Tuesday, December 30, 2008

MOTD - L.i.E. - A Unique Blend of 70s Prog, Modern Alternative Rock and Heavy Metal

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: L.i.E.
Song: Control
Album: none yet
Style: Progressive/Alternative Rock/Metal
country/location: Augusta, Georgia
release: hasn't yet!

We interrupt this program with a special bulletin. China has taken over Nigeria with their space ships. President Bush has said that the United States will respond in full force with their nuclear twinkies.

Actually, I'm interrupting the black metal series by posting an awesome upcoming band! Normally I would wait for a slightly better time, but this takes precedent. First of all this band is worth checking out. Second of all, the drummer of this band, is one of the guys that I stole/borrowed/took over the MOTD from. Not only that, his MOTD post helped shape my growing as a metal fan. So whenever he and the other guys want me to post something, I am obliged to interrupt whatever series I'm doing. Don't worry, it's an honor to do so!

Hailing from Augusta, Georgia, L.i.E. is a unique but traditional band that takes a lot of small elements from different genres and mixes them together into a catchy and awesome sound. These elements range from 1970s progressive rock, modern alternative hard rock, traditional metal, and lots of melody. I would hesitate to call them a strict metal band, but then again I think they're metal enough for me to label them as such! The metal elements are found in the heavily distorted and powerful riffs heard during the chorus, though even the heaviness is melodic and heartfelt enough to be friendly to a radio audience. The verses bring the 1970s prog sound to the mix, with echoey guitars and flute-sounding keyboards. There are some harsh-ish vocals, though to call them extreme or death growls would be completely off. High pitched harsh barks would be one way to put it. The chorus is incredibly catchy and with an anthemic feel to it. I found myself singing "BACK TO THE WATER!!!" while walking home from work, which is always a sign of a well written catchy chorus. L.i.E. is a band to keep an eye and ear out for!

L.i.E. - Control

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

MOTD - Panopticon: Incredible Atmospheric Anarchist Vegan Pagan Black Metal from Kentucky That's Beautiful and Unrelenting

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Panopticon
Song: ...Speaking
Album: Panopticon
Style: Atmospheric Black Metal
country/location: Louisville, Kentucky, US
release: 2008

So here in Massachusetts we've been getting quite a bit of snowfall and grim black metal like conditions. Perfect weather for this song of the day! Well at least it was perfect weather for this song of the day. Again, I'm a lazy and busy bum!

Just from the initial description, I bet some of you are like "hmm, an atmospheric black metal band from Kentucky? That's a bit different." If I told you that Panopticon's lyrical themes were anarchist in nature with some vegan and pagan tendencies, I bet you'd be like "Woah!" Ok maybe not, but I know I was a little surprised by the thought of an anarchist vegan black metal band from Kentucky. I was even more surprised at how amazing this band was.

Panopticon is a new atmospheric black metal band that combines a lot of different elements into a sound that is unique but at the same time traditional. No song on their incredible debut album is completely the same, yet they still keep to the same feel. Some songs are pure black metal masterpieces while others are more introspective and emotional. This song is one of their more melodic and "emotional" sounding pieces. The introductory tremolo guitars here are highly reverbed and clean sounding, slowly and emotionally lulling you into a sorta dark calm. Very comforting and yet haunting, with little drum crashes here and there. About 3 minutes in, this builds up into an explosion of unrelenting pounding almost-blast beat drums that just continues for seemingly forever. All the while the melodic reverbed tremolo guitars continue to sooth you, with just a touch of black metal guitars oh so subtley in the background. Eventually the raspy black metal vocals come into the melodic and extreme fray, but not overwhelming all the other elements but not totally in the back. The drumming is so mechanical and constant that even when there are slight variations or breaks, the intensity stays. It's incredibly beautiful and kinda excruciating all at the same time. When I first heard this song I was both entranced by the melodies (and I'm a sucker for reverbed guitar), but at the same time the drums were so intense that I could barely listen to it. It was amazing. I can tell you that this album is definitely in my Top albums of 2008.

(warning: the track may or may not be fully uploaded. I believe it is, if it's not let me know!)

Panopticon - ...Speaking

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

MOTD - Njiqahdda: A Rich but Complex Psychedelic/Ambient Black Metal Pie

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Njiqahdda
Song: Aasklamatii Ligmett Aursag
Album: Nji. Njiijn. Njiiijn.
Style: Atmospheric Black Metal/Psychedelic Rock/Ambient
country/location: Illinois, US
release: 2008

This is a very unusual and hard to describe band. I'm not entirely sure whether my description will do Njiqahdda justice hehe. They're also a band that takes a little time and effort to get used to and to love. Oh don't get me wrong, they're an incredible group, but their brilliance comes from a lot of listens. Their album is one of my top of 2008.

