• Agalloch - Ashes against the Grain

    19 May 2009, 05:15 by stab_wounds

    If you would ask me if I have had any bizarre experience as a result of the music I listen to, I would say - YES! This idiosyncratic event recurs every time I listen to Agalloch's magnum opus 'Ashes Against the Grain'. Whenever I listen to this album, there are these instrumental segments where my quiescent soul jactitates. There are no physical movements but I feel it erupting, I feel my mortal body struggling to contain my soul. Some symptoms include my hair standing on its end, my consciousness moving into stand-by mode (subconscious mind).This album excites me with its intensity, sedates me with its tranquility, zonks me with its virtuosity!

    Why call 'Ashes against the Grain' as Agalloch's magnum opus when they are still alive, active and all geared-up to fire on all cylinders?? The balance attained on this album is often attempted and seldom achieved. This album has the pronounced aura of uniqueness which will never vanish. This album is the consequence of esoteric minds working beyond existing boundaries and displaying refined musicianship. This is the album which comes once in a lifetime. This is the album which smells like fresh flower above and reeks of rotting flora below. This is the album which crawls like a snail, slithers like a snake and gallops like a stallion!

    As I sit here staring at the charred falling bird on the album cover and leafing through the album's booklet, wondering what inspired Agalloch to dole out this timeless classic. The memories of how this disc reached me draws a grin on my face. The place where I stay [India] doesn't have much access to extreme metal. After the failed attempt to buy it online from a distro [No shipping to India], one of my fellow metalhead suggested that his metalhead friend from Belgium can buy this album for him and his colleague who had gone on-site to Belgium, can collect it from him. My disc was acquired at the Agalloch's gig in Belgium, handed over to my friend's colleague and after 5 months brought to India. After exchanging many hands, my friend finally received it and couriered it to me. And now it sits pretty on my rack as the brightest star among the constellation of small collection I own. My sincere thanks to all the people who have helped me to get this CD!

    When the whining guitars greet you at the beginning of this album, it builds a curiosity which is allayed by the improvised jamming session by the band. This improvised jamming session gets intensive at a point and drops to droning guitars leading to one of the many acoustic guitar interludes layered with sporadic lead guitars. The drums contribute to the ‘build’ that will make you feel as if you’ve betrayed gravity and you are spirally ascending towards the epicenter of Agalloch’s music. The raspy black-metal vocals seem to guide you to it and all of a sudden, there’s silence... At this point, you stand still and gravity seeks vengeance by dragging you back to the point where it all started! This is the basic pattern on Ashes against the Grain. There are "moments" on this album which makes you feel like a bird being deplumed. The clean vocals adds to the soulfulness of this album and provides another dimension to this masterpiece. This album brags of melodic sequences with acoustic guitars rekindling nostalgic moments and lightening the atmosphere. Special mention has to be made for impeccable drumming on this album. It fine-tunes the entire feel on the album and can't imagine how this album would sound without the drums. Bass is audible and I really appreciate the way its recorded adeptly.

    The first one minute into ‘Not Unlike the Waves ‘is a fine example of the ‘build’ Agalloch offers. They take you on a trip aboard sinusoidal wave encompassing some engrossing parts in this album which make you pound your head, make you nod along, put you into an unearthly trance among many other uncanny experiences. 'This White Mountain on Which You Will Die' is a brief instrumental which some may dismiss as a "filler" but that would be insulting for a band like Agalloch. I would say its a "small bridge" between 'Falling Snow' and 'Fire Above, Ice Below'. The 'Our Fortress Is Burning...I' is the first installment of the trilogy and has a typical Agalloch's progressive intro and the progression suffuses subsequently into further chapters. ‘Our Fortress Is Burning... II-Bloodbirds’ is the track, which nests some soul-stirring moments. The lengthy instrumental passage appears to narrate tormented tales, intensifying every passing second and the tragic climax is conveyed by harsh growls. It ends with some painful screams performed ingeniously. The concluding track ‘Our Fortress Is Burning... III-The Grain’ is a psychedelic drone journey which I initially dismissed as a track which does not suit this album. But after many listens, I felt it is the masterstroke of Agalloch to allure me to the edge of a pit and nudge me right off its edge! This free-fall into the bottomless pit, is for introspection and admiration of past 55 minutes. This monumental journey of around an hour is advisable to be completed at one stretch to everyone who wishes to guzzle a strong brew of various equipoised metal sub-genres.

    Agalloch is that source of light which focuses less on emitting bright light and more on intensifying the dark shadows. 'Ashes against the Grain' is that tender feather which caresses the stabwounds...

    Originally written for - http://www.metal-archives.com/review.php?id=113100#190595
  • Lykathea Aflame - Elvenefris Review

    18 May 2009, 03:33 by Drizzling-Blur

    Lykathea Aflame's Elvenefris is a spiritual journey into the world of unknown. This CD disproves that evolution is a curse, this is a muscial revelation and a spiritual spark that ignites with each and every coherent note that is played through the 72 minutes of music that the band has compacted through a thought that has forever cursed and abused the fact that the existentalistic rituals and realities have borne fruit to. The music sums up a totality of human ability, thought, desire, belief, dream and finally an execution that again affirms faith into sum being greater than the parts. The band has not devised a plan, they have no calms about expressing their innermost infectious feelings through the most unique form of music known to mankind. Elvenefris was released in the year 2000 and having listened to this album since 2005, it's only today in 2009 that I can say I have managed to comprehend a message so twisted and cryptic that one would have to undergo a tremendous process of rigorous self analysis and introspection with regard to their music, only to realize there's no absolute journey or destination that has to be reached, there are just moments of elevated levels of assumption and presumption that internally enable an individual to empower himself through the journey, Elvenefris is a journey.

