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Showing posts from 2019

The Metal Scholar's Albums Of The Year & Decade

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Yes, The Annual Question That Causes Internet Arguments On Another Level. 2019 has been a phenomenal year for rock and metal. Countless great releases that have ended up firmly in peoples rotations for years to come and showing no signs of moving. I think this partly echoes with the times as there have been monumental shifts in attitudes and creativity across the world. I have had the luxury to explore many countries through the music their artists release and it has been true eye opening with some of the albums and songs I've heard. There will be no easy way to select these albums, and some of you will no doubt disagree with some of my selections. I think it is important to remember that when people create these lists it is a subjective opinion, so in other words, you may not like it but I do, so sod off. I have pondered these lists for the last two months, considering all areas of rock and metal that I've listened to and how they've impacted me through the year.

The Miscellaneous Goings On Of Tom - Christmas/Yule Edition

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It Has Come Round Quick This Year, Feels Like It Was January Only Yesterday... Yes, we are staring down the barrel of Christmas day and the Winter Solstice is two days away. It's always a conflicting time of year spiritually for me, I've never been Christian in any way so it always feels kind of wrong to celebrate Christmas but as I've watched it become more of a commercial thing in my 23 years on this planet and the goodwill meaning ultimately lost it doesn't conflict so much anymore. Learning that many of the Christmas traditions we have today a variations (or corruptions, however you see it) of Yule pagan traditions  absorbed into Christianity to make us heathens easier to convert. I guess the core meaning of this time of year is family, this year has not been easy by any stretch of the imagination personally or for my family yet we have all battled through it with true warrior spirit and we will all enjoy Christmas/Yule to it's fullest. I always use this tim

The Metal Scholar's Weekly Listening List (18th December 2019)

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Blighted By Illness Just Before Yule/Christmas! This week's list is late because unfortunately I have been struck down by a very un-festive virus. Going hot and cold, mad sweating spells, coughing and spluttering, you name it, in two days it has completely wiped me out. Anyway, enough making and moaning from me, it won't stop me getting what needs to be done done or feeling very festive for that matter. Even so as we approach the Winter Solstice we are reminded of the short dark days and the bite of winter. Whilst the country is currently in tatters I will say that this is the season to help your fellow man regardless. Although I don't like to get political on here, we can unite through music and become the change that we want to see in the world. However, don't let this overshadow the festive season, enjoy this time with your families, friends and anyone you hold dear. Anyway, away from this sentimentality, let's get cracking with the week's lists! Sin

Fen - The Dead Light

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Key Facts Country: ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal Release Date: 6th December 2019 Record Label(s): Prophecy Productions Band Members The Watcher – vocals, guitars, synthesizers (2006–present) Grungyn – bass, backing vocals, vocals (2006–present) Havenless - drums (2016-present) Fen - Nebula  Review Rating (out of 5๐Ÿค˜): ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜.5 Favourite Track(s): Witness, Nebula, Exsanguination, Breath Of Void, Rendered In Onyx English atmospheric black metal heavyweights Fen have returned with stunning new album The Dead Light . Taking inspiration from the solace and strange beauty of the East Anglian fens this album is dark yet equally mysterious and mystical. Wading through marshes and wetlands, it's easy to see why the band have been so inspired by the surroundings that they grew up in. The isolation and solitude that The Fens bring can also be reflected in The Dead Light . It's definitely one of those albums that you put on to

Vanaheimr/Fjordhammer - Update 9th December 2019

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Vanaheimr/Fjordhammer - Update 9th December 2019 This is probably the last Vanaheimr update for the year, and what year it has been. It's been a very up and down year for me personally but for Vanaheimr it has gone from strength to strength.  The end of year Spotify stats cam out recently and I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who checked out Vanaheimr, listened to my music and shared it. Statistically it's  pretty small amount of stats to other artists but personally it has been a massive year for Vanaheimr. Having 430 listeners in 53 countries means the absolute world, see for yourself; It makes me is unbelievably happy to know that you guys are out there loving my music and it makes me want to create more for you all. I've honestly been humbled at seeing these stats and I can't quite describe how much I appreciate all of your support in this endeavour. All I know is 2020 will present new challenges that I am eager and read

