The Difficulties of Folk Metal: Part II

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Article by Johan P.

This text is a continuation of the previously published article, The Difficulties of Folk Metal. As stated in Part I, the threefold aim of this multi-part article is, in rough terms, to: 1. Give a short introduction to the subject, 2. Point out some of the difficulties connected with integrating folk music into metal and finally, 3. Provide alternative methods of integration. Part II will be dedicated to the second part of this quest.

Naturally, there are limits regarding the scope of my endeavor – the most obvious demarcation being that the article primarily focuses on Swedish folk music. In my view, the critique of folk metal is an ongoing project, and this article should not be seen as an exhaustive treatment of the subject at hand.

So, if someone else out there finds the subject interesting, you are more than welcome to make contributions. It could be in the form of additional material (metal or folk related) and complementary ideas to enhance the project. For example, the depth and applicability of the arguments presented below would surely benefit if the scope could be expanded to include other forms of traditional music.

Continue reading The Difficulties of Folk Metal: Part II

Kerry King Endorses Hillary Clinton, Calls Trump “Sideshow” Attraction

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Article by Lance Viggiano.

Kerry King told Rolling Stone this week:

“I’m certainly not a political analyst, but I think that Hillary Clinton is the safe, correct choice. Trump is just a sideshow; I’m not even going to apologize to all the Trump followers. I think the reason he’s so popular is because he’s like the politics version of WWE. He’s sensational like wrestling and that’s why middle America loves him.

This gem of an opinion is brought to you by the same fan of snakes and tribal tats who was delusional enough to believe that God Hates Us All and Diabolus En Musica were well received albums; so much so that he decided to resurrect the “successful” style immediately after the only person in the band who would have told him no died. His lyrical contributions to Slayer and now public statements flaunt Repentless and irredeemably stupid opinions on human social organization.

Nigromante – Profundidades (2016)

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Article by David Rosales.

Receding light and surrounding darkness encroaching, a stench of death and the beginning of lamentations beyond the veil of mortality; this is the picture presented to us by Nigromante. These images cannot come from elsewhere but the deepest wellspring of human sorrow immortalized through its own seal of power, a searing symbol that brands pain and agony unto souls — that they may be thus imprisoned and chained.

“Usar un sigilo sin saber…. ¡Se maldicen a ellos mismos!”
— A. Valentina
(trans.: “To use a seal without knowing… They curse themselves!”)

Continue reading Nigromante – Profundidades (2016)

Desolation – Chorus From The Ruins (2008)

“Detail shows the face of Stela D which rises 12 ft beside the altar of sacrifice with a death god effigy. The stele represents the 13th ruler of Copán, King Waxaklajun Ub’aah K’awiil (in English, Lord 18 Rabbit), showing half of his face as it was sculpted, and the other half stripped as it would look in Death.”

“Detail shows the face of Stela D which rises 12 ft beside the altar of sacrifice with a death god effigy. The stele represents the 13th ruler of Copán, King Waxaklajun Ub’aah K’awiil (in English, Lord 18 Rabbit), showing half of his face as it was sculpted, and the other half stripped as it would look in Death.” – Akherra Phasmatanás

Article by David Rosales.

Desolation is a full-on ambient project that blends simple and solid harmonic backgrounds, repetitive phrases of a dark coloring, with recorded lamentations both human and otherwise. The aim seems to be to produce the whole array of impressions encapsulated within that single word: desolation. The music’s structure is progressive and appears to be segmented in an episodic manner, which normally implies a loss of continuity between sections. This unwanted effect is expertly avoided by providing smooth transitions, interleaving ambient soundscapes, nature sounds, vocal improvisations, all of which bring variety within a strongly directly concept that never loses content density or a strong sense of purpose. Furthermore, the album being simply distributed between two long tracks reinforces its unity and the requirement that the audience listens to the whole work as if commencing a mental journey, which once begun must be seen through to its very end.

Continue reading Desolation – Chorus From The Ruins (2008)

Abyssum – Thy Call (1998) en Español

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Article by David Rosales. This review is David’s Spanish translation of his earlier review of the album.

