Tag Archives: progressive rock/heavy metal

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.

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THE WORLD CUP OF METAL 2015 (RUGBY EDITION) GAMES 6/7/8

 

Once more with feeling, chaps!

Another busy schedule of games today, so let’s get to it.

GAME 6: SAMOA vs USA

Up first, representing Samoa, are psychedelic doom metal act Cruthu, which means ‘creation’ in Gaelic, a female-fronted four-piece act from Michigan. Whilst their take on 70’s stoner/occult rock is not the most original, they do seem to have a better understanding of how to use the blues in their sound and singer Teri Brown has a good voice on her.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Cruthu/3540395265

https://cruthu.bandcamp.com/releases

Where would heavy metal, and to an even greater extent black metal and it’s off-shoots, be without the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien? If you’ve seen any of my other ‘World Cup of…’ you’ll discover that Tolkien-inspired band names, albums, songs etc are everywhere and now we add another name to the list ; Mirkwood. In Tolkien’s world, Mirkwood is a vast forest in Middle-Earth whereas Mirkwood here is a one man black metal act from California who wears his Summoning and Windir influences on his sleeve and produces some great symphonic bm. There are only a few demos out so far but hopefully a full album will drop soon.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Mirkwood/110865

https://mirkwoodband.bandcamp.com/

PREDICTION:

These sides clashed in the pool stages of the 2007 tournament in a match which Samoa triumphed 25-21 and Samoa have featured in every World Cup since 1991 and have won their tournament opener on five of six occasions. Since winning their opening match of the 1987 tournament, USA have lost 18 of 20 Rugby World Cup fixtures including all of their openers since. This is going to be a tough ask of the USA and I feel that they will come up short against such tough opponents. Samoa win.

Musically I’m giving this one to Mirkwood due to his songwriting skills and sense of melody.

GAME 7: WALES vs URUGUAY

Siluria are a Welsh epic folk metal band with touches of melodic doom in their songwriting reminding me a little of Falkenbach. The songs and the riffs are excellent and the clean vocals are some of the best I’ve heard for a while.  Only one ep out at the moment but hopefully that will change soon.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Siluria/3540336546

Representing Uruguay are progressive heavy metal act Contracultura and although they aren’t re-inventing the wheel, their brand of heavy metal is really enjoyable and they manage to keep their prog leanings reigned in on their debut album ‘Inmortal’, with most songs being under 6 minutes or so. Strong songwriting and some inventive riffs makes Contracultura a good listen.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Contracultura/117190

PREDICTION:

This will be the first ever meeting between these sides. Wales have lost successive World Cup matches heading into their 2015 opener; they’ve never lost three in a row. Uruguay have a points difference of -254 in their seven Rugby World Cup matches, conceding 352 points and scoring 98. Wales will need to get off to a good start if they want to escape from a group that features both England and Australia and I believe that they will get that win.

Musically it’s a victory for the welsh also as Siluria’s epic folk metal charms win the day.

 

GAME 8: NEW ZEALAND vs ARGENTINA

Heavy metal act West of Hell play no-nonsense thrash metal similar to the Bay Area classic bands of the ’80’s: Testament, Exodus etc. fronted by Zimmer’s Hole and ex-SYL singer Chris Valagao, West of Hell grab your throat from the opening riff of their debut album, ‘Spiral Empire’, and don’t let go for the next 50-odd minutes. Good, old-fashioned kick-arse thrash metal.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/West_of_Hell/3540346155

Argentina’s 2112 changed their name from Fahrenheit in 1986 to their current moniker in honour of Rush (no big surprise there) and whilst they take some of their musical cues from the Canadian rock gods, 2112 also channel a modern, commercial Yes-vibe to their songs, along with some Dream Theatre influences, though fortunately most of their songs last under 7 minutes!.  Great riffs, great songs and some excellent musicianship all adds to a great listen.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/2112/16700

PREDICTION:

A reigning champion has lost their opening game of a World Cup just once, when 1991 winners Australia were beaten in the opening game of 1995 by South Africa. This will be the third World Cup meeting between these two teams; New Zealand won both previous games by a margin of at least 23 points and Argentina have taken New Zealand on 21 times previously; never recording a victory (D1 L20). The All Blacks have won seven of their last eight matches in England (L1). Given all that information I think it’s pretty certain which way I’m going to go on this one! The All Blacks to kick off the defence of their title with a victory.

On the musical side however, I have to go for a tie. Both bands, whilst not ground breaking, are very good, have some excellent songs and are pretty enjoyable to listen to and are both worth checking out.