Posts tagged “review

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)


Why Pixar’s “Brave” Movie Should Be Called “Pride”

The bears I surveyed gave this movie a C+. 

brave

(SPOILER ALERT!)

There were two reasons I was initially excited to see this movie: a fascination with Ancient Celtic Myth and the fact that this was Pixar’s first movie with a female protagonist as the lead. Yet watching this film left me feeling like this was the “C” student who I was expecting to make an “A.” On this blog, I admit to feeling silly for criticizing a movie made for children. Over all, the movie wasn’t terrible. I still walked away from it being somewhat entertained. But there was also something about this movie that left me feeling frustrated.

PIXAR’S FLIMSY ATTEMPT TO CREATE A STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER

I feel like “Brave” was Pixar’s attempt to make a strong female character, since they have been criticized for being something of a “boy’s club.” Yet instead of coming off like a strong, female Celtic warrior the likes of Boudicca (a woman who destroyed three Roman towns and nearly kicked the Romans out of Britain), Merida – the lead – remains a prissy, self entitled teenager who seems more likely to whine about doing her math homework rather than leading her clan to greatness.

NOTES ON THE MOVIE ITSELF

Brave itself is a movie that takes place in an idealized 10th century Scotland. The animation and scenery is remarkable, in this aspect, Pixar does not disappoint. Directors Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman both also have Scottish roots, which gives the film some authenticity.

The beginning of the movie seemed promising. Merida is a princess with remarkable archery skills. She wants to be a powerful warrior like her father, King Fergus. Yet she remains trapped by her mother with the responsibilities and traditions of being a “prim and proper” princess who doesn’t “put her weapons on the dinner table.” Eventually the day comes when it is time to marry Merida off to the future leader of another clan. Politically successful marriages were vitally important to the survival of a clan. These marriages were key in bringing peace to two different clans that may have ended up declaring war on one another. The Ancient Celtic Goddess Brigid herself played an important role in bringing peace to two warring tribes after her son was killed in battle.

Different clans come together in order to compete for Merida’s hand in marriage. The sons of all the clan leaders end up being quite unsuitable – suitors. In cliché movie fashion – they are all miraculously a bunch of bumbling doofuses who can’t tell an arrow’s tail from their own faces. I understand the element here was to introduce comedic relief. Yet I found it incredibly disappointing that ALL of the men in this movie were incompetent. The mighty king Fergus can’t even give a speech without his wife’s assistance. This element made the movie more frustrating and stereotypical than funny in my opinion.

The reality is that the Scottish clans of these times had an intense focus on warfare and raising up powerful warriors. The son of a clan leader would’ve trained his whole life in different skills of battle: sword fighting, archery and hand to hand combat. The idea that all the suitors would be this incompetent is just as insulting as it is stupid. But then again…I remind myself that this is a kid’s movie and I must suspend some expectation of reality here…

scottishman

With a lifetime focused on physical training, like throwing logs and boulders, it’s likely that the Scottish Suitors may have looked something like this. Heart melts! Merida, if you don’t want any of the suitors, I’ll take all four. Mwahhaa!

MERIDA VIOLATES TRADITION

princessmerida

Merida ends up competing for her own hand in marriage – which violates all protocols of tradition – and wins. This horrifies her mother – the Queen – and increases the rift between the two. After a fight, Merida ends up running away. At this point in the story, I was expecting some heroic adventures and deep life lessons. Instead we get some wacky hijinks where Merida ends up using a witch’s spell to “change her mum” – the most vague request you can make of life altering magic – and ends up turning her mother into a bear. This is bittersweet considering that King Fergus is a mighty bear hunter.

MYTHOLOGICAL CONNECTIONS?

artio

Perhaps there may be some mythological significance to this transformation considering that shape shifting magic was a common theme in Celtic Mythology and that Artio herself was a mighty Bear Goddess.

However, getting back to the movie plot, the rest of the movie tediously makes its way through Merida trying to turn her mother back into a human. There are a lot of shenanigans that ensue which provide some slapstick humor and some clumsy plot development.

BRAVE IS NOT SO BRAVE

bearmordu

(Now that’s what I call Brave!)

Our heroine also does not prove to be very “brave” either. When she comes close to having a fight with a real bear she ends up screaming and curling into a ball out of fear.

Eventually Merida discovers that she must “mend the bond destroyed by pride.”After this revelation, I was hoping some life lesson would emerge about the destructive effects of pride – but in the end this was all muddled by some vague lesson of each person being allowed to choose their own path. Merida does not end up getting married, the unsuitable suitors go home, and there is not much clear indication of what happens to the rest of the clan as a result. 

The reality is that the clans would’ve probably declared a brutal war on one another, destroy their alliance and bloodshed would ensue. Merida’s actions did nothing to benefit her people or her family. The desire to doom the future of one’s entire clan for one’s own selfish interests is not “brave,” it is selfish and “prideful” and frankly is a perfect description of what is wrong with modern values today. Actual Celtic history is replete with tales of women who knew how to fight – and there were women who even had their own fighting schools. Yet most Celtic men and women did what was good for their tribe and not necessarily what was best for themselves. If we are to learn from the past, we must learn to do what is best for those around us – not simply living for our own selfish ends.

LACK OF CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT OR STORY ARC

I think the problem here is that the boys at Pixar really had no idea how to develop a powerful female lead. They couldn’t conceive of an independent and strong female without also making her selfish and prideful, not really heroine material. A good character is also someone who has some kind of challenge to overcome. I suppose the challenge here was to mend the bond torn by pride – but she didn’t really end up making any major sacrifices or concessions for her prideful behavior. She was also a great archer from the get-go, so there wasn’t really much to develop on that end either.

WANT TO A GOOD KID’S MOVIE ABOUT A FEMALE HERO? 

WATCH MULAN

mulanwarrior

A much better children’s movie about a strong female lead was Mulan. She joined the army not out of some childish fantasy, but in order to save the life of her father, who was becoming too old to realistically defend himself in armed combat. She also isn’t a “Mary Sue” who ends up miraculously being good at combat either. Mulan was somewhat clumsy in the beginning and actually has to train and work hard in order to become a powerful warrior. In the end, she makes tough decisions and harsh sacrifices in order to save the nation of China. What’s even better, is that Mulan the Disney movie was actually based off a true story.

While Mulan was fighting to save the nation of China from Hun invasion and inventing clever war tactics, Merida was busy throwing tantrums and getting freaked out by Bears.

WANT TO SEE SOME STRONG CELTIC WOMEN WHO ACTUALLY EXISTED? 

boudica

Check out my page on the topic.


Ahab – Old Thunder

Ahab: Crazed sea captain in the American Novel Moby Dick. Fond of touching phallic objects, hunting sperm whales and candle lit dinners with homo erotic cannibals. 

Band Location: Munich, Bavaria

Genre: Funeral Doom Metal

In one of those dark, morose moods? You know? The kind of mood where you’re angry that a giant sperm whale took your leg and you’re too incompetent to get revenge on the beast? Maybe this song is what you need. It’s got the onerous, trudging pace of a death march and the eerie melancholy to match. As I listen to this song I can just imagine old Ahab yelling at his crew, and like any good captain, dutifully getting most of them killed in a selfish bid for revenge. Most of the songs by the band Ahab actually are about the novel Moby Dick.