Archive for Doom Metal

Deals and Steals: Gabber Dabber Doom!

Posted in Deals & Steals with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2011 by Lightning Slim

  Hey, folks. This shipment of goodness from the fine purveyors at www.secondspin.com contains more than its fair share of industrial blastbeats, some doomy dooms of doom and a blast from the past. All prices $US (A good thing for Canucks nowadays) with free shipping:

The Berzerker – The Berzerker $6.39, Dissimulate $4.38 and World of Lies $4.39. Earache Records’ simultaneous Australian answer to Slipknot, Nailbomb and Atari Teenage Riot makes big noise in a small space. The s/t is a reissue with a full disc of commentary; band founder Luke Kenny loves to discuss the madness in his methods.

All Shall Perish –  Awaken the Dreamers $5.59. I cheerfully admit I have no idea who these guys are – but they are playing Heavy MTL, so I should probably find out.

Revolting Cocks – Beers, Steers & Queers (The Remixes) $2.39. Shaggy Glassbane and I played the hell out this 12″ single in our college radio days. Never gets old.

  The Sword – Warp Riders $6.39. The crew of intergalactic ship Sword set themselves on a mission of trippiness. Most anticipated band of MTL for me –  I can’t get enough of the retro vibe.  I’m hoping Montreal locals and soul-mates Priestess  make an appearance in support.

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Deals and Steals: NWOAHM Edition

Posted in Deals & Steals with tags , , , , , , , on March 17, 2011 by Lightning Slim

  We’ve got a fearsome foursome of U.S. cruise missiles for this set of bargoons. All prices in the currency of their birth, shipping was a fiver.

Lamb of God – Hourglass: The Anthology $18.99. What’s the best way to get from zero to LoG in a hurry? Why, this three disc set of course. Two of hits, one B-sides. I’d been looking to catch up ever since Heavy MTL, where they impressed me mightily with their Pantera-come-again swagger.

Killswitch Engage – Killswitch Engage (2009) $11.97. Two-disc special edition, still not their best.

The Sword – Age of Winters $6.99 and Gods of the Earth (Free with promotion). Thick slabs of retro-Sab ready for the ale tankard. Priestess’ American cousins. I am appropriately ashamed that I’ve been wearing one of The Sword’s T-shirts for a year now before hearing the music, but now relieved that it’s great.

Album Review – Amorphis “Magic & Mayhem” 2010

Posted in Album Reviews, Sevens to Nines with tags , , , , , , on January 25, 2011 by Lightning Slim

  Magic & Mayhem is the same type of project as Arch Enemy’s The Root of All Evil, a re-recording of early hits with new band personnel. In particular, these versions of songs from Amorphis’ first three records seem like studio mountings of the live performances found on the already-excellent  Forging the Land of Thousand Lakes. Truth be told, if budget is a consideration for you, get that release instead of this one if you want to hear Tomi Joutsen sing the hits.
 
These tracks are lusty, tightly-played and very well-engineered, but none is particularly superior to the originals (the same can be said of the Arch Enemy project). Indeed, Esa Holopainen is clear in the liner notes that this is all in fun and nothing was meant to be supplanted. There are some high points of selection, such as the inclusion of “On Rich and Poor” and the band’s go-to cover “Light My Fire”. Also, as a gift for those of us who could never decide whether we loved the acoustic or the rock version of “My Kantele” more, it is here presented as a clever amalgamation.
 
A last, niggling nitpick, perhaps caused by the nature of compilations, as it wouldn’t have been as noticeable within the flow of an album: Joutsen begins each song with an identical vocal line, growling “Rrrroooiiiiiyyyyeee!!!!” as if issuing a battle challenge to Canadian whiskey. The man is good at what he does, and has been a godsend to the band, but this repetition makes Magic & Mayhem seem a bit hurried and artificial. Don’t panic – Amorphis 3.0 is the Pixar of metal; they don’t produce bad material. This release is just more of a curiosity than a knockout. 7 out of 10

DVD Review – Amorphis “Forging the Land of Thousand Lakes” 2010

Posted in Album Reviews, Sevens to Nines with tags , , , , , , on October 5, 2010 by Lightning Slim

  I wasn’t initially sure whether to review this release as a concert DVD, video compilation or box set. I checked out Amorphis.net and they’re calling it a DVD set with bonus CD’s, and they would know. Besides, the music discs are “only” sound captures of the most recent show on the DVD. The thing is, these “bonus” music tracks are the secret weapon of this set, and worth their weight in gold, as Amorphis’ 2009 show in Oulo, Finland is incredible stuff.

Tearing through material both new and old, Tomi Joutsen lays the memory of former vocalist Pasi Koskinen to rest with authority, making the material, the stage and the crowd his own. “Silver Bride” and “Sampo” have the teamwork and polish of the band’s new phase of Kalevala-inspired material all over them, and the fans clearly and audibly love the nod to former times in the combination of “Black Winter Day” and “Magic and Mayhem”. Forcing its way into the spotlight, however, is a marvellous and muscular medley of highlights from the band’s mid-career melancholy masterpiece Elegy. You don’t need video to tell (although it’s all right there for you) that the ensemble is glad to be free of the psychedelic trappings of the 90’s and getting back to business.

If that wasn’t enough, the second DVD contains an equally excellent performance from the 2009 Summer Breeze Festival, all of the band’s video clips (the good, the bad and the silly), along with an in-depth documentary culled from tour diaries and personal reminiscences. The whole set manages the enviable feat of being a reward for older fans and a great band primer at the same time.

There are two things I almost never buy as a music consumer: live recordings of metal bands and performance videos. I’ve just always found that they can’t (with very notable exceptions) capture the essence of what truly talented musicians do in the studio when they’re firing on their creative cylinders as opposed to their showboating ones. Forging the Land of Thousand Lakes presented a challenge for me in this respect, especially with Live After Death setting the bar so high, but I think Amorphis just bumped against it. As they continue to hone their craft and gain stature as truly relevant, vital songwriters in a massive and resurgent global metal scene, we may all look back on this release one day as a time when they hit that bar on the way over it. 9 out of 10

Deals and Steals: Hammer Time!

Posted in Deals & Steals with tags , , , , , , on May 13, 2010 by Lightning Slim

Just one contribution this time. Last week I was at Beat Goes On and saw a 2-CD label sampler from Hammerheart Records on the shelf for $6.99. I took a chance and grabbed it and I can tell you it was quite a find. It contains many, many bands:

CD1: Thyrfing, Primordial, Necronomicon, Havayoth, The Ravenous, Rebaelliun, Alas, Defleshed, Aeternus, Solstice, Aura Noir, Severe Torture, Thanatos, Skyfire, Hypnosia, Corona Borealis

CD2: Dimmu Borgir, Ancient, Tulus, Avrigus, Hades Almighty, Trelldom, Dead Head, Cruachan, Old Man’s Child, Dead Silent Slumber, Die Apokalyptischen Reiter, Infestdead, Invasion, Carpe Tenebrum, Kampfar, Halgalaz’ Runedance

As you can see, it’s chock full of grind, black, death, doom, folk and power metal from all the corners of the globe. Hammerheart (now known as Karmageddon) really casts the net widely, although all the songs on this compilation can be said to be loosely bound by their Norse paganism. Long story short; it’s a great deal and gave me some perspective on the state of pan-global extreme music in the early 2000’s.

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