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Showing posts from September, 2020

The Metal Scholar's Weekly Listening List (29th September 2020)

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So I watched The Social Dilemma... Anyone else watched the new Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma ?  I did this morning and my eyes have been well and truly opened with all my hunches about unethical practices being confirmed. It horrified me at how much influence these overwhelmingly wealthy companies have over our basic human instincts and psychology. I need to look further into the debate, but damn, I can't get over how bad and scary it has got. With AI becoming more sophisticated and predicting our behaviour before we've even thought about it. So, I now have a personal responsibility to myself to cut down on screen time whilst promoting my music and my blog. I think this soul relies on me re-branding the computer and phone as a tool nothing else. Anyway, I think this is a conversation that needs to be had and these digital spaces need to be regulated for the good of our civilisation's future. Enough rambling though, this isn't a film review site. I have definite

Raven Throne - Viartannie (Chroniki Źmiainaj Ciemry)

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Key Facts Country: 🇧🇾 Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal Release Date: 18th September 2020 Record Label(s): Independent Band Members Chernotur - Guitars  War Head - Bass, Vocals, Programming  Raven Throne - Viartańnie Review Rating (out of 5🤘): 🤘🤘🤘🤘 Favourite Track(s): Viartańnie, Niabačnyja Nici Zimy, Uładar Ściužy, Miortvaja Spadčyna, Spyni Serca Vosieni An album that takes me, I believe for the first time, to the cold heart of Belarus. Hailing from the historical, northern city of Polotsk, Raven Throne are a dark and cold act fusing conceptual elements of mythology, pre-Christian archetypes and Belarusian poetry into raw, bleak yet captivating atmospheric black metal. Inspired by an eternal winter and the Norwegian black metal classics, Raven Throne has all the hallmarks of a band steeped in black metal tradition but without fear of breaking the boundaries. I don't hear of many bands from Belarus but with it being wedged between Poland and Russia, I am sure it is set to be a

The Miscellaneous Goings On Of Tom - Dark Nights & Spiritual Fist Fights

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👻  It's Definitely Getting Spooky Around Here!  👻 The weather has closed in, throughly kicking the big, glowing, sky lamp into touch. Wind, rain and cold, everything that I love at this time of year. Battening down the hatches and chucking a horror film on to get my adrenaline to surge is also a highlight. One thing that I always think about at this time of year is the spiritual battle between good and evil, as laid out my Christianity. As someone who is spiritual and pagan in my beliefs, I think of the historical aspects of how one night, 31st October, is revered in one sense and despised in another (mainly by evangelical christians). Whilst the origin of Trick or Treating is dates back to the Middle Ages and is distinctly Christian. Called Hallowtide (the eve of All Saint's Day) poor people would go round wealthy houses offering prayers in return for food and beer. Whilst many evangelical groups see Hallowe'en as encouraging devil worship and normalising occult themes,

Napalm Death -Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism

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Key Facts Country: 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Genre: Grindcore/Death Metal Release Date: 18th September 2020 Record Label(s): Century Media Records Band Members  Shane Embury -Bass  Mitch Harris - Guitars, Vocals  Mark "Barney" Greenway - Vocals  Danny Herrera - Drums  Napalm Death - A Belly Full Of Salt And Spleen Review  Rating (Out of 5🤘): 🤘🤘🤘🤘🤘 Favourite Track(s): A Belly Full Of Salt And Spleen, Amoral, Fuck The Factoid, Backlash Just Because, Joie De Ne Pas Vivre, Fluxing Of The Muscle, Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism Legendary English Grindcore godfathers Napalm Death have graced us with another brutally uncompromising album that will have you moshing around your room completely disrespecting your surroundings. Whilst  Throes Of Joy In The Jaws of Defeatism still retains a lot of the Grindcore hallmarks that made the band famous, there is an obscure and abstract angle to this album that branches more into death metal. These elements are carrying on from 2015's Ap

Finntroll - Vredesvävd

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Key Facts Country: 🇫🇮 Genre: Blackened Folk Metal Release Date: 18th September 2020 Record Label(s): Century Media Records Band Members Tundra - Bass, Vocals Skrymer - Guitars, Vocals  Trollhorn - Keyboards, Orchestrations, Guitars, Banjo, Mouth harp, Vocals  Routa - Guitars, Vocals  Vreth - Vocals  Virta - Keyboards  MörkÖ - Drums  Fintroll - Mask Review   Rating (out of 5🤘): 🤘🤘🤘🤘 Favourite Track(s): Ormfolk, Att Döda Med En Sten, Forsen, Mask, Vid Häxans Härd,  Grenars Väg The Finnish Trolls reveal themselves once again and present to us unsuspecting folk a brand new album of blackened folk metal fury! One fact that I have always found intriguing about Finntroll is that, despite coming from Finland, the original vocalist of the band Katla is Fenno-Swedish (the Swedish speaking minority in Finland) chose to write the band's lyrics in Swedish as it better suited the "trollish" image. Despite multiple vocalist changes, the tradition has continued, which I think is a

