Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Album Review: "Apokalypse" by Diabolizer

Encyclopedia Metallum recently published a map which shows the number of metal bands per million people in Europe.  Predictably Finland (630), Sweden (428), Iceland (341) and Norway (299) dominate the metal world.  

Turkey lags far, far behind with its paltry six metal bands per million Turks. Yet, what they lack in quantity they more than make up for in quality. 

 "Apokalypse" by Turkish blackened death metal band Diabolizer, contains enough satanic brutality to bridge the per capita satanic brutality gap. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Album Review: "Still The Wretched Linger" by Beldam

There are many great metal albums which would serve as the perfect soundtrack for a horror movie. Beldam’s album “Still The Wretched Linger” is the horror movie itself. 

This is sludge metal at its finest, with plodding, ominous low end riffs lurching into your ears and dragging the listener into the murky depths of a haunted swamp.

Stanley Stepanic’s vocals can be described as an operatic spoken word growl, which remind me of the vocal style of Attila Csihar, the legendary vocalist of Mayhem fame.  The lyrics, where they can be discerned, are about torture, evil and despair.

My first listen to the album turned a sunny Sunday afternoon into a journey into the black abyss, the absolute juxtaposition of the outside world gurgling forth from my speakers like molten lava from a volcano.  "Still the Wretched Linger" is a heavy, intense journey to the dark side, and like any good horror movie, is best appreciated at night. Subsequent spins were all done after sunset.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Concert Photos: Amon Amarth at the Pageant in St. Louis May 4, 2016 -Photos by Danny Nichols

Vocalist Johan Hegg of Amon Amarth rocks the Pageant in St. Louis

Album Review: "Black Swan Annihilation" by Monsterworks

Black Swan Annihilation
Not too long ago, perhaps no more than four or five days, Monsterworks popped into my head.

These fellas are an interesting band that never really stops working, but it's been awhile since we've heard anything from them.

Their modus operandi is to release two albums of protein smoothie metal each year without fail, but after last year's The Existential Codex no one has heard anything from our Londoner friends.

Blessed be this day however!

The unthinkable has not happened. Monsterworks is still a band and they don't appear to have lost their progressive metal touch, but before anyone gets too excited, this one is a bit different.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Album Review: "Crippling Lack Vol. 3" by David Thomas Broughton

Crippling Lack
It's time to visit the third volume of David Thomas Broughton's magnum opus, Crippling Lack.

How many times have we heard an album and then years later several tracks that didn't make the cut were released later.

Physical Graffiti by Led Zeppelin was the result of adding the leftover tracks from the Houses of the Holy sessions to the new recording sessions which gave us their stellar double album.

Of course, years later after John Bonham died, there was a full album's worth of tunes that was released as Coda.

Then consider god himself, Jimi Hendrix.

It's been 45 years since his untimely death and we are still getting concerts, albums, and unfinished tracks. Well, the antidote for this is to release the entire album I suppose. Honestly, when is the last time you heard of a triple album?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Album Review: "World Builder" by Zirakzigil

World Builder
If there's one kind of music in this world that one either loves or hates, it's prog.

Progressive music is something that the most ardent fans will study to find the spot where the drummer plays the kick drum  just a hair off of the time and then debate for weeks whether or not that was intentional and what it means to the song.

More interesting than that bit of glaring hyperbole is the fact that more people love prog than admit to loving prog, especially in metal.

When the roots of metal are traced, all roads lead back to Black Sabbath. Anyone who's learned any of Sabbath tunes, Paranoid notwithstanding of course, will be able to tell you how many riffs there are in those tunes. The amount of musical movements and passages on those records is more than can be counted.

Metallica...even though they've never said it perse, Lars and James discussed their albums full of mini-epics ad nauseam when the Black Album came out full of short tunes.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Album Review: "Wings of Chains" by BAT

Wings of Chains
In Under Seige, Tommy Lee Jones's character referred to what he was doing as a revolution and not a movement, because a movement can only go so far before it stops.

What happens when a musical movement runs out of steam?

Thrash metal was once a powerful force in the musical world. Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer, Testament, Exodus, and many more would attack audiences the world over.

The problem was thrash metal never evolved. In all honesty, Metallica stopped being a thrash band after their first record. Slayer has always been Slayer, save a couple of the Original Bostaph Era records.

Anthrax, well, they are what they are. For a musical movement to become a revolution, it has to continue to grow and change. Metal is unique in that many revolutions become movements and then birth others....

Friday, May 20, 2016

Album Review: "Cycles of Mobeum" by Druids

Cycles of Mobeum
One of my favorite things about this place is how I'm completely not beholden to any one particular genre of music, though it's often I'm called a metal blogger or by some online gents a purveyor of crap music.

