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Spirituality through music


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Music in general has an affect on the listener, tit has power to affect how you are feeling, and can be inspirational. The church was fearful of this and in old paintings you see the demons and music. In old pagan traditions music was poetic and skaldic. Metal especially is spiritual for me, it opens up passageways, and I also love when I make it.

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At 50 years old, metal has always been there for me. Fashions come and go but metal is just there, mutating, evolving like it itself is a living thing and in that way it is spiritual to me. I have a disorder called Schizoaffective (its like a mix of schizophrenia and bipolar) and when things get bad for me I can turn the 'spirit' that metal feeds me with into all sorts of things. For example, on a simple practical level, metal is meant to be loud and that very physical loudness can block out the voices I hear. Or maybe the raw aggression can fuel me into making it through the day but it is the spiritual, meditative feeling I get from playing metal in order to rest that helps me most of all. Simply, I feel calm when metal is playing and that allows me to sleep when all the meds in the world don;t help.

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1 hour ago, noblastbeats said:

At 50 years old, metal has always been there for me. Fashions come and go but metal is just there, mutating, evolving like it itself is a living thing and in that way it is spiritual to me. I have a disorder called Schizoaffective (its like a mix of schizophrenia and bipolar) and when things get bad for me I can turn the 'spirit' that metal feeds me with into all sorts of things. For example, on a simple practical level, metal is meant to be loud and that very physical loudness can block out the voices I hear. Or maybe the raw aggression can fuel me into making it through the day but it is the spiritual, meditative feeling I get from playing metal in order to rest that helps me most of all. Simply, I feel calm when metal is playing and that allows me to sleep when all the meds in the world don;t help.

I know what you mean about metal helping you with a disorder. I have anxiety disorder, I get panic attacks which are so mentally exhausting and painful. I would never take meds I absolutely hate them, but metal really brings you down to earth, gives you something to concentrate on and the lyrics can be so relatable. Spiritually, I have to say for me, Metal gives me more emotion and meaning in my life then any god ever could.  

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  • 7 months later...
On 7/30/2016 at 5:21 AM, RelentlessOblivion said:

I don't consider myself a spiritual person. That being said I can't deny there's something about music (or at least the music I enjoy) that is truly special. Music has helped me get through some very challenging times in my life. Times where I felt isolated and beyond depressed music was my only means of relief. It was a means of escaping that crushing loneliness and despair. If I'm to be very honest were it not for the way music impacts me I almost certainly would have committed suicide.

 

I suppose music is my spirituality. It is something I can turn to like others turn to their faith, family, or friends. Whether it be Vivaldi, Robert Johnson, Miles Davis, Pink Floyd, or Death I know music will always be there for me and it will continue influencing my life in a very profound way.

 

Very recently I've realised that sentiment is what drives me to keep playing my guitar. I hope that when I begin crafting my own music it impacts others in the same way.

Well put relentless oblivion. There have been times where my life has been complete hell due to few factors most recently a debilitating health condition. Heavy metal definitely helped me through the slow recovery period. One of my favourites was slows dantalion album as that one plunges you into the worst of how I felt. Sort of suffocated and crushed and the classic I wished I was dead. But metal made me feel better as it was the only music that expressed how I felt. The truest music for me. And Sort of knowing such lows were felt by others helped too. It's obvious but the mind plays tricks on you and the mind is not always logical. I heard some interesting stuff on the radio about this. Psychology well being program. 

Also oblivion howz the guitar going. Have you recorded anything and put it up for others to listen to. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 18/05/2020 at 4:12 PM, noblastbeats said:

At 50 years old, metal has always been there for me. Fashions come and go but metal is just there, mutating, evolving like it itself is a living thing and in that way it is spiritual to me. I have a disorder called Schizoaffective (its like a mix of schizophrenia and bipolar) and when things get bad for me I can turn the 'spirit' that metal feeds me with into all sorts of things. For example, on a simple practical level, metal is meant to be loud and that very physical loudness can block out the voices I hear. Or maybe the raw aggression can fuel me into making it through the day but it is the spiritual, meditative feeling I get from playing metal in order to rest that helps me most of all. Simply, I feel calm when metal is playing and that allows me to sleep when all the meds in the world don;t help.

