Monday, May 30, 2011
Embedding of the video has been disabled, so you'll have to follow this link to listen. It's worth it!
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I sent this to my friend who is accompanying me to the gig in Vancouver in October just to give her a taste of what to expect...Should be interesting!
Monday, May 23, 2011
It might take a true British Columbian (or Pacific Northwesterner if you're from the States) to realize the genius of this video. The myth of the Sasquatch, AKA Bigfoot, is something we all grow up with here, and I doubt there is a tyke out there who goes camping out in the woods at some point in his or her childhood without wondering if he/she/it is out there lurking in the forest.
Or, it could be just me.
Right now, I fear bears and cougars when I go hiking and camping out in yonder mountains, so I carry bear spray and a whistle and hope for the best (so far so good).
Not too far from these parts, over the border, there is a music festival called the Sasquatch Festival, and it's on next weekend, which is an American long weekend (ours is this weekend, lucky me). Our local big beer company, Kokanee, has successfully used Sasquatch in many an advertising campaign - and even I like those ads (here's a classic from 1985).
This video is hilarious to me and it gave me a good laugh this weekend, one I really needed.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
One of the big improvements overall that I heard on this album was the speed of the songs. LE previously leaned towards slower, more "doomy"-sounding songs with not a lot of gallopping tempos. Meredead is has a lot of speed to it, and I really enjoyed that change very much.
Edit May 22: God, writing and then editing this post made me hate Blogger even more than I already do. I am seriously considering moving this little project over to WordPress where the platform is 10000000% better and easier to work with...
Monday, May 16, 2011
Crysalys hails from Italy, and this is the description that appears on their web site and Facebook page: "Surrounded by a magnificent modern metal scenery, a theatrical soprano goes back to the roots of Italian Opera Lirica and leads us through this wonderful Post-Opera masterpiece."
As for Chiara herself, it sounds like she has had some impressive training, studying with opera singers like mezzo-soprano Isabella Conti and Italian-Brasilian soprano Patrizia Morandini. Currently she is at the Italian music school, studying classical singing with tenor Nazareno Antinori.
Crysalys will release a debut album entitled The Awakening of Gaia in September, and involves some impressive credits including mastering done by Mika Jussila at Finnvox studios.
The band has an official video for their single "The Awakening of Gaia", and here it is!
When it was initially posed on FB, one of the comments was, "Intense." And, yes, I think that pretty much sums it up. But I think this is promising. I'm glad the lyrics appear below the video, because I can't understand a word she's singing.
I'm curious about the whole album.
In the meantime, you can find Crysalys at these fine locations:
Chiara Malvestiti - VOCALS
Alessandro Camela - DRUMS
Fabio Amurri - KEYBOARD
Giuseppe Cardinali - BASS
Janos Murri - GUITARS
Sunday, May 15, 2011
As the saying goes, "ask and you shall receive." Lion Music, Borealis's new label, had an application process for prospective reviewers, so I applied, was accepted, and very soon I was able to download a review copy of FfG courtesy Lion Music's site.
And it was so worth it! Borealis has done it again with an amazing release that belies their youth. Exploding out of the gates, the opening track "Final Hour" impresses right off the bat with a pounding heaviness, and, wouldn't you know it, the echo of a growl in the background! Immediately, I noticed the drumming, performed by Sean Dowell. Drumming isn't something I normally notice much, but for some reason, the drumming in this track - and throughout the entire album - really stuck out for me.
This album gallops along at full throttle (sorry to mix my metaphors) and never rests. It's fast, and I think an improvement in the complexity department over World of Silence - which says a lot. I also felt that the keyboards were, for lack of a better word, integrated more into the tracks than they were in WoS. Matt Marinelli's clean vocals are also a real highlight, as is, again, the superior guitar-work done by Marinelli and Ken Fobert, who, incidentally, has since left the band.
Standout tracks for me are the aforementioned "Finest Hour", "Where We Started", where I can hear a definite Nightwish influence in the guitar parts, "Regeneration", where I also hear an Oceanborn influence and is also one catchy tune, and the slower, acoustically-driven "Watch the World Collapse", which I think shows off the bands sensitivity, emotion, and versatility very well. This is a metal ballad done right.
I only wish the lyrics had been part of the downloads from Lion Music, because one thing I really enjoy about real CDs as opposed to downloads is sitting back and listening while reading along with the lyrics. I also wish there were more than 9 tracks!
