Tag Archives: Scotland

THE WORLD CUP OF METAL 2015 (RUGBY EDITION) QUARTER FINALS 3/4

Day two of the quarter finals and after wins by New Zealand and South Africa yesterday (and only one was my pick and even then they won by more than six points!), it’s up to Ireland and Scotland to keep the Northern Hemisphere flag flying into the semi-finals. Can they do it? Read on my friends………

QUARTER FINAL 3: IRELAND vs ARGENTINA

KRAWWL vs PSICOsFERA

Featuring a couple of guys who’ve played with Altar of Plagues, Krawwl are an avant-garde black metal act that are great for clearing your head after a hangover or scaring the pets. Of the two songs available on bandcamp the second track ‘And Oceans’is the standout for me: all doomy-riffs and mixing harsh screaming with Pete Steele-esque deep vocals.

https://krawwl.bandcamp.com/

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Krawwl/3540374436

Psicosfera are a n instrumental atmospheric black/doom metal act with some slight prog moment in their riffs and songs. Whilst the songs are really good and the riffs are meaty and catchy, I do miss some form of vocals in the songs but I suppose you can always make you own up as the song goes along!

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Psicosfera/3540401586

https://psicosfera.bandcamp.com/

PREDICTION: i’m going for the Irish in this game as I feel the Six Nations champions will havwe a little too much for Argentina but it will be a close game, maybe 3 points in it.

Musically I’m going for Krawwl, even though they have just 2 songs available, the lack of vocals on Psicosfera’s album cost them the win.

QUARTER FINAL 4: AUSTRALIA vs SCOTLAND

UR DRAUGR vs RAMAGE INC.

Combining doom, death, black and progressive sludge elements to their music, Australia’s Ur Draugr are a fantastic new band playing some excellent metal. Similar to Cormorant, Ur Draugr are not afraid to be pigeon-holed and willingly use different influences in their music if it will enhance the song, and it usually works to great affect.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Ur_Draugr/3540390904

https://urdraugr.bandcamp.com/

Ramage Inc (great name btw) are an Edinburgh based band who play progressive metal similar in style to Devin Townsend, and their 2015 album ‘Earth Shaker’ is a fantastic slab of quality metal. Thunderous riffs, powerful vocals (courtesy of Ramage himself) and tasty solos make Ramage Inc. another quality metal act from Bonny Scotland.

https://ramageinc.bandcamp.com/

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Ramage_Inc./3540363122

PREDICTION: Scotland have done well in this tournament despite finishing last in the Six Nations but I feel that the Australians will have too much for the Scots and should run out comfortable winners.

Musically I’m calling a draw again! Both bands have impressed me with their work and it is difficult to choose between either as they are both high quality metal acts.

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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 2015 (RUGBY EDITION) GAME 17/18/19

GAME 17: AUSTRALIA vs URUGUAY

THADDAEUS vs APLANADORA

Thaddaeus are (now) a three piece funeral doom act with traces of gothic doom, ambient married with some lovely classical/orchestral music to push the band above the likes of others in this genre. Similar to some of Dis Pater’s many guises, Thaddaeus’ vocals are reminiscent of Nick Cave and this is what makes me tingle inside!

https://thaddaeusband.bandcamp.com/

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Thaddaeus/3540382238

From Uruguay come Aplanadora, who’s first album featured six Sabbath songs and was called ‘Tributo a Black Sabbath’ so it’s no surprise to discover who they are influenced by! Good old fashioned no-frills meat and potatoes 80’s metal that’s just bloody good fun!

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Aplanadora/110631

PREDICTION:

This will be the first meeting between the two nations; Australia are the only Tier One nation that has not had a XV that has faced Uruguay in a Test match. Australia have won five of their last six Tests, this after suffering defeat in six of their seven games before that. After Wales’ victory over England, Australia will be looking to exploit an English defeat and take second (and maybe first) spot and I believe that The Wallabies will do this.

Musically, although Aplanadora are great fun and are a solid metal act however, due to the more textured layers of Thaddaeus’ music I’m giving this win to them.

