Tag Archives: Belgium

THE EURO 2016 TOURNAMENT OF METAL (DAY FOUR)

Day four and already there’s been tears, fights, bloodied faces and threats of expulsion, oh and England fans showing the Democrats in Nevada, USA what real chair throwing looks like! What a wonderful spectacle this is! Onwards, ever onwards….

GAME EIGHT: SPAIN vs CZECH REPUBLIC

CRYSTAL MOORS vs QUERCUS

Crystal Moors are a pagan/celtic black metal act from Santander and manage to balance the folk elements with the metal elements without either overpowering each other and allowing for some great songs to emerge, leaving the listener very happy indeed.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/CrystalMoors/11545

https://crystalmoors.bandcamp.com/

Quercus are a new band to me, playing funeral doom metal with some avant-garde touches. Their latest album, Heart With Bread, opens with a 22-minute track and ends with a cover of Robert Burns’ ‘My Heart Is In The Highlands’. The whole album is superb; lots of prog-ish moments; think Vincent Crane-meets Peter Gabriel-era Genesis but way slower. Oh, the metal is there most definitely: the riffs are huge, the atmosphere is doom-laden and the organ is the most prevalent instrument throughout.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Quercus/13279

https://quercusdoom.bandcamp.com/releases

PREDICTION: Current holders Spain kick off their defence of the trophy with a tough match against a talented Czech Republic side, who won in 1976 (as Czechoslovakia) and reached the quarter-finals in 2012. It’ll be a good game and ultimately a draw 1-1.

Musically, although Crystal Moors are a great folk/metal band and a cut above most acts in the genre, Quercus win this one simply because their album is one of the best I’ve heard all year. Still going to check out Crystal Moors at a later date.

GAME NINE: REP OF IRELAND vs SWEDEN

LADY MAGGOT vs HEAD OF THE DEMON

Lady Maggot (such a nice name) are a gothic/progressive death metal duo based in Dublin, Ireland but hailing originally from Poland. This is the kind of European union I can get behind. If you’re missing new material from Madder Mortem (six years since the last album) then you could do a lot worse than give Lady Maggot some time.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Lady_Maggot/3540404016

https://lady-maggot.bandcamp.com/

Head of the Demon mix doom and black metal motifs with nods to occult rock acts like Jess and the Ancient Ones mixed with Mortuary Drape with Tom G. Warrior-esque vocals to produce a pretty damn fine listening experience. More occult rock/metal than metal but still great all the same.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Head_of_the_Demon/3540354629

https://headofthedemon.bandcamp.com/

PREDICTION: ZLATAN! ZLATAN! ZLATAN! Can you guess who I’m picking? Sweden 3-1

Musically, I’m inclined to go for Head of the Demon over Lady Maggot. No real reason, it’s just there is something about the occult rock riffs of HotD that speak to me.

GAME TEN: BELGIUM vs ITALY

ELEANORA vs MESSA

Shouty sludge-y post hardcore from the land of chocolate, beer and fat cat politicians. The soundtrack to overthrowing the system. Similar to Thou etc. Good stuff indeed!

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Eleanora/3540381797

https://eleanoramusic.bandcamp.com/

2016 is shaping up to be a stellar year for metal and Italy’s Messa are continuing that trend of excellent debut albums. Bluesy occult doom (with touches of ambient and drone) with enchanting female vocals that will have you cavorting naked in the woods on the next full moon.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Messa/3540411369

https://messa666.bandcamp.com/

PREDICTION: For some reason, I believe this will be the game of the tournament so far. I know, it doesn’t have too much competition but both teams have pedigree and this is one of the best Belgium sides since the 80’s. If the Belgiums score first then it will force the Azzurri to come out and play (to quote Dee Snider). However, the longer it goes scoreless, the more chance Italy will sneak a goal and snuff out the game. Errmmmmmm………3-2 Belgium (he types optimistically)

Musically, Messa take this one with their blend of occult doom rock/metal. See you on the next full moon (clothing optional)

THE METAL WORLD CUP DAY TWENTY-ONE- (Gun Salute) For Those About To Rock

The final four bands for the final four countries of the final day of the quarter finals and an exciting bunch I’ve got. Four bands whom I’ve never heard of before (let’s face it, before I embarked on this mad parade Argentinian and Costa Rican metal was not exactly on my radar) but after today I’m going to rectify that. Onwards and onwards!

