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Mammal’s Best of 2015 – Part 8/10



Parrots dance to music they like. Few types of birds do. Parrots, however, move to music in ways they never move to anything else. They ignore slow beats, so there are few if any funeral doom parrots. If you want a dancing parrot, play speed metal. That gets them moshing, bobbing their heads up and down while they shuffle from side to side like goofed-out metalheads.

I mention this because I don’t have a parrot. If I get one I’ll call her Thrasher. If I can find a male to mate with her, she’ll hatch out metal chicks.

There are no parrot songs in my selections for today.


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Mammal’s Best of 2015 – Part 1/10


The grim-faced troops brace themselves. The whistle blows and the sergeant yells, “Over the top, men!” They emerge from the trench to a hailstorm of machine-gun bullets.

I’m glad my sorting of hundreds of albums in various categories wasn’t anything like that, except for the “over the top” part. Or maybe “overboard” would be a better word. I cannot contain myself, not only because of my expanding waistline but because I love so many kinds of music. Last year didn’t disappoint me; 2015 was a great year for all the main genres I’ve grown to love during my two-thirds of a century.

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Mammal’s Merry Memories: Porcupine Tree – Stars Die (1995)

Porcupine Tree truly sprang to prominence with their 2002 album, In Absentia. It was their seventh album and marked the start of their international stature as a heavy prog rock band. Up to that time, Porky Tree had been a space rock band.

Their third album, The Sky Moves Sideways (1995), is my favourite from their early period. This was the album that contributed the most to their unofficial title of “The Pink Floyd of the Nineties”. It didn’t win Porky Tree many fans in the metal community — space rock is usually too soft and proggy for that.

In 1995 there were only three permanent members of the band — the colossally talented Steven Wilson doing vocals and guitars, Richard Barbieri on keyboards and Colin Edward on bass. Drummer Chris Maitland had toured with the band and contributed to studio recordings, including three tracks on The Sky Moves Sideways. He became a regular member in 1996.


Monday Metal Madness Mini Review Meltdown

For this Monday Metal Madness I thought I would incorporate an article for voting, but this time use actual mini reviews as the source of scrutiny.  I am curious to see which of these three bands you like the most.  We received all of these at pretty much the same time.  I happened to grab hold of them and liked them all even though they are three different metal genres.  They all offer something pleasurable to listen to in my humble opinion.  I have provided a brief synopsis of their respective styles along with some basic information about the band and what I think of their newly released or about to be released album.  I was going to rate the albums, but I do not want to skew anything in the voting.  Bottom line, I like them all.  Though, I will cast my vote later on.  I’d love to hear your comments down in the comments section too.  What did you like and why?  Happy voting, but more importantly happy listening.  The latter is really the point isn’t it?

Hannes Grossmann – The Radial Covenant

For a guy who seems to be quite a busy drummer his name and work escaped me until a promo copy of The Radial Covenant arrived in our inbox.  I now know a little bit of Hannes Grossmann though I feel I should have known him long before about two weeks ago.  If you are a fan of Obscura, then you already know who I am talking about, but I haven’t and this is all new to me.  The Radial Covenant is his first solo album; loaded with progressive death metal that is excellently woven into a brutally melodic album.  I was hooked from the opening track, but Sorcerer is a song that completely floored me and will probably go down as one of my favorite songs of the year.  I did sample Obscura for comparison purposes and I will say that the technical aspects between both bands is along the same lines, but I think Hannes Grossmann’s solo work leans a bit more on the melodic death metal side vs. sheer speed and technicality.  Like I said though the differences are subtle.  The album was released 22 Jan 2014 and was self-released.  Below is the video for your voting pleasure.

Jupiter Zeus – On Earth

Jupiter Zeus blurs the lines between psychedelic spacey rock and straightforward grunge such as Alice in Chains – one of my personal favorites of that genre.  On Earth is their new album released on 11 March 2014.  The band’s influences are Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Kyuss, and David Bowie.  After listening to this album for a few weeks I can certainly see that their influence steer the band to their own refined sound.  I thoroughly enjoyed the album from beginning to end even though most of the songs don’t stray too far from their core sound.  It’s a relatively steady cadence of mood and groove all the way through.  It still captivated me and provided a solid 45 minutes of thought exploration.

Neptune – Prelude to Nothing

Neptune has been around for a little while and like Hannes Grossman (the person), I never heard of them until their promo arrived in our inbox as well.  From my perspective, it was a good week when all these albums arrived at nearly the same time.  Neptune is classified as melodic death metal; Prelude to Nothing is a solidly brutal album that focuses on melody. Maybe that’s why they call it melodic death metal.  They do it well and I was surprised to get another album I wanted to listen to from beginning to end.  It certainly made for a motivating work out album.  I like the brutality combined with some lighter choruses.  Prelude to Nothing will be released 28 April 2014 via Earthquake Terror Noise.  Check out Drifting below.  It’s a great example of the overall feel of the album.

Roundtable Album Review: Le Mur – Sentia Nova

Le_Mur_CoverLabel: Tribal Stomp

Release Date: 8 November, 2014

Songs: 7

Length: 43 minutes

Genre: Trippy space rock

Studio Albums: 1 previous album

Location: Italy

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Album review: Exxasens – Satellites

Exxasens_cover_artGenre: Post rock.

Release date: October 29, 2013.

Label: Aloud Music.

Recommended to: Fans of ambient, atmospheric and progressive instrumental metal; psychedelic and space rock.

Space metal is comparatively rare. While a number of bands play metal with science fiction and space themes, few actually do what you’d call “space music”. As for good space metal, it’s like a chemical trace element – you may have to travel to the Asteroid Belt to find it in concentrated quantities. Exxasens obviously comes from one of the asteroids, although the man behind the band may tell you otherwise.

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