Tag Archives: England

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.

 

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THE WORLD CUP OF METAL 2015 (RUGBY EDITION) GAME 34/35/36

As the final weekend of the Pool matches take place, there are still a few places up for grabs. Can the Japanese beat the USA and pip Scotland for second place? (‘Yes’, and ‘No’ respectively) errrr…….and that’s it really. All the places are more or less sorted and so the majority of the remaining games are for pride only so……….here a picture of some rugby players with the ball replaced by a cat.

GAME 34: SAMOA vs SCOTLAND

VOODOO GODS vs ABANDONED STARS

Voodoo Gods are an American/German/Polish combo that play some pretty damn fine death/thrash metal in a similar vein to Vader and Behemoth etc. Damn good for what ails you and the perfect soundtrack for a night of headbanging goodness.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Voodoo_Gods/3540344431

Abandoned Stars are a young Edinburgh band (with a French vocalist and an Italian drummer) who remind me a lot of Firewind, Sonata Arctica, and Stratovarius in their style of music. Heavy metal with some symphonic cheese added to the mix makes for an ideal soundtrack to practice your air guitar in front of the mirror and slightly scare the cat.

https://ouerghrecords.bandcamp.com/album/fragments

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Abandoned_Stars/3540340199

PREDICTION: Unlike the football team, Scotland’s rugby squad will have no problem progressing to the next round by dispatching Samoa quite easily.

Musically, I’m going to wuss-out and call a draw. Both bands are new to me and both bands hit the spot in different ways, which makes me a very happy bunny indeed.

 

GAME 35: AUSTRALIA vs WALES

AUTUMN’S DAWN vs ANESMWYTHDER

A double dose of depression for you to ……enjoy? Autumn’s Dawn features Tim Yatras (brainchild behind Germ, and ex-member of Austere and Grey Waters to name but a few) and Matthew Bell, guitarist in Bane of Isildur and Troldhaugen, and what a miserably, wonderful listening experience they bring forth! Gorgeous guitar notes, howling vocals and a sense of lovely despair permeate throughout.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Autumn%27s_Dawn/3540380018

http://records.eisenton.de/album/gone

Welsh solo act Anesmwythder is a different kettle of halibut altogether. Musically there’s some great black metal going on but it’s lyrically that sets him apart from others. Depression, dysphoria and body modification, identity issues and other personal experiences with mental illness are some of the subjects he uses for inspiration. A hard, but rewarding listening experience.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Anesmwythder/3540384139

https://anesmwythder.bandcamp.com/releases

PREDICTION: Wales need to win heavily if they are to leap-frog over the Aussies and claim top spot and although I feel they will win, it won’t be by a big enough margin and will have to settle for second spot.

Musically I’m plumping for Autumn’s Dawn slightly ahead of Anesmwythder just on musical variety alone.

GAME 36: ENGLAND vs URUGUAY

NHOR vs VERMIFORNE

I’ve said this once before and I’ll say it again: one of my favourites reasons to do these ‘World Cup’ posts is to discover new bands and new music and the six bands featured in this post are living proof of this. Take Nhor for instance.

hailing from the green fields of Herefordshire, Nhor play a sublime atmospheric/folk black metal, all quiet, chill piano parts lulling you into a dreamy state of mind, conjuring up images  beautiful fields, flowers in bloom and blue skies, until the guitars crash in and you stumble over a rotting corpse or two. Fans of Alcest will enjoy Nhor’s stuff as will fans of Aquilus.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Nhor/3540333774

https://nhor.bandcamp.com/

Vermifone are a different band entirely. Like Sabbath riffs? Enjoy sludgey-doomy goodness? Would you like a crazed Uruguayan sinisterly shouting at you for no reason? Then this is the band for you!

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Vermiforme/3540390142

PREDICTION: Both teams have nothing to play for in this game, so I’m going to pick Uruguay just for shits and giggles.

