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Showing posts from April, 2020

The Metal Scholar's Weekly Listening List (28th April 2020)

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Tunes To Beat The Lockdown Blues As I mentioned in The Miscellaneous Goings On Of Tom , I've been trying to combat the irritability with in me recently. It has been quite hard the last couple of days but it hasn't stopped me finding some epic tunes to beat the lockdown blues! With the extension of the lockdown and the uncertainty that the future may hold, as I have said before, now is the time to just lose yourself in albums and attempt to let this whole thing blow over you. One positive from the last couple of days is that Mayhem, Norwegian black metal legends, have bravely announced a tour set to hit the UK in October, which I have a ticket for, has given me something to look forward to. I'm hoping the live industry can get back to normal operations as soon as possible, I know I'd be devastated to see my favourite venues close down because of this. That is why I want to get behind the Music Venues Trust campaign #saveourvenues. 556 grassroots music venues are

The Miscellaneous Goings On Of Tom - Fighting Off Cabin Fever

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I Need A Change Of Scenery But Would Rather Stay Home And Save Lives Cabin Fever (noun) -  irritability, and similar symptoms resulting from long confinement or isolation indoors I don't know about you but I think lockdown might be starting to get to me a little bit. I've started feeling a bit restless and easily irritated by little things. Just going back to work would be a small consolation to get rid of this claustrophobic situation. It's starting to prove a bit difficult as apathy and lethargy start to creep into my daily routine. The other problem I have is online shopping, mainly for craft beer as our independent breweries will need us more than ever at this moment in time (more on that below). Whilst I'd really like to go out for the day somewhere nice and eat in a restaurant (I've been clean eating for the most part of this lockdown and I am craving something greasy and dirty), staying at home is saving lives. I could rant and rave about the lack

Malevolence - The Other Side

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Key Facts Country:๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ Genre: Hardcore/Sludge Release Date: 24th April 2020 Record Label(s): MLVLTD Records, Blood Blast Distribution Band Members Alex Taylor - Vocals Konan Hall - Guitar, Vocals Josh Baines - Guitar Wilkie Robinson - Bass Charlie Thorpe - Drums Malevolence - Keep Your Distance (Ft. Bryan Garris of Knocked Loose) Review Rating (out of 5๐Ÿค˜): ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜ Favourite Track(s): Keep Your Distance Everyone's favourite Steely City riff masters have returned with a world beating EP that will knock you through to The Other Side . After hearing about the band going independent and releasing this themselves, to free themselves form the confines of a record label, I had high hopes for The Other Side and I was not disappointed! I was first introduced to the band way back in 2016/17, and have followed them ever since, both previous albums 2013's Reign Of Suffering and 2017's Self Supremacy have become permanent s

Frankenstein (The Modern Prometheus) - Mary Shelley

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Key Facts Country: ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ Author: Mary Shelley Genre: Gothic, Horror Fiction, Science Fiction Original Publisher: Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor & Jones Originally Released: 1 January 1818  Publisher: Penguin Released: 2012 Synopsis:  Obsessed by creating life itself, Victor Frankenstein plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, which he shocks into life by electricity. But his botched creature, rejected by Frankenstein and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy his maker and all that he holds dear. Review Rating (out of 10๐Ÿ“•): ๐Ÿ“•๐Ÿ“•๐Ÿ“•๐Ÿ“•๐Ÿ“•๐Ÿ“•๐Ÿ“•๐Ÿ“•๐Ÿ“• Mary Shelley's infamous gothic horror novel, and the original sci-fi, was a rollercoaster ride of emotions, spiralling and entwining itself with delusions and madness. There is no doubt in my mind as to why this sordid tale is one we keep going back to. The concept of man 'playing God' really hit home for me while reading this, that we can lose

The Metal Scholar's Weekly Listening List (21st April 2020)

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Zoning Out In the Sun With the lockdown essentially going on to be extended for another 3 weeks in the UK, I've positively seen this as an opportunity to keep presenting you with some tunes and albums that I've encountered on my zoning out staring into the sun. With all this free time, getting lost in albums has been bloody brilliant and has inspired me too. Exploring various avenues of creativity and thought has definitely made me happier, as I'm starting to have ideas long since locked away become real and vivid things before my eyes. In other news, I'm not a Devil's Leaf smoker, but I have been greatly inspired by the likes of Black Sabbath and the bluesy, drudging marches of stoner and doom metal.  There can be an awesome, laid back and chilled out culture that comes from that scene that I really enjoy, I seem to just fall into it without personally needing the assistance of weed, because that's just the way I am. Although technically this is late (th

