Posts Tagged ‘Melodic Death Metal’

maxresdefaultWhen it comes to the genre of melodic death metal or the Gothenburg scene as it is famously known, there is one band that has always been at the forefront of the genre. That band is Gothenburg’s own At The Gates which was made up of Tomas Lindberg (Vocals), Anders Björler (Guitars), Martin Larsson (Guitar), Jonas Björler (Bass), and Adrian Erlandsson (Drums). On October 3, 1995, the band released their fourth album Slaughter Of The Soul via Earache and has often been considered a genre defining album alongside The Jester Race by In Flames and The Gallery by Dark Tranquility. Unfortunately it was the last album the band would release for 19 years (2014’s At War With Reality) as they broke up for 11 years in 1996. The album wouldn’t chart in the states, but it peaked at 200 on the Oricon which is the Japanese charts. It would receive other forms of accolades as Rock Hard magazine ranked it 300 on their The 500 Greatest Rock and Metal Albums of All Time book, Metal Injection ranked it 8TH on their Top 10 Influential Heavy Metal Albums, and Loudwire ranked it 30TH on their 50 Best Metal Albums Of All Time list. Decibel Magazine inducted the album into their Hall Of Fame which is only the second album ever to do so in 2005.

CS691133-01B-BIG1. Blinded By Fear– Some unique sonic sounds start the track off before launching into an all out assault as the lyrics tackle the idea of being faced with the idea of having to make hard decisions. 5/5

2. Slaughter of the Soul– an amazing metal track that tackles the idea of someone who is fed up with listening to another and always doing what they say. 5/5

3. Cold– an awesome metal track from beginning to end that features what is considered the greatest metal guitar solo ever from Andy LaRocque who is famous for being King Diamond’s guitarist. The track is all about waking up and smelling the coffee and pulling the veil from over your eyes and finally living life. 5/5

4. Under A Serpent Sun– A bad ass track that tells you to stop believing in their God and just make your own decisions because we are all equal and we do not need religion to rationalize for us. This may be musically one of my favorite tracks on the album. 5/5

5. Into The Dead Sky– an instrumental track from the band and Anders Björler plays phaser drums on the track. 4.5/5

6. Suicide Nation-an intense track that talks about a society that was perfect until all of it’s flaws were exposed and it turned to chaos. 5/5

7. World Of Lies-Musically this is one of the most bad ass tracks that makes you want to enter a pit to just mosh it out. I’m not sure about the lyrics, but it seems to be someone who wakes up and sees things differently than all the sheep. 5/5

slaughter-of-the-soul-4fcf9d0967cfa8. Unto Others– I believe this in your face track is definitely based in religion lyrically, but I think it’s about mocking organized religion and everything that comes with it. 4.5/5

9. Nausea-a track that kind of takes a look at our society which has really just become nauseating to look at and think about. 4.5/5

10. Need-a track that takes another unique look at society and how we are enslaved to our every day hells and how sometimes it feels like there is no way out. That’s just my opinion, I could be wrong. 4.5/5

11. The Flames Of The End– a short instrumental of sorts that only has a few lines in it, but it’s a cool end to the album. Humanity sucks because it’s enslaved to the madness that has been ruling the earth. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts- This is an excellent album and I can definitely see why it was so influential and important to so many in the coming years. My favorite tracks are the first six tracks or so, but Under A Serpent Sun may be my favorite overall track. I am going to give the album 4.77 stars out of five for a final grade.

black frost“Finding the right niche, finding your own place, appreciation and identity can be a rather tedious undertaking especially if you are “just” a German doomy death metal band, and strive for sticking out of a never-ending stream of new bands that usually are as quickly formed as they vanish.” That is a quote from Melodic Death/Doom Metal band Nailed To Obscurity‘s website and it is so true. The band which got their start in 2005 has been hard at work trying to carve their very own niche and I think they have done well in accomplishing that. Now, the band is gearing up to release their fourth studio album, a follow up to 2017’s King Delusion, and the band’s very first release via Nuclear Blast Records in Black Frost which is due out January 11, 2019. To get fans ready for the release, the band has unleashed a music video for the title track and singer Raimund Ennenga describes the track saying, “While we try to route our sanity through daily grind and to skip facing our fears, our darkest emotions are able to create a burden in secrecy – they are able to cause our mind to capsize. We tried to capture this atmosphere in the lyrics and the music of our song ‘Black Frost’. A sinister maelstrom.” The music video is primarily a performance based video and you need to check it out below. You can also pre-order the album by clicking here.

archenemy_willtopower_2017For a couple of weeks, I have been trying to figure out what bands do I love that I have yet to cover for Album Of The Week? Then it dawned on me when I was looking back at some of my favorite albums of 2017 that I have yet to cover Arch Enemy. Arch Enemy was a band at one point that was considered a supergroup, but they’ve earned enough respect over the years to be known as a Swedish Melodic Death Metal band. The album that I chose for all of you today is the band’s tenth studio Will To Power which once again features Alissa White-Gluz (Lead Vocals) for her second album with the band, Daniel Erlandsson (Drums, Co-Producer), Sharlee D’Angelo (Bass), Jeff Loomis  (Guitars) in his first official full length album with the band, and Michael Amott (Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Co-Producer). The album becomes just the fifth album to ever hit the Billboard Top 200 charts as it peaked at 90 (Doomsday Machine #87, Rise Of The Tyrant #84, Khaos Legions #78, and War Eternal #44). The album also peaked at #3 on the Billboard US Top Hard Rock Albums and #15 on the Billboard US Top Rock Albums charts as well.

archenemy2017promonew2_6381. Set Flame to the Night– An instrumental that showcases the guitar work complete with sirens and police chatter that help set up the next track. 4/5