GAME 18: SCOTLAND vs USA

TRANSCENSION vs ARES KINGDOM

Transcension are a bunch of hairy-arsed Scotsmen from the sunny shores of Greenock (which is a quaint fishing village on the Clyde!) playing some fantastic melodic death metal and with the twin guitar sound and clean vocals they give the songs a power metal/Thin Lizzy-‘Celtic’ feel to them which is very refreshing and something that makes me a fan of their music. Only one album at the moment but damn the quality of the songs make me excited to hear more from these guys!

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Transcension/3540398844

Ares Kingdom have been around since 1997 featuring two members of black/trash metal act Order From Chaos. They’ve been releasing consistently great music since 2003 and have a new album out this year………so why I have only just heard about them now? Probably because I’m a freaking idiot! Anyhoo, Ares Kingdom are an excellent death/thrash metal act, in the vein of Bolt Thrower/Hail of Bullets/Blasphemic Cruelty, who many of you will probably be familiar with, for those (like me) who may not know them, i suggest just clicking the youtube link and listen to some amazing metal!

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Ares_Kingdom/10670

h@ttps://nuclearwarnowproductions.bandcamp.com/album/the-unburiable-dead-2

PREDICTION: Scotland have won all four meetings between the two nations by an average margin of 33 points and I can’t see anything from the USA to make it 5 wins for Scotland and see the Scots retake first place in the Group.

Musically this is very exciting for me. as I’ve discovered two great new bands, even if one of them has been around for a while! Both bands play different variations of death metal: Transcension are more melodic and ‘Celtic’ influenced whilst Ares Kingdom are more experienced, heavier and nastier but both bands have released excellent music. In the end experience wins out for Ares Kingdom (I’m off to buy the new album as soon as I get paid and catch up on their previous stuff) but as for Transcension the future’ looks really bright for them and I’l be hunting down their album too! (See! I don’t always sit on the fence!)

GAME 19: IRELAND vs ROMANIA

SONUS MORTIS vs INDIAN FALL

One of the pleasures of doing these posts is that I get to discover so many new bands and some great music from all over the world and here’s another band I’m thrilled to have found. Kevin Byrne is the brains behind twisted, noisy, symphonic death/doom metal act Sonus Mortis. Aggressive, harsh yet melodic, mixing the power of Aanal Nathrakh with some heavy DM riffs, cool gothic doom passages and nasty vocals makes this a great listening experience.

https://sonusmortis.bandcamp.com/album/war-prophecy

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Sonus_Mortis/3540371908

Romanian metal Indian Falls play atmospheric death/black metal in a similar style to Old Man’s Child, full of melody, great riffs and excellent songwriting.

https://indianfall.bandcamp.com/

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Indian_Fall/9823

PREDICTION:

The Irish have won all 14 games against non-Tier one opposition in the Rugby World Cup; those 14 wins have come by an average margin of 30 points. Ireland defeated Romania by 30 and 28-point margins at the 1999 and 2003 editions of this tournament respectively. the Romanians will probably give the Irish more of a test than the Canadians did but not much more. Ireland for the win.

Musically the Irish will take this again though Indian Fall are no slouches, I just felt more moved by Sonus Mortis.

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 (CRICKET EDITION) GAMES 39/40

GAME 39: INDIA vs ZIMBABWE

Demonic Resurrection are an Indian symphonic black metal act with several albums to their name who, whilst not re-inventing the genre, are fairly competent but I feel there’s something missing from the music. Maybe the band are missing a trick by not incorporating sounds or instruments from their culture/heritage as it would probably elevate their music above ‘just ok’.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Demonic_Resurrection/8293

Thomas Mapfumo is a Zimbabwean musician known as “The Lion of Zimbabwe” and “Mukanya” (the praise name of his clan in the Shona language) for his immense popularity and for the political influence he wields through his music, including his sharp criticism of the government of President Robert Mugabe. He both created and made popular Chimurenga music and his slow-moving style and distinctive voice is instantly recognisable to Zimbabweans.

Mapfumo was imprisoned without charges under the white-dominated regime of Rhodesia. He now lives in exile in the United States, and although he has occasionally returned to Zimbabwe he has not returned since 2005.