I'm very pleased metal has helped no blast beats. Also it's great your stable too and added bonus that you don't need the meds. My cousin has condition similar to yours but he does need his medication. I won't go into specifics but he normally gets sectioned when he's been off them for a bit. Music definitely helps my cousin though. He's in to rap music. ?

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  • 8 months later...

Metal music alters the consciousness in a way that feels like an increase of power. The sense of increased power causes happiness (Sadness is the loss of power). This is all related to bestial instincts, primal life force, survival and procreation. Metal music induces a sense of domination so improves the mood. 

As for hate and negativity in metal music and as for life, it is ideal to obtain the ability to enjoy all emotions, to discover that negative emotions are desirable, the loss of power can be exquisite. 

NS black metal music has religious lyric, promoting belief in collective folk soul, yearning in the blood, racial destiny and romantic ideals. It's bullshit. 

Spirituality is religioun = garbage. Metal music is not spiritual. 

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Nokturnal Mortum & Emperor are the soundtrack to a lot of my life. I can't necessarily say that there's a spiritual component to the music, regardless of what the bands themselves might tell you (Nokturnal Mortum calling themselves "lunar pagan black metal" and whatnot over the years and Emperor being a "Satanic" band) but I have my own ideas on spirituality that I don't really like to get in to with people because it's an intensely personal thing and is too complicated for people to understand anyway.

Metal is just music to me. It's not some grand statement about life or politics (and I don't like music that tries to be that anyway). It's music that sounds good, that I like to listen to, that makes me feel good about myself and my life because it's been with me for so long now. The Rolling Stones had a song that went "It's only rock n roll but I like it" and that's the way I feel about the metal I listen to. It's music I listen to when I need a pick me up, am sitting around my house chilling out, am playing video games, whatever. It doesn't possess any greater significance to me beyond the fact that I like the way it sounds. Have I internalized some of it? Of course, but most people do this with their favorite songs.

Despite all of this, metal is something I take seriously. I buy a ridiculous amount of vinyl because I collect it and because vinyl strikes me as the best way to preserve music, to fund the bands I like, and I have something to show for it in return. My big project now is buying up bands that people want to "cancel" for whatever dumb reason-- they don't like the things they do in their live show, or the members of the band don't have the "proper beliefs" about politics or society (READ: shit that doesn't matter one iota)... so I make sure to purchase albums by these bands so that I can listen to their music before it's completely restricted by the authoritarian fascist global culture of "One world, One People" inclusive capitalism bullshit that we're rapidly moving into.

I'm well aware that somewhere within the next few years, that I will not be able to purchase albums by Burzum, Nokturnal Mortum, Marduk, or even Cannibal Corpse anymore (George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher and Cannibal Corpse are the most prominent band on the cancellation list right now based off of something he said ten years ago). We're moving toward a pretty shitty authoritarian monoculture that's going to make George Orwell spin in his grave and I want to make sure that I have access to my favorite artists before it gets to the point where their art is not allowed to be purchased or even owned anymore (because it's going to come to that point, but that's an entirely different conversation altogether). I am a person who deeply believes that I have the God-given right to enjoy any art that I please and that I don't have to justify my enjoyment of said art to a bunch of authoritarians who don't like something that the artist themselves may have said or "wrongthink/thoughtcrime" on part of the artist in question. I've been remarkably consistent on this since the time I was in junior high when Christofascists like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell sought to restrict my ability to access music by Slayer, Deicide, and Marilyn Manson as well as sought to restrict my access to certain content in movies, television shows and at the time, especially video games. Granted I do not watch many movies or much television anymore (and that's for a reason) but I still read books and listen to music almost all the time that I am not working & I am not going to be told by anyone what art I can and cannot enjoy for any reason.

So while my love of metal is not so much a spiritual thing, and although I view it as being "only rock n roll... and I like it", there is definitely a deeper-seated reason why I purchase and enjoy the music that I do; from Emperor, Nokturnal Mortum, and Burzum all the way to Neko Case, Neil Young, and John Coltrane.

