So I’ve just discovered this Russian ska(?) band named Leningrad, which apparently are really popular in Russia. All I can think is why didn’t I discover them before!? This music is amazing!
This song says a lot more about my current state than it possibly should. Lovely song as well though, everyone should’ve heard it at some point!
Funny note: I’m not actually drinking beer though, but more liquor.
I should say that I’m counting this weekend as having started on the thursday, that is because it was 24C, sunny and I had a concert that evening. So let’s start with that; from work I drove me and a colleague over to Almelo to go see Insomnium and Moonspell. I had seen Moonspell before and they always put on a goood show, but the band I really wanted to see was Insomnium. I had never seen them before but they make amazing melodic music and sure enough; they absolutely blew my (and my friend’s) mind. It was one of those rare occasions where you completely just lose yourself to the music, and that’s such a thing to experience. Moonspell also was very good to see; and seeing that it’s their 20th anniversary tour, they played a really long setlist and the show finished around 23:30-23:45 somewhere.
Then for the rest of my weekend I didn’t do much other than catching up on some anime I hadn’t watched in quite a while, reading some more of Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy which is immensely amusing. I did these things while waiting for my recorded Rayman Origins to render. So when it comes to let’s plays this has been an extremely busy weekend as I’ve recorded several sets up to the end of it. It was easily one of the best platformers I’ve played in years, the difficulty seemed really good; especially towards the end. It was challenging right up to the very end; which I really enjoyed.
The only other thing I’ve done was cycle for 2.5 hours which felt great to be able to do again. It was a rather wonderful weekend, not a social one but I feel like I’ve forced myself to be social too much recently which has really backfired for me. You cannot change who you are after all. I’m noticing how I’m definitely different from my friends in that I don’t have the need to be social with other people and that I feel much more at ease on my own compared to when I’m with other people; even if they are my best friends. This is something I’ve given some thought over this past week as a friend made a statement that resulted in me actually becoming angry with him; which if you know me, is really quite difficult. This led me to not talk to him for 4 days or so which made me realize that I really don’t care about losing a friend like that. I just don’t seem to get the same “bonds” that other people get; it’s an alien concept to me.
You probably have not heard of either of these bands, so I shall describe them for those who don’t know; otherwise just skip ahead.
Amaranthe’s a Swedish band that combines catchy pop songs with a female vocalist and melodic metal. It’s real entry-level stuff; so no need to fear to give them a listen I find. You should give Amaranthine and Hunger a listen; you’ll get what they’re going for and to be fair I really like it, which surprises most people, but I love melodic metal and their songs are really catchy.
Official website: www.amaranthe.se
Kvelertak’s a rather different blend of music as such they’re actually a unique band as they’re the only one that I know of to mix punk and black metal. The sound is definitely not for everyone, even going so far as to say that none of my friends that I know of like them. Then again; a lot of them don’t like any sort of punk. If you want to give them a listen I would suggest you listen to Mjød & Blodtørst.
So both bands released their second album last week and I of course had to give them a listen (several actually) and my impressions were very different to both albums. Amaranthe’s “The Nexus” on the first listen was very disappointing. I thought only the tracks “Afterlife”, “Theory of Everything”, and maybe “Mechanical Illusion” were okay. Now that I’ve given the album some more time I have actually come to like quite some tracks and have found myself appreciating tracks such as “Electroheart” which is more like a pop song than anything. It’s catchy as hell and will be one of those songs that’ll be awesome to see live.
After some listens I have to say that in my opinion the best tracks on the album are Amaranthine (acoustic version of an older song), Afterlife, Invincible, The Nexus, Theory of Everything, Mechanical Illusion and Electroheart. The other songs other than “Burn With Me” are not bad, but they just lack that something to make them stand out.
In general then I think that they’ve set down a solid second record where they’ve expanded their sound a bit more into the poppy-side of things. Other than that they’ve matured and improved upon their style and this band might very well make a big name for themselves if they keep going like this. The Nexus is therefore well worth a listen and I think it’ll give them a lot of new fans who might get interested in rock/metal if they weren’t already.
