Blog Archives

Judging a Book by Its Cover

imagesIn my free time when I’m not attached to some video game or repeatedly listening to whatever album I’m currently hot on I like to scour through Bandcamp and Metal State’s Haulix promo pile (for those who don’t know, Haulix is a commonly used streaming/downloading platform for giving reviewers access to promo albums) and see if anything catches my ear.  With literally hundreds of records to choose from at any given moment I don’t have the time nor the will to listen to everything.  So, what do I do to narrow down my selections?  Well, first there are certain P.R. reps we have a good rapport with as well as the very rare, well written review request (for another article, but, independent bands, proofread your shit, keep it short, and use Bandcamp or some other super easy streaming service).  Otherwise, I break a Golden Rule.  I judge a book, errr, album by its cover.

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Tales from Bandcamp: Moonlover by Ghost Bath

a0529726240_10It’s rare that something can execute being so violently melancholic and at the same time life-affirming and uplifting.  Last time I can think I’ve had those feels hit me this hard simultaneously was when I first saw the first ten minutes of the Pixar film ‘Up’.  It’s quite the enigma of emotional cocktails.  Ghost Bath masterfully pulls at heartstrings with the aptly titled Moonlover.  Whirlwinds of chaotic black metal peppered with lush soundscapes of post-rock all meld together to create this unique, indescribable sound of heart-wrenching beauty.  It’s just something that has to be heard to be understood.

And with that, I’ll leave this post short and let you all have at it.  If you fancy bands such as Deafheaven than this is mandatory listening.  All others, do give this masterpiece a shot.  Be prepared for some feels.  Let us know what you think!  Peace Love and Metal!!!!!

Monday Metal Madness: Iron Maiden Album Covers

Here’s something a little different for you this week.  Instead of videos, let’s go with pictures, namely, album covers, more namely, Iron Maiden album covers.  Created by artist Derek Riggs, Iron Maiden’s mascot Eddie the Head has graced every album cover on all of their releases.  Below is the artwork for all of their major releases, check them out and vote for your favorite cover.  Enjoy!  Peace Love and Metal!!

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Game Review-Limbo

Have you ever seen the movie Night of the Living Dead?  What that movie did is present a bleak outlook, created deepened horror, and created a contrasting effect on the subject matter by deciding to use black and white in lieu of color.  It works extremely well and adds another layer of depth to the film.  When used properly(like the aforementioned film) this trick can add more artistic merit to the film and in the end what you get is more of an experience more so than entertainment.

So, why am I talking about movies when I should be reviewing a video game.  Well video games have as many things in common with movies as they do differences.  One of the things they have in common is how an artistic choice can have a major impact on the whole of a game giving it a whole different meaning.  This artistic choice in question is the use of black and white.  In the 2D side scrolling platform/puzzle game Limbo by Playdead Studios you traverse a world completely devoid of color as you push forward to discover the purpose of your journey.  The lack of color in this game creates a harrowing experience that, unlike a movie, can only be experienced in video game form.

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Themed Thursday- Best Album Art of 2011

It’s that time of the year where all list loving bloggers start naming the best of 2011.  To kick of my list-mania here are my picks for the best album art of 2011.  Enjoy and let us know what some of your favorite album art was for this year!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

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Theme Thursday- Album Covers

I’m sure you’ve all heard the expression “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”  Most of the time that’s easier said than done.  I’ve purchased a decent share of albums based on the cover alone, some covers gave a good representation of what may be on the album, some misrepresented and I’ve been led to my share of “meh” albums.  When you have an album with great artwork along with some great music contained within you have yourself a special package that pleased many of your multiple senses.  And as an avid CD collector the album artwork is something special to me.  Since many of you are already familiar with many of the classic album covers such as Master of Puppets, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath I’ll make a list(in no particular order) of more modern album covers from 2000 and onward from popular and lesser known bands(one per band).

What are your favorite album covers and how important is the artwork in an album to you?  Enjoy!!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

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Opeth’s Heritage Cover Revealed

Opeth have revealed the artwork drawn by Travis Smith for their highly anticipated album Heritage.  Have a look.

It reminds me of old school 70’s prog rock album covers from bands such as Yes, Uriah Heep, and Gentle Giant.  I love all the color put into it, who says to be dark and creepy something needs to be covered in black.  It has lots of symbolism in the way of the “family tree”, the skulls of past band members, and Per Wilberg’s head falling out of the tree to join the lot of past band members(keyboardist Per Wilberg left the band after the completion of the album).  I’m guessing that the line of people are Opeth‘s fans.  The roots, the devils, and the burning city I haven’t figured out yet, any ideas?

There are a couple things that do irk me about this cover also.  First being the heads in the tree, they make the cover look kinda goofy, I think that it would look so much cooler if they left them out.  Second, in the center of the tree is Mikael Åkerfeldt’s head surrounded by the rest of the band, the line of people are lining up to take the fruit from his tree.  It comes off as being a shrine to his ego(and it’s pretty well know that his ego is pretty damn big), kind of a dick move in my opinion.

I almost think that the heads are some kind of a joke for the aforementioned reasons; Mikael and Opeth aren’t strangers to having a little fun with their fans.  And the band has got to notice that the heads look a bit photoshopped and out of place.  What do you all think?

Given the proggy aesthetic of the cover and the title Heritage I’m led to believe this will be their most prog filled album to date, and that I will accept with open arms.  We’ll find out in September when it hits store shelves.  While you are waiting check out this clip from the Royal Albert Hall DVD of “Harlequin Forest”.  Peace Love and Metal!!!!!