    Elvenefris to me is not music based, neither based on the capabilites of the members who display astounding proficiency in handling their instrument, Elvenefris, whole is the resultant of lyrics, a lyrical theme so powerful that it held together the most powerful of abilities to be captured through the dimensions of time and production awesomeness. The lyrics of this album in particular are by far the best that any band in the metal genre has ever managed to produce, the lyrics bind together a feeling of calmness, a feeling of expressing the inner most devils through the predicaments of life and at the same time engage in a constant struggle to be not misuderstood, they dwelve upon the very own human thought patterns and existentalism by the virtue of questioning and leaving behind the quest for independent thinking.

    From Flowering Entities

    Any negative emotion as a response,
    for stimulus from envirous arisen in us,
    show us that we are still within power,
    of superficial dimension and teach us.

    The lyrics, as expressed do not let the listener mature through the musical harmonies and melodies entwined with them, they stand independent irrespective of the exceptional musical atmosphere that encroaches them through the dimensions offered by the instruments, influencing eastern elements add up to the mystical aura of questioning that the band wants to and at the same time lightens the path of unknown for the jouney to be taken. Elvenefris is a intellectually stimulating experience that should not be lost just by the music that surrounds an internal philosophy, it has to be devoured, mentally consumed to understand the striking inabilities of the man in relieving himself off the anomalies for the path into the superficious and extend an eternal inquisitiveness into the patterns of evolution, till then, it is still a curse.

    The music of Elvenefris is a perfectly simulated experience that only the collision of ideologies and implementation of non-prejudiced withhold, the album is full of illustrious waves of thought that is brough to life through the help of vocal chords, strings and stretched skins. The guitarists of the album web through the complexities of the lyrics effectively to construct a thought pattern in itself that weaves a sea of imagination through the mind struck and actively frozen world of musicians, the guitars often overshadow their contemporaries to establish a unique sound through the enchanting eastern instruments, that chip in to mesmerize one with the melodies that so easily encapsulate the listener, the solo's are impeccable, surprisingly the solo's do not take the center stange, Elvenefris has the most complicated rythm section in whole of metal, the guitars just burp out through the unholy hands that attach themselves through the devotion of beliefs and playing efficiencies. The guitars on whole of this CD form a pattern of following their ideas and ideologies expressed in that moment. The breakdowns are so meaningful, they've always lead to the greater part of the realization process that is to follow through simpler patterns that evolve to contrast what just followed. The guitar playing is complex to say the least, why the complexity is a question when the band does just fine by empoweing the lyrics using simpler intrinsic patterns that add up to the message of the lyrics. As I understand, the burden of having to realize the expression of lyrics so abnormally powerful has to be coupled only with a way like this, every song independently dependent on the basic human thought and an accomplishment that itself, set's out to achieve a higher and more brutal introspective emotions withheld. Every song emerges with a perfect stimulating analogy, a flawless reflection through the guitars some times building the atmosphere and the feel of the track that would only gobble up the mean and the insensitive. On the whole, this album does not bring to the world a whole new guitar playing, what this album does, that no other in the present days is bring out guitar pieces that so easily sew themselves to the path of broken words and mind wrenching truths. The most impressive parts on the album are the non distorted outputs that so gently and sensibly pierce one through the grey matter to inculcate the stimulation, and once the damange of it is done, the incessant and the brutal skinning of it is done to review a whole new experience of expertise that only Lykathea Aflame can offer for all time to come.

    The drumming on this album is a unique high that no other drummer has dared to produce in all the time of metal music's existence, they build up just like the guitars to undo the damage of the lyrics only to realize they've entrusted oneself with the greater responsibility of understanding this gentle journey. The drummer is unbelivably honest and fast with his mode of expression, with every unique riffing pattern, the drums mould themselves to a newer level of brutality that acknowledge everything that the band is propogating through this CD, every single second of this album is a different experience through a different instrument, that pin pointing it to a unique source is extremely difficult, but yet, the drums stand out in their department not only because of the ability of the drummer to be fast and be heard in the jungle of sounds and notes, but because of the ability of the drummer to coherently interfere with something so beautiful that the whole purpose is set itself and aligned to a new level, a new dimension through it. The band's opening track, Land Where Sympathy is Air, is perhaps one of the most destructing pieces of music that one has to sit through to understand the beauty in expression and experience. The drummer right from the second where he quietly chip's in with his masterpieces exhibits an exuberating sense of time. Every stretched skin and every piece of metal out in the kit has not a second of unwantedness, every single second is a massacre that engulfs the senses of the listener. It is meaningless to express how fast or how effective the drummer is, it just adds up to the mediocre ways of reviewing any normal artist, Lykathea Aflame is not a normal band, they are exceptionally and intellectually stimulating where the independent and the individual pieces of perfection are laid across to create and have created a masterpiece.

