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One of my favourite urban myths is that you will go blind if you masterbate too much you will go blind.  Listening to Portal might make you go blind as you ears frantically take resource from your brain that was needed for mundane tasks such as vision and bladder control as they try to cope with the relentless auditory assault of "ION", however pulling your pud won't affect your eyesight boys.  Science bit over, on with the review.

"ION" seems instantly more refined than previous outings.  Don't get me wrong here, there's no slick production values been applied and there isn't any venture into clean vocals for example.  It just seems that this time around things are more calculated.  "Phreqs" is like being attacked by a swarm of wasps, as chaotic as it seems there's some well thought out structure to the attack to maximise the impact.  One of the only criticisms I could draw against Portal of old was that sometimes the mental factor was up over 11 and things did tend to get lost.  "Vexovoid" remedied this a lot with its more "Horror" approach and "ION" seems to take that on a notch further combining dark alchemy and atmospheres perfectly.  The build of "Crone" for example is full of creeping dread and menace, finally arriving and proving to be as ghastly as I had hoped it would.

For all the scientific intimation of the cover things are still more on the experimental as opposed to technical side of death metal.  There's still that pit of the stomach sensation of being dragged into some fathomless void by the spiralling darkness of those fucking guitars and the taunting evil of those drums - they are not just about all out assault folks.  The layers do genuinely seem to be being applied with more structure this time around and the instrumentation is used better than ever to produce real atmosphere.  Favourite release of 2018 so far.

5 horns out 5

 
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Fucking hell.  Where to start really?

Nu-metal is apparently alive and well in 2018 and I don't like Nu-Metal, so the prospects for positive words in this review are slim.  It is not that I don't like Machine Head.  I mean I am not one of the mindless internet troll brigade who respond to every release with "These guys made "Burn My Eyes" and listen to this!".  Get over it bell ends, there's no more "Burn My Eyes" nor is there anymore "The Blackening" left to come.  Whilst I will openly admit to enjoying most releases since "The Blackening" there is no denying that the sound of MH has become increasingly diluted over the albums since their "comeback".  "Catharsis" is the end point for me.  It is so diluted it is like wearing my once dark black hoodie after it has been bleach hand washed and then boil washed - it kind of has lost all substance.

The rapping is back, as if the first time round wasn't enough of a fucking car crash.  "Triple Beam" is without doubt one of the worst pieces of "music" I have ever heard.  When we aren't being treated to poor attempts at lyrical rhyming we are drowning in dreamy, hazy clean vocals that seem to be aiming (yes actually aiming) for harmony.  Yep, there's some catchy riffs but who fucking cares if you have to drink from the toilet to realise all you'll ever find in there is shit?

Why this all has to go on for 15 tracks is a mystery?  I'll be honest, the skip button got used at least 13 times in writing this review.  For all the (frankly excessive) marketing that has been done for "Catharsis" I don't think I could feel anymore of an anti-climax.  Robb Flynn is all over every mag cover, web and video interview defending "Catharsis" and that's his entitlement, he didn't write any of this for me.  It is still terrible though.

0 horns out of 5

 
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Watain's last album "The Wild Hunt" got slated on one internet review for being "Nu-Dark Funeral with the heart of Bon Jovi".  Whilst a certain amount of butthurt contributed the scribe of aforementioned review choosing such a frankly ridiculous statement, it was unfortunately indicative of the direction change of the album that saw the raw and ferocious nature of the band be trimmed back to make way for more melodic, progressive and accessible aspects.

"Trident Wolf Eclipse" is a return to that more traditional sound.  Although melody is obvious throughout, it is more restrained.  We have more Gorgoroth here than we do Bon Jovi that's for sure.  No wheels are reinvented on Watain's sixth studio album.  It is pretty standard BM fare, full of raw production values, tremolo leads and drums that can peel flesh from faces.  You won't find a lot here that hasn't been done by Watain before but then again the fan base has been crying out for a return that more "underground" sound for four years plus now.  As opposed to innovation let's just look at this albums raison d'etre as being to rectify the imbalance in their discography.

Even the album is more BM than your average Bandcamp BM demo release nowadays.  Straight out of a 13 year old boy's maths jotter who gave up on trigonometry weeks ago.  So, depending on whether the kvlt legions of troo black metal want to put their sacrificial goat carcasses down for long enough to give them a chance, Watain are back.  Average at best, but back at least.

