Monstrance – Karma After the Storm (album demo)

So, Monstrance finally shared the complete demo version of the song Karma After The Storm. The song, in my personal opinion is just amazing, simply because it’s so heavy and melodic, with a great technique,this could definitely be fantastic for anyone who loves Iron Maiden and Morbid Angel, like I do to be honest.

In this song you wont hear synths and samples, or goth influences, this is pure metal stuff, and is executed with such an amazing level of musicianship.

Remember to share the video and press the like button, support the band, because we really need bands like Monstrance, whom is bringing back the real essence of metal music.

Thanks for take you time and read this entry, remember to subscribe and leave your comments, I would like to know them.

Cheer and regards!

Abigail Williams – The Accuser

As many of you may know, my first entry on this blog, was an old review that I wrote regarding Becoming album from Philadelphia based black metal band, Abigail Williams. Today I’m here to give my review about their last effort entitled The Accuser.

Honestly, this year, has been very weak regarding new albums, with some exceptions of course, but the true, is that, nothing transcendental is out there right now. Although, this year was expecting to close, safely, with no more disturbs, suddenly, it came, like thief in the night, this killer album, to dismember everything, leaving a blood feast of destruction and pain.

The album is amazing guys, but not in the classic sense of the word, I mean, is amazing as any of the Lovecraft stories, were amazing; the album is dark, melancholy, extreme, powerful, and very raw and yet, it has a subtle beauty on it. The art work, is an amazing piece of art that describe properly the content of the album. I realized that honestly, I don’t like to write a review by describing each song on the album, I think it doesn’t bring anything important, instead, I would try describe how it sounds, and what kind of influences you may find here and there.

The band departs from their post black metal and symphonic predominant sound on the last effort, and instead of that, experiment with a more Darkthronesque sound, although the post black metal vibe is still present, but not as the blast beats and the aggressive Ken’s voice. It’s in my opinion their more guitar oriented album, with great guitar melodies and solos. The sound of the guitar is very raw, almost as the one used in the 80’s hardcore punk scene.

Even when there are no string passages as on their previous records, the ambient on each of the songs is just amazing, and this is because of the production, which is very raw and yet very melancholic (listen “Will, Wish and Desire” song to understand my point). The sound of the drums on this album is just killer, you can notice that they definitely do not use any kind of drum machine on their records, everything here is very natural and passionate.

I don’t really like to point out songs on here, but I have to say that “Path of Broken Glass”, “The Cold Lines”, “Will, Wish and Desire” and “Nuummite” are in my opinion highlight, although, the album in general is just amazing.

On my last Abigail Williams entry, I asked myself if Becoming was the best black metal album since the Nordic scene from the 90’s, well, I can say now, that definitely is not, because, believe me guys, The Accuser, is the one that can without any doubt take that place, but that is just my opinion isn’t?

Please leave your thoughts on the box comment, or on my Facebook wall, I will glad to read them.

See you next time around!

PS
Hare are some of the band official links:

https://candlelightrecordsusa.bandcamp.com/album/the-accuser

https://www.facebook.com/abigailwilliamsofficial

Should Metal music be attached to any specific subject?

Ok, I know that it’s been a long time since the last time I actually wrote something, and this could be mainly because I have been too much busy, or maybe, because there is nothing special going on in the metal scene lately, which is actually sad.

Well, since there is nothing important to discuss honestly, I would like to know your opinion about something:  Should be Metal music and lyrics be attached to a specific subject? I mean, if you’re playing in a Grind Core band, you should write lyrics exclusively about dead, murder, blood, etc.? Or what about Doom, Gothic? What if you’re feeling happy? Would you still write sad and depressing content? Would that be honest?

I don’t know you guys but I definitely don’t believe that music should be attached to an specific subject, I think that sooner or later, it’s going to be boring, think a little bit about Fear Factory. I love FF so much, but is quite annoying to know that much of their lyrics are about the same subject: Man vs Machine, and yeah in the 90’s that was so fucking great, but right now, at least for me, is not that interesting. To be honest with you guys, the best FF album, is Archetype, and is basically, along with transgression, the only two albums not associated with man vs machine subject.

I have to say, I’m huge supporter of the free speech in music, so as you already know, one of my past entries, was about Christian content in Extreme metal, once again, what is your opinion about that? Moreover, what is your opinion about NSBM (National socialist Black Metal)? I don’t like that content at all, I don’t agree with them neither, but only because of that should I condemn that scene?

How to know the boundary of be honest and keep yourself faithful to your ideals? And, when is enough to write lyrics only with shock value purposes? Or only to tell about the book you loved?