Njiqahdda is a weird mix of various styles. You could almost call them a kind of musical cream pie. Black metal is the cookie crumb base, giving a gritty and thin guitar tone and extreme vocal support to the whole dish. The filling is a creamy semi-repetitive but doesn't get old psychedelic/indie/post rock riffing custard that flows from one bite to the next. It's still the same taste in your ears, but there's something slightly different for each morsel. The closing crust is a glaze of atmospheric, noisy and ambient elements that give this pie a rich and full bodied taste. Cooked in a very raw and natural production oven and you get a strangely delicious psychedelic/ambient black metal pie! I suppose that some people won't like this pie, especially since it is a complex yet simple yet repetitive yet bizarre 18 minutes of edible music. I hope you'll try a bite, but you have to eat the entire thing to really enjoy it!

Njiqahdda - Aasklamatii Ligmett Aursag

Sunday, December 14, 2008

MOTD - When Bitter Spring Sleeps: Amazing ambient black metal now with 100% real nature sounds!

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: When Bitter Spring Sleeps
Song: What The Rain Knows
Album: When Bitter Spring Sleeps
Style: Ambient/Atmospheric/Natural Black Metal
country/location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa, US
release: 2008

First of all, I just realized that it's been an entire year since I started doing the MOTD in an official capacity! Wow, kinda proud of myself for this! haha

Second of all, I'm sorry I'm getting lazy in my old age! This week has been unusually busy in the sense that I didn't get around to writing this until today! hehe I have so much stuff for you guys that I wish I had time to do it every day!
FINALLY I GOT THIS POSTED! Ok enough exclamation points!

Anyways, back to the black metal series. Not all black metal is about dark emotions such as hate and anger, and not all is about being as extreme and noisy as you can. Some black metal bands focus on other dark themes such as nature, and then create atmospheric and almost beautiful pieces of music. All this while keeping with the extreme nature (pun sorta intended) of black metal. Go out on a cold, dark and rainy night and you'll feel the chill, but it'll be a beautiful and haunting chill. There's something mystical about the dark aspects of nature. A lot of bands try to capture that feel in their music.

When Bitter Spring Sleeps is one of the few bands that combine a real ambience (or seemingly real) with the musical atmosphere. They supposedly construct their music outdoors in natural settings while recording the ambient sounds around them, thus creating amazing sonic textures and dark feelings. The music itself is a wall of sound tremolo guitars that are haunting and surprisingly melodic. Occasionally a melodic and sorrowful lead guitar breaks through the ambiance. The vocals are like a gruff drone, adding onto the coldness of the music. There are no drums or any percussion so it's smooth and flowing. It's mystical and mesmerizing, and even strangely soothing. Hypnotic would be another word for them. The music itself is incredible I think, but the natural sounds add a realistic feel to it. I suppose I have no actual proof that their novelty is true hehe, however I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt for they do what they do so well. When Bitter Spring Sleeps is one of my favorite discoveries of 2008. If you get the chance, I'd recommend purchasing their EP for the packaging is pretty nifty. The paper that makes up the liner notes is made from aged parchment which adds to the whole natural feel. Highly recommended!

When Bitter Spring Sleeps - What The Rain Knows

Sunday, December 7, 2008

MOTD - Ayat: Very Raw Black Metal from Lebanon! Not for the easily offended!

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Ayat
Song: The Possession
Album: Al Nabi Moujrem Moughtaseb Dajjal
Style: Black Metal (very raw black metal)
country/location: Beirut, Lebanon
release: 2005

Now this is raw black metal at it's best! This band is not for the easily offended nor for the faint of heart! It is excruciatingly noisy production! Gritty gritty guitars, extreme extreme vocals, blasting blasting drums! Anti-religious and evil lyrical themes! As they say in their liner notes, "AYAT reigns supreme over the Black Metal scene in the fucking middle east. AYAT supports the total annihilation of mankind, ..., torture of those who deserve it, and supreme fucking mayhem across all nations, religions and races of the earth. If you are offended by our beliefs you might as well fuck off..." This is pure hatred of all people's and things. Not only that, they're from Lebanon! They aren't much appreciated in their home country as a result of their anti-religious and anti-humanity beliefs.

Someone once was complaining about how all black metal was just noise. Well, Ayat is a band to almost prove them right. To the untrained ear, this is just noise, gritty and blasting noise. However if you listen through the static and distortion it's pretty complex and intense stuff. The guitar playing is relentless but there is method to the madness. Dark and minor sounding tremolo riffs with some of the most excruciating screaming vocals this side of hell. This is more than your usual raw black metal that is just playing with the grim and dark atmosphere. Underneath all the static, there are these weird moments of melodious almost ethnic singing. So faint are they in these moments, you aren't sure whether they're coming from the music or from some other location. It's incredible when you pick it out, especially towards the end of the song as the intensity slows down (though doesn't diminish). The track ends with one large blast of static, distorted, screaming noise that turns off abruptly as a woman's voice comes through singing something very middle eastern. It's so bizarre when you hear it for the first time. Ayat is very traditional in their raw black metal, however the little quirks set them apart from all other bands of their ilk.

