Monday, October 17, 2016

Stuff I Listened To Post 2: Amon Amarth, Riverside, Itoarazi, Sloth

Band/Artist: Amon Amarth
Song: Twilight Of The Thunder God
Album: Twilight Of The Thunder God
Style: Melodic Death Metal
country/location: Stockholm, Sweden
release: 2008

Kicking off this post is one of my old favs, Amon Amarth! The masters of viking themed riff tastic melodic death metal. Sure they've been doing this novelty for years and they haven't deviated much, but god damn are they good at their craft! This album is among my favs and I always make a point of listening to it while driving around New England in autumn.

Band/Artist: Riverside
Song: Lost (Why Should I Be Frightened by a Hat?)
Album: Love, Fear and the Time Machine
Style: Progressive Rock/Metal
country/location: Warsaw Poland
release: 2015

I've been a fan of Riverside for sometime now but somehow didn't get around to listening to this record until relatively recently. Major major failure on my part for this album is absolutely stunning. It's been on rotation for at least a month now. A collection of prog rock songs\ that are wonderfully mellows showcasing optimistic melancholic songwriting with Mariusz Duda's trademark angelic voice, Piotr Grudziński's  (RIP) soulful and skillful guitar work, Michał Łapaj's blend of 70s prog and somber atmosphere and Mittloff's time changing rhythms. This is a prog fan's dream come true.

My Talented Friends

Band/Artist: Itorazi
Song: Dickinson
Style: Ambient/Experimental/Electronic/Cowbell
country/location: Worcester MA
release: 2016

So this is my buddy's ambient/electronic/experimental project in which he does all sorts of cool sounding music and experiments. This particular track appeals to me in so many ways. For one thing, I can say that I have a fever for cowbell and this song gives me a huge dose of cowbell. That's cause all the sounds on this track was created by a cowbell manipulated and distorted and altered into different sounds and beats. Well hope you enjoy or not!

Sloth Single

Band/Artist: Sloth
Song: Socky Octy​!​!
Album: Socky Octy​!​!
Style: Noise
country/location: Tampa, Florida
release: 2016

So there's this band called Sloth who for the last two or three years have been releasing a noise track practically every day with silly/weird/whatever titles. It's all just noise, but for the fun of it, I thought every other post I'd post one here for no reason other than I find them hilarious. Anyways this one is called Socky Octy!! Best way to describe most of this, imagine you're listening to a song with a very booming bass on some large but crappy speakers and you turn it up until it sounds all boofy and such. And then instead of music it just stays there. Well hope you enjoy or not.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Stuff I've Listened To Post 1: Agatus, The Devil's Blood, Irisa, Midnight Chaser

Full Albums

Band/Artist: Agatus
Song: The Invisible (The Fifth Portal To Atlantis)
Album: The Eternalist
Style: A melting pot of black metal, heavy metal, 70s prog, epic metal
country/location: Athens, Greece
release: 2016

I read a review of this album that said this album is a melting pot of black metal, NWOBHM, 70s prog and epicness. It was so true that I couldn't come up with my own analogy so I stole it. The riffs are straight out of 1980s Britain and the tone and atmosphere is straight out of 1990s Scandinavia. But then there are synth lines and drum fills that Rush and Dream Theater fans would love. It fits so well together!

Band/ArtistThe Devil's Blood
Album: The Thousandfold Epicentre
Style: Occult/Psychedelic/Prog Rock
country/location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
release: 2011

I've had this CD in my collection for a few years now after seeing them at MDF and I'm just getting around to giving it a thorough listen. The Devil's Blood is often labeled as a retro band or a throw back to the early 70s, however I would say that their sound is more an update to that style and feel. They certainly sound like they would've fit in perfectly at the original Woodstock with all the psychedelic atmosphere and occult themes. That said, they are not in a haze with the past but using those influences as a template!

Random Stuff I Stumbled Upon

SongBlue (Eiffel 65, 1999)
Album: GameBoy by Superclima
Style: Alternative Rock - Art Rock
country/location: Córdoba, Argentina
release: 2015

So I was going to post an Eiffel 65 song that I had stuck in my head as a result of my wife indirectly mentioning a lyric from it (which I'll save for another day heh), but somehow I stumbled upon this little gem. This is probably the closest one will ever get to hearing a stripped down organic version of this song. It's still pop and electric, but it has electric guitar leads, violins, Latin American rhythm, a relaxed and clean singer, 4 part harmony sections, funky bass lines. It really is refreshing. I might have to check out more from this band!

Band I'm Listening To Right This Second As A Result of the Metal Archives Random Band Feature

So every other post I do, I'm going to click the Random Band link on the Metal Archives (yeah I'm a MA nerd!) and if I can listen to them (there are tons of bands that are very hard to find recordings of), I'll post about that band. This post's selection is:

Band/ArtistMidnight Chaser
Song Lion's Choice
Album: Lion's Choice
Style: Heavy Metal
country/location: Oakland, California
release: 2014

As luck would have it, Midnight Chaser came up! I've seen their name come up on awesome lineups including some of my favorite new trad/heavy metal bands (Visigoth, High Spirits to name a few). This is high octane balls to the wall fist pumping heavy metal that is chock full o' riffs, soaring vocals, guitar solos, anthemic songwriting. This is the real deal! I really really hope these guys come around to Ralphs and play, cus I can't imagine this being anything less than the best!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

And so it begins.... again!

So I'm back! Who knows how long this'll last. But I'm changing the format a little. I'm just gonna be posting Stuff I've Listened To This Week! A collection of, well, stuff I've listened to this week and/or recently. Anyways hope you enjoy!

