Monday, June 28, 2010

Some More About The Discordance

A follow up on the last post about The Discordance: the most excellent Islander over at No Clean Singing was inspired enough by my statifying to do some digging of his own into Encyclopedia Metallicum's database, and did me one better by finding a feature that not only adds in population (by millions of people, rather than straight population statistics), but strips out inactive bands from the totals list for the country. The results are basically the same - Finland, Norway, and Sweden are still the places to go to get metal out the ass - but tiny places like Lichtenstein, Monaco, and Faroes Islands fall out of the list, removing the statistical oddities of my list. Good stuff. Gives me another reason to want to visit Iceland, too.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Geekery in The Discordance

I've been playing with Encyclopedia Metallicum's The Discordance, which is pretty much a metal geek's wet dream: the site's database of information - genres, locations, release dates, etc. - presented in forms like grids, lists,'s like they took two of my favorite things and smashed them together in a comprehensive if slow-moving package.

Long-time readers may remember my series of posts on the most metal country, mainly from a few years ago when I found out that Finland had most of Metallica's catalog in their top 40 chart. After clicking through for a few minutes, I realized The Discordance, with its totals of bands by country, could give me an answer. So I took that list, compared it to the list of population by country from Wikipedia, and came up with the number of bands per population total, only to find...

...that I knew the answer all along: Finland, with 0.00046 bands per person, is the most metal country on Earth. Scandinavia scores full top 10 representation, with Sweden at number 2, Norway at number 3, and Denmark at number 8. Germany, which has the second largest number of total bands, scores well at number 16. The United States has the highest number of bands, but also has the world's third-largest population, and falls to number 33 on my list. Want to see the whole list? I've made the spreadsheet available through Google Docs.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Its Spectral ShoegazeFrenchEmoBlack Metal for me and somedays thats exactly what i'm feeling. Sometimes.

Alcest is a French band created by Neige (also in Amesoeurs, Peste Noire and Forgotten Woods) in early 2000. ...The first chapter of this journey was Le Secret EP, which was released in 2005 by Drakkar Productions. In 2007, Neige agreed to a contract with the German label Prophecy Productions and released Alcest's debut album Souvenirs d'un autre monde the same year.

These two tracks taken from newest release Écailles De Lune.
ouvenirs d’un autre monde – Full Length [20uvenirs d’un autre monde – Full Length [2007]
Écailles De Lune (Part I)

Écailles De Lune (Part II)

Friday, June 11, 2010

June Metal Gleanings

A quick rundown of what I've been churning through recently during my prime listening hours:
  • Keep of Kalessin - Reptilian. This album has completely lived up to its promise, becoming the disc with the sounds so infectious I have to limit myself to listening once a day. "The Awakening," with its bridge hook that begs to be shouted through one of those Swiss Alpine horns into a gale (seriously, go to 3:03 in this clip and check it out) has replaced early favorite "The Dragontower" as the song of choice, but the whole thing is an easy sell because it's brutal and catchy all at the same time.

  • Nachtmystium - Addicts: Black Meddle Pt II. Between this album and the Twilight disc I had a whole Blake Judd bloc yesterday afternoon, which was pretty fantastic. My first feelings after hearing the sequel to Assassins were of awe at Nachtmystium's ability to switch gears so easily from track to track. The overall aesthetic is still that fuzzy Nachtmystium we know and love, but an album that includes everything from a very poppy chorus in "Then Fires" to old school industrial touches in "Blood Trance Fusion" to a heavy dose of EBM in "Every Last Drop" offers a lot to explore. I'm psyched to be seeing these guys again tomorrow.

  • Odem Arcarum - Outrageous Reverie Above the Erosion of Barren Earth. As I've mentioned in the past, this album owes a great deal to Emperor's later work; there's a good bit of 1349, too, especially in the vocals. A bit derivative, perhaps, but these guys offer up so many textures in their 10 minute epics that there's still plenty to enjoy. Definitely take the whole album as one dose, though.

  • Nevermore - The Obsidian Conspiracy. Just got this one a few days ago, so I'm still forming impressions, but thus far the band's seventh album is in keeping with expectations: impressive musicianship, ear-bending vocal lines, and a broad mix of lyrical topics. "Your Poison Throne" seems like the most traditionally Nevermore track thus far, while "And the Maiden Spoke" stands out with a particularly challenging chorus.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Victory for the forces of DARKNESS.

Watain's "Lawless Darkness", released June 7th,  is the musical equivalent of the Gulf spill. Totally relentless, life killing, and a thing you can see from space.

Its got chops, atmosphere, songs, hooks! In other words, another victory for the forces of DARKNESS.

This is the kind of metal in the lineage of Venom and Bathory. Its ferocious, breathes fire and blood.

I didn't think it was possible for them to best 2007's "Sworn To the Dark".
They have, and you may too.

"Reaping Death"

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Kicking Ass on the Final Frontier

Above is the cover for the first single - and man, do I feel like I should putting quotes around both of those terms - from Iron Maiden's upcoming album, The Final Frontier, as offered - along with a download of the song - on the band's website. It is fantastic: the pulp theme and the representation of evil-looking, puppetmaster Eddie mesh perfectly with the song's straightforward story of greed and the album's (presumed) sci-fi theme. Really, every band should do artwork like this piece - and by "artwork like this piece" I mean art that kicks ass - for every pre-release single, because even though the song itself loses steam midway through, I'm still excited to hear the rest of The Final Frontier when it comes out in August. Of course, the bonus release of the album cover artwork doesn't hurt:

Look at that shit. That's fucking giant Space Eddie doing some weird-ass shit to alien astronauts with a big glowing key. That painting is precisely what I want out of my Iron Maiden art.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Remembering Hear 'N Aid

Yet another of Dio's many contributions:

"Hear 'N Aid : The Sessions" documents the making of a record, a very special record called "Stars", that will raise for famine relief. It is a behind the scenes journey through the process of rock 'n roll record-making, from the basic tracks through vocal solos and chorus to performances by 11 stellar guitarists that form A SINGLE GUITAR SOLO (my emphasis)".

"40 artists from the hard rock music community and hundreds of volunteers donated their time and talent over four months to make Hear ' N Aid a reality. "Stars" is a plea for unity in the fight against world hunger."