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Tag Archive: Enslaved

Coffinworm – IV.I.VIII


Indianapolis, Indiana’s Coffinworm uncompromisingly embrace the primitive, the raw, and the just plain ugly in the face of a technologically advancing age of music. Their sound is a potential palette cleanser if one ever feels bombarded with the squeaky clean and wants to get a little dirty. After two well received releases in 2010’s When All Became None and 2012’s Great Bringer of Night, the band return with IV.I.VIII, another potent fist in the face of all things holy.

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Amon Amarth

Typically when a tour rolls through the US, we pick a single staff photographer to attend a date and gather photos. This time around, we were able to get two different photographers in two different cities to capture the latest Amon Amarth North American headlining tour, which features support from Enslaved and Skeletonwitch. Regular contributors Nick Budosh and Maclyn Bean attended the tour stops in Silver Spring, MD and New York, NY respectively. and you can view the galleries below.

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For some death metal bands starting out, the goal is to have the most extreme “brootal” sound possible and hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. There are some great extreme death metal bands out there that are a lot of fun.

For others, the goal is more complex; it’s to create a sound that is both heavy and accessible and ultimately that has its own unique identity. Hailing from the Chicago burbs, Cimmerian definitely fits among this second group. Vocalist and lead guitarist Dean Nagel founded the band with a friend who eventually moved on. He then added his brother Tim on bass and friend Evan Dale on guitar and backing vocals.

Cimmerian already has a full-length out, Infinite Perdition, and has just released a single ‘Among Ghosts, We Slept’ off the upcoming record, Hollowing.

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black crown initiate

Every now and then there’s a new band whose name keeps popping up in various places on social media so often that I’m practically obligated to find out what all the fuss is about. In the past few weeks, I had been hearing more and more about progressive death metal group Black Crown Initiate. They’ve popped up on my Facebook feed a time or two, and a friend of the site even made a recommendation to me personally. I’d always forget, though. This morning, I finally decided to give the group a go.

Good thing I did, because Black Crown Initiate have all the potential to become greats in progressive metal. The group’s new EP Song of the Crippled Bull plays as a single track and pulls from all over the extreme prog spectrum. There are bouts of Opeth in opening track ‘Stench of the Iron Age,’ and the beginning of ‘Ghosts She Sends’ reeks of blackened Gojira, as well as a real Enslaved vibe once the clean vocals kick in during ‘The Mountain Top’. There’s a striking balance between brutality and forward-thinking progression across the EP, and is certainly worth the $3 price tag. Stream Song of the Crippled Bull below.

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Scandinavian progressive metal tends to have a certain grandiosity and bombast about it that seems unparallelled by the rest of the world. We’ve been singing the praises of this particular subsection of music for some time now, what with Ihsahn, Enslaved, SHINING, Vintersorg, and more coming out over the years with strong records that capture the region’s unique musical nuance. One band in particular that has engrained themselves as a part of the growing attention brought to the region is Norway’s Leprous. Breaking out with the critical hit of their sophomore record Bilateral in 2011 and gaining notoriety as Ihsahn’s designated live band, they became a band to watch in 2013 as they prepared their follow-up, Coal. It’s certainly one of our most anticipated records this year, and we’re proud to present the band’s first single from the album, ‘Chronic,’ below.

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There’s something in the water out there in Scandinavia that makes prog metal so wild, fun, and thought-provoking, a la Ihsahn, SHINING, Enslaved, and up-and-comers Leprous. Leprous have had us captivated since the release of their third record Bilateral. We featured Leprous on our list of albums to look out for in 2013, and the good news is finally starting to come in.

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Let’s celebrate with champagne

Because it’s that time of the year again

When everyone gives each other gifts

And makes end of the year lists

2012 was a great year

Many albums I did revere

But only a few I must choose

Now before more rhymes I abuse

Let’s get to the favorite albums

So take this list into your cerebellums

(Yes, I know that the cerebellum doesn’t do that, shut up!)

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If I had my say, there would be a top one hundred list, because I enjoyed so many different albums this year. I’ve changed this list fifty seven times over the past week, so this list is me finally making a decision. It’s honestly been harder choosing this list than it has been choosing classes for next semester. I must say that 2012 has shown that music has not totally gone down the drain, because there are still so many amazing bands I’m just now hearing about, and so many great albums to listen to. So, without further ado, here are the twenty best albums to come out in 2012, and the six best albums that would be twenty one through twenty six that just didn’t make the cut.

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Some of you may be aware of who I am. AlucardXIX on youtube, amongst other websites. The guy who does all the Veil of Maya covers, the mind behind Encircle, and another writer on this here great ol’ blog. 2012 was both an interesting and disappointing year to me, musically. Some absolutely astounding albums came out this year, and some serious let downs as well (The Faceless, The Contortionist). Originally it was hard for me to pick a top ten; I thought about all the albums I’ve heard that I abandoned after a few listens, albums I loved at first listen and then wondered how I even thought that to begin with. I thought I could barely muster together 10 albums to begin with, but remembering back to the beginning of the year, I managed this humble fifteen:

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momento mori

2012 has been an amazing year for music, and I find myself hard pressed to pick fifteen releases that I would consider to be the best and cover everything I want to cover. Nevertheless, here are the fifteen best albums of the year, in my humble opinion.

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