METAL BLOG, Vol. 5 - by Steff Chirazi
It is a week since the devastating attacks in Paris, and for many there has been confusion accompanying crushing sadness. I think, at times like this, music can serve such a vital and important purpose that we would be absolutely remiss if we dared do anything other than turn up the stereo and support humans and humanity everywhere by digging around for music which both shows communities they are heard, and which offers some respite and relief for those making it.
Gojira, the French quartet who ‘discuss’ the environment via some absolutely brutal, and relentless, delicious aural thuggery deserve your immediate attention right now whether you aways loved them or don’t know them, and what about the wall of power underlit by female vocals that is Eths (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pewfMNiF74Q)? Great, crisp and crunchy sound with blistering percussion and some cool melodies slipped in and around the aggro. Want your morning coffee a little blacker? Try Parisian quintet Vorkreist for some thick, wonderfully gruesome and old school black metal (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JeiBLeT8mA#action=share), and if you like more classic, traditional thrashier metal constructs complete with lush melodies that doesn’t lack crunch, then Dagoba would be your band (they’re passing resemblance at times to Machine Head not withstanding - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI1Wf206vfs). Yeah, this is a good time to go and explore the French metal scene for yourself, support it with your ears and your heart.
We can equally say that Syria is at the centre of world news right now, and as a nation it has suffered the sort of turmoil and horror that most of us cannot identify with. But as happened in Iraq with the likes of Acrassicauda, the country has quietly harbored some of the heaviest, and most expressive, black, death and thrash metal you will hear. Abidetherein, and their lyrics video for 2012’s “The Dislocated And The Sisyphean Project", is stunning in it’s complexity and weight of expression (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijL7zs5tmg0) written as an expression against the sheer volume of horror communities throughout the region (and, indeed, in many places worldwide) have been suffering for many years, while the pure, unfiltered energetic thrash of Anarchadia strikes out at the 1% and offers unflinching support for the likes of Occupy; whether you agree or not is for you, but what you cannot deny is the weight of passion. Meanwhile, Absentation are just jet black black black metal, the sort of stuff that would have everyone from Emperor to Deicide offering a round of applause. Again, I can only imagine the dedication it takes to create this music in countries which really didn’t support metal in any form whatsoever, thus personally, I feel a responsibility to listen and support their efforts (https://www.reverbnation.com/absentation). When you put the fine efforts of these bands, plus many others from the two places together, then you can see how much we all have in common and how important it is to remember that amidst all the chaos and horror in today’s world.
Looking at some of the recent releases to have crossed by ears, I cannot deny having had a good ol’ air-guitar session or 20 with the latest Grave Digger release Exhumation - The Early Years which contains a slew of warmly nostalgic classics that harken back to the denim ’n’ dandruff days of the early ‘80s (“Headbanging Man” being a prime example). Looking for some impossibly thick and sludgy doom rock to riff’n’reefer to? Throneless will tickle your metal biscuit with their eponymous EP which also contains some very cool acoustic touches to ease the overall weight of it’s sound, while Saxon’s - Battering Ram continues to reveal itself as perhaps metal’s surprise package of the Winter (you can see them in Europe right now - YES RIGHT NOW! - with the mighty, majestic and monstrously wonderful Motörhead and Girlschool, whose latest album Guilty As Sin was already correctly eulogized in these parts…my final tip of the hat for now goes to one of the confirmed 2016 Wacken bands, Kylesa and their latest album Exhausting Fire. These US swamp-stoner-riff-rockers enjoy riding some thick and swirly sounds that evoke a Sabbathy cult through a curtain of acid, and their slow-motion wander through a psychedelic interpretation of “Paranoid” is sure to enjoy a ‘smokey’ reception both in living rooms and gig venues wherever it’s played.
The point is, wherever you are, wherever you live, wherever you come from, whatever your background, if you’re seeing this blog it’s because you love heavy tunes, and if you love heavy tunes, now’s the time to enjoy them more than ever. SUPPORT musicians by listening to, and buying, music you like and SUPPORT LIVE MUSIC by getting out there and seeing a gig or two or three or more this week! THIS is the freedom we must continue to enjoy! Until next time, Steffan.
p.s. great gesture from Saxon in the wake of the Paris tragedies, and in particular the tragic loss of Nick Alexander, a popular and well-known crew stalwart in the rock scene who was running the merch for Eagles Of Death Metal at The Bataclan. It is so important for us to support our community in any way we can.
Europe: http://www.saxonmerch.co.uk/acatalog/HMT-Nick-Alexander-T-Shirt.html US: http://hifi247.com/saxon.html