    The bass guitar has often been misrepresented and misinterpreted, lost in layers of production wonders and confined to the background of behemoth riffs, the bass guitar and bassists in general have been a folk of (mostly) underappreciated people who through time have reformed through the demands of pulsating drums and acting like the proficient back bone of the band, the bass on Elvenefris does everything that a bassist is expected to do, hide in the shadows providing the necessary darkness to the patch of brightly lit beauty of the togetherness of a band. The bass on this CD is a veritable treat, extremely complex with riffs and independent in the areas where there is a perfect necessity to carry out the burden, thought lost in the sudden build up's and break downs of the music, the bassist acknowledges the necessity of deception through the guitarists work and emerges from the depths of perfection to hold still the complex existence of individuality coupled with a perfect sense of time. The intro of To Become Shelter and Salvation is the perfect example of this, the bass builds up innocently a tempo that is followed on by the fastest and creative riffs, the best part would be the continuation of the riffs breaking down to the simple bass parts that support them only to proceed onto the next set of executions. The bassist has chosen his medium of resentful expression on a journey in perhaps the most brilliant way possible.

    Elvenefris is a progression of musical melodies from extreme to soul soothing intricacies, the album opens in perhaps the most unique and brutal Land Where Sympathy is Air and makes way for melody to seep through right from Floweing Entities, the fourth track of the album, and there on progresses to mix an even contest of technicality and brutality with melody. On The Way Home is perhaps my favourite track of the album, this track brings about exactly the truest elements of melody right from the first second of the song and continues it with a perturbed mix of technically executed perfection. The progress of the album is so smooth one often fails to recognize it, the elements of melody seep slow through time that the disc quietly runs about, eventually ending with Walking In The Garden of Ma'at, which is an absolute masterpiece on keys, considering the turmoil and the confusion that the band puts through the listener, Walking In The Garden of Ma'at is a supposed relief but it's interesting the way the band creates a unique experience adding the chirping of birds and eventually lifts off the listener off his feet through the sheer power of mental visualization that this piece of music creates. Beginning with the first track to the last track, the way the band creates an atmosphere, includes elements of middle eastern prominence, mixes technicality, brutality and melody and finally, the lyrical theme of the output is such an awesome process to comprehend and will surely be missed on the first few listens. This is a CD that should be thoroughly enjoyed as a piece of art and a fortress of exemplified structure, Elvenefris is arguably the best ever album in metal music. In the world of crippling mediocrity and label deadlines, Elvenefris stands tall admist the ruins of illogical and random outbursts of expression and superior quality death metal. For once, the world has borne witness to a phenomenon that shall stand the test of time forever.
  • 2008

    1 Jan 2009, 14:49 by googlebuns

    Well 2008 has been a horrible year for me personally, however musically it has been quite satisfying. Got introduced to a lot of music I hadn't brushed shoulders with earlier, found new bands, new genres and not to mention the tonnes of releases that came out this year esp metal.

    My favorite releases of 2008

    Misery Index - Traitors
    Testament - The Formation of Damnation
    Opeth - Watershed
    Meshuggah - Obzen
    Cavalera Conspiracy - Inflikted
    Textures - Silhouettes
    Bloodbath - Unblessing The Purity EP
    Destruction - D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N
    Guillotine - Blood Money
    Artas - The Healing
    Russian Circles - Station
    Mogwai - The Hawk Is Howling
    Maybeshewill - Not For Want Of Trying
    This Will Destroy You - This Will Destroy You
    Bloodbath - The Fathomless Mastery
    Carnophage - Deformed Future//Genetic Nightmare
    Gojira - The Way Of All Flesh (though a bit disappointing)
    Agalloch - The White EP
    Behemoth - Ezkaton EP
    Decrepit Birth -Diminishing Between Worlds
    Cult of Luna - Eternal Kingdom
    Cynic - Traced In Air
    Unleashed - Hammer Battallion
    Ihsahn - Angl
    Mercenary - Architect Of Lies

    A list of highly enjoyable releases....I know there are a few more I am forgetting. However there were a few that left me unimpressed

    Scar Symmetry - Holographic Universe
    Metallica - Death Magnetic
    Amon Amarth - Twilight Of The Thunder God
  • Great Indian Rock - Bangalore [Review]

    11 Nov 2008, 18:17 by kinetic_zero

    This was touted to be India’s largest & loudest show.I was looking forward to it since it was to be my very 1st gig.We arrived at the grounds and had to wait for a while before being let in.Meanwhile, the bands were rehearsing and we just waited outside.I wasn’t very enthusiastic seeing the crowd.There were the usual poseurs wearing slipknot/rammstein t-shirts, kids wearing Nirvana t-shirts and war-paint (wtf?!), weirdos with that irritating emo hairstyle, and the lot. Most of them gave the overall impression that they were only there because rock/metal is “cool”.

    Slingshot : These guys opened the show and I must say – crappy music, crappy lyrics, crappy stage-presence, and overall a crappy band.They call their music – “Folk influenced sex-funk rock” whatever that’s supposed to mean.I couldn’t make out much of their songs but I did hear some of the choruses which included – “say cheese”, “jumpdafuckup” …you get the idea. Standard nu-metal/rap-rock garbage. Anyway, they got the fuck abused out of them by the crowd.

    Rainbrow Bridge : I had heard one song by these guys before. They had sounded like pink floyd clones to me. Anyway, they didn’t have a good stage-presence and the crowd soon got very bored. They had some folk elements in their music with the use of the tabla, and other instruments. However, the fact that there was confetti bursting all over the place during their set didn’t exactly help things.The crowd around me atleast (I was near the front) was a more metal-oriented one and didn’t want all this soft-rock shit.They were being abused by the crowd just like the previous band. Although in all honesty, I felt they weren’t as bad as Slingshot.Their last song had elements of classical music incorporated into it, but by that time it was too late.The crowd was just too agitated and were heckling them right till they left the stage.I think they were meant to justify the “rock” in the “GIR”.