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37 minutes ago, NokturnalBoredom said:

Nokturnal Mortum & Emperor are the soundtrack to a lot of my life. I can't necessarily say that there's a spiritual component to the music, regardless of what the bands themselves might tell you (Nokturnal Mortum calling themselves "lunar pagan black metal" and whatnot over the years and Emperor being a "Satanic" band) but I have my own ideas on spirituality that I don't really like to get in to with people because it's an intensely personal thing and is too complicated for people to understand anyway.

Metal is just music to me. It's not some grand statement about life or politics (and I don't like music that tries to be that anyway). It's music that sounds good, that I like to listen to, that makes me feel good about myself and my life because it's been with me for so long now. The Rolling Stones had a song that went "It's only rock n roll but I like it" and that's the way I feel about the metal I listen to. It's music I listen to when I need a pick me up, am sitting around my house chilling out, am playing video games, whatever. It doesn't possess any greater significance to me beyond the fact that I like the way it sounds. Have I internalized some of it? Of course, but most people do this with their favorite songs.

Despite all of this, metal is something I take seriously. I buy a ridiculous amount of vinyl because I collect it and because vinyl strikes me as the best way to preserve music, to fund the bands I like, and I have something to show for it in return. My big project now is buying up bands that people want to "cancel" for whatever dumb reason-- they don't like the things they do in their live show, or the members of the band don't have the "proper beliefs" about politics or society (READ: shit that doesn't matter one iota)... so I make sure to purchase albums by these bands so that I can listen to their music before it's completely restricted by the authoritarian fascist global culture of "One world, One People" inclusive capitalism bullshit that we're rapidly moving into.

I'm well aware that somewhere within the next few years, that I will not be able to purchase albums by Burzum, Nokturnal Mortum, Marduk, or even Cannibal Corpse anymore (George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher and Cannibal Corpse are the most prominent band on the cancellation list right now based off of something he said ten years ago). We're moving toward a pretty shitty authoritarian monoculture that's going to make George Orwell spin in his grave and I want to make sure that I have access to my favorite artists before it gets to the point where their art is not allowed to be purchased or even owned anymore (because it's going to come to that point, but that's an entirely different conversation altogether). I am a person who deeply believes that I have the God-given right to enjoy any art that I please and that I don't have to justify my enjoyment of said art to a bunch of authoritarians who don't like something that the artist themselves may have said or "wrongthink/thoughtcrime" on part of the artist in question. I've been remarkably consistent on this since the time I was in junior high when Christofascists like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell sought to restrict my ability to access music by Slayer, Deicide, and Marilyn Manson as well as sought to restrict my access to certain content in movies, television shows and at the time, especially video games. Granted I do not watch many movies or much television anymore (and that's for a reason) but I still read books and listen to music almost all the time that I am not working & I am not going to be told by anyone what art I can and cannot enjoy for any reason.

So while my love of metal is not so much a spiritual thing, and although I view it as being "only rock n roll... and I like it", there is definitely a deeper-seated reason why I purchase and enjoy the music that I do; from Emperor, Nokturnal Mortum, and Burzum all the way to Neko Case, Neil Young, and John Coltrane.

A few things.

First, we've been asking people to stay away from politics here for a while. I don't agree with you that they don't matter, I think a lot of political issues are vitally important, but internet political discussion has gotten so toxic and polarized lately that we don't have the time to mediate it. I don't like that situation a lot; an outright ban on political talk has created some stilted and distorted conversations on other forums I've been a part of. But a more open forum needs some community trust and self-moderation, and frankly enough people here are new enough that I don't quite trust any of you yet. I've had my fill of reading through shitty secondhand opinions about whatever culture war bullet-point is currently top of mind, and unfortunately my experience of letting it all go unchecked is that we wind up having to delete a bunch of disinformation and inflammatory bullshit and ban people who might have been cool to have around. 

