M: Myrkur

Rating: 80%

Myrkur_M_cover.jpgSo, I heard all of this smack about this woman who is a well known Pop star that turned Black Metal. I was like huh? Then I heard how the Heavy Metal community was all up in arms that this woman couldn’t do Black Metal and instantly, everyone began trashing her music. So, I decided to take a listen. Well, I wasn’t disappointed, that’s for sure.

Musically, this album contains a lot. Many influences and elements here from classical to folk and yes, classic Black Metal. It’s all thrown together. This album contains a little bit of everything, plus more. Plus, and this is a major plus, she plays everything. She is a one woman band. And talented she is.

The music is very rich and full when you throw in all of the elements of Black Metal, Folk, and yes Pop. Some of the chorus lines are very full. But as broad as this is, somehow Amalie Bruun pulls this off and brings it home. There’s a nice collection of melodies mixed with harsh and clean vocals.  I love the riffs of the guitar all the way down to the folk instruments. With all of the influences, Amalie somehow balances the music out to compliment the overall sound. There’s also some atmospheric pieces which is where the classical or folk comes in. The song structures are pretty good and yet VERY dark.

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So, where are the complaints and controversy? I think, this woman pretty much pulled it off and made an album that isn’t perfect, but an album that damn good. She does have one hell of a good voice and song writer. I think that this album is very underrated.

Track listing:

1. “Skøgen skulle dø” (The whore had to die) 5:17
2. “Hævnen” (The revenge) 3:23
3. “Onde børn” (Evil kids) 4:09
4. “Vølvens spådom” (Prophecy of the Völva) 1:37
5. “Jeg er guden, i er tjenerne” (I am God, you are the servants) 4:03
6. “Nordlys” (Northern light) 2:15
7. “Mordet” (The murder) 3:41
8. “Byssan lull” (Swedish lullaby best known version by Evert Taube) 2:38
9. “Dybt i skoven” (Deep in the forrest) 3:09
10. “Skaði” (Skadi) 4:29
11. “Norn” 2:17

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Κατά τον δαίμονα εαυτού: Rotting Christ

Rating: 85%

Rotting_Christ_Κata_Τon_Daimona_Εaytoy_cover.jpgThe 2013 release of “Κατά τον δαίμονα εαυτού” by Rotting Christ was my first introduction to the band. It is Black Metal mixed with melodic and Gothic elements, which really helps to break up the pace of the album. It’s a heavy album, but looses the harshness of the typical Black Metal style. The song structures gives this album some what of an epic feel to it. It’s exciting to listen to. I do like the concept of the album of every song being in a different language.

The musicianship is very tight. The guitar work is very impressive. There’s a lot of great fill in leads and solos with plenty of catchy riffs and is filled with lot’s harmony. And yet, it has some weird parts to it that are just as enjoyable and compliments the overall melody. the bass sounds amazing. The drumming is one thing that sticks out to me. The timing isn’t the same thing over and over again. There’s plenty of fast paced tempos to mid-level tempos. I like the vocal style on the verse and the harmony of the chorus lines. The harsh vocals are raspy, unlike most Black Metal bands. I do like the big beefy choir lines on several of the songs.

Tracking listing:

1. “In Yumen/Xibalba” 6:24
2. “P’unchaw kachun/Tuta kachun” 4:44
3. “Grandis Spiritus Diavolos” 5:52
4. “Κατά τον δαίμονα εαυτού” 4:52
5. “Cine iubește și lasă” 5:58
6. “Iwa Voodoo” 4:36
7. “Gilgameš” 4:02
8. “Русалка” 4:33
9. “Ahura Mazdā/Aŋra Mainiuu” 4:44
10. “χξϛʹ” 5:46

The Pale Haunt Departure: Novembers Doom

Rating: 85%

The_Pale_Haunt_Departure.jpgI love the sound of traditional Death Metal. It reminds me of when I was growing up and had bands like Obituary and Death to listen to. But, Novembers Doom to me is directed toward a more modern sound and a more mainstream avenue vs. traditional Death Metal. But, not all is lost on this album. You see there are other influences playing a role into the sound of Novembers Doom. You have the rich Gothic and the elements of Doom Metal that are intertwined giving this album a rich taste.

Musicianship is good. Vocalist Paul Kuhr has a good voice when it comes to those harsh vocals and he’s can sing good on those clean vocal works. Both guitarists Vito Marchese and Larry Roberts produce some decent riffs and good solos. Bassist Mike Legros and drummer Joe Nunez do a great job at keeping the flow of the music going.

Musically, Novembers Doom produces some decent Death Metal riffs that are surrounded by more atmospheric and melodic styles that blend Doom and Goth together. Lot’s of great guitar work that can be crunchy one minute and soft the next. There’s a good ballad on this album called “Autumn Reflection.” This song breaks up the mood and flow of the faster material.

Song structures are in good order. Lot’s of strong riffs, good drumming and heavy bass. I love the piano work on “Autumn Reflection.” The main verses feature a more harsh vocal style, while the chorus is more clean vocal work. There’s a lot of great song writing here that shows how original the band is. I love the concept on this album. It deals with the passing of a father who comes back to watch over his son. It’s good to have originality back into music and that is exactly what Novembers Doom does here. Great album all around and a great listening experience.

Track listing:

1. “The Pale Haunt Departure” 05:44
2. “Swallowed by the Moon” 05:57
3. “Autumn Reflection” 06:06
4. “Dark World Burden” 06:09
5. “In the Absence of Grace” 08:09
6. “The Dead Leaf Echo” 07:30
7. “Through a Child’s Eyes” 05:32
8. “Collapse of the Falling Throe” 06:36

The Origin of the Feces: Type O Negative

Rating: 90%

481523.jpgOK, lot’s going on with this album that was released in 1992. First, the cover has been censored to the current image. We’ll just say the picture that was on the album was a close up of a certain body part. But would one expect less from Type O Negative? No! Another thing about this album is that it has a live audience, but it’s not live. Nonetheless, this is a killer album. It has a lot of humor behind the songs. So let’s dive into the tracks and the band.

