I know I’ve gone radio silent the past month due to a mixture of work and writing burnout. However not at least dropping a few words about the latest from one of my favorite artists would be a pretty terrible thing.
Autumn Eternal displays Panopticon’s knack for creating stunning folk/black metal with majestic atmospheres realized to a level I’ve yet hear from the one-man band. Incorporating things like choral vocals and keys, a heavier focus on melodies, and a slight scale back on the bluegrass elements makes this album a very fluid, well-crafted affair. Each track carries its own personality and the small bump up in sound quality does help the record brandish more of a punch. And as usual, Austin Lunn’s lyrics are absolutely beautiful.
Maybe I’ll return at some point to write up a full review, but until then, don’t hesitate a moment in giving Autumn Eternal a listen/purchase. Enjoy!!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
What exactly is ‘nature metal’? I don’t know, it’s just a label I slap on stuff that has heavy themes of nature either in the lyrics or music itself. Often it turns out to be some kind of trippy black metal band, but I don’t just restrict it to that. Today being Earth Day and all I thought I’d post about some albums I really enjoy from this ‘genre’ as it is one of my favorite subgenres of metal.
Since I like Bandcamp a lot as well and thick everyone should be buying from there, I am restricting this post to records that are available there as well as streamable in full so you guys can give them as listen. Also, one record per band and stuff that is somewhat modern. If you have any ‘nature metal’ albums you’d like to recommend to me, please, I’d love to hear about it in the comments! Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
It’s that time of year again for arbitrary lists of really great albums that were released since the last time I did one of these things. Contributing to my absolute burnout of writing about kick ass metal bands, I can not think of another year where there were just so damn many stellar records released. I simply had to say fuck it, step back, and enjoy the great stuff I already had. Sure, I missed out on some great stuff, but on the other hand, all killer no filler. To try to make up for the insane amount of great albums this year I’ve expanded my usual 10 to 15 and will have an honorable mentions post sometime in the near future. I hope you find yourself something cool to listen to with this list or at least nod in agreement with some of my picks. Thanks for reading, sticking with AMSOM, and being awesome and stuff. Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
“Mid-summer…when the alchemy of Nature transmutes the sylvan landscape to one vivid and almost homogeneous mass of green; when the senses are well-nigh intoxicated with the surging seas of moist verdure and the subtly indefinable odours of the soil and the vegetation. In such surroundings the mind loses its perspective; time and space become trivial and unreal, and echoes of a forgotten prehistoric past beat insistently upon the enthralled consciousness.”
H. P. Lovecraft, “The Tomb”
Nature is chaotic, random, and imperfect. There is no perfect symmetry, order, nothing follows the rules; each of its parts is unique unto itself. And in this imperfection we can find perfection. Not in the sense of something tangible, but in a more profound sense. If everything we could hear, see, smell, touch were perfect, we might as well just curl up and pass on to whatever lies next; there would be nothing to explore, to contemplate, to surprise us. Yet in imperfection we can explore, contemplate, and be surprised. As we delve into the questions Nature presents to us we tangentially discover things about us and our world on a much deeper level. Something spiritual. And that makes us happy, and what is happiness but taking one step closer to finding perfection in Ourselves?
Since the moment I first heard Kentucky by one man band Panopticon back in August I think I’ve written how great it is and how much it moves me more than enough, even awarding it the #2 spot on my Best of 2012 list. But unfortunately, for many getting their hands on this record was something quite difficult as it was only released on vinyl and unless you were a reviewer, getting you hands on a digital copy was daunting unless you felt comfortable utilizing Google for the shady approach. Well, I said the second that this album is readily available I would be one of the first people to let you know, and so here I am. Kentucky is available on Bandcamp for you to hear in its entirety (a front to back, solid playthrough is highly recommended) and for purchase for next to nothing, only $3.oo.
The music on the record is a combination of progressive black metal and American bluegrass music and tells the tale of the plight of the coal miners in Kentucky, and by proxy, all around the U.S. For something much more in-depth you can read my full review here while you listen. But, please, I implore you, listen to this album (and also take a look into the subject matter of the album, some quick Google searches will send you to some really eye-opening stuff). It truly is deserving of all the praise I’ve been giving it and I’ve been listening to it regularly since August and it hasn’t lost any of its initial impact. I hope you all enjoy this wonderful record, and as always, if you dig the album share it with your fellow metal brethren and drop a few bucks towards the artist. Peace Love and Metal!!!
I know every year I say that this was one of the best years in metal, but its true, and 2012 was no different. I guess that says a lot about the state of modern heavy metal. The genre has grown into something that was unfathomable at its inception. In no other genre will you find such a diverse set of different acts all boasting such pure passion for what they do. I was also exposed much more music than usual this year since Metal State kinda took off with a spike in readers (thank you!!!) and we started receiving promos from labels and bands looking for exposure (don’t worry, we won’t tell you about the crappy stuff or skew our opinions because a label hooked us up with some free music or a t-shirt). So, when I think about 2012 in metal I can’t help but to return to reflecting on how diverse the genre has become. You will see in my toplist that no single sub-genre really dominates (well I guess you can tell I am a fan a prog metal and was big into the female fronted doom metal bands this year) and there are some amazing albums all across the board in metal this year. There were also a ton I left out which I will post about in the coming days in a quick honorable mentions post. So enough dilly dallying, let’s get it on! Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
It should come as no surprise I am a big fan of musicians embracing the idea of infusing heavy metal with traditionally not-very-metal genres. Stuff like Diablo Swing Orchestra’s brand of ‘New Orleans swing metal’, Blood Ceremony’s ‘jazz flute metal’, and Ihsahn’s ‘sexy sax metal’ all tickle my fancy. So, when I caught wind that one man black metal band Panopticon had released an album that was to be a combination of atmospheric black metal and traditional bluegrass, my interest was piqued to say the least. I love me some atmospheric black metal and I totally dig on some bluegrass, what could possibly go wrong. In theory, the stark differences between these 2 styles would lead one to believe that the combination would be quite jarring when blended together, hence why no one until now has released a full album of the mix. But in the hands of Kentucky native Austin Lunn, his passion for both styles of music and love of his home state have led to one of this years most interesting and best releases.
I first found out about Isis by catching them opening for a Tool concert during the summer of 2006. Me and my friends got to the show a bit early and we were able to get some comfy spots on the lawn with a nice view of the stage. I happened to be in quite a relaxed mood that day and the weather was beautiful. While we were waiting for the show to start I just laid down on the grass and stared up at the clouds and watched as the day slowly shifted into twilight. It was during this time while I was in my little sky gazing trance that Isis took the stage. Having never heard of the band before and happy in my own little world I just kept on gazing into the sky. As I let myself go into pure relaxation I felt upon my back the hum of the droning bass lines that Isis was playing on stage. Then my ears started to pick up the guitar tones, ethereal vocals and soft beat of the drums, deeper into my trance I went, still staring up at the sky. Then the crescendo of the song that Isis was playing burst into deeper and more grand sounds, as that happened, a flock of birds glided through the sky. And as the song reached its heaviest moments with its droning bass and weightless, wavering guitar giving my back one of the best massages ever the harsh vocals and heavier drums kicked in and I found myself completely lost in a pure trance from which I never wanted to return. For Isis’ entire set I just left myself in that state of pure bliss, absorbing every note through osmosis, feeling the energy of the Earth pass through me, and observing the beauty of the sky.