    Extinct Reflections : This was the 1st time I had heard/seen them and I must say I was impressed. They are a Melodic Death/Thrash band.The moment these guys started playing the crowd erupted and went wild. Their frontman, Prasad, growled pretty well imo.Their rhythm guitarist is the same guy who plays for Myndsnare as well.He really is talented. Anyway, everything clicked for them that day.They played some tight shit and their songs sounded really heavy and brutal.The crowd went absolutely berserk.They played a crowd favourite at the end and it was so good that a lot of people in the crowd were asking for an encore.Definitely have to check these guys out some time.

    Sahg : Extinct Reflections had done a great job of bringing the crowd alive.But Sahg did a good job of putting me to sleep again.I have never heard a more un-original band like these guys.I mean sure their talented and all but their just a Black Sabbath rip-off. There were atleast 4 songs in their setlist that had riffs which were slight variations of ‘Hole In The Sky’ and these were very obvious.I had heard one song before called “Godless Faith” and this was the song with which they started.Its an okay song imo.They were very tight in their playing and all their songs had nice solos.The crowd was geting very excited during their set for some reason. No idea why though.The vocalist was saying dumb stuff like “We’re here to steal your Indian women!” and all. Some idiots (the afore-mentioned war-paint clad Nirvana fans) were even moshing to their songs.Why would someone want to mosh to Black Sabbath-type songs is beyond me.I can say that this type of stoner metal isn’t for me. Nevertheless, I appreciated them for playing and all. Its not everyday that you get Norwegian bands to play here. The crowd reaction was surprisingly very positive towards them. Hopefully they’ll spread some good words regarding India and maybe we could get better bands from there in the future.

    Satyricon : With Sahg gone, I was thinking to myself that the wait was finally over.The reason for which I had traveled over a 1000 kms was about to be realized.Well, apparently not. Satyr & co. made us wait quite a bit. The setting up of their gear took nearly half an hour.Tired and hungry, the crowd was getting agitated. Some idiots on the left side started singing Bollywood songs and throwing water bottles on the stage like its some corny cricket match or something.This really pissed me off.After a long & excruciating wait, suddenly, Satyricon were on stage!Satyr’s mic had these goat horns inter-twined around them and it looked fucking kvlt.Frost got behind his monster of a kit and started blasting away from the word go.That man is a machine to say the least. During their set, he virtually raped that drumkit. It was a sight to see him blast away at 280 b.p.m and swirl his head like a maniac.Fuck! They had this blonde girl playing keyboards and she was headbanging like crazy throughout the entire one-hour set. It felt as if her head would pop off any second. Some really violent headbanging there.The sessions guitarists also played well. Satyr, looking very thin (grim?), was very nice with the crowd. He got everyone involved especially with the new songs. However, I didn’t like the new songs as they sounded even less black metal than Now, Diabolical. He took some photos of the crowd saying that they wanted to prove some people who thought that “there were no Satyricon fans in India” wrong. Hopefully those will reach the hands of other prominent black metal bands there.The ‘Grand Finale’ was Mother North which was absolutely mesmerizing. The crowd had started singing the song even before they started. The atmosphere was electric…Then they began. I can’t even describe how awesome those 9-10 odd mins were.You just had to be there to feel it.Those last mins when they played the epic outro part was just amazing.Once it was over, they applauded the audience and stuff. Frost threw both his sticks to the crowd.


    My Skin Is Cold (new)
    Now, Diabolical
    Commando (new)
    Black Crow On A Tombstone (new)
    The Pentagram Burns
    Die By My Hand (new)
    Fuel For Hatred
    Hvite Krists Død (didn’t recognize this one at the gig)
    Mother North

    With that it was over.I stood there watching their backs as they walked away backstage.I was still in disbelief, that I had just seen a Norwegian Black Metal band perform live in front of me!
  • Resurrection VIII Review

    24 Sep 2008, 13:17 by sacredserenity

    With most pubs and venues in Mumbai refusing permission for metal gigs, Razz Rhino shut down and I-Rock cutting back on metal (all this copied straight out of Demonstealer's promo :P) metal in Mumbai is facing somewhat of a crisis. But this year's Resurrection was just the best metal gig I've been to (not counting Iron Maiden).

    I reached the venue with abt 30 mins to go and there was hardly a crowd there. Only groups of 2-3 people here and there standing and smoking. Fortunately for me the actual hall inside where they were supposed to be playing was NO Smoking .... a huge relief as i must have passive smoked at least a carton last time i went for Brute Force's and Sceptre's album release.

    Getting straight to the gig itself:

    Demonic Resurrection: DR have a new guitarist - Daniel (who's from my college) and I was eager to see how he'd fit into the band and obviously how well he'd play. A minute into the set my doubts were laid to rest with him playing an awesome improvised solo. DR were exceptionally tight and were getting the crowd just warmed up. I was standing abt 2 inches from Sahil's mikestand and could see both Sahil's and Daniel's guitar-playing up close. Dr played their usual songs - Spirits of the Mystic Mountains, Apocalyptic Dawn, A Darknes Descends, Journey to Solaris etc etc and they also played a new song, 'Unrelenting Surge of Vengeance'. The only part i disliked about their gig was Daniel going on and off stage all the time as he was supposed to play on only four songs. I hope Daniel gets confirmed for the band though as he's an exceptional guitarist.

