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Dark Angel - Darkness Descends (1986)

I discovered this band with We have Arrived. A mate sold me the LP because he didn't like it and I have to say I didn't listen to it very often.

The name of the album struck me: OK, you've arrived, but compared to Slayer or the German scene, what exactly do you bring to the table? When I listened to it, I didn't find the album really exciting, apart from a few tracks. I still don't.

In fact, I skipped Darkness Descends in 1986. And then that year I was so into Ozzy's The Ultimate Sin, Reign in Blood and Master of Puppets that I inevitably missed out on a lot of good albums. Plus, I didn't have much money.

In 1989 Leave Scars came out. I decided to give the band another chance. My first impressions were disastrous. I found the sound muddled and the band a little too chaotic. I left the album aside, like We Have Arrived.

In 1991, it was (finally) a revelation: Time does not Heal! 246 sick riffs, a Thrash less virulent than on Leave Scars but that I found much better mastered. For me, the perfect album in its genre.

A few years later, I went back to Leave Scars and started listening to it over and over again. Its unhealthy side hadn't jumped out at me before, but now I feel it on every track, and it makes the music that much creepier, but very interesting. And the madness on No One Answer!

Now I'm thinking it's about time I started listening to Darkness Descends! And that's what I did for weeks, listening to nothing but Darkness Descends.

As far as the vocals are concerned, I'm more a fan of Ron Rinehart than Don Doty, but I have to admit that Darkness Descends has a huge impact on the album and his vocals fit in perfectly.

We have Arrived on the other hand... No, not yet.

 

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8 hours ago, Thatguy said:

DESOLATE SHRINE - Fires of the Dying World   ok, maybe

TARDIGRADA - Vom Bruch bis zur Freiheit   yes

NP - KATATONIA - Sky Void of Stars   oh no no no

 

2 hours ago, Arioch said:

I love this old thrash album...if you put aside the vocals, which may put you off (because of their originality, just like Vio-Lence's)

So tell me Ari, how do you just "put aside" the vocals? Do you have a special secret proprietary method you use to tune them out? Because I have always been unable to simply ignore some dude screeching at me and pretend like he's not even there. There were a lot of bands like this for me back in the 80's, Vio-lence being a perfect example, I cannot listen to them at all solely because of the vox.

This album is driving me nuts because I know these vocals sound exactly like some other German (I think) vocalist from my past but I can't seem to remember who it is. Maybe it's the first Helloween guy? Iron Angel perhaps? I'm not sure. Weird, because it turns out these dudes are from Chicago, not Germany. After a couple of songs though, I think this dude's vocals are far more tolerable than the dude from Vio-lence. Cool find. Unfortunately, I'm not currently in the market for any mid-80's thrash albums with screeching vocals I might have missed. Probably would have dug this if I'd heard it in 1987 though. I feel like I've heard this track 6 Sudden Death song before, is this a cover?

I was also reading your Dark Angel post about how you bought all those albums as they came out back in the 80's, and I can't help but wonder if under the hat and behind the mask are you actually un vieillard like me? Most of our MF brethren here were little kids or adolescents in 1986. Some of them were still pooping in their diapers, and a handful weren't even born yet.

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So tell me Ari, how do you just "put aside" the vocals? Do you have a special secret proprietary method you use to tune them out?

 

So maybe "putting the voice aside" is a French expression for "not paying attention to the voice", I'm not sure. But that's what I manage to do with certain albums where I hate the voice. But if I like the music, I manage to 'ignore' the vocals and focus on the music. And generally, I end up getting used to the voice, which is then no longer a problem.

 

Quote

This album is driving me nuts because I know these vocals sound exactly like some other German (I think) vocalist from my past but I can't seem to remember who it is. Maybe it's the first Helloween guy? Iron Angel perhaps? I'm not sure.

 

I think you're referring to the singer of Living Death, aren't you?

 

Quote

I feel like I've heard this track 6 Sudden Death song before, is this a cover?

 

I think it's an original song by the band and not a cover version.