Couple disclaimers:

1. I'll be posting tracks/songs/stuff from various sources bandcamp, youtube, etc. I will try to give credit where credit is due! If any of the original owners prefer that I change to them or want better credit or even to remove them please let me know privately. I will be understanding and oblige your requests (though I'll probably be a little bummed if you ask me to remove stuff but hey it's all good!).

2. Everything written in this blog are my opinions and do not represent any organization or company I might be working for/with. Any complaints or disagreements should be directed at me and no one else.

Saturday, July 4, 2015


A little disclaimer: Everything written in this blog are my opinions and do not represent any organization or company I might be working for/with. Any complaints or disagreements should be directed at me and no one else.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

MOTD - Engorged: A Breath of Fresh Death Metal Air

Mp3 Of The Day  

Band/Artist: Engorged  
Song: Eating The Afterbirth 
Album: Engorged demo
Style: Death Metal  
Country/Location: Worcester/Auburn, Massachusetts 
Release: 1993

Last week the Metal Thursday/Worcester metal scene family gathered to celebrate the birth of our brother in horns and arms, the one and only Matt Smith. This man has been an active member of the New England metal scene for years, winning our hearts while headbanging his gorgeous golden locks or playing in fuzzy heavy incredible doom bands or just being one of the friendliest and most badass mofos ever. I call him my hair brother for we share the blessing of having blond curly hair that is perfect, but he's also my brother in metal.

So in honor of this most metal of men, I share with you the early days of Matt Smith's metal career, a band called Engorged. Not to be confused with the slightly more well known death/grind band from Portland, Oregon, this Engorged was formed around 1992 or so in the Worcester area. Matt and his buddies set out to produce their own brand of brutal and dirty death metal. This brand consisted of chunky brutal riffs, fast skillfully chaotic guitar licks, grind blasting pummeling drums and inhuman gruff grunts. All this plus a gritty satanic atmosphere which provided the final key to their brazen sound. Engorged were definitely a force of death metal nature, releasing a killer 4 song demo in 1993 (which I share one song with you!). Sadly, their brutal time together was short, disbanding around 1995.

Fortunately for those of who missed their early run there's a new chapter in the story of Engorged. 2011 saw the return of Engorged from the band. Today they continue to show Worcester and Boston how real old school death metal is done. They sound fresh and new while keeping true to their traditions. It's always to pleasure to see Engorged punish audiences with dirty and raw music, plus they do a fantastic cover of Venom's "In League With Satan." Anyways, happy (belated) birthday Matt Smith! Continue to be the most metal person I know!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

MOTD - Nightwish: Nemo dumps snow & silly young metalhead memories

Mp3 Of The Day  

Band/Artist: Nightwish  
Song: Nemo  
Album: Once  
Style: Symphonic Power Metal  
Country/Location: Kitee, Finland  
Release: 2004

In true unpredictably predictable Wren fashion, I am attempting to restart my lil' blog with a play on a recent meteorological event. Even truer to myself, I'm posting a really really cheesy song that most true metalheads will find repulsive. Ain't I a stinker?

The biggest snow storm of the century has come and gone. This mammoth storm dubbed Nemo by scientists and media caused all sorts of excitement, including a driving ban which has caused me to be happily trapped at my home in North Grafton surrounded by 28.7" of snow. That is a shit ton of snow right there!

Anyways, the name Nemo reminded me of an old favorite song of mine by one of the first metal bands I got into when I was first venturing out into the heavy music realms. I remember first discovering Nightwish randomly on the iTunes music store back in 2004 and thinking "what is this!? This is awesome!" At the time, the idea of heavy metal mixed with operatic vocals was foreign to me but man it got me hooked. I mean, Evanescence I liked a lot but this was way heavier (well, to a young metalhead) and the symphonic elements were even more pronounced. Each song was a tasty bombastic over-the-top nugget of crunchy toned goodness that digested themselves into my brain like Khan's Ceti Alpha V eels. Tarja's powerful classically trained voice was a bright and shiny gem that sparkled over the raging metal fire. Today, I realize and hear that this album "Once" is considered their sorta sell-out record, taking a nu-metal/mainstream rock turn from their usual hyper melodic and solid power metal. Even I admit their earlier work is much better and more honest then this, however you know what, this still holds a very special place in my heart and every time a song from "Once" is played I smile.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

MOTD - Coke Bust: Straight Edge Awesome

Mp3 Of The Day
Band/Artist: Coke Bust
Song: Spit Out
Album: Lines In The Sand
Style: Hardcore/Powerviolence/Thrashcore
Country/Location: Washington DC, US
Release: 2009

First post of 2012, and it's only March. Sorry folks I'll be better at this soon. I have tons and tons of stuff to share plus there are hundreds of shows coming up that will introduce me to new stuff to share, but for now expect random posts every now and then.

So far it seems that my year always starts off with a hardcore show, and 2012's first show was a banger! The Boston area had a violent visit by DC's straight edge hardcore band Coke Bust. They annihilated a tiny recording studio with their in-your-face, super fast and furious force of hardcore mastery. Each song was either a short burst of rebellion, an unrelenting blast of punk noise, an anthem of chugging thrash infused hardcore, a slower fist pounder or a combination of all that and everything raw & brazen. The vocalist spits loud voiced political & social anger at all who agree or disagree. All throughout the show, the energy was unbelievable, no part of the room was safe from the pit that ensued. Even on recording, Coke Bust's intensity is conveyed! I picked up their "Lines In The Sand" full length at the show, it's 30 satisfying minutes of abrasive hardcore that doesn't let up! Check it out!