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Author: "Munson the Destroyer"

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OS Flashback: Metal Mondays – Obligatory Halloween Playlist

From the vaults – a Halloween classic from 2011.

Halloween falls on a Monday this year, which means that it would almost be a disservice to readers everywhere if this post didn’t honor the day in some way. Because of metal’s dark nature, the possibilities are endless. I’ll save the “Rocktober” and Misfits references (as awesome as the Misfits are), and just deliver you eight great OurStage metal songs that directly or indirectly relate to Halloween. Scary things, ghosts, zombies and/or the undead — you name it. Why exactly the eve of All Hallows Day (aka All Saints Day) was chosen to be about evil things we’re not so sure, but we’re not going to argue.

Now that you’ve got your tunes, let’s tell you a bit about them:

“Initial State of Death” by They Might Be Zombies – Zombies and Halloween go hand in hand. This band may or may not be solely comprised of zombies (we’re still not totally sure). All we know is that, if they are indeed the walking dead, they’ve still got pretty good finger dexterity.

“Epidemic” by hord – Ah, the zombie apocalypse. 28 Days Later and The Walking Dead showed us the terror an epidemic just might lead to. Here’s the sonic version.

“Where Did They Hyde Dr. Jekyll” by Social Jet Lag – The classic tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is always appropriate for Halloween. We’re not sure that the song is actually about that story, but the title is, and the song’s good enough that we’ll let is slide (just this once).

“Night Of The Rising Death” by Black Divinity – We promise we’re not intentionally filling this playlist with zombie-themed songs, but sometimes a song is just too evil to pass up. Black Divinity bring the fire with some truly evil vocals and riffs galore.

“Today You Will Die” by Gargantuan – Zombies are pretty scary – that’s no secret. You know what else is scary? Serial killers. Something about sensing your own impending doom is just a tad unsettling, and Gargantuan capture the feeling pretty well on this track.

“Arise” by Still Screaming – There’s not really all that much you need to know about this song other than that it’s a crossover thrash/hardcore punk jam with the hook “We arise from the ashes of the dead tide!” If that’s not evil sounding, I don’t really know what is.

“Gift of a Ghost” by Einvera – I’m not sure about anyone else, but giving someone a ghost as a present seems like a really lame gift. I wouldn’t exactly be pumped up about being haunted. Thankfully, however, Einvera’s music is better than their gift ideas.

“Jesus Hates Zombies” by Above The Abyss – Jesus probably hates evil, that much is evident. Zombies are evil, that’s also pretty obvious. I think Above The Abyss might be onto something here. Jesus might also be into irony, since by some definitions, Jesus could be considered a zombie (after all, he was dead, and then alive again).

What metal songs get you in the Halloween spirit? Let us know in the comments.

Metal Monday: So Long, Farewell

It wasn’t long ago that I was pondering the history of my Metal Monday column, and just how long it had been since its inception. July 20, 2009. Almost three and a half years ago; my how time flies. At this juncture, it’s time for me to bid all of you faithful readers adieu in this post, my last post for the OurStage magazine. Listen, it’s not you… it’s me. Y’all should keep on being your awesome selves and keep up on the latest happenings here on the OurSage Magazine (you’re in good hands). As a bit of a going-away present, though, I’ve compiled some of my favorite metal jams I’ve found on OurStage over the years into a playlist for you. Even I was surprised with just how many gems I have accumulated over the years and I’m more than happy to share them with you one last time, especially for those of you who are newer readers. Enough babbling, though, it’s time to shred. Continue reading ‘Metal Monday: So Long, Farewell’

Metal Monday: Saille Return With Ritu

For longtime readers, repeated features on some of OurStage’s best metal bands will come as no surprise–if an OurStage band keeps doing awesome things, I’ll keep featuring them. Well, that time as come again as we’re approaching the release of Saille‘s new album, Ritu, set to release in early 2013. For those new to Saille, they’re a black metal band from Belgium who began their journey in 2008. As of now they have release one full-length album, Irreversible Decay and have played a number of shows in their home country.

Ritu appears to pick up stylistically right where Irreversible Decay left the band. Falling dead-on with the classic orchestral black metal of legends like Emperor’s early material or along the lines of Satyricon/s catalog. Catastropic, noisy guitars, grand orchestral crescendos, prototypical rasping vocals and blast beats for days can all be found throughout Ritu in standard black metal style. Saille don’t often appear to be looking to break the mold on Ritu, but the odd moments when they find themselves a bit out of the black metal character are also quite enjoyable–such as the bridge of “Haunter of the Dark” where there’s a dreamy passage filled with piano that leads directly into another black metal march. Continue reading ‘Metal Monday: Saille Return With Ritu’

Metal Monday: Imperium Pledge Themselves To Metal

Side projects, second bands, solo acts—they are all a well-established part of the music world. Sometimes a musician has too many ideas for just one band, sometimes a musician just wants to do something totally different. Whatever the reason, these offshoots exist. Newly formed Imperium is no exception. Consisting of Steve Garner (of OurStage’s own The Bridal Procession), Robert Purnell (of Trigger The Bloodshed) and guitarist Mike Alexander, Imperium are set to release their debut album, Sacramentum on November 20, 2012 via New Division Records.

Continue reading ‘Metal Monday: Imperium Pledge Themselves To Metal’

Metal Monday: Pig Destroyer Q&A

Five years after the release of Phantom Limb, Pig Destroyer are about to make a whole bunch of grindcore fans really happy with their new album Book Burner. Just as ferocious and unforgiving as ever, this album is going to receive a lot of attention in year end lists, as it should. Of course, the second we heard about the new album we had questions, and Blake Harrison (electronics) came to the rescue with some answers.

