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Sorry deathstorm, I don’t like it.

It took me a while to come round to Amaranthe. I first heard them when they were announced for the roster of ProgPower XIII and thought they sounded too poppy, sage musical critic that I was. I did entertain the idea that that was the entire point, but dismissed them as being too technically lacking in any case. Their second album, The Nexus, featuring the least inventive album art I’d seen in a while, was a marked improvement, with its title track nearly a total ripoff of the leading single from their self-titled debut but a demonstrably better take. Everything was more or less the same, just done right. The riffs were on point, there were a higher proportion of peppy bubblegum tracks that sounded like Cascada doing djent (or just a slightly less sugary Blood Stain Child) – it was their best album. They followed this up with Massive Addictive, a somewhat weaker but nonetheless slightly different album with a couple tracks that sounded like they could have been composed by MrWeebl. As far as third albums went, it wasn’t bad – and the slow songs were actually all rights, even on the acoustic versions. It was also a little closer to regular melodeath. That brings us to Maximalism.

In principle, the concept behind this album is fine. Amaranthe always imitated pop, so why not imitate current pop? It could inject some life into this worthless moribund slurry of pink noise that the post-Trump miasma has been nice enough to slowly excrete over this most recent tax period. I mean, the only way this would could fail is if modern pop were so limp-wristed and ineffectual that even the nuclear cocaine infusion of metal failed to resuscitate its bloated heart.

Whoops.

It’s fascinating how one can avoid actually discussing the album for so long here just because of the hilarious incidental commentary. All of the songs here a poppy in an obligatory sense, rather like the current generation of pop. I remember hating Ke$ha back in 2012 when she was big, but hearing “Tik Tok” after a bleak slog through a bunch of mopey nonsensical dogshit and limp-wristed soggy whining is a godsend. At best, Maximalism is a poor man’s version of their previous output, and at worst it’s an imitation of modern pop in the sense that you don’t remember anything about it other than that it sucked. Anyway, what about the actual songs?
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"Wizard Bloody Wizard" is like the lifting of a thick fog.  From the off there's a feel of a dense weight being lifted from the band's signature occult/stoner blend of doom.  By the time I get to track two "Necromania" things almost seem like a dark cock-rock affair which is odd.   The over-arching feel though is of a band who have gone off the boil somewhat.  Despite the aforementioned lifting of the heavy atmosphere "Wizard Bloody Wizard" seems more of ground out effort made under some duress resulting in the album being robbed in the main of any feel...
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I am a huge Cradle of Filth fan and on the album Hammer of The Witches they have a song called Right Wing of The Garden Triptych and based on the lyrics I believe it is a reference to the painting Garden of Earthy Delights by Hieronymus Bosch. Does anyone know if this is true or not? 
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I love a good meme. Here's a combination of some metal memes I've made and some faves of mine, too. 
Post / Make some of your faves.
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Whether you love or hate Cannibal Corpse, their penchant for churning out accessible, fun and consistent DM can't be denied. Yes when they suck they really do suck (Gallery of Suicide), but even if technically never more complicated than most Kinder egg toys there's always a familiarity to CC albums that appeals. I get those that hate that familiarity. If you prefer to become lost in a Portalesque vortex when enjoying your extreme metal then the obvious churn of CC won't be for you. However, for every complex and archaic DM record in my collection I like to have a fair amount of surety too (someone will be along in a minute to replace "surety" with "safety" no doubt) and "Red Before Black" is as familiar to me after a few listens as most of the band's previous output...
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Post in Metal Memes
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Like some journey whilst blindfolded and hogtied in the trunk of a kidnapper's car, you never quite know where you'll end up with Blut Aus Nord.  The blend of near poetic melody contrasted with their harsh industrial leanings and complimentary darkest of ambience across their discography can leave the average metalhead spinning on their metallic shoulders.  Counter-intuitively you end up waiting for the next change, chop, turn or trick whenever you listen to anything new by BAN and this almost starts to detract from the experience as you wait like some cowering wreck for the sucker-punch to arrive.

 
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Shut up, just shut up any naysayers out there already reading this going "Urgh, that's not a metal album and you can't review a non-metal album on a metal forum because it isn't HEAVY FUCKING METAL DUDE!"  I have a Masters degree in pissing on other people's chips and so no amount of brandishing your "metul blud" at me will make me not do this.  You frankly have more chance of setting up a successful business in North Korea selling BBQ's and Rimmel products (DISCLAIMER -other expensive face paint is also available).

