2017

Music Review: Tarja – From Spirits and Ghosts (Score for a Dark Christmas)

Posted on

Tarja - From Spirits and Ghosts (Score for a Dark Christmas)

Genre: Adult Contemporary, Coldwave, Goth
Label: earMUSIC

My first thought on seeing this promo in my inbox was to delete it. But, my curiosity got the better of me, unfortunately, and so I opened the email. What can I say? I’m a sucker for Christmas albums, with Johnny Cash, Elvis, and Frank Sinatra getting a lot of spins every December.

But man, this is fucking garbage. Yes, Tarja is incredibly talented. And yes, she is singing some of these songs in a style I particularly enjoy. Some of these songs remind me of stuff that would have come off of the Projekt Records label, and Projekt is one of the best labels ever for coldwave and goth. But there has always been something about Tarja I’ve never really liked; even her Nightwish albums are mostly garbage. Once Annette got into the band they really took off, as if Tarja was an elastic band holding the band back from flying at full speed. Once she left, the elastic snapped, and the biplane Nightwish were went into full jet mode.

There’s some high points, such as interesting production choices on these classics of the Christmas season, but ultimately it’s just a Christmas album for Hot Topic goths who can’t stop watching Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s slower moving, which does add an interesting atmosphere to the songs, especially the ones that are traditionally faster, such as “Deck the Halls” and “Feliz Navidad”. But ultimately, this is a complete waste of studio recording hours. The new song, “Together” is completely immemorable, and was one of the main reasons I wanted to check this album out. It’s something that you’d hear on an easy rock station, geared towards suburban soccer moms with black nail polish.

As a less important aside, I am also very disappointed in the cover art for this album. Yes, Christmas is cold. A lot of the music on this album is coldly produced and cold sounding. Tarja, however, is a gorgeous woman on top of her talent, and having this much Photoshop work to her face is just brutal. Whoever did the art is a jackass and should go back to horribly disfiguring women for fashion magazines and leave the airbrushing of musicians to qualified people.

In all, don’t bother wasting your time with this, unless you’re streaming it for free on YouTube or Bandcamp. And definitely don’t play this at a Christmas party, unless your guests are all fourteen years old and have a crush on Jack Skellington.

Advertisements

News: Swedish Black Metal Legends Domgård Announce Third Album “Ödelagt”

Posted on

Domgård - Ödelagt

Legendary Swedish black metal group Domgård are set to release their highly anticipated third album Ödelagt on Carnal Records. Five long years since the release of sophomore album Myrkviðr, the Gothenburg band has returned with 12 tracks of fierce black metal in the finest Swedish tradition with a thematic focus on the dark and enlightening aspects of Germanic mythology, magic and custom. Listen to the title track below:

Domgård was founded in 1997 by Vindkall, Orm & Trollheim. The following years Ulv joined as a drummer and Illbrand as a vocalist. Some unofficial rehearsal demos were recorded. In 2000 three of four members were imprisoned for several years. Four years later Vindkall and Ulv recorded the demo Blodskald before Vindkall continued on his own until 2008 when the drummer Hrimner and the bass player Hraegelmir (Panphage) joined. In 2009 Domgård recorded five tracks for a split with Cursed 13 which was released on the winter solstice the same year. The following year Heljarmadr (Cursed 13, Grá, Dark Funeral) joined the trio and contributed on two full length albums, I Nifelhels Skygd (2010) and Myrkviðr (2012). Askr joined as the new bass player in 2013 and Mardröm as a second guitarist in 2014.

Ödelagt Tracklisting:
1. Niþanvarþa
2. Svartdjupets Lockelse
3. Töckenhöljt
4. I Geirröds Hall
5. Aldar Røkkr
6. Kynjagaldr
7. Ödelagt
8. Lögr Óðreris – Urblodets Trollmakt
9. Grottkvinnans Hemlighet
10. Sejdmannens Förbannelse
11. Förgånget
12. Ødhe Vi

Domgård -Promo

News: The 3rd Attempt Announce Sophomore Album “Egocidal Path”

Posted on Updated on

The Third Attempt - Egocidal Path

Leaving a long-established, and very successful, band in order to scratch the creative itch and get out of a rut is always a gamble, but it’s a gamble that veteran musicians and former Carpathian Forest guitarists Tchort and BloodPervertor had no qualms in taking, and, with the second album from The 3rd Attempt, they have proved that they were right to do so.

