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Full Concert Goodness: TesseracT – Odyssey/Scala


Century Media are giving us a full stream of TesseracT‘s upcoming live DVD “Scala”, filmed in November last year at The Scala in London. With the release comes a live audio CD titled “Odyssey” which was recorded during various shows on the band’s 2014 European Tour.

As a dedicated and patient (*coughs*) fan, I’m waiting for my own signed copy to arrive in the mail. Then I’ll lock the front door, turn the lights and my phone off, and place scented candles in a circle on the floor in my living room before I sit down to witness my favourite band with my favourite vocalist in all its liveliness and glory. It’s going to be the most awesome night.

Release date: May 19th. Available from Tesseract official store on both CD and vinyl, signed by the whole band.

 

 

 

 

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New videos in March 2015


A small selection of new metal videos that came out in March. I promise, it’s no joke! Enjoy!

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Inter Arma – Destroyer, from their 2013 album “Sky Burial” (blackened sludge/post metal)

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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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Mik’s Top 100 Favourite Albums of All Time – The top 5


Top100A while ago, at the same time as Matt and Reggie, I posted my Top 100 All Time Favourite (Metal) Albums over at the forum The History of Metal on FB. It took a good amount of time and effort to put it together, but it was so much fun! My taste in metal is always changing, so the list will not always look the same. In fact, it’s already a bit different than it was when I first put it together and posted it on the forum seven months ago.

I tried to limit myself to three albums per band to make the list a little more diverse and interesting. I don’t really consider the ‘test of time’-factor when selecting what albums that will go on my list, instead I measure it by how strongly the album has affected me emotionally and how much/often it has helped me through both good and bad phases in my life. That’s why you can find quite a few newer releases among my favourites too. 

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We’re down to the last post, my top five best albums ever released of all the thousands and thousands of cd’s I’ve listened to during the years. 

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#5  Altar Of Plagues – Teethed Glory And Injury

An album from 2013 which, after almost daily spins throughout most of last year, has to be mentioned in the top of this list. Like I said in my review;  it is an extremely rewarding listen. It’s an album packed with depth, darkness and tortured pain executed in the most beautiful way. Primitive and intimate music with a forceful and disturbing atmosphere. Music like this is necessary to balance out all the melodic and proggy stuff in my cd-collection.

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Mik’s Best Albums of 2013, part 2


soilworkthelivinginfinitecoverlarge#10 Soilwork – The Living Infinite     Review

Soilwork is back, better and more inspired than ever before. With their speedy guitars, brutal drums and blasting choruses this double album is an uplifting and energizing and most of all a VERY FUN listening experience.  Listen here.

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a1111012061_10#9 Boysetsfire – While A Nation Sleeps…

Straightforward, heartfelt post-hardcore. The songs are very powerful, much thanks to the strong, captivating melodies and the vocalist with his charismatic attitude and emotional voice. Listening to this album gives me energy and strength and it’s perfect for a good, loud, headbanging sing-along. Listen here.

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karnivool-asymmetry#8 Karnivool – Asymmetry 

I know this is not the most accessible album. But once I took the time to understand it, it was very rewarding. I love the dark, murky atmosphere and the underlying, unsettling mood. The eeriness of the bass lines and the unconventional, complex drumming. I’m a big fan of their previous albums too, but this one gave me even more of a challenge and really hit the spot for me. Listen here.

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Benea-Reach-Possession#7 Benea Reach – Possession 

I loved their previous album and was very happy to find that ‘Possession’ is just as good and many times even better. The songs are unexpected and unique in their nature, the songwriting is creative and organic and the singer is definitely an important piece in this; he performs a wide range of styles with confidence and power. Listen here.

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a0934133983_10 #6 White Moth Black Butterfly – One Thousand Wings
       Review

Yay, I get to include my favourite singer on another best of the year-list, third year in a row now! Even though it’s far from metal, this album is very special to me in many ways. It’s dark, personal, honest and incredibly beautiful and not only because of the outstanding vocals. The lyrics are thought-provoking and ‘Ties Of Grace’ might be the best song ever created.  Listen here.

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OceanPelCV#5 The Ocean – Pelagial             Review

This is not a band that has interested me much before. But the effort of a concept album with meaningful, philosophical lyrics where every song is named after the different layers of the ocean, the much more proggy sound made me want to check it out. The massive, constantly changing and flowing sound grew on me, slowly. Very slowly. Until the whole album finally ended up in my top 5 of the year. Listen here.

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a3585520410_10#4 Earthtone9 – IV 

There are many bands that were new to me this year on my list, Earthtone9 is one of them. It didn’t take long for me to start to love their progressive, almost sludgy feeling, the effortlessly executed melodic hooks and the huge attitude. They have an intelligent, bass-y sound and together with the confident, edgy singing they have given me many unforgettable tunes this year. Listen here.

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a0976646613_10#3 Altar Of Plagues – Teethed Glory And Injury              Review 

Thrilling. Challenging. Intense. And extremely rewarding. This is an album packed with depth, darkness and tortured pain executed in the most beautiful way. Primitive and intimate music with a forceful and disturbing atmosphere. ‘Teethed Glory and Injury’ is very addictive and has been my number one choice all year when it comes to really dark, heavy music. Listen here.

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tesseract-alteredstate#2 TesseracT – Altered State             Review

‘Altered State’ is my most played album this year and I love it to bits, both the instrumental version and the original one. This is TesseracT forging their own unique path; this is a confirmation of their remarkable talent when it comes to creating strong, layered musical structures combined with an intense, emotional atmosphere. These songs are magical. Listen here.

