Blog Archives

Sonic Cathedral’s Top Female-Fronted Albums of 2014


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Sonic Cathedral is the top website for news and reviews focused exclusively on female-fronted bands. That’s my honest opinion. Femme metal and associated modern FF genres have become hugely popular this century. No group of writers has better relations with the women of rock and metal than SC. No website publishes as much honest and deserved admiration for  the great female artists, their music and their gigantic crusade against gender prejudice in metal.

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Roundtable Review: Within Temptation – Hydra


downloadLabel:  Nuclear Blast Entertainment

Release Date:  4 Feb 2014

Songs:   18 (bonus version)

Length:  1 Hr, 27 Min (comes with additional video)

Genre:  Symphonic Metal

Studio Albums:  6

Location:  The Netherlands Read the rest of this entry

Themed Thursday – Collaborations


I like when masters of the metal world collaborate to make music.  A couple decades ago the word duet would have been more appropriate, but every time I hear the word “duet” all I can think of is Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.  So, let’s call these a collaborative effort between metal musicians.  Sometimes it can be an epic fail, but more often than not they usually create a great new song or even breathe new life to an older song.  This week I am looking at collaborations I thought were done quite well.  I know there are much more collaborative recordings out there, but that’s what blogs are about…sharing information.  If there is something not on this list you think should be then please, by all means share and share alike.  Here are a few I thought up held up well over the years.

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Themed Thursday: Metal Your Nonmetal Lady Might Like


I want to take this moment to dedicate this theme of the week to my wife who is turns 21 today…for the second time.  Happy Birthday babe! This is a repost of an article I wrote a while back about an experiment to find metal my wife would enjoy.  It’s not to turn her into a metalhead like me, but an experiment to find some common ground.  I like some of her nonmetal music so this was a way for me to find metal that wouldn’t make her feel like she was a lamb in a slaughterhouse.

If you are like me then you married someone who doesn’t listen to metal. It was never a prerequisite for me to marry someone who listened to metal like I do.  To make a long story short, I married a Sting, Billy Joel, Cheryl Crow, Michael Buble fan.  Although I respect these artists, they were not part of my music library.  Early on I knew my wife didn’t like metal and it didn’t matter. There is more to a relationship than musical interests and I could tell that my wife, like me, respected talented musicians. When I told her I liked metal she didn’t make a face or ask “are you satanic?” She might have thought it, but didn’t ask it. I knew she was (and is) open-minded and that was good enough for me.

I tried to introduce her to some metal I thought she might at least like…some artists I thought were more commercially accessible. I started with Dream Theater. Surprisingly that didn’t work out too well.  Although she accompanied me to a 3-hour Dream Theater concert in San Francisco, it was not her cup of tea. Her comment was “really talented dudes, but the songs were too long.” So prog was not her thing. I even tried some Megadeth songs…nope. I took her to see Judas Priest. She actually seemed interested in that show because growing up in the 80’s…who didn’t know Judas Priest?  Anthrax opened and that was a definite bust, but she knew some Judas Priest and thought they put on a good show. I think she enjoyed watching the 40+ year olds in he crowd with mullets and balding heads more than the band. But it was a nice sharing a bit of my musical culture with her. Of course it works both ways. She took me to Matchbox Twenty, a ballet in the front row, and a musical featuring all Billy Joel music. I thought they were very well-done performances. So we shared our interests as couples should do. I still wanted to try to find one band; just one band made of metal that should would like. Not just put up with, but actually like.

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Monday Metal Madness – Dutch Symphonic Metal


Looks like Pantera lovers like Vulgar Display of Power equally.  There was a four-way tie between A New Level, Fucking Hostile, This Love, and Regular People (Conceit).

I apologize for my delay this week for the Monday poll.  I had to make the transition from old laptop to new laptop with little notice.  It’s such a pain in the butt moving files…well, you know the drill!  It’s time consuming, but I am about 90% back to where my life was before my 5-year old laptop decided to stop working. Five laptop years must be like 96 in human years.

This week I am looking at Dutch (Netherlands) symphonic metal bands.  There are two that I know of who happen to be quite similar.  I am talking about Within Temptation and Delain.  The founding member of Delain used to be in Within Temptation, so that might have something to do with their similarities.  It’s up to you to decide which one you like the most.  If you want to vote for which one has a better looking vocalist, that is completely up to you.  It’s still a tough vote no matter how you look at it.  Good luck!

Theme Thursday – The Women of Metal


For many moons men were the dominant gene fronting some of the most brutal and sometimes most haunting metal bands.  This is still true as men outnumber women as front-men (front-people, singers, vocalists).  Women, now more than ever, are taking the lead role and doing a damn good job maintaining the feel of a metal band, but with (usually) heart-piercing vocals.  The other end of that spectrum are bands like Arch Enemy and Kittie whose female vocalists kick you where the pain shoots to your stomach and paralyzes you for a while (men know what I am talking about).

It’s time these women get their own theme of the week at A Metal State of Mind.  Let it be known that women and metal unite and kick ass.  Here are just a few of the many bands out there with women leading from the front.  If you know of any others that kick-ass and take names, let us know.

