2013

Angry Metal-Fi: Hearing Is Believing

Angry Metal-Fi: Hearing Is Believing

In our first Angry Metal-Fi article, Alex pointed out exactly what’s wrong with Fleshgod Apocalypse’s Labyrinth — it’s compressed to within an inch of its life, ruining the music that the band worked so hard to create. It’s easy for us to sit and point fingers though and tell you how everyone is doing it wrong, (which they are). To really get a sense of what you’ve been missing, you need to hear some examples of bands and engineers that are doing it right. Once you’ve heard how good fully dynamic metal can sound, and how much better your favorite albums could have sounded had they been mastered with full dynamics, we hope that it will make you angry. You might even shed a tear for everything that’s been lost over the last 20 years, so many great albums ruined because of the insanity that is the Loudness War.

Boston – Life, Love & Hope Review

Boston – Life, Love & Hope Review

“As someone who grew up in the Midwestern U.S., I am more than familiar with the music of Boston. Ever since the late-’70s, FM radio has played almost every track from the band’s 1976 debut album on a daily basis. I’ve never been a huge fan of the band, but some of those songs are pretty badass, if cheesy. More recently, the band was dealt a tragic blow when founding singer Brad Delp committed suicide in 2007. A brief tour followed with Michael Sweet (Stryper) taking Delp’s place, but when Sweet returned to his main band, it was assumed that Boston would be laid to rest. So I was intrigued by the news of a new record, Life, Love & Hope, recorded by mainman Tom Scholz and a mostly new lineup.” The lead singer on their “new” album has been dead since 2007. And it gets worse.

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Týr – Valkyrja

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Týr – Valkyrja

As an Angry Metal Guy, I have truly been off my game this year. In fact, having become an Angry Sociology PhD Student™ has taken away precious time from my blogging gig. As the one is—and will hopefully lead to—gainful employment, and the other is an avocation, you can probably understand that I have been working hard at the former. But, unfortunately, this means that some big records I stepped up to review never got reviewed. Possibly the greatest of these oversights this year was Týr‘s Valkyrja, which was so good that I made it a Record o’ the Month for September. “Watch this space,” I said. Well, those of you who watched are going to finally get your review.

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Avatarium – Avatarium

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Avatarium – Avatarium

“Some of these things “we miss” during the year are understandably obscure and I don’t lose much sleep worrying about the overall health of my Metal Detector. Sometimes however, we whiff on a biggie and are left wondering if our collective ear to the metal underground needs a hearing aid (of steel). This is one of those whiffs. That’s because Avatarium is the new project of none other than Leif Fucking Edling (Candlemass, Krux, Abstract Algebra, etc.) and since the man is one of the modern-day Lords of Doom, we clearly should have seen this coming sooner.” Oops is all we can say on this one. The classy thing to do is forgive and move on.

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Haust – No

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Haust – No

No wove its way onto my playlist around mid way through the year thanks to a tip-off from an Angry Metal Reader, and wow what a find! These angry, snarky cats originate from Notodden in the hills of Norway, but rather than puking out another Darkthrone Unholy Trinity, Haust‘s fourth full-length deliver’s a raw, primeval tirade of rock meets punk, culminating in total humiliation and the realization of one’s limitations.” That pretty much sells itself, no?

Sheol – Sepulchral Ruins Below The Temple Review

Sheol – Sepulchral Ruins Below The Temple Review

“What’s old is new again. Many new bands are ravaging old graveyards to exhume rotting corpses of bands and styles long since past their sell-by date. 70’s proto-doom, 80’s retro-thrash, and now, 90’s fuzzy Swedeath are the templates that bands are utilizing to create their own legacies. UK’s Sheol are the newest duo to bring out the rotting, zombified corpses of early Dismember and Darkthrone into the sunlight (studios) with their debut EP, Sepulchral Ruins Below The Temple.” 2013 winds down as it cranked up – with loads of old school Swedish death. Do you have room for just a little more?

Cult of Fire – मृत्यु का तापसी अनुध्यान (Ascetic Meditation of Death)

Cult of Fire – मृत्यु का तापसी अनुध्यान (Ascetic Meditation of Death)

“A divine mother to the enlightened and a ferocious killer to those fearful of death, the Hindu goddess Kali is a figure of reverence and terror alike – a being that is by all accounts complex, mystical and arcane. What better genre to pay tribute to the Divine Mother than the fearsome majesty and ritual violence of black metal? Cult of Fire, hailing from the Czech Republic, move away from done-to-death “orthodox” Satanism obnoxiousness on their second album मृत्यु का तापसी अनुध्यान (Ascetic Meditation of Death) in favor of focussing on Hindi mythology, creating an album that is entirely dedicated to this most fearsome of Hindi goddesses.” Czech black metal dealing with Hindu concepts? What could be more American??

Hell – Curse and Chapter Review

Hell – Curse and Chapter Review

“There’s an interesting history behind Hell. As a part of the original NWoBHM, they were close to releasing an album alongside contemporaries like Saxon and Iron Maiden, but bad luck and personal tragedy brought them low and derailed their best laid plans. Though they never made it past the demo stage, they were influential in the scene and championed by folks like producer and former Sabbat guitarist Andy Sneap. So taken with their old demos was he, that he encouraged the members to reform and give it another go with him on guitar, which resulted in 2011s Human Remains opus. That platter featured some ancient tunes loaded with NWoBHM flair and a noticeable Mercyful Fate influence, and while the music was highly enjoyable, I struggled mightily with the delivery of front man David Bower, which was overdone, uber-theatrical and at times, very cheeseball parmesan.” Now that they’ve had some time to sort things out, can Hell deliver some metal for the ages or are they still suffering from Drama Overload Disorder? Steel Druhm has the prognosis.

An Autumn for Crippled Children – Try Not to Destroy Everything You Love Review

An Autumn for Crippled Children – Try Not to Destroy Everything You Love Review

“Today on Angry Metal Guy we’re pleased to present you with some depressive, experimental doom black… wait, are those pink orchids? How adorable! It’s times like this that question whether I was destined to be a flower-arranger rather than a metal reviewer, but thanks to the adventurous forays of An Autumn for Crippled Children (AAfCC herein), I can finally embrace the idea of being both.” And on this special day of Thanksgiving, please allow Noctus to give you the gift of crippled children.