Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

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crumbsroom
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by crumbsroom » Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:37 pm

Stu wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:50 am

Yay!!! What were the albums you bought, out of curiosity?Nah, I wasn't planning on covering Burzum; I'm not a big fan of raw black metal, and I consider the genre to be pretty well-covered already with my writings on Darkthrone, Dissection, Mayhem, etc. My apologies!
Celtic Frost (Pandemonium, Therion), first Darkthrone album (didn't have the one I wanted), Megadeth (Rust in Peace). I think something else but can't remember...

I was just joking about Burzum. I was mostly referring to my own personal shame when I bought a copy of their first record. I am a curious cat. I can't be helped.
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Stu » Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:21 am

Thief wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:53 pm
I kinda liked Korn. I never got full into the whole nu-metal trend, whatever that is, but I did like some of their stuff ("Got the Life" is probably my favorite of them).
C'mon, y'know what Nu Metal is... Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Slipknot, the aforementioned Korn, etc., lots of groovy (not in the good way, mind you), mid-tempo riffage, a muddy, down-tuned guitar sound, lots of mindless, rage-filled screaming and whining about how terrible your parents were, some bad rapping, etc.? I used to listen to a lot of it back in its early 2000's heyday, shamefully enough, but almost all of it has held up terribly since; I do still owe those bands some sort of debt for helping to get me into heavier stuff than whatever the local Country station was playing, but that's about it. And I never really liked Korn, not even back then, but besides "Twisted Transistor", I did enjoy the remix of "Make Me Bad" at the time, especially when its super-fancy big-budget video used to play on TRL all the time:

crumbsroom wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:37 pm
Celtic Frost (Pandemonium, Therion), first Darkthrone album (didn't have the one I wanted), Megadeth (Rust in Peace). I think something else but can't remember...

I was just joking about Burzum. I was mostly referring to my own personal shame when I bought a copy of their first record. I am a curious cat. I can't be helped.
Pandemonium was a bit of a failed experiment on the whole, IMO (though still nowhere near their worst album), but Therion and Rust are both classics (as you can see from my earlier write-ups), and Soulside Journey is very good as well, and surprising to see such a relatively pure Death Metal release from one of the most iconic Norwegian Black Metal-ers of all time. Never was a fan of old-school Burzum, as raw BM just generally isn't my thing, but I can't deny the impact that Varg, for all his murderous, racist, arson-y real-life bullshit, had on the style with his early records.
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'94 (Bolt Thrower: For Victory)

Post by Stu » Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:22 am

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By '94, those towering icons of British metal, Bolt Thrower, had gone through a number of stylistic changes, whether it be starting off as murky, grimy death/grind on '88's "In Battle, There Is No Law", before shedding the grind influences in favor of a purer death metal style, and gradually cleaning up their sound over the course of "Realm of Chaos" & "War Master", or slowing things down with the slightly doom-ier tempos of "The IV Crusade", but, by the time they gifted the world "For Victory", the band had more or less perfected their sound, re-upping the speed for maximum impact, while also going with one of the punchiest, hardest-sounding productions that the death metal world had heard up until that point, representing a continuation of a trend in the genre of records beginning to sound less raw (because, let's face it, most of the old-school classics of the genre weren't really well known for having particularly polished productions, were they?).

That being said, "For Victory" isn't far from being some watered-down, "Black Album"-style sellout record made just to appease radio audiences and MTV, as it proves that making nice-sounding metal doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the almighty HEAVY in the process, as in this case, the former greatly enhances the latter, allowing the band's signature pounding, relentless riffage to hit harder than ever before, slamming into us like a ton of concrete every single moment, while Karl Willets' monstrous growl howls away the lyrics' tales of apocalyptic hell-on-Earth warfare without mercy. The whole thing bulldozes your ears harder than an entire platoon of Sherman tanks, and listening to this record this is probably the closest you'll ever feel to fighting in a war without actually being in one, creating what was (and still is, for me) Bolt Thrower's undisputed magnum opus, so be sure to listen to this one... FOR VICTORY!!!

