Tag Archives: Japan

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.

 

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THE WORLD CUP OF METAL 2015 (RUGBY EDITION) GAMES 9/10/11

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.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Adabroc/3540359490

https://adabroc.bandcamp.com/

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!”

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Quest_for_Blood/3540257824

PREDICTION:

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.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/When_Day_Descends/43342

https://whendaydescends.bandcamp.com/

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.

https://bolivarcola.bandcamp.com/album/the-beast

PREDICTION:

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.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Bar%C3%BAs/3540393658

https://barus.bandcamp.com/releases

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.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/God/14687

https://godthehorde.bandcamp.com/album/zal-mox

PREDICTION:

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.

THE WORLD CUP OF METAL 2015 (RUGBY EDITION) GAMES 2/3/4/5

any questions?

So it’s a bumper-filled edition today as the Rugby World Cup gets under way with FOUR games today meaning eight new bands for your sweet, delicate little lugholes.

GAME 2: TONGA vs GEORGIA

Ancient Moon are an international black metal/ambient act that have just the one album out and it only features one track, but what a track it is! Grainy tremolo riffing gives way to a cacophony of buzzing guitars and crashing drums followed by an ominous, almost Tuvan throat-like vocals which continue throughout the song. The quieter moments allow the listener a breather before the noise comes crashing back in and sweeping you away. This is a very well written piece of music and there’s enough here to keep you interested over it’s 28 minute length.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Ancient_Moon/3540398265

https://satanath.bandcamp.com/album/sat109-ancient-moon-vvltvre-2015

Adramalech, hailing from Georgia, is a one-man black metal act (Veliar-all instruments) who has released several eps and albums  of varying black metal/ambient quality since 2009. Each release has seen Adramalech expand and improve his songwriting skills and range of music, making his later work a lot more of an enjoyable experience than his earlier stuff, in my opinion.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Adramalech/3540377914

PREDICTION:

Tonga have lost their first game of the Rugby World Cup in five of the six editions they have competed in, Georgia have failed to score a try in each of their three Rugby World Cup openers since debuting in 2003, losing all three of those games as well so something’s going to change after this game! Tonga will be favourites and will need a good start if they are to claim second place from Argentina and this game should be theirs for the taking.

Musically it’s also a win for Tonga as Ancient Moon’s single track is a lot more engaging than Adramalech’s work.

GAME 3: IRELAND vs CANADA

Worshiping at the Holy Altar of the Riff, Irish ne’er do wells Astralnaut play fairly enjoyable stoner rock/metal that throws nods to the usual suspects: Kyuss, Sabbath etc. Nothing ground-breaking but pretty damn fine stoner metal to bang your head to.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Astralnaut/3540346922

https://astralnaut.bandcamp.com/album/thieves-beggars-and-swine

Finnr’s Cane are an interesting bunch of Canadians. Aside from their nicknames (The Slave, the Peasant and The Bard) Finnr’s Cane’s take on atmospheric doom/black metal is a little different to these ears and that is due in part to the use of a cello instead of a bass guitar which leads to some rocking cello solo moments in the songs! Agalloch, WITTR, Drudkh, early Ulver are the reference points for Finnr’s Cane but their strong sense of melody and songwriting also set them up as their own band and not just a copy of their influences.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Finnr%27s_Cane/3540303251

https://finnrscane.bandcamp.com/

PREDICTION:

Ireland have won their opening match of the last four Webb Ellis editions, scoring a combined 20 tries in these four matches. These two nations met in the inaugural edition of the tournament in 1987, with Ireland running out 46-19 winners. Canada’s record in their Rugby World Cup openers is positive, they have won four and lost three but I feel that Ireland will just have too much experience and power to overcome their opponents and should be comfortable winners.

Musically, the Canadians take this one due to the inventive songwriting and rocking cello parts of Finnr’s Cane.

GAME 4: SOUTH AFRICA vs JAPAN

Firegate are an unusual band for me to feature on one of my blog posts, not because they’re a power metal act but because of their overt Christian lyrics. Now the bible and metal have quite a few lyrical themes in common: war, death, slaughter, bloodshed and some of Firegate’s songs have those themes too but they are a little more forthright in their beliefs (“Give glory to the Lord your God before it’s too late. Acknowledge Him before He brings darkness upon you, causing you to stumble and fall on the darkening mountain
where you’ll find only terrible darkness and gloom.”- subtle isn’t it?) Now the younger more head strong me would have dismissed this straight off the bat as preachy christian crap, however if I can accept bands singing about Odin, Satan, Osiris, Ra, Shiva, unicorns, goblins, Orcs, Cthulhu then why worry about yet another fictional character and his chums? Firegate’s music is pretty decent power metal; nothing too bad but nothing that makes it stand out from the crowd.  Competent musicianship and clean, strong but not powerful vocals make Firegate on ‘OK’ listen. Damned with faint praise indeed!

