Posts Tagged ‘Apocalyptica’

Amon Amarth - Twilight of the Thunder God (2008).jpgOne of the coolest bands on the metal scene that is repping Viking Metal is none other than the mighty Amon Amarth. I was looking for an album to review for this week’s Album Of The Week and I came across the Swedish Melodic Death Metal kings. I decided that I wanted to cover the band’s seventh studio album Twilight Of The Thunder God which was released on September 30, 2008. The album featured Johan Hegg (Vocals), Olavi Mikkonen (Guitar), Johan Söderberg (Guitar), Ted Lundström (Bass), and Fredrik Andersson (Drums) while the album was produced by Jens Bogren (Moonspell, Kreator). It is said that the album is based on the story of Thor’s slaying of the serpent Jörmungandr. When the album was released it peaked at number 50 on the Billboard Top 200 charts which marked the first time that the band had charted in America while the album peaked at 11 in Sweden which was the band’s highest chart spot there in their native country. The album was also ranked at number six on Metal Hammer Magazine’s Top 50 albums of 2008 marking the band finally making a stamp in the scene with Metal Blade Records on their side.

Twilight-Of-The-Thunder-God-2-picture1.Twilight Of The Thunder God– The title track kicks off the album and it kicks off with one heck of a metal riff before blasting into overdrive. The track is about Thor having to battle Jörmungandr at Ragnarok. The track features one of the best guitar solos I’ve ever heard and it features Roope Latavala doing the solo. 5/5

2. Free Will Sacrifice– A fierce riff opens up the track that is all about the soldiers of Asgard who are willing to die for Asgard in order to reach Valhalla. 4.5/5

3. Guardians Of Asgard– I love the riffage in these tracks because this is another example of a track that has classic metal written all over it in a track that is all about the men that protect Asgard (the einherjar). The track also features Lars Göran Petrov of Entombed on vocals. 5/5

4. Where Is Your God?– Another thunderous metal riff drives this track that seems to be about when the Vikings raided a land, they would ask where is your God now to protect you from them. I think that is what they are talking about. The track bounces from that metal riff to a more traditional death metal riff with the sonic face melting fast guitar playing. 4.5/5

5. Varyags of Miklagaard– A cool track that is all about the Varangian Guard who were sent to protect the Emperor to the east. 4.5/5

twilight-of-the-thunder-god-4df64327444cb6. Tattered Banners And Bloody Flags– The song starts with a battle like drum and guitar riff in this track that is all about the final battle between the Gods in Ragnarok. You want to hear some bad ass playing then check out this track and that double bass fury. 5/5

7. No Fear For The Setting Sun– Another bad ass metal riff from the band that is hard charging and in your face. The track is about a soldier who realizes that today could be his last day as he is in the middle of battle, but he is ready to make his final stand. 4.5/5

8. The Hero– A very interesting track that seems to be about a man who is a mercenary that is asked to protect a town and he dies doing it. He is then dubbed a hero by the people just because of this one act, but he doesn’t feel that he is because of his past. 5/5

9. Live for the Kill- This has a Judas Priest feel to it at first with the guitar riff which is pretty cool and the track even features Apocalyptica playing cello on it. 4.5/5

10. Embrace of the Endless Ocean– The last track on the album which is a tragic way to end the album not because of whether it’s a good track or not, but because it has an unfortunate ending. The track is about a slave who has finally gained his freedom, but n his way home his ship is struck and he drowns. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– If you are a fan of unbelievable guitar riffs and the technical abilities that Mikkonen and Söderberg possess then this is the album for you. These guys are amazing and they prove it with every album, but this one is special. This is one of my favorite albums from the band who are also great story tellers. Check it out for yourselves and prepare to be blown away. I am giving the album 4.75 stars out of five for a final grade.

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sixx amYahoo Live has been streaming some of the best shows you can catch live online anywhere and tonight was no exception when Sixx: A.M. and Apocalyptica came to the Vic Theater in Chicago, IL as part of the Modern Vintage Tour which is the name of the latest album Sixx: A.M. is promoting. It was interesting night of music that the sold out crowd at the Vic Theater were going to experience as they were treated to Japanese band Vamp first, then followed by the unconventional Cello playing metal masters from Finland in Apocalyptica, and end with Nikki Sixx’s post Motley Crue supergroup Sixx: A.M. Even though this is the band’s seventh year in existence, this is the first time that the band has headed out on a headlining show as most of the members have been busy with other projects like DJ Ashba who is also in Guns N Roses, Nikki Sixx who has been handling Motley Crue’s final tour, and vocalist James Michael who also produces records. For Apocalyptica, the band is supporting their latest release Shadowmaker which will already be out by the time you read this and this is their first tour with new vocalist Franky Perez.

3Apocalyptica officially opened up the Yahoo Live broadcast and they did so with a classical fury as they blasted away with their cellos and high octane energy in toe as well. One of the things I loved about the band is during some songs they improvise and they throw in some kind of cover in between some songs as they threw in a cover of Metallica’s Cyanide during their performance of Shadowmaker. They also did an amazing cover of Metallica’s Frantic that absolutely blew me away and before you knew it they ended the show with their patented performance of Edvard Grieg’s In The Hall Of The Mountain King in front of a mixed crowd of young and old who were just as in to it as the band was. After the performance, you could tell that the crowd was pumped up and ready to embark on a musical journey with Sixx: A.M. as was I. You were left wondering what the night was going to bring as this was our first real look at a headlining set from the band.

8After hearing X-Mas In Hell over the speakers, the band blasted right in with opener Let’s Go and they went right into Give Me A Love right afterwards. The band had a lot of energy and it showed as they rocked out with the crowd through a mix of hits like This Is Gonna Hurt and Pray For Me. One thing was for sure throughout the night is that this is a band full of talent like DJ Ashba who not only shredded the whole night on his guitars, but did various other things like playing the piano on Dead Man’s Ballet and even James Michael would get into the mix as well playing the piano on some tracks. One of the other elements of the show I enjoyed was the back up singers the band brought along with them as they injected that extra oomph into the show. The band brought it all and they left it on the stage and the best part is they gave you a little bit of everything from the funky Miracle to the rocker Lies Of The Beautiful People, and even a cover of The Cars Drive to top it off. One thing was definitely for sure during this show and that is you can see that everyone was having fun which created a great environment for some good ole fashioned rock and roll.

9Nikki Sixx is one of those guys that I always looked up to ever since I was a kid because the man is the brains behind Motley Crue for the most part, but he is also so real to his fans and he had a moment tonight. He spoke to the fans and the words that he spoke will be ingrained in me because there is a light at the end of the tunnel even though things can get dark for all of us and for one night all Sixx: A.M. connected and celebrated the music these three individuals created together. I definitely enjoyed every minute of the show whether it was from Apocalyptica or Sixx: A.M. because they put on one hell of a show. Definitely check out these acts and check them out where ever they play next. Now enjoy some pics below from the show as well as the setlist from Sixx: A.M.

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