Posted by Reggie
Well, here we are again, another end of year list. First, big thanks to you for reading and engaging with us. I have to say, this year’s list is more well-rounded than previous year-end lists. I guess it is because I continue to get exposed to new bands and others that have been out a while, but are new to me. Take my #1 for example. I knew they were out there, but took it took me a while to sit down and have a serious listen. I am glad I did. One major difference between this year and my other lists is the (almost) absence of thrash metal bands. While there are a few, not as much as I would normally have on my list. Seems as though my taste in progressive based metal is expanding. I guess it’s time to see for yourself. Enjoy, and let’s have another great year in metal. Read the rest of this entry →
Posted in Best of 2015
Tags: A Metal State of Mind Best of 2015, Baroness, Best of 2015, Bloom, Caligula's Horse, Cattle Decapitation, Condition Human, Crooked Doors, Dormant Heart, Ensiferum, Finsterforst, Ghost, Intronaut, iron maiden, Leprous, Mach Didh Frei, Meliora, One Man Army, Purple, Queensryche, Royals Thunder, Soilwork, Sylosis, Symphony X, The Antropocene Extinction, The Book of Souls, The Congregation, The Direction of Last THings, The Ride Majestic, The Ruined World, Trials, Underworld
Posted by RiffRaff
A couple of years past one of our readers suggested I give a listen to C.V.I. by Royal Thunder and pretty much right after the first spin I was absolutely in love with it. It is unlike anything I had heard. It encompasses the attitude of metal, the psychedelic tendencies of prog, the soul of blues rock, and the heart of Americana folk. Yet, if one were to pin it to one or a mix of those genres, it just wouldn’t fit in too well. It just sits there on its own doing its own thing. Now the Georgian quartet are here with a sophomore release to one of my favorite modern records and it does not disappoint. In fact, it quite surpasses any expectations I had.
As with C.V.I., a big driving force throughout the entirety of Crooked Doors lies within the singular voice of Mlny Parsonz. Exuding soul, emotion, and gravitas on every single note her bluesy vocals float effortlessly through whatever color or mood her band mates throw at her. Whether the personifying that snarl of grunge on ‘Time Machine’ or channeling her inner-Billie Holiday on ‘The Bear’ Americana suite, she will find a way tug at your heartstrings in some shape or form. And her lyrics just amplify the passion put into the singing.
Royal Thunder is a band and not the Mlny Parsonz show however, and with such a notable voice like hers, you better believe the rest of the crew are no slouches. There’s no superfluous solos, crushing rhythms, or show stealing riffs going on the record. What the real talent here is how all four member work together to lift the other up and create interesting and concise songs. On ‘Ear on the Fool’ a bright sounding ominous riff weaves through a serpentine rhythm creating this delightfully dizzying effect while the vocals keep the twisty turbulence in check. On ‘Forget You’ the doom metal riffing feels right at home with rock and roll vocals and on ‘The Line’ the fuzzy guitar tone melds perfectly with the Mars Volta-like passages of proggy psychedelia. There’s even a rather unique take on the ballad with ‘The Line’ delivering a grungy/country concoction. The record is filled with endless moments of one complimenting the other, and not only is it engaging but also makes repeat listens that much more enjoyable. This is a band that really feeds off of each other and it’s a pleasure to listen to.
Starting with a bang and ending on a solemn and uplifting note, Crooked Doors is a complete package. Whether you’re a fan of metal, rock, blues, prog, folktechbabbledethsludge-coorz, if you dig on simply damn great music this is a must listen. Not wanting depreciate their outstanding debut, this album is the outcome of hard work and honing a craft. There wasn’t a single moment I found my attention meandering from the music which is a testament to the strong songwriting and performances throughout its hour-long run time. The highest of recommendations. Peace love and metal!!! 5/5