Blog Archives

Album Review: High Country by The Sword

The Sword High Country Album CoverSome bands evolve, some metamorphose.   If you look at a butterfly you can still see the remnants of the shriveled caterpillar body still hanging around but for the most part the entirety is changed after a brief cocooning period.  Unlike evolution where the change takes place over a huge period of time and many key features are still kept in tact, metamorphosis yields something quite different from its original and the process of change is quite abrupt.  You could say a band like Opeth evolved into the prog rock powerhouse they are today slightly changing it up album after album.  And Clutch took metamorphosis path when they injected some gospel/blues rock into their sludge metal sound on their self-titled sophomore record (the cocoon phase) and then fully embraced it on their third album, The Elephant Riders, where the metal edge was heavily toned down but still had a glaring presence.  With both bands, if you listen to their latest in contrast with their earliest works, they are almost completely different bands but still maintain their cores.  Metamorphosis is, however, a much more pronounced change.  For their fifth full length album, High Country, The Sword have metamorphosed into something quite different from their sludgy doom metal beginnings.

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Album Review: Our Own Masters by Valient Thorr

PromoImageAt some point last year I got introduced to Valient Thorr by way of some best beard in metal contest on the internet and since the vocalist and participant, Thorr Himself, in the contest really looked like that guy from The Hangover movie (Zach Galifianakis) my curiosity was piqued and I went to check out some of their tunes.  Lo and behold I had one of those moments where I was asking myself where had this band been my whole life.  Heavy metal energy, punk rock attitude, and the spirit of good ol’ classic rock and roll.  Needless to say I immediately grabbed me some music by them and totally grooved on it.  They now have a new album out called Our Own Masters and I am excited to hear some fresh material from fun little band and share my thoughts on the record with you.

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Album Review: The Circle and the Blue Door by Purson

PromoImageI really have to tip my hat lately to the metal community for being so accepting and embracing of this psychedelic occult rock resurgence taking place within our preferred genre right now.  Really, I would have never imagined a your traditional modern metal head ever getting down to bands like Blood Ceremony or Jess and the Ancient Ones, but alas, that is the case.  It may be that the often Satanic and Wiccan theme’s resonate with us and they give us an excuse to really dig of the hallucinogen fueled tunes or that we catch that this style of music has deep roots in the early beginnings of metal and we enjoy it on that level or that we’ve finally found a listenable form of non-growling female vocals in our genre (I personally can’t stand the symphonic Gothic metal crap, and I’m sure I’m not the only one).  What ever the case may be, labels have been scooping up occult rock acts like there’s no tomorrow and they’ve been selling quite well.  So, occult rock is back for now and seems to be the in-fad.  Will its welcome wear out like djent, the retro-thrash revival, and metalcore?  Most likely, but of all the fads to hit the scene, this one really hits me hard as a style that is more than a fad to me with many bands I’ve actively sought out, enjoy, and will continue to listen to until I return to the Earth.  So, since the occult rock thing is really my bag at the moment, you can see the excitement I had when I found that, amid the copious amounts of power metal and death metal that bombards the Metal State inbox, to find the debut album by a band called Purson (not a misspelling of the word ‘person’, but one of the many names of Mr. Satan himself) that had tags like Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Coven, and Led Zeppelin selling the music to me.  The inner-hippie in me lit up with excitement as I rushed to pop the record in and now having given it the obligatory 3 spins, I am here to tell you that Purson’s debut record The Circle and the Blue Door is pretty damn groovy.

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Full Album Steam: Hot Cakes by The Darkness

Love ’em or hate ’em The Darkness knows how to write some damn catchy tunes and bring some fun energy with them.  I loved their album Permission to Land and after that they kinda fluttered away into obscurity.  Well the flamboyant Justin Hawkins and Co. are back into the spotlight with new album Hot Cakes.  While not as great as Permission to Land, it’s still a damn fun record worthy of your time to check out if you’re into some old school rock and roll in the vein of Queen, Deep Purple, and 80’s Glam Rock.  Click here or on the album cover above to listen to the record and check out the video for “Nothing’s Going to Stop Us” below.  Enjoy!  Peace Love and Metal!

Album Review: Kevlar Bikini – Explodisiac

Are you having a party comprised of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll? Then I have the perfect soundtrack for your night: the début album of Kevlar Bikini, Explodisiac, follow-up to their promo Damn rocknrollaz, they shook my booty…again. Not just creating badass names, this Croatian quartet also deliver a combo of “metal/badass rock n’ roll/punk”, according to their bio, with some hefty Swedish support on the Sunlight mixing desk. And naturally, I felt obliged to check them out.

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Song of the Week: Corpse Candles

In all of their infinite wisdom, heavy metal comedy site,, decided to deem the next big trend to take over in metal after djent runs it course to be ‘vest metal’.  They called it annoying and a fad and the article (article here) itself was kinda half assed written, not the usually standard I’ve come to know from the site.  Anyway, what I ended up taking away from the piece is that ‘vest metal’ is pretty much a bunch of old school sounding, riff based doom/hard rock bands who are big fans of Black Sabbath, often with a female vocalist.  Well, being as picky as I am with my doom metal, this is exactly the kind I love and is more akin to bands like Ghost and The Sword instead of St. Vitus or SunnO)))), whom I can find pretty boring most of the time.  So, with the amount of songs and videos they posted as examples I walked away with a dearth of new bands to check out and with open arms welcome this new trend and hope it’s here to stay.

The one band I ended up digging above all the others is a San Fransisco band called Castle.  Big fat riffs, great solos, very Sabbath-y grooves, and their haunting vocalist really give their music a great old-school sound.  And in some good news the band was just picked up by Prosthetic Records who will be re-releasing their album Blacklands worldwide in September (the album was just released with a small German label a couple of months ago, but it is a bit overpriced when you factor in the insane shipping costs the distributor charges, and worse for those living in the States, where the band is from).  I am totally looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of this record, and going by the press it’s getting so far, it’s a doozy.  Check out the tune and let us know what you think of Castle and ‘vest metal’.  Enjoy!  Peace Love and Metal!!

Bonus Song

Here’s another ‘vest metal’ band that I have taken a quick liking to called Christian Mistress.  Unlike Castle above, they have a more upbeat, NWOBHM feel to them.  But in the end, it kicks as much ass all the same.  They have an album out called Possession, more on that soon, but an early preview of the review, go get it, it’s great!