Tag Archives: black metal

THE EURO 2016 TOURNAMENT OF METAL (DAY SIX)

made by Quantum of Russiaball. Check them out on Facebook.

The the start of the second round of matches I’ll be trying to review the acts I present in the form of haiku (as my writing style has not improved! and with very sincere apologies to Andy Synn at No Clean Singing for ripping off his idea and doing a piss poor job of it!)

GAME THIRTEEN: RUSSIA vs SLOVAKIA

GREY HEAVEN FALL vs ANCESTRAL VOLKHVES

Great black/death metal,

Deathspell Omega worship

makes my ears happy.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Grey_Heaven_Fall/97820

https://greyheavenfall.bandcamp.com/

More folk black metal,

with a strong female singer,

good stuff for your ears.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Ancestral_Volkhves/10860

http://bandzone.cz/ancestralvolkhves

PREDICTION: The Russians will take this one, 2-1 and dash Slovakian hopes.

Musically the Grey Heaven Fall album is a superb piece of work and one to be check out immediately.

GAME FOURTEEN: ROMANIA vs SWITZERLAND

AUTUMN, LEAVES, SCARS vs SCHAMMASCH

Lush post-black metal,

riffs and melodies,

there are not any words.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Autumn%2C_Leaves%2C_Scars/3540348849

https://autumnleavesscars.bandcamp.com/

Avant-garde Black metal:

complex riffs and song structures,

there is beauty here.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Schammasch/3540316251

https://schammasch.bandcamp.com/

PREDICTION: A draw for me 0-0, as the Swiss had a hard time beating Albania,I feel they’ll struggle to beat a good Romanian side.

Musically, Schammasch have released an amazing album, that will be in many peoples Top ten of 2016. Complex, deep and very rewarding with repeated listens.

GAME FIFTEEN: FRANCE vs ALBANIA

THROANE vs ATEN

Dark, brooding black metal,

it’s uneasy listening;

bloody powerful.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Throane/3540412217

https://dmp666.bandcamp.com/album/derri-re-nous-la-lumi-re

Death metal abounds,

raise your horns of evil to

great riffs and strong songs

 

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Aten/3540381609

https://ulknir.bandcamp.com/album/horns-of-evil

PREDICTION: The French will take this game 3-0 and book a spot in the next stage.

Musically the French take it again as Throane has also released a very strong album that is richly rewarding with repeated listens.

 

 

Advertisements

THE EURO 2016 TOURNAMENT OF METAL (DAY FIVE)

So, the last two matches of the first week sees Group F’s four teams play and maybe, fingers crossed, one team (or more) may score more than 2 goals in the game!

GAME ELEVEN: AUSTRIA vs HUNGARY

HORIZONIST vs ZIVATAR

Horizonist are a gothic/doom tinged outfit from Austria, utilising Pete Steele-esque vocals over heavy riffs and some tasty bass work to produce a quit enjoyable listen. Nothing revolutionary but good just the same.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Horizonist/3540392516

https://horizonist.bandcamp.com/releases

Zivatar is a one-man atmospheric doom act from Hungary who adds some industrial touches that add a sense of foreboding to his songs. He also uses a lot of spoken samples that adds another level of creepiness to the album. Best listened with headphones.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Zivatar/3540401615

https://zivatar.bandcamp.com/

PREDICTION:  As my predictions are falling by the wayside, I’m going to double down and say that this will be the highest scoring game so far: 4-3 to Austria.

Musically, I was quite engaged with Zivatar and his take on atmospheric/industrial/sample-laden doom.

GAME TWELVE: PORTUGAL vs ICELAND

Tongues of Dying Men play polka-infused folk meta……nah I’m just kidding, they play black metal. Not just black metal, the type that ToDM play starts off quite mellow and melodic and when the drums and guitar kicks in it turns into a slow to mid-paced pretty good BM. Worth investigating.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Tongues_of_Dying_Men/3540405005

https://tonguesofdyingmen.bandcamp.com/

When checking out groups for these blog posts I was amazed by the amount of excellent metal acts that are from Iceland. Almyrkvi are an atmospheric BM act that have released a great ep that you really need to listen to. I’m not great at putting my thoughts and emotions into words but I do know good music when I hear it, and this is very good!