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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Thief » Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:12 pm

Stu wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:21 am
C'mon, y'know what Nu Metal is... Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Slipknot, the aforementioned Korn, etc., lots of groovy (not in the good way, mind you), mid-tempo riffage, a muddy, down-tuned guitar sound, lots of mindless, rage-filled screaming and whining about how terrible your parents were, some bad rapping, etc.? I used to listen to a lot of it back in its early 2000's heyday, shamefully enough, but almost all of it has held up terribly since; I do still owe those bands some sort of debt for helping to get me into heavier stuff than whatever the local Country station was playing, but that's about it. And I never really liked Korn, not even back then, but besides "Twisted Transistor", I did enjoy the remix of "Make Me Bad" at the time, especially when its super-fancy big-budget video used to play on TRL all the time:

Yeah, I thought that song was ok too... I also listened to those others you mentioned, still listen to them every now and then. I think Linkin Park and maybe Slipknot, are the ones that have held up better for me, with Limp Bizkit being the worst to hold up. Anyway, they were never my top choice to listen to and that hasn't changed.
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Captain Terror » Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:40 pm

I remember watching Carson Daly use the word "bawitdaba" with a straight face, and knowing that I was officially an out-of-touch old guy.
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Stu » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:11 am

Thief wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:12 pm
Yeah, I thought that song was ok too... I also listened to those others you mentioned, still listen to them every now and then. I think Linkin Park and maybe Slipknot, are the ones that have held up better for me, with Limp Bizkit being the worst to hold up. Anyway, they were never my top choice to listen to and that hasn't changed.
To my eternal shame and embarassment, I did listen to a TON of Nu Metal back in the day (which for me, is the early 2000's), back when I only cared if something was loud and angry, not if it was actually, y'know... good at all. Fortunately, I grew out of that phase some time ago, although I do still enjoy a few outliers from the style, like Sepultura's Roots, a record which generally has a more dynamic sound than most of the rest of the genre, which makes it one of the few examples to still hold up to scrutiny, as far as I'm concerned.
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'94: (Edge Of Sanity: Purgatory Afterglow)

Post by Stu » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:15 am

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As we enter the mid-90's, and we see the initial golden age of death metal (in my opinion) begin to come to a close, it was prime time that we heard a record that truly showed the wide-ranging, diverse possibilities of the genre as a whole, and surprisingly, we got just such a record from Edge Of Sanity, a band that, although they'd shown some potential on their earlier releases, had still never really lived up to it, as far as I'm concerned... until "Purgatory Afterglow, that is. You see, band mastermind (and musical genius in general) Dan Swanö's original plan was to separate the material on this album between two different EPs, with the more traditional death metal cuts ending up on "Purgatory", and the more "experimental" tracks being put on "Afterglow", but their record label convinced them that this would've been a huge financial risk, so instead, we got all the material all at once in one big ol' full length.

However, rather than being an incoherent, Frankensteined mish-mash of a record, it worked like gangbusters instead, and showed the diverse potential of death metal, whether it be the more brutal, straightforward crunch of bangers like "The Sinner and the Sadness", the aloof, gothically-styled clean vocals of "Blood-Coloured", the borderline poppy, downright sugary melodic death of "Black Tears", or the progressive stylings of album opener "Twilight", with its incredibly lush, dreamy, keyboard-laden intro, the tense, eerie spoken-word interlude at the midpoint, or the complex, ambitious songwriting of the overall track, which lasts for nearly 8 minutes in total, which is an eternity in terms of death metal. However, it's tremendously impressive stuff all the way, with Swano showing off his amazing, incredibly versatile songwriting skills no matter what style he's playing with on this record, so if anyone ever asks you if "Purgatory Afterglow" was a failed musical experiment, just get right in their faces and scream what Dan did at the climatic moment of the opening track: "NO!!!!!!!"

