The Path to Paradise Begins in Hell – Power Metal

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

Last month, I spoke about fandom once again and how it led me to appreciate folk metal for what it is rather than for what it could be. I tend to intellectualize things when I don’t understand them, which is why I can’t let myself enjoy music or video games sometimes. Looking for the bigger thing doesn’t always lead to answers and, sometimes, you just have to have fun.

Considering how there has been many events this past month that have occurred, I think I need to bring some comfort and cheese into this column just to get away from all the rage and despair we are seeing. This brings me to, of course, another unfamiliar genre of metal that I am only aware of because of two bands that I am familiar with, and then I jumped the gun. Of course, I am still wading my way through the genre, so forgive me.

Also, be prepared to hear me talk about vocals – I am fascinated by them.

It’s time we talk about power metal. Continue reading

The Path to Paradise Begins in Hell – Folk Metal

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

Last month, I discussed my love for industrial metal, and how one song shaped my entire adolescence before I fully landed in the German camp of industrial metal. Since writing the column, the song “Bye/Die” has become more prevalent as of late, as I am knuckles-deep into grad school and I haven’t had time to breathe. Thus, what better way to fully curse being a full-time student and being split in various camps than by humming a song about hoping some entities – in this case, my institution and select members of my immediate family – would fuck off and die?

If you can’t tell by now, humans have a tendency to categorize things because we like heuristics (shortcuts), and I am doing this because I like to organize what I know into small piles of easy-to-access information.

Also, for that one person who suggested other bands to check out: I do not consider Nine Inch Nails or Marilyn Manson metal. They may be industrial and metal-like, but they are not metal to me. Like I have stated previously, labels are subjective, and while they do tend to crossover, I came to Nine Inch Nails later in life. As to the others, I might check them out, but we shall see.

Speaking of coming to things later in life, the next genre I want to explore is one that I came into because of fandom. While I never thought to involve myself into another fandom after what happened with symphonic metal, I watched from the sidelines while people talked about bands in this genre.

It’s time we talk about folk metal. Continue reading

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