Ayat - The Possession

Friday, December 5, 2008

MOTD - Ceremonial Castings: European flavored American black metal with symphonic and death elements

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Ceremonial Castings
Song: World Unsantification
Album: Barbaric is the Beast
Style: (symphonic/melodic) Black Metal
country/location: Battle Ground, Washington
release: 2006

(wow, it's been a week since I've posted anything! This week's been crazy and I just haven't gotten around to it. Also I needed a breather. Anyways!) So begins yet another series of black metal bands that I'd like to share with you guys! Some of them are more traditional than others (today's band) while some of them are quite experimental and different (Panopticon). All of them are top bands, if not really awesome, if not at least worth a listen! In true Wren/Bob fashion, I'll probably interrupt the series for some random stuff (like the 200th post that's coming up soon! A little silly surprise for that one haha).

So this band comes from a suggestion and a recommendation! In one of the metal communities I'm in, someone recommended this band to me (and the community). Much to my surprise, I discovered that I had something by them. Not only that, it was one of the MOTD that had been posted years ago when I was just a budding metal head. I also remembered the song kicked major ass. Now I'm not one to repeat a song if I can avoid it (I repeated once, but that was because I wasn't paying attention). So I acquired a full album by this band so I could introduce something different.

Wow, long introduction haha! Ceremonial Castings are a black metal band with some melodic, symphonic and death metal elements that hails from Battle Ground, Washington. What exactly sets them a part from the other symphonic black metal bands? First of all the band doesn't have a bassist which creates for a more thin and traditional black metal sound. Second of all, the black metal elements are all there. Tremolo guitars, blastbeats, the dark and grim atmosphere. The riffs here are melodic but still fast and extreme. Third of all, the symphonic elements are light but still a huge part of their sound. The keyboards give that melodic touch without being overpowering and over the top. It's a traditional style while being original and unique. They utilize the usual black metal higher pitched vocals in parts (like the first half), but they also use more deep guttural death metal growls. This is probably one of their more unique elements. That and also the occasional deep clean singing that is placed over the extreme vocals. All these elements scream European metal, but they are from Washington (which might as well be Europe hehe). I thank the person who re-introduced this incredible band to me!

Ceremonial Castings - World Unsanctification

Thursday, November 27, 2008

MOTD - Happy Thanksgiving! And a $4000 death metal album for you!

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Sororicide
Song: Human Recycling
Album: The Entity
Style: Death Metal
country/location: Reykjavik, Iceland
release: 1991

This band is quite the collector's entity. I mean, who can resist a semi-obscure death metal album from Iceland? I know I couldn't. Certainly I'd want to spend up to $4000 for a rare CD for a death metal band from Iceland! Ok, maybe not. I'd love to have a rare album by a semi-obscure metal band, but $4000?! No way! Fortunately for you and I, there is the internet where you can hear said semi-obscure metal band that sells for $4000 on ebay for the price of your fingertips.

So is Sororicide really worth $4000? Honestly, no. However, are they worth the obscure cult following that they seem to have picked up? I'd say so! They are a traditional old school death metal band with a lot of unique aspects to their sound. I read somewhere that they have a little bit of a Candlemass doom influence. I could believe it for a lot of their riffs combine that old death metal distortion with very slow, brooding and very doomy lines. This song has starts off with a sense of forbidding that molds into a really awesome slow guitar riff. This then explodes into full blasting, unrelenting death metal with pounding drums and thrashy guitars. Like all good old death metal, there are solos! Very well executed solos utilizing melodic slow licks and faster shreddings. I can see why this band is sought after by collectors for they definitely have their own sound and style. Underrated would be a good word for them. I'd love to find a physical copy of this, however I wouldn't spend $4000 on this....

Sororicide - Human Recycling

And for my Thanksgiving gift to all of you, here is the full album in all of it's $4000 glory! hehe

Sororicide - The Entity

(rapidshare, zip, mp3)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

MOTD - Abysmal Torment: Brutal Death Metal Done (Malta) Right!

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Abysmal Torment
Song: Flayed Dismembered and Feasted Upon
Album: Epoch Of Methodic Carnage
Style: Brutal Death Metal
country/location: Malta
release: 2006

So while I don't really take traditional requests, I definitely take suggestions and such. Like for example, when I posted Animals Killing People, I was given the suggestion that I post Wormed or Abysmal Torment. After acquiring the latter, I decided that I should post Abysmal Torment! Many reasons for this: 1. They're from Malta which goes with my love of searching for metal bands from less well known metal scenes. 2. I had already heard Wormed and I wanted to hear something else. 3. They use a lot of generic elements of brutal death metal and make something totally awesome and strong with them! 4. They're a bit unique in the sense that they have two vocalists.

Abysmal Torment is about as traditional brutal death as you can get, with blasting snare drums, fast and chaotic guitar riffs, slamming brutal death breakdowns (NOT deathcore breakdowns), gory disgusting lyrics, and brutal in-your-face and inhuman vocals ranging from deep guttural sounds to the infamous pig squeals. I have a feeling that the latter part will turn away a lot of people haha. However, if there was ever a style where they were incredibly appropriate, it is in this band and it's ilk. I've always associated with that vocal style with the most brutal of bands and minus all the metalcore influences. Here, Abysmal Torment utilize two vocalists to provide maximum annihilation. Though I must admit there are only a few places where this works well. Both vocalists have slightly different guttural and pig squeal registers that when done together creates brutal death harmony (haha). However on their own, it's hard to tell the difference. The guitar work here is a mixture of headbanging riffs and some pretty technical licks. I have a feeling that this band will bring bipolar response with some people loving this and some people hating this haha. Personally I love these guys! They do their style incredibly well and they are completely unrelenting! Excruciatingly awesome would be how I put them!