 

Quote

I was also reading your Dark Angel post about how you bought all those albums as they came out back in the 80's, and I can't help but wonder if under the hat and behind the mask are you actually un vieillard like me? Most of our MF brethren here were little kids or adolescents in 1986. Some of them were still pooping in their diapers, and a handful weren't even born yet.

 

🤣 I was born in 1969 and until 1984 I didn't listen to music. Or just crap on the radio.

In the summer of 1984, one of my father's colleagues came to work at home. When he heard the crap I was listening to, he told me about the music he listened to. It was hard rock.

He offered to record some of his favourite bands on an audio cassette, so I agreed, and a few days later I got the cassette and discovered a lot of songs I'd never imagined possible: screaming singers, the sound of guitars.

Problem: as he didn't know if I'd like it, he'd forgotten to mention the names of the artists and the tracks. 😐 Eventually, I was able to put a name to the tracks. There was Maiden's Run to the Hills, Rush's The Villa Strangiato and The Trees, Led Zeppelin's Black Dog, ZZ Top's Gimme some Lovin', and a whole host of others that unfortunately I've never been able to identify. I never met this person again.

Next year, I'll be listening to metal for 40 years! 🤘🏻😎🤘🏻

Exhorder - The Law (1992)

 

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45 minutes ago, JamesT said:

Candlemass - "Nightfall"

Absolute perfection.  Nothing more can be said of this epic doom classic.

If they would have kept Johan on from the first album this could have been in contention for their best album. I know there are some people who do actually prefer Messiah, but that's just crazy talk. Still a great album obviously, but it has to stand behind Epicus. 

 

Korgonthurus - Jumalhaaska, Finland

 

Délétère - Songes d'une Nuit Souillée, Quebec

 

2 hours ago, Nasty_Cabbage said:

Ildskaer - Blod & Jern

Cover art got me with this one. It's not bad, but certainly nothing special. I was also expecting something a little more raw. Oh well. It was worth a listen nonetheless.

My thoughts exactly. 

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Re Nightfall I think there’s an argument that it would have been improved with the original vocalist, equally you could make a case. The more dramatic vocals of Messiah are a better fit for the music. I think both the debut and nightfall are exceptional albums and I really can’t choose a favourite out of the two.

 

NP: Candlemass - EDM

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43 minutes ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

If they would have kept Johan on from the first album this could have been in contention for their best album. I know there are some people who do actually prefer Messiah, but that's just crazy talk. Still a great album obviously, but it has to stand behind Epicus. 

 

EDM is the better album for sure. I almost can't compare Candlemass with Marcolin to Candlemass with Johan. They just feel like two different bands. Such a shame they weren't able to get back in contact with Johan again until much later, after the failed experiment with Rob Lowe. I'm also one of those weirdos who thinks the self-titled with Marconlin is worthy of standing with their classics even if Marcolin was kind of a grouchy dough-boy by that point.

 

NP: Hanging Fortress - Suspended in Torment

Suspended In Torment | Hanging Fortress | Life After Death (bandcamp.com)

a1945280840_10.jpg

It's okay. Probably about the same quality as a middling Cannibal Corpse album. Not a whole lot of flash or gimmicky stuff, but very workmanlike 'get the job done' type of death metal.

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3 hours ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

If they would have kept Johan on from the first album this could have been in contention for their best album. I know there are some people who do actually prefer Messiah, but that's just crazy talk. Still a great album obviously, but it has to stand behind Epicus. 

 

Korgonthurus - Jumalhaaska, Finland

 

Délétère - Songes d'une Nuit Souillée, Quebec

 

My thoughts exactly. 

Candlemass - "Nightfall"

Absolute perfection.  Nothing more can be said of this epic doom classic.

"If they would have kept Johan on from the first album this could have been in contention for their best album. I know there are some people who do actually prefer Messiah, but that's just crazy talk. Still a great album obviously, but it has to stand behind Epicus."

I can completely understand where you're coming from, Mr. GG!  I enjoy both singers equally, so it's a win-win for me as a huge fan!  The debut is absolutely incredible.  I'd have it ranked #3 in the catalog, only behind my #2 "Nightfall", and my top Candlemass album, "Ancient Dreams".  Really psyched to have Johan back in the band, though!  "The Door to Doom" and "Sweet Evil Sun" would both rank in the top half of the discography for me.