    Devoid FUCK .... what a gig Devoid played. Their sound was spot on. They started with Black Fortress - an OC which many in the crowd knew. This was my first time watching them and it was some experience. They played mostly originals except for two Slayer covers - Postmortem and Angel of Death. Afaque of Infernal Wrath joined them onstage for AoD and though there were a few fuck ups during the song, it was awesomely fun. The crowd was moshing like crazy and and Afaque then dived into the pit and sang while moshing. It was great because almost everyone in the 500 strong crowd knew the lyrics and everyone was singing.

    Exhumation - These guys have to be seen to believed. Both for their awesome playing AND for their abysmal stage presence. They played all OCs and their chatter between songs consisted of things like 'Oye shit, he (pointing at drummer) actually stopped at the right time.' and 'Does anyone want to come up and say anything cause we don't really talk on stage' The crowd were a bit tired after all the moshing during Devoid and many people has gone out for a smoke. They played Orphanage Carnage, Racial Slaughter and an encore of Among the Dead.

    Myndsnare Easily the best set of the night. All three musicians are immensely talented and the amount of work that has gone into their album is evident. KP (frontman) was ripping highly technical solos. The riffs are waaay better than anything you'd find on an average tech death album. The bass sound was awesome and Yasmin on the drums was insane. I could clearly hear the influence on Chuck and Gene Hoglan on the guitars and drums respectively. She was playing the intricate rhythms on the cymbals while pounding the double bass very similar to the drumming on Symbolic. They played almost their whole album and I actually stopped headbanging in places so I could see KP playing the solos and so that I could hear the songs properly. There were quite a few sexist remarks when Yasmin came onto stage to set up the drums and I must admit it was slightly unusual to see a female drummer but after a point (which came very soon)you just stop seeing her as a Female drummer and just see her as a drummer. They even played a Death cover - 1000 Eyes almost note for note. During the gig there was a surge from behind and one of the guys headbanging in the front row smashed his nose on the monitors and broke his nose but came back after putting a bandage just 2 mins later and continued headbanging. I got pushed ahead and hit the mikestand causing it to almost topple into the drumkit but KP caught it. There gig ended about 2 songs too soon as the 11pm deadline had been crossed and the police in Bombay allow only relgious chanting shit to go on loudly after 11 pm.

    The sound for this gig was awesome with no feedback and happening anytime.

    Guys please buy the Myndsnare CD and support the band. Its worth way more than the 250 bucks it costs. I am hoping these guys play in Mumbai again soon.
  • Demonic Resurrection News - 12/10/08!!!

    12 Oct 2008, 09:14 by Demonstealer

    Reviving a bit of old news we recorded a cover of ANTICHRIST for a Slayer Tribute album released by the Russian Fan club of slayer (www.myspace.com/KerryRussia). You can check out our contribution to the CD on any of the following links.


    Cheers & Stay Demonic!!
    The Demonstealer
  • Metallica - Death Magnetic (Review)

    18 Sep 2008, 06:21 by darkritual

    I will try to talk through each song.

    1 That was just your life:

    I was very skeptical when I heard the beginning of the song. I mean the the clean intro was interesting, but the main distortion riff was kind of mid-tempo average, but the song soon started sounding great with the change in drums and the chorus drew me into the song. It did not sound like a thrash chorus but a perfect of what Metallica came to be in the later career and its thrash root. The breakdown before the chorus is also very catchy, vocal line and the riff as well. While I am patiently listening to the song, it slowly builds up into a GREAT solo! It was such a nice surprise as I had forgot that a solo is to be expected around the time. Then right in the end when I thought it had heard the best part already, Hetfiled and Hammet go into a great dual harmonizing riff, superb ...and eventually kills of the last chorus with double bass which was the peak.


    2 The end of the line.

    I was really really disappointed at first, when I heard the first riff...I thought "Can't believe they actually included 'The New Song' from 2006'. But I was surprised again when it actually changed in a new riff after that. It was okayish riff ... not thrash but alright, kind of like Black album - Load, but the chorus again was Awesome!, really catchy...not thrash but really catchy. Then after a while the bridge section was GREAT! hetfield and Hammet dualling again... they are so awesome when they do that, and then I hear another riff from the old song which fit in perfectly after the bridge. It broke into a disappointing solo. I sometime feel that they should really snatch that wah-wah pedal from Hammet, but he wouldn't be a Hammet solo would it. The last part was really nice when they harmonise again and break into a clean part. I liked it a lot. The part where he says 'The slave becomes the Master' .... and perfectly builds in to the riff and ends with the chorus with the drum patterns changing a little bit.


    3 Broken Beat and Scarred.

    The opening riff of this song is by far the worst Metallica riff on this album at least (Maybe all time). The background lead that creeps in is nice. The main riff is weak too. The vocal line is sort of 'Jumpy', it has that sideways nodd-nodd feel to it. The chorus is better than the rest of the song, but weak. It was disappointing song, nothing interesting. Up until the last 2:30 minutes. It changed into a thrashy riff and broke into a ripping solo reminiscent of the 80's era which saved the song from being a complete waste. Overall decent


    4. The day that never comes

    Song starts, you think its going to be like Sanitarium/Fade to black/One then your ears are destroyed by the loudest and worst mix of drums! How did they actually put this mix on the CD? The melody by Hammett is decent. The first part of the song does not seem that impressive, sounds like a average ballad on the first listen. But the second half of the song just RIPS, amazing, really nice thrash! and soloing and harmonizing, dual guitar work. Basically when Hetfield stops singing, it 9/10 from then on, as good as it gets.
    You really have to listen to the song a LOT of times to actually appreciate the first half of the song. I think its nice now. Anyone comments on the the solo at the end? Oh my fucking god! did you not have orgasms listening to Hammett back to his best!!!!

