Genre: Melodic Death Metal (though this particular song is more heavy metal in my opinion)
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.
Genre: Brutal, technical death metal
Location: United States
Themes: Ancient Egyptian Mythology
I love this song because it’s a great embodiment of what the band Nile does well, create an expansive, over-the-top soundscape with an impossible to remember title that fuses cinematic, Ancient Egyptian-esque instrumentals with the mind drilling riffs of modern death metal. It’s beautiful. If I were summoning Cthulhu, I’d want to do it to this.
This is the 10th and last track from the album Annihilation of the Wicked.
I Hath Dreamed Black and Grim, Desolate Visions
Of the Pre-Human Serpent Folk and Communed with Long-dead Reptiles.
Silently Watching Through the Ages in Cold, Curious Apathy.
The Unending Sorrows and Suffering of an Abysmal Humankind.
I Dare Not Again Surrender to the Deep Sleep Which Ever Beckons Me.
Lest I in Dread.
Shudder at the Nameless Things.
That May at this Very Moment.
Be Crawling and Lurking.
At the Slimy Edges of My Conciousness.
Slithering Forth from the Bowels of Their Infernal Pits.
Worshipping Their Ancient Stone Idols and Carving Their Own Detestable Likenesses On Subterranean Obelisks of Blood-soaked Granite.
I Await the Day When the Claws of Doom Shall Rise.
To Drag Down in Their Reeking Talons the Weary and Hopeless Remnants of a Jaded, Decayed, War-despairing Mankind.
Of a Day When the Earth Shall Open Wide and the Black, Bottomless, Yawning Abyss Engulfs the Arrogant Civilizations of Man.
Chthonic Retribution Shall Ascend.
Amidst Universal Pandemonium and Those Who Slither and Crawl Shall Rise Again Once More to Inherit the Earth.
Funeral Doom Metal
Themes: Entropy, Space, The Cosmos, Destruction, Chaos
“A singularity is the point in a black hole where density becomes infinite, space-time bends, and the laws of physics as we know them cease to operate.
This is the perfect way to describe Mesmur’s newest album “S,” an infinitely dense soundscape that bends space and time around the listener. A meandering funeral dirge through the chaotic void that is the universe. A universe that was doomed from the start.”
This is a review I did for Dark Art Conspiracy. Check out the rest of my review HERE
What I didn’t get to mention in my review is that entropy has four phases. I think that this album has four songs to reflect the four phases of entropy. Entropy is represented by “S” and is the measurement of disorder in a system. The idea of having an album focused on creating the sound of entropy is fucking brilliant in my humble opinion.
Country of origin: Murica baby!
Genre: Heavy Metal
Lyrical Themes: Fantasy, Occult, Witchcraft, Hunters, Weed, Interplanetary Travels
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’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
“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.
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.