The Rebirth of Metal Music

Lately, is being very natural to me feel how music in general (metal, rock, pop, country, etc.) seems to be in an endless decaying and it makes really hard to enjoy and listen new music, because is always the same result:  Annoying synth samples, almost null real instruments presence, hedonist rich kid lyrics, overproduced or too polished songs, etc.

We can blame the music business, or the really bad taste of new generations, but that would be a very generalized point of view. I do not consider myself able to find out what’s wrong with music nowadays, so I won’t waste my time trying to do that. Instead I’ll try to be more positive here, and I’ll highlight (from my very personal point of view and taste) some good examples of music rebirth (At least from the genre that I consider myself able to do, which is metal).

Abigail Williams

Is not new for the few people who follow this blog that I’m a huge fan of this band, although I can ensure that is not the reason of why I’m including them in this list. Actually the real reason, is that those guys are getting better with every album they release, and what I mean with better, is the fact that they sound more organic, more real and, they show a better technique and execution, on the last two albums than their whole previous catalogue. The last album, is not only an example of aggressive and raw black metal, is also a great example of modern metal, with some post rock elements, ambient melodies, all blended in such way that doesn’t sound artificial, but all the opposite, sound very passionate.

https://www.facebook.com/abigailwilliamsofficial

Violet Cold

For the people who know this band (actually formed by only one member) I’m pretty sure that you also consider that it’s a must to include it in this list. Violet Cold is actually the best example of the future on metal bands, not only because of the sound, but also because of the way it’s being promoted (almost exclusively based on social media), the audience that is reaching, and the recording techniques that is being using. Focusing on the sound, I would say, without any doubt, that this band is one of the most successfully experimental metal band nowadays, and when I say successfully I’m not referring to success in the media and music business, instead I mean a success in the sounds they blend, the atmospheric sounds they use, the aggressiveness of some passages and finally, the null artificial sound on every single song. You don’t need to be acoustic to sound organic, you can even make a complete electronic track and yet sound very natural, In my opinion, that is the best description of Violet Cold.

https://www.facebook.com/VioletColdOfficial/

Monstrance

First at all, there is nothing new in this band, Monstrance is the veteran soldier that survived the 90’s metal scene, and is the living proof that real death metal is still among us. Founded by Carlos Regadas (Ex-Devoid, Ex-Carcass, Ex-Black Star), this band has only shared some demos via Facebook and YouTube, but what you hear on them, is the real essence of death and heavy metal. Great musicality, amazing melodies, very cool guitar solos, powerful drums, and awesome death growls. I’m really waiting for the release of a whole album, because, at some point, especially in the 2000’s, death metal became in something odd and weird, and I don’t want that as a good example of actual death metal. I have no doubt that Monstrance will bring the real death metal sound to our ears, and this will inspire new bands to do the same.

https://www.facebook.com/monstranceofficial/

Farmikos

As well as Monstrance, Farmikos came from a guitarist formed in the 90’s metal scene: Joe Holmes, the former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist. This guy basically disappears from the mainstream scene for years, and now he returns with this incredible Hard Rocker/Metal band. The great deal with Farmikos, is that you can hear all the forgotten elements in metal nowadays: Stoner and Groove based guitar riffs, Soundgarden’sque vocals, simplistic production and of course, huge guitar solos. You won’t hear over produced songs with this band, only straight to your face songs, that use the same basic formula that Led Zeppelin used back in the 70’s.

https://www.facebook.com/farmikos/

And that’s all I have for you guys, but that doesn’t mean that only these bands are the ones in charge of the rebirth of metal music does ‘it? Of course not, that’s only a selection based on my taste and my opinion, of course I would like to know your opinion and which bands you consider  that are the ones that will bring back the real metal to our ears!….

Thanks for read! Please subscribe if you like this post, I promise to write more thing like this in the future.

Regards!

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!

The Future of the Black Metal sound?

Lately I been very focused into a new metal sub-genre, that is bringing something, that in my opinion is very interesting: Post-Black Metal/ Blackgaze. I’m putting both labels together, because the bands associated to them, are commonly linked somehow, but they actually are not exactly the same.

This trend was born in France around 2002, with bands like Wolves in the Throne Room, Alcest and Amesoeurs considered as pioneers. Some albums regarded as seminal are Burzum’s “Filosofem” and Agalloch “The Mantle”, among some other which combine the classic Black Metal sound with a more atmospheric sound, neo folk influences and even electronic passages on their songs.

What is interesting about this sub-metal genre, is the fact that, blends two distant genres, such as shoegazing (e.g. My Bloody Valentine) with the rawness of the Black metal sound. Blackgaze, it is basically more like the classic post-punk (e.g. Joy Division) and shoegaze sound with clean vocals, blended with some black metal passages, generating a darker ambient than the classic shoegaze sound.  Common examples of this sub-genre are French bands such as Les Discrets and Alcest.

In the case of Post-Black Metal, is quite different, because the sound is based more faithfully on the classic Black Metal sound, but the guitar sound and melodies are very similar to shoegazing structures. Blast beats and black metal growling are commonly present, although the bass and drum lines are very influenced by progressive rock and post punk. Two bands regarded as Post Black Metal, are the French Wolves in the Throne Room and Irish Altar Of Plagues.

In conclusion, this new trend seems to be quite accepted, but do not actually reaches the point in which people start to talk about it, and of course, start to generate some controversy. Regarding the case of Post Black Metal, and in my own personal opinion, seems a very natural next step of the genre, although, I do not consider that this is the future of the Black Metal scene. Blackgaze, on the other side, has been more accepted by the alternative music scene, because even if you can listening some black metal influences on it, is not black metal at all. If you are the kind of person that actually delight bands such as The Gathering, Anathema and Antimatter, you should definitely try Blackgaze, especially the one provided by Alcest, I’m pretty sure that you gonna enjoy as much as I did.

I guess that for the black metal puritans, and maybe the not so puritans; Post Black Metal, could be an actual insult to the scene; but if you consider yourself a black metal fan, that is open to experiment with new sounds and trends, then I strongly recommend you, listen the albums from Wolves in the Throne Room “Celestial Lineage “and Altar Of Plagues “Teethed Glory and Injury” (which I personally enjoy it really much).

Finally, 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!