Abysmal Torment - Flayed Dismembered and Feasted Upon

disclaimer: if you do have an suggestion, it may or may not be fulfilled right away (I was suggested this band last month. The next track was suggested last week and maybe or may not appear tomorrow or the next day or even the next day hehe). Just saying!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

MOTD - Rachel Mother Goose: Totally Worth 2 Years of Searching

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Rachel Mother Goose
Song: Another World
Album: Signs
Style: Melodic Heavy Metal
country/location: Japan
release: 2006

So about maybe two years ago I was browsing the metal archives with some friends of mine and we were looking up band names with our names in them. My friend Rachel was among those people. I found a band called Rachel Mother Goose. Immediately we decided that they must be the best band ever for they have such a fantastic band name! Obviously we had to have an album or song by them. I found a measly song sample that sounded pretty good, but no album. For the next two years on and off, I searched for a full length album or demo for download or for purchase. Nothing showed up. I even requested my girlfriend at the time to search in Japan when she went for a summer (she broke up with me before she left, so no luck there, though she did introduce me to Formloff, but that's another story ). Even asked a friend of mine from Japan to look for me with no luck. Last week, on a whim, I did a quick search using all my searching techniques and low and behold, I found a download of their last full length album Signs. (downloading it was a bit of a task for the website had the links go to this weird joke site, but if you looked at the url, there was a link to the rapidshare site. It was really weird)

Now after all that searching was it worth it? Well, YES! haha! Totally worth it! I've been listening to this album off and on for about a week now. This song in particular has become a favorite of mine. Rachel Mother Goose is a weird (how Japanese) blend of power metal, organ-driven classic rock, anime soundtrack like music (the jazzier/jam band kind), strong Onmyo-Za influences and not sure what else. They are far from the weirdest band other there, but they definitely have a sound of their own and it works really well. I think at one point they had a male vocalist, but now they have a pretty powerful almost-jazzy female singer. They're a seriously awesome band with a great sense of composition, while still being a lot of fun to listen to. There are some really catchy melodies and riffs with some semi-unorthodox sections. If you like this song (fuel my attention-whore-ness and comment :-D), you may click on the cover to download the full album. Normally I'd say "go find your own copy," but considering how long it took me, I won't subject you to the same epic story! hehe

Rachel Mother Goose - Another World

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

MOTD - Exit 69: Melodic Power/Heavy Metal, that is all!

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Exit 69
Song: The Guardian
Album: No Tomorrows
Style: Melodic Power/Heavy Metal
country/location: Pocatello, Idaho, US
release: 2002

Wow, it's been a little while. I've been kinda busy over the last couple days and I've had a bit of writer's block. In any event, I conclude my little tribute to the Idaho metal scene with this simple heavy metal band from Pocatello, Idaho. Exit 69 is labeled on the metal archives as melodic power metal, but honestly they're not that, how should I say, "powerful." I see them more as a traditional heavy metal/hard rock band. On the metal spectrum, they are about as heavy as a leaf falling from a tree, but the leaf is pretty sharp. The vocalist has a pretty powerful semi-high voice, but it has a kinda cheesy gruffiness to it. The distortion sound is a bit weak, but it kinda works in this case. The riffs are melodic and catchy, with some nice simple but skillful soloing. The lyrics attempt to be epic by telling the story of The Guardian (whoever he might be), but it's pretty cheesy stuff (That part is very power metal hehe). I doubt many will like this, but check it out! I'll be interested to see your reactions! hehe

Exit 69 - The Guardian

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

MOTD - Cerebral Deformity: Decent Technical

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Cerebral Deformity
Song: The Tomb
Album: Surgical Genocide (I assume)
Style: Technical Death Metal (instrumental)
country/location: Sometime in the last two or three years
release: Nampa, Idaho

Now this is a band that with the right materials and production could be quite good. Coming from a part of Idaho near Boise, Cerebral Deformity is a technical death metal band (one man project?) that takes influence from Beneath The Massacre, Necrophagist and other bands of that ilk. The guitar work here is blisteringly fast, hugely technical, and surprisingly melodic. There are parts that are just blasts of riffing, with others being slower melodic passages. The guitarist is quite skillful in his playing and he's not bad at the idea of composition. Each passage seem to flow into each other, which is kinda difficult to do well in this kind of music. With that said, there's not much here that stands out particularly. The production is what you might expect from a basement project, thin sounding but not quite raw enough to be kvlt. The drums come from a very poor sounding drum machine, which you can barely hear anyways. I have a feeling a lot of people will ignore this band and I can't say I blame you hehe. Cerebral Deformity has talent and skill, they just need some work. I bet someone is going to comment on the band logo...

