Monday, February 29, 2016

Album Review: "Taser Revelations" by Adam Stafford

Taser Revelations
Normally, this is the part of my reviews where I wax nostalgic about the vague idea that an album inspires in me while I'm listening to it in order to humanize my review and give my readers an idea of what this particular album means to me.

This time is a little bit different and I hope that Adam Stafford can forgive me.

This is the 500th post on Glacially Musical.

This little blog started officially on Friday August 3, 2012.

It's a labor of love and there have been many changes in the three plus years of its existence. Since about 2004, I've always had some sort of writing project, but none of them have been as long running, prolific, or as successful as this one.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading these pages, not for me, but for the bands herein that you haven't heard of yet. This blog is me telling all of my friends, and more, about these really cool bands. It's my tribute to the world of music.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Album Review: "Evolution of Evil" by Casket Robbery

Evolution of Evil
There is no other type of music like metal in what it engenders among its adherents.

No one is wearing a jean jacket with patches of jazz artists and there are few people who've been denied entry into malls because they were wearing a blues t-shirt.

Metalheads are often mischaractarized as outcasts who can't fit into normal society. Well of course there's something wrong with each and every metalhead.

However, that's because everyone's broken.

With all of the togetherness of metalheads everywhere, there's also a lot of exclusion. This is false metal. This is real metal. For as much of a tribe as metal is, it's also a tribunal. In that frame of mind, The People of Missouri present our case.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Album Review: "Sarnath" by Centipede

Metal. Just the name is a bit off putting to those who aren't part of the clan.

Too many times have the dirge of sub-genres graced these pages, both my laughing at and enjoying of them.

All metal has one thing in common though, strong emotions.

To be metal is more than just like Metallica or some other such metal band. An old friend used to have "Metal Rulez" on her notebook and we merciless poked fun at her because her favorite bands were Nelson and Slaughter.

From the strength of the emotion comes the power of the music. When it's played correctly, a simple chord can be worth more than anything. Little swirling riffs can feel like Charybdis. That's why false metal is so easy to spot. It doesn't hurt at all.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Album Review: "World of Make Believe" by Van Halst

World of Make Believe
Everyone in my chosen family, i.e. not the ones I didn't pick, have something in common.

They either have strong convictions or they're opinionated.

My inner circle is small and diverse. The people with whom I surround myself are very strong and very cool.

That's not to say, that they all agree with everything I say, but they should, but that's my outspokenness and not theirs.

My friends, and family who've become first room friends, need to be loud and be willing to tell each other to shut up when someone tries to interrupt.

If you hold beliefs dear, you'd better be able to defend them. If you have something to say, you'd better able to scream it from the rooftops. If not, you'll have some terrible times with us, if we're feeling particularly loquacious over a beverage.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Album Review: "Izo" by Izo

My daughter and I have been watching Inuyasha on Netflix and Hulu for the past six months or so.

It tells the story of youkai (improperly translated to demon in English) power struggles during the Period of Warring States in Japan.

Back then, folklore like monsters, demons, and witches were believed a lot more and have created some very interesting stories.

This is a very long running series. We have watched over one hundred thirty episodes and I think we have nearly sixty more to watch.

Inuyasha, like most serial anime, doesn't start off quickly. It's kind of like a Japanese role playing game in that we don't even even met the principal characters until several hours in. This show has taken quite awhile to warm up. It's not hard to see why many non-Japanese don't like anime.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Album Review: "Formed In Disgust" by Atrocious Abnormality

Formed In Disgust
In the not too distant past, I spent five days near Charlotte, NC.

During that time, I had meals at a local diner and several chain restaurants.

Keeping in mind, i wasn't in Charlotte proper or really all that near it, though I did pass the Charlotte Race Track at least twice each day.

What I didn't see during my time there, besides good beer, was anything remotely resembling a music scene. Though I was told of this section of downtown that was where the night life could be found, should anyone be looking for it.

Its being over forty miles from where I was sitting at the time and my being in a rental car certainly kept this author from going out drinking in what seemed like a faraway place.

There seems to be a secret in North Carolina though.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Album Review: "Demise of the Crown" by Demise of the Crown

Demise of the Crown
Do you know what we all pay too much attention to?

Oh, you like Sabbath?

You'll love Karma To Burn!

I'm not any better. I often tell people that if you like this band you'll probably love this other band. Sometimes I'm right and sometimes I'm not, but a starting point is always a good thing for music.

More often than not, these labels we as journalists, friends, and fans create only just hit the mark and we the band a disservice. Then of course, there are other times when a band apes someone so hardcore that one can't help but notice and hear the influence. The band of the day today, Demise of the Crown was suggested if you like: Nevermore, Avenged Sevenfold, Opeth, Pantera, and Arch Enemy.

I love this because none of those bands have much in common!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Album Review: "Bright Colors" by Dead Stars

Bright Colors
Who remembers the free wheeling 90's?

