Being the wind-swept and interesting, well traveled man-about-town that I am, watching this World Cup has reminded me about my trip to Brazil and into the
deep dark jungle that is the Amazon. I was on a purely humanitarian trip (I do a lot of charity work for the underprivileged and needy that I am loathe to discuss, at the risk of making me seem arrogant and shallow) with the Little Sisters of the Immaculate Conception who, funnily enough, hail from Concepcion in Chile. My guide, Sister Ob’Dwella X, was showing me the way in a manner not to dissimilar to Peter Frampton when suddenly there came the sound of pounding drums. I was startled, but Sister Ob’Dwella remained stoic and unfazed. “What do the drums mean?” I asked with a kind of ‘don’t-show-the-natives-you’re-scared’ vibrato in my voice. “Don’t worry about the drums,” she replied “Worry when the drumming stops!” We kept on through the jungle, sweating and still worried about the incessant drumming. “Sister Ob’Dwella X!” I cried “What does the drumming mean?” but again all she gave was same answer “Worry when the drumming stops!” After 15 minutes of incessant, relentless, pounding drumming I could take no more. I stopped, spun Sister Ob’Dwella X around and demanded to know what the drumming meant. She looked at me, ashen face and with a deathly whisper she said “Do not worry about the drums, only worry when the drumming stops!” “Why?” I cried, “Why?”…….I still remember the tremor in her voice as she spoke those fateful words: “Why should you be worried when the drumming stops? When the drumming stops…..BASS SOLO!!!!!!!!!”
GREECE vs IVORY COAST
ASPHODEL vs TIKEN JAH FAKOLY
Asphodel are a new band from Athens and I discovered them whilst trawling through bandcamp one day (as is my want of an evening). A great mix of gothic doom and black metal, sometimes sounded a little like Amorphis and hey, that ain’t a bad band to be compared to! Hopefully there will be more to come from this great young band.
Tiken Jah Fakoly is a reggae singer from the Ivory Coast and as far as reggae goes his voice is very nice to listen to and the song is quite pleasant to (nice guitar solo)
verdict: Greece need to win to have any chance of advancing and musically they do, Asphodel are, hopefully, going to be big, relatively speaking in metal terms. On the pitch though, I think the Ivorians just shade it.
JAPAN vs COLOMBIA
CORRUPTED vs INFERNAL
The more observant of you will have noticed that most of the bands I’ve featured play either death/doom metal, funeral doom metal, avant garde black metal or just plain black metal and I have to say that these genres are probably some of the ones I listen to most. So it comes as no surprise to find that Corrupted play doom metal with sludge influences (think YOB), tonnes of melody and have an album list as long as your arm. Time prohibits me from listening to all their back catalogue (slacker!) so I’ll just choose their latest release Garten der Unbewusstheit from 2011. Only 3 songs long, (28, 5, 30 minutes respectively) yet full of beauty, despair, melodies and utter wonderfulness which has some GYBE! influences in the songs. I really have no idea about this band but I’m really excited to discover their vast back catalogue.
Infernal are a black metal band from Colombia and have quite a melodic style to their playing. Their a pretty good band with a good ear for melody and riffs the only thing I’m not too sure about is the singing, it just seems a little one-dimensional for my tastes but other than that a pretty good band.
verdict: Japan needs to win if they have any chance of progressing to the next round, however I feel that Colombia have just that little bit extra to win this game. Yet, musically I’m going for Japan just because of the range and depth that Corrupted produce in their music.
And now to the so-called Group of Champions. Already through are Costa Fucking Rica Ya BeautY! and playing the role of Scotland in this World Cup is England. That means either Italy or Uruguay (who face each other) will be joining England on the long (or nor so long) voyage home.
COSTA FUCKING RICA YA BEAUTY vs
CORPSE GARDEN vs OLD CORPSE ROAD (The Battle of the Corpses)
Corpse Garden are a technical death metal band that aren’t too technical or too death-y to put me off. As someone once said it’s best described as “technical really-heavy, heavy metal” and a damn fine thing it is too.
Old Corpse Road are a black/folk metal band from Darlington and are probably one of the better folk/bm bands out there. At times they are quite keyboard heavy and have a strong folk element and the songs are quite varied as all the band members try their hand at singing, and it works really well.If you like the Meads of Asphodel, early CoF, great folk/black metal and just bloody good music then look no further than Old Corpse Road.
verdict: despite going home early England win this one, well you’ve got to give them something lest they smash the place up!
ITALY vs URUGUAY
ABHOR vs OPUS GAIA
Abhor play a dark, brooding, atmospheric black metal. Rather than assault you with furious riffing and intense drumming, Abhor like to lure you to your doom with subtlety and a sense of menace which is mainly keyboard/piano driven.
Opus Gaia are a symphonic metal band akin to Nightwish (who they’ve opened for) and Within Temptation, so it’s all classically-inspired piano/keyboard solos and operatic female vocals fighting with the beastly bm male vocals. But what makes Opus Gaia stand out a little more is the addition of both a violinist and a cellist to the group to add a little more authenticity to the classical parts in the song.
verdict: I’m going for Uruguay both on the field and in the music.
I finally got to the centre of the Amazon and discovered and drank, not from the Fountain of Youth but from the Fountain of Doubt……or did I?