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Firegate/3540397516

Japan’s Aeternum Sacris (yet another one-man  band) are a funeral doom metal act with ambient affectations. Lush keyboards, gothic/doom style vocals and a funeral doom pace to the songs makes Aeternum Sacris a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Aeternum_Sacris/3540284289

PREDICTION:

This game represents these nations’ first meeting at Test level. South Africa have won all their tournament openers since debuting in 1995. Japan are winless in their last 18 World Cup matches and aside from those two draws against Canada, have lost by double-figure margins in 15 of those 16 defeats. South Africa and Samoa will be firm favourites to advance from a group that also features the USA and Six Nations Wooden Spoon winners, Scotland and this game will not give the Springboks too much trouble.

Musically, Japan win this one by a country mile. It’s not the overt Christian message in Firegate’s lyrics that bother me, some of the lyrics are quite metal in places and some of them wouldn’t look too out of place in a Meads of Asphodel song. No, the problem for me is Firegate seem to be a (very) poor man’s Satan’s Host, right down to the Harry Conklin-style vocals but as we all know the devil has all the best tunes and Firegate just can’t compete. Aeternum Sacris’s music is more deeper, more developed and just hits me on a more emotional level than Firegate ever could be.

GAME 5: FRANCE vs ITALY

Atmospheric doom metal is a favourite genre of mine and France’s Ixion have becaome a new favourite band for me (I’m such a bandwagoner!) This Brittany trio produce some very lush, beautiful gothic/doom metal with the clean and the harsh vocals mixing well and the musicianship and songwriting are of a very high standard. Their last album was 2011 so hopefully some new songs will be released soon.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Ixion/108420

Mourning Mist, an Italian avant-garde doom metal outfit, give a lot of prominence to the violin in their songs and it helps give the band’s music a little extra creepiness and weirdness and adds to the misanthropy. An Italian Sigh if you please.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Mourning_Mist/3540392217

https://fpr666.bandcamp.com/album/mourning-mist

PREDICTION:

This is the first Rugby World Cup meeting between these European rivals. France have won five of seven World Cup openers, losing as hosts in 2007 and drawing against Scotland in the inaugural edition in 1987. France have won three of the last five Tests between the sides, all in the Six Nations, with all those wins coming via margins of 18+ points, so it would seem that a French victory is all but assured and quite frankly I’m not going to bet against Les Bleues. Musically it’s a different ball game and although they play different styles of metal I have to give this match to the Italians just because of teh use of violins adds a n extra dimension to their sound.

THE METAL WORLD CUP DAY EIGHT (when rock’n’roll was created)

My mate wears the same jacket when he’s impersonating either Matt Damon or Hugh Jackman.
Maybe he’s Bourne with it, maybe it’s Wolverine…

The jokes will continue until morale improves!

COLOMBIA vs IVORY COAST

YOGOTH SOTHOTH vs ALPHA BLONDY

Going by the name and the song titles on their albums, Yogoth Sothoth lyrics are influenced by H.P.Lovecraft and they play pretty decent death metal. Nothing earth shattering but decent. (My knowledge of Colombian metal is woeful isn’t it?)

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Yogth_Sothoth/56844#Reviews

Alpha Blondy is a reggae singer from the Ivory Coast and he has recorded over a dozen albums of quite pleasant reggae (my knowledge of Ivorian reggae is even more scant than my knowledge of Colombian metal!)

Verdict: In a shock result Ivory Coast take this mainly due to the bagpipe sound in his cover version of ‘Wish You Were Here’.

JAPAN vs GREECE

CHURCH OF MISERY vs RAVENCULT

CoM write songs solely about real-life serial killers and set it to Black Sabbath-inspired doom metal. And when I say it’s Sabbath-inspired, not only are the guitar riffs and bass riffs are inspired by Birmingham’s finest but Church of Misery have also taken the stuff that had influenced early Sabbath records. Sabbath grew up with the ’60’s rhythm and blues beat-boom in the UK  and CoM have taken those influences and manifest them in their songwriting and playing.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Church_of_Misery/763#Reviews

Ravencult play no-frills, filthy black metal and that is not a bad thing at all. Similar to Nifelheim, Watain and early Vemon with a nod or two to the mighty Motorhead, Ravencult aren’t doing anything groundbreaking but when they do things this well, who needs innovation?

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Ravencult/5690#Reviews

verdict: Japan take this cos everyone love a bad boy, don’t they?

