Album Review: Steingrab – “Jahre nach der Pest”

Steingrab - Jahre nach der Pest

Depressive black metal is exactly what it sounds like – dark and dreary tones evoke a highly depressive atmosphere, one that makes you shut the curtains and bask in the tones that strangely comfort when feeling low. However, what surprises me sometimes about black metal and its tones is its inherent tendency to be warm. It’s almost ironic, if you think about it – black metal, whose main characteristic is being cold and bleak, has suddenly turned warm and comforting, it’s as if more and more listeners are finally able to find something they can connect to. This leads me to Steingrab, whose dark atmosphere and warm tonalities on Jahre nach der Pest present an interesting juxtaposition that should be looked into with a fine-toothed comb.   Continue reading

Album Review: Aeolian – “Silent Witness”

Aeolian - Silent Witness

Grad school has started, which means there’s been a lot of changes occurring behind the scenes that make me seek comfort in what I already know rather than experiencing new things. However, I couldn’t pass on music from the grandmother country, especially when there’s melodic death metal involved. Given how much I have written on the subject, the fact that I am still interested means that I am completely into finding new elements that seem to illustrate its evolution into something else. The thing about melodeath is that it’s currently evolving into something interesting and electronic. As we hear worlds collide, traditional melodeath – as defined by the popularity of Swedish melodeath, has become more focused on the country or region the band comes from. This has created a different sound that becomes dynamic and much more melodic in tone. With this in mind, we can look to Aeolian, a Spanish melodeath band whose debut album, Silent Witness, has a groovier blend of melodeath that I have not previously heard. Continue reading

Column: The Path To Paradise Begins In Hell – Industrial Metal

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

In last month’s column, I discussed my love for melodeath and how it got introduced to me by a dear friend of mine who continues to be a major part of my life to this day. Of course, with melodeath going into an interesting direction (trance elements?), we have to talk about one of the more fun yet confusing genres in the metal world.

Also, talking about this genre has made me realize just how damn angry I was back when I first discovered metal. No kid should have the sheer amount of pent-up rage that I did when I was 13/14. Of course, now at 24, my anger has simmered, but it’s still there, hiding underneath the niceties and the spite that seems to power the entire core of my being.

It’s time we talk about Industrial Metal. Continue reading

Column: The Path To Paradise Begins In Hell – Melodic Death Metal

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

In last month’s column, I discussed my love for symphonic death metal and the three albums that brought it to the forefront of my memory. One of those albums, Bu-Tik, seemed to straddle the line between symphonic metal, melodeath, and black metal, which is a good segue into what we will be getting to today.

The more I kept listening to symphonic death metal, the more I began to realize that there was something else to it. Some of the albums I would look into would also have the melodic death label, which intrigued me. As a former cellist, symphonic and melodic were used interchangeably – granted, there is a fine line of separation – so I always associated them with orchestra music or operatic metal. However, sometimes you need someone to push you in a different direction in order to try something new.

After that push, I became somewhat more educated not only in the difference between melodic and symphonic death metal, but also what melodic death metal actually was.

It’s time we talk about melodeath. Continue reading