Posts Tagged ‘Black Metal’

s-l640We are still chipping away here at Loudwire.com’s Top 50 Metal Albums of All Time and I am definitely excited to be checking out today’s artist which is one I meant to do a while ago. The first time I had ever heard of Tom G. Warrior or the band Celtic Frost was on two different releases. The first time was thank you to Brazilian legends Sepultura and their cover of Celtic Frosts Procreation (Of the Wicked) and the second was Tom’s appearance on the Dave Grohl led Probot record. It was an introduction too a world at a time that I had never explored before when I checked out the Swiss metal band’s music. Today, I have decided to cover the band’s second studio album To Mega Therion (translates to The Great Beast in Greek) which was released on October 27, 1985 via Noise Records. The band was made up of Warrior (guitars/vocals/effects/co-producer/assistant engineer), Dominic Steiner (Bass/Bass Effects), and Reed St. Mark (Drums/Percussion). The album is another one that is widely considered a very influential album in the early days of both Death and Black Metal respectively. The album artwork is a painting done by the late, great H.R. Giger entitled Satan I.

518LGWJ+v-L1. Innocence and Wrath– An instrumental track opens up the album and showcases what could be considered an influence to Symphonic Black Metal bands of the future with the French Horns in the track. 5/5

2. The Usurper– The first track leads right into this one which is a balls to the wall bass driven track that tells the story of a man who takes over kingdoms by force illegally for his king. 5/5

3. Jewel Throne-an in your face, go for the throat track about a man in kingdom that is slowly crumbling, but he still hides behind his throne. 4.5/5

4. Dawn of Megiddo-I like the eerie like tone of the track in the beginning and at one point in the track the French Horns make a comeback to give it that apocalyptic feel in what I believe is about the destruction of the city of Megiddo in Israel. 4.5/5

5. Eternal Summer– A track that starts off heavy then has a hardcore punk feel to the tempo in this track about the fall of ancient Egypt in my opinion. 4.5/5

to-mega-therion-5328156d04a6a6. Circle Of The Tyrants– an in your face track that explodes out of a cannon right from the start that talks about the causalities of war in this world. 5/5

7. (Beyond the) North Winds-A cool track that to be honest I am not exactly sure what Tom is talking about in this track. It seems to be somewhere in the dream realm if I had to take a guess. 4/5

8. Fainted Eyes– another track that has that fast punk tempo mixed with some metal beats along the way in a track that I believe he is referring to the dream world (not 100% sure). 4/5

9. Tears in a Prophet’s Dream-Another instrumental on the album that features lots of cool sound effects like crashing symbols, screams, etc. It honestly sounds like you are going through a nightmare with the suspense building. 4/5

10. Necromantical Screams–  the last track on the album deals with the fact of a person who has been so addicted to seeing the future through the dead that it’s haunting them now. I like the King Diamond like background vocals in this track, it kind of adds to it. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– You can definitely see how Celtic Frost would be considered an influence, but I find that to be more true as it relates to Death Metal more than Black Metal. Nonetheless, this is a really good record and definitely one you need to check out. My favorite tracks are The Usurper and Circle Of Tyrants while Fainted Eyes and (Beyond The) North Winds are my least favorite tracks. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

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emperorWe are moving right along the list that Loudwire released a year or so ago as they named their Top 50 Metal Albums of All Time. One of the things I noticed about their list is that there is quite a few black metal bands on the list as we already covered albums from Mayhem, Bathory, Darkthrone as well as the godfathers of Black Metal in Venom. One of the most influential bands in the second wave of Black Metal is Norweigan band Emperor which in 1997 was made up of Ihsahn (Vocals/Guitars/Synthesizers), Samoth (Guitars/Arrangements), Alver (Bass), and Trym (Drums). The album that I chose from the band is their second studio album Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk which was released on July 8, 1997 via Candlelight Records and Century Black. Loudwire ranked the album at 37 on their Top 50 Metal albums list, but they also ranked it as the best black metal album of all time. The album is considered very influential in the black metal scene for carrying the torch as the band recorded the album at The Grieg Hall in Bergen, Norway which is a 1,500 seat concert hall which definitely helped with the symphonic sound you hear.

emperor back1. Alsvartr (The Oath)– The track opens with a very melodic riff and the occasional sounds of what appears to sound like an owl. It sounds like the beginning of a horror film as an evil sounding voice recites the lyrics with the sounds of shrieks that help guide them. a truly bad ass metal track right here. 5/5

