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Mammal’s Best of 2015 – Part 4/10



I’ve loved music since the day I was born. I remember it well. The midwife delivered me just after eight in the morning on February 9, 1950. I thought she had kind eyes. My opinion changed when she snipped my umbilical cord.

My mother combed my fur and said to the midwife, “It’s interesting.” Then she added, “What species is it?”

“We’ll know soon,” the midwife replied. “We’ve sent some of its blood to the entomologists and some of its pollen to the botanists. Meanwhile, train it to climb a trellis and play it something with good riffs.” My mother chose these albums for me and I’ve loved them through all the subsequent decades.

Could that be why there’s cross-genre strain of psychedelia in today’s selections?

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New Video and Single: Ophidian I – Whence They Came

To keep the interest in their forthcoming second album at a nice bubbling temperature, the Icelandic technical death band Ophidian I have a released a single which they recorded during pre-production. To go with the single they’ve also done a YouTube video with appropriately gruesome animation by Andres Montero.

Ophidian I’s debut album, “Solvet Saeclum” (2012), cemented the band’s place among the top metal outfits from Iceland and made some impact in the wider market. It was well-received by critics and congnoscenti (who are not necessarily the same people).

If you know anything about Iceland and music, that tiny island with its small population produces an amazing amount of good metal. Merely being “a top band from Iceland” is usually enough to establish a band’s credentials. All Ophidian I needs now is wider exposure to break though in the international markets. Like the pretty people in the shampoo adverts, they’re worth it.



Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2013, #10 – #6

MetalCatI haven’t referred to my list of top albums of 2013 that I posted on Metal State at the end of last year. I don’t need to because I know it’s markedly different to my current sets of year-by-year hit parades. This series has featured my favourite songs, not albums. It hasn’t included non-metal, whereas my top albums list did.

I set another condition for myself at the start of this exercise, which has been a wonderfully enjoyable game. To spread the pleasure among the artists who’ve given me so much pleasure over the years, I chose only one song per year per artist. There too I’ve been arbitrary at times. There are albums so good that just about any song would be a contender for top song by that artist.

No doubt my lists would look different if I re-did them in a year’s time. Music shapes itself to our moods.


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Stream of the Week: The Kennedy Veil – Trinity of Falsehood

The Kennedy veil is the focus of this week’s Stream of the Week.  They are a Sacramento, California-based band that embody technical death metal. In other words, it’s speedy, brutal, and boasts a higher level of technicality that keeps things interesting despite the sheer constant speed of the songs.  Trinity of Falsehood should be available now via Earsplit Records.  The full-length work is short, just over 32 minutes, but packs a brutal cadence of glorious death metal.  Think Deicide, Suffocation, Decapitated, and Morbid Angel; The Kennedy veil would fit right in on a tour with any of those bands.  Enjoy!

Roundtable Album Review: Diabolical – Neogenesis

DiabolicalLabel: ViciSolum Productions

Release Date:  27 September 2013

Songs:  11

Length: 56 minutes

Genre: Technical death metal

Studio Albums: Four previous albums

Location: Sweden

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Album Review: Human Improvement Process – Deafening Dissonant Millennium

a2521107223_10Release Date: September 10, 2013 on Memorial Records

Tracks: 11

Length: 40 minutes

Genre: Technical Death Metal/Deathcore/Melodic

Previous releases: S.T.A.R.S  EP 2011,   In Crystalline Worlds Beyond EP  2011


Description: This is the debut album from an Italian band with an interesting name; Human Improvement Process. It’s action-filled music that is heavy and technical and I have to say the music is very melodic for belonging in this style. It’s experimental, with plenty of electronic sounds mixed into the songs and it gives off an unexpected industrial feeling, which spice things up a bit.

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Song Of The Week: Kartikeya – Tunnels Of Naraka

845520_logoKartikeya is one of the bands I’m really looking forward to see live this weekend at the small, but very exciting, Euroblast Festival in Cologne, Germany. They are a Russian/Serbian/Canadian ethnic extreme metal band and are heavily influenced by hinduism, Indian culture and mythology as well as classical and folk music. I just recently found out about this band, but they have been around since 2004, and have two full-length albums and a couple of EP’s in their discography. Kartikeya’s technical style of metal with the unique eastern touch is very unusual; it’s heavy and bombastic, filled with riffs and unpredictable twists. This can easily become one of those songs you want to put on repeat for the rest of the day.

Tunnels Of Naraka‘ features the multi-instrumentalist/composer/producer David Maxim Micic (Destiny Potato) performing the kick ass guitar solo at the end.

Fun fact: Kartikeya is the name of the second son of Lord Shiva, he’s the embodiment of perfection, the leader of forces and a war god who was created to destroy the demons in the world (meaning the negative sides in human beings).


Mini Album Reviews: Symbolic, Subscale, Fear Theories, Oceanus

symbolic scarvest frontcover-bigBand:  Symbolic

Album:  Scarvest

Record Label:  Twin Peaks Records

Release Date:  30 August 2013

Nationality:  Germany

Style:  Technical / Brutal / Death Metal

Death metal comes in pretty much four forms; groovy, brutal, melodic, and lastly technical.  Some bands do a good job of lacing together more than one of those aforementioned styles.  The lines could be drawn even wider, but for the sake of this review Symbolic is one of those bands that encompasses a little bit of everything.  Their complexities and rhythm stood out the most.  From the beginning track, Everlasting, I was impressed with their ability to be lace brutality with tight riffing and inject melody in between, but not the kind of melody that takes the song in a different direction.  Some songs are harsher than others, but they all seem to find a moment where guitar solos take over and a more rhythmic cadence sets the tone – The Greed, for example.  Another thing I found interesting was the song length.  With the exception of one rather short song, Mysery, the rest “average” 5-6 minutes.  The length of the songs accompanied with the varying tempo changes gives the songs additional depth.  The fact that Symbolic doesn’t adhere to one particular style of death metal opens the door for them to explore the spectrum of harshness; for which they leave no stone unturned.

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