OS: In the five years it’s been since Phantom Limb, Pig Destroyer has seen a lot of change surrounding the band, including a new drummer—what of these things do you think had the most pronounced effect on the material on Book Burner?

BH: Well, I think the most pronounced influence on Book Burner was the time, we felt like we wanted the record to be lean, stripped down, fierce. Continue reading ‘Metal Monday: Pig Destroyer Q&A’

Metal Monday: The Melvins Lite Experience

Just about thirty years into their career, Melvins are still going strong. Perhaps even stronger than ever with the in 51 States in 51 Dates tour. As explained to me by the band, that’s 19 more consecutive shows than their current record of 32. The Melvins Lite experience, as it were, happened to be an incredibly good one—even from the moment I got in line. Outside the venue I had an extensive conversation with a guy who was planning on seeing a vast majority of their northeastern U.S. dates (12 in all) as well as a nice gentleman who came all the way from Israel to see the Melvins, in addition to Big Business and a few other shows, a fitting audience for a band that doesn’t do “typical” very well at all. For those unaware, Melvins Lite consists of regular Melvins members Buzz Osbourne and Dale Crover joined by bassist Trevor Dunn, without other regular Melvins members Jared Warren and Coady Willis.

Fifty-one consecutive shows in as many states is sort of a crazy notion. By most measures, this would be considered the record—even if the Guinness World Records folks don’t ultimately decide that the feat is worthy. The current record is held by George Thorogood for touring 51 states in 50 days back in 1980 (this includes Washington, D.C. as a separate state)—or so they say. The Melvins’ camp doesn’t so much believe that, though, and it’s not in the record books. Continue reading ‘Metal Monday: The Melvins Lite Experience’

Metal Monday: Podcast 3

They say third time’s a charm, right? Well, I’d like to think that both my first and second podcasts were also pretty charming, but I’ll leave that decision up to you. This is the time of the year when most bands are embarking on a huge fall tour, gearing up to release a new album or just taking a well-deserved break. What this means is this: there isn’t a lot of newsworthy stuff to report since the last podcast. So, this week’s topic will be a bit different. While I’ve heard most of the albums of interest from 2012, I was thinking about the early stages of my “best of metal” tally for the year and comparing it to my list from last year to see how the lineup held up. Let’s revisit some of my opinions from last year this week. Don’t worry, though, I’ve still got some tasty tunes in this week’s podcast for you (because I don’t want to disappoint).

More like this:
  • Metal Monday Podcast Round 2
  • Songs of the Revolution…So Far: The Podcast
  • Metal Monday: Summer Video Roundup

    We all know that video killed the radio star (or something like that), but what killed the video star? Live streaming? Or did radio get revenge? Whatever the case, music videos just don’t seem to be as big of a deal as they once were. No longer do fans turn on MTV or VH1 to watch a few hours worth of music videos and related video countdowns in prime time slots. Fortunately for us music video lovers, this hasn’t stopped artists from still making music videos (and really good ones at that). It’s been a pretty good summer for metal videos, so I’m going to share with you some of my favorites. Continue reading ‘Metal Monday: Summer Video Roundup’

    Metal Monday: How To Close A Career The Isis Way

    Perhaps one of the touchiest subjects in all of music is the decision of when an artist or band should call it quits and throw in the towel–especially if they’re one of your favorites or an incredibly revered act. Some artists, such as Ella Fitzgerald or Willie Nelson, have the capacity to be great late into their lives; others perhaps not so much (at the risk of offending someone, I’ll let you think of your own here). In some instances, such as the case with Isis, they decide to call it a day before many fans were really ready or it seemed sensible to do so. Many people, including myself, were shocked and a bit saddened by the news that Isis decided to break with a fantastically crafted goodbye letter to everyone via their blog. But this wasn’t actually the end of Isis, not completely anyway.

    Not long after their May 18th announcement, Isis announced the dates of their farewell tour, released information about the series of live EPs that would come a year later, and alluded to other plans that would would be announced in the future. Not too long ago now these plans came to fruition when Isis revealed the details for their upcoming collection, Temporal, which will be released on November 6th. This is a collection of rarities, unreleased remixes and each of the band’s music videos–not just a “best of” release.
    Continue reading ‘Metal Monday: How To Close A Career The Isis Way’

    Metal Monday: Unsung Heroes Ensiferum Return

    When thinking of folk metal bands, a handful of names likely come to mind, but certainly no band that has been as consistently great or well-known as Ensiferum. Although Moonsorrow and Eluveitie are fantastic, they still rank far behind Ensiferum. Recently Ensiferum released their fifth full-length album, Unsung Heroes. How does it stand up against the band’s previous four releases? Surprisingly well, actually. And what a rare feat it is in metal’s pantheon for a band such as Ensiferum to put out five albums in eleven years and not have one weak album among them.

    For those unfamiliar with Ensiferum, their sound is best described as music for modern-day vikings (who probably also listen to Amon Amarth) with influences from Celtic and Medieval folk music styles applied to a more extreme version of power metal.  Flutes, recorders, fiddles, kantele, and more—the diverse instrumentation help folk metal bands like Ensiferum incorporate more than just the musical aspect of folk music. They also do so in regards to textures. But please don’t forget the metal parts. Even though there’s a heaping serving of folk in Ensiferum’s mix, they still shred. Most of the songs feature pretty quick tempos and guitar riffs for days. Continue reading ‘Metal Monday: Unsung Heroes Ensiferum Return’

     


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