Cerebral Deformity - The Tomb

Monday, November 10, 2008

MOTD - Kryterium: A Nice Slab Of Groove Metal from Idaho

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Kryterium
Song: Control
Album: Control
Style: Half-Thrash/Groove Metal
country/location: 2007
release: Boise Idaho

Ok it's time back to the Idaho metal scene that I felt like sharing with you! This band seems to be one of the rising stars of the Idaho metal scene (at least they seem to be slightly more well known then many other Idaho bands). Kryterium play a raw but generically catchy style of groove metal. To say that Machine Head and Pantera are influences would be an understatement, however it's little bit less produced and the vocals are on the melodic death/metalcore side of things. I have a feeling that description will turn a lot of people off haha. Don't worry, for that style, the vocalist is far from awful. Not a huge fan of the style myself, but in this context they could be a lot worse. The riffs are chunky, chuggy and catchy. This song is particularly infectious and has a nice groove to it (hence the term groove metal). Lots of headbanging moments mixed with some simple solo-like moments. Some of the parts towards the end of the song that are nice touches to the overall composition. I wouldn't be surprised if people don't take to this band, can't say I'm crazy about them myself. However, I do enjoy a nice slab of pretty well down groove metal once in awhile, and this is a good band for that!

Kryterium - Control

Thursday, November 6, 2008

MOTD - Crillson: A Surprisingly Awesome Power Metal Band from Sarah Palin's home town!

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Crillson
Song: The Chosen One
Album: Coming Of A New Age
Style: Power Metal
country/location: Wasilla, Alaska
release: 1993

Well blow me a whale, who would've guessed that there was a metal band from Wasilla, Alaska, the hometown of Sarah Palin. Not only was there a metal band from Wasilla, there was a damn awesome one. Even I'm kinda surprised at this band's awesomeness. Yeah yeah, I probably wouldn't have discovered them if I wasn't curious to see if there were metal bands from Sarah Palin's home town, but man well worth it!

Crillson is a power metal band taking influences from early Fates Warning, King Diamond (some of the riffs and the bit of falsetto action remind me of the good King), Helloween and maybe a little bit of (early) Lizzy Borden. What that means for those who don't know is heavy guitar riffs, reverbed drums, high pitched vocals that border on cheesy but are kinda awesome, and lots and lots of POWER! And man these guys do this formula well. They have a little bit of a progressive tinge, especially in this song for they begin the song with a bang awesome riff and then it morphs into a slow chugging epic song with some heartfelt emotion guitar solos and lots and lots of POWER! This song comes from their only album, which is sad for they had a lot of potential. I'll warn you guys, the sound quality isn't as good as it could be, but even minus better production, it sounds awesome. A friend of mine was saying that they should've reunited this year as a result of the election, hehe. I would've loved to have seen that! Anyways, check out this awesome band!

Crillson - The Chosen One

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

MOTD - The Thunderlords: The First Metal Band For Kids

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: The Thunderlords
Song: I Like Dirt
Album: Noisy Songs for Noisy Kids
Style: Groove/Thrash/Heavy Metal
country/location: Woodland Hills, California, US
release: 2005

So there was a discussion about metal for kids and young people. What bands should one play for kids ages 10 or 9 or even younger to get them on the path to metal awesomeness? Well, I offer my suggestion! The Thunderlords: The first metal band for kids!

To quote last.fm, "What would happen if The Wiggles met Rob Zombie backstage at a Gwar concert and decided to form a band together? I'm not really sure, but I'd bet they would sound a lot like The Thunderlords! The Thunderlords play loud, heavy music with goofy, fun lyrics that everyone can enjoy. Except those looking for some peace and quiet." That's a pretty good description for this one man band. It's incredibly goofy (see above picture). I mean, this song is called I Like Dirt and the song's "chorus" consists of the dude saying in a gruff, "metal" voice "I LIKE DIRT!" The verse lyrics are actually pretty clever for their goofiness. I mean, when you were a kid, I bet a lot of you liked to play in the dirt (and eat it too. I didn't do that!)! Musically, it's very simple, chuggy thrashy heavy metal. Nothing fancy and at first I was a bit disappointed by it, but over time the music grew on me. The riffs are pretty decent! I probably wouldn't use this band to introduce metal to my kids (if and when I have them), but it's a fun listen that little kids might appreciate. Well, I like dirt!

The Thunderlords - I Like Dirt

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

MOTD - An Election Day anthem from an A cappella group - The Bobs

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: The Bobs
Song: Democratic Process
Album: The Bobs
Style: New Wave A Cappella (Metal in my mind)
country/location: San Francisco, California
release: 1983

With the historic election taking place, I found myself obligated to post a song in honor of this day. However, I couldn't find any metal songs that really fit the occasion. I suppose there are a whole slew of them but somehow none of them really drew me to post. In thinking about this election, I realized that the band that got me into music in general (and partially the inspiration for my screenname) have the perfect election day song. And this band is an a cappella group. A fantastic, amazing a cappella group.

The Bobs!

