heavy metal

After all the waiting and back surgery and more waiting, how can I best sum up the experience that was the American Carnage tour? Well, with the help of a free (and possibly unreliable) internet translator, here are a few simple phrases in a whole slew of languages:

It kicked ass!
C'était genial
Fue impresionante
Es war toll
Det var awesome
Ito ay mahusay na
E 'stato eccellente
Ni bora
Det var utmärkt
Ez remek volt
Foi excelente

What a curious little album we have here. Whether that qualifier means “good” or “bad” is solely up to the listener. In 10 Years “Feeding the Wolves,” we see a band that gets caught between directions, but is not without talent.

Obliging the trendy nature of assorted alt-metal, “Feeding the Wolves” capitalizes on the anguished, emotional tropes that dominate the radio waves. Yet, within that somewhat disposable framework there exists a glimpse of creative song writing. The harmonizing that the band uses all too sparingly is a small exhibit of the kind of talent that’s on the table.

Sometimes in the annals of music history, there is a band with a long history of doing things their own way and defying all manner of convention. One of the bands in heavy metal that exemplifies that very ideal is Darkthrone, fresh off the release of their latest effort, "Circle the Wagons." I managed to steal a few minutes of Fenriz's time, and wanted to see what gives him the drive to go on. Read below to see his thoughts on his own band, metal as a genre, and naturally, cinema of all types, including horror. Enjoy!

As a music reviewer, you begin to develop an intuitive sense of what to expect from an album. Either through past albums, band news reports or the paradigm of whatever metal splinter genre you are encountering, it’s easy to create a mindset for an album before you ever sit down and give it your full attention.

Generally, one of three things happens: Either you expect the album to be great and it is great, you expect it to be poor and it is poor, or in disappointing fashion, you expect greatness and are rewarded with mediocrity.

Wow. I can’t say this is what I expected from Soilwork. Forever titans of the melodic death/extreme/speed metal scene, the last twist I could have anticipated was for the band to release something, dare I say, “pop-y.”

I'm faced with another possibly ill-advised Ozzy album. Honestly, I'm not sure "Scream" should exist. In truth though, who am I, who are any of us, to tell the father of heavy metal as we know it that he should stop? So, "Scream."

When invoking the name “Danzig,” there are certain musical and idolatrous tropes that immediately spring to mind. First and foremost, the man himself, possessed of a larger-than-life attitude and a booming, rafter-shaking voice. More than that though, Danzig’s music has always conjured gothically romantic images of the single man standing in defiance of the universe, hand clenched and raised in prodigal fury.

The press release that accompanied my copy of "Too Many Humans," the upcoming album from Montreal's extreme metallers The Last Felony spends a great deal of column space talking about how the band is ahead of their time and will revolutionize the Montreal metal sound. While I hate to be blunt, I don't see it.

One of the things I love most about Southern-style heavy metal is that there's very little guesswork, and almost no head scratching. Nothing that comes detuned from Texas is a complicated affair. Musical creativity is, for better or worse, sacrificed in the name of high energy, beer-swilling, head-banging mayhem.