Welcome back to another edition of Retrocution! Yes, more than five months after our most recent edition of this column — during which your writer finished school, passed his licensure exam and, oh yeah, realized he needed a break from metal something fierce — we’re back to continue spreading the gospel of ’80s-loving electronic goodness. To (re-)kick things off, let’s take a closer look at We Are Hypersensitive, the latest album from the prolific French act, AWITW.
Last month, I was just sad – it was one of my first Christmases without my entire family – so I thought it would be fitting to discuss one of the saddest genres in metal, much to my chagrin and (possibly) tasteless jokes. It got personal, as I tend to closely associate with the music I listen to on an emotional level once my tendency to intellectualize it is stripped away. The music I chose to discuss last month were albums I deeply connected with – particularly Created in the Image of Suffering – and they needed to be revisited to see if they still hit as hard as when I first encountered them…some still do and others hit harder.
Enough about that. That was all in the past, and now we get to move on to something I have wanted to talk about since I wrote about symphonic metal many months ago.
On the darker side of symphonic metal exists another genre, one that tends to be overlooked due to its association. After all, it’s always easier to lump two genres together when they have a similar tendency to showcase female operatic vocals.
It’s time we talk about Gothic Metal. Continue reading
Last month, we dove into power metal and talked about how it was essentially foreign for me until I decided to step outside of what I knew. I also talked a lot about vocal envy and voice mimicry, which has somehow worked for me in learning how to sing. Essentially, power metal is fun, somewhat cheesy, and comforting – like a good chicken noodle soup — it will lull you to sleep and think happy thoughts, or it will amp you up to get stuff done.
Now, for many of us, it’s the holiday season. We spend time with family, friends, and other loved ones to bask in the good things that the year has brought us, eating good food, and having a great time watching movies or doing whatever normal people do during the holidays. However, because of my sense of humor and my rather interesting year, I decided to become the ultimate Grinch and give you all something to cry to. After all, nothing says “Happy Holidays” more than reminding you that we are all, fundamentally, sad people. Let me tell you something: this genre is definitely the opposite of chicken soup.
It’s time we talk about Doom Metal. Continue reading
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
Ok…on the reviewing side I’m definitely starting to feel the burnout now that I’m 20 films into the annual Hoop-Tober horror marathon. But the good news is the good is definitely outweighing the bad this week With films ranging from “meh but worth it” to “oh crap totally worth it” on the spectrum of watchability. Joe Dante more than cashed in on the success of Jaws by crafting in Piranha a wickedly fun chomp-fest that has its tongue planted firmly in cheek without sacrificing some tense, gore-filled moments. I satisfied my Barbara Crampton requirement by checking out the nostalgia-filled Beyond the Gates, which has its moments of fun recalling the heyday of VHS board games but it’s really the score by Wojciech Golczewski that satisfies. The Strangers isn’t normally the type of horror I go for, but I’m glad I tried it, because the simplicity of its approach and the craft on hand both in front of and behind the camera made for a chilling, thrilling experience to watch. Netflix has quietly been amassing a plethora of independent horror films to release under its banner, but Gareth Edwards’ follow-up to his Raid films is a masterclass of crazed religious fever. Apostle might be Dan Stevens best performance yet, sacrificing none of Edwards’ gore and action for a nasty take on The Wicker Man. And finally Jaws 2 shows that by turning the shark into essentially a slasher killer and giving us copious amounts of Roy Scheider and Keith Gordon is an okay replacement for a great movie.
Two weeks and 11 films to go, so let’s wade through the viscera tunnel that is this week’s review excerpts and get to it. Continue reading