So we are finally at the last set of group matches to determine who progresses to the knockout stages of the 2014 World Cup, with all eight teams having a chance of qualifying. So let’s crack on!
USA vs GERMANY
PALLBEARER vs ATLANTEAN KODEX
Doom metal newbies Pallbearer released one of the best metal albums of 2012 with Sorrow and Extinction, showcasing a band that can write some of the best doom metal songs currently out there. A new album (on Profound Lore) is due for release in August and looks set to be somewhere near the top of many end of year lists.
Germany’s Atlantean Kodex play epic heavy metal with traces of doom, mixing such influences as Manowar, Candlemass, Maiden and Bathory. Epic is definitely the main adjective to describe this band, strong, clean vocals, dueling guitars and songs of swords and sorcery, mythology and folklore shows that AK know what heavy metal is all about.
verdict: both teams need a draw to advance and I feel both teams will however for the music I got to go with the doom. Pallbearer ftw
PORTUGAL vs GHANA
CORPUS CHRISTII vs MACK SIGIS PORTER
Corpus Christii (the mis-spelling is deliberate) is yet another one-man black metal act pedaling the usual misanthropy, anti-christian sentiments, death and despair but he does this in a very well executed way that it sounds quite refreshing and engaging and several cuts above the usual dross.
If I take only one thing away from this endeavour, apart from learning to write better, it’s the different music that I’ve discovered and not just the metal. Mack Porter released one album back in ’72, backed by an Italian band and it fuses prog rock, psychedelia and blues and it’s the last thing I’d expect to hear! I’m going to post the whole album for you to listen and discover this rare slice of Ghanian-Italian prog loveliness!
verdict: both teams are going home, but Ghana can hold their heads high as they walk off with the musical win.
ALGERIA vs RUSSIA
LELAHELL vs MARE INFINITUM
Lelahell are an Algerian death metal band, nothing to flashy nor spectacular but if you fancy listening to some good, solid death metal you could a lot worse than Lelahell.
Mare Infinitum are a two-piece atmospheric death/doom metal act and has one album to their name. I can’t really explain how much I enjoy their album (‘Sea of Infinity’), I love the atmosphere of dread the guitars and the harsh vocals produce and the slow, ominous pacing of the songs as if they were leading you to your doom. This is sublime stuff and you need to hear it to understand why.
verdict: The Russians win this musical round I feel the Algerians will take it on the pitch.
BELGIUM vs SOUTH KOREA
LUGUBRUM vs OATHEAN
Lugubrum are another one of those experimental black metal bands that I love but for some reason can’t seem to articulate why I love them. Maybe it’s the time changes, the absurdity of the vocals or the different musical styles and instruments that they use sometimes. Or maybe it’s because i have to hear it a few times to discover the nuances at play to finally understand what these bonkers Belgians are doing. Either way, it’s damn good stuff.
Pronounced ‘Oh-THEEN’, this South Korean is the 96th and final band to feature in the group stages of the World Cup of Metal and play melodic black/death metal and occasionally feature traditional Korean instruments such as the daegeum and the haegeum. Some good moments, some not but overall a decent stab at the black/death metal genre.
verdict: Belgium are going through to the last 16 and will do it by topping the group and they win this round to.
One day’s rest and then I’m back on Saturday to continue with the knockout rounds of the World Cup of Metal 2014, for more inane drivel, bad jokes and, more importantly, quality metal (unless Nigeria and Ghana qualify, then I’ll just have to google some names on bing).