Archive for Heavy metal

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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Email – BandGReviews@icloud.com

B and G Podcast – Viking Special

Posted in Badass and Grimness Podcast, Black Metal, Blackened Death Metal, Cake, Death Metal, Folk Metal, Heavy Metal, Pagan Metal, Prog, Viking Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2013 by Murderdeth

B and G Podcast – Viking Special

From the Havamal –
Ale
Has too often
Been praised by poets.
The longer you drink
The less sense
Your mind makes of things.

That pretty much sums up the following.

It’s been a long, long time coming but here it is in its full, glorious 90 minutes….

“The Badass and Grimness Podcast, Viking Special.”

Featuring: Bathory, Amon Amarth, History Channel’s “Vikings”, Tyr, Wardruna and three progressively drunken idiots!

Not Featuring: Unleashed, Windir, Burzum, Arkenham and many others.

Thanks to JMG for joining us on this one. You can find him on twitter @jmgcreative.

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

Cheers

Murderdeth

Photo on 29-06-2013 at 22.07 #3

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B and G Podcast – Episode 4

Posted in Badass and Grimness Podcast, Heavy Metal, Interview, News, Prog, Viking Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2013 by Murderdeth

B and G Podcast – Episode 4

“Howdy Dicktits!” (Rumple Judas Clungeberry, 2013).

This week features, Get Dead or Die Trying by The Rotted and I Am Anonymous by Headspace as well as the triumphant return of the unsavoury entity we call Rumple.

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

Cheers

Murderdeth

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Gig Review: Grand Magus (Bogiez Rock Bar, Cardiff, 28/02/13)

Posted in Doom, Gig, Heavy Metal, Stoner with tags , , , , , on March 1, 2013 by Badass and Grim

All the way from Sweden, The Mighty ʻMagus Metal Machine rolls into town to distract the locals from futile slate mining or whatever it is they do.

Thorun
We are eased into the eveningʼs festivities by Thorun, who offer instrumental stoner-doom laden with groove and infused with occasional hints of jazz. Theyʼre heavy, self-deprecating and crucially, understand song structure: their slow jams are a succession of peaks and troughs, making best use of contrast to achieve outstanding heaviness exactly where they mean to. Itʼs extremely palatable, and Iʼd genuinely like to see them play outside of Wales. You could probably book them in return for a crate of Brains, depending on the current exchange rate.

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Primitai
As Primitai launch into their opening song, it becomes apparent that they suck more balls than a hoover at a a bearing factory. Itʼs the singer trying to be a hairy Bruce Dickinson, itʼs the two twelve-year-old guitarists and itʼs the extended tapping/sweep-picking solos they insist on trading between them. As the kickdrumming adds some pace to proceedings it becomes a little more appealing, but why do they have 5 microphones onstage? The result is presumably a nightmare for the sound guy and comes across as trebly power soup. Thereʼs no point banging on about it, because theyʼre trying hard and they believe in what they do, but thereʼs just too much going on for the constraints of tonightʼs tiny gigging environment. Songs like ʻScream When You See Usʼ donʼt inspire much empathy either, but thatʼs because Iʼm an arsehole. Big things are clearly expected of them on account of them being picked to tour with ʻMagus, but a thousand times I would rather Thorun were the higher support act, where their brand of head-nodding, groove-offering instrumentalism would have sat nicely on the bill before the headliners put the crowd in frenzy mode, but fuckadiddums. If you like shredding new-school opera metal go check em out. If not, get another beer.

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Grand Magus
Anticipation grows steadily as the instrumental intro rings out, and for a brief moment it seems as if everything has gone horribly wrong when they abort their opener on account of guitar problems. JB kicks his amp a few times, thereʼs a round of head-scratching, then the bad feedback (if such a thing exists) ceases and they crack on: ʻRight, letʼs try that again.ʼ From there, they never look back – Grand Magus proceed to demonstrate exactly why theyʼre a top-line touring band. Their stage presence is confident & assured without ever being pretentious, the sound is mixed to perfection and the crowd go apeshit which in itself is worrying considering 30% of the crowd are wearing matching ʻDaveʼs Gymʼ T- shirts. In contrast to Primitai trying to do everything all at once sonically, the Magus formula of 3 instruments is perfectly balanced and musically tight, a class act. Set wise, it drew heavily from last yearʼs The Hunt, blended with older stuff to satisfy the die-hards down the front. A thundering drum solo from Mr. Ludde breaks up the performance, allowing JB & Fox to nip off and drag another crate of beer onstage before resuming the high quality metal barrage. Testament to ʻMagus itʼs the only gig Iʼve been to where the band acknowledges the inevitable encore before theyʼve even finished, and they barely even bother to down tools following closer ʻIron Willʼ before theyʼre on again to deliver the now obligatory crowd-pleaser ʻHammer of the North.ʼ The crowd keeps singing it even after the song finishes and they walk offstage, the drunken fools.

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Rumple

B and G Podcast – Episode 2

Posted in Badass and Grimness Podcast, Black Metal, Death Metal, NWBHM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2013 by Murderdeth

B and G Podcast – Episode 2

Your wait is over… Just scraping in at the end of the month. The February episode of the Badass & Grimness Podcast for your enjoyment/ridicule.

