Archive for the Classic Metal Category

Ghost – Meliora

Posted in Classic Metal, Doom, Hard Rock, Prog, Psychedelic with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2015 by Badass and Grim

Ghost-Meliora

If you’re not familiar with the nameless ghouls by now, Ghost are an act who’s members perform in complete anonymity with the exception of their anti-papal frontman Papa Emeritus. Drawing musical inspiration from the diverse strands of rock and metal’s history and delivering the result through enigmatic and theatrical stage performances:

To put my cards firmly on the table: I’ve always found Ghost a difficult act to get on-board with. A synthesis of Classic Rock, Doom and Satanism looks on paper like something I couldn’t help but love, but I always found exposure to the reality wanting and overly cheesy. With the exception of “Elizabeth” and “Secular Haze” the first two albums amounted to so much “meh”. So with low expectations I hit play, and to my surprise was completely blown away by the following 42 minutes of perfectly executed rock heaven.

The album opens with “Spirit”, queue classic horror choir and theremin, before the guitars drop in and we’re away. In a lot of ways “Spirit” is a microcosm of the album as a whole, moving seamlessly between its psychedelic, proggy, and hard rock elements. We’re treated to a synchronised solo in the best of the classic rock tradition and firmly within Thin Lizzy territory.

“From the Pinnacle To the Pit” lays down the filthiest bass riff before the rest of the crew join in, with much more emphasis on the heavy metal hue of Ghost’s music. The songs middle eight demonstrates the band’s seemingly inexhaustible reservoir of catchy vocal hooks.

“Cirice” is the point where I went from surprised interest to hero worship. The verse is heavy as hell, the chorus is solid gold 80’s rock , and the solo is going to melt your face and pull your heart-strings at the same time.

After the transition of “Spoksonat”, “He Is” opens like a something from the Amelie soundtrack, before morphing into a hymn to Satan. A frankly beautiful hymn to Satan; had it been composed by Simon and Garfunkel. The chorus rings out: “He is, he’s the shining and the light without whom I cannot see; he is insurrection, he is spite, he’s the force that made me be.” These are irresistible vocal harmonies, and feels like flower-power just got svart-dyed. Again, slamming guitar solos that wouldn’t be out of place from Gary Moore.

Of all the tracks on the album “Mummy Dust” is the only one where I found my old objections rise again, with the title and chorus a little over-baked for my taste. That said, I’m a miserable bastard and don’t understand fun, so I’m sure most of you won’t be able to gobble down enough “mummy dust” if you know what I mean…on reflection maybe that was an instruction for it’s successful enjoyment rather than a title track.

“Krieg”

“Majesty” chugs away like a Sabbath or Maiden track, but you can tell we’re building to something here, and sure enough we hit a chorus that wouldn’t be out of place on Headspace’s “Anonymous”. This is all progressive melody and uplifting guitar/organ duty.

“Devil Church” is a lengthier abridging track continuing into prog territory, very much in the vein of Focus or Rush. After this the album opens out into “Absolution”, all brooding vocals until the 3 min point when Ghost awaken the synth-lords of old, descending from on-high riding stellar space arpeggiation.

“Deus In Absentia”, the album’s closing track, is a suitable anthem to close with which I’m sure will become a staple of Ghost’s live show and a favourite sing along for the crowd.

This is the perfect execution of what Ghost seems to have been striving towards since their inception, bringing together the best elements of the root genres they draw from and presenting a synthesis which is greater than the sum of it’s parts. Meliora is a hugely positive step change in the quality of Ghost’s song writing, and it’s hard to find anything to fault with this superb album.

I can’t believe I’m about to do this:

Deej

9/10

9/10

B and G Podcast – Episode 5

Posted in Badass and Grimness Podcast, Classic Metal, Death Metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Interview with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2014 by Murderdeth

B and G Podcast – Episode 5

Greetings from Grim Towers!

This week features, Spreading the Disease by Anthrax and Into The Dark by Ancient Ascendant. Thanks also to this episodes guest Chris Kenny of Incinery.

Please remember to subscribe on iTunes and follow on Twitter. Other social networks are available, links can be found below!

Cheers

Murderdeth

Photo on 01-02-2014 at 19.34

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Heavy Metal History – The Big Bang

Posted in Black Metal, Classic Metal, Doom, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, School, Stoner with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2013 by Murderdeth

sabbath1970

Some time ago I found myself in a conversation defending Sharon Osbourne against a claim that she “knows fuck all about Metal!”. Now, being as she married one of the men who is credited with inventing the entire genre and having had the likes of Gary Moore, Motorhead and Coal Chamber under her management. I found this statement somewhat confusing.

This being said I have taken it upon myself to give a series of history lessons on the subject. You may not agree with some of it but I don’t really care!

Lesson 1 – Diabolous in musica

On 13 February 1970 four blokes, John, Anthony, Terence and William, from Birmingham, UK, changed their heavy blues rock bands name from ‘Earth’ and released the self titled album ‘Black Sabbath’ after the Mario Bava film of the same name.

The first 3 notes 37 seconds into the opening song on the album is the “Big Bang” point in the metal universe where the Heavy Metal Genre was born.

This 3 note interval, known as a tritone, the Devils chord or ‘diabolous in musica’ (which was later used to title a Slayer album, but more on them in the future) bought fear upon people in the middle ages who believed that it would summon the devil due to its dissonance. Now, at this point I should say that the tritone was widely used way way before Tony Iommi cranked it out, most notably in Gustav Holst’s Planets Suite “Mars, the Bringer of War” but I don’t want to go back too far!