"EDM is the better album for sure. I almost can't compare Candlemass with Marcolin to Candlemass with Johan. They just feel like two different bands. Such a shame they weren't able to get back in contact with Johan again until much later, after the failed experiment with Rob Lowe. I'm also one of those weirdos who thinks the self-titled with Marconlin is worthy of standing with their classics even if Marcolin was kind of a grouchy dough-boy by that point."

The self-titled album is another great release!  It's moved a bit down my list since it first came out, but only because the whole catalog is so good.  The Robert Lowe era is fantastic to my ears.  "King of the Grey Islands" is in my top 5 Candlemass albums.  His voice is perfect for the doom sound.  Out of curiosity, what was it about the Lowe era that you disliked?

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Even I thought Rob Lowe was a pretty good fit vocally with Candlemass. I mean the dude's the next best thing to RJ Dio, and we know all the mainstreamers wet themselves over his voice. I enjoy Death Magic Doom all the way through quite a bit as well as several songs off KotGI. Almost embarrassed to say I just found out tonight he also sung on another Candlemass album called Psalms for the Dead (2012) which I had never heard until just now. Didn't know if I was really in the mood for this when I clicked on it, but the first track Prophet is sounduing pretty damn good. So now I'm awaiting Cabbage's reply to see what he meant by "failed experiment."

Strangely, I haven't yet heard the two new Längqvist albums either, probably in part because I love his performance on the first album so much, I'm afraid he will let me down just because he's only two years younger than me, so I figure how good could his voice still be at my advanced age? Cuz I mean Hetfield's also 2 years younger than me, and look what's happened to his voice. Very sad. 😢

 

Candlemass - Psalms for the Dead

 

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7 hours ago, JamesT said:

The self-titled album is another great release!  It's moved a bit down my list since it first came out, but only because the whole catalog is so good.  The Robert Lowe era is fantastic to my ears.  "King of the Grey Islands" is in my top 5 Candlemass albums.  His voice is perfect for the doom sound.  Out of curiosity, what was it about the Lowe era that you disliked?

I didn't dislike Lowe per se. He even fits very well with Candlemass on some songs. Solitude Aeturnus being what they are, he's not really required to do much on most of the songs I hear with him. His vocals, even though he has a very distinct voice, are absolutely drenched in echo and poor double tracking. This can be used effectively, which is the reason I actually really like Into The Depths of Sorrow, but put him on a release like Grey Islands where he's periodically asked to carry the central melody on his own you realize his range really isn't all that great. It seems like he's all upper octave breathiness with no real diaphragm behind it at all. Put him on a raw point in a track and he sounds a little lost to me.

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3 hours ago, Nasty_Cabbage said:

I didn't dislike Lowe per se. He even fits very well with Candlemass on some songs. Solitude Aeturnus being what they are, he's not really required to do much on most of the songs I hear with him. His vocals, even though he has a very distinct voice, are absolutely drenched in echo and poor double tracking. This can be used effectively, which is the reason I actually really like Into The Depths of Sorrow, but put him on a release like Grey Islands where he's periodically asked to carry the central melody on his own you realize his range really isn't all that great. It seems like he's all upper octave breathiness with no real diaphragm behind it at all. Put him on a raw point in a track and he sounds a little lost to me.

Upper octave breathines, eh? No range, no diaphragm, lost you say? Remind me to not be around that day when you dissect my singing voice. As you might've imagined it's not very good. Rob makes me sound ike an amateur. I bet even our own JT could sing rings around me. I know he likes to belt 'em out in the car on the way to and from work, it's probably the only time he gets to be alone.

 

Windhand - Eternal Return, 2018 Richmond VA. Alright now Cabbage, Rob Lowe is one thing, and you can say whatever you want about me. But don't go disrespecting my girl Dorthia here's voice or we'll have to fight. Allow me the fantasy that I enjoy it and it fits the music perfectly without analyzing her diaphragm or her pipes. I love this album, so let's keep it that way. The aural equivalent of Saturday morning comfort food, like a chorizo & egg burrito from the Quick Check. It may not be techically impressive, but sometimes that little burrito hits the spot and it's all you want.

