Today’s games sees 3 teams opening their World Cup campaign (Scotland, the Aussies and Romania), 2 teams hoping to have a 100% record after two games (France and Japan) and one team looking to get their first points of the tournament (hello Fiji!)
GAME 9: SCOTLAND vs JAPAN
ADABROC vs QUEST FOR BLOOD
Regular readers of these post type things will realise that I have a soft spot for one-man atmospheric black metal acts and Adabroc (from the Isle of Lewis) has wormed his way into the soft spot of my heart with his use of the flute in his atmospheric Drudkh inspired numbers. Great riffs, drumming and songwriting showcases Dómhnall Alasdair MacIlleMhuire’s prodigious talents and is definitely a name to look out for in atmospheric BM circles.
If the use of the flute in Adabroc is used to make his songs sound folk-tinged, then the flautist in Japan’s Quest For Blood (great movie title by the way!) is channeling Iain Anderson, Napolean Murphy Brock and Jimi Hendrix giving this black/folk/progressive metal band an edge not too often seen or heard in metal circles. Jazz, metal, prog, improv and just plain weirdness makes Quest For Blood and interesting and worthwhile listen too. To paraphrase Frank Zappa: “Good God, give the flautist some!”
Scotland faced Japan at the 1991 and 2003 World Cups, winning each game by more than 20 points and Scotland have lost just one of their opening World Cup games (W5 D1), losing their 1999 opener against South Africa. Both of Scotland’s RWC games against Japan were tournament openers for both sides, though this time around it is Japan’s second game.
The Scots have failed to cross the try line in five of their last seven Rugby World Cup matches and last scored a World Cup try in their 2011 opener against Romania, overall Scotland have won all four of their matches against Japan, all by 20+ points. Japan became the first non Tier One nation to beat South Africa in a Test match last weekend, and only the fourth side at all to beat them at the Rugby World Cup (England, NZ and Australia). Whilst it’ll be a tricky game for the Six Nations wooden spoon winners, I can see Scotland getting past this potential banana skin and getting their first points of the tournament.
Musically it’s going to be a tie. Adabroc’s atmospheric BM is beautiful and spectacular but Quest For Blood’s sheer insanity and flute skills are more than a match for the Scot. Everybody’s ears are the winners!
GAME 10: AUSTRALIA vs FIJI
WHEN DAY DESCENDS vs BOLIVAR COLA
When Day Descends are an instrumental progressive rock/metal/post rock/metal act from Australia and from that description you can guess what their music sounds like: all chiming, ethereal guitars, complex time signatures, searing guitar solos and just general loveliness and you’d be correct. Nothing to put this act head and shoulders above similar artists but good stuff nonetheless.
It seems the flute is more metal than it first appears! Stoner/doom metal act Bolivar Cola incorporate it to pretty nifty effect (along with the jew’s harp) adding a little something different to the standard female-fronted stoner doom.
Australia faced Fiji at the 2007 edition of this tournament, running out 55-12 winners; both teams went on to qualify for the quarter-finals. Australia have won six of their seven opening games at World Cups, including the last four in a row and Australia have limited the Fijians to single figures in five of their last eight meetings. Based on this information, and the fact only a fool bets against the Aussies, I’ll be predicting a comfortable Australian victory.
Musically it’s another draw, and yes I do have splinter from sitting on this damn fence so often! Whilst When Day Descends have a bigger catalogue, I’m kinda excited about hearing more from Russia’s Bolivar Cola
GAME 11: FRANCE vs ROMANIA
BARUS vs GOD
French progressive death metal, anyone? If you raised your hand then you should be checking out Barús as soon as inhumanely possible. Meshuggah and Gojira combined plus a dash of something other-worldly about the proceedings make Barús quite an exciting listen.
And now for something completely blasphemous,, or not depending on your outlook. From Romania come GOD The Barbarian Horde, an atmospheric/melodic death/doom/folk/kitchen sink band who sing in their native language and make no excuses for it. The later material is more folk-infused metal and it’s a pretty interesting listen. Check it our for yourself.
These two sides met in the 1987 and 1991 World Cups, with the two matches producing 100 points in total, France won each of those matches by over 25 points and by a combined margin of 70 points. However, the Oaks remained in the game at half-time in both those fixtures, going in level and trailing by just six points in ’87 and ’91 respectively. France have won three Tests in a row, their best run since 2012, Romania however have won three of their last four Tests and have won six of nine in 2015 overall. Despite all that I will go with Les Bleues to get their second win of the tournament. Musically despite the interesting Romanian-folk metal stylings (and awesome name) of GOD The Barbarian Horde I’m giving the win to new guys Barús.