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iTouch Report – May 2011


This just another little blurb to check out what you have been listening to lately. Since I spent the month of May in Alabama my top 10 playlist is a bit different from what I claim to listen to.  I listened to my itouch much less than I normally do in a given month when I am home.  As they say, technology doesn’t lie and I have been caught red-handed listening to some un-typical metal…if you want to call some of it metal.  Oh, and just because I was in Alabama for the month “Sweet Home Alabama” is not on my list.  Here is the magic top 10 from my beloved iTouch for May 2011:

10.  Biffy Clyro – God & Satan

9.  Amon Amarth – War of the Gods

8.  Within Temptation – Sinead

7.  Between The Buried And Me – Ad a Dglgmut (I don’t think this is a spelling error)

6.  Eluveitie – Quoth The Raven

5.  Whitesnake – Forevermore

4.  Biffy Clyro – Born on a Horse

3.  Biffy Clyro – Mountains

2.  Whitesnake – Love Will Set You Free

1.  Pendulum – Granite

Looks like Biffy Clyro got high marks two months in a row.  I liked listening to them on the plane, i found it a bit relaxing since I am not a huge fan of sitting in an aluminum can at 35,000 feet.  This month I have loaded up with some serious metal especially for my workout selection. What has been up in your metal world?  What keeping the blood flowing through your veins?

Metal for the Non-Metal Spouse


If you are like me then you married someone who doesn’t listen to metal.  It was never a prerequisite for me to marry someone who listened to metal like I do.  Strangely enough I dated someone in high school (many many moons ago) that listened to music I liked at the time…80’s rock/metal.  One would think that metal + metal = happiness, but this was not my case.  We actually fought about music.  My metal was better than her metal and vice versa.  It was strange and I chalked it up to being young, but I also told myself that musical taste was not a prerequisite to marriage except when it concerned country.

To make a long story short I married a Sting, Billy Joel, Cheryl Crow, Michael Buble fan.  It isn’t the type of music I bought albums for, but I do respect artists that have talent.  So early on I knew my wife didn’t like metal and it didn’t matter.  There is more to a relationship than musical interests and I could tell that my wife, like me, respected talented musicians.  When I told her I liked metal she didn’t make a face or ask “are you satanic?”  She might have thought it, but didn’t ask it.  I knew she was (and is) open-minded and that was good enough for me.  Besides, when we are together I let her listen to whatever she wants.

So I tried to introduce her to some things I thought she might at least like…some things I thought were more commercially accessible.  I started with Dream Theater.  Surprisingly that didn’t work out too well.  Although she accompanied me to a 3-hour Dream Theater concert in San Francisco, it was not her cup of tea.  Her comment was “really talented dudes, but the songs were too long.”  So prog was not her thing.  I even tried some Megadeth songs…nope.  I took her to see Judas Priest.  She actually seemed interested in that show because growing up in the 80’s…who didn’t know Judas Priest?  Well, Anthrax opened and that was a definite bust, but she knew some Judas Priest and thought they put on a good show. I think she enjoyed watching the 40+ year olds in he crowd with mullets and balding heads more than the band.  But it was a nice sharing a bit of my musical culture with her.  Of course it works both ways.  She took me to Matchbox Twenty, a ballet in the front row, and a musical featuring all Billy Joel music.  I thought they were very well-done performances.  So we shared our interests as couples should do.  I still wanted to try to find one band; just one band made of metal that should would like.  Not just put up with, but like.

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Song of the Week – April Rain – 4 May 11


If you like Nightwish and Within Temptation then it could be safe to assume you would like Delain.  They are in the same ballpark with their clear and crisp female singers and rhythmic European melodies.  Delain hails from the Netherlands and are making a name for themselves in the metal scene around Europe.  Originally, Delain was intended to be a project until they solidified themselves as a permanent band. Since then they have been touring and playing the major festivals.  They have a new single for the song Smalltown Boy which means a new album should be following in the coming months.  So why choose Delain for the song of the week?  Well, I have been listening to it while going for a run during the hours of darkness.  And Charlotte has a sweet voice.  So here it is.

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Theme Thursday – Workout Tunes


This theme Thursday is going to be a little shorter than normal due to my work requirements.  I have a lot of homework and little time to do it.  I am going to revolve this week’s theme around music to listen to while exercising, specifically while doing cardiovascular exercises such as running, biking, or elliptical. 

Running is something that I have to do as part of my job, but in order for me to have an effective run I have to do it to good tunes or it’s just not getting done.  it may seem silly and a bit of metal thing, but it’s just the way I am with exercise and music…it’s a package deal.  I have actually walked up to a treadmill before and realized my batteries were dead so I left and went home.  Listening to music while keeping fit is a must for me. 

Tonight is a good example of what I mean.  I had to run, I didn’t want to because it was the end of a long day and around 8pm, but the music motivated me.  I limited my run to about 30 minutes and toward the end when I felt like stopping, another song came on to motivate me.  So if you exercise because you like to or you have to, then this playlist I am about to talk about might help you out…until it gets old and needs updating.  Here is what I listened to this week in order.

1.  1,320 – Megadeth

2.  Faster – Within Temptation

3.  The Sage, The Fool, The Sinner – Helloween

4.  The Last Fight – Bullet For My Valentine

5.  Destroyer of the Universe – Amon Amarth

6.  Warlord – Cavalera Conspiracy

7.  Insurrection – Trivium

8.  Northpole Throwdown – Children of Bodom

It’s short and sweet this week. If you like to workout or have to, what music do you like to keep you going?  Have a great week!