ARGENTINA vs BELGIUM

TRUBE vs SLOW

Trube (German for gloomy or dim) is another one man black metal act ambient and doom characteristics. He (Gabriel Loco) has one album out and, to go along with the cheery sounding name and the style of music he plays, it’s a concept album about the Chernobyl disaster and a damn fine piece of work it is. The album gives off a vibe of menace, horror and utter helplessness mainly due in part to the Russian dialogue that sounds like it is from some kind of broadcast that was sent that day and the following weeks after. Sublime music, excellent production and heartily recommended.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Tr%C3%BCbe/3540366927

In keeping with the doom and gloom feel of this post (and my fears for Belgium’s progression in this tournament) I present to you SLOW, which stands for Silence Lives Out/Over Whirpool and is yet another one man act (I’m losing count of how many I’ve featured!) playing funeral doom metal. Deha (the man behind Slow- and apologies for not adding the accents to his name, acute on the ‘e’ and grave on the ‘a’) has three Slow albums available at his bandcamp page (http://musicalexcrements.bandcamp.com/)  and each one showcases his superb songwriting and excellent playing. The slow, doomy pace, the deep,  growled vocals and the light and shade Deha uses in his compositions are truly stunning. Highly recommended.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Slow/3540375410

 

verdict: On the pitch, I feel the Argies will beat the chocolate eating, beer-swilling, pissing Belgians (all In need to do is to mention Poirot, Flanders and the Wallonians and we have a full house on our Belgium Bingo Card!) however musically I’m going to call it a draw. Never heard of either band before but know I’m interested in getting their albums.

NETHERLANDS vs COSTA RICA

TERZIJ DE HORDE vs HOWLER

Originally called Liar Liar Cross On Fire (you can see why I picked!) Terzij de Horde are a five piece post black metal band and sure play a mean pinball. The ‘non’-black metal parts (all dreamy chords and mid paced tempos) sit very nicely with the basic black metal parts of the song. They only have one ep and a split ep to their name, however I do see great things in the future for this band. I just wish they kept the original name.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Terzij_de_Horde/3540305837

Howler (umlauts over the ‘o’) are a Costa Rican thrash metal band with plenty of energy and some really nice ideas and tunes. Formed from two bands (Inhaler and Howler) they have opened for DRI and Whiplash and released their debut album in 2014. If you’re looking for a good, new thrash band then Howler could be one.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/H%C3%B6wler/3540344996

verdict: Costa Rica’s fairytale ride will come to an end today as the Oranje have to much for them on the field and musically the Dutch take it again.

THE METAL WORLD CUP DAY ELEVEN

DAY ELEVEN: and I want to thank my new followers and hope that I keep producing posts that are entertaining and educational (just like a Bruce Willis movie).  In other news, the England football team visited an orphanage in Rio today.
“Its heartbreaking to see all those sad little faces with no hope” said Lucas, aged 6.

USA vs PORTUGAL

MIDNIGHT vs IRONSWORD

Although they’ve been around for over ten years, Cleveland band Midnight have only just be releasing their second album on 19th August (No Mercy For Mayhem available on Hells Headbangers Records http://shop-hellsheadbangers.com/midnight.asp). Mixing classic heavy metal, punk and hard rock and showing their Motorhead/venom influences,they produce some of the filthiest metal sleaze out there today.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Midnight/46617

Ironsword are a band I discovered whilst doing these posts (one of many!) and once again I’m happy that I started this Metal World Cup thingy. Ironsword play heavy metal. No more no less, just straight up good old fashioned heavy metal featuring tales of brave warriors, bloody battles and fantastic heroes. There’s a lot of the ‘3M’ influences in their sound (Maiden, Manowar, Manilla Road) and it sounds like it could have been released in ’85 not the 2000’s but it never sounds derivative.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Ironsword/1736#Reviews

verdict: this is a draw. I cannot split the two bands because they both take me back to being a young lad first getting into metal and both bands put a big smile on my face and throw my horns into the air.