The line up on this album consisted of vocalist and bassist Peter Steele, guitarist Kenny Hickey, drummer Sal Abruscato and keyboardist Josh Silver. Musically, this album is killer. The tracks picked for this not so live performance flows so well, that you hear the band for what they are.

I love the killer track “I Know You’re Fucking Someone Else” that takes one on a long drawn out journey of a man knowing that his girlfriend is cheating on him. You have the build up of the relationship and then the confrontation. The tempos are performed nicely.  “Are You Afraid” and “Gravity” are a seamless tracks that flow right into one another. I love the cover of “Hey Pete” which replaces the weapon of choice, a gun to an ax.

“Paranoid” is a classic Black Sabbath song that Type O Negative covers in which the entire song has been overhauled to fit Type O Negative’s style and sound. The Black Sabbath cover just shows you how good of a band Type O Negative is.

Track listing:

1. I Know You’re Fucking Someone Else 15:01
2. Are You Afraid 02:13
3. Gravity 07:13
4. Pain 04:40
5. Kill You Tonight 02:17
6. Hey Pete (Billy Roberts cover) 05:10
7. Kill You Tonight (Reprise) 07:06
8. Paranoid (Black Sabbath cover) 07:20

And Hell Will Follow Me: A Pale Horse Named Death

Rating: 80%

And_hell_will_follow_me_cover.jpgIn 2011, A Pale Horse Named Death released their debut album “And Hell will Follow Me.” This album features  Sal Abruscato a formal drummer of Type O Negative and Matt Brown of Seventh Void. This album is heavily rooted in Goth Metal and Doom Metal. Sal is the lead vocalist, guitarist and drummer while Matt is the guitarist and bass on this album.

What we have here on this album is a collection of well written songs. When I heard this album for the first time, I thought that it was Type O Negative until Sal began his vocal work. So, if you’re a fan of Type O Negative, then you might want to give the album a try.

Now, this isn’t a total doom metal album. The music has a dark doomy feel to it throughout the entire album, lots of slower tempos mixed with heavy riffs. But it also has some upbeat and faster tempos with some crushing guitar riffs. “Heroin Train” and “Serial Killer” are good examples. There is also a lot of Goth influences that you can hear including the atmospheric influences. There’s a lot of lead guitar work. The introduction to “To Die in Your Arms” is a perfect example. There’s a lot of melody to this record. As far as structure, the entire album flows nicely with only two filler songs which are instrumentals. The entire album is very solid. Lot’s of good drumming and bass work. “Bad Dream”, an instrumental has a techno beat to it which is a good mix. “Die Alone” has a little Industrial Metal thrown into it. This song in the center, I swear that I hear the saxophone.

Lyrically, this album is centered around depression, death, relationships and self hatred. The themes are very dark. Sal’s vocal style is his own, but you can hear lot’s of Peter Steel’s influence from Type O Negative.

Track listing:

“And Hell Will Follow Me” – 0:57
“As Black as My Heart” – 4:32
“To Die in Your Arms” – 3:36
“Heroin Train” – 3:10
“Devil in the Closet” – 3:42
“Cracks in the Walls” – 5:40
“Bad Dream” – 2:06
“Bath in My Blood (Schizophrenia in Me)” – 2:25
“Pill Head” – 5:38
“Meet the Wolf” – 5:27
“Serial Killer” – 4:38
“When Crows Descend Upon You” – 4:11
“Die Alone” – 7:35

Bloody Kisses: Type O Negative

Rating: 90%

106892-20101014-bgemzoI have always been into Type O Negative ever since this album was released in 1993 and then re-released in 1994. I had the cassette for the first version of the album and the CD for the ditipak re-release. After, this record, I picked up the previous two albums. This album, although has a small influence of Pop in it, it’s still Doom Metal, that is good. The Gothic style music mixed with Peter Steele’s vocals is what drew my interests to the band. However, with their later releases, I never kept up with the band. I just lost interest in the band’s music.

Bloody Kisses is an album where the lyrics are dark, sexual, and about depression. The music is very dark, and slow with a hint of pop. The album structure is good with some rough spots in it here and there with a few drawn out outros in a few of the songs. But the album is all around very enjoyable to listen to. This record is what the Adams’ family would listen to if they were into heavy metal.

The musicianship of Sal Abruscato on drums, Kenny Hickey on guitars, and John Silver at the keyboard make this is a solid album. Combine the musicianship with front man Peter Steele on bass and vocals and you have a damn good album.

Musically, the mixture of upbeat, heavier and slower tempos and melodies, mixed with dark, distorted, and deep tones, makes Type O Negative a very unique band. That is exactly what this album has. Peter Steele’s unique vocal style is creepy and yet, his voice is very strong and heavy. You hear the range of his voice in “Christian Woman” and “Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All).” There’s a good mixture of Doom and Gothic elements from song to song that really brings out the talent of the band. There is no bad songs on this record and to me, is one of the best albums that Type O Negative has ever released.

Track listing for the ditipak version (1994)

1. Christian Woman 08:58
2. Bloody Kisses (A Death in the Family) 10:56
3. Too Late: Frozen 07:50
4. Blood and Fire 05:33
5. Can’t Lose You 06:09
6. Summer Breeze (Seals and Crofts cover) 04:50
7. Set Me on Fire 03:29
8. Suspended in Dusk 08:37
9. Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All) 11:15