Those were the days were they not?

If you think about the Pop Culture of that decade, man oh man oh Chavez was it a great time to be alive.

Micheal Ian Black was a leading member of The State on MTV and not a politically savvy twitter profile.

Hillary Clinton's husband was the leader of the free world and we had seventy five cent per gallon gas here in St. Louis.

People still drove Suzuki Samurais even knowing they would probably topple over on them. The environmental movement was launched into the consciousness of the wider world. People weren't attacking science as much as they are today.

It truly was a memorable time. I came of age in the 90's and even though metal was finally killed off, again, for the fifth time, I still look back fondly on my salad days.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Album Review: "Dominion of Misery" by Omnihility

Dominion of Misery
Technical Death Metal today.

I'm trying to figure out the difference between Technical Death Metal and Brutal Death Metal.

I really have no clue what razor thin line separates these two sub-genres of a sub-genre.

I'm sure it has something to do with what they sing about or how the vocals are just a touch different. Perhaps it's that the drums are slightly different in the mix?

I think of these sub-genres of death metal just as modern death metal. They could easily be thought of as the second generation of Carcass. As we all know, English Death Metal was legitimately different from Tampa Bay Death Metal right? Oh heavy metal sub-genres, I will always have something to say about you.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Album Review: "Once Entombed" by Abyssus

Once Entombed
When I consider my circle of friends, I have to admit there are many close friends of mine that I have not seen in some time.

You know, life is busy. I have a wife and daughter, a blog, a pile of video games to play, but I do my best to keep in contact with all of them.

Modern technology sure helps with that doesn't it?

Yesterday, I was talking to a friend of mine. It's been a long time since we've spoken. She's gone through some changes and I told her that I'd buy her a drink when she has the time.

What do you say when you talk to a friend and it's been awhile? Well, what are you up to? It's such a simple question that works ever so well for the small talk and irony impaired, like myself.

Well, Abyssus, What have you been up to?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Album Review: "Mountain Czar" by Karma To Burn

Mountain Czar
Could you imagine being a tsar in Feudal Russia?

Back then, all of the little nobles were called tsars and of course, there was the Great Tsar living in the Kremlin.

The Feudal Eras in any culture intrigue me.

Being a daimyo in then Sengoku Era of Japan or a Lord in Feudal England.

The very idea of being your own island is something very brave. At any given time any of the citizens of these fiefdoms could be killed, captured, or conscripted.

Such a life they must have led. This is not to say that I would gladly give up my Twenty First Century Life for Fifteenth Century Japan. No matter how pretty Edo Castle was!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Album Review: "Jedva Čekam Da Nikad Ne Umrem" by Pogavranjen

Jedva Čekam Da Nikad Ne Umrem

Years ago I had an old friend whom I always took to be a little bit weird.

I suppose my thinking he was weird is why my wife didn't much care for she considers me to be about 8 cards short of a full deck.

Well, my buddy was a big fan of music. His musical tastes were a bit off the beaten path to say the least. He always told me about how when it came to music, for him it was the weirder, the better.

This fellow is the only person I have ever known to have a raging man crush on Mike Patton. Anything Patton did, my buddy walked over the CD shop next to his place and picked it up.  That is everything except Faith No More which he viewed as sellout crap that allowed Patton to be weird for a living. My friend's taste in music always stuck with me to a point.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Album Review: "New Waste" by Black Wizard

New Waste
I can remember a time sitting on the side of a lake fishing with my late cousin and a couple friends.

We all grew up pretty metal, but at that point they were moving onto more metal place in the world than I was. Still rooted in the past at that point, I was listening to lots of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin.

At least as much as I could with no income aside from the paltry allowance I was afforded with which to purchase candy.

I spoke about how much I loved Black Sabbath and how dark and evil they were. Jamie said something though...and it never really clicked with me...

Sabbath is more Acid Rock than Heavy Metal. You have to remember back then we only had Heavy Metal. Speed Metal hadn't even made it into the lexicon yet. That was the first time I had ever heard that term and it would be years and years before I ever understood it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Album Review: "Astral Possession" by Ghost Horizon

Astral Possession
A few years back, a friend of mine and I were out getting breakfast and shopping for records while my car was being repaired.

Over at ye olde record shop, I picked up Welcome To Hell by Venom. This was my introduction to Black Metal, though Venom isn't really Black Metal at all are they?

Wait, that's not true.

Way longer ago than that, I picked up a CD and an even older record store because the cover was cool. I'm not sure if I ever listened to the entire thing front to back, but I did put a some tracks on mix tapes I made for my bus rides.

Yeah, it was that long ago. It wasn't an album that stayed in my library, so I can't even tell you the name of the band, but the cover was black with blue figures on it. Does that help? So, needless to say, I'm not really much of a fan of Black Metal.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Album Review: "Muirhead" by Andy Ferro

The best heavy metal movie of all time is the incomparable, Spinal Tap.