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Almyrkvi/3540407990

https://almyrkvi.bandcamp.com/

PREDICTION: Without Christiano Ronaldo, Portugal are a bog-average side. With Ronaldo, Portugal are a bog-average side with a world class player who will fluke a spawny 1-0 over a very good, organised Icelandic team (I hope I’m wrong and Iceland win)

THE EURO 2016 TOURNAMENT OF METAL (DAY TWO)

lyrics from: ‘The Dead Flag Blues” – Godspeed! You Black Emperor

http://www.theguardian.com/profile/david-squires

GAME TWO: ALBANIA vs SWITZERLAND

NIHIL vs DYSRIDER

Nihil are an Albanian black metal  band who have a pretty decent ep out (video below). Mixing COF-keyboards and 2nd-wave BM riffs to produce

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Nihil/3540325402

Previously known as Trophallaxy, Swiss quintet Dysrider play symphonic death metal with lots of low growls from co-vocalist Johnathon mixed with Joelle’s operatic vocal parts, flashy guitar solos and beefy riffs. A lot more enjoyable than most of the ‘Napalm Records, female-fronted-cleavage-core’ that’s out there.

https://dysrider.bandcamp.com/

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Dysrider/3540393079

PREDICTION: This is Albania’s first ever Euro Championship tournament and although they aren’t going to be the whipping boys many think they will be, they aren’t going to win against an experienced Swiss team.

Musically, I’m siding with Dysrider on this one. Their use of brass, cello and violin elevate their songs above the usual female-fronted-symphonic bands.

GAME THREE: WALES vs SLOVAKIA

A VULGAR PICTURE vs ABSTRACT

Wales: it’s not just filled with huge gangs of tough sinewy men roam the valleys terrorising people with their close-harmony singing or mushroomed-addled stoner bands (see previous Welsh posts); and you don’t need half a pint of phlegm in your throat just to pronounce the placenames. Hailing from Swansea (see? not that difficult!) A Vulgar Picture play pretty damn fine progressive death metal. Chunky riffs, cool time signatures and killer drumming add up to a damn fine band from the valleys.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/A_Vulgar_Picture/3540371952

https://avulgarpicture.bandcamp.com/

Representing Slovakia are an instrumental, atmospheric, progressive metal act called Abstract. Three full albums to their name and the musicianship is outstanding, the riffs melodic and the guitar solos pretty damn good. A good variety of songs and melodies without getting too ‘muso’ in places.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Abstract/21123

http://bandzone.cz/abstract

PREDICTION: This will probably end in a draw. Wales are in their first tournament since the ’50’s and this is Slovakia’s first Euro tournament as an independent country (they did have 8 Slovakian players in the Czechoslovakian team that won the Euros in 1976).  A draw but a high-scoring draw.

Musically, it’s another draw. Both bands have a lot going for them and both bands hit the right spot when the time is needed.

GAME FOUR: ENGLAND vs RUSSIA

WODE vs GRIMA

Manchester has given us some pretty good music in the past (Smiths, Joy Division/New Order, A Certain Ratio, Buzzcocks) but I’m struggling to recall a great, or even good, metal act from Manchester……until now. Wode are a quartet who have just delivered one of the best BM albums this year. Ferocious riffs, raspy vocals pretty sweet solos and a grimey production all add up to make this intense slab of black metal one of the best things you’ll hear all year.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Wode/3540338474

https://wode.bandcamp.com

Russia’s Grima are an atmospheric black metal act, who’s debut album, ‘Devotion To Lord’ was a big hit in my household last year. Intense riffing, blastbeats and some tasty soloing all adds to their praise of Mother Nature in this superb album.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Grima/3540404377

https://naturmachtproductions.bandcamp.com/album/devotion-to-lord

PREDICTION: Another tournament for England and another disappointment for them. They should get out of  their group, just like they should have gotten out of their World Cup group, but it will all depend on this first game, which I can see the Russians winning 2-1 (last minute own goal by Smalling) leading to fights, a smashed bar and tear gas all round.

