by Noobhammer on Jul.05, 2010, under Chainsaw
Hello, The Noobhammer here to give you his weekly thoughts of metal, be it new reviews, startling news, or just whatever is on his mind. This is the first post of my round table, and many of you are probably thinking, “Hey Noobhammer, this seems awfully similar to ‘Cannibal’s Corner.’” Well, it is, but it isn’t. Yes, this is an opinion blog, and we both may discuss what the other has said or written, by mine has a completely different feel to it. While Cannibal Cory’s may seem like a trip down to the basement with your good old friend Sweettooth, the homicidal clown that you love, mine is more of a gathering around a round table where we discuss magic…and dragons….yeah….
ANYWAYS! My first topic is a counterpoint to Cannibal Cory’s idea about Borknagar’s latest album, Universal.
First off, I have to disagree with my good friend Cannibal Cory. While he says that this album does not deliver the punch, I have to disagree. While the guitars may not be as intense as other black metal bands, Borknagar is not your typical black metal band. I have been listening to this band since Quintessence, and the mix of clean vocals with the harsh vocals is what really gives this band their edge. It has been four years since their acoustic album and six years since their last album proper, and this latest album is a return to form of sorts for the band. It flows very similar to their classic album Empiricism. Their music flows along the same lines as Emperor’s later work, and, as such, mixes brutality and beauty, which is what makes this album bloody fantastic. Yes, I do enjoy some of the heavier tracks, but sometimes, just like Swallow The Sun and Katatonia, the slower songs can be heavier and more brutal than the faster songs. So while this album may not appeal to everyone, fans of Emperor’s last album as well as black metal fans who love a little bit of clean vocals will love this album.
Let us continue onward with some album reviews for albums that came out this past month. Starting with Sabaton’s Coat of Arms:
Sabaton return with another album chock full of inspiring music about various battles throughout history. First off, let me say that when you first listen to this album, you will have trouble putting it down for a few days. The songs are very catchy, and the choruses just make you want to raise your fist in the air and charge along the battlefield with the soldiers who fight in the song. By far, though, the opening track is the strongest song on the album. “Coat of Arms” opens up with a synth playing softly before the drums and guitars kick in and instantly make your head bang and foot tap. There are some songs, though sad in nature, will still make you feel powerful, like “Final Solution,” which describes prisoners’ feelings as they are walking through the gates of Aushwitz. It’s hard to say how long these guys will be around for though, because there are only so many battles you can sing about, and a lot of their songs vary little. Despite this fact, they can still write catchy songs that have us hooked.
Rhapsody of Fire return with their first album in four years, and it is a return for glory for the band. After being forced to change their name due to a lawsuit, their previous album, Triumph of Agony, was a big disappointment for me, especially because I am a HUGE Rhapsody fan. This latest album showcases the guitars more than the symphony. Some may see it as a response to the big hit of Dragonforce; I see it as a return to their glory days of the emerald sword. Few bands can compose and move us as well as Rhapsody of Fire can. From the moment you here Christopher Lee (Yes, the Christopher Lee who played Sauraman in The Lord of The Rings movies) give his introduction to “the mighty, immortal warriors, RHAPSODY!” you will have a grin on your face and horns raised in the air. I won’t lie to you, I’ve had this album on repeat since I got it. It makes me want to get on the back of my epic gold dragon, unsheathe my broadsword, and ride into battle with my comrades by my side as we search for the crystal of power. It is a truly epic album, and one that all power metal fans should get. LONG LIVE RHAPSODY!!
FINALLY! The new Nevermore album, The Obsidian Conspiracy, has finally been released. It has taken them five years, and, Odin, it was rough, I almost gave up on them. However, the band surprised me by releasing, not only a new album, but one hell of a new album. Seriously, this album is nearly flawless. The guitars have taken a backseat to Warrel Dane’s vocals, but that does not mean that the guitar shredding we love from this band is gone. No, rather it means that we get a great balance of both. For the first time since Dead Heart In A Dead World, I have been able to sing along with every song on the album. The songs are short but catchy, and their hooks just sink into you, and you will be humming the choruses to the songs all day. It’s hard to explain in words how this album is, but I will say this: it is now a close contender for my album of the year, and Aealo by Rotting Christ is one hell of an album to top.
Well, that’s all I have for this week. Keep tunin’ in to Chainsaw Rock on WKNC 88.1, and be sure to prepare for the Newrockalypse this week as I will be playing songs from all the albums mentioned here. Keep the horns rising brothers and sisters.
The heavyweight band is back with their latest album, and I won’t try to sweeten any of what I have to say about Borknagar‘s latest. There are times when it really does take a knife to the intestines and lets out that nice fine ooze, but I felt that for much of the album I had to repeatedly dive headfirst into any bricks I came across. And if you didn’t know, there’s a mighty ton of bricks here at N.C. State.
