To review this album, I have decided this should be interactive with audience participation. Here’s what you need to do:
Fetch pen, paper and ruler. Draw a grid 5 x 5 leaving you squares big enough to write in.
Now fill the 25 boxes with a variety of your favourite rock, pop and metal acts. Purchase the album Laser Flames on the Big News by the Tennessee band of the same name which was out on Wood and Stone Productions on June 30th, 2017, and cross off the bands in your grid as and when you hear them on this record.
Press play and join John Judkins of Rwake and Stephanie Bailey as they play vocal blows off each other whilst the band scot around a number of genres, sub-genres and classic standards. Continue reading →
Cassette collectors and tape heads rejoice!! Folkvangr Records is releasing of the cassette version of Inexorable Grimness by USBM band Gravespawn on August 25th 2017 as a limited edition solid black cassette with white ink and hand-numbered, plus double sided 4-panel sleeve in a crystal clear case.
Although this album was released late 2016, it is seeing a cassette release this August, and it is my first time listening in. Opening with a Mortiis style depressing dungeon dirge, the rest of the band soon kick in with fierce and fast black metal and gargling with gravel vocals. Continue reading →
When I opened this Dead is Dead album I returned it to the mail room, as it has ‘Post’ written all over it. (pauses for audience response….)
Solid blocks ten foot by ten foot, by ten foot drop on me from a tall height and squash me with their sound. In my mind it is post-metal, post-rock, post-post. This is well planned and deftly executed in its understatement. In reality, its not how heavy this album is, it’s actually how heavy it isn’t, if you get my drift. This power trio could have easily released the brakes and run full throttle over anything they had conceived musically. Yet, by holding themselves back, I get to actually hear the album, the music, and the gaps, so that when they rack it up a gear, it really hits home and makes a statement. Continue reading →
Slow black metal – an oxymoron? Well not in Suicide Forest’s case. Depressive, leaving that hollow yearning feeling, US black metallers Suicide Forest, which are another one-man band outfit, have created a beautiful piece of dark melancholy. Spread across 8 tracks the listener is reminded of how futile life is, track 4 sums it up with ‘A Sobering Reflection’ ..good grief, and this is being released in July 2017, when the northern hemisphere is enjoying summer, and I’ll be hanging ten on my board, evenings spent chillaxing round a campfire on the beach…. No wait… I think I shall close the curtains and indulge in DSBM and await the end of the world.
Dungeon sounds, lasting, lilting slow guitar riffs, seething vocal noises and gentle piano pieces and keyboard interludes are used to create this menacing, gloomy atmosphere. And to cement this dark feeling the album is released on black cassette, ‘non more black’ as Spinal Tap might say, limited to 100 hand numbered with carefully assembled 3 panel sleeve. Continue reading →
Beside its fine, pleasing moments, which were few, it was awful and most parts of it sucked. There were countless sad moments, unfortunate events, and more important than the others many great artists, many legends left us, gone forever but their memories remain, with us, eternally.
However, at the same time, many tremendous albums came alive, pleased us, left huge traces of joy and eternal pleasures carved in our souls, kept us all alive, gave us power to face difficulties, through all the ass-kicking rough times.
I’m cutting it short. I just want to mention the words of Andy Dufresne from The Shawshank Redemption: “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
While I begin writing this, I am overcome with a rush of emotions. To say that is was a rough year for my family would be an understatement.
As some of you already know, my wife of 20 years and my best friend and soul mate of almost 30 had a heart attack and nearly died during a scheduled open heart surgery to replace a defective valve. She would end up having two more open heart surgeries (three total over three days), and then flat line several times in the days that followed, two of those times while myself and our two teenage children were in the room.
In the weeks that followed, days seemed to never end. Time pretty much stood still. She spent 21 days in the CICU (Cardiac Intensive Care Unit) in a drug induced coma, while 16 different drips, two cardiac machines and a heart pump helped keep her alive and her heart beating as close to a normal sinus rhythm as possible, until it was strong enough to beat on its own.
Well folks, half of 2016 is over. While this year may not have been kind to many of us, it has been exceptional for the world of metal. So many great albums have been released thus far, and many more to come. As ItH’s resident Power Metal dude, I’ve been especially happy with the sub-genre’s set of releases in these first six months. In total, I have listened to 78 Power Metal albums from January – June. Many of them were great, some were okay, and some were dreadful. For the ones that were great, I wanted to choose my 10 favorites for the first half of 2016. It was quite difficult, but I was able to cut it down.
Here, for you, are my top 10 favorite Power Metal albums for the first half of 2016: