As 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!!!!
Like most suburban middle class American kids camping was a rather regular part of my summertime curriculum. And like most camp outs in the middle of the woods a campfire was built at night and around it we sat telling ghost stories, roasting hot dogs, and making smores. Those times are some of my favorite childhood memories, though not as cherished as they should be. You see, there was always this one kid, let’s call him Little Billy, who really had a knack for crafting these really dark takes on the classics. Instead of the man with the hook for a hand popping up behind the campers, Billy took it steps further and had the hook-handed man brutally bludgeon the camper, pop their eyes out with the hook, and suffocate on broken glass. Then usually the camp chaperone would interrupt and end Little Billy’s macabre imagination.
Turns out Little Billy came from an abusive home filled with alcoholism, schizophrenia, and drugs. This I never learned about until I opened the paper one day saw an article about how Little Billy had gotten drunk, beaten his girlfriend to death, and then took his own life. Mutual friends and acquaintances filled me in on Billy’s childhood and my mind immediately recalled those horrible stories he would tell around the campfire. Since then, I have never been able to look back on those memories the same. Stuff like this is what I consider true horror.
New videos from Carach Angren, Psycroptic, Exist Immortal, Red Seas Fire, Lay Siege.
Carach Angren – Two Flies Flew Into A Black Sugar Cobweb (symphonic black metal)
From the upcoming album ‘This Is No Fairytale’, out on February 23rd:
A while ago, at the same time as Matt and Reggie, I posted my Top 100 All Time Favourite (Metal) Albums over at the forum The History of Metal on FB. It took a good amount of time and effort to put it together, but it was so much fun! My taste in metal is always changing, so the list will not always look the same. In fact, it’s already a bit different than it was when I first put it together and posted it on the forum seven months ago.
I tried to limit myself to three albums per band to make the list a little more diverse and interesting. I don’t really consider the ‘test of time’-factor when selecting what albums that will go on my list, instead I measure it by how strongly the album has affected me emotionally and how much/often it has helped me through both good and bad phases in my life. That’s why you can find quite a few newer releases among my favourites too.
#50 Tempus Fusion – To End It All
This is a prog metal album that really surprised me with its fresh and captivating sound. It has a dark, emotional atmosphere, heavy riffs and rolling drums, powerful vocals and interesting, unpredictable melodies. No filler songs and good songwriting. All that is needed to end up on my toplist of favourite albums.
One thing I love more than a concept album that is lyrically held together and forms a narrative, is when a band works to have the music behind the lyrics really come alive to add yet another point for the narrative to build on. Such is the case with Dutch symphonic black metal band Carach Angren and their album Where the Corpses Sink Forever. And in case that symphonic part may scare you away, be assured it isn’t used in the gimmicky way all too many bands have been abusing it lately, but their mastery of orchestra conduction really works wonders to build some amazingly detailed scenes much like a quality film score enhances the impact of the visuals. Paired with the 7 stories that tie into 1 over arching tale the horrific visuals the words and music create one of the most well constructed and inspiring concept records I’ve heard in recent years. How I never took the time to really sit down and appreciate this band alludes me, but I hold it to Dream Theater’s Scenes.. levels as far as mastery in concept album creation goes.
Basically the story goes like this. A soldier is charged to execute 7 prisoners and when he carries out their sentences he notices that the captured are grinning and laughing as his bullets pass through him. The prisoners turn out to be demons who have captured the soul of the soldier and committed him to an eternity of suffering for his war deeds. Each of the songs tells the tale behind each demon (or more specific, the 7 deadly sins) ranging from settings of WWI, WWII, and Vietnam and recounts some of the most horrid stories and acts ever committed during war-time. Baby eating, the Holocaust, a violinists last stand, a child’s vision of his own death, and other tales of macabre and brutality will be told. But even in their extreme nature there is a sense of hope and beauty hidden underneath all the blood and viscera.
So, give the album a listen and check out the video and let us know what you thought. Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!
Carach Angren’s style of black metal is a little different than most. It’s characterized by symphonic elements of classical music and with a well written story behind every album, each of their songs tend to be a very theatrical listening experience.
Their latest release Where the Corpses Sink Forever is a collection of songs about people who lived during the two World Wars and every song is a separate story about death from various viewpoints. This brand new video premiered this Wednesday and it’s for the track called “The Funerary Dirge of a Violinist“. In the beginning of the video, a young modern-day couple find an old diary written by a soldier during World War II and as they read it we get to see what happened to him. A soldier that never wanted to go to war, never wanted to kill. The music is his only escape..
It’s one of my favorite Carach Angren songs and it expresses the violinist’s inner struggles really well through the lyrics and the music. They really put alot of effort into creating a professional video that brings the story to life.
“I’ve had enough of this sickening war and its murderous puppets!
They don’t understand
the language of music cannot be spoken in death
I never took a life!
Maybe now is the time to take mine
In the name of music; shall I cut my wrists
or hang myself high by a violin string?
A symphonic suicide is what I shall bring!”