Musically I’m picking Nhor and I’m off to discover his back catalogue on Prophecy Records. As the old advert goes “Nhor- he’s got the Nhor-how!”

(crap joke so here’s another picture of a rugby player holding a kitty!)

awwwwww!

 

THE WORLD CUP OF METAL (RUGBY EDITION) GAMES 14/15/16

GAME 14: ITALY vs CANADA

KROWNN vs WILT

Kicking off the second weekend of the Rugby World Cup I’m featuring some bands that I found on Instagram (@sufferingzappatache is my handle- check me out!).

Firstly we have Italian doom trio Krownn who, if you’re fans of Place of Skulls, Orange Goblin, Grand Magus etc, then you should not hesitate to click their bandcamp page and snap up the two albums that are available right now The riffs are heavy and contagious and the lyrics are inspired by the fantasy greats of Tolkien, Howard,etc. Also check out the guitarist’s Instagram page (@sealsofblackening) for some brilliant artwork.

https://krownn.bandcamp.com/

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Kr%C3%B6wnn/3540359875

From the snowy depths of Canada (Winnipeg, Manitoba to be exact) come atmospheric black metal band Wilt who conjure up spacious, depressive  bm melodies and give the listener a real sense of bleakness and futility. There is some light amongst the shade and dark but the overall feeling is one of despair, and that’s fine with me!

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Wilt/3540353837

https://wiltmanitoba.bandcamp.com/

PREDICTION:

Italy defeated Canada 19-14 at the 2003 World Cup; the five-point margin was the narrowest victory Italy have recorded over Canada in their seven Tests against the Maple Leafs (W5 L2). Italy have won the last four Tests between these nations having lost two of their first three against the North American nation. Both teams suffered a defeat in their opening games and with both France and Ireland already looking like they’ve got the top two spots sewn up, it’s probably just a matter pride for these two teams and I believe the Italians will have just a little too much for their Canuck counterparts.

Musically, Krownn take the erm……..crown for Italy with their retro-doom loveliness and gorgeous riffs.

GAME 15: SOUTH AFRICA vs SAMOA

DREAMS OF NIGHTMARES vs SO HIDEOUS

Up first is South African melodic death/groove metal act Dreams Of Nightmares playing a fairly decent, no frills melodic death/groove metal. It’s nothing too spectacular and a little too much on the groove side for my liking but decent enough.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Dreams_of_Nightmares/3540401152

https://dreamsofnightmares.bandcamp.com/releases

Representing Samoa for this game will be New York orchestral/post-black metal/shoegaze act So Hideous (@sohideous on Instagram). Combining elements of G!YBE-type orchestration, hardore, shoegaze and post BM riffing and phrasing, the band are a powerful act to listen to. Occasionally there is a little too much going on in some of the songs, but when the fire mix just the right amount of their influences together it makes for a potent an heady brew a emotional, uplifting metal.

https://sohideous.bandcamp.com/

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/So_Hideous/3540372881

PREDICTION:

This will be the fifth World Cup Test between these nations; the Springboks have not faced any other side more often (England also four times). South Africa won the previous four games between the sides. This will be a tough game for South Africa to try and bounce back from after their defeat to Japan. Samoa will be confident after their victory over the US and will be looking forward to keeping their winning momentum going. This will be a close game but I feel SA will just do enough to edge out the Samoans.

Musically So Hideous take the victory.

GAME 16: ENGLAND vs WALES

JUKEBOX MONKEY vs ZONDERHOOF- The Battle of the Stoner Bands!

Jukebox Monkey can be found on Instagram (@jukeboxmonkey) and are from the sunny seaside hamlet of Gravesend in the English garden that is Kent. Playing stoner metal/rock that’s similar in style to Grand Magus fronted by Maynard James Keenan , Jukebox Monkey are a powerful four piece with some amazing riffs catchy choruses and excellent songs. One to check out.

https://jukeboxmonkey.bandcamp.com/

Zonderhoof’s take on stoner metal/doom is of a more instrumental variety, with huge riffs, more emphasis on the doom aspect and killer long songs that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Church of Misery or Sleep album (and great song titles too!)

