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Matt’s Favorite 2015 Albums… so far. In No Particular Order.


UCPFaIsAs expected, 2015 is shaping up to be yet another stellar year for us metal fans.  And with Iron Maiden, BtBaM, The Sword, Deafheaven, Avatarium, and Ghost releasing new material in the coming months, it’s only up from here.  Here’s a selection of some albums I’ve enjoyed quite a bit in the past half of the year.  Check ’em out and share what you’ve been digging on.  Peace Love and Metal!!!!

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Tales From Bandcamp: Beware the Sword You Cannot See by A Forest of Stars


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120 years before our age, there is a Gentlemen’s Club of A Forest Of Stars, an exclusive brotherhood of Victorian Englishmen who consider themselves representatives of their era, an era as glorious and splendid as it is decadent. This collective finds its musical expression in hypnotic and ghostly Black Metal, expertly streaked with elements of Ambient and Psychedelic.

Yaaaa, with a band description like that on their Bandcamp page I couldn’t resist for a moment to not click the play button to hear what 18th Century Black Metal sounded like.  Well, imagine if you will, a freshly brewed cup of Earl Grey tea…. spiked with opium.  You raise the porcelain cup to your lips and while sipping take in the aroma.  Since the tea is still hot you really don’t get the subtlety of the citrusy bergamot, just the relaxing touches of the base black tea.  It’s nice, comforting.  You sit back and relax.  Then as the flavor cools down and starts to build across your palette you take another sip, this time the essence of those little, green, Italian oranges tickle your nasal cavity and leave a light and pleasant aftertaste for you to contemplate on.

The soothing effect seeps into your being even deeper.  The clanging world around you just soothes as seemingly random and abstract sounds dance melodies from one ear to the next.  Structure and waves, ebb and flow, anger and serenity, it all comes together in harmonious, chaotic glory.  Oh shit, that must be the opium kicking in.  Enjoy the ride.  And my oh my what a ride.  A trip to hear a small group of chamber musicians, see recital of poetry, feel the pattering of a London shower on your back, smell the pungency of the cod coming in from the docks.  All your senses are heightened and carefully kneaded into a tasty cottage loaf.  And damn does this aroma of little, green, Italian oranges leave a nice sensation.

So, ya, Beware the Sword You Cannot See basically starts out as a rather traditional post-black metal affair and then descends into an odd and unique trip of Eldrich psychedelia unlike anything out there.  Yet somehow for how strange and chaotic the record can get it flows masterfully and is incredibly listenable.  If trippy turns on black metal is your fancy, do check out A Forest of Stars.  I promise, you will be delighted.

Storytelling Videos: A Forest Of Stars – Gatherer Of The Pure


He’s a man of the world, but his is a small world,
being a world whirled and whipped inside a filth caked skull.
All a dalliance in delusion, all dreamed down in narcotic seclusion,
he peeps all askance through all and sundry;
three dimension unreality his fourth dimension play-day.
All eternity a rainy Sunday.
He, a builder of worlds in dreams.
He, a destroyer of worlds in dreams.

Feculent plots / hatch / fester / fry.
Subsistence burnt black, effulguent brain pan besmirched.
Labours of love ladled into ravenous toilet bowl of life.
All lost souls to feat upon fresh hot meal of voided bowel.
He, a leacher of colour. He, a void in sanity.
A poisoner of the well, instiller of winter’s gray flavour.
A spasmed spatter of the obvious, a-soiling gleaming uncertainty.

On a lonely wander through twisting streets of Yonder,
his one good eye spying, prying, a shadow play for yesterdays.
All tomorrows, all yesterdays today,
Carrion Crow, pinch-faced proprietor of this sorry sideshow.
Roll up, roll up! Crack cranks his codeine calliope,
all is vibrant colour without his vermined bone box.
All within, bleak nothing – all without to pay homage, at his insistence.
Cosmic keys broken in twisting locks of lost infinities.
His worlds all a-fire now, a Lucifer turning in listless circles,
before landing in the dry hay of thoughts half-remembered.

Evensong their last song.
Pray for the prey! Sing for your supper!
Funeral pyres for one and all today.
As hand of God to give,
as hand of God to take away.

Video Of The Week: A Forest of Stars – Gatherer of The Pure


This is an exceptionally detailed and good looking video made by Ingram Blakelock, for the song ‘Gatherer of The Pure’ by the cinematic progressive black metal band A Forest of Stars. The song is taken from their third album ‘ A Shadowplay for Yesterdays’, released in 2012. Mr Blakelock worked on this video for about a year and the result together with the music is simply stunning.

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