It wasn’t long ago that I was pondering the history of my Metal Monday column, and just how long it had been since its inception. July 20, 2009. Almost three and a half years ago; my how time flies. At this juncture, it’s time for me to bid all of you faithful readers adieu in this post, my last post for the OurStage magazine. Listen, it’s not you… it’s me. Y’all should keep on being your awesome selves and keep up on the latest happenings here on the OurSage Magazine (you’re in good hands). As a bit of a going-away present, though, I’ve compiled some of my favorite metal jams I’ve found on OurStage over the years into a playlist for you. Even I was surprised with just how many gems I have accumulated over the years and I’m more than happy to share them with you one last time, especially for those of you who are newer readers. Enough babbling, though, it’s time to shred. (more…)
Not that OurStage metal acts are dormant during any particular time of year, but summer seems to be especially lively for new releases. Metalcore seems to be the hot style of metal midway through 2012 with new music from OurStage veterans Danforth, A Wanted Awakening, and Hearts Alive. I’ve heard all three of these albums, each of them are a different style of metalcore.
Hearts Alive’s latest full length album, He Who Has the Gold Makes All the Rules came out at the end of April and, unfortunately, I’m just now getting around to hearing it (sorry, everyone). The good news is that this album is both rad and a solid effort. Mixing the heard-hitting onslaught of Disfear with the triumphant guitar work of At The Gates, fellow Swedes Hearts Alive create one fantastically aggressive metalcore album with a slight lean toward the more hardcore side of things. Fun fact: Disfear and At The Gates have the same vocalist, Tomas Lindberg, who is also featured on He Who Has the Gold Makes All the Rules. From front to back, He Who Has the Gold Makes All the Rules is a great listen, one that will surely get your limbs moving in the pit. You can buy it here, or just check it out on Spotify if you like.
I’ve been writing this metal column for a while now (about two and a half years), and in that time I’ve covered some pretty fantastic OurStage bands. From the former Darkest Hour guitarist Kris Norris to completely undiscovered gems like WoodHaven to Parisian street hardcore acts Danforth, there has been quite a spread of talent, and many of these acts are still going strong. If you have been a longtime reader, then you might remember some of these acts and wonder where they are now”good thing for you that I’m here to tell you just that. Let’s cover some of the awesome new happenings of some of OurStage’s seasoned metal pros.
The riff. All of the greatest rock songs are fueled by great riffs. Riffs are the columns that hold up the world of rock and roll, so it’s only apt that we dedicate a day just to them. Whether they are technically difficult arpeggios or just straight up chugs doesn’t matter: all that matters is that they’re memorable. Ahead is a list of some of the greatest riffs in OurStage taken from the Hard Rock, Modern Rock, and Metal Channels.
“Fondo” – Grannada: These rockers from Panama have a riffer-madness style mixed with hard hitting ’90s rock. Huge riff to a great song.
“1,2,3… Ralph Macheo” – His Name Was Iron: Chaotic and intense, this is the perfect example of calculated madness. This riff is as heavy as they come, and will get your head bobbing in no time.
“Breathe Again” – Taperedmind: With a groovy riff, pounding rhythm section and catchy chorus, Taperedmind create radio-friendly tunes with an edge.
“Justice” – Danforth: Is there a better description than “Enormous slamming riffs followed by ravaging beat down slams?” We know what these Frenchmen bring to the party, and we can’t wait for more.
“Madhater’s Tea” – Spiralpl: This alternative band from Poland have a remarkable résumé in their home country thanks to airplay on multiple mainstream radio stations and perfromance slots at the country’s biggest festivals. The contrast between the high female vocals and the driving riff make this song stand out in its category.
“Thirty Years At Sea” – Hearts Alive: Turn to this Swedish metal outfit Hearts Alive for clenched-fist fury and crushing chug riffs. You will not be disappointed.