3 horns out of 5. 
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Two album reviews in one day today.  Boy, will I sleep tonight.  Although perhaps not as easily as I might think.  "X - Varg Utan Flock" has a bit flustered, a bit confused yet in a good way - like when I saw a magician at my friend's wedding and he wasn't just counting cards even though he didn't walk through a wall either.

Shining's latest album twists and turns as it unfolds in front of you like some venomous snake.  Depressive tone? Tick.  Demented vocals? Check!  Sad piano track?  That's a roger sir!  All the stuff you expect to hear assisted by the usual clean and full production job we've all come to expect.  "Han Som Lurar Inom" reverberates though your actual soul as it lurches through eight mins plus of spat lyrics, Behemoth like riffs and hazy reprises.

The classical keys of "Tolvtusenfyrtioett" are actually hauntingly beautiful and the bonkers vocal cabaret of "Gyllene Portarnas Bro" make it sound like a pisstake Eurovision Song Contest entry.  Unfortunately it is this varied nature to proceedings that does become a little off putting on repeated listens.  The latter mentioned track actually is more than a little awkward and closing track "Mot Aokighara" strays close to similar territory before a change of pace rescues it and takes it off in a much stronger direction.

Crooning aside, there's still lots to like on "X - Varg Utan Flock" and there's evidence of some strong songwriting skills and instrumentation prowess also.  It might not all fit together perfectly but what is pieced together well is really solid.

3 horns out 5.
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After two singles – 2014’s poppy “inner Enemy” and the somewhat more straight-laced “The Promise” in 2016 – Swedish progressive metal maestros Seventh Wonder have recently announced their new album “Tiara”. The release is being mixed by Oyvind Larsen, the man responsible for mixing on the already-mentioned singles. The album has undergone mastering by Jens Bogren at Fascination Studios. Bogren has previously worked with other progressive metal stalwarts such as James Labrie, Katatonia, Opeth and Symphony X. ( Frontiers Records will oversee the worldwide release of the 13-track concept album, including as a double LP.

The band used the following lyrics in their promotion:

“’We've watched you since the dawn of time,
with every moment gone by.
A million suns fade and die,
this is the end?’
Beware, for they're coming..!”

These are presumably an allusion to alien forces, given the cosmic imagery. The precedent for a concept album about exists in the band’s widely-lauded “Mercy Falls”, and more within melodic progressive metal more generally, perhaps most notably in Evergrey’s “In Search of Truth”, which also concerned aliens and isolation. Musically it’s very much in keeping with the band’s tradition. From the promo, the work sounds rather more like “Mercy Falls” than the preceding “The Great Escape”. It’s less melodic (of course this should be taken with a grain of salt given the general character of their oeuvre) but slightly darker than their previous work.

From the musicianship I trust this will work; Anubis Gate attempted this in 2017 and failed, as did Adagio who despite employing the preeminent “dark prog” master Kelly Carpenter (Beyond Twilight, Darkology, Epysode, Outworld, Zierler) dropped their neoclassical edge and therefore their unique appeal. If anything it sounds like SW might be making the opposite ‘mistake’, but their style is developed enough that for them churning out the same stuff would be at least to my ears an entirely acceptable route.

The tracklist is unknown, but Seventh Wonder’s promo video can be found here:

 
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I call false album title.  There's no doom on here folks.  Any flare-wearing readers can stand down at this point of the review.  I imagine the doom aspect of the title refers to the medieval threat of some Tolkien inspired fictitious army that Summoning have kindly recorded a soundtrack for.  If you are familiar with Summoning there's little in the way of anything new here as the Austrians again bring their own brand of epic/atmospheric black metal to 2018.  I would be interested to know what @Requiem makes of it of course as I imagine this album could accompany many night of his sat at home alone playing Warhammer.  

The problem I have with "With Doom We Come" is that it doesn't really "go" anywhere.  It could quite easily all be one track with seven pauses given the sound and structure varies very little from track to track.  That is not to say it is a bad album, it just drips into the water without ever making a real "splosh" at any point.  There's the usual gruff vocal style and occasional chanting over keys galore whilst the guitar just sits in the corner with a tea and some crossword books to bide the time one presumes.

Sarcasm aside, fans of the band will like this albeit without any truly remarkable moments to cement it is a stand out album.  Usually, I can't sit and listen to Summoning without doing something else and this made a great accompaniment to some shelves I hung this morning, very rousing at times to the point of making me forget about my hangover altogether.  The atmospheric magic never really finds any identifiable peak though, beautiful though the record is at times nothing really stands out overall.

2.5 Horns out of 5 
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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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6b-RHUWG_ac
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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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