2. The Race– An all out blitzkrieg of metal fury launches into overdrive when Alissa takes control vocally. The track contains elements of thrash with just pure heavy metal and the lyrics are deep as Alissa talks about Race and how it has affected mankind. 5/5

3. Blood In The Water– Another track that is just pure heavy metal from start to finish and Alissa does a good job balancing semi-clean vocals with her distinct death metal growl. The track features an insane guitar solo that is a true highlight of the track. Alissa is singing about the current climate of the world that is just engulfed in hate and war. 5/5

4. The World Is Yours– a sonic face melter right riff starts off the track in a track that is all about seizing the day because no one else is going to do it for you. 4.5/5

5. The Eagle Flies Alone– The track starts off with a cool melodic riff before it turns into a straight up metal track reminding me a little of 90’s Megadeth in a track that is all about someone who is just an outsider and lives by their own rules. 5/5

6. Reason To Believe– This is one of my favorite tracks on the record and I love if because it feels like it has a very Scorpion-esque sound to it. It’s very melodic and melancholic with a cool guitar riff from Amott and Loomis. I also love the fact that we get some clean vocals from Alissa to go with the screams. This is also the only track to have been written and featuring Michael’s brother Christopher. 5/5

arch enemy7. Murder Scene- A bass driven track to start before the all out double bass peddle madness begins complete with some amazing guitar solos. The track’s lyrics are very interesting because it could be about someone who faced trauma or the fact that a relationship is over makes it hard for a person to deal with. 4/5

8. First Day In Hell– A very dark track that chronicles the horrors of going to a concentration camp back in the late 1930’s/early 40’s. 4.5/5

9. Saturnine– An instrumental track featuring a keyboard or piano before the guiatrists come in as it leads to the next track. 4/5

10. Dreams Of Retribution– With the power and fierceness of Judas Priest, the band blazes through your speakers in a track that is about someone that is locked away in an asylum because of someone and they are plotting their revenge for the day they leave. 4.5/5

11. My Shadow And I– The all out assault on your ear drums continues in this one that seems to be about your conscious tormenting you for ever decision you make, but I could be wrong. 4/5

12. A Fight I Must Win– The last track on the album that talks about no matter what you face in life, you have to overcome it or you’ll be sucked into the agony of whatever it is. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– I think Alissa has done an amazing job with the band as she fits in perfectly with the bunch. I know the band is listed as Melodic Death Metal band, but let’s be honest their only link is the vocal style. This is a metal band right here that deserves to be in convos with other greats. My favorite tracks on the album are Reason To Believe, Blood In The Water, and The Race. My least favorite track(s) are My Shadow And I and Murder Scene.I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade. Be sure to check them on tour right now and in the fall.

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.

war of the covers war machineLast week, we had a battle between Hatebreed and Gojira as to who covered Metallica’s Ride The Lightning track Escape better. You voted, the results are in, and the winner of that battle is Hatebreed by two votes which means it was a closer match than the first one. This week we have an interesting battle for all of you as we feature two titans of their respective metal sub-genres covering one common track between them. In one corner, we have Floridian death metal act Six Feet Under who have been destroying everyone in their paths since 1993 when they signed with Metal Blade Records. In the other corner is their label mates who come from across the ocean from deep in the heart of Europe in Swedish melodic death metal (often credited as Viking Metal) band Amon Amarth. What could be the common thread between the two of them besides the fact that they are on the same label and almost the same genre? Well, if you are observant, then you would see that it is the fact that they both covered War Machine, a cool track from Kiss’s tenth studio album Creatures Of The Night. It’s not surprising that they covered a Kiss track as Kiss had influenced a lot of different metal bands, but who did the song better? Six Feet Under covered the track on their third album, 1999’s Maximum Violence while Amon Amarth had it as a bonus track to their eighth studio album Surtur Rising. Unfortunately, only one of them can win and you are going to decide who by voting. You have until the next War Of The Covers post to decide. So, vote wisely and carefully!

As always we give you two music videos of the week and here is one from the heavier side of life. Legendary Swedish melodic death metal band Dark Tranquility are gearing up to release their 11TH studio album Atoma on November 4TH via Century Media. To help pass the time until then, the band has unleashed the music video for the track The Pitiless which is a performance based video. The video is kind of a behind the scenes look at the band when they go on stage and the steps it takes to get there. The band talked about choosing The Pitiless as their first single saying, “Selecting the first single from an album as diverse as Atoma is always a hard task, but we felt that ‘The Pitiless’ gives a good representation of the general vibe of the material. It’s fast, melodic and with a sense of urgency that permeates the whole album.” You can also catch the band when they head out on tour in the late fall with Swallow The Sun, Enforcer, Starkill, and it kicks off November 4TH. Check out the tour dates here and check out the album cover below:

atoma_cvr

Sometimes one of the greatest ways to show your respect for someone or a band is to cover their song and do it justice. When I found out earlier today that Nick Menza had passed away, I was saddened as he was apart of my favorite lineup of Megadeth dubbed the classic lineup (Menza, Friedman, Ellefson, and Mustaine). So after hearing that I decided that I was going to dedicate the Cover Of The Week to Nick Menza and I chose the perfect Megadeth cover. In 2004, melodic Death Metal act Arch Enemy released an EP titled Dead Eyes See No Future and on that EP was a cover of the Megadeth classic Symphony Of Destruction. The twin guitar attack of Chris and Michael Amott do the song justice while Angela Gossow takes the vocals and makes them heavier with her incredible vocal abilities. It almost sounds to me  like the band had to slow it down a bit to match with her vocal flow which is OK with me because it’s a balls to the wall amazing cover all around. Check it out below and don’t forget to check out the album itself. R.I.P. Nick Menza