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Showing posts from March, 2020

The Metal Scholar's Weekly Listening List (31st March 2020)

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Isolation Headbangers To Stop You Banging Your Head Against A Wall As mentioned in The Miscellaneous Goings On Of Tom , I have only done a week of this blasted isolation and I have felt like banging my head against a wall in frustration on multiple occasions. However, it is a necessity and for those of us following the rules, we'll get through it. Anyway, enough dwelling on the bad, I have had ample time to get through some black metal artists and various albums I've been meaning to listen to in the obscure depths of Spotify. It's definitely been an interesting journey to say the least! I think music, unsurprisingly, has been the one thing that has been keep me, and probably many others, sane. Whilst I look at the same four walls my mind is transported to different realms through albums from across the world. I'll have to do a spreadsheet mapping all the countries I've featured on this list and how many times that country has been featured, I could probably b

The Miscellaneous Goings On Of Tom - Trying Not To Go Mad In Lockdown

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I Never Thought I'd Actually Miss Going To Work... Of course, I don't actually miss the work, but the job and the people to fill the time with. I've only done a week of Lockdown and it's already grating on my that I can't go anywhere and that social distancing is making any shopping trips I do go on a strange experience. However I know that these things are essential to containing a deadly virus, so by staying at home I am saving lives, which means more to me than going to a pub. I also spare a thought for my best friend that is currently working in a hospital and messaged me the other day that having been on a ward with COVID-19 patients, he said it was quite scary. With constant news updates saying that the lockdown could be extended but various numbers of weeks, it can be a little overwhelming for those of us suffering with mental health issues. We joke that we self isolate normally, but in essence its knowing we can go and see our friends, and being able

Wardruna - Grรก

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Key Facts Country: ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด Genre: Nordic Folk Release Date: 21st February 2020 Record Label(s): Sony Music Album Release Date: 5th June 2020 Band Members Einar "Kvitrafn" Selvik – vocals, all instruments, composer Lindy Fay Hella – vocals, flute Arne Sandvoll - backing vocals, percussion HC Dalgaard - backing vocals, percussion, drums Eilif Gundersen - horns, flutes John Stenersen - moraharpa Wardruna - Grรก Review Rating (Out of 5๐Ÿค˜): ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜ Deep in the depths of Norway, a pack of wolves stir in the forrest, a solitary wolf howls. A drum beats a solemn rhythm as the spiritual ritual begins and the gods awaken by the fireside, the horns start to sound. It can only mean one thing, the mighty Wardruna have returned! Everyone's favourite Nordic Folk band have returned with  a Goliath new song by the name of Grรก . This is the first single from the band's upcoming album  Kvitravn  (meaning White Raven). Everyone by now kno

Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II

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Key Facts Country: ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ Genre: Hard Rock/Blues Rock Release Date: 22nd October 1969 Record Label(s): Atlantic Band Members John Bonham – drums, backing vocals John Paul Jones – bass guitar, organ, backing vocals Jimmy Page – guitars, theremin, backing vocals Robert Plant – lead vocals, harmonica Production Personel Jimmy Page - Producer Recording engineers: George Chkiantz (Olympic Studios, London) - "Whole Lotta Love", "What Is and What Should Never Be" Chris Huston (Mirror Sound, Los Angeles) - "The Lemon", "Moby Dick" Andy Johns (Morgan Studios, London) - "Thank You", "Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman)" Eddie Kramer (A & R Studios, Juggy Sound Studio, and Atlantic Studios, New York) - "Heartbreaker", "Ramble On", "Bring It On Home" Eddie Kramer - Director of engineering and mixing at A & R Studios Robert Ludwig - LP

Vanaheimr/Fjordhammer - Update 26th March 2020

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Vanaheimr/Fjordhammer - Update 26th March 2020 Firstly, I hope everyone is coping well in these strange and isolated times, but by being apart we are helping each other! I know for now at least, I'm keeping myself occupied by immersing myself in albums, reading and box sets. I have also had some time to do some thinking in regards to Vanaheimr and the direction I want it to go, which has been on my mind for a while now. While the last year has been phenomenal in regards to streams and listenership, I now feel stuck at this crossroads. I want to keep pursuing Vanaheimr, I've poured so much of myself into it and achieved things of myself that I never thought possible. However, I also feel that I am not in the right creative space at the moment to push the project forward. This comes after many months of trying to work on Vanaheimr IV and not really getting anywhere (in my mind anyway). It's a weird time for me as a musician and a blogger as I'm facing a lot of tra