Kvelertak’s new album “Meir” I had really high hopes for since I just loved their debut album. It had such an energetic vibe mixed in with a raw black metal sound. Then they released “Bruane Brenn” as the first single from the album which seemed like more of that so I got doubly excited! Then they published the entire album for streaming and I listened to it at work and it simply didn’t click for me. I then listened to it again at home and it was better and could totally get into it. The next time I listened to it it was a bit of a downer again. So it seems to be a real hit and miss and I may know why.
The thing is that my expectations of the album and what the album actually is are very different. The band has gone for a very different sound, the extreme energy is gone and has been replaced by a more mature melodic sound. There’s a lot more solos and mellow moments which you can honestly just relax to. The tracks “Nekrocosmos”, “Undertro” and “Tordenbrak” are great examples of this; especially since they follow each other on the album as well which gives the album a very mellow feeling. After that it kicks up with “Kvelertak” building up to “Snilepisk” which are of the good old energetic punk-kind.
All in all therefore I would say that Kvelertak has made a serious guess as I’m sure not all their fans will appreciate this new direction of having slower and more melodic songs. I however absolutely love the album now that I’ve really “gotten” it. I have a feeling that it’s going to be in my rotation for a good while, but time will tell.
If you’ve spoken to me recently I might’ve said I’m really looking forward to this coming friday. The reason for that is 2 or 3-found. It started as my best friend and me deciding we should see each other more so we picked 2 tours to combine this fact with. One is close to me and another close to her. As such those dates were picked. This time it was the show 20 minutes of walking away from me where Deicide is playing with Destinity and Karnak. That’s a great lineup of (melodic) death metal and 2 weeks later we’re seeing Reel Big Fish which I’m sure will be a fun time as well, albeit a slightly different genre. So it was going to be a great evening of music and then some (or “some”) drinks afterwards just to catch up.
So I was talking to some other good friends and they got wind that Deicide was playing and one wanted to see them as well and then one more. So now we’re going with 4 or 5 to that show which normally would be awesome by itself. Then of course it got offered that they’re welcome to join in for some drinks as well and then I asked some other friends as well and as it stands it’s going to be my best friends all gathering at the same time for some drinks and good times. This is a rather big deal to me as that’s not something that happens too often as they’re from all over the country.
Then lastly the girl I like will also be coming over (just for drinks afterwards) and will be travelling ~3 hours to do so, which makes me quite happy that she’s willing to do so to hang out with me (and meet some of my friends). As such the friday will be a long day, but it will be an amazing evening/night.
… which is when Annette Olzon had to stop singing for Nightwish, they got Floor Jansen (you might know her from After Forever) replaced het for the remaining concerts. Seeing as she’s a really top-notch singer in the exact style of old nightwish, it’s a perfect match and very few can even touch that level. I had the chance to see them perform in that lineup, but I didn’t.
Now every single time I see any live footage from that lineup I seriously regret this, the music, the vocals, they match perfectly and both are good enough to give me goosebumps. Judge for yourself:
… and listening to that song reminded me of Moonlit Masquerade by Grailknights. It’s one of those songs I’ve heard so many times and is the only song I really listen to by them, but it’s simply amazing. One riff is definitely shared by both songs, which makes both songs awesome.
Judge for yourself.
Hammer Horde – Riders of Annihilation:
Grailknights – Moonlit Masquerade:
Since it’s at the end of the year already, I figured I’d write on some of my favorite things this year. This year has actually been a really good year for new albums I find, so there’s a lot to choose from. I might even forget about some that I love anyways, since there’s just so many good releases. So the albums I took into consideration for the top 5 were the following (in no particular order):
- Eluveitie – Helvetios
- Carach Angren – Where The Corpses Sink Forever
- Heidevolk – Batavi
- King of Asgard – … To North!
- Machine Head – Unto The Locust
- Testament – Dark Roots of the Earth
- Kreator – Phantom Antichrist
- Sabaton – Carolus Rex
- Fear Factory – The Industrialist
- Wintersun – Time I
- Lagerstein – Drink ’til we die!
#5 Lagerstein – Drink ’til We Die!
Lagerstein came out of nowhere as it’s their first release and they’re a brand new band. I forget how I even stumbled upon them but their music is just amazing. I’ve since recommended them to some friends and they’ve spread out among friends of friends quickly, which results in a lot of people singing along to their songs. They’re a very non-serious pirate metal band, hell, pirate rock even. Even people who never listen to metal can dig and sing along to Lagerstein!
