heavy metal

An Interview With Notcum

Attentive readers have heard Chris and I talk a lot this year about the preponderance of retro metal bands channeling dark blues into the metal furnace. One of the movement's vanguard, and one of the bands who really gets it, is Noctum. Here to explain himself, his band and their release "Final Sacrifice," is drummer Fredrik Jansson.
M.DREW: Walk me through the concept of “Final Sacrifice.” What’s the album’s story?
FREDRIK JANSSON: It's a fictional horror story. Our bass player Tobias had the story rolling around in his head for a year or two before it was done. The lyrics, the music and the artwork is tied together and that's all I will tell you about it. People have to listen for themselves and make up their own mind of what it’s about.

Album Review: Deicide - In The Minds Of Evil

Deicide's career has been one long roller coaster ride. They helped set the standard of American death metal with their first two albums, then fell into disrepair as stagnation set in. As all this was happening, I was completely oblivious to anything they had done, since death metal still only existed in my periphery. It wasn't until the Deicide that became famous was fractured that I came on board. The resulting album, “The Stench Of Redemption”, was a remarkable album, and the shot in the arm the flagging Deicide brand needed.

Album Review: Hammer Fight - "Chug of War"

When was the last time you actually had FUN listening to a metal album? Most metal is all angst and pent up aggression. All too often, metal bands take themselves WAY too seriously and try to out-metal each other. “I’m heavier”. “No, I’m heavier”. “Well, my lyrics are darker”. “No, MY lyrics are darker”. Well, your old pal Wizard is here to tell you that metal doesn’t have to be such a downer. And here to help me explain is Hammer Fight.

Concert Review - GWAR, Whitechapel

After so many years of constant tours, going to a GWAR show is now like visiting an old friend. There will be some new stories to be sure, but you know when you arrive, it’s going to be a jovial retelling of some of the same old classics.

Album Review: Artillery - Legions

I chuckle as announcements roll out for albums, and every band that was formed sometime in the 80's described itself as 'legendary'. It's simply impossible for all of them to be such, but more than that, it amuses me how much revisionism has occurred of what the time was really like. Bands that have reformed and claim status as kings of metal were utterly forgotten during their initial runs, which makes it a little hard for me to believe anything they claim for a legacy.

Album Review: Gift Of Gods - Receive [EP]

I sometimes wonder about the people who make and listen to the most extreme types of metal; how they came to embrace such a fringe element of heavy music. I have a hard time imagining people jumping straight from what they would hear on the radio to full-on black metal or grindcore, and yet so little of the traditional forms of metal remains in those styles that I often struggle to find any connection at all. Surely, they must have been fans of less abrasive forms of metal first, but it's more a guess on my part than an actual statement of fact.

Concert Review - Finntroll, Blackguard

It was a strange night to be in Worcester, Massachusetts. Stranger than usual, that is. At the Palladium, the city’s cardinal music showcase, two very different forces were converging on the city. Finntroll was in town with Blackguard in tow, a powerful double bill of folky heavy metal. On the same night, in another part of the same venue, was a foam party. As one can imagine, this made for excellent people watching, as there were booty shorts, furry footwear and studded belts as far as the eye could see.

Album Review: Ayreon - The Theory Of Everything

As the resident prog guy here, it's a bit surprising that this is my first experience immersing myself in a full Ayreon album. Arjen Anthony Lucassen's project has sprawled through a series of double albums, amassing some of the greatest talent in the rock and metal world, and giving him standing as one of the biggest figures in all of progressive music. This time around, after the ending of the original storyline and a hiatus for other projects, Ayreon returns with a new story, and a new focus.

Album Review: The Infinite Staircase - No Amends

Anyone who knows me knows that I love music - all kinds of music. Certainly I have my favorites but I can usually find something to appreciate in every genre... except Middle Eastern pop music. That's just something I can't get into. So, with that out of the way, I present to you the latest album from The Infinite Staircase, "No Amends".

Hail Of Bullets - III: The Rommel Chronicles

Hail Of Bullets did something remarkable with their first album; they made a record that actually sounded like an army of enemy tanks storming into town ready to crush anything in their paths. These death metal veterans made a statement right out of the gate, becoming one of the biggest and most important death metal bands since the nascent days, all with one record. That they were able to then turn around and use their second album to further their sound with new elements and more expansive songwriting meant that this was no one trick pony.

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