Original Coverage



Other Notable Metal Records From '94:


Besides "'De Mysteriis" and "Nightside", '94 proved to be THE peak year for 2nd wave black metal, with Marduk's "Opus Nocturne", Gorgoroth's "Pentagram", Burzum's "Hvis Lyset Tar Oss", Darkthrone's "Transilvanian Hunger", and the first two albums from not just Enslaved with "Vikingligr Veldi" & "Frost", but Satyricon as well, with "Dark Medevial Times" & "The Shadowthrone", along with a couple of classics like Rotting Christ's "Non Serviam" and Samael's "Ceremony of Opposites" coming from outside of Norway, and serving to diversify the scene (and yeah, and number of the most divisive bands in the genre debuted as well, with Dimmu Borgir's "For All Tid" and Cradle Of Filth's "The Principle of Evil Made Flesh", unleashing one of the most annoying vocalists ever upon an unfortunate world).

Unfortunately, this year was a mixed bag for the former thrashers, as Megadeth continued to age surprisingly gracefully with "Youthanasia", while, on the other hand, Slayer & Testament both struggled with the relatively clunky efforts "Divine Intervention" & "Low" respectively, while the "groove" metalers that the former group helped to birth were doing great, with Machine Head's classic debut "Burn My Eyes" and Pantera #1-debuting "Far Beyond Driven" both absolutely tearing up the scene, while on the miscellaneous side of things, doom icons Electric Wizard debuted with their self-titled release, Dream Theater put out the (unfortunately extremely popular) "Awake", and Acid Bath gave us their classic sludge debut "When the Kite String Pops".

Finally, as far as death metal goes, besides "For Victory", "Afterglow", and "Disease", the style continued through its individual golden age, with Asphyx's self-titled, a couple of debuts from significant acts like Cryptopsy and Septicflesh with "Blasphemy Made Flesh" and "Mystic Places of Dawn", Hypocrisy's "The Fourth Dimension", Obituary's "World Demise", Grave's "Soulless", and Cannibal Corpse's "The Bleeding" keeping the "pure" side of the genre going strong, while, on the melo death side of things, Amorphis's "Tales From the Thousand Lakes" and "Lunar Strain", the debut from a little ol' band called In Flames both continued to help the genre branch out, and ensuring a bright future for it looking forward.
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Rock » Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:24 am

I wish I had more to add over the last few posts, but just wanted to say that I was listening to Leprosy by Death on repeat at work today. Also Blackout by the Scorpions.
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Afterword

Post by Stu » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:10 am

Like I said, '94 was the final year I'm going to cover in the main run of this series; I’ll write a few more spin-off entries dealing with the history of metal before/after the golden age later, but this is it for the “official” run of this series. And just in case you’re wondering, no, I’m not ending this here because I actually think that the Golden Age ended in ’94 (despite Korn’s best efforts), as I do think that this halcyon era continued onward until at least the end of the mid-90’s, however, I do I feel that, besides the appealing symmetry of beginning in ’84 and ending exactly a decade later, since ’94 saw the peak of one of the most important sub-genres (black metal), it naturally feels like a great stopping point for this series, so that way, we go out on a high note instead of an anti-climatic one, before I get anymore burned out on writing this (hopefully, none of that was coming through towards the end of this, haha).

Of course, all good things must come to an end, but, while I do feel that the history of metal after this point hasn’t (yet) consistently produced as many classic records as the era covered here, I don’t want anyone reading this to despair because of that, as amazing metal continues to be made to this day (as we’ll see eventually), and, because of the immense impact that the Golden Age had on the genre, as long as greasy, long-haired youngsters are respecting their musical elders, taking inspiration from the Age, and taking this music that we all love forward into new directions in a bright future, metal will never, EVER die! Now, thanks for all the viewership you’ve gifted me with here, and toodles to all, finally.

