March 14, 2011

Concert Review - United Hate Across America Tour

Thursday, March 10th, dawned bright, clear and crisp in Northeastern Louisiana. After leaving work at noon I picked up two good friends, and we headed an hour and a half down the road to Shreveport to see Beyond Terror, Beyond Grace; Havoc; The Absence; Full Blown Chaos; and Malevolent Creation. I have been a fan of The Absence for six years. In all those years, I haven't been able to see their live show. 

We arrived at Shreveport around 2 p.m., ate some lunch and then headed out to find the venue, The Riverfront Warehouse. When we found it, it was still early, around 4 p.m., and nobody was there. We walked around for a bit and then I, wanting to be first in line, sat out in front of the venue while my friends walked around for an hour. 

March 8, 2011

Review - Turisas - Stand Up and Fight

Turisas are undeniably one of the masters of Folk/Viking/Battle metal and their newest album, Stand Up and Fight, is on par with their other two albums, The Varangian Way and Battle Metal. It's a sweeping epic, grandiose in scale.

Like every band in this genre, every song is full of glory in battle, defeating enemies and drunken parties. What makes these guys stand apart from the others is their shear musical ability. This album could have easily turned into a cheese-fest with songs about hunting pirates and heroic acts. It never does.

March 7, 2011

Review - Burzum - Fallen

Last year, Burzum's album Belus was released. It was heralded, before its release, as Varg Vikernes's comeback. It turned out to be mediocre at best. One year later, he released Fallen. This is his true comeback. This album is what Belus should have been. Dark, black, melodic and sweeping, this album is everything that is good about a Burzum album.

Every song is a chilly blast of Norwegian black metal. The production, while not perfect, fits the feel of the album perfectly. A true black metal album doesn't need perfectly clean production. The music needs to sound rough.

Review - Varg - Wolfskult

The genre of pagan/viking metal is slowly becoming over saturated. It seems like every time I turn around there's a new band that sounds exactly like every other pagan/viking metal band. Varg's Wolfskult seemed fairly original at first, with heavy thrash influence and black metal shrieks, and pagan in lyrical theme only. There are no bagpipes, flutes or other instruments normally associated with this genre, thus setting themselves apart from the pack. However, this is pretty standard thrash metal. You can hear the same thing listening to a Destruction album.

March 4, 2011

Classic Review - Bal-Sagoth - The Power Cosmic

Bal-Sagoth are described on the Metal Archives as being Symphonic/Epic Black Metal. Honestly, I couldn't come up with a better or more appropriate description. They completely embody every single one of those words to the fullest and none of their albums show this better than their 1999 album The Power Cosmic.

The entire album is epic in scope, from the lyrics to the keyboards and the guitars to the drums. Everything is written to be as large as possible. And it works even twelve years later. The production on the album is fantastic. You can clearly hear everything the band wants you to.

March 3, 2011

Review - Jag Panzer - The Sourge of the Light

This is probably one of the hardest reviews I've ever had to write. Generally, I know exactly how I feel about what I'm reviewing and can express it to my audience with little to no trouble. However, I'm just not sure how I feel about this album. It sounds like classic era Jag Panzer but with less energy and enthusiasm.

On the one hand, it's got good song structure and well-written solos, and the lyrical content isn't as cheesy as some other power metal albums. On the other, the whole album sounds phoned in. It lacks the intensity of earlier albums like Ample Destruction or The Fourth Judgement.

March 2, 2011

Review - Deicide - To Hell With God

Deicide are back and not a moment too soon after the stinkfest that was Till Death Do Us Part, but are they truly back? It's hard to tell. Certainly, To Hell With God is a better album, but after 20 years of writing death metal, they seem to be out of ideas. It does have the standard Deicide sound, but in this case, that doesn't save this album from mediocrity. About halfway through the album, I realized I had heard these songs before. I had heard them earlier on the album. Every song has the same drumming, same lyrical patterns, same guitar work. The only thing missing was the bass. I couldn't hear it. If it was there, it was turned down so low it was basically absent.

March 1, 2011

Review - Evergrey - Glorious Collision

From the intro notes on "Leave It Behind Us" to the closing of "...And The Distance" Evergrey's Glorious Collision is an incredible album. The writing, the performance, everything is top notch. I'll be honest, I didn't know quite what to expect from this album. Three fifths of the band left in 2010 and were replaced. The only original member left is vocalist and guitarist Tom Englund. There was some question in my mind as to if these replacements could and would hold up to the talent of their predecessors. There is no question. They are just as talented musicians and together have made what will probably become a classic of melodic prog metal.

February 11, 2011

Intro and Hello

My name is KodiakDeth. I'm a metal enthusiast and scholar from Northeast Louisiana. I'm starting this blog for several reasons, the main one being that I love metal and want to share that love with everybody. You will find several types of articles on this blog: reviews of new albums, reviews of classic albums, band spotlights, concert reviews for shows I go to and scholarly, researched articles about metal, the metal lifestyle and other metal-related topics.

The blog will be updated several times per week so check back often. When I post reviews I will post links to iTunes or Amazon, where you can buy said album. Please support the artists and this blog by buying the music. Feel free to comment on posts or email suggestions about the blog or artists/albums you'd like to see covered to me. I sincerely hope you enjoy the blog as much as I do.