Scores of heavy metal musicians have since gleefully told their stories of their personal Spinal Tap moments. How many artists have claimed that the movie was about them?

Of course if you're reading me, you probably have a passing interest in heavy metal and likely have already seen that movie in all its majesty, glory, and pomposity.

Less favored is the "sequel" made many years later, not the second Tap movie, but A Mighty Wind.

That movie reminded me a lot about what I love about folk music. There's nothing as intimate as standing there with simply a guitar and singing what you feel. It's also a damned funny movie that everyone should have seen at least thrice.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Album Review: "The Wild Mercury" by Vandaveer

The Wild Mercury
It's interesting to think about how far we have come, not just as a people, or a nation, but as a species.

Humanity has existed for millions upon millions of years, albeit in very different forms.

It's interesting to think of how much humanity has seen, experienced, and sadly lost.

How popular are shows, books, and movies that discuss the idea of travelling back into the past, or just those set in the past.

We argue over the minutiae of what was right, what was wrong, and people acted back then.

Music used to be a thing people did to entertain themselves, their families, etc. Think back to watching A Christmas Carol, Fezzywig himself played the violin at his own Christmas party.

Music does not have to be a part of the machine.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Album Review: "Värähtelijä" by Oranssi Pazuzu

"I like music, but what you're listening to isn't music."

As a fan of metal and rap, that's been said to me by authority figures more times than I can count.

The same has also been said millions of times about works of art. There are are people in this world that feel that art, be it music, film, literature, or photographs, need to fit into a prescribed box they have created for themselves.

What makes something art?

Here at Glacially Musical, we subscribe to the it's art because I say it is philosophy. I'm also rather partial to the idea that it's a work of art if it expresses something or moves the consumer in some way.

Many times here, we'll review an album that your average person won't think is music, but extreme metal is music, but today, I think we're delving into another territory that requires and open mind.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Album Review: "Pterodactyl Sky" by SpaceCream

Pterodactyl Sky
I often talk about things that have shaped my life in some way.

When listening to Pterodactyl Sky for the first, second, and now third times, I'm taken back to a time in my life that I don't think about too much.

When I was 19, I had a girlfriend who was a Rocky Horror Picture show nerd. So, our first "date" was my virgin appearance at the show.

Yup, I was auctioned.

It turned out that many of my friends at that time were big fans of the show, and a few even acted in the cast at the old Avalon Theater on Kingshighway in South St. Louis. When I pass that, now, decrepit building, I cry a little on the inside.

Even though I was convinced to act in the cast once, Rocky never left a huge impression on me. Sure I enjoy it, and try to take it in when I can, but I'd never be one of those people who check it out weekly.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Album Review: "I Did Something Bad" by The Erkonauts

I Did Something Bad
When I was in high school, my best friend played bass in a couple bands.

Due to his influence, to me, the bass guitar became something more than just half of the rhythm section, but a genuine instrument capable of adding more to the music than the just that bottom end.

Based on my experience, it really is true that bass players love Rush, Primus, Stu Hamm, and all the rest of those guys.

Knowing Nate like I did helped open my eyes to music in a new and different way.

Even now, I still appreciate some kick ass basslines, but we don't seem to get as many of them as we used to in the free wheelin' 90's when music, metal in particular, was a bit more open and less genre conforming.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Album Review: "The Immortalist Part Two. Momentum" by Divinity

The Immortalist Part Two. Momentum
Life is all about compromises isn't it?

Well, it is for those of us who've considered hermit life and realized that there just aren't enough kick ass guitar solos out there when you live by yourself in a cave.

My ex-wife and I had a pretty strong overlapping musical taste, much like my daughter and I, but she hated extreme metal. Then she found Dragonforce and car rides got easier.

My daughter...she's a budding otaku and happens to love metal, but as she's a girl, she likes things with girls in it. Arch Enemy for her and she's going to think, there aren't any girls in this band.

So, she rocks out with the "fox" horns up to Baby Metal. It's cool because I love Baby Metal too. Where do you think this love of all things Japanese comes from besides her very wanna be Japanese father?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Album Review: "Times of Pride and Peril" by Holy Grail

Time of Pride and Peril
Years ago, I was in a band.

Naturally I failed, but to call me a failed musician is like calling Philip J Fry a grad school drop out.

All those band practices were basically just a chance to hang out with one of my best friends who played bass and pretend that we had something.

We didn't, but we did get a song on the local college radio station where our "singer" was a DJ. So there's that.

We read all the musicians' magazines. Remember this was the mid 90's, so shredding was still popular.

I remember reading an article about translating what a musician says into what he really means. One in particular stuck out to me. "He plays fast, but with no emotion" translated to "I can't play fast." (If you hate highly skilled musicians and prefer more basic songs, check out King Mud from 1/28. It's more your speed.)