The Bobs are a groundbreaking, fun, original, hilarious and really awesome a cappella group. They're one of the major groups of the NWONWAC (New Wave Of New Wave A Cappella) back in the early 80s. Unlike most a cappella groups, they think of themselves as a band which translates into rock-like and unique arrangements. With this band mentality they add tons of humor and wit to their lyrics. Still around after 25 years of rocking out, they're still all brilliant and fun. I may be biased since I grew up with them and they're now friends of mine (which is the coolest thing in the world), but they're one of the best groups out there! (If you can, go to one of their shows, they're a blast both musically and humorously for their stage conversations are blasts of comedy and hilarity.)

They also have the distinction of inadvertently predicted Sarah Palin. This song was written back in 1983 and is a hilarious song that "explains" how vice-presidential candidates are chosen. The song has the feeling of being a news broadcast with a spoken word verse and a really catchy chorus. Perfect I say for this historic moment hehe. Outside of the election, it's still a hilarious and fun song to be addicted to! One of their best I have to say!

I know you've all been bombarded with messages, but don't forget to vote!

The Bobs - Democratic Process

Monday, November 3, 2008

MOTD - Someone requested Ween, so I give you Weena hehe!

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Weena
Song: 21st Century
Album: Land Of Mind
Style: Symphonic/Gothic/Power Metal
country/location: Ingelheim, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
release: 2007

(this post was supposed to be posted the day after Halloween, so pretend it's the day after Halloween!)

So a buddy of mine threatened to slap me if I posted something Ween in honor of Halloween because it has the word ween in it. I wasn't originally planning it, but since he mentioned it. Well, who am I to deny him? So I found Weena! hehe

Before you start throwing bottles and tomatoes, I just want to let it be known that I had some trouble finding anything by this band illegal or legal! There was some effort involved in posting this band!

Now this band Weena is a female fronted metal band that takes almost all of it's cues from Nightwish. Ok, they're pretty much a Nightwish clone, an opera singer as the front person, with a guy occasionally dueting with her (this song in particular), heavy symphonic/orchestral elements (though not as produced nor full as Nightwish, even in their early years), and simple distorted guitar riffs. The opera singer is even more classically operatic than Tarja. A lot more vibratto and that weird accent you sometimes here in opera. Not sure if that makes her better or worse though, just a little different I suppose. The male vocalist is really bland unfortunately. It's all honestly kinda bland, but at the same time really hilarious the first time you listen and then when it grows on you a bit kinda cool. The keyboard arrangements are a bit different than the usual operatic power metal bands. There are some parts that are pretty cool, there's this one section with the opera singer doing that scat like singing thing. Weena is far from the best band, but they get points for effort!

Anyways, I'm going to get tomatoed for this one, but hehe, it was worth it! Honestly, this might be a fun listen for some of you!

Weena - 21st Century

Sunday, November 2, 2008

MOTD - Happy (Belated) Halloween!

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Van Helsing's Curse
Song: Tubular Hell
Album: Oculus Infernum: A Halloween Tale
Style: Symphonic/epic heavy metal
country/location: United States, bitch!
release: 2004

(disclaimer, this was in fact written and prepared on Halloween, however for various annoying reasons, I couldn't upload the damn song. Now that I have, I present to you the Halloween MOTD! Pretend it's still Halloween!)

Happy Halloween my friends! Deciding what song/band would be perfect for today was partially difficult for there's a lot to choose from, but in the interest of time and awesomeness I present to you VAN HELSING'S CURSE! CURSE! CURSE! Curse! Curse! ....

Van Helsing's Curse is to Halloween as the Trans-Siberian Orchestra is to Christmas, though VHC has a little bit of an edge. This edge comes from the fact that this is a side project of Dee Snider of Twisted Sister. So it's a little cheesier, but at the same time heavier and more epic! This album is a fun little concept album with a dark and epic narrated story with dark and epic orchestral metal. This song is less of an original composition but more an arrangement and sampling of different classical and horror movie themes that come together in the most awesome way possible. There's the classic Tubular Bells theme from the Exorcist (which apparently comes from a 2 part 48 minute album hehe), as well as In the Hall of the Mountain King, and even some Dies Irae to make things really dark! All this plus some excellent guitar work giving that metal crunch and some heavily reverbed drums adding to the epicness of it all. All this coming from the mind (or inspiration to) Dee Snider, so you know it's going to be awesome and fun! Happy Halloween my friends! I hope you survive the night! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! >:-D

Van Helsing's Curse - Tubular Hell

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

MOTD - Someone demanded Snow, so here's some old school heavy metal!

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Snow
Song: Don't Want Any More
Album: Snow EP
Style: Heavy Metal
country/location: Los Angeles, California, US
release: 1981

So I'm interrupting the Idaho series for a very special post. A buddy of mine yesterday was complaining how everywhere there was snow, except for where he was. He was demanding snow! Who am I to deny him snow? So here is a band called Snow! :-D

Even better, an old school metal band from the early early 80s featuring musicians who would later play in Quiet Riot! I'll admit, I've had these guys on my computer for awhile, but didn't actually get around to listening to them. Much to my surprise they're quite good, with some songs being amazing! This track is one of the kick ass ones. Even for it's time, it's a pretty heavy song. The drums have a little bit of a double bass drum kick though it's subtle (production makes it hard to hear it). The distortion has an awesome crunch with the main riff being a powerful, catchy and edgy one. The singer has an excellent rock voice, though not particularly recognizable. He does some falsetto jumps that are perfectly placed. The chorus is edgy but catchy. It's an awesome hard rock/metal anthem. Hopefully this will satisfy the demands for Snow hehe, I know it works beautifully for me! (I'll be listening to these guys a bunch now, thank you!)