This brings me to you. You've said over and over how much you hate politics in your music, want to get away from it, don't want to talk about your own opinions, etc, but you're the one bringing it up over and over in lots of threads without prompting. I don't think you're trolling but you definitely seem to have an ax to grind; it feels like you want to vent about politics without actually having a discussion. This post reads like a reply to GG's post in the Horna thread. And the thing is, if you're worried about rising authoritarianism leading to censorship, guess what... that's politics, baby. Authoritarianism is a huge problem around the world right now and it's getting worse. But kids getting shows shut down and people getting bent out of shape on Twitter is not authoritarianism. Banning certain books and discussion of certain subjects (some of which you might regard as "woke bullshit") in some states in the South and Midwest looks more like authoritarianism to me. The military killing protestors in Myanmar, the police killing drug suspects in the Philippines, the oppressive single-party religious states in the Middle East and some of Eastern Europe, the Russians installing black boxes in ISP offices to monitor and throttle the internet, the Chinese putting Uighurs in "reeducation camps" - that's authoritarianism. We have plenty of problems here but we're not there yet. The people drawing that connection here are using it as a scare tactic. It's the Red Scare all over again. It's had a foothold in this country for a really long time and I'm not surprised to see it keep coming up, but it's disappointing.

If you really feel like you need to get your hands on as much "objectionable" music as you can, just in case... more power to you, I guess? It's all pretty easy to find. I have yet to see anything just completely disappear from the internet. Especially not relatively popular bands like the ones you're talking about. All that kerfuffle a couple years ago about Dagon from Inquisition getting busted for child porn doesn't even rate a mention on their Wikipedia or Metallum pages. They put an album out last year. 

I'm not looking for a response from you or anyone else about any of this, but if you keep saying you don't want to talk about stuff and then you keep bringing it up, it's gonna keep happening. We ask people to leave politics at the door to avoid all the butthurt and food fights. Like I said before, help us help you.

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33 minutes ago, FatherAlabaster said:

I'm not looking for a response from you or anyone else about any of this,

Oh well :)

I hadn't noticed, didn't notice, any such requests to avoid politics. Maybe I'm blind, maybe I'm ignorant, but either way I'm going to thank you for it. It's a pleasure to read threads and posts and not have to skip heaps and heaps of political BS which given the smallest opportunity seeps into every thread at the drop of a hat. Sure one does not have to read such shit, but not having to skip it to find the posts worthy of reading is brilliant. Well done!

As far as spirituality in music goes I don't find it myself, but then I don't find anything particularly spiritual, however I certainly wouldn't think less of a person that does.  Music is music, if someone gets something more out of a song than I do, half their luck. Maybe they are more open minded than me, maybe they are easily lead and follow what others tell them, who cares. If it's good for you do it!

 

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We've had this same problem on a 13-man text thread group I've been a part of for several years now since a metal forum we were all on together for many years closed down. We've met up at a bunch of MDF's and other metal shows around the country and I've been to a bunch of these dudes' houses and met their families and stuff so our forum friendships have turned into real life friendships. We talk about mostly metal but we've all been friends so long now (about 12 or 13 years) that we talk about all kinds of other shit too. Over the last 18 months or so it's become pretty clear to us that we just can't discuss politics in that group setting because some of us can get quite passionate and things can get heated fast. Things kinda came to a head around the time of the Presidential election last year and several members of our merry group (from both the left and the right) have at various times during the past 12 months felt the need to take a break from the thread for days, weeks or even months due to questioning whether they really wanted to be a part of a group that includes people that see things so completely differently to themselves. In the end it seems like we are all still together (except for your old mod BAN who has been awol now for about 2 or 3 months, I hope he's OK) so I think we have mostly learned our lesson and we now realize that as important as these issues might be it's better to not discuss things of a political nature in the context of the larger group. We'll sometimes just text one another directly and have a one on one discussion about that kind of stuff which seems to work out better. I still get triggered occasionally when I scroll past some of their idiotic bullshit on FB but I just keep my big mouth shut and just scroll on by. I rarely go on FB anyway, I only made an account as a way to distribute news and pics of the boy to his rellies in NZ without having to contact them all directly one by one.

