On the Black Mirror episode Bandersnatch, the young programmer protagonist, under the instructions of an Aldous Huxley inspired game developer, has the option of picking up a record by Tangerine Dream – Phaedra. As the young programmer and the viewer struggle with paradox in order to finish his game, we find a chance to do a casual DMU reflection on the parallels between metal and game programming, madness and the collapse of western civilization by substituting learning for entertainment.
If you were active on any social media platforms last month you likely saw the bands you’ve been following celebrate the number of Spotify streams they had in 2019. Just as Myspace plays and Facebook likes were once important metrics used in the industry to determine the success of an artist, the number of plays on a streaming service is now the new standard of how popularity and fan size will be evaluated. But along with these changes in music statistics we must also consider the lessons of the past in how such statistics have been deceitfully manipulated. For there is a dark side to the validity of music streams in 2019 and the very real power held by those who can successfully master their mysteries. (more…)
A storm is brewing against the BlastBeat Network and its founder, Ben Umanov of MetalSucks. While the tabloids of MetalSucks and Metal Injection have long lost journalistic credibility and have become known as little more than an obnoxious joke, they’ve in recent months made a reckless overreach that has sparked a number of vicious uprisings against them. In threatening Behemoth front man Nergal, they provoked a pre-emptive strike that saw legions of Behemoth fans come against them (in a rare move, they refrained from publishing the story). Their direct involvement de-platforming of Elegy Records and other labels has turned Elegy into a martyr and free speech icon, featured in Breitbart News and drawing the ire of many on the radical right. And now they find themselves again on the receiving end of a brutal savaging, this time from a very well known name in hard/grindcore – Todd Jones, who has performed in Nails, Terror, and the outstanding Boston-style hardcore band Knife Fight.
Few bands manage to sustain their passion and efforts as they mature; Satan is one of those few. Although the Ophidians are shedding off their bland metallic skin on this album to add a more progressive element that nurtures the double guitars and the vocals, their evolution is logical and enjoyable and programmatic romanticism vindicates itself. (more…)
Intestine Baalism are a Death metal band formed in the suburbs of Tokyo in 1991, their first full length only came out in 1997, having only released a pair of demos featuring songs that ended up on this album, it is safe to confirm that Intestine Baalism is a latecomer to a genre that had already seen it’s apex and was now slowly descending into Brutal and Technical Death metal territory. Anatomy of a beast takes advantage of the power of hindsight to successfully fusion the works of Carnage,Dismember and Suffocation against the more Heavy metal derived melodies of Sentenced, bringing to life a potent record that is at times just as peculiar as the band’s name.
From the mid-90’s throughout the 21st century, the Ukrainian Black Metal scene has received the attention of listeners across the world. The Metal music coming from this nation (and particularly the Kharkiv region) has been defined by many noteworthy bands which expanded upon the keyboard-heavy “Symphonic Black Metal” stylings of bands like Emperor to include elements of 70’s prog rock, thrashing hardcore riffing, and the traditional Slavic folk music of their ancestors to create an iconic “epic” sound which combines the appeal of classic melodic Heavy Metal music with the folkish mystic fury of “second-wave” Black Metal.
Hailing from Switzerland, Near Death Condition play a fairly unique brand of brutal/technical death metal. Reason for that is the Morbid Angel influenced guitar playing of Patrick Bonvin, who is also the mastermind behind Construct Of Lethe, although Near Death Condition is more on the pure death metal side of things instead of playing a lot of maze-like dissonant riffs with an occasionally upcoming Formulas/Gateways era type of solo. (more…)
It was an early day in the winter of 1999 when I awoke from a horrific vision of immense despair. I saw a desolate land, littered with waste and overcrowded with wandering souls in torment. Skeletons danced basking in the moonlight, and the light did not reach the wandering souls. Many were stuck in a swamp polluted with syringes. Others frantically dug through a graveyard searching for a cadaver but finding only a few rotting limbs. Some sought to create a fire but could not create a single spark. A large crowd gathered around the statue of a hammer but could not get it to move. And I saw a well, the waters of which were poisoned by a river of sewage from a foreign land. And above the well it was written THE WELL OF INSPIRATION. (more…)
When you’re talking about death metal bands that have a great discography, Possessed is likely going to be mentioned. Seven Churches is largely considered one of the greatest albums of the genre, and while Beyond The Gates is generally an inferior work, it still has some good moments. Even the demos from 1991 and 1993, which featured a very different lineup than the “classic” lineup, are a curiosity to listen to.