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Zonderhoof/3540287195

https://zonderhoof.bandcamp.com/

PREDICTION:

These two rivals have met twice at World Cups, in 1987 and 2003, with England losing the first encounter but winning 12 years ago and each of those games were settled by significant margins, 13 and 11 points respectively. England are aiming for three straight victories over Wales for the first time since 2011 however England have lost two of their last five Tests at Twickenham against their border rivals but prior to that won 10 in a row against Wales at HQ. In their last three defeats against Wales (2011-2013), England failed to score a try, however, England have failed to score a try just once in their last 15 Tests. With the Australians also in Pool A neither team can afford to slip up and defeat for one team will probably hinder qualification into the next round. England will be favourites due to being the host nation, but the Welsh will have more than enough to counter the English. A tough game settled by a point or two and with the Welsh coming out as victors.

Musically I’m going for the draw. Both bands are excellent examples of the variety in the stoner doom/rock genre. If I was to judge it I’d probably give it to Jukebox Monkey due to the great sing-a-long choruses but it’ll be a close call.

THE WORLD CUP OF METAL 2015 (RUGBY EDITION) GAME 1

 

So once more into the breach old friend, once more. Yes! It’s another installment of my (n)ever popular ‘World Cup of Metal’ series and as you can see by the pictures, in this exciting installment I’ll be concentrating on the Rugby World Cup, being held in England and giving you my usual drivel of ill-informed sporting opinion and ( more importantly) introducing you to some fucking amazing metal music.

Quick recap: Each game will feature two bands from the countries playing that day and I’ll provide (where possible) you tube links, bandcamp links, metal-archives link and a homepage link for said bands, give a brief description of the music and declare a winner. Simples! Now, my knowledge of the Micronesian metal scene, along with the Namibian metal scene, is scarce to say the least so for these countries I’ll be doing two things: I had already planned to use bands from the ‘International’ section of metal-archives which I will for the first set of games, but then I’ll also be using bands and artists who have liked my photo-manipulated artwork from my Instagram account (I’m under ‘sufferingzappatache’) and these I’ll be using from the second week or so of games. So, sit back, pour a glass of your favourite tipple and enjoy the music  and the game and the blog!

GAME 1: ENGLAND vs FIJI

EYE OF SOLITUDE vs CLOUDS

Hailing from the cesspool that is forever London, Eye of Solitude are a death/doom act who are heavy on the death and very heavy on the doom but also very accessible. The music has the trad death/doom riffs and tempos you’d expect from the genre but Eye of Solitude are not afraid to up the tempo as and when needed to add a little variety to their gloom-laded offerings. Singer Daniel Neagoe’s low growls are just sublime and the rest of the band (who also appear in symphonic blackened death metal side project Sidious) strike a great balance between melody, melancholy and outright doom. They have three albums out so far and you definitely need them in your life.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Eye_of_Solitude/3540342389

https://eyeofsolitude.bandcamp.com/

Clouds are an international band from several European countries, including the U.K., Netherlands, Belgium, Faroe Islands and Finland! Finally, a European union I can fully support! Clouds are an atmospheric doom metal act and boy do they bring the atmosphere! Beautiful, haunting piano intros and clean vocals give way to despairing low growls from one Daniel Neagoe who, and I didn’t know this until I did some research, also plays drums with the band. It’s a lot slower and more ‘mellow’ than Eye of Solitude, and it’s just as beautiful and haunting. Another band you and I need in our lives.

https://doomclouds.bandcamp.com/album/doliu

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Clouds/3540381712

PREDICTION:

Host nation England will be looking to kick off their campaign with a victory over an improving but not-quite-there yet Fiji. With only the top two teams going through, and with Australia and Wales in the group England will need to overcome a Fijian team that will be looking for an upset. England’s bench, if needed, will be too strong for the Pacific Islanders and the hosts should come out on top.

