Blog Archives

Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2004 / #3 – #1


MetalCatFinland is the most remote country on Earth. Even if you’re standing on the Finnish border, Finland is farther away than anywhere in the world and maybe on the Moon too. Finland has a small population. All they manufacture is snow, swamps, champion racing drivers and metal music.

In Finland the emphasis is clearly on quality, not quantity. How else would one explain how Finland produced my top three songs of 2004?

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2001 / #6 – #5


MetalCatIncluding today’s posts, I see five of my six selections so far for 2001 are various types of black metal. My Zulu friends would approve if Zulus liked metal. Few do. One who does is my almost-grandson, Simphiwe, now all of 11 years old, who calls me Mkhulu (Grandfather). He’s not wild about black metal, though. He likes death. He’ll happily listen to a couple of death albums in a row. For an 11-year-old, concentrating on anything for that long is quite remarkable.

He’s good friends with Dark Metal Cat. They both mosh like aces.

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Christopher Mammal’s Top Albums Of 2013: #10 – #1


Metal 2013

One day when I’m old and grey—.

Start again. When I’m even older and greyer or hairless, I’ll still be listening to all of these albums pretty often. I work alone in an office at home. I play music while I pretend to be busy. Often I get through ten albums a day. Without music, I’d go mad. My wife says that without metal, I might become sane, but she also says she’s used to my music making the panels on my desk vibrate. She’s lucky she can’t see what it’s doing to my insides.

May 2014 bring all of you great wealth, health, happiness and gut-thumping good metal. Read the rest of this entry

Mik’s Top 100 Favourite Albums of All Time #35-31


Top100A 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.

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#35 Omnium Gatherum – New World Shadows

Accessible and infectious, but still tastefully complex with a modern feeling. I like the versatility of this album, it’s good if you need positive energy, it’s heavy and powerful enough to headbang to, at the same time it’s relaxing, works for sing along when you want to practice your growling skills, it’s quite family friendly, perfect for private air-guitar performances and beautiful enough to keep you company on cold winter nights. What more can you ask for?

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#34 Lantlôs – .neon

Post rock mixed with black metal is one of the best combinations of musical styles. Add a dose of jazz, intense emotional singing and some proggy elements and you have Lantlôs. Their music makes me close my eyes and completely lose track of time. The album has an unusual dark, flowing feeling to it that makes every song a pleasure to listen to. To me, this is an atmospheric masterpiece where the music perfectly pictures the album’s lyrical theme.

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#33 Finntroll- Visor om Slutet

The most beautiful troll album ever. I love every second of it and every sound, from the frog’s “ribbit”, the trolls gnarling while sharpening their knives and the owls howling. It’s not a typical Finntroll album and it’s partly what makes it so good; this is more atmospheric, full of emotions with many instrumental parts and nature-related sound effects. It’s dedicated to Somnium, a band member that passed away, and they really managed to create something unique for him.

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#32 Alcest – Les Voyages De L’Âme

Because the music juuust floooows and wanders in such a nice, wonderful pace throughout the whole album. It’s so smooth and seamless. I barely notice when a track ends and a new begins, or the pause between the songs. This is one long, extremely beautiful listening experience that takes me away to another me(n)tal dimension and makes me relax completely. An album to daydream to.

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#31 Watain – Sworn To The Dark

I don’t care about Watain’s dark and super-evil image and everything that comes with it. I simply like the music because of the awesome, detailed and powerful sound. This is not recorded in a deep forest in the middle of nowhere! It has the typical raw black metal atmosphere, but you can actually hear every instrument being played, which I appreciate. You can find a bit of Dissection and a small dose of Bathory here and there, but Watain has their own recognizable style and to me they are one of the very best black metal bands out there.

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Mik’s Top 100 Favourite Albums of All Time #40-36


Top100

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.

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#40 Negura Bunget – OM

I like Negura Bunget mainly for their flowing, hypnotic sound. I love the dramatic build-up in their songs and with the unconventional song structures and beautiful ambience. ‘OM’ is a very dark and spiritual piece of folkish black metal. The addition of folk instruments and lyrics sung in the band’s native language adds a wonderful and mysterious feeling to their music.

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Quicky Reviews: Tombstone Highway, Finntroll, Malnatt, Gloryhammer


in-the-mood-for-a-quicky-funny-old-ladiesSometimes writing up a full review for an album tends to be a daunting task, especially when I highly enjoy something but can’t come up with enough words to fit a full review.  And if I were just to bloat up a review with rephrasing the same theme over and over again I’m sure you’d not read it and in turn the band who worked hard on the album in question would not get a listen.  So here are some nice and short album reviews for some records I either bought or were sent to us in the inbox that I feel deserve your attention.  So check out some kick ass music!  Enjoy!  Peace Love and Metal!!

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Monday Metal Madness: Trolls vs. Goblins vs. Orcs


Of all the creatures in the high fantasy realm Trolls, Goblins, and Orcs are by far the nastiest and most metal.  Trolls all big and lumbering with a penchant for the tasty flesh of a Christian.  Orcs known for their brutal and war-like, take no prisoners nature.  And the fun-loving Goblins who will howl laughter as they rip apart your viscera with their long, sharpened talons on their fingers.

Given the very heavy metal nature of these creatures, there are many bands who use them as the forefront of their image, often basing their entire bands style around them.  Of the 3 races here are 3 bands that represent their mystical creature of choice.  Give a listen to some Finntroll, Nekrogoblikon, and A Band of Orcs and vote for your favorite.  And hopefully when the dust and blood is settled on who is the best, these 3 will unite to do battle against a common enemy and tour together.  Enjoy!!  Peace Love and Metal!!