The Metal Scholar's Weekly Listening List (22nd September 2020)

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I Don't Even Know What Is Going On Anymore After last night's announcement of a nationwide curfew starting on Thursday (cause coronavirus is so intelligent it knows how to use a calendar and watch), and more announcements coming today, I just don't know what is going on anymore. Honestly, I just feel embarrassed at the moment, the UK's complete inability to do anything with proper decisive action and refusing to take full responsibility for their hard measures is astounding. Alongside wanting to break international law, this whole country has just become a massive joke, and like I say, I'm embarrassed. Anyway, the only opportunity I'll have to change it will be in 4 years time when there is another election. On a more positive note, the sun is finally starting to bugger off so the true autumnal vibes can start! On more positive notes, it is Hobbit Day and the festival of Mabon, so all my high fantasy and spiritual needs are met today. Alongside this, Witchwood W

The Infernal Sea - Negotium Crucis

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  Key Facts Country: 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Genre: Black Metal Release Date: 18th September 2020 Record Label(s): Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings Band Members Jonathan Egmore - Guitars Dean Lettice - Vocals James Burke - Drums  Chris Revett - Bass  The Infernal Sea - Negotium Crucis Review Rating (out of 5🤘): 🤘🤘🤘🤘🤘 Favourite Track(s): Negotium Crucis, God Wills It, Befallen Order, Devoid Of Fear, Unholy Crusade, Rex Mundi, Into The Unknown Easily one of my favourite English black metal bands, from the music to the imagery, these plague doctor mask wearing gentlemen are a forced to be reckoned with! Having seen the band live for the first time at Hard Rock Hell: Vikings II last year (damn I miss gigs!) I was blown away by the theatrics and the sheer unflinching, dominating sound. I am a massive fan of their first album 2016's The Great Mortality , as a result I have been eagerly anticipating  this album for some time! Packing a very stark and harrowing Medieval concept alongside a u

The Metal Scholar's Weekly Listening List (15th September 2020)

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Starting To Balance My Circus Mind And Endeavours It's been a mad few weeks of which you're all aware but I think I'm finally starting to manage it all and really utilise my time, which is doing wonders for my mood and motivation. It's also been humbling to have shares and feedback on my reviews recently, with my most recent review for stoner/doom metal band VVARP's First Levitations getting all the love from the band and their fans, so big up my Australian readers, thank you so much! Overall it's just been a mad couple of weeks and right now I am so overwhelmed with positivity that I don't know what to do with it apart from soak it all up. So, once again thank you all for your continued and passionate support! In other new, even though 2020 has been a bit of a damp squib, the later half of the year is ramping up in the music department. Starting to see so many good albums and singles dropping, I have high hopes that if and when we get gigs back, it is goin

VVARP - First Levitations

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Key Facts Country: 🇦🇺 Genre: Stoner/Doom Metal Release Date: 31st August 2020 Record Label(s): Immonium Records Band Members Claudia Sullivan - Bass, Vocals John Bollen - Guitars, Vocals Scott - Drums VVARP - Sommarsolståndet Review   Rating (out of 5🤘): 🤘🤘🤘🤘🤘 Favourite Track(s): Sommarsolståndet, Wizard Sister, Flames At Dusk, Hypnototum, Time Is Running Out Of Space A dark and brooding force has come booming out of the depths of Melbourne. Although I've never got the appeal of styling a W as VV, it is insignificant as soon as that first riff comes thundering down your ear canals. From the very first second, I was entranced and gripped by the mystic fuzz that the coats this album in a purple and black hazed aura. An equally entrancing and hypnotic experience of an album that brings all sorts of imagery into your mind through swirling, optical illusion discs (as depicted on the album artwork) and kaleidoscopic transitions. With a blend of classic, old school riffage with mo