The Black Dahlia Murder - Verminous

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Key Facts Country: ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Genre: Death Metal Release Date: 17th April 2020 Record Label(s): Metal Blade Records Band Members: Trevor Strnad – lead vocals  Brian Eschbach – rhythm guitar, backing vocals  Max Lavelle – bass  Alan Cassidy – drums  Brandon Ellis – lead guitar, backing vocals  The Black Dahlia Murder - Child Of Night Review Rating (out of 5๐Ÿค˜): ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜ Favourite Track(s): Godlessly, Verminous, Removal Of The Oaken Stake, Sunless Empire, How Very Dead Death metal legends The Black Dahlia Murder (TBDM) have unleashed their monster on all of our ears and it is out of this world! Having listened to Verminous , I was already super excited for the rest of the album, so when it went beyond my expectations I loved every single minute of it's ball busting death metal brutality. With its green album art portraying a grizzly and dark image,  Verminous as a whole gives you the sense that you've been trapped in a dungeon to f

The Miscellaneous Goings On Of Tom - 3 More Weeks...

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An Extension Of Lockdown So, it's been announced that we have three more weeks of lockdown at least. I can't say I'm surprised with people flouting the rules, I'm regularly stunned at the amount of people out, seemingly loitering, on my daily runs. Even so, I've been thinking about how this will change the nation, hopefully for the better, completely. I'm hoping we all come out of this with a little more compassion and understanding for one another. Some of us are struggling mentally, I think I personally have become accustomed to it, but I understand that some people may need some help. Make sure you're checking up on your friends and family, because loneliness sucks. I think the biggest dilemma I've faced is wanting to make the most of the time being productive because we'll never have this much free time again or slacking off and being lazy because we'll never have this much free time again. It's such a weird time for me, I want to

Svartkonst - Black Waves

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Key Facts Country: ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช Genre: Blackened Death Metal Release Date: 3rd April 2020 Record Label(s): Trust No One Recordings Band Members Rickard Tรถrnqvist - Everything Svartkonst - Black Waves Review Rating (out of 5๐Ÿค˜): ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜.5 Favourite Track(s): Death Magic, I Am The Void, Black Waves, Stray In The Dark A furious and brutal one man project hailing from Hรคrnรถsand, Sweden, that will lay waste to your ear drums with an onslaught of blackened death metal. A raw and uncompromising album that will drag you to the chasms and abysses of hell, chew you up and spit you back out. With all the best elements of black and death metal combined with a doom superglue, Black Waves is a brutal journey into the world of Rickard Tรถrnqvist. I'm a relatively new to Svartkonst, but after this I am fully fledged fan. There is a goliath sized beast hidden behind this album and it shows its teeth at every opportunity throughout. Musically, this album has e

The Metal Scholar's Weekly Listening List (14th April 2020)

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Watching 90s Wresting Re-Runs And Listening To Pantera As lockdown continues to drag on, I have been reliving my childhood by watching late 1990s/early 2000s wrestling. I remember for a long time always wanting to be a wrestler, with Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, etc. all tearing it up week in week out while Hulk Hogan ran the nWo. It made me realise something though, my absolute favourite wrestlers were always The Undertake and Kane. Considering that The Undertaker is the ultimate Goth and Kane is a destructive demon, you can see what fired my imagination and drew me to the darker areas of fiction and music when I was young. The Brothers Of Destruction with all their macabre imagery and pyro just enthralled me for sure. After binge watching some WWE programming the other day, I then rifled through my CD collection and  found my Pantera CDs which I forgot I had. Cranking up Cowboys From Hell on my stereo and reliving the violent grooves of Dimebag Darrell, regres