Finntroll

Nekrogoblikon

A Band of Orcs

 

 

 

Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #85-#81


Over on my favorite forum for rambling about metal, The History of Metal (it’s an open Facebook forum, so anyone, meaning you, can join and flap your jaw about metal with a wide variety of metalheads from all over the world), the admin made a challenge to all the members to create their top 100 albums of all time.  Loving making lists I’m all on this.  Between the ~1500 albums I have there is a lot to filter through and this has turned into quite a daunting, yet fun, challenge.  This list will represent where I am with my favorite albums right now, if I were to do this last year or next year, while being similar, I’m sure there would be lots of differences.  My only self-imposed limitation on this is I’m confining each band 3 albums in the list to avoid entire, very large, discographies over saturating it.  Every 5 days or so I’ll make a post with the next 5 entries into the list.  Fellow bloggers, I extend this challenge to you (and be sure to let me know where and when you’ll be posting it, I’d love to read it), and for readers without a blog join up with THOM and post yours there!  Enjoy!!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

#85 Voimasta ja Kunniasta by Moonsorrow

When I first discovered the world of folk metal by way of Eluveitie I was instantly driven to go out and hunt down some more bands in the genre. In my search I found many great bands, but one day I came across a fan made video for the song “Sankarihauta” (posted below). Let’s just say that it was love at first sight and within a matter of minutes I ran out and grabbed my first of many Moonsorrow albums, Voimasta…. The epicness of this record is only superseded by some of the bands later works.

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Monday Metal Madness: Folk Yeah!


Looks like George Lynch and Co. (Dokken) took the poll last week with %100 of the votes.  Good choice guys!

Ahhh, folk metal.  An idea that looks insane on paper.  Mix folk instruments and melodies with intense and brash metal music, umm, yeah, sure.  But when put into practice folk metal is one of the most unorthodox and fun sub-genres of metal.  The melodies meld great with the crushing guitars, the diverse set of instruments add a new level of dynamic, and the often common themes of history, battles, and Lord of the Rings kinda stuff fits in perfectly with many of metal’s lyrical themes.

Here are 4 very diverse folk metal bands to go head to head for the Metal State of Mind Folk Metal Battle Trophy™.  Give a listen to the songs, which I picked as my favorite from each band, but other songs you may know of can also hold sway (ie. vote for the band, not the song 😉 ), and then cast your vote.  Enjoy!  Peace Love and Metal!!!!

Korpiklaani

These Finnish booze hounds are the most cheerful of all the different folk metal bands out there.  That happy energy really shows in their songs as they sing about drinking booze, being a farmer, and winning battles.  Their music is almost always as playful as it is heavy and if it doesn’t put a smile on your face and a bounce in your step, well, you just need to lighten up a bit.

I also find it amazing that as much as the band seems to be always liquored up they are able to maintain a nearly annual album release schedule where each record is consistently a solid listen.

Moonsorrow

While the band themselves don’t acknowledge the folk metal label preferring to call themselves ‘heathen metal’, their music is still laden with a diverse set of folk melodies, themes, and sounds and instruments.  Their music has some in common with later era Bathory where he went and pretty much created Viking metal, but they take that concept and run a million more miles with it creating some of the best music that the whole realm of metal has to offer.  Moonsorrow is also one of the few metal bands that can write multiple songs that surpass the 30 minute mark and keep me completely engaged from start to finish.

Eluveitie

Probably the most popular of all the folk metal bands, Eluveitie take the Gothenburg sound and add a diverse line-up of folk instruments to it, including the goofy sounding and looking hurdy gurdy.   One thing the band does that I find quite unique and interesting is they often use the Gaulish language (a dead Celtic language) in their song which ties right in with their themes which revolve around the Gauls and the Gaulish War.  I also appreciate the fact that they keep their music diverse and not focus on the heavy 24/7 by adding beautiful and mellow sections and interludes to their albums.  They even released an ‘acoustic’ album that is well worth checking out.

Finntroll

If a bunch of trolls were to start up a metal band they’d sound like Finntroll.  While very aggressive and brutal the music is also delightfully playful and mischievous, just like trolls.  From album to album Finntroll just keeps getting better and better with their latest, Nifelvind, being one the best folk metal albums ever released. It’s also worth noting that founding member and keyboardist Henri Sorvali is also the founding member and guitarist of Moonsorrow.  He’s some kind of folk metal genius.

Music Video Mania- Finnish Metal


If heavy metal had a Mecca right now I would say it is Finland.  The cold country seems to be the breeding ground of a myriad of high quality metal bands spanning through many genres.  I don’t know what the Finns are drinking (maybe some of that ceremonial thunder brew that was the inspiration for Korpiklaani‘s latest album Ukon Wacka), but if there is one thing that they can do, it’s write some of the best metal that the world has to offer.  According to many statistics, Finland has the most metal bands per person with for every 4 people there’s 1 metal band.  That’s a lot of metal.

This updated repost of a Music Video Mania I did last year will be the first part of a 2 part series.  Next week I will take a look and give my opinion as to why Finland has so much great metal going on in the country.  If any Finnish readers (or any readers) would like to give their opinion why Finland is so rich with metal, I’d really love to hear it!!!  Enjoy the videos!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

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