Snowy Shaw Brings Back Old School Shock Rock

Snowy_Shaw_-_Wacken_Open_Air_2016_08.jpgI found this guy while checking out YouTube. So, when I brought Snowy Shaw’s live at Wacken Open Air 2016 up onto the screen of my TV, I was very surprised and blown away. I thought that I was watching King Diamond, Alice Cooper, and Marilyn Manson all wrapped up into one man. The band itself was fantastic, especially wearing those black hooded costumes. The whole show features this certain degree of weirdness mixed with a certain degree of eeriness and creepiness. Yet, musically it combines old school Heavy Metal. A very simple formula, that worked well in the 1970’s to the present. Yet, it’s original and refreshing to hear. I could not turn my TV off. I would laugh one minute at the vocals, and yet I was amazed at how well the entire show was. I kept wanting to be entertained even more by this guy. That’s when I looked at my wife and said “Damn this guy is a fucking genius at entertaining his crowds, with old school Heavy Metal appeal and adding that to a traditional Shock Rock show.” The Hoverboard on stage thing during the opening song at Wacken Open Air was a nice tou

So where did Snowy originally come from? Snowy has been around for a while now. He’s been in many bands, since his joining King Diamond in 1989 as a drummer. As far as what he does? Well, for starters, he can play drums, bass, and guitar. He also shreds on the guitar. At the same time he is also a vocalist and a song writer. So, on his own studio videos, he’s a one man band. But live, he’s still playing everything, just one song at a time.

So watching his videos from the soon to be solo album of all original stuff, this guy seems to have a very promising future. His first real solo album “WHITE IS THE NEW BLACK” is set to release soon. So far, I have enjoyed all of the songs that I’ve heard from “Krampus” to “Don’t Hurt The Animals, or I’ll Have To Kill You.” And don’t judge, that song about the animals is for a good cause with helping PETA. I know, but the dog’s are just so cute in that video with these long haired guys. So, check Snowy out and give him a try.

 

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Melana Chasmata: Triptykon

Rating: 100%

Melana_Chasmata.jpgTriptykon’s second album was released in 2014. It’s a perfect example of Extreme Metal that blends everything from Death Metal, Black Metal to Doom Metal with some Gothic Metal influences thrown in. The end result are songs that are well written out with an amazing and original sound.

The musicianship us top notch and tight. You have former Celtic Frost and Hellhammer guitarist & Vocalist Thomas Gabriel Fischer. He has proven that he still can write quality music and lyrics. This album is well thought out. His vocals are both harsh at times, and clear the next. I do like his more spoken vocals on many of the songs. Guitarst V. Santura, just like Tom knows how to create great riffs. There is plenty of great guitar work throughout this entire album. The leads are so atmospheric.  Bassist Vanja Šlajh is such a great bass player and backing vocalist. Her voice compliments Tom’s work. Her bass lines with providing that drive and tempo is outstanding. She is quickly becoming one of my favorite Heavy Metal bassists. Drummer Norman Lonhard is also a great. 

So musically, you have a strong and well shaped solid record. The vocals are very strong and distinctive. The instrumentation as I already covered is outstanding. It’s well balanced, rich, and compelling. For the artists themselves, they are imaginative, skillful, and creative. 

Tracks:

1. “Tree of Suffocating Souls” 7:56
2. “Boleskine House” 7:12
3. “Altar of Deceit” 7:32
4. “Breathing” 5:50
5. “Aurorae” 6:17
6. “Demon Pact” 6:07
7. “In the Sleep of Death” 8:10
8. “Black Snow” 12:25
9. “Waiting” 5:55

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.

Amalie_album-36878.png

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

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