Friday, January 20, 2017

LP Review: "Cast The First Stone" by Hour of Penance

Cast The First Stone
Here in the United States, the sentence we have heard over and over is "This is not normal." Donald Trump, soon to be the 45th President of the United States is not normal.

Where we are headed over the course of the next four years is also not normal.

As we are weeks away from the very abnormal coming true, the thing I'm craving most of all is normalcy.

Beef Stew, Ramen, and Hot Dogs will be a large part of my upcoming diet.

One of the things we can count on to fuel a need for normalcy is death metal. Death metal is a monolithic force that's been carrying on for nearly thirty years now. The growls, the blast beats, and the ripping guitar solos. They are what fans of extreme metal, like myself, live for.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Stream: "The Weight of Gold" by Sail

Remember when we talked to Sail last week?

Here's a preview of their upcoming record, Slumbersong. Check out this track and let us know what you think about it.

We want to know your thoughts!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Interview: Scott and Nate of Junior Bruce

Junior Bruce
Junior Bruce has recently released their album, Endless Descent, on vinyl, CD, and digital.

Recently they took some time to chit chat and deal with my sill questions about nearly nothing.

GM: Stoner Metal is something that's overneath the underground or flirting around the edges. How did you first come across it?

SA: Two of my stoney cousins Chucky and Bobby introduced me to metal when I was just a little shit.

They would let me hang out with them while they smoked dirt weed joints and played Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden records. I suppose it was a natural progression from there.

NA: I usually like death'n'roll myself, but whatever we call it has a lot to do with the culmination of our influences. My previous projects, Asphalt and Vegan Butcher, we were always looking at getting heavier and more agro.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Artist Playlist: Arriver Shows Us The Metal

Disclaimer: as an "All-Time Favorites” list, this necessarily focuses on things I’ve been listening to for years, rather than newer music that has jumped out at me so don’t assume I checked out in 2008.

Also, this list is tailored toward the Heavy-Rock-Metal crowd, and criminally neglects John Fahey, Doc Watson, Bert Jansch, Steeleye Span, Songs: Ohia, the first Dire Straits album and loads of other classics that aren’t quite so bellicose.

Bad Brains “The Messengers” Quickness

I'll take Quickness over I Against I. Dr. Know’s best record, also Bad Brain’s best sounding record. 

Album Review: "Moonbathers" by Delain

Delain is a Dutch symphonic metal band which takes its name from a fictitious kingdom featured in my favorite Steven King novel.  They are highly regarded throughout Europe, have released five full length albums and two EPs, all but one of which have charted in several countries.  They also play amazing heavy music which fits neatly into the wheelhouse of what I want to hear.  Yet, until they announced a North American tour with my favorite band Hammerfall, they had almost completely escaped my attention.

This is a fine example of why I find it so frustrating when someone declares there is no good music coming out, or decrying the death of rock.  I try to keep up with new music, and by virtue of reviewing albums for this website, am daily bludgeoned with access to much of the best new metal. Yet, I still regularly miss some of the finest bands.  The problem is quite opposite of the rumors of rock's death, there is so much quality material, some of it gets lost in the shuffle.

Sill, this is only part of the problem.  The other part is I live in the United States, where symphonic metal seems to be tragically unappreciated.  I have a few theories on why this might be so, but I am not sure any of them are valid or supportable enough to see print.  Whatever the reason, it seems Nightwish, Lacuna Coil and Evanescence (whom I consider to be close enough to symphonic metal to bear mention here) are the only of these acts to have garnered significant attention stateside.

Monday, January 16, 2017

LP Review: "Battle Through Time" by Undrask

Battle Through Time
Lately my daughter has been obsessed with the Hotel Transylvania movies.

So, I've been seeing a great many "hilarious" takes on the classic monsters many of us grew up watching. Considering that she is not one to enjoy being scared yet, do you think she'd enjoy watching Frankenstein ransack a town of villagers?

Or see him being chased away by villagers with torches?

That leads me to thinking about Frankenstein, or as it should be said, Frankenstein's Monster.

How many bands in this day and age aren't just that? Well, really all of them are because you have, presumably, a few distinct personalities and styles that meld this whole song together and make it one.

Friday, January 13, 2017

LP Review: "Speak Not of the Laudanum Quandry" by Ashenspire

Speak Not of the Laudanum Quandry
My wife made the request that I read three pages of Harry Potter and the Sorcer's Stone while my daughter was getting ready to get into bed.

Story time has long been a part of our family life and my daughter requests all of the stories she can get. It's also quite common for her to be reading in the backseat of the car, on the couch in the upstairs lounge, and anywhere else she can get her hands on a book.

It would have been easy to sit down on her little bed and start reading the words as they're written on the pages.

Instead, dimension was added. Voices were created. As I stood while reading this book to my wife and daughter, I performed it. The look on their faces was quite enough to make me keep reading, but it's important to always do a little bit more when you're telling a story if you can.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

LP Review: "The Tin Shed Two Piece" by The Two Percent

The Tin Shed Two Piece
It's time for a revelation so startling that all of my readers might go into sudden bouts of amnesia from which they may never recover.