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10 hours ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

We've had this same problem on a 13-man text thread group I've been a part of for several years now since a metal forum we were all on together for many years closed down. We've met up at a bunch of MDF's and other metal shows around the country and I've been to a bunch of these dudes' houses and met their families and stuff so our forum friendships have turned into real life friendships. We talk about mostly metal but we've all been friends so long now (about 12 or 13 years) that we talk about all kinds of other shit too. Over the last 18 months or so it's become pretty clear to us that we just can't discuss politics in that group setting because some of us can get quite passionate and things can get heated fast. Things kinda came to a head around the time of the Presidential election last year and several members of our merry group (from both the left and the right) have at various times during the past 12 months felt the need to take a break from the thread for days, weeks or even months due to questioning whether they really wanted to be a part of a group that includes people that see things so completely differently to themselves. In the end it seems like we are all still together (except for your old mod BAN who has been awol now for about 2 or 3 months, I hope he's OK) so I think we have mostly learned our lesson and we now realize that as important as these issues might be it's better to not discuss things of a political nature in the context of the larger group. We'll sometimes just text one another directly and have a one on one discussion about that kind of stuff which seems to work out better. I still get triggered occasionally when I scroll past some of their idiotic bullshit on FB but I just keep my big mouth shut and just scroll on by. I rarely go on FB anyway, I only made an account as a way to distribute news and pics of the boy to his rellies in NZ without having to contact them all directly one by one.

I'm a little worried about BAN too, haven't heard from him in a while and he seemed pretty down the last time we got to chat. 

I'm super happy to be off of Facebook. I do miss seeing what my family and friends are up to but I'd rather talk to them one on one anyway. I feel like we have better communication that way. It's weird having a back-and-forth with people when you know that pretty much anyone can read it and jump in if they feel like. There's a lot of pressure to bring everything to the table fully formed, a lot less natural give and take or time for learning and reflection. Seems like it's crept into the way we think. 

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Texted him almost 3 hours ago but got no response. I know he's probably busy at work so I'll give him day or so. If you happen to hear from him could ya tell him Brian was asking about him and just lemme know that he's OK and just laying low or whatever? You never know with Jayke, could be phone issues or something stupid but he does seem to battle with bouts of depression and self doubt. When they've had a particularlly good band practice on a Sunday or if he's had a chance to spend some quality time with his girls seem like the only times he really sounds happy. 

I remember the time (3 years ago I think?) a bunch of us met up in Denver to go see The Chasm and he got so drunk that afternoon that he wouldn't leave Antonio (the drummer) alone at the merch table. Jayke was all up in his space, hanging all over him, telling him how much he loved their music in broken Spanglish. After about 10 or 15 minutes of this poor Antonio was waving us over, begging us to take our inebriated amigo away. We took him outside for some fresh air where he puked on my friend Bobby's shoes and ended up missing the whole show that he had driven 10 hours for. We did try to sober him up a bit because we knew that he had reeeally been stoked to see The Chasm (several of us had seen them previously) but ultimately we had to put him and his buddy who he had driven out with from SLC in an Uber and sent them back to Bobby's house for his unsuspecting gf to deal with (she thanked us the next morning) while the rest of us stayed to enjoy The Chasm's set. We busted his balls for months after that about his little tryst with Antonio Leon.

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2 minutes ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

Texted him almost 3 hours ago but got no response. I know he's probably busy at work so I'll give him day or so. If you happen to hear from him could ya tell him Brian was asking about him and just lemme know that he's OK and just laying low or whatever? You never know with Jayke, could be phone issues or something stupid but he does seem to battle with bouts of depression and self doubt. When they've had a particularlly good band practice on a Sunday or if he's had a chance to spend some quality time with his girls seem like the only times he really sounds happy. 