You can listen to their album for free and if you like it you can order it for a couple of bucks from the band themselves; I did!
My favorite songs from the album are: Dreaded Skies, Harpoon the Sun & Jungle Juice Journey
#4 Carach Angren – Where The Corpses Sink Forever
Carach Angren is a band I’ve been listening to for some years, whereas their albums were quite good; they never seemed to ‘grab’ me. This album changed that, when it came out there was hardly anything else I listened to, I even drove 3 hours to go to their album release (which was an excellent show)! They have their own symphonic black metal sound that I’ve seen very few bands being able to pull off. It’s a perfect mix of melody, metal and understandable focus that is outright orgasmic to listen to.
My favorite songs from the album are: Lingering in an Imprint Haunting, Spectral Infantry Batallions, General Nightmare & Little Hector What Have You Done?
#3 Sabaton – Carolus Rex
This album might be a real turning point for the band as the original members broke off, but those are the guys that worked on this album and with that they have just about perfected their particular style of music. That style of course being a very melodic style of metal that has made them extremely popular over the last couple of years, even winning pop-prizes as a metalband because their music is extremely accessible and not “frightening” as most other metal is to outsiders.
This album is overall excellent and there’s hardly a song on it that’s not merely great. They’re all catchy and will have you singing along in no time, meanwhile telling you a story of the Swedish Empire. It tells of a harsh religious doctrine and the many battles and struggles it had, including the eventual collapse. It’s therefore (just like their previous albums) an interesting thing to delve into as it’s all happened.
My favorite songs from the album are: Gott Mit Uns, 1648, The Carolean’s Prayer, Carolus Rex, Killing Ground, Poltava
I have to make special mention of a bonus track they released on the special edition version of the album which I have in which they covered “Twilight of the Thunder God”, a song by Amon Amarth. This song alone is worthy of an album purchase!
#2 Wintersun – Time I
Wintersun, A new album!? Yes! This was the year we finally got a new album from them and bless whatever god you believe in, because they delivered! It had been 8 years since the release of the self-titled album Wintersun which stands as one of the best melodic death metal albums ever. Expectations were incredibly high by fans, but also incredibly low on the other hand since the band could hardly deliver another masterpiece such as they did. It turns out that the album was very well received, even though it’s got a much different focus; it’s far more melodic.
I’m finding it really hard to describe this album, it’s one that carries me on a journey filled with goosebumps. It picks me up and throws me in the north, among the wildnerness with just the stars above me. It… I really can’t explain it; you will have to listen to it for yourself. It’s an incredible album that’s part of a dual-release of which we’ll see the second half (Hence Time I) in 2013.
My favorite song on this album is by far: Sons of Winter and Stars
#1 Eluveitie – Helvetios
So my favorite album is the latest album by my favorite band? That hardly seems surprising in a way. But this album is quite something; it’s boomed Eluveitie even more and has skyrocketed them to the level of headlining tours and getting on a lot of the biggest festivals in the upcoming summer. This album is Eluveitie at what they do best: making beautiful celtic-folk music telling powerful stories and also letting you go wild. It’s a perfect mix between sincere beauty and the wild nature of the past.
This is what I love so much about this album, it really does move from slow and beautiful and will then proceed to make you want to mosh and vent your anger and frustration. Not a lot of bands can make me feel that connected to the music. The thing is that they will also do this live, the sheer embodiment of celts, if such a thing exists in music today.
Top band of the day was easily Fear Factory. The setlist they played was simply amazing. I screamed my lungs out and headbanged like a crazy fucker. I also have to say that the clean vocals were much better than the previous time I saw them. All in all I can’t complain at all, it was one of the best shows I’ve seen this year. Because of this I also bought a Fear Factory tourshirt, despite saying to myself I wouldn’t spend any more money.
After that was probably Spoil Engine who were really good despite playing really early. Really solid performance from a new band, though their ‘metalcore’ parts I really couldn’t get into.
Other than that I saw Devin Townsend Project, Cliteater, Leng Tch’e, Death Angel and Meshuggah.
Special mention goes out to Rompeprop who were really funny and enjoyable. Grindcore hasn’t made me smile like that before I don’t think.