Well, I would love to know your opinions, please share it in the comment box, or on my Facebook page facebook.com/granulum.music

Thanks for reading, and see you next time around!!!…

The hardest and saddest obstacle that new metal bands needs to overcome

It’s been a while since the last post, and I think is time to write something new. Honestly I’m not in the mood to write something related to any new band, album or any metal sub-genre in specific. Also I want to let you know, that what I’m going to write here is nothing new, and it came to me some weeks ago, and has been regurgitating in my mind since then.

A couple of weeks ago Kevin Lyman, the co-founder of the Mayhem Rock Festival, told to Detroit Free Press that the tour was “at risk of going away at any given moment” due to the limited number of headline-worthy acts in metal. After this, Kerry King the founder of the legendary band Slayer provided a series of responses to Lyman, and the lineup of the festival. One of the things that Kerry said (well, actually he cited to Gary Holt) is the following: “…usually there’s the Main Stage, a second stage, a third stage, and then that piece-of-shit record stage… Now what they’re calling a second stage is at best a fourth stage and they’re wondering why people aren’t showing up”.

It seems that now, the festival is finally done, and it was the very last edition. Is not my interest discover the reasons of why the festival is finished now. My concerns here is related towards on what Kerry said regarding the second stage (Victory Stage) bands. I agree with Kerry in the fact that for this edition there wasn’t many big names as someone could expect, and that the audience could be affected because of that, but I just can’t deal with the fact of He calling a piece of shit stage, to the only stage that in fact, is the one that promote the emergent bands.

So, as many of you already know, try to live from what you really love, is never easy, and for the people whose passion is the metal music (black metal, death metal, metal core, etc.) this is not exception. Nowadays, is quite different from what it used to be, mainly because of the internet culture and social networks, because there’s a bunch of new bands out there trying to get attention via youtube, facebook, etc. So figure it, it won’t be easy, cheap and simple as could be in any other moment, so having this in mind, what is the last thing that you don’t really need? Well, that my friends, are negative comments from people who are already in the top of their careers, why? Because there is a big fandom behind of them, and if they said that new bands are bullshit or a piece of shit, well, at least the people inside that fandom, won’t have any interest in discover any new band, at least the media actually promote it.

I used to play in my own band, and we used to write our songs, and I totally understand how frustrating it can be try to live from your music. We never try for real, because we just hadn’t the energy and passion to focus on that, and we decided to take the easy path, finish our studies and get a job. When I take a look back, and see the other people that still trying to get something, I always have the same feeling to start a new band, but now, is quite late, and difficult, so I drop the idea easily. For me, is easy I just can leave it and that is it, but I don’t even can imagine how annoying it should be, that some are trying to make it, and at some point, this stupid big fucking legend of metal, starts to spit crap towards new bands just because they aren’t getting enough money, and the business is not as well as it should be, it just fucking sucks.

I don’t have a final conclusion honestly, I’m angry and disappointed, but I’m glad to know that on the other hand there a few known names on metal scene, that actually are working on promote new bands, such as Phil Anselmo and Anders Fridén, to mention some.

If you are in a band, and you are pretty sure that this is your passion, don’t let those people let you down, and also don’t feel bad, if you do this (play in a band) on your “free” time, share your art, this is what we need instead of big fucking metal albums, that’s for Justin Bieber’s fans, we are heavy metal fans damn it.

I hope you have enjoyed this entry, and please let me know your thoughts here and on my social networks such Facebook.

Peace and see you next time around!!!….

Christian Extreme Metal – A Secular Opinion

Is not new that Christians, are present in basically most of the music genres available out there, it could be rock, hip hop, electronic, progressive, indie and of course Heavy Metal.  Although, there’s a couple of famous metal bands that has Christian themes on their lyrics and artworks, many of those bands are not well received by the metal scene.

I cannot express my opinion towards Christianity on power metal, trash metal, nu metal, metal core, etc. because I’m not familiar with many bands with Christian influence under those metal sub genres, with some exceptions such as The Devil wears Prada (metal core) and Stryper (heavy metal), to mention some. But for the current post, I would like to share my thoughts over bands and music in which I’m very familiarized: Extreme Metal.

Before start, I want to tell you guys how I discovered some Christian extreme metal bands. A couple of years ago, I started to fascinate with the first wave of Black metal which is actually the Norway 90’s scene, mainly encouraged by Mayhem. I was obsessed with Dead, his lyrics and his freaking voice, so I went to see a lot of documentaries, and articles about it, and finally I got this amazing documentary titled “Pure Fucking Mayhem” produced by Stefan Rydehed. After reading about the producer, I learned that this same guy actually produced another documental called “Light in Darkness – Nemesis Divina”, which actually shows a brief history of Christian Extreme Metal scene, and the struggles and ideas of this kind of bands. The bands featuring this film are Crimson Moonlight, Horde and Pantokrator, among others.