    I guess they were trying the Fade to black/ One whatever thing for this album but it was nowhere close to those songs. I don't know it just did not smoothly become one song like they did. Nice video by the way.


    5. All Nightmare long.

    How do I begin? Absolutely amazing! The opening riff is kind of haunting/evil in the same style as Enter Sandman. The first couple riffs are not amazing but then then they have a breakdown where Hetfield says "Luck...runs...out" ...its so amazing, you know this song is going to be awesome! It might sound stupid when I type it but its great!! listen to it. The lyrics are outstanding...and the hetfield's voice is amazing. It then follows into what I have to say is one the best choruses on any Metallica album. Its not thrash or anything just really awesome with the "Hunt you down, with no mercy, Hunt you down all nightmare long'. I think its great lyrics!! I love it when Hetfiled sings about these topics. "Still alive, IMMOLATION, Still alive, INFAMY....Hallucination, still you run whats to come..." Just great... the song wouldn't be half as exciting if not for the subject matter, Enter Sandman 2 (Lyrically at least). It then has a bridge that breaks into a nice solo, notice it sounds typically hammett of the 90's. Then there is an amazing typical ride the lightning/master type riff that follows...i love it..they should have played 2 more rounds. Breaks into another solo which is decent. The last riff IS SO thrash!!! amazing with double bass. The song ends there...until they punch back with the chorus one last time! Second best track on the record.


    6. Cyanide.

    Ill be blunt, bullshit track. Bullshit riff ... sounds its meant for people to hop and jump. Sounds like load/reload. Chorus is also boring. The singing is bad. Its a huge mess. Then clean part they break into is also stupid. It just like a bunch of riffs that don't go with each other. Shoddy collage work of sounds. There is an outstanding part in the song but it last for 5 seconds from 5:04 - 5:09. Thats all I like about it, sorry not good enough.


    7. Unforgiven III: Okay, before criticizing my opinion read my argument.

    I liked the song. There I said it. I know it being called an awful song. I loved the piano intro and the main melody until it broke into hetfields verse. His voice is a disaster for this kind of track. The riff also kind of directly goes against the whole flow of the song. I am not sure musically what similarity it had to the previous songs. It seems it purely Lyrical and mood. I liked the whole "how can I be lost..." chorus. It was nice. Then after the second chorus it goes into a slow build-up ..which is well done and develops well and what the song was begging for was a jaw dropping melodic solo or acoustic part like Unforgiven but obviously, Hammett cannot keep away from his waah pedal. He did redeem himself in the last part of the solo which was refreshing. Then listen to the last verse without the riff playing...see its not that bad after all. It was the main riff that killed the song. Its a nice rock song or whatever.


    8. Judas Kiss.

    Sounded promising from the title. Really uninteresting/bad riff. In fact had the worst 2 second bits after the verse and before the chorus. The chorus itself is different, absolutely AMAZING. "Bow down, sell your soul to me" ... great THRASH riff and chorus with nice lyrics. Lyrics really are nice in this actually. Shame this chorus could not be a part of a better song. Has ripping solos from hammett which along with the lyrics and chorus ...draw me back to song even though the riff is not good. But seriously the solos are worth it. The breakdown in the end is amazing to that goes into the chorus.


    9. Suicide and Redemption: Started really well, nice opening stuff then suddenly broke into a really pooooor riff. Really bad man. But it is alright to have a bad riff in an instrumental because after all you have the whole song to come up with better riff right? Apparently not for metallica. They kept playing the bad riff over and over, with some lead in the background sometimes. Lets face it ...if the riff is bad some fun the background is not going to redeem it. I was really disappointed with the intrumental and almost going to turn it off but after 4 minutes...its changed. And boy did it change!, it was just amazing stuff. Hammet at his very best. Just a 4 minute long surreal ride...reminiscent of the 80's era. Don't believe me? Listen to it from 5:00 to 5:20. A great solo follows. The disappointment was the bad riff in the end again. Just to sour up the taste just at the end. I was still quite satisfied though. It was obviously their worst instrumental but that really doesn't mean its bad as the others have been absolutely amazing. I guess we won't have another Orion or Ktulu unless Burton resurrects.


    10. My Apocalypse:

    Do I really need to tell anyone what I feel about this track? My charts would have revealed that right? Well, it was the best thing they have done in 20 years and I am glad its at the end of the CD .. just to leave you with the thought that They are back! Total thrash song...sounded like harvester in the beginning with the drums. But totally THRASH. Did you hear the riff after the first part? Listen to it with your headphones and watch it climb from one earside to the other! It is such a nice riff. Goes into a not a great but typically thrash solo. The riffs at the end is the best! Its just great. Even the buildup is amazing. The chorus amazing. EVERYTHING is amazing. Did I mention the lyrics? Amazing right. I love it when they sing about things they should. Don't you think hetfiled is describing the death of Burton in the accident? and how its his Apocalypse?? I think so. Best track and thrash anthem for any time period.


    Overall, a great record. Totally worth the money and saved themselves from losing a fan's faith in their ability to deliver. Best record in 20 years for them.

    Return to thrash? Not entirely. Return to form? Yes!


