Whenever it comes to pointing out the merits of heavy metal against the complaints of its (often repetitive) detractors, the connection between genre classics and lyrics (be it JR Tolkien, or even the Bible, if we think about it that way) is one that frequently comes up time and again.
In itself, this isn’t anything unique to metal – music as a whole constantly returns to this or other cultural forms to create its own concepts and direction, and the relationship between literature and music is only testament to the knowledge that art does not exist in a vacuum.
In the case of particular niche genres of extreme music like funeral doom metal, such a relationship makes for immensely dark sounds [best heard with the lights down if not switched off - Ann's recommendation], as heard from the German band AHAB. To listen to an album of theirs is to feel dragged down into the bottomless pits of the ocean, owing to the grand role played by Moby Dick and other whaling adventures in their work.
I managed to catch guitarist Chris Hector, so he could tell me more about this relationship between music and words, and how it came to be for the newest record ‘The Giant‘.
While I didn’t grow up with Christmas, here at Me(n)tal-Meltdown we strive to recognise the importance of spreading goodwill and festive cheer to each and everyone of you. Christmas – or Yule, as it’s known in parts of Europe – is a time to reflect upon ourselves and what we can do to make the people around us a key part of our lives. Continue reading
For what may be the last round of live shows ever in a band’s career, picking a multi-genre festival is not usually a first choice for many within the extreme metal field across a country like the British Isles. Yet for Washington’s black metal-influenced Wolves In The Throne Room, the Birmingham-based Supersonic 2011 Festival was right there in the band’s string of final UK dates. Continue reading
…or should it?
Originally, this was going to be a post about Metallica, which was to contribute to the many other posts out there on the Internet about Metallica. In particular, it was going to be a commentary on their collaboration (accurately, mash up) with Lou Reed, formerly of the Velvet Underground.
Those of you who have yet to hear this “project”, have a listen to the released single right here.
The commentary was to entail how I feel disillusioned with Metallica’s current efforts, but in fairness this came about not from their recent, inferior fare but a combination of reading more about the band’s history, watching ‘Some Kind Of Monster’ and picking up on what the hell other metalheads were going on about when they praised the Cliff Burton era.
Not to mention discovering what else thrash had to offer.
Nonetheless, I was prepared to delve into a post where I’d likely pour much of my heart out into a long, self-reflective lament on losing that special part of my youth to reality…
then a friend of mine had posted this. Continue reading
Or, ‘Metal/Rock covers that should not exist’.
If you’ll recall, I took a look at what happened when Grecian black metallers Astarte decided to cover Accept’s ‘Princess of the Dawn’. The result was a fitting example of not only placing a (band’s) individual stamp on a previous song, but also a well-illustrated analogy for the evolution of heavy metal into one of its many, more extreme subgenres.
It was a case of when a song is covered right. But what happens when the reverse is true – when the artists’ rendition of another song, though somehow connected musically, comes out wrong? Continue reading