So this week is going to feature the final games in each group before the knockout stages. Some have already qualified (tek a boo Netherlands, Chile, Colombia, Argentina and Costa Fucking Rica Ya Beauties- as they are now known in this household.), some have games that will determine who goes through (I’m looking at you Italy v Uruguay and Croatia v Mexico) and others that are going to either pure dogshit, absolute goalfests or just some pure, fucking magic violence (I’m definitely looking at you Honduras!)
This post is taking a while to write as the internet keeps drifting in and out (akin to my interest in the Iran/Nigeria game) and suddenly stopping for no reason. I think it’s this apartment I live in. I’ve a feeling the place is being haunted by Brad Delp; in fact it’s more than a feeling.
CAMEROON vs BRAZIL
MONI BILE vs VULCANO
Moni Bile is an singer of a musical style called makossa, which is a type of funky, dance music and he was the top selling artist of this genre in the 1980’s.
Vulcano was the first Brazilian band to play ‘extreme’ metal all the way back in the halcyon days of 1981 and play straight up thrash metal from those glorious days. At times it does sound a little generic but it’s done with a passion and a love for the genre that some of these little foibles can be overlooked for the most part.
verdict: A win or a draw for Brazil will see them through to the last 16 but depending on what the Croatia/Mexico result is, they may not finish top. Vulcano for the win.
CROATIA vs MEXICO
STRIBOG vs MAJESTIC DOWNFALL
Stribog are a Croatian black/folk metal band that employ the usual flutes, whistles and female vocals as other bands pedaling black/folk metal but what sets Stribog apart from most of the pack is the strength of their material. Just the right side of cheesiness with the right amount of riffs, frantic drums, soaring female vocals to satisfy even the most jaded fans of this genre.
Now here’s a thing: similar to Portugal’s Ironsword, I discovered Mexico’s Majestic Downfall whilst researching for the Metal World Cup 2014 and then I found out that Hell’s Headbangers distro were having a cd sale and both bands cds were on offer. So sometime after the world cup I’ll be reviewing both albums but in the meantime, MD play death/doom metal that can stand alongside the more well known exponents of this genre (Draconian, Isole,Daylight Dies) and from the clips I’ve heard on youtube, I’m more than excited to hear more from this band.
verdict: another tough call. Mexico just need to draw to qualify for the round of 16 and I think they have enough talent to do so. Majestic Downfall for the win (hopefully their name is not a portent of what is to come for Mexico!)
Next up is Group B in which the Netherlands and Chile have already qualified and will duke it out to see who faces… and the dead rubber match between Australia (Rule 1: Nah Pooftahs!) and the tiki-taka ex-experts that is Spain.
AUSTRALIA vs SPAIN
MOURNFUL CONGREGATION vs HRIZG
Australia: land of sunshine, surf, Bondi Beach, weak piss beer and throwing another shrimp on the barbie. (Strewth Bruce! How many cliches can you cram into this piece ya flaming goliah!) So how come all the bands I’ve featured for Australia play either introspective black metal or doom metal? Oh yeah, probably something to do with all those insects that are waiting to kill you (Oh, bonzer mate! Another bloody cliche, ya whinging Pom!) anyway, Mournful Congregation play the kind of funeral doom that makes mo moist in places that I didn’t know could get moist. (TMI?) Droning guitars, snail’s pace songs, deep, sonorous vocals and long songs that do not outstay there welcome. Highly recommended.
More one-man black metal band, this time from Spain. Hrizg is certainly prolific (2 albums and 2 ep’s in the space of three years) and whilst not the most unique band in the BM genre, Hrizg’s journey down some familiar territory is quite an enjoyable ride and a lot more fun than most bands in the genre.
verdict: With both teams playing for nothing but pride I predict an Australian win by six clear goals and a hat-trick from both Paul Hogan and Skippy!
NETHERLANDS vs CHILE
DODECAHEDRON vs CONDENADOS
Dodecahedron are a Dutch avant-garde black metal band similar in style to Deathspell Omega and Blut Aus Nord and balance aggression, melody, atmosphere and brutality into creating some unsettling music. The music may not connect with you immediately but with repeated listens it slowly makes you realise how fantastic this band is.
Condenados are a Chilean doom metal band and judging from their debut album (‘A Painful Journey Into Nihil’) they are influenced by Candlemass and let’s face it, how many more bands do we need copying early Candlemass? Well, if they’re as good as Condenados we need as many as we can get!
verdict: this has draw written all over it. Two great teams and two great bands.