Reviews Archives - Page 10 of 28 -

I’ve accepted by this point that the X-Men movies are, simply put, interpretations of the source material. You could argue that the the actual Marvel Studios films are more faithful and better than Fox’s version of the X-Men, but the series has lasted sixteen years now, rebooted itself, and even allowed Deadpool a second chance at redemption. Even with First Class and Days of Future Past being as great as they are, one must digest the fact that Fox will take creative liberties with the characters, all the while still paying respects to key elements in the lore.  

By all that is unholy and brutal, we finally have the follow up to the 2015 slab Savage Land by the throwback titans, Gruesome! Keeping with the influence of the early Death sound aesthetic, Gruesome slays this album with riffs, sick leads, and a sonic hammer to the kneecaps as they sink their teeth into your yielding flesh!  

Because it’s not possible to go in depth with every single album, and two highly progressive releases have released in such close proximity, here’s, in brief, summaries on the Ihsahn and Haken albums.  

   Amon Amarth don’t have much left to prove to the world at this point in their career. Within the nearly three years since Deceiver of the Gods was released, the band have grown exponentially beyond an overseas sensation, into a juggernaut worldwide. Taking that opening slot on the Mayhem Festival main stage proved to go a long way, as the band embarked on two headlining North American tours the following year, each time growing larger than before.  

I’ll be the first to admit that I never expected much out of Fear Factory when I first listened to them. To my surprise, they became a group of musicians who I respected for their in-your-face albums with the chops to back them up. Nobody could argue that while you knew what you were getting into with Fear Factory, you wouldn’t end up disappointed. With that said, I’ve always been wary of anything associated with industrial metal, in the sense that it can be so computerized and clean, at times, that the thrill of actually seeing an industrial band live would not be able to replicate that.  

Deftones have been on a bit of a roller coaster the past decade or so. The band emerged in the nu-metal scene in the mid 90s, but around the turn of the century they began to branch out into more sonically adventurous directions, transforming their already unique sound into something one of a kind, and making every album a stepping stone for their natural progression. 2012’s Koi No Yokan saw the band receive an exorberant amount of attention in the media, and rightly so, as the album was nothing short of an accomplishment in many regards.  

Chances are, if you’re into metal, your first love for a band wasn’t Gorgoroth or Suffocation. I’ve met a person or two who went from prog rock into tech death, but in actuality the majority of people in the metal community started with the basics: Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and even hard rock bands that influenced the genre, like Van Halen. It’s almost like Metal 101, and everyone has to go through it at some point or another. And whether you enjoy the music or not, you can’t deny the influence on the genre, let alone how it has impacted the world.  

Sometimes, when tours get announced, the lineup is just too good to pass up, even if you aren’t entirely familiar with the bands attached. I could argue that I enjoyed Intronaut and Scale the Summit as bands and that they’re great musicians, but improper timing on my behalf never allowed me to give the respective bands as much time as they deserved. I’m familiar with a good deal of their songs, and given the fact that they were all withstanding the staggering amount of music I’ve digested clearly says something about the quality of the bands as a whole.  

Viking metal, that of sagas growled describing the gods and goddesses of the frozen wastes, battling monsters and each other, as well as the warriors who lived in that icy hel, is a thunderous and energetic metal style that has become very popular as of late. Currently leading the pack in popularity and in consistent output is Amon Amarth, who look, sound, and sing like we all feel a viking warrior should: powerfully! With their newest frozen slab of viking virtue, Jomsviking, they thoroughly cement their place in the metal god pantheon. Opening with the ominous first track, First Kill, they come flying at you as if they had landed a raiding party upon your shores. Galloping guitars, thundering drums, all leading to... 

Amon Amarth need no introduction. Sure, they’re not the first band to sing about vikings and mythology, and nor are the first melo death band to do it either, but they’re like Motorhead in death metal form: you know what you’re getting and that’s totally okay. The past three years have been titanic for the band, though: Deceiver of the Gods landed them a spot on Mayhem Festival with the likes of Mastodon, Five Finger Death Punch, and Rob Zombie, and have since  gone on to becoming a massive band in both North America. Even when I saw them headline in New York with Sabaton and Vallenfyre, they managed to bring over their viking ship stage prop for the show, making it a memorable experience. (A bloody nose after... 

Give or take about a year and a half ago, Full of Hell and Merzbow released a collaboration album simply titled Full of Hell & Merzbow. Even with some mixed response, the album was almost everywhere, as it was a blend of grindcore and noise, just touching on the brink of insanity and fusing it with a bloodthirsty rage. Now Full of Hell have teamed up with sludge metal act The Body for another collaboration, and the results push the human psyche into dark and disturbing places. Whereas the Merzbow project could be likened to a physical assault, this project with The Body is more cerebral and telekinetic in how it will break you down. Granted there are physical aspects to the album, but the damage done stays present... 

It’s a timeless argument that we all have become accustomed to: which of the two titans would win in a fight to the death? We’ll never truly have an answer, since Batman and Superman are very rarely pitted against one another in comics, but a movie based around a conflict between them? On not just a physical but moral way? That seems awesome, right?  

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