert this week I was looking forward to their classics more than their new stuff; you know, songs like “Breaking the Law,” “Living after Midnight,” and “Turbo Lover.” You’re not allowed to be a fan of Heavy Metal and not like those songs. I won’t allow it!

However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that “Halls of Valhalla,” probably the newest song they played at the show, was my favorite song of the whole concert.

There are fewer things more cool than Vikings. There are also fewer things more awesome than Judas Priest. Therefore, Judas Priest singing about Vikings and Valhalla produces an infinite feedback loop of awesomeness that will probably end up causing the eventual implosion of the universe.

I’m just glad I got to be alive to witness such amazing musicians play live. Rob Halford’s pipes are still divine, and their new guitarist Richie Faulkner, who they got to replace K.K. Downing, was brimming with energy and talent. He added a ten minute guitar solo into the middle of “You got another thing comin,” that completely unhinged my jaw from my face. If anyone in Baltimore Maryland finds my jaw floating around somewhere in the pier, please let me know.

With that said, enjoy the song above and pay homage to the Metal Gods.

 

I can’t resist sharing some pictures I took at the show.

I was in the lawn, so these aren’t the best pictures ever, but here they are.

JP1

JP2

JP3


Netherfell – Mokosz (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)

The band’s first music video:

Genre: Folk Metal. Encyclopedia Metallum also says that this band plays Melodic Death, my interpretation is that they are more of a Folk Metal band, but maybe I haven’t heard enough of their material.

Themes: Pagan Gods, Kings, War, Nature

Country of Origin: Poland

This video is definitely a good start for a band’s first official music video. They successfully blend together traditional instruments like the bagpipes, tin whistle and violin with guitars, bass and drums. They are obviously highly influenced by Arkona, especially with vocals. The female singer of this band, Adrianna Zborowska has a particularly powerful and enchanting voice. My only criticism is that I don’t think the female and male vocals are  as in sync with each other as they could be. I know that doing the whole pretty melodic vocals with harsh growls is a very difficult thing to get just right, and honestly the only song that I feel has this dynamic perfectly is Dark Tranquility’s The Mundane and the Magic .

And of course the imagery of the video itself was beautiful –  forest, ritual, ancient pagan garb and all.

Keep up the good work Netherfell!

RELEVANT LINKS

Encylopedia Metallum 

Facebook Page


New Behemoth Release – Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer

My Behemoth poster fell off the wall as I was listening to this – Behemoth is too heavy for my walls. 

Anyone jumping out of their skin in excitement for when Behemoth’s The Satanist comes out on February 4th? Currently my skeleton is running around my apartment headbanging to this song.  The Satanist is available for pre-order on Amazon, which means you can have the album shipped to your house the day it is released, listen to it first and gloat about it as all your friends stab themselves with envy.

With that aside, let me proceed to shamelessly gush about this song as if it were my teenage crush. In a previous post I discussed another song from this album: Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel. In that song, as well as the one above, I notice that Behemoth has adopted a more Black Metalish sound for this album. The guitar has somewhat of that chaotic all over the place Black Metal sound. I also love the tone they chose for the bass, it is haunting and melodic. It knows when to step into the spotlight when the rest of the music calms down, and hold things together with a bittersweet melody.

Really enjoying the two songs I’ve heard from The Satanist. Can’t wait to get my talons on the actual album.


Amon Amarth’s Highly Cinematic New “Father of the Wolf” Video

Loki headbangs to this song every day

Did Amon Amarth just make a movie or a music video? Amon Amarth’s highly awaited “Father of the Wolf” video was just released on January 17th 2014 (yesterday!) Fans who wondered why the video took so long to release now only have to look at the theater quality production behind the video to see why. The song itself is part of Amon Amarth’s newest album “Deceiver of the Gods,” so of course the theme is going to be heavily centered around Loki.

Personally, I actually feel like the introduction to the video was a bit too long. I think it would have been better of they incorporated the cinematics mostly with the music, with perhaps a 1 or 2 minute introduction.  I think too much talk in the beginning kind of takes away from the music – or maybe I’m just being an extra splintery stick in the mud.

But with that aside, enjoy the video. It will leave you with a strange desire to play Skyrim and take over the world.

Also, Amon Amarth is headlining at a series of kick ass shows in the U.S. Don’t miss em! 

AMON AMARTH
+ ENSLAVED
+ SKELETONWITCH
Friday, January 17 – Las Vegas, NV @ House Of Blues
Saturday, January 18 – Phoenix, AZ @ Club Red
Monday, January 20 – San Antonio, TX @ Backstage Live
Tuesday, January 21 – Dallas, TX @ House Of Blues
Wednesday, January 22 – Houston, TX @ House Of Blues
Friday, January 24 – Atlanta, GA @ Center Stage
Saturday, January 25 – Tampa, FL @ The Ritz
Sunday, January 26 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution
Monday, January 27 – Orlando, FL @ House Of Blues (*no Skeletonwitch)
Wednesday, January 29 – Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore
Thursday, January 30 – Norfolk, VA @ The NorVA
Friday, January 31 – Silver Springs, MD @ The Fillmore
Saturday, February 1 – Boston, MA @ House Of Blues
Monday, February 3 – Philadelphia, PA @ TLA
Tuesday, February 4 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
Wednesday, February 5 – Huntington, NY @ Paramount
Thursday, February 6 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Small’s
Friday, February 7 – Chicago, IL @ House Of Blues
Saturday, February 8 – Minneapolis, MN @ Mill City Nights
Sunday, February 9 – Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theatre
Tuesday, February 11 – Denver, CO @ Summit Theatre
Wednesday, February 12 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Murray Theater
Friday, February 14 – San Francisco, CA @ The Regency
Saturday, February 15 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
Sunday, February 16 – San Diego, CA @ House Of Blues (* No Enslaved)