Truth be told there are many sources of the music seen on these humble pages.

My musical taste, like many tastes of mine, is wildly eclectic and that makes me happy.

So, one of my sources sends me this new record. Normally, they don't send metal, but avant garde music that some people wouldn't even be able to call music sometimes.

The cover screams metal and it also says concept album. Even with no tropes to denote either thing, but being a pretty metal guy, hey we can smell our own.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Concert Photos: Entombed A.D. at the Pageant in St. Louis May 4, 2016 -Photos by Danny Nichols

Lars-Goran Petrov and Entombed A.D. play the Pageant in St. Louis

Album Review: "Blood of the Fall" by Bedowyn

Blood of the Fall
There was a time before iTunes, before Pirate Bay, and, yes, before Napster.

In those days, these things called albums were created. That wonderful, amazing, and beautiful era lasted from the early 60's all the way up until about 1999...or perhaps a bit later.

We all know this isn't one of those new music sucks safe spaces on the internet, and we rail against that, but there was something about those days that was better.

Artists made albums.

Before the advent of the CD, as James Leg put it, it's two sides. So it was basically two albums. Two stories. Two giant paintings. Now...so many bands don't make albums, but a collection of songs. Running order, timbre, tone, these things are meaningless because the listeners are just going to listen on shuffle anyway....

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Album Review: "Talking Loud" by Sulfur City

Talking Loud
This blog is a monument to all the great music being released in the modern era and a memorial to all the amazing music that we just don't have the time to review.

My personal journey back into the world of modern music took place in 2008. Until that point, old music was the only thing that played in my car, house, etc.

At the Schlafly Tap Room, there was a Camel Cigarettes show that featured somebody, The Black Diamond Heavies, and Exene Cervanka & The Original Sinners.

You may recall my many posts on James Leg...

A few fairly important things happened that night, though it hadn't occurred to your friend and humble narrator yet. My mind was now open to new music. The Blues bug had bitten me.

And Alive-Natural Sound is a thing.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Album Review: "Death Thy Lover" by Candlemass

Swedish doom metal masters Candlemass have never been shy about embracing their likeness to the genre’s founders Black Sabbath, having incorporated several Sabbath tunes into their set-list over the years.   They are nowhere near the only band to build castles upon the foundations of early Sabbath, but when it comes to recreating the plodding downtuned crunch of Iommi and the boys, no one has done it better.  In a country which has produced a disproportionate number of the world’s best metal bands , it is extremely significant to have been voted by Scandinavians as the greatest metal band to ever originate in Sweden. 

Their perfectly titled debut album Epicus Doomicus Metallicus is considered a classic of the genre, but it has been 30 years and several line-up changes since its release, so one could wonder if they still had a quality product to deliver.  The answer, as evidenced by their soon to be released new EP Death Thy Lover, is a resounding yes.

Album Review: "Panacea" by Sektemtum

One of my Christmas presents was the first two novels in the Cormoran Series by JK Rowling under an assumed name.

Much like the Harry Potter novels, one can never see what's coming down the line the first time through, no matter how obvious it seems on the second read.

There have been some amazing movies like that as well. Abre Los Ojos by celebrated Spanish director Pedro Almodovar comes to mind.

It would seem though, this kind of storytelling doesn't always work. How many my fine readers love The Big Lebowski? After sitting through that eight hour opus, it's got some some great lines, but it's not a great story. It's too unfocused. That's the trap many varied artists fall into when they create an album that's all over the place...amazing songs, but an unfocused album.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Album Review: "Libras" by Saqqara Mastabas

Do you think that the age of the MP3 has destroyed album cover art?

A close friend of mine asked me this question a number of years ago and the only answer was yes. This may be wrong, because it's not like cassette tapes did much to help out the covers.

There are times when CD covers were pretty cool and many times when the artwork didn't quite work because the images were just a bit too large.

With the re-advent of vinyl, it seem as though some classic artwork is finally being invented again. Take the cover of Libras by Sappara Mastabas.

Here we have a beautiful water color of a circle of children engaging in a Judeo-Christian inspired religious ceremony....where they are conjuring a beautifully rendered Prince of Darkness in full horned and hoofed form.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Album Review: "Black Crusades" by Tombstalker

Black Crusades
As someone who's been into music for a very long time, the idea that there are places which create musical scenes is an idea I have long been able to get behind.

Who reading this isn't familiar with Tampa Bay Death Metal? Bay Area Thrash? Swedish Death Metal? New York Glam?

London Punk? Seattle Grunge?

Long has it been said, on these pages and probably elsewhere, that the biggest influence a band will have is its hometown. Black Sabbath played angry, but downtrodden music.