URUGUAY vs ENGLAND

UPON SHADOWS vs ORANGE GOBLIN

Upon Shadows are a two piece all female dark, gothic metal band from Uruguay. Their style of music is not something I listen to often but it’s a little different and I’m always open to discovering new things.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Upon_Shadows/32404

Are you after cool, energetic riffs, Missing Kyuss and Sleep? Want a home-grown (ie English) stoner band that knows the secret formula to great songs is riffs + melody? Ladies and gentlemen, 19 years old and seven albums strong, I present to you Orange Goblin!

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Orange_Goblin/1703#band_tab_discography

verdict: Although Upon Shadows are really quite good, I’m always a sucker for home-growm bands, so Orange Goblin for the win!

 

 

THE METAL WORLD CUP DAY III HENRY V

So after living in the U.S. for the past 5 years or so, I’ve still not got used to the east coast/west coat time difference! Hence the previous post was posted after the Mexico/Cameroon game and halfway through the Spain/Netherlands game (just after Robben scored a beauty! GIRFUY Spain!) So in future I’ll try to post the posts BEFORE the games! Neat idea, eh readers? Four games, eight countries, lots of music. Let’s get intae ’em!

COLOMBIA vs GREECE

INQUISITION vs HAIL SPIRIT NOIR

Colombian giants, Inquisition are a two piece that play black metal and play it bloody well! The music is cold, brooding, grim, violent, all the usual adjectives yet what makes them really stand out is the vocals of lead singer/bassist/guitarist Dagon. A mixture of harsh, raspy vocals, Tuvan-esque throat singing and Popeye! Honestly! Yet somehow it works, listen for yourself.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Inquisition/6665#Reviews

Hail Spirit Noir are formed from the remnants of another progressive avant-garde metal band Transcending Bizarre? (the question mark is deliberate!) and have two albums to their name. Black metal mixed with 70’s rock and psychedelia and a sense of humour makes for a very satisfying listen time and time again. I love bands that takes chances and aren’t afraid to experiment and Hail Spirit Noir fit that bill majestically.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Hail_Spirit_Noir/3540343083

 

IVORY COAST vs JAPAN

Ivory Coast have no metal acts, so for your listening pleasure here is Manou Gallo and a track called Maisha taken from her 2003 album ‘Dida’

Sigh are probably the very definition of ‘eclectic’ in heavy metal circles. A band who’s ‘everything-including-the-kitchen-sink’ attitude to music is very refreshing (to my ears). They are not afraid to take chances and this fearlessness producing some excellent music and essential albums. Bands in a similar vein include Hail Spirit Noir and a great French band called Way to End (more on them soon).

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Sigh/51#Reviews

 

URUGUAY vs COSTA RICA

REQUIEM AETERNAM vs ADVENT OF BEDLAM

I know next to nothing about either of these countries’ metal scene and I won’t pretend I will. So I picked six bands whose names I liked and decided to have at it!

RA (from Uruguay) are signed to Century Media, have three full length releases and play pretty decent melodic black/death metal. Pretty good stuff.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Requiem_Aeternam/10268#band_tab_discography

AoB (from Costa Rica) were originally called December’s Cold Winter (which is a cool name-no pun intended!) and changed names in 2009 and have released two albums of damn fine melodic death metal and have been a very pleasant discovery for post.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Advent_of_Bedlam/3540311576

ENGLAND vs ITALY

MEADS OF ASPHODEL vs MELENCOLIA ESTATICA

Ah, the English! Has there ever been a more misunderstood and maligned nation of mongrels? For the record I’m half-English, half-Scottish, which probably explains the self-loathing! And England has been a mongrel nation since the Roman Occupation: Romans, Jutes, Britons, Angles, Saxons, Celts, Normans, Danes, bitch please! We were doing multicultralism before it went mainstream (#ethnic hipster)

Anyway the Meads are, yet again, another one of those bands that play experimental/avant garde black metal and occasional feature ex-Hawkwind guitarist Alan davey and the lead singer from Sigh. Their lyrics deal with various religious issues (particulary focusing on the crusades), war, death, biblical apocrypha and their past two releases were ‘concept’ albums about the murder of Jesus the Jew and then about the jews that were forced to work in the Nazi death camps to aid with the disposal of the gas chamber victims. All good clean fun (whatever that means)

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/The_Meads_of_Asphodel/3235

ME hail from Italy and is the solo project of Climaxia from Absentia Lunae. Her latest album ‘Hel’ is a great slab of depressive, claustrphobic black metal and is lyrically and visually inspired by the Fritz Lang movie ‘Metropolis’ and is well worth checking out.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Melencolia_Estatica/58390#Reviews