Recorded over two days in November of 1969 the rest of the song follows standard building blocks of almost all metal nowadays. Heavy, overdriven guitars with amps set to 11, bass and drums pounding along underneath everything, screaming guitar solos and then lyrics about a “Figure in black”, Satan, Fire and Death… Sound familiar? While Im on the subject of lyrics I should mention that Deej would be happy to report that the track “Behind the Wall of Sleep” on the album was written in reference to the H.P. Lovecraft story of the “Beyond the Wall of Sleep” and we have already showed that there is a myriad of Lovecraft metal out there!

Moving on to the album artwork we find a long haired figure in black stood in front of trees and a ‘spooky’ building which is a staple especially amongst most Scandinavian metal album covers…. Darkthrone’s ‘Panzerfaust’, Burzum’s ‘Aske’ anyone? This is not to mention the inner sleeve of the album on which was an upturned crucifix which did nothing to quell the allegations that they were a ‘Satanic’ band. A small factlet regarding the band member’s names on the inner sleeve is that Ozzy’s name was misspelled as ‘Ossie’ on the original print.

Metal has been written which may sound heavier or be scarier or faster or louder than the previous bands release but all can be taken apart and have its origins found right back at Black Sabbath. Replicated time and time again and probably will be many many more times!

Although this is not an album review as such Ill leave you in anticipation of Black Sabbath’s 21st album due later in 2013 by raising 10 mead horns and giving you this quote from Lamb of God’s Chris Adler:

“If anybody who plays heavy metal says that they weren’t influenced by Black Sabbath’s music, then I think that they’re lying to you. I think all heavy metal music was, in some way, influenced by what Black Sabbath did.”

Cheers

Murderdeth

GhostShift “Short Days Ago” Music Video Shoot / Interview

Posted in Classic Metal, Heavy Metal, Interview, NWBHM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2013 by Murderdeth

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Last Sunday (6 Jan) both myself and Deej were given an invitation by the mastermind and guitarist behind Leicester locals GhostShift, Craig Sharman to appear in a music video for their up coming release “Short Days Ago” which features, not just the rest of the band, Matt Hamer (guitar), Pete James (bass) and Steve Ward (drums), but also the self proclaimed “King of Metal” Wolfsbane and ex Iron Maiden frontman Mr. Blaze Bayley on guest vocals.

While I cant tell you much about the video other than it’ll be a live rendition of the track, I can tell you that its a near 6 minute epic based around the first World War poem “In Flanders Fields”.

Its not a full on head banger track or something that will scar your soul like most things reviewed on here but if you love your classic, old school heavy metal then this will be right up your street. With some guitar harmonies Thin Lizzy would be proud of and a low end rumble that will make your gut make uncomfortable movements the track suits Blaze’s baritone vocals better than Maiden ever did. It even has the obligatory Maidenesque crowd vocal “WOAH, WOAH AH OHHH…..”.

We caught up with Craig after the recording to get an insight to the project.

B&G: When did you guys form?

CS: The actual song I’ve been pissing about with in one way or another for the last 5 or 6 years. We used to do it in an old band but it was in a slightly different format. S o I contacted Blaze through his manager and asked him if he fancied doing it and he was really open to the idea. Initially I thought ‘Oh great, Ill have something with him on it and it’ll look really good’ and obviously it’ll sound amazing as well because his voice is unbelievable really. I think the problem with the Iron Maiden stuff is they wouldn’t tune down I don’t think and so it just didn’t suit his vocals. So he got a lot of flak for it because he wasn’t hitting the high notes. So we got the rest of the boys on board to record it because I cant play drums or bass to any standard!

B&G: How many tracks are on the release?

CS: We’re going to schedule to do maybe another 2 or 3. The initial idea was to get this out as a single to use some of the Maiden kind of ‘X-Factor” and use Blaze’s influence to push the single. Thats why we ended up doing this video today as he’s off to South America tomorrow. As for the release of it its probably going to be about 2 or 3 months time.

B&G: Is there a theme behind the song?

CS: This actual song is taken from a WW1 poem written by a Canadian soldier wrote called “In Flanders Fields” so the entire verse and chorus is almost word for word the poem. We kind of did it in sections because the first part of the song is very somber and slow and the second part is notably more cheerful when it starts with the two guitar parts. Which is like the reflective of going from… do remember in Blackadder Goes Forth when they all go over and then it cuts and it the field of poppies?

B&G: Its really cool when it stops in the middle and the last post comes in.

CS: So thats what its supposed to do. Then its like the narrative of the guy saying he can see people wandering round the graveyard but they’ll never know who he is or what his name was and they’ll never know who his friends were of where they were buried because theres all these grave stones with no names on, so its like a light and dark tragedy thing.

B&G: Are you taking it live?

CS: Yeah. The problem is we all live apart. I live up north now so I don’t know but were hoping to do some gigs and Blaze has kindly agreed to do the vocals when he can. Yeah, should be good.

B&G: What are the other bands you’re active with?

CS: Because were new, a lot of the band I used to go round with don’t exist any more or we never got on with so its hard to say really. Theres another Leicester band called Head Wires that just came out that are absolutely amazing so we’ve spoken to the guitarist from there and he said he’s happy to do some gigs together so hopefully well go out with those guys.

B&G: Whats the last album you bought?

CS: I think the last album I bought was something out of the WASP back catalogue. “Double Live assassins” because I really like their kill, fuck, die era stuff because they went absolutely crazy. Stopped writing songs full on knob jokes and started writing about slaughtering their ex girlfriends and stuff like that. I quite like the sentiment but we don’t condone the slaughter of anybody.

B&G: Cheers dude.

CS: No worries.

GhostShift are set to release the single “Short Days Ago” on 1 April (No joke!) and the video will be appearing soon. More info can be found on http://www.facebook.com/Ghostshift

Cheers

Murderdeth