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!

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Is Phil Anselmo Racist?

Hi everyone, it’s been a while since the last time I posted something, but one important event surfaced the web a couple of days ago (apart from the fact that several Rock icons were passed away recently). I can imagine that you already know about the controversy caused by Phil Anselmo at the end of the Dimebash fest the last month: Phil throw the Nazi salute and screamed “White Power” to the crowd. Everything went viral after the owner of the original video shared a 13 seconds video in which Phil appears doing the previously described, explaining his desire to share with everyone the Phil actions at the fest, and then, the snowball rolled down.

Tons and tons of comments on every single Metal community were posted regarding this, some of them calling to chill out and let’s pass this, that it was not big deal, although, 90% of the comments actually disapproved Phil’s actions. This reached more importance, when Robb Flynn from Machine Head, posted a 11 minutes response in which he slaps Phil and call him a “big bully”. Phil initially posted a brief explanation on the original video saying that it was an inside joke regarding White Wine, and that not apologies were required. A lot of other opinions disapproving towards Phil’s actions surfaced the web also. Phil finally posted a video, in which he can be seen it in a very serious and dark mood, explaining what really happened, and that he is 100% apologetic.

Well, I can continue describing the series of events regarding this, but that is not my intention, to be honest, especially when you can find better sources and videos on google and YouTube.  Two important questions come out from all these events:

– Is Phil Anselmo racist?

– Shall the Metal community don’t allow racism in music?

In the current post, I would like to focus only on give you my opinion of the first question.

It is funny, but this is not the first time that Phil is involved in this kind of controversies, I remember saw a video dated from 2002, in which you can heard Phil scream “White Power” on the “New Level” chorus. Is not necessary to research that much, just type “Phil Anselmo” plus “White power” on youtube and you will find a lot of videos of past concerts or interviews, regarding this subject. But, does this makes him actually a racist? A follower of the white supremacy movement? Apart from all the well documented events, he has not been involved with a specific group or nobody has seen him attending a Neo Nazi meeting, or even more, attacking someone. I honestly don’t think that Phil be racist, but instead, I think that he was raised under a very American old fashioned style, and his principles are based in a very conservative basis. Although, this is not a justification on his actions, it is only an explanation, I personally hate any form of fascism and racism. Racism is a very dedicated thing to deal with, and it should be treated carefully. What happen here, and most likely that it was the same on previous occasions, is that Phil was totally intoxicated, completely high or something, and he just didn’t think twice the situation, and then, we already know the consequences.

Talking about consequences, Down upcoming show in the FortaRock festival was cancelled, they explained that there is no place for racism in the festival. Phil dropped another apology regarding this event, and I just saw that Pepper J. Keenan (his partner in Down) already posted something in the band’s official Facebook page, and he is accepting Phil’s apologies (thankfully Down won’t be disbanded).

As a conclusion, if Phil’s really wants to be active in the metal scene, I consider that he need do the following:

1) Prove that he is not racist, and that he is not involved in any form of hate group

2) It is critical for Phil enter into a rehab program, because there are many others things in danger, such as Housecore records, the Housecore horror fest, all his bands and finally his career.  Also this implies, that in this way, I’m pretty sure that he will improve his performance in 200%, because lately is being mediocre at best.

Well guys, this my opinion regarding all these events, I’m not defending Phil, I strongly believe that if he is proven be racist, he should face the consequences of his ideas, although I already gave you my opinion, and I would be very glad to know yours, so please posted on the comment box section.

I will come up with the second part in a few days, so be pending for it.

Thanks for you time 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

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!