\ m /
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Stu » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:14 am

Rock wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:24 am
I wish I had more to add over the last few posts, but just wanted to say that I was listening to Leprosy by Death on repeat at work today. Also Blackout by the Scorpions.
Leprosy's definitely my favorite effort of Death's "early" records (meaning their first 3, although their best overall for me is still ITP-izzle for shizzle), and I never got much into anything the Scorpions have done, but they're not bad or anything, and I think they're historically important as helping to comprise a sort of "Intermediate Wave" of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal bands in the mid-70's (along with AC/DC, Rainbow, and Priest), in-between the "Old" Wave of late 60's groups like Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Sabbath, and the New Wave that blew up at the turn of the decade between the 70's & the 80's.
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(Post) Golden Age Of Metal: Intro

Post by Stu » Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:25 am

That's right; we're not done with this yet, fuckers! While I still hold that the decade-ish long period from the mid-80's through the mid-90's is still the undisputed "golden age" for metal (as I already proved beyond a reason of a doubt in my excellent original series), classic metal didn't just completely cease to exist after that period (of before it, for that matter), which is why I'm spinning that off into this series, the (Post) Golden Age Of Metal, to provide a more complete overview of the history of metal, and catch us all up on what's been going in our beloved genre since then, homeboys! Of course, you're surely wondering why I'm starting this new series off with the records that came out at the end of the most recent decade and working backward from there, as opposed where I stopped with the original series (in '94), and also why I'm covering the entire the 2nd half of that decade, from 2019-2015, here.

Well, part of the reason why is that, instead of writing about 5 records from each individual year like I did with the Golden Age, I'm going to refrain from over-extending myself by choosing one record from each year, while also splitting each decade into halves, so that we stick to the five-records-per-article format... but, the reason why I'm going backwards, which is the more important question, is that, if I did this in standard chronological order from the generally agreed-upon "official" beginning of metal, I feel that the endpoint of this series would unavoidably feel anticlimatic, and, since I always like my projects to go out with a bang, I decided to instead start at the "end", with the most recently completed decade, and go from there, which will result in a much more climatic end to this series (I bet all of you can already guess where exactly I'm ending this at, but I'll try to hold off from confirming your suspicions for now). At any rate, I think you all more than comprehend what the gist of this spin-off is, so let's stop babbling already, and just get yourself for the post Golden Age, baby!
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2019 (Alcest: Spiritual Instinct)

Post by Stu » Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:20 am

Image

France's Alcest are pretty the much the original gangstas of the blackgaze sound, having basically been flying the flag for this incredibly niche style in the metal world now for over a decade, and, despite a detour back into softer territory with 2014's relatively less well-regarded "Shelter", they soon returned to their harsher, bread-and-butter style immediately, and 2019's "Spiritual Instinct" might just be their best record to date, with Neige's soaring, etheral singing, the soft, heavenly female vocals, and the wonderful contrast of the heavier riffing all combining to create an incredibly unique, one-of-a-kind experience that I'm not too soon likely to forget.

Although, none of that really describes just exactly what "blackgaze" is, and, since it is a pretty obscure sub-genre, I guess I should explain what it is, and how Alcest embodies it; basically, they take the raspy, harrowing growling and tremelo-based guitarwork of black metal, the dynamic, long-form, steadily crescending songwriting of post-metal, and the fuzzy textures, overwhelming, wall-of-sound production, and overall dreamy vibe of shoegaze to create something that, on paper, sounds like it should never, ever work out, but, on record, somehow, some way, just does, making something that sounds so different from the vast majority of metal, but is still equally amazing in the final product, as Alcest proves that, being sort of a "soft" metal band doesn't hold you back at all from still being awesome.

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2018 (Judas Priest: Firepower)

Post by Stu » Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:51 am

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The last time we checked in with the Metal Gods, they had just released one of their greatest records, 1990's immortal classic "Painkiller", but, alas, all good things must come to an end, and the good thing in this case was the original Halford era of the band, as Rob soon left his mothership band to form some new group lamely titled Fight (that no one cares about anyway), while Priest themselves tried to trudge on by recruiting Tim "The Gipper" Owens (aka the obnoxiously high-pitched vocalists that big metal bands keep bringing on board for a couple of lackluster albums, and then kick out). Unfortunately, the results of this collaboration were nowhere near the band's golden age, as "Jugulator" & "Demolition" were both met with far less praise due to their ill-advised flirtations with groove, industrial, and even nu metal, and while the band's output improved some after making up with Halford in the 2000's, even with him back, the mighty Priest were still unable to return fully to their formerly glories, and the new, reunion-era albums still generally felt like they kind of just going through the motions, and coasting off the fumes of the band's classic sound.