At this point, I would like to think that is implicit by the title of the post, that I’m not Christian, and that actually I consider myself agnostic, and that definitely  I’m not trying to convince anyone to become Christian, or spread the word of lord, etc. Is clear that the only reason for what these bands has to struggle, is that Extreme metal, such as Black and Death Metal were conceived under satanic subjects and influences, especially for Black Metal. Based on this, there is a lot of fans that cannot accept the fact, that extreme metal can be influenced by Christianity, and that actually this is an insult, another strategy to get more people into the religion or whatever.

Now, why does people don’t like Christian extreme metal bands? I see a lot of rejection because for example, black metal fans consider that Black Metal should be satanic, or must be focused on the worship to the devil. But you don’t need to be a devil worshipper actually, to show some resistance to Christian Metal Bands, if you only think on the words from a Christian pastor, telling all the congregation that the devil is in video games, that homosexuals are possessed by Satan or, that Harry Potter books influence kids to perform black magic; well you probably just gonna try to be away from that people. But in my experience, Christian extreme metal bands, are not necessarily acting like that; yeah ok, they could perform a little bit, but honestly, ¿how different is that, from “normal” Black Metal bands?

I remember from the documentary, Light in Darkness, some words from Karl Walfridsson of Pantokrator, in which he mentioned that they are the actual rebels, why? Because as Christians, they are hated by the whole metal scene, and because as metalheads, the Christian congregation hate them. So these guys has problems on both sides.

The only substantial difference that I have been noticed so far in Christian Extreme Metal bands, is that they do actually share a positive message in their songs. Let’s take as example the song “Revolution” from Pantokrator last effort, “Incarnate”. The chorus is as follows:

Come I will bring you revolution,

it begins in the hearts of man.

The light shines in darkness and the dark cannot prevail

I ask you to believe, not to understand.

You know guys, to me, this not actually that bad, because is trying to bring hope to anyone who maybe need it, and of course this is quite positive, but I also understand, that if you are an atheist this also can be quite annoying, because it is asking for faith, and not for the understanding; I got it and I agree, but also, I chill out, and I just enjoy the music, and just as it happens with lyrics from bands like Opeth, Darkthrone, Mayhem, etc. I prefer to just not take it so seriously and only enjoy their songs.

So, as I mention before, is not my intention to convince anyone to listen this kind of bands, but personally, they have a lot of killer songs and albums, and they should be treated equally as the rest of the bands. If you don’t like them, because their music just don’t filled your taste, or because the Lyrics are just too annoying that it doesn’t matter how great is the music, you just can’t take it, fine, thats ok; but, don’t judge without giving actually a chance.  I’ll recommend three bands that in my opinion are the best of this genre: Pantokrator, Horde and Crimson Monlight.

I would like to know your thoughts and opinions, please let me know in the comment box, and please subscribe to my social networks.

See you next time around!

How the melancholy found new way to spread in our souls? – A review of An Autumn for Crippled Children “The Long Goodbye” album.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted the article “The Future of Black Metal sound?”, in which I was talking about how some new bands, blend shoegaze, post rock and post punk with black metal sound, and called this new genre Post Black Metal. Today, I will share with you guys, a review for the last album of a band that is very deep in this movement, An Autumn for Crippled Children, and the album is titled “The Long Goodbye”.

An Autumn for Crippled Children is a band from Netherlands that started in 2009, and has already released five albums: “Lost” (2010), “Everything” (2011), “Only the Ocean Knows” (2012), “Try Not to Destroy Everything you Love” (2013) and finally “The Long Goodbye” (2015). The band is known for his heavily post black metal influenced sound.

“The long Goodbye” album is by far, one of the most emotive albums that I have been listened in the last years, probably, since the release of The Gathering “Nighttime Birds”. It is so melancholic, so dark and still so raw. The growling is always appropriate for the music while the keyboards are melted so incredible with the guitar sound.

Compared with another albums of others exponents of this genre, such as Altar Of Plagues, Wolves in the Throne Room, etc. “The long Goodbye” doesn’t includes blast beats, instead, it based more on the keyboards melodies, distorted guitar chords and black metal trademark growls.

The album opens with the homonym track “The long Goodbye”, which is heavily influenced by post punk sound, showing some incredible basslines and guitar riffs, and this vibe is present on “A New Form of Stillness” and “When Night Leaves Again”, which actually has some interesting riffs, that reminds a little bit to Darkthrone early releases.