    (I am low rater, I cant give 8-9 for this stuff..what would I rate things like drudkh then? 12-13?)Metallica
  • A poem I wrote

    1 Aug 2006, 13:57 by TheIronMan

    This one is inspired primarily by Iced Earth - Night of the Stormrider

    Faith - Deception

    Amidst the growing darkness
    A pale, green light emerges
    Its quiet, unrestrained calm
    Strange euphoria, induces.
    It seduces and blinds
    And gives a mere whiff
    'Ere until it leaves
    Of hope in eternal black.

    Ever brighter it returns
    A shimmering, glowing spine
    A purifying presence
    It makes the dark divine.
    At it I slowly edge
    With prayer in my mind
    With benign hope I pledge
    I shall follow its lead.

    The powers that be concur
    Luminous it remains
    The flickering gleam of power
    Encourages and taunts.
    Ungainly shapes emerge
    Aught scare, now but distract
    As nought might stay the urge
    Now existence has purpose.

    Desire, now insatiable
    I break into a run
    Death, now but an option
    My soul begins to burn.
    The light all doubt shall bury
    In it I behold self
    A serene sight of mystery
    For funerals to come.

    I pause to contemplate
    "Must this be lost?" I wonder
    "This lovely shade of life?"
    "The Pledge!" shouts out another.
    The stronger voice prevails
    The words of doubt are crushed
    The passion still remains
    But body seems unwilling.

    With promise of rich hope
    The soul wills body forward
    And visions of salvation
    It relents and moves onward.
    I enter unrestrained
    To see my destiny
    Bliss no longer maimed
    Now in the light enshrined.

    Its brilliance casts me down
    Then suddenly it changes
    "Kill all who strife!" I hear
    The realization strikes.
    "A reason" I respond
    I hear a shriek of anger
    Full well I see beyond
    Then commences attack.

    The light becomes a flame
    To reprimand my question
    "Burn to cleanse your soul!"
    "Kill to gain salvation!"
    It rapes and immolates me
    Yet now affects me not
    As it is clear to me
    No reward for true faith.

    I rise and step away
    Away from saviour light
    For it is but false hope
    A mirror to my plight.
    In fact it is a teacher
    For only within it
    Could I let go of fear
    Of death and that beyond.

    For now I know much better
    That death is not a means
    But an end much purer
    No Heaven, Hell or Styx.
    Amidst the growing darkness
    I remain catatonic
    No lure of unreal bliss
    Wavers my wait for death.

    I know I'm an unusual 16 year old but since I am16 please excuse my weak attempt at poetry.
  • Review for the GIG in Hyd ... Infernal Wrath, Wreckage and Kamoflagodz(7th MAY)

    8 May 2006, 07:04 by mvikred

    First GIG in Hydera'fucking rocking'bad

    This was the first time i was attending a GIG in Hyderabad(my hometown). Not knowing what to expect, especially, after attending almost all gigs in mumbai and being a regular face there, I was skeptical about how the crowd would be like. Some of the thoughts that were in my head before I reached the venue:

    - Would i end up seeing a bunch of posers ?
    - Would ppl actually mosh ?
    - Can the hyd crowd actually take on Infernal Wrath's mayhem ?

    and guess what , all the answers turned out to be a big fuckin 'YES'. And I was more than happy to see that Hyd is surely growing in terms of metal and rock.

    Let me start with the opening band for this evening. As every rock show in India, even this had to start late. So i reached the venue, One Flight Down(Pub), which hosts most of the Hyd shows, a half hour late. Met up with JP, Afeeq and other Infernal Wrath members. and one hour after the scheduled time , the gig was on its way, with Kamoflagodz. They were a very average band, with an average drummer, and a pretty good lead guitarist. They did some originals and covered Neil Diamond's 'Keep on rocking in the free world' and Iron Maiden's 'Hallowed be thy Name'. Both these songs were well done and , the rest were pretty ok. In all, a band which was pretty average, but were very tight in watever they did. Got the crowds booty shakin but not the heads.

    Next up were Wreckage. Never heard of this band either. While this band set up, I had gone out to get some air, had a smoke and one more bottle of beer. I also saw some chicks there ... gosh, i surely did miss the changes in HYD.. wen did chicks start coming to watch metal gigs? .My knowledge in current affairs does suck :P. Anyways, these mothufukkas were another Sledge clone. Thats wat I felt. They played covers of spultura's Chaos AD and Pantera's Mouth For War. Pretty well done infact. There were a few timing putches in between, which were pretty well covered and the sound was a bit bad, cuz the vox were a bit high and the guitars really low compared to the drums. People started moshing by now, but I was jus sitting and having my smoke and beer. Waiting for Infernal Wrath to take the stage. Finally Wreckage ended their set with an instrumental, which I realy dint pay attention to, cuz i was checking some chik out(cant help it man , male genes fucking kick in at odd times). Anyways, once their set ended, I got up, did a bottoms up for the remaining of the beer, which was almost half a bottle, and went to the stage.

