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Showing posts from November, 2020

Fjordhammer Friday (27th November 2020)

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Winter Is Coming As the mist and the cold settled in this week, it is feeling a lot more wintery and I am loving it! Nothing more aesthetically pleasing than watching the mis outside with bands like Mayhem and Emperor blaring out to really get you in the mood. In the words of Ned Stark, "Winter Is Coming"! Whilst I have been busy with music this week, I have also started work on a new history focused blog, called Wandering Through The Ages that we officially launched yesterday, you can have a look here . I shall explain more on that at a later date, but this week has been challenging to choose what genre to explore in the depths of Bandcamp. Given the weather and me being a sucker for pathetic fallacy, I will be revisiting black metal and give it a post following the new format as it was unfortunately the victim of my pilot post. Even so, it is such a fascinating genre of music, spanning all sorts of mini sub-genres it has a truly global feel. As bands interweave parts of the

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

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Not Long Now Until I Have To Decide My Album Of The Year... I think it's fair to say that I am not looking forward to that decision at all. Whilst I have a complied list for my writing endeavours over at Noizze, but there are still so many albums that I love for different reasons this year and I've actively avoided thinking about it. Even so, I always find it fun to go back and look at albums that have been released through the year, as I get very vivid memory flashbacks that remind me of the emotions and scenarios I experienced when the album came out, and the subsequent months after it. It can be quite a cathartic exercise as well as a voyage of discovery, as I've often found bits in albums that I've missed that just amplify or dampen my opinion of it. Some of the best albums often show themselves to me during this recapping process, diamonds in the rough and hidden gems so to speak. Sometimes you feel like Smaug the dragon, hauling all the albums you've heard and

The Miscellaneous Goings On Of Tom - Conquering My Challenges & Taking Out Those Demons

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  Political Fatigue & Cabin Fever  I don't know what it is about this second lockdown but it got to me quite badly. With everything going on it was so easy to get wrapped up in all the politics and because there is no where to go to escape from it or relax. This all enveloping doom and gloom on top of infinite cabin fever, really took its toll on me over the last two weeks, as it has effected many of us. On the flip side, I think a lot of the population is resigned to a quiet Christmas, so seeing the government urging businesses to open instead of really cracking down on this virus has lead to some feelings of frustration and despair also. Anyway, I shan't dwell on the current predicament we're all in, I've done enough of that. This week I challenged myself, to regain some emotional control and prove something to myself. I never thought I'd ever do a half marathon, let alone for such a great cause (see Instagram post below), but I proved to myself that I can do

Fjordhammer Friday (20th November 2020)

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The Daily Grind It's been another long week in Lockdown, and it's starting to become a bit of a grind in all honesty, but I'd rather sit here for two months so I can hopefully  see my friends in person at some point in the not too distant future. Anyway, I won't bore you with that spiel as I think we're all getting a bit covid fatigued. Anyway, it's another Friday which means another deep dive into the depths of Bandcamp, but I'm expecting this one to be quick, because this week the spotlight is on that most extreme and boundary pushing of genres, Grindcore! With the mammoth release that  Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism was this year, I've really gotten into grindcore off the back of it. With its brutally blast beats and riffs, politically charged, gory or ambiguous lyrics, grindcore is not for the feint of heart. Usually putting the extreme in extreme metal, grindcore also has a lot to offer, in terms of crossing the divide between hardcore punk

Auðn - Vökudraumsins Fangi

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  Key Facts Country: 🇮🇸 Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal Release Date: 30th October 2020 Record Label(s): Season Of Mist Band Members Hjálmar Gylfason - Guitars Sigurður Kjartan Pálsson - Drums Aðalsteinn Magnússon - Guitars Andri Björn Birgisson - Guitars Hjalti Sveinsson - Vocals Matthías Hlífar Mogensen - Bass Auðn - Ljóstýra Review Rating (out of 5🤘): 🤘🤘🤘🤘.5 Favourite Track(s):Verður Von Að Bráð, Einn Um Alla Tíð, Næðir Um, Ljóstýra, Birtan Hugann Brennir Bursting out from the cold, Icelandic wastelands of frostbitten mountains and volcanoes, Auðn (pronounced Au-thn and meaning, rather fittingly "desolate landscape") return with another excellent serving of technically proficient, atmospheric black metal. Auðn across three albums have made their mark on the scene, harnessing the inspirational desolation of Iceland's harshest environments and moulding it into the a raw yet epic black metal soundscape. It was always going to be a challenge to top 2017's  Farve

Völur - Death Cult

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  Key Facts Country: 🇨🇦 Genre: Ambient Folk/Doom Metal Release Date: 13th November 2020 Record Label(s): Prophecy Productions Band Members Lucas Gadke - Bass, Double bass, Keyboards, Piano, Vocals  Laura Bates - Vocals, Violin, Viola, Effects  Jimmy P Lightning - Drums, Percussion Völur - Inviolate Grove Review Rating (out of 5🤘): 🤘🤘🤘🤘🤘 Favourite Track(s): Dead Moon, Inviolate Grove Everyone's favourite Canadian genre bending, ambient folk doom metallers Völur, have returned with another musical epic reaching into the dark spirituality of human sacrifice, inspired by the writings of Tacitus in his book Germania . Vocalist and bassist Lucas Gadke stated on the band's Bandcamp " This makes 'Death Cult' probably the closest thing to a political album we will ever come up with. It is basically a lament for all the destruction, the burning, and gnawing away of this planet’s natural environment. Again, humankind appears to be stuck in a futile vicious cycle until