2. Ye Entrancemperium– The opening riff to this track is actually that of an unreleased (at the time) untitled Mayhem track, but this when the fierceness of black metal with a little bit of a symphonic feel comes in. This is definitely an epic track from the band that pushes the boundaries of black metal. 5/5

3. Thus Spake the Nightspirit– an interesting track that is all about embracing the darkness that rules our lives whether in this life or in the after life, but by embracing it you are less ignorant than those who mock it. 5/5

4. Ensorcelled by Khaos– Beautiful chaos could be a word to best describe this track that is an absolute sonic face melter in this track about a man who has done everything he believes he could have done to please the dark lord, but yet he feels he hasn’t. You can definitely see some of the influence this album has had on bands like Dimmu Borgir, etc. 5/5

R-1435191-1232291733.jpeg5. The Loss and Curse of Reverence-Another great track that just shows off how ahead of the time Emperor was and how great they were musically. The symphonic parts contained within the track are so dramatic and epic, it’s excellent. The track is about a man who shuns Christianity even though he was brought up to follow the faith. 5/5

6. The Acclamation of Bonds-I truly believe that the lyrics to the track are about a fallen angel who is telling his believers to fear not because their bond is unbroken like that of Gods. Musically this song is another knock out for the band in my opinion. 5/5

7. With Strength I Burn-another interesting track on the album that is about a man who goes on a journey for the truth, but when he is back where he started he feels more empowered than before. 5/5

8. The Wanderer– The last track on the album is an instrumental track showcasing the ability of the band which is amazing as this one was written by Samoth. 5/5

My Final Thoughts-I honestly and truly believe that this was an absolutely amazing record and I wish I had heard this sooner. This was the building blocks for every other band that has followed the Symphonic Black Metal route. It’s a shame that these guys are not really together anymore. The album gets a perfect five out of five for a final grade which means it’s part of the five star club. Do yourselves a favor and check this out!

 

1000x1000This past week, we posted an article where we had discussed that Venom has often been considered the founders of Black Metal music simply because they named an album Black Metal. If there was ever a band in the genre that could take credit as one of the founding fathers of Black Metal, it would be Sweden’s own Bathory who took what Venom had done with the recording quality and they molded the sound that would spawn a generation. The band which was made up of Quorthon (Vocals/Guitars) a.k.a. Thomas Börje Forsberg, Stefan Larsson (Drums), and Rickard Bergman (Bass Guitar) released their self titled debut album in October of 1984 via Tyfon Grammofon originally. The band originally gained notoriety when a band dropped out of a compilation album so the label asked it’s employee who was Quorthon to record a couple of tracks. After it was all said and done, the band’s two songs were the most popular on the album and the label asked Bathory to record a full album. The album artwork was originally released with the yellow look goat known to passionate fans as Gula Geten because it was originally supposed to be in Gold, but that was deemed too expensive. Quorthon asked them to get it as close to Gold as possible, but when he saw the final product, he hated it and after a printing of 1,000 copies, he changed  it to the B&W version we all know today.

MI00021198661. Storm of Damnation (Intro)– an ominous instrumental opens up the album sounding as if you are walking through the depths of hell. 4/5

2. Hades– It leads right into this track that kicks off with that in your face death metal fury in this track about where Hades dwells which is the underworld. 4.5/5

3. Reaper-another facemelting track that is all about the one and only Grim Reaper and what he can do which is taking your soul when he choses. 4.5/5

4. Necromansy– a thrash sounding track that is all about sacrificing in the name of Satan in the art of Necromancy. 4.5/5

5. Sacrifice-a song that is bad ass musically as it’s more of a metal track that is unrelenting and I love it. Another track that is all about sacrificing in the name of the lord of hell. 5/5

40127430101126. In Conspirasy with Satan– The first track on side B or the side titled Evil. The track is an in your face, I will rip your face off track that is all about claiming your allegiance to Satan. 4.5/5

7. Armageddon-a bad ass metal track that has a bad ass bass riff to go along with the guitars in a track that is all about the end of the world from the demons perspective. At the 1:20 minute mark, you can hear Bergman’s bad ass bass playing real well. 5/5

8. Raise The Dead– The church bells kick off this track before more bad ass extreme metal smashes through your speakers in this track about someone coming back from the dead for vengeance. 5/5