Musically, this is a draw. Both bands are superb and both debut albums are essential listening. Very, very excited to hear from Grima and Wode in the future.

 

THE EURO 2016 TOURNAMENT OF METAL (DAY ONE)

look at all the pretty colours!

Wellity, wellity, well! Look who’s back! Didja miss me? Waddya mean, “No!”. Well, never I have been so insulted in my life!…………………………Except that one time when I was at the International Insult Tournament in the beautiful village of Twatt, Shetland Islands; where I was called a “dobba”, a “mongoloid shoe-fucker” and a “rectum-faced-bucket-of-sex-sauce”. And that was just in the car park!

Anyhoo, another international sporting tournament is underway and I’m shoe-horning my (lack of) sporting knowledge and metal musical discoveries together for yet another highly unpopular edition of ‘Sporting Tournament of Metal’!  So come one, come all for a tournament where ethnic unpleasantness, religious bigotry, terrorism and all round, outright thuggery and hatred will appear at stadiums all over La Belle France and the cafes and bars of the nearby towns. Oh, and some football may be on offer too.

Euro 2016 explained in one handy David Squires cartoon!

 

GAME 1: FRANCE vs ROMANIA

MOURNING DAWN vs VOID FORGER

With a name like Mourning Dawn, you’d expect the band to play some kind of depressive, doom metal, throw in some black metal riffs and howls and you’d be correct. Hefty riffs and great guitar solos and meaty songs keep the listener enthralled. Add the despairing, howling vocals of Laurent, and Mourning Dawn have the depth and range to become a pretty big thing.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Mourning_Dawn/27495

https://mourningdawn.bandcamp.com/

 

Void Forger are a Romanian trio who play a mixture of crust, sludge and death metal. Murky production values, great riffs and some pretty good songs to boot. A grimy, sludgy way to start the day.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Void_Forger/3540345909

https://voidforger.bandcamp.com/album/ruined-demo

PREDICTION:

Opening game of the tournament and I really can’t see past the French winning this. Expectations will be high and they’ll probably scrape by with a single goal, but it’ll be good enough for all three points and will leave the French favourites to win their group. Second place will be fought out between Romania and Switzerland leaving Albania the wooden spoonists of Group A. (watch as this prediction will blow up in my face!)

Musically, both bands are good however Mourning Dawn tickles my depressive fancy more than Void Forger. Allez Les Bleus!

see more brilliant David Squires cartoons at: http://www.theguardian.com/profile/david-squires

 

THE WORLD CUP OF METAL 2015 (RUGBY EDITION) GAME 37/38/39/40

The last weekend of the Pool matches features only one game that has any meaning, (especially after Scotland have nixed any chance Japan had of progressing) and that is France vs Ireland. However there’s still a shed load of great music to explore and enjoy.

GAME 37: ARGENTINA vs NAMIBIA

UNSEEN vs GOD EAT GOD

Fusing funeral doom with black metal vocals, Argentina’s Unseen takes us on quite an unpleasant journey. Glacial pace combined with huge, monolithic riffs and  mixing traditional funeral doom growls with black metal shrieks make for fun times!

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Unseen/3540401151

https://dir666.bandcamp.com/album/necrospheric

I picked God Eat God for two reasons: 1) the name and 2) because they play funeral doom/death metal and it turns out that the band (a UK/Russian mix) features Daniel Neagoe again on vocals! I’d already featured two of his bands before, Clouds and Eye of Solitude, and this third band is just as good and just a little different as his others. The violin (played by a guy named Casper) is featured quite prominently in the songs giving God Eat God a slight My Dying Bride-vibe.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/God_Eat_God/3540370782

https://godeatgod.bandcamp.com/

PREDICTION: Argentina are already through and will face either France or Ireland in the quarter finals, so I can see this being a bit of a walkover for the Pumas.