As for the music, I really can’t choose between either band. Eye of Solitude have three great albums to pick from whilst Clouds have just the one, but they are both quite different doom beasts and both bands move me in different ways that I just don’t know which one to pick.

Hooray for little girl!

 

 

THE WORLD CUP OF METAL 2015 (CRICKET EDITION) GAMES 37/38

As we rush headlong into the final matches of the first round it’s all very exciting and tight at the top of Pool B with three teams vying for two spots and one match being a ‘win and you’re in’ kind of thingy……….so it’s a shame that we’re featuring two games from Pool A today, which has already been deceided.

GAME 37: NEW ZEALAND vs BANGLADESH

Lysithia are a melodic/doom metal band who, before singer Mike Wilson joined, were a one man instrumental act (Mike Lamb). The addition of a vocalist (who also plays guitar) has expanded the band’s sound and songwriting style. Reminiscent of Daylight Dies, Draconian and all those other classic melodic/doom bands out there. Very highly recommended.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Lysithea/3540378989

https://lysithea.bandcamp.com/

I’m not a huge fan of one man depressive black metal outfits but Mourning Hours. who is also a member of Brajangngana, and his music is a lot more tuneful and well produced than a lot of ONDBM acts out there, the songwriting is very strong and the vocals aren’t too off-putting for this genre.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Mourning_Hours/3540351761

PREDICTION: It’s more than likely that New Zealand will win this and keep up there 100% record in this tournament, although if Bangladesh they could leapfrog into second place and get an easier quarter-final opponent. Musically, I was very surprised and impressed with Mourning Hours and his take on Depressive Black Metal but again melodic/doom metal wins the day so go check out Lysithea.

 

AFGHANISTAN vs ENGLAND

I was sort of mistaken last time when I said that there were only 2 Afghani rock/metal bands out there. It seems there are now three: (from Wikipedia) White City is progressive/punk/rock band, based in Kabul, Afghanistan. The current line-up consists of Ruth Owen (UK), formerly from the England based band Echobelly, on bass and lead vocals, Travis Beard (Australia) on guitar and backing vocals and Andreas Stefansson (Sweden) on drums and backing vocals. The music has a ‘Brit-Pop’/rock feel to it and it’s very pleasant and Ruth Owen’s voice reminds me a little bit of Chrissie Hynde from the Pretenders……which is nice.

For today’s England selection, I will be choosing a Welsh band. Why? Well the ECB (England’s governing cricket body) is actual the English and Welsh Cricket Board so it seems only fair that a band from the principalities gets featured and what a doozy we have for you!  Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard play psychedelic sludge doom metal, as if you couldn’t get from the name! They have a one-track 30-min ep out available on bandcamp and a glorious sludge-y doom trip it is! Fuzzy guitars, big riffs and being heavier than a really heavy thing with a heavy thing on top of it. Music to be played really fucking loud as the psilocybin ‘shrooms kick in!

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Mammoth_Weed_Wizard_Bastard/3540391894

https://mammothweedwizardbastard.bandcamp.com/

PREDICTION: Musically the mad Welshmen win it, however on the field I would love to see Afghanistan beat England at cricket just for shits and giggles and to make their World Cup misery complete. But that probably won’t happen, so England for the (undeserved) win.

THE WORLD CUP OF METAL 2015 (CRICKET EDITION) GAME 33

english sporting prowess

GAME 33: ENGLAND vs BANGLADESH

From the ashes of one of the U.K.’s best black metal acts, Akercocke, comes Voices which features David Gray (no, not that one!), Peter Benjamin and Sam Loynes to carry on and re-interpret the sound of their previous band, featuring lyrics and ideas that have less to do with satanism and sex and more to do with jealousy, relationships……………..and sex! Progressive death metal with touches of black and plenty of melody and atmosphere. If you’re missing Akercocke, then Voices will fill that void for you quite nicely.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Voices/3540360068

 

From Bangladesh comes a band who’s name I’ve no idea how to pronounce but I can tell you that they play melodic black metal and their lyrics are solely focused on the Southern region and about it’s myths and traditions. The name “brajangngana” was taken from a Michael Madhusudan Dutt poem. It’s translated meaning is “one of Braja’s milkmaids who was enamored with Krishna.”