 

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2 hours ago, FatherAlabaster said:

Deathspell Omega - The Long Defeat

on headphones to drown out an episode of "Blue's Clues" from sometime during their failed experiment with the Joe character

I have nothing but admiration for parents. Every time I end up in a situation where I have to watch my nieces or nephews for any amount of time I usually end up having to see some form of children's television, and it leaves me completely dumbstruck with just how insufferable it is. It's one of those weird realization moments where you figure out the real reason certain rules were installed in your upbringing. My parents telling me that pro wrestling or the power rangers were forbidden had exactly dick to do with them being "based in violence" as they said, and was more about those things being unconscionably obnoxious and annoying. The only one I actually think I should have been allowed was the old nineties Batman cartoon. Outside of that, I think I pretty much understand now that too much exposure to that stuff would have lead to taking a baseball bat to the TV. 

That DSO album was well below the standard of quality I expected from them.

4 hours ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

Upper octave breathines, eh? No range, no diaphragm, lost you say? Remind me to not be around that day when you dissect my singing voice. As you might've imagined it's not very good. Rob makes me sound ike an amateur. I bet even our own JT could sing rings around me. I know he likes to belt 'em out in the car on the way to and from work, it's probably the only time he gets to be alone.

 

Windhand - Eternal Return, 2018 Richmond VA. Alright now Cabbage, Rob Lowe is one thing, and you can say whatever you want about me. But don't go disrespecting my girl Dorthia here's voice or we'll have to fight. Allow me the fantasy that I enjoy it and it fits the music perfectly without analyzing her diaphragm or her pipes. I love this album, so let's keep it that way. The aural equivalent of Saturday morning comfort food, like a chorizo & egg burrito from the Quick Check. It may not be techically impressive, but sometimes that little burrito hits the spot and it's all you want.

 

I wouldn't spoil your fun with Windhand. They're fairly solid. Again, though Lowe's vocals have a ton of personality to them, he just doesn't really fit into Candlemass all that well. I'd put his completion rate at just below 40% with them. As an example I'd say that Eric Adams vocals also have a ton of personality and very good vocal form, but I sure as hell wouldn't want him in Candlemass. It's just a different skill set from what the band really requires.

I'm no vocal virtuoso myself so I wouldn't worry about that.

NP: Mongreth - Horrific Barbaric Atrocities

▶︎ Horrific Barbaric Atrocities | Mongreth | Depressive Illusions Records (bandcamp.com)

a0008186574_10.jpg

Nice little snack sized black metal EP.

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You just have to find the right kids tv shows and they are as enjoyable as any adults TV shows. In Australia we've had a number of greats dating back to the 80's with Shirl's Neighbourhood (with the lead signer of Skyhooks as host). In the 90's we had the Ferals with Ratus P Ratus and his fart machine. In the 00's sometime there was a British show call In The Night Garden which had a farting flying machine and a little dude that walked around polishing is his stones. Then in 10's we got Bluey who has taken over the world now they've sold to Disney. Then of course there is the Teletubbies, shit there is not a better show in the world to watch stoned with mates. You just have to be able to get in the right mindset to watch kids shows and you can have more fun than the kids!

 

I don't think my two are going to have kids of their own, at least not for a while, but fuck I hope they do so I can sit down and watch tv with them when they are really young!

 

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NP: Virulent Specter - Satanic Territorial Moloch

▶︎ Satanic Territorial Moloch | Virulent Specter | Eerie Silence productions (bandcamp.com)

a2449069298_10.jpg

Here we go. It's the first significantly snowy day we've had, so the raw stuff seems very fitting. I think these guys/this dude (the archives has no listed members so a one man band is a pretty safe bet) are on the right track with this sound. Music made for cellar dwelling anti social neurotics such as myself should probably be made by people who sound like they venture outside around once per presidency. 

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