“Covering towards the light”, “Only Skin”, “She’s Drawing Mountains” and the final track “The Sleep of Rust” has more New Prog sound on it, although, some gothic influences are heard here and there, especially on the final track, which is actually the more metal song on the album, is very doom and darky.

“Gleam” easily could be a Klimt1918 song, and it does includes a great drumming and outstanding keyboards background. “Endless Skies” is a very different song compared with the rest of the album, not only because has some electronic influences on it, but is the one in which you can hear more oppressive growling, and a more distorted guitar sound.

As conclusion the album obtain what is the goal of the genre, a nostalgic sound, a vibe of bitter sweetness blended with some anger and desperation. You can easily get lost into the cover artwork, while listening the album. Not many bands are able to express their feeling in the sound of the songs, but AACC, made it without any problem without sacrificing rage and rawness of the black metal sound. The album is amazing, and is probably, the best post black metal album of the year.

Who can be interested in this album? Well not Gorgoroth fans for sure, although the black metal fans that are already familiarized with the genre, will definitely enjoy this one. I actually recommend it to people who loves the many era of Anathema, because it melt perfectly every sound that we love from each one.

I hope this post has been of your interest, and please post your opinions, because I really would love to know them.

See you next time around!

All Out War – Dying Gods…The metal side of the NYHC scene

A couple of weeks ago, All Out War released a new EP called “Dying Gods” and before talking about this, I think is important to talk a little bit about the band first, since, despite they are very know in the NYHC and HC movement, the metal scene is not very familiarized with them.

All Out War, started playing around 1991, and after record several 7” and various lineup changes, they released their first full LP titled “Truth in the Age of Lies”. Since the album gained some recognition, they signed with the most important HC label of the 90’s, Victory Records, and release their second LP “For Those Who Were Crucified” in 1998. The band remains working with Victory releasing one more album titled “Condemned to Suffer” until 2004, when the band officially announced they finally separated. In 2007 the band reunited, and released two more albums, also under Victory Records: “Assassins in the House of God” and “Into the Killing Fields”.

Having said that, I know that many of you guys are already thinking: ok they are an important Hardcore band, but what is the deal with metal scene? Well to answer that, we must go back in the 90’s, when bands in metal music in fact, experimented with the mix of several styles and techniques. All Out War, along with Integrity and Merauder, are seminal bands, in what we know now days as Death Core and Crossover trash, and just as Dark Tranquility, In Flames and At the Gates, are respected as pioneers of the Melodic Death metal, these bands must be regarded as pioneers in the Hardcore metal sound. Please not confuse the Hardcore metal and crossover with Metal core movement, because is way too different.

So, what can I said about “Dying Gods” EP? Well, personally, the band still having the same energy as almost 20 years ago, and I have to admit that is amazing that these guys always try to sound fresh, without compromising their original sound. This EP, is darker than their predecessors, and this is not that common, in hardcore bands, the concept, the lyrics, the cover, everything is obscure. The sound reminds me more to early Morbid Angel records, rather than Cro-Mags, for example.

The album open with “Dying Gods” in which the first highlight, is that, Mike Score vocals reminds the style of John Tardy from Obituary, giving to the album a more metal sound. The song outro, fits perfectly as intro to the next song because in a complete contrast, is a dark acoustic guitar passage. “Vengeance Reigns Eternal” shows the classic All Out War sound, but this time showing more Tampa death metal influences, such as the trashed guitar solos and “cannibal corpesesque” riffing.

“Nothing Left to Bleed” is a very Slayer influenced song, it reminds me a blend between “Divine Intervention” with “Geminis”. On “Servants to the Obsolete” you can hear the classic hardcore metal of 90’s, which could be used as a great tribute to Merauder, because of the strong guitar riffs. “Choking on Indifference” is another example of the trash influence on this band, with a heavy intro, hardcore chorus and a great guitar solo. The song “Arise” is the more hardcore oriented song on the album, providing a nice vibe on it. The ending song “God is Dead” is definitely the most different song on the album, because, is the first time I hear All Out War playing a classic heavy metal influenced song, and it is so great the hear some melodies on the chorus and even some female voices, which provide an amazing end to the album.

In conclusion, this could be the most metal influenced album of the band so far, and this is not necessarily incredible, since at this point, All Out War probably feels with more freedom than never, to experiment with any genre they want. It is a very recommended album to any hardcore fans, but I really want to encourage to all metal fans out there, to give a chance to this album, I’m pretty sure that is not gonna disappoint you.

Please, leave you message and opinion in the Comments box, I really want to know your thoughts about this album.

See you next time around!