Metallica's sound came from trying to blow away LA Glam Metal. Today we consider another band from Kentucky, Tombstalkers. Frankly, Kentucky is one of those states that just seems so alien to me. Aside from Louisville, no cities stick out in my mind.

What does Kentucky sound like?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Concert Photos: Exmortus at the Pageant in St. Louis May 4, 2016 -Photos by Danny Nichols

Exmortus plays the Pageant in St. Louis

Album Review: "Age of the Fanatics" by Gutter Instinct

Age of the Fanatics
It's come to my attention that my taste in food and beverage might be a bit too narrow.

On a recent outing at Small Batch, there was literally nothing on the menu on that seemed remotely appealing once I read the entire description of the entree.

To the surprise of my companions, for the first time in my life, my dinner was going to be a Caesar salad just, as in nothing else.

What ended up happening is that our host ended up ordering several of their small plates and we shared them. The black bean tacos that put me off tasted so delightful.

The pot stickers that had the wrong meat in them were divine. In fact, nothing that went down my gullet was anything less than amazing, and that's not just the whiskey! A narrow vision is a terrible thing that's only going to cause problems. In fact, how many of us metal fans have not said that to a friend, family member, or co-worker...open minds change the world.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Album Review: "Thus Darkness Spake" by Teloch

Thus Darkness Spake
The easiest way I have found to get a reaction on Metal Twitter isn't to post Metallica Rules! Or even SLAYERRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

It's to say this simple phrase: "I do not like Black Metal."

Black Metal has a fan base so rabid that they will chew their friends to shreds for simply not enjoying it too. Now anyone who follows my twitter feeds knows that going out and crapping on other genres of music is no my style.

Everybody has their own tastes. Mine are different than yours because we're all unique, special people!

Punk Rock is kind of the same to me. Punk Rock and Black Metal have their own lore, conventions, and legions of fans. When a band checks the boxes for either genre of music, it does not interest me, but when a Black Metal (Punk Rock) band ignores convention and pushes the boundaries a little bit, it often piques my interest.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Album Review: "Pandora" by Celestial Ruin

The underserved, but resilient, genre of symphonic metal has an unheralded champion in Celestial Ruin. After four years of touring in support of their debut album, which included a hiatus caused by vocalist Larissa Dawn’s health problems, they are soon to release an ambitious follow-up up EP titled “Pandora”.

Once again they have so expertly channeled the spirit and influence of genre legends such as Sweden’s Therion and Finland’s Nightwish, one would assume Celestial Ruin is of similar Nordic origin.  Yet, this epic sound of the snowy cold environs of Europe comes from the temperate city of Vancouver. Celestial Ruin could be the band to put Canada back on the metal map filling the void left by the departure of 3 Inches of Blood. 
Each of the five songs on the EP tells a complete ominous story through the powerful, clean, crisp and operatic vocals of Larissa Dawn.  Straddling the edges of hard rock and power metal, Dawn is backed by the performances of guitarist Eriz Crux, bassist Mike Dagenais and drummer Adam Todd, who sear through a relentless stream of bombastic riffs and arpeggio laden solos reminiscent of Helloween, Kamelot and Dragonforce. 

Album Review: "Wandering Blind: by Brutus

Wandering Blind
Untiled, the director's cut of Almost Famous is one of my absolute favorite movies.

The music business was such an amazing thing back during the Seventies and that flick just captures the raw power of music in those days.

Though music is just as good as ever, if not better, the industry has sure seen better days. No one can deny that.

It's easy to wax nostalgic about some of the towering bands that prowled the earth bringing earth shatteringly loud concerts that have kept ears ringing to this day.

I can't be the only one who thinks that the vinyl rebirth didn't just start because somebody wanted to crank Led Zeppelin II like they did back in the day right? There are many things to remind us of those heady days when cocaine was the subject of song and bathroom breaks.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Album Review: "Apex III (Praise For The Burning Soul) by Mars Red Sky

Apex III (Praise For The Burning Soul)
Thank you for reading all about new music here at Glacially Musical.

This blog was started as a way to communicate to the world that music didn't stop getting recorded when Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd broke up.

Many complaints of the current group of elder gaseous emissions, i.e. my personal age group, state things such that they have heard everything before.

Well, of course you've heard everything before. There are only so many notes and so many keys. Every single one of them has been used, but  here's a cracker of a fact that may have escaped the aging Gen X'ers. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Kiss, The Rolling Stones, and any other band you can name, not only played notes that other people played, but drew inspiration from other artists!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the big acts of classic rock borrowed licks and chord progressions from their forebears too.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Album Review: "Manifestation of Inner Darkness" by Coffin Lust

Manifestation of Inner Darkness
There was a tragedy recently.