Fortunately, even with the loss of one of their ultra-iconic original guitarists with K. K. Downing in 2011, Priest still managed to finally produce another strong record with 2018's "Firepower", and their best they've done in the quarter-century-plus since "Painkiller", as the band puts so much more raw passion in their solos, so much more bite and power in the riffs, and more spirit in Halford's legendary vocals than they have in quite some time, which you can hear the defiant, surging soul of such songs as "Rising From Ruins", the inspiring, piano-driven instrumental "Guardians", or the lengthy, intricate, acoustic-based closing ballad "Sea of Red", which harkens back to classic tunes like "Beyond the Reams of Death", and seems to serve as an elegy for the band's legendary career as a whole, and, even though the band is planning on recording yet another new record soon, I have my doubts as to whether it will serve as a better career-coda then "Firepower". But, at any rate, I'm just glad that we got a record this good from a band this late into their lifespan, so I say, long live the Metal Gods, baby!

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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by doberso » Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:47 am

Metallica - Ride the Lightning
Iron Maiden - Somewhere in Time
Slayer - Reign in Blood
Queensryche - Operation Mindcrime
Anthrax - Spreading the Disease
Napalm Death - Scum
Suicidal Tendencies - Lights Camera Revolution
Megadeth - Rust in Peace
Prong - Beg to Differ
Testament - Souls of Black
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2017 (Kreator: Gods Of Violence)

Post by Stu » Mon Apr 06, 2020 2:08 am

Image

Kreator was one of the best old-school thrash bands during the genre's heyday, especially in the German scene, as they pumped out records of classic Teutonic thrash one after another from "Endless Pain" until (yes) "Coma of Souls", but, like so many of the genre's icons, they didn't fare so well in the 90's, losing a lot of the knack they once held for strong production and songwriting, and incorporating poorly-integrated influences from gothic/industrial music into their sound (hey, does that sound familiar or what?). Fortunately, they were one of many prodigial sons who returned to daddy thrash in the 2000's, and were one of the most promiment icons in helping return the scene to its former glory during that decade, first blessing us with the goodness of 2001's "Violent Revolution", and, after an uninterrupted streak of strong releases since (my favorite of which is 2012's "Phantom Antichrist"), they continued strong with 2017's "Gods of Violence", proving that the new golden age of Kreation was nowhere close to coming to an end.

You see, "Gods of Violence" succeeds because it marries old Kreator with new, retaining the relentless-but-still-catchy thrashing that defined their 80's records, while also continuing the Gothenburg influence of their modern records through the highly melodic, harmonious lead guitar sections and clean/acoustic interludes (although there is plenty of fierce, dissonant solos to be heard here as well), which, along with Ventor's furious percussion work, and plenty of big, booming choruses, that, delivered in Mille's signature raspy, incredibly passionate snarls & screams, make so it was no surprise at all that "Gods" catapultued Kreator to a new level of commercial success, landing them their first ever #1 debut on the German charts (and makes me wish a band this heavy could manage the same on the Billboard these days). Seriously, these guys had been together as a band for over 30 years by this point, but compared to what so many of their similarly-aged peers have been putting out lately, it's honestly pretty amazing that they're still THIS bloody good; gods of violence come alive, baby!