Chelsea Wolfe does sound like the name of a lawyer who fights cases for poor people against big multi-national corporations and donates her fee to Greenpeace upon successful prosecution of organisations more complex and shady than any John Grisham novel could dream of.  Thankfully, Ms Wolfe does not have any career in law and has instead dedicated her life to the ethereal, industrial, alt-grunge/death/dark rock stream of odd music to play at parties to make everyone leave early.


Madder than a box of frogs and more cooky than Cooky McCooky Cooky  from the village of Cookyville, Wolfe once again spreads her virulent strain of poignant, emotive and melancholic vocals  to a soundtrack with more clatter, rattle and intensity than a most soup kitchens see in a month.  There's real pain here and thankfully it is measured superbly as it shifts form with each track, ranging from floaty, pop infused melodies through to harsh, industrial drone and onto reverb drenched grungey rock to boot.

When you have a voice more haunting than the average mother-in-law's face you could quite easily rest on it as your main "thang!" and let the rest of the instrumentation, structure and form go to shit.  Not Chelsea Wolfe!  She is to music what Steven Seagal is to Martial Arts - fat, orange and dangerous!  No, I mean dangerous, edgy and unpredictable and this spreads throughout "Hiss Spun" as some tracks are accessible within a couple of bars and others are real slow burners that build into dark and solid forms of undulating, uncompromising and at times disturbing structure.

Check out, "Static Hum" for its use of the guitar to maul and taunt the vocals as the track builds and builds.  Better still the well paced structure and subtle shifts of percussion that represent "The Culling" or the meandering, fractured and disjointed guitar style present on "16 Psyche".  All are examples of the true talent of the lady herself and the musicians she surrounds herself with. 

It isn't flawless though.  Although I like them, the industrial/noise/dark ambient interludes that occur seem misplaced almost and some tracks ("Particle Flurry") are frankly directionless.  I don't see "Hiss Spun" making many appearances on the turntable but it is most definitely a record that requires exploration as opposed to just a listen as background music, whenever it does get a play.  
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What is Metal Music? I'm looking for a paragraph and a more scientific as opposed to philosophical answer please!
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Essex, England is famous on Brit TV for reality TV shows portraying residents of the county as being sufficiently lacking in educational merit to be able to answer pressing questions like, "Which way is up?" without a significant pause for thought.  Whilst the British TV watching public clearly enjoy watching the blissful ignorance of the beautiful but frankly thick as pigshit youth of Essex, the same masses are no doubt equally blissfully unaware of the mighty monolith of metal that is The King Is Blind who hark from that very same part of the world....
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Black metal is the snow-covered forest at sunset; the full moon glimpsed through jagged trees; the candle that flickers in ghost winds; the indelible emptiness of the lonely human soul that cries out to empty skies.
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I’ve been watching a bunch of nature documentaries recently. Dangerous animals only, for the most part, because I refuse to devote an hour of my life watching turtles mosey around the deep blue. Additionally, I’ve sought out very in-depth material so I can appreciate the animal being analyzed. As a result I’ve been able to watch a decent amount of material closely scrutinizing the habits of predators, and that’s given me a particularly good context for understanding Sadist’s 2015 album “Hyena”.

This album is intended to track the habits of a hyena. Seems a bit on the nose, but bear with me; the album’s style is important. The album takes the listener on a markedly violent safari in an open-top jeep. Feel the wind in your hair, enjoy the natural splendor of the savannah, watch some animals murder and/or eat each other. Bring along some Mango Jive but for goodness sake leave your droewors back at the hut. Musically, as far as the metal goes – it’s a technical death/thrash album with the ferocity of the latter and the substance of the former. The vocals are higher-pitched snarls, characteristic of Sadist and perfect for the concept; in fact the entire production isolates the smooth bass to allow for moodier lines from said instrument.