Well certainly there was. There are tragedies everyday in every corner of the world and many times they are broadcast live on TV, radio, Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, and anything else in this world that can be monetized.

Well, after reading what was going on, it felt like someone sucked the life out of me. How could I even finish out what I was obligated to do that day after this.

As I sat in Cunningham's Corner thinking up a question for John Mozaliak and Bill DeWitt III, my psyche was sinking into despair. Though my question was asked and it was a non-baseball question. DeWitt's answer was spectacular btw.

My tears burned in my ducts. My stomach swam. The smiling, awestruck face I wore simply belied the sadness that was striving to overwhelm me. It was simply not time to mourn.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Concert Photos: Ace Frehley at Pop's in St. Louis September 15, 2015 -Photos by Danny Nichols

Ace Frehley and Richie Scarlet rock Pop's in Sauget, IL

Album Review: "Casino Drone" by Mike Adams At His Honest Weight

Casino Drone
There is a very serious problem going on in my household right now. We have been trying to remedy this for years now and there is no end in sight.

My five year old daughter cannot be convinced that there are other foods in the world besides the five she's willing to eat.

Fried rice?

Grilled chicken?


These have all been suggested to her by me. She's not having any of it. Mashed potatoes and corn on the cob are big hits at least. After years of cooking two dinners for her, I have nearly reached the end of the line on this business and don't even get me started on ketchup. With a whole world of condiment choices at her disposal...

But ya know what? When she's 15 I'm going to remind her that she hated nachos when she was a kid!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Album Review: "Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows" by Howls of Ebb

Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows
About 24 years ago, there was a local band in St. Louis called Crucible. They were good friends of my cousins.

On side two, they used a snipped of dialog from Stanley Kubrick's masterwork, A Clockwork Orange. At that time, it wasn't clear how much of an impact this movie would have on my life.

But here we are not too shy of three decades later and four decades after Malcom McDowell brought Alexander DeLarge to life on the big screen and the slang is still a part of my personal lexicon.

You may have noticed little snippets of it here and there in my posts. Over the years there have been a great many discussions about the English meanings of the Nadsat words.

It's only now that I know the true meaning of the slang word, horrorshow.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Album Review: "Maestro" by Winterhorde

Winterhorde: Maestro
Until heavy metal came along few types of music adequately captured the epic scale and intricacy found in classical symphonic music.  

I have long believed there are many sonic similarities between progressive metal and the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and their kind.  Both have epic themes, are bombastic in scale, atmospheric in nature and feature complex compositions. At the very least, these similarities lend themselves to a merging of the two genres which should be encouraged.  

However, within the black metal subculture this seems to be somewhat of a point of contention.  Although not the first to incorporate symphonic elements into their black metal bands Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir, were arguably the best at doing so.  

Maybe it was their superior production, or more likely a jealous reaction to their incredible popularity, but many followers of the genre deride them for their failure to be “true” black metal.  Which is a shame, because I think this trend should be encouraged for producing some of the most innovative and resonant music of the past twenty years.  Israeli band Winterhorde continues in this proud tradition and is a fine example of the best symphonic black metal has to offer.

Album Review: "Dimensions of Horror" by Gruesome

Dimensions of Horror
After nearly four years of writing at Glacially Musical, oftentimes I must confess myself overwhelmed what I have been able to accomplish.

Until very recently, it was only me writing here. (Big thanks to Danny for coming on board and we're really enjoying his contributions as well.)

Because of the smallness of the staff here, mistakes are made.

My personal goal is to bring music to your ears that you may not have heard otherwise. In doing that, there's a lot of guesswork, homework, and just plain work to do.

Gruesome debuted last year with Savage Land and after listening to a bit of it, I passed on reviewing it. Their follow up, Dimensions of Horror, arrived to me today. Knowing full well mistakes were made on their first album, it became today's work to listen and review their sophomore release.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Album Review: "Fiber" by Dead Register

Many years ago, a friend of mine told me something about record labels that never occurred to me.

Record Labels are basically banks. They finance your album and then you pay them back with interest. If your album's a hit, they make money.

If it's a dud, they kick you to the curb. Now, of course that's a pretty broad brush to paint with and I'm certain my favorite labels, you know who you are, aren't like that at all.

Consider 2016 and what Spose said about dealing with a major label was like. The scene at the end of That Thing You Do where Tom Hanks's Mr. White tells Jimmy just the record industry is all about is also a pretty powerful moment.

In 2016 though, a record label isn't needed like it once was.There have been a great many bands to have become successful being their own label. What makes it great is that when an artist is in control of their art, it's pure, in theory.