Musically I’m giving this to God eat God due to Daniel Neagoe’s involvement in the project. I’ve been impressed by his other bands and GEG are another great band to get into. (Note: I do not know/work or have any contact with Mr. Neagoe whatsoever!)

GAME 38: ITALY vs ROMANIA

KANSEIL vs BUCOVINA- BATTLE OF THE FOLK BANDS!

Kanseil are an Italian folk metal band who use bagpipes, bouzoukis and whistles alongside traditional metal instruments to meld the worlds of folk and metal into a glorious musical success. More akin to Cnoc an tursa and Forefather folk metal than Alestorm/Korpiklaani folk metal. Bonus points for singing in their native language too.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Kanseil/3540372119

https://instagram.com/kanseil_official/

https://www.youtube.com/user/KanseilOfficial

Bucovina are another new band to me and, like Kanseil, they fuse traditional folk stylings with metal to produce some great music with some wonderful vocal harmonies too. Like Kanseil, Bucovina also sing in their native language giving the songs a more ‘authentic’ feel.

https://bucovina.bandcamp.com/

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Bucovina/37241

PREDICTION: Pride is all that’s left for these two teams and I belive the Italians will take this one due to their experience in the Six Nations competition.

Musically, wussing out again and calling a draw! Both bands are excellent and worth your time and money in discovering.

GAME 39: FRANCE vs IRELAND

VI vs CORR MHONA

A side project from 2 of the members of Aosoth (and the ex-drummer from Aosoth), VI play black metal that is best listened whilst naked, on all four with a piece of raw meat between your teeth and shaking your head from side to side until you start foaming and the mouth. Yeah, it’s that good!

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/VI/123827

https://agoniarecords.bandcamp.com/album/de-praestigiis-angelorum

Corr Mhona (translation: the twisted thing form the bog), like their fellow countrymen Mael Mhorda and Primordial, fuse pagan folk metal/doom metal and black metal to produce a very enjoyable noise and get extra brownie points for singing in Gaelic

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Corr_Mh%C3%B3na/3540303704

https://corrmona.bandcamp.com/

PREDICTION: The winner of this game, and the group, will face Argentina in the next round and the second-placed team will be up against tournament favourites New Zealand, so a lot is riding on this game. Both teams will be eager to avoid the All Blacks, it will be a close, tight game but I can see Ireland edging it slightly.

Musically I’m going for VI.

GAME 40: USA vs JAPAN

PETRYCHOR vs LIFEBLOOD

From Petrychor’s website: “Black metal laced with folk, avant-garde classical, and other musical interests”, which sums it up far better than I could! If you like Aquilus, Skagos and Nhor and bands of that ilk you will get a lot of enjoyment from Petrychor.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Petrychor/3540328413

https://petrychor.bandcamp.com/

Lifeblood hail from Japan and play depressive metal/rock with touches of black metal. Only two songs are available to listen to at the moment but they’re fairly well written and produced for that style of music. Nothing earth-shattering but not bad.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Lifeblood/3540400884

https://lifebloodjp.bandcamp.com/

PREDICTION: Japan will finish the tournament the way they started it, with a victory. The Americans will leave this World Cup with no wins and no points.

Musically the US takes this in large parts to Petrychor’s musical abilities and fusing of different styles.

The quarter-finals start next weekend, so I’ll see you then with new bands from New Zealand, France, South Africa and Wales.

 

WORLD CUP OF METAL 2015 (RUGBY EDITION) GAME 31/32

Uh-oh! Will I survive another end of the world prediction?

GAME 31 SOUTH AFRICA vs USA

VINTERSLAV vs OBSEQUIAE

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Vinterslav/3540296278

Vinterslav (Swedish for ‘winter slave’) are a South African black metal combo that deal in BM of the ‘raw’ kind. Blastbeats, tremelo riffing and harsh vocals all lead you to believe the lads are wandering the snowy-capped mountains of some Scandinavian countryside rather than kicking back and enjoying the sunny beaches of Cape Town. However the music is good, a tad formulaic at times but still an enjoyable stab at an oversaturated genre.