The Miscellaneous Goings On Of Tom - Sunday Morning Tea

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A Lazy Sunday Morning With A Cup Of Tea Heals The Soul As the low sun beams through the windows of my bedroom and I lay under my duvet soaking up the warmth. I begin to crave the most British thing going, that first cup of tea of the day. I'm a Yorkshire Tea drinker, one because its so damn good and two I realised I could get more teabags per box at a better value than Twinnings. Anyway, I guess the point that I am eventually getting to is, that over this weekend I have had a sudden wave of overwhelming positivity accompanied by the simplest and smallest pleasures that one seeks, bringing overwhelming joy. I have alluded to this in previous posts but a lot has happened to me this year, with some monumental change mentally and physically. I'm fitter, stronger, healthier and happier in mind, body and having this realisation rush upon me has given my an energetic surge alongside a real sense of significant achievement. So stepping back and smelling the proverbial flowers has been

Mercyless - The Mother Of All Plagues

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  Key Facts    Country: 🇫🇷 Genre: Death/Thrash Metal Release Date: 21st August 2020 Record Label(s): XenoCorp Band Members  Max Otero - Vocals, Guitars Laurent Michalak - Drums Gautier Merklen - Guitars Mercyless - Laqueum Diaboli Review   Rating (Out of 5🤘): 🤘🤘🤘🤘🤘 Favourite Track(s): Rival Of Nazarene, Bring Me His Head, Laqueum Diaboli, Inherit The Kingdom Of Hours French death metal legends are back with the Mother Of All albums! Well, mother of all death/thrash metal albums that I've heard from them. Following on from 2016's Pathetic Divinity , it seems rather apt in the current climate, that has torn up the world and revealed how fragile our political systems are, we have presented to us an album titled The Mother Of All Plagues . With that in mind, just like the virus we're currently wrapped in, this album pulls no punches and hits you with all that demonic, plague wielding goodness! Mercyless have taken all the best elements of their last three releases, evo

The Metal Scholar's Weekly Listening List (8th September 2020)

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As The Nights Begin To Draw In, I Have A Renewed Energy And Vigour! A week into September and I feel so much energy around me, this is my season! My mind is beginning to fill with all sorts of spectacular spectacles and imagery of Autumn and Hallowe'en. With my British folklore book by my side, I'll make sure I don't fall victim to any wandering witches. I have also been overwhelmed this week by the amount of love for Witchwood Wizard & The Psychic Yeti album announcement, it's been a whirlwind week of shares and pre-orders that I did not expect but I'm so happy that people want to support this awesome musical endeavour. As for this week in music, my ears have still been a little temperamental so I've listened to a fair amount of Scottish and Irish folk music in between metal just to ease the ears back into it. I can feel the releases starting to brew as well, so I'm hoping there will be plenty for me to review over the coming months and we can get to th

Necrot - Mortal

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Key Facts  Country: 🇺🇸 Genre: Death Metal Release Date: 28th August 2020 Record Label(s): Tankcrimes Band Members Chad Gailey - Drums  Luca Indrio - Guitars, Bass, Vocals  Sonny Reinhardt - Guitars  Necrot - Your Hell Review Rating (Out of 5🤘): 🤘🤘🤘🤘.5 Favourite Track(s): Your Hell, Stench Of Decay, Asleep Forever, Sinister Will, Mortal The first thing that comes to mind when I see the album cover for Mortal , is Cannibal Corpse's Shedding My Human Skin . With that in mind, I don't think I'd be that far off to say that the might Cannibal were an influence on the subjects of this review, Necrot. However, we're not here to talk about influences! Mortal is a ball busting, rib crushing, skull destroying album that is sure to fulfil all your death metal needs. Having listened to the series of singles leading up to the album ( Your Hell , Stench Of Decay and Asleep Forever ) , I jumped on that hype train hard (also because I loved 2017's Blood Offerings )! From st

Incantation - Sect Of Vile Divinities

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Key Facts   Country:  🇺🇸 Genre: Death Metal Release Date: 21st August 2020 Record Label(s): Relapse Records Band Members Sonny Lombardozzi - Guitars  John McEntee - Guitars, Vocals Kyle Severn - Drums Chuck Sherwood - Bass Incantation - Entrails Of The Hag Queen Review Rating (out of 5🤘): 🤘🤘🤘🤘.5 Favourite Track(s): Ritual Impurity (Seven Of The Sky Is One), Entrails Of The Hag Queen, Black Fathom's Fire, Guardians Of The Primeval,  Chant Of The Formless Dead,  Scribes Of The Stygian, Unborn Ambrosia, Siege Hive American death metal legends are back with skull crushing new album  Sect Of Vile Divinities ! Flexing 31 years of riff writing experience into a brutally complete and devastating album, that has me picking my grey matter up off the floor...again (note to self: stop listening to skull busting albums perhaps? Nah, not going to happen!). From it's opening Ritual Impurity , you are truly initiated into an evil and chaotic service with destructive growls barking the s