9. War– War is officially called for and declared against the heavens in this hellraiser of a track that combines elements of Motörhead with GBH and some extreme metal. 5/5

10. The Winds Of Mayhem-Outro-The sounds of hell see this outro track through to signify the end. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– While Quorthon claims that he was influenced by Black Sabbath, Motörhead, and GBH, a former drummer of the band claims that Venom was a total influence. Nonetheless, you can definitely hear the elements of Venom in this album, but Bathory very much made the sound their own. My favorite tracks on the album are War, Raise The Dead, and Armageddon. I am going to give the album which was voted number 40 on Loudwire’s Top 50 Metal Albums of All Time an 4.6 stars out of five for a final grade.

single veomOne of the most legendary bands from the 80’s that single handedly could be credited with creating the Black Metal genre is England’s Venom. The band released their first album Welcome To Hell in 1981 and have been terrifying parents ever since. Now the band is gearing up to release their fifteenth studio album Storm The Gates which is due out December 14TH via Spinefarm Records. The album is the band’s first since 2015’s From The Very Depths and Cronos is ready to pump you up for it saying, “Get ready for another killer album, packed full of awesome riffs and screaming mayhem. We’ve been hard at work for over two years to make sure this new release raises the bar, to deliver a demonic mix of old and new. Get ready to lay down your souls, legions!” The band that is rounded by Rage (Guitar) and Danté (Drums) bring the fury with the new track Bring Out Your Dead which is the band’s first single off the album and our Metal Single of the Week. The song begins with the typical madness that is Venom before launching into an all out metal assault as they summon the dead. Check out the track below and check out the artwork and track listing below:

Venom-Storm-the-Gates

01. Bring Out Your Dead
02. Notorious
03. I Dark Lord
04. 100 Miles to Hell
05. Dark Night (of the Soul)
06. Beaten to a Pulp
07. Destroyer
08. The Mighty Have Fallen
09. Over My Dead Body
10. Suffering Dictates
11. We the Loud
12. Immortal
13. Storm the Gates

MI0002497429One of my earliest memories of Norweigan Black Metal was through a picture of Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo who was wearing a Transylvania Hunger shirt from Darkthrone on a poster that I received from Metal Edge Magazine when that was still a thing. So of course, I became curious about Darkthrone and they instantly became one of my favorite Black Metal bands. The band which was made up of Nocturno Culto (Lead Guitar/Vocals), Zephyrous (Rhythm Guitar), Fenriz (Drums), and Dag Nilsen who played bass for the last time on the band’s 1992 album A Blaze In The Northern Sky which was self produced. The album is considered the first chapter in the band’s Unholy Trinity which also included Under a Funeral Moon and Transilvanian Hunger which are the band’s most popular albums. The album had some controversy surrounding it because it was the first black metal record after originally being a death metal band. The decision caused bassist Nilsen to agree to record his bass parts as a session musician because he was done with the band. The band’s label Peaceville Records also disliked the change and would only release the album of the band agreed to allow them to remix it. The band threatened to have the album released with a different label and then Peaceville succumbed to their threats. The album was voted the 46TH greatest metal album of all time out of 50 by Loudwire.com which is why I am reviewing it.

MI00014803031. Kathaarian Life Code– A 10 minute track to open the record which starts with a very evil and ominous intro with someone saying something before the band kicks in with some face melting riffs. I’m not 100% positive on the lyrics, but it seems to be about the creation of what was good and evil. 4.5/5

2. In the Shadow of the Horns– A bad ass metal track with poor production sound in a seven minute track is what we have here in this track that touches upon Ancient Egypt and other evil topics. 5/5

3. Paragon Belial-an interesting track lyrically which explores a man that comes face to face with a being that tells him that what the Christians had been telling him is wrong and to create his own “devil”. 4.5/5

a-blaze-in-the-northern-sky-500cf616bfd494. Where Cold Winds Blow– another track that just sonically rips your face off as they sing about the one and only evil one. The track features some pretty sick guitar solos. 4.5/5

5. A Blaze In The Northern Sky– The title track hits you right from the start as it doesn’t let up in this interesting story of how they lived a thousand years as pagans before Christianity came storming in looking to erase their history. 5/5