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2016 (Vektor: Terminal Redux)

Post by Stu » Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:30 am

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I was having trouble coming up with a good write-up of my own for my pick for 2016, Vektor’s “Terminal Redux”, and so, with the requested permisssion of Metallum user hells_unicorn, and with some minor edits, I’m re-posting his excellent original review of the album here for your pleasure:

unicorn: Imagine a massive weapon with the capability of destroying immeasurable areas of space with the simple press of a button, a cosmic nuke if you will. Being a hopeless anime freak, I’ve elected to dub this death device a “dimensional cannon”, a name stolen from the first Tenchi Muyo! feature film, and it’s a fitting theft for an album that manages to live up to such a massive amount of hype, as since the retro-thrash scene had its peak circa 2009, I’ve been thoroughly inundated with assurances that all pale in comparison to the relatively limited studio participation of Vektor, of which their third LP Terminal Redux is considered their coup de gras. Sometimes, despite protests to the contrary, hype comes with good reason, and such is the case with this rather expansive cluster of otherworldly excursions into the outer limits.

The method behind this band’s madness could be likened to an ingenious mixture of arcane technical thrash wizardry and a ear-shattering display of modern extremeness that borders on being blackened, and this sense of exaggeration is mirrored in vocal performance of David DiSanto, whom could have always been likened to a black metal vocalist that’s been trapped in a thrash metal dimension, but here ups the ante and comes closer to territory normally reserved to Ihsahn or Dani Filth, along with a blistering display of fret board acrobatics courtesy the guitars and a wild set of bass leads that would make Joey Demaio blush.

It maintains a surprisingly heavy degree of organic flair, coming off less like some mechanistic series of clanks and grinding gears typical of many post-1992 minded thrashing affairs, and more like a whirlwind of spacey yet crunchy asteroids punching holes through a nebula. The riff work emulates the heavily ornamented and flashy demeanor of Coroner and Watchtower and perfectly merges it with the jazzy character of Voivod’s transitional efforts in the later 80s, and is further augmented by a rhythm section that is about as busy. All of this is accomplished while regularly referring back to a number of familiar genre themes to keep things from veering out of the thrash realm, and naturally, one would be remiss to discount the twin towers of epic solar destruction that stand at this album’s outer fringes, “Charging The Void” and “Recharging The Void”, both of which are exercises in genre-expansion that blur the lines between black and thrash metal in ways that the likes of Skeletonwitch and Toxic Holocaust could only dream of.

It might be a bit controversial to call this the greatest of Vektor’s efforts, both given what they’ve already accomplished and also that they show little signs of hanging things up despite having a fairly long gap between their sophomore effort and this one, but it is a defensible assertion. The analogy of a device capable of destroying a galaxy may indeed be itself an incomplete one, given that Terminal Redux has all but created a completely new and better one over what undreamed of destruction it may have reaped. Hyperbole aside, greatness has been achieved here, and more witnesses to it are thus encouraged.

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Re: 2019 (Alcest: Spiritual Instinct)

Post by daakmore » Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:54 am

Stu wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:20 am

France's Alcest are pretty the much the original gangstas of the blackgaze sound, having basically been flying the flag for this incredibly niche style in the metal world now for over a decade, and, despite a detour back into softer territory with 2014's relatively less well-regarded "Shelter", they soon returned to their harsher, bread-and-butter style immediately, and 2019's "Spiritual Instinct" might just be their best record to date, with Neige's soaring, etheral singing, the soft, heavenly female vocals, and the wonderful contrast of the heavier riffing all combining to create an incredibly unique, one-of-a-kind experience that I'm not too soon likely to forget.

Although, none of that really describes just exactly what "blackgaze" is, and, since it is a pretty obscure sub-genre, I guess I should explain what it is, and how Alcest embodies it; basically, they take the raspy, harrowing growling and tremelo-based guitarwork of black metal, the dynamic, long-form, steadily crescending songwriting of post-metal, and the fuzzy textures, overwhelming, wall-of-sound production, and overall dreamy vibe of shoegaze to create something that, on paper, sounds like it should never, ever work out, but, on record, somehow, some way, just does, making something that sounds so different from the vast majority of metal, but is still equally amazing in the final product, as Alcest proves that, being sort of a "soft" metal band doesn't hold you back at all from still being awesome.