Numenorean - Adore

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Key Facts Country: ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Genre: Post-Black Metal Release Date: 12th April 2019 Record Label(s): Season Of Mist Band Members Alex Kot - Bass Byron Lemley - Vocals, Guitars Brandon Lemley - Vocals David Horrocks - Drums Roger LeBlanc - Guitars, Vocals Numenorean - Portrait Of Pieces Review Rating (out of 5๐Ÿค˜): ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜ Favourite Track(s): Portrait Of Pieces, Nocebo, Horizon, Regret, Coma Adore is a haunting album that will leave its mark deep into your soul and stay there for ever. A surreal and often brutal this is a perfect blend of melancholic and dark emotions suiting of the band's name, which I can only assume derives from J.R.R. Tolkein's  Nรบmenรณrean race of men, the almost perfect yet still flawed human that is  destined to live a longer life than most men which can lead to the suffering of longing. With that in mind, it captures the harrowing theme that envelopes this album like the shroud on the cover art, sinister and blea

The Metal Scholar's Weekly Listening List (9th December 2019)

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The Festive Month Is Now In Full Flow! Yes, we are now officially allowed to wear our Christmas jumpers and listen to all those overplayed and cheesy Christmas songs that we all know and love (or despise, whichever one). I love Christmas (or Yule as I should probably say) as much as I love Hallowe'en, for me though, I've never prescribed to the Christian message of Christmas or any of their messages for that matter, but I do however find myself drawn to the more traditional carols and Christmas hymns sung in churches over this period of the year. Something about the sound and reverb of a church really appeals to me, and any of you that have listened to Vanaheimr, you see that this does influence some of my songs. I have no idea why, but when you make a choir sound melancholic, epic or evil you have to slap a church style reverb on it, let's not lie here. Anyway, I digress, I'm still riding the wave of my epic raid in Sheffield last week and loving all the Folk/Vi

The Metal Scholar's Weekly Listening List (3rd December 2019)

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A Voyage Through The Ages Aboard A Drakkar This week's lists are a day late for a very good reason, check out The Miscellaneous Goings On Of Tom for more info on that. However, I had the absolutely awesome opportunity to check out a plethora of amazing bands over the weekend and the will no doubt be scattered through this list as well as my usual discoveries from the depth of the metal world. As the days get even shorter and the Winter Solstice (Yule), there is an air of festivity now casting it's way into the Fjordhammer camp, even Vanaheimr is feeling festive!  Even so, there will be no Christmas songs of the mainstream, I'd rather celebrate Yule with some rip roaring drinking songs and songs of adventures to distant lands as we remember those who we lost in battle that didn't make it home to enjoy Christmas/Yule this year. Anyway, without anymore delay to proceedings, this week's lists; Singles Of The Week I. The Infernal Sea (๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ) - Plague H

The Miscellaneous Goings On Of Tom - The Viking/Birthday Edition

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Well, I Have Completed Another Lap Around The Sun... Today I have turned 23 and just got back from another phenomenal weekend in Sheffield attending the 2019 edition of Hard Rock Hell Vikings! My band of warriors (a.k.a The West Country Raiding Party) set of from Bristol with cheer and merriment in our hearts ready to conduct our second year of raiding in the fabulous and beautiful city of Sheffield! There was drinking of mean, boisterous singing at the top of our lungs and plenty of unhealthy yet surprisingly filling Wetherspoons food. Almost instantaneously the post-festival weekend blues have set in and rather matches the cold and somber mood of winter, but for two years running I couldn't have wished for a better band of people to spend my birthday weekend with.  What I'm Listening To At This Very Moment Easily the band of the weekend for me, Heidevolk stole the show as the main support on Sunday. Their set was full of barnstorming anthems and would get even