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a2186825124_10#1 Caligula’s Horse – The Tide, The Thief & River’s End           Review

To place higher than TesseracT on my list, that’s quite the achievement! Caligula’s Horse managed to craft and put together a collection of songs that meets all my requirements for The Perfect Album. I have never heard songs that feel so honest and alive, amazing guitar solos with so much emotion and incredible vocals with equal amounts of mighty power and fragile beauty. I have never before owned an album that touched me so deeply. This was my big mindblowing surprise of the year. Listen here.

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ChristopherMammal’s Top Albums Of 2013: #20 – #11


Metal 2013

 

From the agonising it required just to select an initial Top 60, I’d say 2013 was a damn good year for metal. We saw great bands from the past continuing to turn out fantastic albums. A surge of new bands across all genres arrived and pumped new interpretations and sheer skill into the metalsphere. Current and recent favourites lived up to their reputations and delivered outstanding work.

It won’t surprise my Metal State Of Mind colleagues that nearly half of my final Top 20 are progressive metal. At the same time it pleases me that my list includes eight different main genres. This is further proof that bands across the metal spectrum have been deliciously productive this year. Gauging by the various schedules of new albums on the way, 2014 is going to be another good vintage.

I’m not going to write anything about the individual albums on my list. As far as I’m concerned, the quality of all of them speaks much more eloquently than I can (and I’m a lazy Mammal). All I ask is that you accept I had special reasons for loving all of these albums, not just for the music but for sundry other reasons as well. They all struck special chords in the part of my head where other people have brains. Read the rest of this entry

Songs That Define My Taste In Music #6 & #5 (Mik)


my-taste-in-music-is-perfect-and-anyone

This was indeed a difficult, but interesting challenge. Exactly what I like and look for in music, and mainly in metal, is something I’ve never thought about to a great extent before. And I wouldn’t say it’s important to know either, it’s just a way to get to know myself better (and a good excuse for making another list). It goes a bit deeper and is more specific than just saying “I like <insert genre here>”. These components I’m describing apply to any style of music I listen to.

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#6 Dark, melancholic and flowing atmosphere

Maybe I’m a person that is too serious and sorrowful on the inside?  I’m always drawn to music with a dark and melancholic undertone and sincere, solemn vocals. Even if some music I like might sound light and uplifting, the lyrics usually have a very serious or sad meaning (the song Reaching Home by Textures being the perfect example). I prefer this dark atmosphere served with the wonderful flow that can often be found in post rock/metal and atmospheric black metal. This is why I love bands like Alcest, ISIS, Ghost Brigade, Swallow the Sun and Ne Obliviscaris.

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Album Review: White Moth Black Butterfly – One Thousand Wings


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This is the stuff dreams are made of.

 

Release Date: November 11, 2013  self-released

Tracks:  11          Length: 48 minutes

Genre:  Cinematic, ambient post-rock/experimental

Recommended for fans of:  Sigur Rós, Enigma, Massive Attack, Olafur Arnalds, Daniel Tompkins

 

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Video Of The Week: White Moth Black Butterfly – Omen


This week’s video is from the singer of the progressive metal band Skyharbor, Daniel Tompkins. White Moth Black Butterfly is his solo project that he has created with help from Keshav Dhar (also in Skyharbor) and Acle Kahney (TesseracT). It’s pretty far away from metal, but it’s definitely good enough to deserve a mention, or two. Or, in my opinion, one thousand! “One Thousand Wings” is the title of White Moth Black Butterfly’s debut album that will be released on November 11th, and I happen to know that it includes some very beautiful and special songs. This is the third single, called “Omen” and it premiered yesterday, on Halloween. Good timing, considering the dark, mysterious and slightly horror-like atmosphere in the video and the song. I hope you’ll give it a listen and let me know what you think! Enjoy!

Concert Review: UK Tech Metal Fest 2013 part 3 – TesseracT, Nexilva, Stiff Bizkit, Mask of Judas


Sunday:

For a general review of the festival and the bands from the first and second day, check out part 1 and part 2. I didn’t include all the bands playing, not even all of the ones I ended up watching; I’ve only chosen the ones I liked the best.

(THE PHOTOS ARE USED WITH PERMISSION FROM AND ARE COPYRIGHTED TO METALWASP.COM)

Cutest moment: The main stage crowd in a massive group hug on the last day of the festival.

Cutest moment: The main stage crowd in a massive group hug on the last day of the festival.

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imagesMask of Judas

For being the first band to play on a Sunday morning, Mask Of Judas drew a very big crowd. Since they played in the same tent where breakfast was served, I couldn’t avoid hearing what was going on on stage and it didn’t take long before I realized it was something good. Their groovy, technical music had a nice rhythm with interesting, powerful riffs and the singer could perform vicious Angela Gossow-growls as well as really good clean vocals reminding me of Christina Scabbia from Lacuna Coil. I was impressed and decided to stay to experience more of this catchy but complex music. Mask of Judas’ music sounds like a mix between energetic mathcore and chugging djent, with melodic choruses and lots of aggressive growling. It’s creative and a bit different; the edgy, rhythmic guitars and bass complement the blasting drums and emotional vocals very well. This was a really nice start of the last day at Tech Fest.

Their EP ‘Axis’, released in April this year, can be downloaded for free on Bandcamp. Check it out!

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