BELGIUM vs RUSSIA

PANTHEIST vs AMBER TEARS

Pantheist started out as a funeral doom act and whilst they still play doom but have now added a gothic and progressive element to their sound which has opened up their songwriting.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Pantheist/3698#Reviews

Amber Tears are a Russian doom metal outfit that have lush, beautiful songs filled with despair and loss and evoking images of tearful goodbyes in the snow. They are similar in style to Draconian but without the female vocals and are well worth checking out if you are into melodious doom metal.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/%D0%AF%D0%BD%D1%82%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%BD%D1%8B%D0%B5_%D0%A1%D0%BB%D1%91%D0%B7%D1%8B/70424

SOUTH KOREA vs ALGERIA

TAEKAURY vs BARBAROS

Taekaury play pagan black metal from South Korea. There’s not a lot of information available (that I can find) about this one-man band. From his blog spot and press releases he is interested in the old Korean past of warriors and samurai. The music is excellent, the debut album is a great piece of pagan black metal and I hope to get to hear more stuff by Taekaury.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Taekaury/3540379248

Barbaros play some great raw, black metal from a country that is not known for metal acts let alone BM bands. (23 acts are listed on metal-archives, only 13 are still listed as active!) Again it’s nothing ground breaking but it is a cut above most of the stuff out there.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Barbaros/14079

verdict: Taekaury because whether you’re singing about Vikings, Romans, Barbarians or Samurais, metal is the only apt choice of music to set it to.

 

The Metal World Cup Day Six (One Six)

Only one bad game out of fourteen so far, I like them odds! Today we more on to the last two first round games and the start of the second round of group matches.

BELGIUM vs ALGERIA

EMPTINESS vs RIVERGATE

Belgium, land of chocolate, beer (so much beer!), statues of little boys pissing (maybe because of all that beer) and some damn fine metal bands. Emptiness are a black/death metal band that feature a couple of members of Enthroned (another band worth checking out) and like to create a feeling of unease throughout their music.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Emptiness/5845#Reviews

Rivergate are an Algerian progressive metal band that mixes elements of folk, power and symphonic metal  and have released and ep entitled ‘Enter The Gate’. Despite the poor production, the quality of the songwriting and the musicianship really shines through and if a major labe took a chance with them, then great things await Rivergate. Check them out!

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/RiverGate/3540375982#Reviews

RUSSIA vs SOUTH KOREA

LESHAK vs GOSTWIND

Leshak (the English name) are a Russian folk/death metal band whose lyrics mainly focus on Slavonic culture and mythology and are a very enjoyable band in a very over-saturated genre.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/%D0%9B%D0%B5%D1%88%D0%B0%D0%BA/125758

One of the reasons for doing these posts was to discover new metal music from countries I did not know had metal scenes. Case in point, Gostwind. a South Korean six piece that fuses metal with traditional Korean instruments. A first the sound of the Korean instruments can be a little jarring mixed in with the more ‘trad’ metal sound but after a while the sound gels together really well and the quality of the band shines through. A band to feature later in a separate post.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Gostwind/73915

and now the second round of group matches begins today with:

BRAZIL vs MEXICO

CANGACO vs HURAKAN

Cangaco are a Brazilian death metal band with Brazilian folk influences in their music. They do like to throw the odd curveball or two into their songs by featuring quiet, acoustic passages and unusual guitar strumming/picking and the vibe is more ‘prog’-ish than death at times and that for a much more interesting and enjoyable listen fro me.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Canga%C3%A7o/3540317186#Reviews

Hurakan are a one man black metal band from Mexico featuring a guy called Gucumatz and used to go under the name of Thanatos and he plays raw, uncompromising black metal that also features sounds from nature (rivers flowing, birds chirping, etc) alongside traditional folk instruments. This seems to be a feature for Gucumatz judging by previous releases as you’ll discover if you click the links!

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Hurak%C3%A1n/3540372664