PREDICTION: India, who will face Bangladesh on 19th March, will probably go undefeated in this group as they face a pretty poor Zimbabwean side.  Musically I’ll be giving this to Zimbabwe as demonic Resurrection’s music was ok but not spectacular.

 

GAME 40: AUSTRALIA vs SCOTLAND

Named after one of my favourite Rainbow songs (but probably not) Stargazer play some pretty fine blackened death metal and are not afraid to use some experimentation in their songs (tempos, angular riffs, slow, quiet prog-like passages) to keep the music interesting and exciting. Stargazer are a very innovative and fresh-sounding band and their albums are all worth checking out.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/StarGazer/2942

One of my favourite things about researching for this blog is checking out the band names on the metal archives site. I usually go by the genre I like followed by the band name, sometimes it’s the band name that will jump out at me  and in this case Danny, Champion of Nothing was just too good to resist! Hailing from Edinburgh, DCoN, are a slow loud band in the vein of Isis, Pelican, Cult of Luna etc, and have an ep out on their bandcamp page. It’s a glorious mixture of quiet, loud, quiet, even louder moments in the songs, huge riffs, intense vocals and just a wonderful noise from these young guys. No youtube clip, but check out the bandcamp site.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Danny%2C_Champion_of_Nothing/3540390571

https://dannychampionofnothing.bandcamp.com/

PREDICTION: Predictably I’m going to go for an Australian win on the field against a quite poor Scotland side. Musically, the Aussies win again but only just due to their larger back catalogue over DCoN though I do look forward to hearing more from these Edinburgh boys.

 

 

THE WORLD CUP OF METAL 2015 (CRICKET EDITION) GAME 35

The missus has insisted I take up boxing and call her Adrian in a slurred voice.
We are going through a Rocky patch

GAME 35: SCOTLAND vs SRI LANKA

From the bonny banks of the nation’s capital, Edinburgh, come atmospheric black metal act Haar (not to be confused with Pictish Haar who are also Scottish) which is a meteorological term for coastal fog. The style of black metal they play is akin to Deathspell Omega, mid-tempo, angular riffs, intense drumming and harsh vocals all add to make an intimidating atmosphere.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Haar/3540307749

https://haar.bandcamp.com/

Funeral In Heaven are a Sri Lankan black metal act who’s lyrical themes deal with Sri Lankan history, demonology and astrology. The music is melancholic black metal with a smattering of Asian instruments in their later songs and it helps create a great, haunting atmosphere.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Funeral_in_Heaven/77949

https://entertheraavancult.bandcamp.com/

 

WORLD CUP OF METAL 2015 (CRICKET EDITION) GAME 27

Scotland's national sporting trophy

Scotland’s national sporting trophy

With 3 games left to play (and all 3 against teams who are going to be in the knockout stages of the tournament) it looks like Scotland will be the proud recipients of the coveted Wooden Spoon award for Pool A and quite possibly for the entire tournament as U.A.E seem to have a better scoring record.

So as I have just 3 bands left to feature I better make them good ones, and I think I’ve struck gold with this one!

GAME 27 SCOTLAND vs BANGLADESH

From the dour and dreek streets of the nation’s capital comes an excellent one man atmospheric black metal act, Bron and his 2014 demo ‘Fogradh’, a single 28-minute track that is one of the best tracks I’ve heard for a while. The main thing about the song is the keyboards which gives the whole mid-tempo black metal song a very grandiose and cosmic feel and the production is very, very good for a demo. Check out his bandcamp page for download details.

https://bronmusic.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Br%C3%B2n/3540383925

From Dhaka, come melodic death metal act Hallucination. The riffs are really good and the drumming is great I just have a problem getting used to the vocals, there a little to treble-y for me, but still enjoyable no the less.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Hallucination/3540366298

PREDICTION: On the field I’m afraid to say that Bonnie Scotland will get their arses felt and Bangladesh will take another step closer to one of the top 4 places that guarantees progress. Musically, however, I am a huge fan of one-man-atmospheric-black-metal bands and Bron’s demo is one of the best songs I’ve heard in a many a long time. Slainte!