Things You Might Have Missed 2012

Things You Might Have Missed 2012: Syn Ze Şase Tri – Sub semnul lupului

Things You Might Have Missed 2012: Syn Ze Şase Tri – Sub semnul lupului

“Back in 2011 I reviewed a record by the Transylvanian (that is, Romanian) black metal band Syn Ze Şase Tri. With loose connections to Negură Bunget—the guitarist/vocalist Corb was in the band from 2009-2010—these black metallers managed to get signed to Code666 and dropped a record entitled Între două lumi. The mastering on that album was so bad (DR5—with the final track pushing its way into DR4 territory) that I found myself literally unable to appreciate the music. I was listening to it on the speakers of an iMac (not exactly audiophile equipment) and I could hear audible peaking. I summarily trashed the album—as could be expected given that—and moved along my way.” Angry Metal Guy revisits a band that had much potential hampered by a terrible mastering job. How’d they do in 2012?

Things You Might Have Missed 2012: Silencer – The Great Bear

Things You Might Have Missed 2012: Silencer – The Great Bear

One of the records I meant to get to but never was able to was this modern thrash metal epic from Colorado’s Silencer. This record is a bit of a unique one, actually, but it grabbed my attention immediately because it’s a concept record about the space race between the USSR and the USA from the perspective of the Soviets. Strike you as weird? Yeah, me too. But I was surprised upon giving it a few listens to see that, indeed, The Great Bear is a very ambitious and cool record – but completely unpretentious despite the seemingly obscure and borderline esoteric topic.

Things You Might Have Missed 2012: Skálmöld – Börn Loka

Things You Might Have Missed 2012: Skálmöld – Börn Loka

On the surface, Börn Loka, the second album from Iceland’s Skálmöld, is a high energy, beer-soaked celebration of Viking heritage. Sing-along choruses (if you speak Icelandic) overlay hooky riffs and power-metal leads in a combination that is readily accessible to mainstream audiences. (The band recently played an all-ages show in Reykjavík that was heavily attended by the under-10 set.) Fortunately, triple guitars and primary vocalist Björgvin’s sandblast roars keep the sound heavier than what you get from folksters like Korpiklaani, even when the atmosphere of Viking fraternity threatens to turn into an Alestorm-level schtick.

Things You Might Have Missed 2012: Tenacious D – Rize of the Fenix

Things You Might Have Missed 2012: Tenacious D – Rize of the Fenix

So, let me start by saying that Jack Black isn’t funny. Now that we have that out of the way, you can take this little blurb for what it is: a reminder that this record did get released and that it didn’t eat a big fat dick. In fact, I’ve always had a really weird relationship to Tenacious D because while I think that Jack Black is really not funny even a little bit (no, I mean really, I never laugh at his stuff essentially ever), the music on these records is actually really solid, neo-classic rock. This is obvious from about a minute and a half into title and opening track “Rize of the Fenix,” where the pure Kansas riff and the chorus that evokes that sweet time in popular music when musicians could write songs, play instruments and be famous even if they looked like Steve Perry. It was a magical time we’ll never get back.