Thomas Hewitt Jones – Electro Cello

Thomas Hewitt Jones is a British composer mainly known for being an important figure in the realm of British sacred music. An organ scholar at the incredibly prestigious Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge before then branching off into composing for a plethora of styles that include, ballets, choirs and a notorious piece based on the few hummed notes performed by former British Prime Minister David Cameron as he resigned. Electro Cello is a new take on Neo-romanticism that seeks to focus on the joys of wonder and pensive contemplative.

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Polemicist – Zarathustrian Impressions (Fólkvangr, 2019)

In the past, metal journalism used to function mainly as a filtering device; weeding out the bad so that the good stuff would rise to the top. Nowadays, it’s more likely the other way around. We’re now searching for potential in a seemingly endless flow of “interesting” or pleasant-sounding junk. This task often requires time and patience, because those rare and far between releases will often sound similar to their lesser peers on a surface level. One illuminating example would be the Pennsylvanian epic death/black metal act Polemicist and their debut album Zarathustrian Impressions. Their music may not appear spectacular on casual listen, but repeated and concentrated exposure reveal unexpected qualities.

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Bardo Methodology #1

Bardo Methodology started off as a website that published various interviews detailing philosophy and the occult, and were known for really diving in the heart of the matter. The printed formats contain extended versions of the interviews found online and hold no punches as a wide range of artists and writers are interviewed and encouraged to discuss their true opinions on various subjects without censorship or the routing associated with mundane questions that seem to plague metal interviews. Bardo Methodology is an insanely ambitious project that triumphantly succeeds but not without a small share of problems

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Brief Analysis: Nihilist – “Sentenced to Death” Climax

For many bands, summer is the perfect time to record music and to rehearse for live concerts in a boiling garage or studio. The festival season and the holidays allow many musicians to take time off to focus on implementing new songs to their set list or to push their capabilities as players. Where most players seek to play more technically dexterous music, a few friends of mine wanted to master a song that was simultaneously simple yet physically exhausting to play. Nihilist and Sodom both fit the bill perfectly but we would settle on “Sentenced to Death” for its brief periods of respite between the bursts of rapid picking. Though we thought of this song as being a basic and minimalistic slice of powerful metal, after our wrists and arms had been decimated completely, we came to realize that the true power of this song is not the constant madness but the final flurry that manages to go even beyond the insanity before it.

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Riff Analysis: Sarcófago – “I.N.R.I”

So many bands have failed in continuing Sarcófago’s tradition of blasphemic and vicious black metal. Reducing the band to a set of aesthetics and confusing their minimalistic songs for dumb simplicity. I.N.R.I stands out not because of its context or its introduction of certain visual elements that would become common a few years later, but because of its nuanced composition that has eluded later bands. Let us look at the initial riff from the song “I.N.R.I” to understand why.

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Riff Analysis: Unleashed – “To Asgaard We Fly”

Unleashed had at this point released two good records that saw the band create Heavy metal songs with limited Death metal stylings and were known for possessing a particularly small set of tools which almost made their previous very repetitive. On Across the Open Sea, the band’s Magnum Opus, the band re-contextualized their previous influences to create rousing and anthemic works while seeking to expand further into Death metal technique and arrangement. “To Asgaard we fly” shows this subtle marriage between the two and how the band were able to combine such styles without to saturate the listener with stolen Iron Maiden leads.

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Old Man’s Child – Born of the Flickering

Infamous for their eventual descent into the depths of the maligned Symphonic Black metal movement, Old Man’s Child like fellow latecomers Dimmu Borgir once produced respectful records that while ultimately derivative of the greater works of the genre and inherently flawed, were still worthy listens. On their first record, Old Man’s Child create Black metal influenced by Bathory, Emperor and Judas Priest by utilizing Black metal techniques to expand on previous Heavy metal ideas. While this does not stand with the classics of the genre in any shape of form, this album combines great riff craftsmanship with sub-par contextualization in the scope of each composition.

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DMU Song Contest #3: King of the Serfs Edition Part 3

(Join Ionnas as he dives into the final heap of contestants hoping to prove their worth, will there be any talent left or will he be forced to scrape the bottom of the barrel for any redeeming qualities. Either way every band here will have to face the harsh truths of reality.)

May the best survive!

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Shub Niggurath – The Kinglike Celebration (Final Aeon on Earth)

Shub Niggurath is the third band in what can be called the Mexican big three of Death metal with the other two being The Chasm and Cenotaph. Though Shub Niggurath shared members with both bands and subsequently shared some similarities with both in terms of aesthetics they managed to forge their separate identity in regards to composition. Opting for a form of Death metal based on early Morbid Angel,Deicide and some influences from Emperor and Darkthrone. Shub Niggurath create pompous Death metal out of bare bone parts.

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