Snow - Don't Want Any More

Sunday, October 26, 2008

MOTD - XEX: A Bizarre but Unique Band from Idaho

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: XEX
Song: Tell Us Why
Album: Triad
Style: Progressive Thrash/Heavy Metal
country/location: Boise, Idaho
release: 2006

So I have this long playlist for the MOTD. I try to keep to it but a lot (A HUGE AMOUNT) of the time something will come up that I'll have to post or some requests something that I agree needs to be post. And then time flies by at a rapid pace and it's at least five months later than I was planning on post. This is a case of that! I was going to do a little tribute to the small Idaho metal scene (since I had gone there for a week). The scene is very small, so small that I had to order two of these bands when I got home and the other two were semi-legal downloads. None of these bands are going to change the metal world, but they've got some awesome quirks (and I figure someone will find them interesting)! Also, the point of the MOTD is to introduce people to unknown bands, so here are some r

In any event, I present to you XEX! This Boise based band is a varied and somewhat unique band (in parts), which makes them a fun and interesting band to listen to. The progressive tag is very true to them, for they go all over the place. Some songs are very generic semi-thrash metal songs that are decent but nothing special, some are full on progressive metal epics, and some are just, well, bizarre! This song is one of the latter, going from a full on (awesome) thrash riff to the verse, which can best be describe as, well, polka? If someone told me that they had a tuba in place of a bass, I think I'd believe them. This then goes morphs back into the thrash riff. It's a bizarre song that when I first heard it I was kinda confused. While incredibly bizarre, it's a really well composed song. The different sections work well together and each aspect fits into the overall piece. XEX is a serious band that has a small but powerful sense of humor!

XEX - Tell Us Why

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

MOTD - Lamented Souls - Epic Doom from the clean voice of Dimmu Borgir

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Lamented Souls
Song: Essence Of Wounds
Album: The Origins of Misery
Style: (epic) Doom Metal
country/location: Oslo, Norway
release: recorded in 1997, released 2004

So I went to see Dimmu Burger Borgir on Friday and much to my elitist surprise, I really enjoyed them. As Amy put it best, they're the glam of black metal! In talking about the show, I remembered that ICS Vortex (Simen Hestnæs), the guy who does the amazing clean vocals for Dimmu, had been in a doom metal project back in the 90s. I had also remembered that one song from that project was an amazing epic doom metal song that kicks so much ass (bad grammar? blah!). So I've decided that you all have to hear this song!

This song is so grand and epic, which is only enhanced by Vortex's (Vortice?) amazing cords. It's a doomy song with some really awesome atmosphere and mood setting. The melodies here are strangely simple and dare I say catchy but at the same not singalongable. The main riff is a descending dark (minor? maybe?) melody that sounds like a staircase to despair and/or hell. It's so simple but so effective, especially when Vortex sings along with it in a powerful (reverbed) way. I've been trying to sing along with it but the rhythm throws me off and I can't seem to figure out what note the melody starts on. There are some classic epic doom chords to help move the song along. The song is so epic and awesome. It's too bad that this project doesn't have much more than a couple demos and this compilation of their work. Anyways, check out this incredible track!

Lamented Souls - Essence Of Wounds

Saturday, October 18, 2008

MOTD - Earth: Early drone with a touch of Nirvana

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Earth
Song: Divine and Bright
Album: Demo 1990, Sunn Amps And Smashed Guitars (Live) reissue
Style: early Drone Doom Metal
country/location: Olympia, Washington, US
release: 1990/2001 sorta

There was in fact another show that was unfortunately canceled this week. I was really looking forward to it as well for it would've been three days of metal, but three very different days. One day would've been death metal, the second day would be drone doom metal (with a country tinge), and the third day would be power metal. Unfortunately I only got the power metal (which was awesome btw).

Many of you can probably guess what the second day band was, but for those who don't know, Earth was the band that unfortunately bailed out. This Olympia, Washington based band has long been considered to be the pioneers of the style known as drone doom metal. They took the slow, brooding nature of doom metal and made it even slower and more drawn out. This song is from their 1990 demo which saw them slowly (har har) evolving their sound and style. It's not quite the extraordinary drones that you might associate with the subgenre, in fact there's an almost grunge feel to the distortion and song structure. This might be explained a little bit by the certain novelty of the track. It features the iconic vocals of Kurt Cobain (whether you're a fan of him/Nirvana or not, his voice is pretty recognizable minus all the imitators). Cobain uses his croning like voice over the distorted guitars with sudden bursts of a scream. It might be his influence that gives this song that grungy feel. The need to drone is definitely there, but they had yet to make it a truely droning sound. In any event, the track is an interesting track to listen to. (and you can show off to your friends that you have a drone doom metal track featuring Cobain hehe)

Earth - Divine and Bright

Thursday, October 16, 2008

MOTD - Neuraxis: Technical, Melodic and Canadian. An awesome combination!

