Good day all,
I have been working hard trying to come up with an interesting topic for today’s post but there is not a whole heck of a lot going on in the metal world that needs my unique and unqualified perspective. So instead of a post full of fluff and un-originality I thought I would give a quick review of a few of the bands that I am really into right now or have listened to in the very recent past and let you know how I feel about them. If nothing else I hope this gives you some insight into these albums and my opinion help further your decision to make new discoveries or give an album a try. Enough of that, here we go:
This album is the third solo album for Ihsahn (AKA Vergard Sverre Tveitan of Emperor) and is an impressive feat in music mastery. This is not just any black metal album and the use of atmosphere on this album is fantastic. It helps both keep an edge to the music as well as make it a little more available to listeners who really aren’t in to the black metal sound. This album combines plenty of progressive, classical, traditional and orchestral sound to have a little something for everyone. I don’t like to describe the sound on this album as melodic black/death metal but the progression of the songs definitely lends itself to that description. The addition of the saxophone in songs like “The Eagle and the Snake” really help make the songs more layered and interesting and a different feel from the stale snare and barrage of double bass that most black metal albums give us. Plus the saxophone is on an Ihsahn album so really it is an “evil” saxophone. My recommendation is to go out and find this album in whatever medium you choose, you will not regret it.
Okera: A Beautiful Dystopia
Okera is a band I found via the great website Metal Bandcamp http://metalbandcamp.com/ , they are an Australian melodic death/doom metal band whose debut album A Beautiful Dystopia is full of amazing and technical death metal. With the death metal formula in full force and a talented group of musicians they have been able to create a record that is something that metalheads on all sides of the aisle can appreciate. With the harsh vocals and steady beats of the double bass drums to the melodic swapping of leads and intricate chord breaks that allow the songs on this album to flow effortlessly. Okera, much like their Australian brothers in Be’lakor bring a refreshing sound to death metal allowing people like me who weren’t the biggest fans of the genre to have something we can sink our teeth into and understand what we have been missing. Again this is an album that is worth choosing your price for on Metal Bandcamp.
Masachist is a Polish death metal band that comprises the talents of several former members of popular and acclaimed Polish death metal bands Decapitated and Azarath. Normally I wouldn’t be the appropriate person to listen to or enjoy this album but for whatever reason the technicality of the guitar players on their riffs and the speed, or lack there of is a draw that keeps me coming back to this album for more and more listens. The layers that are evident on this album take some time to digest and even recognize but they are in fact there and bring a unique atmosphere to this brutal and punishing album. This album with its harsh vocals and a times growled lyrics is probably better made for fans of the previous bands these members where a part of, but I think if you like the harsher vocals and the punishing brutality of death this album would be a good match for you. But beware this isn’t the super sonic beat down of a normal death metal band, Masachist takes their time in beating you to a pulp.
Ex Deo: Caligvla
It is no secret that I am a fan of the folk/viking metal genre and at times there are some bands that fall into that category but are more historical as opposed to folk or viking and that is right where Ex Deo makes their home. Ex Deo is the brainchild and side project of Kataklysm front man Maurizio Iacono. This album is just what it advertises to be, a Roman epic telling the story of Calligula and his armies and the sadistic ruler that he was. As you can imagine with Iacono at the helm that this is a fast powerful album but in this case as opposed to Kataklysm has much more power metal tendencies to it. With the addition of orchestras, keyboards, voice-overs this album is as majestic as it is impressive in its scope. If you are a fan of the more mystical and fantasy metal then this album should be right up your alley. This is definitely not another Kataklysm album but a fun little escape brought to us by Maurizio Iacono.
So that is what has been floating around in my MP3 player lately and what I have discovered from various metal resources. I hope this mini reviews helped give you an impression on each of these bands. Enjoy!
Until later, Peace!