This month we recommend Frostnacht by Helrunar and Ghost Reveries by Opeth. Deej and I also fail to identify what it was the Rumple was seeing!

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

Cheers

Murderdeth

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Email – BandGReviews@icloud.com

Darkthrone – The Underground Resistance

Posted in Black Metal, Heavy Metal with tags , , , , on February 25, 2013 by Badass and Grim

Darkthrone-The-Underground-Resistance

Well, here we are. Reviewing Darkthrone is a Catch 22: Hail it as ‘DA BEST WORK EVER OMG’ and you’re a fucking sheep of the highest order; on the other hand, criticising Darkthrone is the quickest way I know of to get banned from Norway. Generally, Darkthrone fans fall into two categories: Group A sits around in dimlit hate bedsits crying tears of corpsepaint that they haven’t recorded Transilvanian Hunger II. Group B refuses to acknowledge it itsn’t 1988 anymore and only owns vinyl & beer. Lords Fenriz & Culto couldn’t give less of a flying fuck what either group think. Here at B&G we’re pretty open minded about it – if they want to do another metalpunk thrash album, that’s cool. If you are indeed expecting Darkthrone to do Transilvanian Hunger II then you’re a prick for even using ‘expecting’ and ‘Darkthrone’ in the same sentence. They could release a jazz folk album if they felt like it and some nobody online review dicks like us somewhere would proclaim it the next great thing.

To get round this, we’re going to ignore the fact it’s Darkthrone: for the purposes of this review, I’m going to refer to them as ‘Bleakseat’ (go with me on this one). You or I, dear listenreader, have never heard of Bleakseat before, they have come out of Norway shrouded in mystery with no known live act or back catalogue to reference. The Underground Resistance has simply dropped onto the doormat of your flat/squat/cardboard box, delivered by an armoured postman sitting astride a mighty mail steed one glorious morning. Unsure what to expect, you place it with apprehensive hands upon your turntables of solid steel (or CD tray of thundering thermoplastic) and give it a listen.

We’re off to a good start as opener ‘Dead Early’ begins with big, thick chords that build to a kicking climax then chugs along grimly. Thunderous, pounding drums underpin everything, making a full, rich production fully evident. The depth and pace this offers gives these tracks the bombastic punchiness that this kind of metal demands, and it deserves to be blasted at high volume in your local metal dive bar. Following a morose acoustic intro,  “Valkyrie’ soars and swoops across fjords, borne on high by the lofty vocals of Bleakseat drummer Fenriz (!), and is hands down one of the best tracks on the album. ‘The Ones You Left Behind’ is the obligatory shout-along-drunk-to song, barbaric in its thunderous retrograde simplicity until the mid track lead break – Join or die, this is headbanging. Following this, the album accumulates momentum with the apocalypse tinged ‘Come Warfare, The Entire Doom’ (pretty self explanatory really) and the 13 minute ‘Leave No Cross Unturned’, another album highlight. It chugs along at a respectable speed metal pace, again with the high-flying vocals of Mr. Fenriz and the expert leads of Mr. Culto. It slows halfway for deliberate headbanging, then takes off again like a stunned bat once they have their energy back, with more furious soloing and drum abuse.

Overall, this deserves a place in your record collection (vinyl or otherwise) regardless of your preferred genres or tastes, especially if you can pick up the version with liner notes. The Underground Resistance is Heavy Metal distilled into its purest form, the best bits of the 80’s minus posing, pretension or bullshit. In the interests of balance, here are some criticisms: It’s a one trick metalpony, it only does skinpounding, fistbanging rock, and it’s offering something new by providing something old, which could be considered a little assbackwards in some circles. The vocals are a little off key at times, but when the modern alternative to that is autotune I’ll take Bleakseat’s drunken pub crawl choruses and fucking run. The final word then –  The Underground Resistance is Heavy Metal  the way it should be, done by experts: you need it in your life. End of.

9 out of fucking 10

Rumple

This album is far too awesome or just a single review so here is a Second  Opinion from Deej….

Second Opinion

I’m thoroughly enjoying the fact that Darkthrone have in many respects become the unflinching conscience of the heavy metal underground, calling “bullshit” on any candy-floss wankspasms Kerrang would give “KKKKK”.

When Death Metal was ascendent they founded a rawer, low-fi “fuck off studio” approach to song writing. Since Black Metal has exploded into “The Myriads” (Fenriz’s term) it was time for these guys to buck the trend again. At first we saw the crust/thrash/punk hybrid of “The Cult Is Alive” and the releases following it, and now comes a retro-active resurrection of classic heavy metal in our time of shiny shiny fucktardery.

This whole disc is incredible but to pick a few favourite moments, “Valkyrie” with the mournful end solo, “Come Warfare, The Entire Doom” where we get what I can only describe as Doomthrone, and the closing epic “Leave No Cross Unturned”.

“The Underground Resistance”, too bloody right!

9/10

Deej

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