Déluge - Ægo Templo

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Key Facts Country: 🇫🇷 Genre: Black Metal Release Date: 6th November 2020 Record Label(s): Metal Blade Records Band Members:  Frédéric Franczak - Bass Benjamin Marchal - Drums Richard de Mello - Guitars François-Thibaut Hordé - Guitars Maxime Febvet - Vocals  Déluge - Opprobre Review Rating (Out Of 5🤘): 🤘🤘🤘.5 Favourite Track(s): Gloire Au Silence, Opprobre, Abysses, Ægo Templo, Baïne, Digue Combing the emotive atmospherics of post-hardcore with the raw energy of black metal, France's Déluge have a very unique mix of sounds that are equally beautiful and ugly. Following up 2015's barnstorming debut Æthe r, Déluge's eclectic influence from abstract places strikes again. Despite coming from a similar place in regards to the more sludgier black metal bands, the twist comes from the predominately post-hardcore influences, making them an anomaly in the French and global black metal scenes. It can be said that French black metal has always had a distinctly unique and exciting

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

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A Funny Thing Happened This Week I think for the first time since I can remember, I've had a week where I've barely listened to anything. Before the alarm bells start to ring, I have not lost my passion for it or my motivation, I think my mind has just taken a sabbatical without informing me first. My time this week has been predominantly filled by reading, audiobooks and random writing. It feels as though my mind has had a bit of a break, refreshing itself for something that I am yet to find out. Either way, like I've said before, sometimes you just need a break and by filling my mind with stories of Anglo-Saxon kings, ancient British history alongside the sagas and mythology of Britain, it is plenty of brain food for future musical endeavours. Like I said last week, as we edge towards the new year releases become few and fair between, but I think I will make an effort to seek out any that I have potentially missed this year. I mean, I'm going to have to do something t

Fjordhammer Friday (13th November 2020)

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Friday 13th 2020...After This Year, We Aren't Even Scared Of You All because the Knights Templars got accused of that dreaded crime of heresy we have this accursed day once or multiple times a year. Alas! In 2020 we don't even care anymore, we're over it. Anyway, I've been feeling particularly inspired by some of the more progressive bands in the metal scene. Not the political ones, like the genuine modern progressive metal bands. The weird time signatures, crazy rhythms and groove laden syncopated riffs have really got me going. Incorporating various different style in the sphere of metal, prog has something for everyone. Connecting with my former self when I was younger, listening to bands like Opeth, Ozric Tentacles and Porcupine Tree to Animals As Leaders, TesseracT and The Contortionist. Whilst I tend to lean towards the heavier orientated modern progressive metal (8 strings and syncopated chugs), but because of Opeth moving away from death metal to a more 70s root

Asphyx - Botox Implosion

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Key Facts Country: 🇳🇱 Genre: Death/Doom Release Date: 6th November 2020 Record Label(s): Century Media Records  Album Release Date: 22nd January 2021 Band Members Martin van Drunen - Vocals Paul Baayens - Guitars  Alwin Zuur - Bass  Stefan Hüskens - Drums  Asphyx - Botox Implosion Review Rating (out of 5): 🤘🤘🤘.5 Dutch death/doom monoliths Asphyx make a brutal and punchy return with a brand new single from upcoming album  Necroceros ! Supplying some of the finest death/doom for the last thirty three years, there is no slowing down for this legendary band. Aspyhx was the entry point for me in the world of death doom and its awesome to see them still sat upon that almighty death/doom throne. Lyrically waxing on aside,  first observations of the cover art gives me The Black Dahlia Murder vibes, as their recent release Verminous had a distinctly green tinge to its album art as well. Maybe the pupil has become the master in this case? Speculations aside, Botox Implosion is a short, sh

Antzaat - For You Men Who Gaze Into The Sun

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  Key Facts Country: 🇧🇪 Genre: Black Metal Release Date: 30th October 2020 Record Label(s): Immortal Frost Productions Band Members  Isaroth - Bass Eenzaat - Drums Ronarg - Vocals, Guitars Nihil - Guitars  A ntzaat - Veil Of Darkness Review Rating (out of 5🤘): 🤘🤘🤘🤘.5 Favourite Track(s): Between The Beginning And The End, Through The Eyes Of A Rotten Mind, Radiant Fire, Veil Of Darkness, Man Made Flesh Made God Machine, Crown Of Concrete A band that has burst onto my radar seemingly out of nowhere and ready to tear it up with a ruthless brand of Belgian black metal! With an intriguing name, which is actually Dutch for being against something, this mysterious band has a deeply atmospheric style with punishingly weighty riffs. The band have only been in existence since 2015 and have made a mark on the scene with 2017's scintillating EP  The Black Hand Of The Father . There is a lot to be excited about when it comes to Antzaat, with a vocal sound that harkens back to the likes o