I remember the time (3 years ago I think?) a bunch of us met up in Denver to go see The Chasm and he got so drunk that afternoon that he wouldn't leave Antonio (the drummer) alone at the merch table. Jayke was all up in his space, hanging all over him, telling him how much he loved their music in broken Spanglish. After about 10 or 15 minutes of this poor Antonio was waving us over, begging us to take our inebriated amigo away. We took him outside for some fresh air where he puked on my friend Bobby's shoes and ended up missing the whole show that he had driven 10 hours for. We did try to sober him up a bit because we knew that he had reeeally been stoked to see The Chasm (several of us had seen them previously) but ultimately we had to put him and his buddy who he had driven out with from SLC in an Uber and sent them back to Bobby's house for his unsuspecting gf to deal with (she thanked us the next morning) while the rest of us stayed to enjoy The Chasm's set. We busted his balls for months after that about his little tryst with Antonio Leon.

Ah man, that's hilarious. Good to hear some BAN stories. I've seen pictures of your group, always wished I could have made it out to an MDF to say hi. I just heard back from him and he says he's doing alright. Would be great to have him swing by here again.

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21 hours ago, FatherAlabaster said:

If you really feel like you need to get your hands on as much "objectionable" music as you can, just in case... more power to you, I guess? It's all pretty easy to find. I have yet to see anything just completely disappear from the internet. Especially not relatively popular bands like the ones you're talking about. All that kerfuffle a couple years ago about Dagon from Inquisition getting busted for child porn doesn't even rate a mention on their Wikipedia or Metallum pages. They put an album out last year. 

It's been that way with music since I was a literal child. When Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell tried to have Slayer, Deicide, and Marilyn Manson banned, that made me want to go out and get their records even more (and I did). It's called the "Streisand Effect"... when someone does not want me having something, I want that something that much more and I will get that something. I do not want it in "MP3 files", I want it in physical media and I want it specifically because people whom I do not respect do not want me to have it. I buy it specifically because they do not want the artist making money off of it, and as an artist myself, I want to be able to continue to make money off of my shitty little woodburnings that I make.

I would have been the same way had I been old enough in the 80s with the Parents Music Resource Council. When you tell me that you do not want me to listen to something, to watch it, or read it, I make sure that I do so because I know that when people find something "objectionable" that it has something worthwhile to say most of the time. When they tried to ban 1984 from my school library when I was in junior high, I just went and bought a copy at the local family owned bookstore. When George Bush and Clear Channel said that nobody was allowed to play Rage Against the Machine on the radio after 9/11, I immediately went out and spent money on every one of their albums that I could and played them publicly over my ham radio setup that I used to have because fuck censorship.

I do the same thing now that I buy and sell vinyl because I know that "objectionable" material has a market value because there are tens of thousands of other people just like me who are free speech and free expression absolutists who want to get their hands on this stuff and we aren't going to let a bunch of petty tyrants, be they woke morons or religious fundamentalists, tell us what media we can and cannot consume.

Now the albums that came in the mail today, are any of them patently "objectionable"? It could be argued by some that the Graveland album is, but I don't only buy objectionable material to stock my store. I buy everything. Like I am playing an amazing album by a blackthrash band called Witchtrap right now that's from Colombia (check them out, they rule) and of course, if the right kind of people knew that their lyrics dealt with satan, witchery, etc they would have something to say about it but nobody really cares about what the religious fundamentalists have to say anymore. The people with the cultural ascendancy to get media banned are on the opposite pole of that, and they have to be resisted just the same.

Free speech, free expression (especially in the arts) and the right to access whatever media I deem worthwhile are fundamental rights that I care about. Come to think of it, they're really the only thing I care about because I realized long ago that there is absolutely nothing that I can do to "Change The World™" or "Make a Positive Impact©". Years of listening to guys like Noam Chomsky, Russell Brand, and Adam Curtis have taught me that the situation is pretty much hopeless and that none of the shit that people says matters, actually matters because it's all a big distraction and you're getting the same system regardless of who or what you vote for because people are too weak, comfortable and ultimately cowardly to actually rise up and take the global system of government on that's on it's way in. So since I cannot change anything, I can at the very least, hook people up with music that might be difficult for them to get their hands on otherwise.