“Devil In Her Eyes” – The Malibu Knights: Bearing the banner of modern rock, The Malibu Knights have opened for multiple acts (including Bon Jovi) and have played hundreds of shows in support of their album. Not surprising: their feelgood lyrics and driving riffs are as catchy as they come. You have to check it out!
Have any tunes in particular that you care to share? Disagree with any of the picks? Want a theme in particular to be Shuffled? Let us know by dropping a comment!
Listen to previous Press Shuffle playlists over at 8tracks.com.
Throughout the life of the Metal Monday column, I’ve written posts about what countries produce the best metal. No real surprise that the focus of these posts fell on Norway, Sweden, The UK and the US“after all, they’re the countries with some of the most prominent metal subcultures and scenes. One country that isn’t getting its due diligence, however, is France. Yes, that France. In the last ten years, France has made huge strides in producing powerhouse metal bands on a consistent basis.
Prior to the twenty-first century, France wasn’t exactly known for it’s metal acts, especially on an international level, but the ones they had were pretty fantastic”the monstrous avant-garde black metal band Blut Aus Nord and the consistently great heavy/power metal band Nightmare come to mind. Beyond that? Well, there wasn’t much else. Fortunately for everyone, that’s changing.
We all have our reasons to listen to metal. It can provoke an infinity of emotions, and do so with extreme efficiency. When talking to metal fans, they use words like loud, obnoxious, aggressive, anarchic, dark, ugly, atmospheric, beautiful, even cheesy to describe the music they love. Yet metalheads rarely understand how people can listen to their “mainstream, force-fed garbage” and not appreciate the merits of heavy music. “How can you stand this Beiber kid when there’s music like ours?!” they wonder. But they couldn’t be more wrong.
This week, we’d like to bring focus back to what metal music is all about. Breaking rules, shifting paradigms, twisting values; being a counterculture. Heavy metal is the zeitgeist of the minorities. Ahead, a prime sampling courtesy of the OurStage Metal Channel. Turn your speakers up to 11, apologize to your neighbors in advance, and make your head is a safe distance away from your monitor (you don’t want to headbang straight into it, now do you?).
“No Funeral” – Revocation: The Bostonians strike again with their signature style of deathened thrash, and boy do they deliver! Whether you feel like being being pounded by a relentless assault of drums, have your face melted off by Dave Davidson (who we recently had a chat with) and his shreddy guitar parts or just enjoy pure un-adultered energy pumping into your ears, this song is for you.
“Because Of Me” – Izeovasis: Taking a technical approach to brutality, Izeovasis bring the spastic guitar riffs, blazing fast drums, sterile production and stop-and-go rhythm unison parts; all in the techdeath formula.
“Ad Luciferi Regnum” – Vanmakt: The dissonance of the guitar riffs is unmistakeable. The wall of sound production adds an ominous ambiance to accompany the evil pagan lyrics and the uncompromising attack of blast beats and double bass are a must for any aspiring black metal band.
“Skizophrenia” – Danforth: Enormous slamming riffs followed by ravaging beat down slams? YES PLEASE. Danforth rep the Euro hardcore scene hard with this track.
“Static Pulse” – VYGR: This band is so many things in one”sludgy, atmospheric and, most importantly, heavy as fuck. And it does it all so well; not once does it feel like the musicians are compromising. This is truly a post-metal gem.
“Scars Of My Decay” – Karnak Seti: In the age of countless hardcore bands ripping off At The Gates and sprinkling in breakdowns, Karnak Seti play homage to their forefathers with their own brand of proper Gothenburg melodeath.
“The Fall of His Supremacy” – Deprecated: In trademark american death metal fashion, this track is all about bringing the brutality (via downtuned guitars and blastbeats). What’s even better, it’s performed by one of (if not the best) guitarists in the genre: Terrance Hobbs of Suffocation. No pretentiousness, no messing around; this is straight up slamming heaviness.
Have any tunes in particular that you care to share? Disagree with any of the picks? Want a theme in particular to be Shuffled? Let us know by dropping a comment! Listen to previous Press Shuffle playlists over at 8tracks.com.