If there’s one thing Agalloch is synonymous with, it’s nature. Each of their releases has the band exploring haunted, snow-capped forests and reveling in the majesty of vast and intimidating mountain and valley landscapes. If you pop on any Agalloch record, you are going to be transported into a neo-folk cum black metal whirlwind of mysticism, intrigue, and Earthen beauty. For their latest release, The Serpent and the Sphere, we get to listen to the black metal shamans take their well established sound one step further. But, how could they go beyond their already perfect interpretations of Mother Earth in all her natural beauty? Well, by tackling something more astral.
Artist/Album: Mark McCabe – A Good Way to Bury Bad News
Label: Cats? Aye! Records
Release Date: 20 Jan. 2014
Length: About 40 min.
Genre: Alt. Country/Folk
Studio Albums: This is his 2nd album
I had always thought that Simon & Garfunkel’s timeless classic would make for a great song to get metalized, but had thought a black metal or a more atmospheric band like NIN would have been the style I would first hear it all metalled up in. Needless to say, when I first heard Nevermore’s spin on the tune about passing into the afterlife, I was taken aback quite a bit. Heavy as hell and very straightforward, Nevermore more or less gut the entire song and completely make it their own. What I find quite interesting about this cover is that, despite the heaviness and the usual stigma that comes with metal music (dark, evil, Satanic, etc), Nevermore’s version comes of as brighter and more energetic when compared to the original, but doesn’t lose that harrowing effect the lyrics make. This reworking is a real hit or miss with many people, and as you can see it is a hit with me. What say you? Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
Original Simon & Garfunkel Version:
A couple more quality metal covers of “The Sound of Silence” after the jump:
Taking a page out of the book Dimmu Borgir wrote, Ceremonial Castings of Washington, USA, have crafted quite a nice take on the symphonic black metal sound. Adding tons more melody and folk instrumentation make March of the Deathcult stand out in the sea of metal. The music does border on being a bit cheesy at times, but for every time that happens another 10 awesome little sections more than make up for it. I particularly enjoyed the Agalloch inspired section of “My Kingdom of Cold Sorrows” where vocalist Lord Serpent steps away from his assault of black metal screams and death metal growls for a John Haugm like chilling whisper as the music transitions into a harrowing acoustic section.
Thematically, the album revolves around songs about black magic, witchcraft, and all that stuff. A bit cliché, but Ceremonial Casting pull it off quite well. The songs are written and structured excellently and contain more than enough substance to make repeat listens more than enjoyable. They label themselves ‘bewitching black metal’ and that feels like a pretty appropriate label. If you’re looking for some music to sacrifice some goats to, do give March of the Deathcult a listen. Also good to listen to if you just want to hear some quality metal. Enjoy! Peace Love and Metal!!!
I don’t know how these guys do it. These Finnish party animals have been releasing quality album after quality album on a near yearly basis since their first album hit in 2003. With their latest release Ukon Wacka hitting store shelves under a year ago, Korpiklaani, have headed into their studio in Finland to start recording a new album. The title of the album is still under discussion but we can expect another fun filled album to be in our hands sometime in 2012. This time the album will take much inspiration from the Finnish national epic The Kalevala. One of the songs set to be released on the upcoming album, “Metsälle” (“Off to the Hunt”), was entered to compete for a spot in the popular Eurovision music competition. Unfortunately it wasn’t selected, but I was honored as one of the best that didn’t make it. You can hear a taste of it in the small demo version posted below.