Recommended Cut:

[/center]
I had heard good things about this band but this finally gave me the oomph I needed to really check them out and holy hell I love them. I have a general disdain for raspy black metal vocals but somehow they blend it so well into their soundscape that it works for me. I dare say this is some of the most beautiful music I've heard and it has this weird positive vibe to it that lifts my spirits listening to it.
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Re: Stu Presents: The Golden Age Of Metal!

Post by Torgo » Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:59 am

Unreqvited is a band in the same vein as Alcest I discovered this year and really like. Here's a track from their 2020 album, which may be my favorite of the year so far:

Last Great Movie Seen
Before Sunrise (Linklater, 1995)
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2015 (Amorphis: Under The Red Cloud)

Post by Stu » Thu May 14, 2020 3:18 am

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Finland's Amorphis have gone through a lot of changes over the years, going from being mostly straight-up death metal on their '92 debut "The Karelian Isthmus", to a sort of chilled-out melo death on '94's "Tales From the Thousand Lakes", to becoming increasingly soft and melodic during the Pasi-fronted era of the band, to the point that they pretty much had zero traces of anything remotely death-ish at all when they made 2003's "Far From the Sun" (which is probably part of the reason why that record wasn't very good, heh). However, they rectified that when they brought in new vocalist Tomi Joutsen for 2006's excellent "Eclipse", and, while they're one of those bands that hasn't fundamentally reinvented their sound lately, and they have had a few ups and downs since then, they've still mostly managed to find a comfortable groove for their style, one that they continued strong with on "Under the Red Cloud", one of their best recent records, as well as just one of their best records, period.

You see, the amorphous one managed this by continuing in the vein of the sound they've established for themselves during this modern era of the band, whether it be their basic style of melo death-influenced metal mixed with the occasional folky touch, including the lyrics inspired by Finnish folklore and mythology, the usage of a lot of non-traditional instruments to give their tunes a refreshing dash of sound-spice, whether it be from organs, pianos, or even straight-up flutes (among others), the way that Tomi's fierce, 50/50 contrast of clean, soaring vocals with his legitmately monstrous, booming growl brings a welcome bite to their sound, or how their strong, irrestibly catchy melodies drive the songs ever forward, and get them stuck inside your eardrums for all eternity. Hey, sometimes staying the course is okay if it was a great course in the first place, and, like they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it... and it wasn't, so Amorphis didn't, and they made a really good record as a result. So there.

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Stu
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Re: 2019 (Alcest: Spiritual Instinct)

Post by Stu » Thu May 14, 2020 3:25 am

daakmore wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:54 am
I had heard good things about this band but this finally gave me the oomph I needed to really check them out and holy hell I love them. I have a general disdain for raspy black metal vocals but somehow they blend it so well into their soundscape that it works for me. I dare say this is some of the most beautiful music I've heard and it has this weird positive vibe to it that lifts my spirits listening to it.
Glad to see I converted you, daak 8-) That being said though, does your dislike of the black metal rasp mean you don't care for, say... Dissection? Because their second record is definitely one of the best records of all time, not just in black metal, but metal, period:

Torgo wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:59 am
Unreqvited is a band in the same vein as Alcest I discovered this year and really like. Here's a track from their 2020 album, which may be my favorite of the year so far:

Hey, they sound pretty good; thanks for the rec, Torgo@
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daakmore
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Re: 2019 (Alcest: Spiritual Instinct)

Post by daakmore » Fri May 15, 2020 8:07 pm

Stu wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 3:25 am
Glad to see I converted you, daak 8-) That being said though, does your dislike of the black metal rasp mean you don't care for, say... Dissection? Because their second record is definitely one of the best records of all time, not just in black metal, but metal, period:
Hmmmm, perhaps I've just had the wrong black metal recommended to me because that was good. Vocals remind me more of early Opeth (Orchid/Morningrise) then what I typically associate with black metal.
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