    Finally the band, that I have been waiting for. The only band cuz of which I was there tonite. As I saw Afeeq, JP, Pradeep, and bassist(sorry dude I keep forgetting ur name, infact I met u b4 the show) take the stage, I knew it was gonna be one helluva moshfest. All i remember was, shouting out to Afeeq to UNLEASH HELL. Well, thats exactly wat they did. Started out with Cannibal Corpse's Hammer Smashed Face and went on to do an amazin cover of the invincible Cryptopsy..yeah u guessed it right ... it was Phobophile. The crowd went totally crazy and were moshing as if there was no end to their wretched life and they jus wanted to die there. During the mosh , some bastard put his elbow to my nose and I was bleeding, but I dint give a flying fuck.The atmosphere was soo intense that, that sissy thing really dint matter and I was back in the moshpit for Infernal Wrath's OC and cover of Slayer's Raining Blood followed by Angel Of Death. By this time the crowd was totally exausted, bodies battered, and vocal chords completely strained. Afeeq had a great stage presence like every time. He was right there in the middle, with the crowd, with us, moshing and screaming his guts out. JP's brilliance need not me spoken about cuz u guys already mustve heard abt the insane drummin..... fast, furious, precise and energetic. Pradeeps killing solos, crisp and sharp and the funky bassist who played a really cool bass line b4 the sound check, but also showed some high speed plucking during the songs . Overall this was THE band, one should not have missed. Give and take 2 more years and I see this band making it very big in the Indian Scene and hopefully in the international circuit(I wish they do). HAIL INFERNAL WRATH.

    That was the summary of one of the most awesome gigs I have been to. One had to be there to feel the mayhem, chaos and pure rage.It was one gig that will remain in my mind for quite some time. Also got to meet Karna and Avinash(sledge's guitarist and vox resply). So overall an awesome gig, and Infernal Wrath has found many fans in Hyd, who would really wait for their next gig in this cyber city. Need to rest my battered body , so ..... peace out.

    Vikas Reddy (mvikred)
  • Opeth

    17 Mar 2006, 11:07 by TheIronMan

    Opeth is the most over-rated band in the world of metal (IMO). Period.

    Now don't get me wrong I have all their stuff and its not like I can't enjoy a song once in a while but seriously, do they deserve the amount of credit and praise they get? Yes the band members are really talented musicians. Yes they're extremely "progressive" (I'll get to that part a little later). But here's my main qualm with their music. It's just too complicated and ends up being boring.

    Note that I love technical metal. It's not the technical aspect of the music that is getting to me. More on the lines of being coherent. Even the most technical bands (a la Atheist, Meshuggah etc.) are coherent. That is what Opeth lacks. Yeah its fine to have melodic breaks every now and then but do you need to have one in every fucking song?. Their melodic breaks are very random and I don't know what their intentions are with them but whatever they are they aren't able to get them across properly. The song structures are incoherect and over stretched. One of the most improtant aspects of metal is the way a song is structured and the more successful songs are always "symmetric" in a way. No I don't mean every song has to follow the intro - verse - chorus - verse - chorus - break - solo - chorus - outro pattern but even the more complex and technical songs show symmetry in their song structures in one way or another. This is a missing element in Opeth's music which is one of the main reason's I don't like it.

    Opeth songs generally tend to be very long. Note that I'm not against long songs (heck! look at Iron Maiden up there at #3). What I'm against is bands stretching songs just to make them long. I mean its natural for some songs to be long as the progression of the song automatically takes it in the direction that stretches it to an abnormal length (for example Det Som Engang Var) but then again there's the song that is stretched unnecessarily beyond the point of it remaining interesting. That is what happens to most of Opeth's songs.

    I'm not against melodic metal (as my charts will pay ample testimony to) however melody in a metal song needs to blend properly with the rest of the song and instead of reducing one's enjoyment of the song the melody should enhance it. Melody should serve as an element to augment the natural aggression of a metal song. This is what is lacking in Opeth's songs. If you are able to separate each melodic track from the rest of the song (as a fairly experienced listener should be able to do) then each melody is beautiful in itself. However combining more than one (often 3-4) completely different melodies in a song doesn't add to the "mystique" of the song as some fans of Opeth claim. It simply unnecessarily complicates the song and destroys one's enjoyment of the several brilliant melodies in an Opeth song.

    Opeth songs are chock full of several conflicting ideas. Now take any one or two of these and develop them a little and you have a perfect song. But putting them together just doesn't work.

    As for the progressive thing to me progression means a constant change in the musical elements from album to album but nowadays it's come to mean highly skilled musicans, 10+ minutes tracks, acoustic parts, many rythm changes etc. If you accept that defenition then Opeth are progressive but I would rather stick to the literal meaning of the word:

    pro·gres·sive (adj.)
    1. Moving forward; advancing.
    2. Proceeding in steps; continuing steadily by increments: progressive change.

    Being progressive in itself isn't bad. Look at Death for a perfect example of progression from album to album. But again progression for the sake of progression is unnecessary. Progression must be natural (Katatonia) but Opeth's progression seems a bit forced. In fact everything about Opeth seems to be a bit forced. My favourite Opeth album is in fact the most controversial album Damnation as its the only album where there is a natural flow to the music and one concept follows from the other instead of the messy conglomerate that most of their metal songs are.

    To sum up, they have potential and lots of it. Mikael is indubitalby a highly talented musician (as is evident from his work with Bloodbath) as are the rest of them but their talent is wasted because of their unnecessary complication of every song and incomprehensible way of combining unrelated ideas and random incoherent song structure. If only there were less ideas, more metal, shorter songs, more feeling and energy, (Opeth songs sound a little dead and dessicated to me but then again maybe that's just me) a little symmetry and coherent song structures in Opeth's music they would undisputably be very close to the top of the world of metal. Unfortunately despite producing some of the best musical ideas ever written the lack of the above mentioned elements takes away the spark of life from their music which would make one enjoy it and instead makes it dull and boring.