I can't say enough great things about this album, and I really hope this launches Borealis into the greatness it deserves. Congratulations you guys - this rocks! Double horns up! \m/ \m/
This is fucking brilliant! I just love this. I don't really like the looks of the sauce (way too much sugar for my tastes and I have my own Pad Thai recipe that works pretty well and could be veganized very easily), but the entire video is amazing and the attention to detail is incredible. The lyrics are hilarious! There are so many priceless lines in here!
Check it out!
If all black metal sounds this good, I might have to give this genre another go.
Friday, May 13, 2011
1 No Paragon Of Virtue
2 The World Won't Hold Your Hand
3 A Matter Of Convenience
4 Silence Please
6 Pretty With Effects
7 What Lies Before You
9 The Eyes That Lie
10 The Corruption Of Mercy
The album will be released in Europe on June 20.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Wow. This makes me sad. I was a big fan of Sandra with the band and I loved the album she did with them, Catharsis. She was a great addition to the band and some of her songs were very touching to me on a personal level, particularly "Rainbow" which I blogged about here. Sandra is a great vocalist and I wish her all the best on whatever path she takes, and the same goes with the band, too.
I dearly want to thank all the Elis fans, who gave me such a warm welcome! I hope we will see eachother again!
With all my best wishes,
She alludes in her statement that Elis has found a replacement already, so I am very curious to see who that will be.
Well, I have listened to Melusine the EP and all I have to say is...how disappointing. Apart from the acoustic "Legend Land", which was the strongest piece on the release and demonstrates how well LE does acoustic work as always, the rest of the songs were nothing to write home about. "Melusine" the song was just not good. Now, I have a lot of respect for Alex Krull as a musician and producer, but I have never been able to get behind his growls. They are lame and I often think that LE's music would be better off without them. In "Melusine" they are just bad, and combined with a rappy-sounding chorus that just didn't do it for me at all.
I cannot tell the difference between the two versions of "To France" that appear on both Meredead and Melusine, even though the Melusine one is described as a "sonic remix." Similarly, the version of "Telltale Eyes" is almost identical to the version on Meredead. The remastered version of "The Battle of Maldon" also sounds very similar to the original.
So, I wouldn't spend the money on this as I have with previous EPs from Leaves' Eyes. If you're a collector, that is one thing, but I am not. The cover art is cool, though, but that's to be expected from this band!
Like how Apocolyptica is to cellos, Vika is with the piano in metal! She needs to be more well known because I have never seen anyone cover metal songs on piano like this before! I would not be surprised if she had the title of "Metal Pianist" soon, if not already! A great talent indeed! Here are some links for you to check out:
Vika's YouTube page
Vika's last.fm page
Standout songs for me were the title track, "Ordinary Fate" which starts the album off with a terrific bombastic intro and with the backing vocals reminded me a lot of Edenbridge, and the final track, "Unrevealed Words", which has a pretty epic feel to it. There is one ballad, "I'll Take You With Me" that I enjoyed, and there was a really cool instrumental piece entitled "Overlude" that was also very well done.
So, in the end, I enjoyed this and think it's a promising start for Solisia. Horns up! \m/
Here is "Ordinary Fate."
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Their new album Iconoclast is set to be released June 17th 2011 according to metal-archives.com. I myself am very excited about it! Rock on! \m/
The demo contains four tracks of what sound to my ear, at least, like power metal-Gothic metal crossover. Vocalist Alexa Leroux has a ballsy voice with a lot of edge and the songs are heavy and melodic with lots of strong guitar and keyboard work. The first two I listened to, "In Solitude" and "Mistakes" were all right, but the next two, "Scorched" and "Trapped in a Shell" were much better and perhaps foreshadow best what might come from this young band.
Alexa Laroux - Vocals
Mikael Grönroos - Guitars
Eerik Purdon - Bass
Lari Sorvo - Keys
Lauri Koskenniemi - Guitars
Juhana Karlsson - Drums
Last.fm (where there are free downloads of the four songs from the demo)
Here are some samples. These are the two songs I thought were the stronger of the four.
Friday, May 6, 2011
Bear in mind that I'm old, all right?
No question this is a quality album with slick production. Sound-wise it's great. But my first impression after the first listen was "man, this is poppy." Now, I'm not one of those elitist metal snobs who uses the term "poppy" when referring to metal with derision. I like my fair share of poppier metal for sure, and I don't think there's anything wrong with it in general. But even I have my limits and Amaranthe really tested them.