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Brajangngana/3540385666

PREDICTION: England’s one solitary victory in this tournament came against Scotland and they’ve lost to the top 3 teams in Pool A. Bangladesh occupy the fourth spot and even if England do beat them today, they would still be a point behind their opponents and it would all result on the last game. England will face Afghanistan and Bangladesh will take on New Zealand, England could still grab fourth spot, having theoretically the easier match. It’s important for both sides today to win (sporting cliche #214), however I feel that Bangladesh will have a little too much for England and will snuff out any hope England have of qualifying.

Musically, Voices just edges out Brajangngana because of my love of a little bit of ‘Cocke! (Waaaa-haaaay!)

THE WORLD CUP OF METAL (CRICKET EDITION) 2015 GAMES 22/23

Liam Neeson has signed on for the fourth picture in the franchise. This time he helps his daughter move house, drives her round the city, helps pay for her holiday and she doesn’t even thank him.

Taken 4: Granted

As a new month dawns, we are now halfway through the Cricket World Cup and some teams are starting to break away from the pack (Sri Lanka) whilst others are floundering and not living up to expectations (the other three teams playing today!)

GAME 22: ENGLAND vs SRI LANKA

Hailing from the bright and sunny fishing village of Leeds (!) come black metal outfit Inquinamentum who have 3 albums available on their bandcamp page. They play an atmospheric bm similar to fellow countrymen Winterfylleth and Wodensthrone and they are yet another band I’ve had the pleasure of discovering thanks to the research for this blog. Check them out and support them on bandcamp.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Inquinamentum/3540358697

https://inquinamentum.bandcamp.com/album/void

On the Sri Lankan side we have the progressive metal band Nevi’im, who have a single and an ep under their belts. The guitar playing is Meshuggah-ish and they have some nice death growls alongside the clean vocals.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Nevi%27im/3540385324

PREDICTION: England have been struggling in this tournament and I can’t see them getting past a Sri Lankan side looking to make it into the knockout stages. Musically, the Leeds boys take it quite comfortably.

 

GAME 23: PAKISTAN vs ZIMBABWE

Two countries which you don’t really think about when you think of metal, and they’d be a good reason for that. Pakistan, like most Islamic countries, mainly frown upon all forms of music and musical expression and in particular see ‘heavy metal’ as ‘demonic and ‘anti-Islamic’, yet some bands do flourish and survive. Case in point is Dionysus, a black/death/doom metal act (with touches of neoFolk here and there) with a demo and an ep under their wings. Despite the production of the ep (either that or it’s a poor upload) there is a lot to recommend about Dionysus: the riffs, the vocals and the drumming (to name but three) give the song a vibrancy that shines through the shoddy production/upload. A most enjoyable treat.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Dionysus/3540351383

There are no bands listed on metal-archives for Zimbabwe and scouring the internet I could only find one article about metal bands from Zimbabwe and one of the videos was no longer available. (link below)

So, I will go to my fallback that I used for the Football World Cup and choose an artist from the country. And today’s Zimbabwean artist is Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi: musician, businessman, philanthropist, human rights activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Southern Africa Region. Tuku is considered Zimbabwe’s most renowned and internationally recognised cultural icon of all time.

http://www.invisibleoranges.com/2014/01/african-metal-6-zambia-and-zimbabwe/

 

Prediction: Pakistan are 0 for 2 so far and this match will change their fortunes and they will gain their first victory of the tournament. Musically, Pakistan take the win as well.