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Neuraxis
Song: A Curative Struggle
Album: Live Progression
Style: Technical Melodic Death Metal
country/location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
release: 2007

First of all, I have no idea what the rate this song titles mean and no I'm not on drugs. Just felt like writing something random hehe.

Second of all, this is another band that was supposed to play Sunday night and I was really looking forward to seeing but obviously didn't play. Neuraxis is a Canadian band who produces a technical yet melodic form of death metal. The riffs are incredibly fast, skillful and well constructed, drawing on many influences ranging from thrash to black metal and even going to some progressive themes. The song starts off with a very black influenced passage with fast blast beats and fills then morphing into a groovy highly melodic riff. Then they go into a lighter more progressive section that has little distortion before going back into the full extreme of metal. The vocalist also utilizes a variety of styles, but is most comfortable with a mid ranged growl. This recording is also taken from a performance they did in Quebec City, which fully shows off their skill at riff making as well as keeping things catchy. (since they're in a french speaking area, the inbetween song chatting with the audience is in french, which is amusing cus the songs and song titles are in english hehe) This song has been a favorite of mine for while, though I can't say whether this is their "best song." It's a kick ass piece of extreme metal. I look forward to seeing them finally when they return to the area in November!

Neuraxis - A Curative Struggle

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

MOTD - Animals Killing People: the only Vegan (and PETA approved) Brutal Death Metal Band

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Animals Killing People
Song: Coat Of Human Skin
Album: Human Hunting Season EP
Style: Brutal Death Metal
country/location: New York City, NY, US
release: 2004

So two nights ago my buddy and I went to Tufts to go see a free metal show featuring a bunch of amazing bands. Unfortunately the college transformer blew* (not sure how or why or what) and the entire campus was without power. As a result the show was canceled. (though we had fun hanging out with some of the guys from Composted who I'll post later on) So in honor of the show that didn't happen, I present to you a couple of the bands! Today I share with you the one band I was really really looking forward to seeing!

You can probably guess by the band name that this brutal death band is a bit different than the usual gore themed bands. They're probably one of the few, if not only, brutal death bands to have a pro-animals agenda! Well, specifically animals killing people, opposed to people killing animals. The band members are vegan and acEach song starts off with a sample of some humans being eaten or killed by various animals. This one features a poor helpless human getting caught in a blizzard (I think) and then getting eaten alive by hundreds of rats. It's quite terrifying and kinda hilarious at the same time. Musically, they're have all the typical brutal death aspects, incredibly inhuman (ha) gargling vocals, fast blast-beating ringing drums, low-end heavily distorted riffs. The thing that I really like about these guys is that the riffs they have are more than just random chaos. They are kinda melodic, headbangable in parts, while being kinda technical and extremely brutal. This is pure brutal death metal man! Yeah, they sound like every other band, but I really like these guys. A friend of mine and I were talking about how there weren't any really good vegan-ish bands. (she's vegan too!) This band was the one band that came to mind as the exception. (though I found another band that I'll post later on as well) Really bummed that they didn't play!

Animals Killing People - Coat Of Human Skin

*if it was a Transformers battle that caused the power outage, that would've made up for the disappointment!

Monday, October 13, 2008

MOTD - Machine Head: Usually an overrated band, but for one song a hero...

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Machine Head
Song: Imperium
Album: Through The Ashes Of Empires
Style: Half-Thrash/Groove Metal
country/location: Oakland, California, US
release: 2004

So I had something else that I was going to post, but my internet is so awful right now that I can't upload anything. And I really want to post something, so I'm posting this band! A metal buddy requested someone upload this one song and I happened to have it (while I'm not a huge fan of Machine Head, I was curious to their popularity). Initially I was posting it as a random song by a band I really didn't like all that much, but after listening to it, I'm finding myself liking it more than I was expecting. I still think Machine Head is quite overrated, but this song has some awesome moments.

Machine Head is very angry music. Rob Flynn seems to have a lot of anger management issues that he lets out in his music. He's also an angry tough guy who wants you to go fuck yourselves. That's the one part about Machine Head that I'll never really like. There are a couple moments where he goes into a cleaner style (mainly for the really catchy mini-chorus), but for the most part it's a tough guy half-growl that sounds really obnoxious. The guitars are aggressive and adversarial (for competition! for fun! sorry random Star Trek quote, points to those who know it). Some of the riffs are really thrash-based, while most of them are groovy, headbanging, "catchy" riffs. There are parts that almost have a bit of a nu-metal tinge to them (considering their history, it makes sense) with others that have some Gothenburg melodic death influences. Supposedly there's a tremolo section, but I can't hear it. As I said before, I'm far from loving this band, however this song is pretty awesome in parts. Also, I can't wait to see if this gets any reactions from people hehe.

Machine Head - Imperium


More to come soon!