I’ve always noticed that in the grand sweep of folk metal African music usually gets left out. Makes some sense – I’ve heard quite a lot of traditional African music and it’s way too happy and tropical. Then again, Dan Swano, Skindred and even Equilibrium have managed to make Caribbean music work in metal, so it’s not impossible. The next best thing is something thematically evocative, which is what “Hyena” represents. It’s not perfect; Sadist could have paced out the textures better and deepened the nature sounds, perhaps taking influence from the largely untouchable Russo-Finnish metal masters Second To Sun. That being said, it’s a one-of-a-kind work and Sadist deserves credit for taking their vicious brand of tech-death on a sun-bleached adventure into the wild.
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After listening to both albums, I am having difficulty deciding which I think is better.  Both have excellent songs and guitar work, and express the atmosphere of Burzum extremely.  Personally, however, I think that the vocals are delivered better on Filosofem.  Filosofem also has more songs, but the 25 minute synth track is not as good as Tomhet.  What do you all think?
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Post photos of your various collections here! 

Here are three shots of my black metal collection. The first is the whole thing, but i've also included two closer shots that should be clearer when zooming in etc.  

Entire Black Metal CD collection: 


Top half:


Bottom half: 
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On BM scene there are also good worth of attention female vocalists. Some of my fav bands.

1 Astarte - All female black metal band from Greece. In my opinion Tristessa is one of the best female growler.

2 Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult - Onielar and her growls and style are something amazing. Nothing more nothing less. 

3 Gedanken Toten Lebens - Interesting one-woman atmospheric black metal project. Lyrics are about naure, death and philosophy. 

Who is your favourite black metal female vocalist? Do you like these bands? Or maybe you think black metal isn't for women? Let's start the discussion!
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Amazing band from Oakland, California. Pioneers of their genre really and a prime example of music being a catalyst to something greater. My favorite album is probably A Sun That Never Sets but I'm still getting into their other releases. The difficulty with hard drawn genre lines is that it's hard to place a lot of bands. I don't consider Neurosis a pure doom band, far from it, but I'm not sure where this thread would fit better so I'm creating this thread here. Feel free to move it if you want.

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You're walking your way home one night, & a rogue genie pulls you side and tells you that for the rest of your life you can only own & wear 1 jacket or vest. The genie gives you the option of leather or denim.

I think leather is ultimately more badass, but for the sake of practicality I would have to go with a bleached denim jacket. I'd be screwed come winter time, but would rather deal with that 6 months out of each year than a stiff leather. Patching a beat up leather proves to be a difficult task as well...just my two cents.
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cannibal corpse is my favorite band. anyone else like them?
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Which Thrash do you prefer?
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'Bleach is good for you, its mostly water...and we're mostly water...therefore, we are bleach' Nathan Explosion, Dethklok, from an episode in season 3, im not entirely sure which, the one when they all have to go to the doctors
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So this has been brought up in another thread and I think it's a worthwhile discussion to be had. There is quite possibly a higher ratio of males to females in Metal and fans of Metal. I don't have the figures but I would think so anyways. I think Metal fans are extremely brotherly and fraternal, even females if thats even possible. It does seem quite male i.e. if we're French I might say Le Metal rather than La. However, I don't see our awesome genre and it's fan base as because being chauvinistic beyond what might come naturally to a Viking... what are your thoughts?
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The first thing obvious once the quick picked strings of the intro subside is that there's an energy, a raw freshly unrestrained emotion to this sound.  As "Denial" jars and jolts its way through a varied and pacy five and a half minutes it is as instant on the senses as that first coffee of the morning or first beer of the weekend on a Friday night.  It's immediate without being overly accessible, memorable without being predictable and varied without being confusing.

 

Once "Solace" plonks you the roller coaster ride of its riffs and melodies you are soon yelling for more with your arms in the air as Kish's vocals provide that perfect blackened death narrative to proceedings.  There's so much flow to this track embracing the progressive tendencies of the performer whilst still showing the technical edge of their ability without it ever becoming boring or showy.

 

As the track closes in an almost psychedelic haze you are soon hauled back into the frenzied tremolo sound of the opening to "Hecatomb".   Showing an eloquence for pace, track four sees an acoustic interlude.  As the mid-track on the EP I at first found "Dawn" a little odd but as I have made repeat listens to the release it has grown on me significantly.  It offers a brief yet appropriate reprise for what's to come.

 

Both "Capture" and "Attrition" are strong finishers to the mini-release format Black Harvest have employed this time around.  The former track bleeds in nicely after the acoustic interlude with its underlying dark choral tones building the track perfectly as it gathers pace.  The same choral vocals return to haunt the end throes of the track setting up nicely the acoustic intro of the title track....
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