It's fairly irresponsible of me to put this information out there, but the truth will set you free and possibly help you start a new life in Canada.

My life isn't all that glamorous.

This personal existence is so not all that glamorous that there are times when I have legitimate problems. My wife and I have spats. My kid doesn't always listen to our directions.

Sometimes there's not enough money in the check book at the end of the week. Often times, there are instances where my Amazon Prime orders don't arrive in two days like they're supposed to. (Note: There are also real problems in my life, but let's not get too personal ok?)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Interview: Sail Shares The Twinkly Bits

Sail is on the verge of releasing their "first" album next month.

Originally called Husk, this year they chose to make the always confusing change of their nom de plume. With their new direction, they felt it was time to set fire to the old building and then rise from the ashes.

Thankfully, we were given a bit of time and here's what happened.

Glacially Musical: Thank you for taking sometime for me today.

 Sail: No worries. Thanks for letting me blither in your general direction!

 GM: Let's just get it out of the way and tell me about the name change from Husk to Sail.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Album Review: "Ritualis Aeterna" by Malacoda

From the very beginning horror and heavy metal have been intrinsically linked.  In 1969 a young band from Birmingham, England called "Earth" had taken up rehearsal space across the street from a cinema.  They noticed the longest lines at the cinema were reserved for the horror movies and decided infusing the genre into their already heavy rock might distinguish their sound.  They also decided to change the name of their band to match the name of the Boris Karloff feature which was attracting such attention at the cinema, "Black Sabbath".  Heavy metal was born.

I have never been interested in horror movies, especially not the gory or violent type.  Still, there is no question, when it comes time to create a soundtrack for the macabre, the mix of horror and rock produces some of the most entertaining and enjoyable music to ever reach my ears.
Many, and it might be fair to say most, metal bands have followed in this proud tradition to some degree.  A few bands completely embrace the sub-genre of horror metal.  The second album from Canadian power metal masters Malacoda has earned a mention among the heavyweights.  

Monday, January 9, 2017

LP Review: "Reach For The Sky" by Solitude

Reach For The Sky
Driving home last night, I was listening to the Stuff You Missed In History Class Podcast.

The ever affable hosts were discussing The Piltdown Man. As an avid student of Antrhopology and Human Evolution ever since first seeing the chart of human evolution in National Geographic, this particular episode was of great interest to me.

This was the first time mine ears had heard the phrase, Piltdown Man.

It was a transitional hominid species discovered in Europe with a simian like mandible and human like brain case. Long has the idea of the transitional species fossils been a sticking point for science deniers.

It's as if they are saying, humanity has found every single fossil and species that has ever to have walked the earth, therefore as we don't have these transitional species today, they do not exist.

No one knows quite for sure why, but the Piltdown Man was a total fraud.

Friday, January 6, 2017

EP Review: "Reborn" by Sunterra

As this review is being written, we are sitting in the waning hours of 2016 and the world is still reeling from the news that Carrie Fisher has died.

2016 has been a year of amazing highs and terrible lows.

But, as we must, we forge into the future with a grim determination that there isn't a damned thing in this whole world that's going to stop us!

Princess Leia taught us that.

I will simply beg your forgiveness today because it's hard to think of anything other than Princess/General Organa and the legacy left behind of a very strong woman who never quit. 2016 has taken its toll on us. Let's not forget that we can still fight, smash, and win.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Playlist: Vermilion Whiskey

Hailing from South Louisiana, Vermilion Whiskey is a working man's band, steeped in whiskey fueled Rock-N-Roll tradition.

Their musical roots run deep like river veins stretched across their beloved home state & beyond. VW lives for the thrill of the stage, no matter the crowd size, you will find 101 proof Vermilion Whiskey.

Where the good times roll, they can be found, sharing their own brand of hard-nosed rhythms with any and all who liVe to pass a good time! Long live the riff! (BIO)

Vermilion Whiskey have been kind enough to send me a YouTube Playlist of their personal influences.

Let's get it on!

Stream: "Via" by Derhead

Recently we reviewed the new EP, Via by Derhead, released on Polish label Via Nocturna.

Here's your chance to sample some of that music.

Check it out!

Purchase Via here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

LP Review: "Drude" by Drude

Living in St. Louis, we grow up under the shadow of Route 66. Of course, when I came of age, the interstate highway system was well into effect and the routes had gone the way of the dodo.

That doesn't stop all of the Route 66 this and Route 66 that. Along the Historic Route 66, those signs are everywhere. They've become so ubiquitous for me, that they're no longer on my radar.

Recently, the History Museum (Free to enter) in Forest Park (50% larger than Central Park) had an exhibit on the old Route 66.

It actually was a little bit depressing because the Route System was much better for travelling for someone like me. Flying is terrible and road trips are the way to go.

But, when driving I-55 to go to Chicago or I-70 to get to Indianapolis, all we see large signs, rest areas, and gas stations with Fast Food restaurants attached. There's no local color. We are arriving to our destination too quickly.