Music unites all peoples. It's my goal to continue to get amazing music into people's hands regardless of whether so-called "authority" figures have a problem with it or not.

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  • 2 months later...

After listening to the latest metal acquisition a few times dissatisfaction returns, a yearning for new sounds brings a state of dissatisfaction, fantasies about how awesome it would be to own what ever other albums, band discographies on whatever media occupy daydreams. The irritation grows until another purchase is made and a few moments of satisfaction and relief is gained. 

This is very much spirituality. Reading the next book that will get you to that imaginary state, feeling high while reading the book, coming down once finishing it. Spiritual retreats, religious events, meditation practices, every high being followed by that same old emptiness, the next purchase will bring me permanent enlightenment though right? 

How cool would it be to fly overseas, sit on a beach and drink martinis? This would really make my life worth living. 

 

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      Notable addition to the ranks for the current throng of releases is former Machine Head sticksman, Dave McClean.  Love or hate Machine Head, McClean is a more than capable drummer and his presence here is felt from the off with the opening and title track kicking things off with some real gusto.  'Divide & Conquer' and 'Salvation' muddle along nicely, never quite reaching any quality that would make my balls tingle but comfortable enough.  The looming build to 'Manifest Reality' delivers a real punch when the song starts proper.  Frenzied riffs and drums with shots of lead work to hold the interest.


      There's a problem already though (I know, I am such a fucking mood hoover).  I don't like Phil's vocals.  I never had if I am being honest.  The aggression to them seems a little forced even when they are at their best on tracks like 'Manifest Reality'.  When he tries to sing it just feels weak though ('Salvation') and tracks lose real punch.  Give him a riffy number such as 'Killing Machine' and he is fine with the Reich engine (probably a poor choice of phrase) up in sixth gear.  For every thrashy riff there's a fair share of rock edged, local bar act rhythm aplenty too.

      Let's not poo-poo proceedings though, because overall I actually enjoy "Awakening".  It is stacked full of catchy riffs that are sticky on the old ears.  Whilst not as raw as perhaps the - brilliant - artwork suggests with its black and white, tattoo flash sheet style design it is enjoyable enough.  Yes, 'Death Valley' & 'Something to Believe' have no place here, saved only by Arnett and Radziwill's lead work but 'Revolution' is a fucking 80's thrash heyday throwback to the extent that if you turn the TV on during it you might catch a new episode of Cheers!

      3/5
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    • https://www.metalforum.com/blogs/entry/52-vltimas-something-wicked-marches-in/
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    • https://www.metalforum.com/blogs/entry/48-candlemass-the-door-to-doom/
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    • Full length number 19 from overkill certainly makes a splash in the energy stakes, I mean there's some modern thrash bands that are a good two decades younger than Overkill who can only hope to achieve the levels of spunk that New Jersey's finest produce here.  That in itself is an achievement, for a band of Overkill's stature and reputation to be able to still sound relevant four decades into their career is no mean feat.  Even in the albums weaker moments it never gets redundant and the energy levels remain high.  There's a real sense of a band in a state of some renewed vigour, helped in no small part by the addition of Jason Bittner on drums.  The former Flotsam & Jetsam skinsman is nothing short of superb throughout "The Wings of War" and seems to have squeezed a little extra out of the rest of his peers.

      The album kicks of with a great build to opening track "Last Man Standing" and for the first 4 tracks of the album the Overkill crew stomp, bash and groove their way to a solid level of consistency.  The lead work is of particular note and Blitz sounds as sneery and scathing as ever.  The album is well produced and mixed too with all parts of the thrash machine audible as the five piece hammer away at your skull with the usual blend of chugging riffs and infectious anthems.  


      There are weak moments as mentioned but they are more a victim of how good the strong tracks are.  In it's own right "Distortion" is a solid enough - if not slightly varied a journey from the last offering - but it just doesn't stand up well against a "Bat Shit Crazy" or a "Head of a Pin".  As the album draws to a close you get the increasing impression that the last few tracks are rescued really by some great solos and stomping skin work which is a shame because trimming of a couple of tracks may have made this less obvious. 

      4/5
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