Titled Egocidal Path, and set for release on Dark Essence Records on December 1st, The 3rd Attempt‘s sophomore offering not only builds on the foundation laid by its predecessor, it also leaves it far behind. There’s still thrash, there’s still black’n’roll, and there’s no doubting the presence of that black betal vibe. But there’s a whole lot more besides, because Egocidal Path exudes the confidence that comes from a band whose members have gelled and know that they have succeeded in creating something loud, energetic and brash, intermingled with subtle touches that surprise. It has a variety that keeps it fresh and interesting, and showcases the undoubted skills and experience of each and every one of its members.

Talking about the album, Tchort had this to say:

“With Egocidal Path we take a huge leap towards the true sound and identity of The 3rd Attempt. While our debut album, Born in Thorns, represented the Carpathian Forest era of our song writing, Egocidal Path is a newly written album that is more aggressive, tighter and in-your-face. It also showcases the fantastic drumming skills of Tybalt (Fortid, Den Saakaldte) and the vocal range and creativity of Ødemark, allowing the listener to slip into his personal universe of wrath, ego, human spite and the glory of suicide.

“Let us accompany you on the path to Hell!”

With artwork by the Brazilian artist Rafael Tavares, Egocidal Path will be available in CD, Digital and LP formats.

Egocidal Path Tracklisting:
1. Blood, Dope and Black N Roll
2. Into the Light
3. Reflections About Knives
4. Egocide
5. I’ll Do It Now
6. The Diciples
7. Black Metal Alchemist
8. The Oath

News: Akhenaten Announce New Album, “Golden Serpent God”

Posted on

Akhenaten - Golden Serpent God

Mesopotamian (via Colorado) blackened death metal duo Akhenaten have announced their new album, Golden Serpent God. The amazing artwork was handled by Tony Koehl, and a single and release date will be revealed soon. Golden Serpent God is the follow-up to 2015’s Incantations Through the Gates of Irkalla.

Golden Serpent God Tracklisting:
1. Amulets of Smoke and Fire
2. Dragon of the Primordial Sea
3. Throne of Shamash
4. Through the Stargate
5. Erishkigal: Kingdom of Death
6. Pazuzu: Harbinger of Darkness
7. Akashic Field: Enter Arcana Catacombs
8. God of Creation (Ft. Brian Palmer)
9. Sweat of the Sun
10. Apophis: The Serpent of Rebirth
11. Golden Serpent God

Music Review: Trasig – Sør​-​Afrikasessions

Posted on Updated on

Trasig - Sør​-​Afrikasessions

Genre: Minimalist Black Metal
Label: Independent

Starting with a thunderous drum under pretty keys and chanting, Trasig‘s newest album Sør​-​Afrikasessions brings to mind a lot of influences. Among these is the obvious, black metal from Norway, as well as atmospheric music, ambient soundtracks, and the exotic world that is South Africa.

“Wait, what?” you might be thinking. “South Africa?” Yes, it’s true. Anfinn Halland, the sole member of Trasig, is currently based in South Africa, despite being from Trondheim originally. The change of location is clearly an influence, infusing the cold music with a warmth and richness that can’t be explained any other way.

Sør​-​Afrikasessions continues where the last album left off, an atmospheric and minimalist black metal, but it still has it’s own identity. Barely a year has gone past since the release of Jammer og nød, but clearly in that year Anfinn has become a better composer, writing music that is even more engaging and catchy. The album has a lot of instrumental parts, using the vocals as highlighter rather than a pen.

I would definitely recommend fans of minimalist black metal to check out Trasig’s newest album, which at the time I write this, is only a day old.