Gravitonne - Grieve In Part

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Key Facts Country: ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ Genre: Heavy Metal Release Date: 18th November 2019 Record Label(s): Independent Band Members Thomas Saunders - Vocals, Guitar Kieran Coughlan - Guitar Ben Wines - Bass Connor Moyse - Drums Gravitonne - Not A One Review Rating (out of 5๐Ÿค˜): ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜.5 Favourite Track(s): Not A One, Grieve In Part, Thorne, Night Trappings, Fools, Give & Take Today, my Sounds Of The Underground takes me all the way to the heart of the West Country, Bideford, Devon to be precise. Having met Tom briefly as part of a virtual pub video call during these strange times, we both shamelessly self promoted ourselves to one another. I walked away with knowledge of Gravitonne and him Vanaheimr, anyway I digress. I have had the pleasure to enjoy their debut album Grieve In Part , an eclectic mix of rock and metal influences that amalgamate into a melancholic yet enigmatic series of songs that will interest and intrigue you. With

The Miscellaneous Goings On Of Tom - Easter Edition

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Sun, Chocolate & Isolation Happy Easter! or ฤ’ostre for my various pagan readers! The sun has been glorious the past week or so and it really has lifted my morale during these strange circumstances we find ourselves in. I've dwelled on the recent pandemic a bit too much in recent posts but the message remains the same. I've felt very uplifted by the sun in the recent days and just feeling the warmth again (as much as I love the cold, the mild winter we had was shit). Spring has sprung and hopefully the trees will start restoring themselves to a green wonderland in the coming weeks. Of course, Easter is traditionally a time to see in new life and celebrate the longs days. For me it's always been a weird time, as it  doesn't get the same pomp and ceremony as Christmas but is still a significant time of year that I've seen pass me by multiple times without a care. Either way, I hope everyone in the UK makes the most of this sun, responsibly and within social

The Metal Scholar's Weekly Listening List (7th April 2020)

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Sun Is Out But I Have To Stay Inside  Quarantine is starting to wear on the majority of us and it is starting to show. Trying to occupy ourselves with so many things because we're scared of boredom and not working towards something, which ultimately ends up in doing absolutely nothing, pretty much sums this up, in my own personal case anyway. I'm just struggling to decide what to invest my time in, reading and language learning seems like the best use but I've felt creatively constipated with some good ideas going round in my head that I am struggling to release. Even creative writing is an option, but with all this time and these options you get a little bit overwhelmed. Anyway, I'm still spending large amounts of buried in music as per usual. Besides, my body is feeling more relaxed than ever, my exercise routine is going well so now its just a matter of augmenting my existence with new found knowledge. The good weather is proving difficult to deal with, if it

Automb - Chaosophy

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Key Facts Country: ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Genre: Blackened Death Metal Release Date: 25th March 2020 Record Label(s): Witching Hour Productions Band Members Danielle Evans- Vocals, Keys & Bass Serge Streltsov- Guitar, Backing Vocals Matt Francis - Live Drums Scott Fuller - Session Drums (Studio Releases) Automb -  Chaosophy Review  Rating (out of 5๐Ÿค˜): ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜ Favourite Track(s): Transmigration Omega, Chaosophy, Trishula, Cosmic Tyranny Automb are back with a much anticipated new album, Chaosophy . The follow up to 2018's Esoterica , which I thought showed the band's future potential, unfortunately in my opinion hasn't really departed from the stencilled in Blackened Death Metal format. I thought the lead single was quite aggressive and definitely got me excited for the rest of the album, however hearing it in it's full album context it doesn't particularly stand out to me as much as it did. Don't get me wrong this album does hav

Sowulo - Grima

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Key Facts Country: ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Genre: Dark/Pagan Folk Release Date: 3rd April 2020 Record Label(s): Independent Band Members Chloรฉ Bakker - Celtic Triplett harp Pan Bartkowiak - Davul and percussion Koen van Egmond - Woodlandwinds Klaartje van Zwoll - Viola, violin and vocals Faber Horbach - Bouzouki, hammered dulcimer, nyckelharpa, jouhikko, Synths, VST and vocals Production Personel Niek van Eck - Immersive Storytelling, Research, Concept Creation Nico van Montfort - Mastering Jasper van Gheluwe - Artwork Faber Horbach - Recording, Research, Concept Creation Sowulo - Triumph Over Tears Review Rating (Out of 5๐Ÿค˜): ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜.5 Favourite Story: Beguiled By Blood Brew This EP is something a little different from what I usually expect to review. This is an "immersive combination of Storytelling and Atmospheric music. We recorded GRIMA from a place of deep presence, rooted in ancient stories of wisdom." (Sowulo, 2019), with a