6. The Pagan Winter– I feel like this track just is a continuation of the same story as the last track, but in a sense of how terrible the time was when it happened. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– There is a line in the last track and I swear that is how Phil Anselmo named his side project Superjoint Ritual. Anyways, this was a ballsy album for the band and it paid off for them in the long run as it’s a highly recommended black metal album and number 46 on Loudwire’s list. My favorite tracks on the album was definitely the title track and In The Shadow Of The Horns while my least favorite track was The Pagan Winter. I am going to give the album 4.58 stars out of five for a final grade.

mayhemThere is always a point in life when we ask ourselves whether or not there are examples of life imitating art especially in the entertainment business. There has always been a mystery to outsiders who do not understand Norwegian Black Metal and what it meant to the many bands that were the forefathers of the genre. One of the bands that is a huge example of this argument is the legendary and notrious kings of Black Metal in Mayhem. The band which was made up of Per “Dead” Ohlin (vocals), Øystein “Euronymous” Aarseth (guitar), Varg “Count Grishnackh” Vikernes (Bass), and Jan Axel “Hellhammer” Blomberg (Drums). The band together began writing their first album titled De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, but instead of the album being released in 1987, it didn’t see the light of day until 1994. The reason for this is for the fact that Dead decided one day to commit suicide and then Euronymous who had gone to the local store to buy a camera to take pictures of him. Eventually, Euronymous was killed and Attila Csihar was brought in to sing vocals for the album. While the album may not have charted, it is often praised as one of the influential black metal albums and it made Loudwire’s Top 50 Metal albums of all time at number 49 which is why I chose ti as this week’s album of the week.

mayhem-de-mysteriis-dom-sathanas1. Funeral Fog– a fierce in your face track that is just relentless and the instrumentals are great and then they turn up the ante when the lyrics kick in on this track that I believe is about Dracula. 5/5

2. Freezing Moon-an interesting track where they flex their metal abilities in the beginning of the track that Hellhammer claims is supposed to make you want to commit suicide. 5/5

3. Cursed in Eternity– an awesome in your face track about walking through hell with the devil as your tour guide as he welcomes you to your cursed eternity. 4.5/5

4. Pagan Fears– an awesome metal track that is all about Norway’s culture before the Christians took over and forced them into Christianity. 5/5

41q-xoQdq0L._SX355_5. Life Eternal– Another fierce track that kind of has a dark meaning to it in my opinion, I feel like Dead was talking about suicide in the track like he’s contemplating it throughout the song. 5/5

6. From The Dark Past-a horror influenced track (in my opinion) about a man that returns from the dead to tell his tale, but everyone in the village is terrified. 4.5/5

7. Buried by Time and Dust– a hammering track about a vampire which was probably based off of Bram Stoker. 4.5/5

8. De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas– the title track is a six minute epic that proves that these guys had chops whether they believed it or not. The title alone is pig Latin because the proper Latin title would be De Mysteriis Domini Satanae which means About the Mystery of the Lord Satan. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– It’s too bad that Dead’s vocals didn’t end up on the album, but there is a live album that features him singing some of the tracks. As I said before, these guys have some chops and are a metal band whether they like it or not. Life Eternal, Pagan Fears, and Freezing Moon are my favorite tracks on the album. I don’t have a least favorite, but if I did it would be Buried by Time and Dust. This is definitely a must listen to album if you are looking to get into black metal. I am giving the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

17498847_1430758220309198_7445967711751034253_nI just wanted to take the time once again to thank everyone who has gotten involved in the voting process because without you this is not possible. The Pedal Cup which is our metal version of the World Cup has had some surprising results since the first round and the quarterfinals went without a hitch. As usual, we gave you three ways to cast a vote in the tourney with one being the Facebook page, the second being my Twitter page, and the third being right here on the blog site. One of the matches that took advantage of most of the ways I gave you was the BABYMETAL vs Sepultura match and what a weird outcome it turned out to be as all BABYMETAL needed was the Twitter count to win. Morbid Angel’s win was the most lopsided of the tournament as Confess was the only band that failed to gain a vote. The semifinals are now set, but you’ll have to wait until later to be able to participate and vote for the two teams that will move on tot he championship. Check out the box scores down below:

BOX SCORE BABYM VS SEPULBOX SCORE BEHEM VS ARCHBOX SCORE MOON VS DIMMUBOX SCORE MORBID VS CONFESS

Pedal Cup Bracket 2 SEMIFINALS.jpg