The Metal Scholar's Weekly Listening List (24th March 2020)

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Lockdown  It was declared last night that the country is in lockdown and I'm getting screwed over by my job refusing to pay me for three weeks such is the greed of ultra capitalist companies. Anyway, I won't dwell on that, we need to be spreading love and kindness, as per my message in the recent Miscellaneous Goings On Of Tom . As we sit at home, wondering what to do with ourselves, it is a great time to do something different, and maybe learn a thing or two. The majority of us I feel however, shall be chilling to music and binging box sets on Netflix, iPlayer, Amazon Prime, etc. For me it's unsurprisingly music, and I've been really getting into my doom metal this week. There is something about the slow and heavy dirge marching towards you that really chills me out, especially the more psychedelic side. Accompanied by the ever present Ozric Tentacles you can see I'm trying to take trips outside my own mind through their music and escape reality for a bit. W

The Miscellaneous Goings On Of Tom - Coronavirus Quarantine Edition

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Four Walls & A Window That's it, the government has finally ordered a complete lockdown due to the coronavirus. In times like this forced isolation can be hard for people that struggle with mental health issues, so if you know anyone who is struggling reach out to them and be kind. I know it's been said a thousand times already but in the midst of all the panic buying and utter selfishness of the general public to consider anyone else but themselves, we do need to stick together. More importantly we have now realised the failures and lack of leadership that resides within our government. I won't rant on and on as the majority of what I've said has been said already, we just need to be mindful of each other. Anyway, in this lockdown I have managed to supply you guys with more regular content which is what I'm happy about and most joyously of all, I've been able to sit and write music for the first time in months. I won't reveal anything as this p

Kalandra - Helvegen (Wardruna Cover)

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Key Facts Country: ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด Genre: Alt. Nordic Folk/Rock Release Date: 6th March 2020 Record Label(s): By Norse Music Band Members Katrine ร˜degรฅrd Stenbekk - Vocals, Synths Florian Bernhard Winter - Guitars, Backing Vocals Jogeir Daae Mรฆland - Guitars, Backing Vocals, Piano, Organ Originally composed by Einar Selvik Kalandra - Helvegen (Wardruna Cover) Review Rating (out of 5๐Ÿค˜): ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜ Kalandra have been a very recent discovery for me, but I'm glad that I have been graced with such beautiful and eerie music ever since. A Nordic Folk/Alt. Rock trio that have a knack of creating incredible soundscapes with soaring melodies, it instantly caught my attention when they covered one of my favourite Wardruna songs, Helvegen . As may of you know, I am a massive Wardruna and Einar Selvik fan, the project that gives you some sort of spiritual awakening yet longing for a world that you wish you could have experienced where heroes and gods ruled. Th

Myrkur - Folkesange

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Key Facts Country: ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Genre: Folk/Black Metal Release Date: 20th March 2020 Record Label(s): Relapse Records Band Members Myrkur (Amalie Bruun) – vocals, piano, nyckelharpa, violin, guitar, percussion, synths, organ Myrkur - Ella Review Rating (out of 5๐Ÿค˜):๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜ Favourite Track(s): Ella, Gudernes Vilje, Fager Som En Ros, Ramund, Tor I Helheim, Reiar, Svea The highly talented and versatile Myrkur is back! After recently becoming a mother,  Folkesange is a stripped back Myrkur with a deeply dense and enriched Scandinavian heartbeat with a contradictory dark and uplifting blood pumping through its veins. With a Hans Dahl (Norwegian artist 1849-1937)  painting for its cover that semi-tells the story of this album. There is a Danish and Scandinavian pride in this album which harkens back to the more folk elements of 2017's  Mareridt but with a progressive push forward into new realms of composition accompanied by a strong focus on a