Cuando decimos que el metal llegó a su cúspide en 1994, después de una breve época dorada, y que lo que siguió no fue sino un declive clarísimo, esto no significa que no hubo absolutamente nada bueno. Por definición, lo que le sigue a una cúspide es un declive – aunque la decadencia sólo sea aparente debido a la perspectiva. Aún más importante es aclarar que cuando hablamos de esta manera, nos estamos refiriendo a un promedio a través del género, y no señalando a nadie específicamente. Después de todo, tenemos un Summoning publicando su clásico de clásicos en 1996 y más música grandiosa a finales del siglo. En Centroamérica, siempre un paso (o más bien diez o treinta pasos) atrás del resto del mundo como resultado de procesos históricos que podemos identificar, lo poco que su reducida población, recursos y cultura permitieron desarrollar al metal local, floreció entre los últimos cinco años del siglo pasado.

Continue reading Abyssum – Thy Call (1998) en Español

Sacriphyx – The Western Front (2013)

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Article by Lance Viggiano.

Sacriphyx present a bog standard take on Hellenic black metal through the rollicking pulse native to Australia. The strength of the Greek strategy is in its ability to capture a variety of moods leading to a diverse heavy metal experience. The Western Front is a discontinuous concept album based upon World War I wherein its songs do not function as parts of whole; rather, they are self-contained units acting with autonomy in pursuit of the greater conceptual goal that is realized only through individual skirmishes. These compositional deployments reinforce stylistic choices by maximizing an array of emotive impact while minimizing any diminished efficacy of individual motifs as their power is not derived from their position in a greater narrative arc from song to song. Despite proficient execution, Sacriphyx fail to build upon the Mediterranean tactic in any meaningful sense and thus the movements of its elements will be predictable to those familiar.

Continue reading Sacriphyx – The Western Front (2013)

Rebaelliun – The Hell’s Decrees (2016)

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Article by Corey M.

While 1349 did not quite make good on their promise of delivering a battlefield soundtrack at blistering speeds, Rebaelliun have taken the reigns and driven their blazing chariot into a chaotic realm of vicious blasts and reckless shredding the likes of which many bands have intruded upon only to be cut down due to their inability to survive such an onslaught.

In the past, bands such as Aeon have presented some unworthy offerings at the altar of Deicide, but Rebaelliun diminish those halfhearted efforts even further by adapting their mentor’s tactic of relentlessly aggressive songcraft while actually understanding intuitively their spirit of hatred and hostility. Using the individual musical elements of the band as gears in clockwork, the players rev up the horsepower until the cogs are spraying white-hot sparks.

Continue reading Rebaelliun – The Hell’s Decrees (2016)

Vomitor – The Escalation (2012)

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Article by Lance Viggiano.

The Escalation perfects the misunderstood Australian art of Cimmerian metal – a deliberately low-brow affair which has little tangible relationship to the Common Practice Period and therefore easily panned. Vomitor deliberately flaunt rock’s loud and emotive ethos through boorish motifs qualified further by a thin and mid-centric texture executed in characteristically poor-taste. Constructed primarily out of recombination of past forms, The Escalation is a deliberately retro affair which succeeds by forming a singular and immediately identifiable voice. Historical precedence for this identity is found in the work of Spear of Longinus – specifically the first demo contained within Black Sun Society. Vomitor do not present a way forward for metal; instead the entity finely maps a territory which was discovered but left largely unexplored by ancestors who clung to the safety and security of the coastlines looking into an inhospitable thicket which obscures a familiar but nonetheless unique landscape.

Continue reading Vomitor – The Escalation (2012)

Hate Mail (#8): The Reviewer’s Response to Steve Cefala’s Comment Spam

Article by Lance Viggiano responding to Steve Cefala’s comment spam on Lance’s Sadistic Metal Review of Nothing Left’s demo.

People really need to understand that reviewing – when you aren’t listing the objective qualities of the music – ultimately comes down to the reviewers taste and experience.

The problem is ultimately that our culture cannot discern the difference between values and facts. More specifically, they treat values as if they were factual statements. So, habitually, they lose their shit over contrary irreducibly individual judgements.

I’m sure this guy can find a hundred other metal critics to praise what I think is lack luster. Still, the most embarrassing bit is that a 40 year old man has to resort to trying to fight at the flag pole after school over differences.