For one thing, the three vocalists is a bit much. There are two clean vocalists, a male, Jake, and a female, Elize, and the growler, Andy. Individually, they are all strong singers, but as a trio they sound a bit bizarre. For instance, Jake sounds like he belongs in a 1990s boy band, and combined with Elize's notably strong voice (she reminds me of Anette Olzon sometimes) they sound together like a typical pop duo you'd hear on any old radio station. When you throw in the growls, it just sounds like they added that element to add some "brutality" to their sound just to give them some street cred. I don't think it works.
Writing-wise, there is nothing mindblowing here at all. The song structures are simple and are certainly pop-influenced to my ear. Most of their songs are in the low 3-minute range, with only two above the 4-minute mark. The most complex song is "Director's Cut" which is pretty decent, but like I said, not terribly mindblowing. The songs are fast and heavy and I like that about them, but the music overall isn't very complex or interesting. There are a lot of techno elements in here, too, and I'm on the fence about how I feel about them. Lyrically, the songs are pretty average, with some typical Gothic overtones. But remember I'm old, right? To my mind, they lyrics tend towards the slightly emo-ish, and that does nothing for me.
I did see on Last.fm that this band has been tagged as "pop metal" and there is a good wiki there with a definition of this term:
The term is used to reference bands within the heavy metal music subgenres that perform more accessible forms of metal, most notably nu metal, glam metal, and metalcore, due to the heavy usage of techniques used in pop music that permeate bands within these genres.
"Accessible" is a good descriptor for Amaranthe.
Not that there is anything wrong with that, and despite all of what I said above, I did enjoy this album for what it was, which was fun, fast, and catchy. Songs I particularly enjoyed were "Amaranthine", "Leave Everything Behind", "Hunger", and "Automatic." "Amaranthine" is the pinnacle of poppiness in this album, too, by the way, but I enjoyed it a lot nonetheless. They look like they are set to succeed with not only the label they've signed to, but because they are touring with Kamelot.
All told, I'm on the fence about Amaranthe. While I enjoyed parts of this album, I'm not sure they're all they're cracked up to be. But that's just me and my two cents. I will say that I'm liking this stuff better than anything Sirenia has put out lately.
But damn is "Amaranthine" catchy!
Here are some samples for you. The single "Hunger" has a pretty sleek video.
EDIT: there is a great, scathing review of this album here that I totally enjoyed, along with the accompanying comments. It's defintely worth a read!
Here is the video on YT of death metal vocalist Olle Ekman's vocal warm-up. Now, I'm not the biggest DM fan in the world, but I did get a lot of enjoyment out of watching this. Olle sings for Swedish bands Volturyon and Deals Death.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
01. Sounds Of A Playground Fading
02. Deliver Us
03. All For Me
04. The Puzzle
05. Fear Is The Weakness
06. Where The Dead Ships Dwell
07. The Attic
08. Darker Times
10. Enter Tragedy
11. Jester's Door
12. A New Dawn
You can hear 1 minute preview from Deliver Us single (the quality is not the best)
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
One of the big things that caught me about this band was vocalist John “Harv” Harbinson and his great vocal range. His voice is very reminiscent of 80's NWOBHM vocalists like Rob Halford (Judas Priest) and Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden). Their musical style is very similar to those bands from that era as well and never goes past that. They sound like they belong in the 80's, especially with their flashy guitar solos, soaring power chord riffs, and high powered vocals. It's great to see a band keep a traditional 80's metal sound like this. Very few bands can pull this off nowadays since metal has evolved so much into what it is today with all of the diversity there is. This group has released two albums so far. Their latest album is Death Dealer, which is highly recommended for those who want to hear some classic sounding heavy metal. The Angry Metal Guy did a great review on that album. Make sure you check out his blog as well. He has great reviews and insight on metal!
Granted Stormzone's sound is extremely retro and very dated, so it may not be everyone's cup of tea. But this band intentionally did it that way for a reason and it works so well with how they sound! If you are into old school heavy metal, this is a band you need to hear! A very good find and I wish them the best of success!
One more thing, these guys are going to be at Wacken this year, so make sure that you can go see them and many other metal acts there as well! I am sure it will be one hell of a concert series there! ROCK ON! \m/
Here are a set of links:
Stormzone's last.fm page
Angry Metal Guy's Blog
Wacken 2011 Main Band List