Black Sabbath: Symptom Of The Universe - Mick Wall

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Key Facts Country: ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ Author: Mick Wall Publisher: Orion Books Ltd. Released: 16th October 2014 Synopsis (Amazon.co.uk): Way back in the mists of time, in the days when rock giants walked the earth, the name Ozzy Osbourne was synonymous with the subversive and dark. Back then, Ozzy was the singer in Black Sabbath, and they meant business. A four-piece formed from the ashes of two locally well-known groups called The Rare Breed (Ozzy and bassist Geezer Butler) and Mythology (guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Bill Ward), all four founding members of the original Black Sabbath grew up within half-a-mile of each other. This biography tells the story of how they made that dream come true - and how it then turned into a nightmare for all of them. How at the height of their fame, Sabbath discovered they had been so badly ripped off by their managers they did not even own their own songs. How they looked for salvation from Don Arden - an even more notorious

The Metal Scholar's Weekly Listening List (17th March 2020)

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Stay Safe In These Trying Times, And Support Your Local Artists With the world in a seemingly endless downward spiral of chaos due to coronavirus, many bands and venues in the UK have been dealt a horrendous blow by the inept and incapable government. I won't go into any details as there are more informed and more accurate outlets than me, but with countless tours being postponed or cancelled, artists and venues will struggle for the next few months. I encourage you to support them where you can, buy a t-shirt, vinyl, CD, other merch, anything, they'll appreciate it. It is also important to keep yourself safe and follow Government guidelines and advice wherever you are. Moving on to a more positive note, there is some awesome music coming out at the moment, 2020 is shaping up to be another phenomenal year for rock and metal! Which can only be a good thing, from the underground to the mainstream bands are upping the ante this year and I am loving every damn minute of it

Code Orange - Underneath

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Key Facts Country: ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Genre: Hardcore Release Date: 13th March 2020 Record Label(s): Roadrunner Records Band Members Eric "Shade" Balderose - vocals, programming, mixing Reba Meyers – vocals, guitars, engineering Jami Morgan – vocals, drums, percussion, producer  Joe Goldman – bass Dominic Landolina – guitars Production Personel Nicole Dollanganger – additional vocals on "(deeperthanbefore)", "Swallowing The Rabbit Hole", "Cold.Metal.Place" Chris Vrenna – additional programming Nick Raskulinecz – producer Will Yip – co-producer, mixing, engineering Andrew Dawson – mixing on "Underneath" Vince Ratti – co-mixing Nathan Yarborough – engineering Vlado Meller – mastering Setta Studio – visual producer, visual effects, additional enhancement Autumn Morgan – art concept Elizabeth Farrington – assist Mandy Simpson – assist Jason Baker – props & makeup Virgilio Tzaj – layout Tim Saccenti –

The Metal Scholar's Weekly Listening List (10th March 2020)

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Halfway To 500! The Metal Scholar's Weekly Listening Playlist is currently at 250 songs (260 after this week)! With it being halfway to 500 songs, by the summer I'll have an ultimate playlist to blast through my new mini speaker, which I only paid £10 for. I honestly nearly didn't start putting these songs into a playlist but I'm glad I did, despite having to trawl through older posts to get all songs on it. What would really interest me is how many countries have featured on these lists? Surely there is an algorithm or programme you can use to track which emoji codes I've used and quantify them? Not my territory though, so I'll hope that some one feels up for the challenge, while I make them a killer playlist. Anyway, best I get on with this weeks lists before I have to go to work! Singles Of The Week I. Heaven Shall Burn (๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช) - Eradicate (Century Media Records), Deathcore  II. Myrkur (๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ) - Gudernes Vilje (Releapse Records), Folk/Black M

Suffer No Fools - We Die As We Live

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Key Facts Country: ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ Genre: Melodic Metal Record Label(s): Independent Release Date: 17th April 2020 Band Members Ali Khan - Guitar, Vocals Jamie Newdeck - Guitar Alex Bain - Bass Mike Taylor - Drums Production Personel Joe Lyndon - Recording, Mixing & Mastering Alex Bain - Recording Mesozord - Artwordk Suffer No Fools - Children Of The Grave (Black Sabbath Cover) Review Rating (out of 5๐Ÿค˜): ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜.5 Favourite Tracks: Wicked Temptations, Six Feet Deep, I Am Reality Before I start this review, this is a bit of advice to myself and to you, ALWAYS check your message requests! I had a message from Alex sat in my message requests on Twitter that I originally didn't see until shamefully recently. I just want to thank Suffer No Fools first and foremost for waiting over two weeks for me to respond and giving me the opportunity to have an early listen to their upcoming album We Die As We Live . I'll say t