A change of pace with this next band, Obsequiae: it’s still black metal but it uses melody which seems to be influenced by medieval music and they even use a medieval harp on some of their songs on their latest album. The melodies and the instrument give the songs an ‘authentic’ feel to them rather than some hokey, sub-par ‘folk metal’ band you’d see at Wacken.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Obsequiae/3540290073

http://listen.20buckspin.com/album/aria-of-vernal-tombs-2

PREDICTION:

South Africa will be heavy favourites as they still atop Pool B facing a US side that have no victories in this World Cup. The Springboks for the victory.

Musically the US take this one due in large part to Obsequiae’s use of medieval melodies and harp to produce some truly outstanding black metal.

GAME 32: NAMIBIA vs GEORGIA

FORESTFATHER vs  ENNUI

Forefather are comprised of two Americans and one Chilean and play atmospheric black metal with some folk influences that will have the fans of Agalloch, WITTR, Alcest etc curious to discover them ( and I include myself in this list!) One difference of Forestfather and other bands of this genre is the use of clean vocals, which are used predominantly in the songs and can take a little getting used to but worth it in the end.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Forestfather/3540367025

https://forestfather.bandcamp.com/

A change of pace for this next band representing Georgia. Ennui are a Georgian duo that play funeral doom metal, full of deep, growling vocals, heavy-as-a-mountain-and-twice-as-mobile riffs and some sublime guitar solos and excellent guitar interplay that pushes home the despair and grief the band are singing about.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Ennui/3540353754

https://ennui-funeral.bandcamp.com/

PREDICTION:

Both teams will be going home from the tournament no matter what the result today. Georgia have been quite a nice surprise in this World Cup and I can see them beating the Namibians quite handily.

Musically the contest goes to the Georgians again. Ennui are an excellent funeral doom metal act similar in style to Evoken, and that’s good enough for me!

 

 

THE WORLD CUP OF METAL 2015 (RUGBY EDITION) GAME 13

GAME 13: ARGENTINA vs GEORGIA

DOWNFALL OF NUR vs NO REGRETS

Argentinian Downfall of Nur are a black metal band but they are much more than that. The use of folk-sounding strings, bag-pipes and flutes add an unsettling atmosphere to some of the tracks on the debut album, which along with the strong songwriting makes ‘Umbras de Barbagia’ a fantastic listen and a wonderful debut album. Atmospheric black metal with equal parts  great atmosphere and excellent black metal puts Downfall of Nur up there with the likes of Agalloch, WITTR, Panopticon as essential listening for fans of this genre, of which I include myself.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Downfall_of_Nur/3540365541

https://avantgardemusic.bandcamp.com/album/umbras-de-barbagia

No Regrets are a melodic doom/death metal act from Georgia who are similar in style to Solitude Aeternus, Swallow The Sun etc. Great riffs and a good sense of melody makes No Regrets a worthy addition to the genre.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/No_Regrets/3540360722

PREDICTION:

These nations met at the 2007 and 2011 World Cups, matches that Los Pumas won by 30 and 18-point margins respectively. Argentina led Georgia at half-time by three points in 2007 (6-3) and trailed at the break in their 2011 clash (5-7). Argentina have lost their last two RWC games and have not been beaten three times in a row since suffering eight consecutive defeats between 1987 and 1999. Georgia pulled one of the surprises of the tournament by beating Tongo in their opening game whilst Los Pumas lost to tournament favourites New Zealand, so they will be looking to defeat Georgia and restart their RWC campaign and I believe they will.

Musically whilst I love the stylings of No Regrets, I have to give this one to Downfall of Nur for producing a debut album of exquisite atmospheric black metal that will be on the best-of 2015 lists of a lot of people, including mine.