News: Helleborus Unleash New Single “Prayer of the Undying”

Posted on Updated on

Colorado’s Helleborus have unleashed a new single, and it’s fucking awesome. “Prayer of the Undying” is pretty much a perfect example of what Helleborus does: fast, deep drumming; slow, hypnotic guitars; and the voice of a dead god reaching across time and space to drown you in a blackened abyss. Fans of the band’s debut album The Carnal Sabbath should love this new offering.

News: Goatwhore to Release Vengeful Ascension June 23 via Metal Blade; Tour North America with Anciients

Posted on

Goatwhore - Vengeful Ascension

Goatwhore will release their anticipated Vengeful Ascension full-length worldwide on June 23rd via Metal Blade Records. The band’s seventh full-length and second recorded reel-to-reel, Vengeful Ascension was captured at Earth Analog in Tolono, Illinois near Champaign with longtime soundman and comrade Jarrett Pritchard (1349, Gruesome).

The ten-track, forty-one-minute production – mixed by Chris Common (Tribulation, Pelican) and mastered by Maor Applebaum (Faith No More, Halford, Today is the Day) – marches in, clutches its listeners by the throat and refuses to loosen its grip until the abrupt conclusion of “Those Who Denied God’s Will.” A sonic manifestation of war, chaos, desolation, and emotional conflict, seamlessly bridging twenty years of the band’s signature brand of audio venom, it’s a record that finds its members at their most accomplished both individually and as a cohesive unit. Guitarist Sammy Duet’s dense, sub nuclear riff work and possessed solo blitzes are at their most devastating spiraling flawlessly and instinctually around drummer Zack Simmons’ and bassist James Harvey’s hammering rhythms while vocalist Ben Falgoust’s distinctly commanding roar, his acidic prose more enunciated than ever before, complimenting the apocalyptic proceedings.

Vengeful Ascension will be available on CD, vinyl (in multiple limited color variations), and digital formats. Various Vengeful Ascension preorder options are currently available at through Metal Blade, where you can also sample the record’s title track.

Before the album is released, however, Goatwhore will wrap up their current tour with Amon Amarth and will begin a whole new tour with Canada’s own Anciients. As an added bonus for fans of both bands, the North American tour will actually tour through North America. Goatwhore will crush the Fort Worth Metal Fest at the The Rail Club in Fort Worth, Texas at the end of the month before taking to the streets again for a near-three-week North American journey from June 9th through July 1st.

Goatwhore with Amon Amarth (remaining dates):
5/16/2017 The Cotillion – Wichita, KS
5/17/2017 Boulder Theatre – Boulder, CO
5/18/2017 Lookout – Omaha, NE * GOATWHORE only
5/19/2017 The Blue Note – Columbia, MO
5/20/2017 Mercury Ballroom – Louisville, KY
End Tour
5/27-28/2017 Fort Worth Metal Fest @ The Rail Club – Ft. Worth, TX

 

 Goatwhore with Anciients:
6/09/2017 The Rock Box – San Antonio, TX
6/10/2017 Backstage Lubbock Depot – Lubbock, TX
6/11/2017 Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM
6/12/2017 The Green Rom – Flagstaff, AZ
6/14/2017 Stork Club – Oakland, CA
6/15/2017 Old Nick’s Pub – Eugene, OR
6/16/2017 Northwest Terror Fest @ Neumos – Seattle, WA
6/20/2017 Generator Cabaret – Prince George, BC
6/21/2017 Distortion – Calgary, AB
6/22/2017 Brixx Bar & Grill – Edmonton, AB
6/23/2017 Riddell Center – Regina, SK
6/24/2017 Windsor Hotel – Winnipeg, MB
6/25/2017 Triple Rock Social Club – Minneapolis, MN
6/26/2017 The Metal Grill – Cudahy, WI
6/27/2017 Frankies – Bryan, OH
6/29/2017 George’s Majestic Lounge – Springdale, AR
6/30/2017 Vino’s Brewpub – Little Rock, AR
7/01/2017 Maggie Meyers Irish Pub – Huntsville, AL