I’m sure my colleague and fellow metalhead-in-crime Noobhammer wouldn’t object to calling this piece of work “progressive” in some way, but I’m not a man of labels. I just know that past Havoc and Reason, the guitars aren’t grinding my elbows to dust. Once I even took a flier from those folks on campus gathering attention for their cause by handing out dead tree pulp just so I could papercut my tongue with a pentagram
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate how they give those cuddly-type of music people their teddy bears and skin-moisturizing lotion, and I thoroughly enjoy black metal artists, but by the end I feel like this is a softer “Aealo” from Rotting Christ. Rotting Christ delivers the rot, Borknagar does not.
Now the Amon Amarth concert this past Tuesday was quite disembowling– or satisfying in layman’s terms. The first band to play was Pandah, and they did a good job getting the crowd worked up on chewing through their own cheeks. They were a refreshing mix of deathly speed and blackened keyboard gore. Next to play was Holy Grail, remnants of 80′s speed metal both in sound and the singer’s tight pants. His shrill was fierce, and we all enjoyed the feeling of leeches feasting from within our ear canal.
Both bands’ styles, however, stood at a contrast to Týr and Amon Amarth. Their songs, based upon Nordic mythology and Scandinavian tales of viking warriors led some in the crowd to produce hammers and bash people’s skulls inside out. Many wound up with a Hammer Smashed Face.
Týr did not disappoint, playing beloveds such as By The Sword In My Hand, Hail To The Hammer, and By The Light Of The Northern Star. Their stage presence was a nice menacing beast through which many lost pints of blood, fluids, and bile. By the time Amon Amarth arrived, the concrete floor was coated with a nice slippery mix of stomach acid, disfigured severed limbs, and organs. Nothing like free food.
Amon Amarth brought quite a light show with them, causing peoples’ eyes to become hyperactive and either explode or pop out and dangle by that stretchy optic nerve. They opened with Twilight Of The Thunder God, where fans immediately lost all sense of self and began destroying each other in a mosh pit of flying gore. Johan, the singer, kept repeating between songs about how rockin’ the people of Raleigh were. If only he could see the floor, where half the crowd was scattered about.
They wound up playing many bloody songs such as Tattered Banners and Bloody Flags, The Fate Of Norns, Down The Slopes Of Death, Cry Of The Black Birds, Under The Northern Star, Live For The Kill, and Guardians Of Asgaard to just name a few. Their destructive power, the packed venue, and the madness-inducing lights created an environment where it was impossible to not headbang and give Johan the horns. I could keep on describing the concert, but instead have a look (that is, if you’ve got eyes to spare at the moment) at the concert pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words, but these blurry pictures are worth the wading through pools of excrement and gore.
I’m putting off my review of Borknagar‘s latest album until next week, as the Cannibal Corpse concert at Volume 11 yesterday was total face-smashing. The pure brutal assault of the Lecherous Nocturne, Diabolic, Skeletonwitch, and Cannibal Corpse lineup left my neck hanging by a string, my eye bruised from crowd surfers, my ears ringing from pure shredding, and my mind liquefying with an excellent show.
Lecherous Nocturne started off the night with some great grinding, the kind of teeth-on-chalkboard sensation that makes you realize the only thing you can do is keep on knocking your head against the stage floor in rhythm. At one point the band offered the most dominant person in a pit a copy of their latest album. I watched as fellow metalhead bashed into more metalheads, listening to the soothing sound of bone hitting bone and the growls of encouragement. They were good at turning model citizens into flying guided missiles.
It’s sad that 1349 is stuck in Europe due to some visa issues, but Diabolic was a solid substitute that did not leave me wanting to kick a door with a toothpick under my toenail, which is how I usually handle things that are not brütal enough. The old school sound was perfect for preparing us for the maggots feasting on our guts that would be disemboweled by Cannibal Corpse‘s earlier works.
Skeletonwitch hit the stage, and the crowd went bloodthirsty. People were squeezed so close to the stage that their eyes burst into white liquid, causing them to jump on stage and then back into the crowd. It seemed to rain frenzied metalheads, putting shoes into people’s noses with a bloody cracking sound and knees thudding against unlucky crowd members’ thick skulls. People ravaged so much in the Skeletonwitch set that people spontaneously combusted into bloody chunks. Some people may have helped themselves to a mid show snack.
In the end, though, it was Cannibal Corpse that devoured the crowd. They played songs from albums across the entire timeline. the exact order is a blur since that part of my brain got lobotomized at some point in the show, but I remember them starting with Scalding Hail. From that point on the brütality pulverized my legs, neck, and brain. Priests of Sodom, The Wretched Spawn, Evisceration Plague, They Deserve To Die all brought on the horns. They ended with a personal favorite of mine: Stripped, Raped and Strangled. I left the concert fully satisfied and limbless, earless, eyeless, with the stench of a thousand decomposing fellow fans around me. I think that my arms fought off their chainsaw of a grinding gory song, with my arms losing. My legs still seem to be MIA, though I don’t think I’ll need them anytime soon.
With that, I leave you more images of the concert!
I know exactly what you’re thinking, you brutal metal freaks out there. What the heck should you expect from the inaugural post by Cannibal Cory? Well I’m here to firstly warn those weak of heart and easily disturbed to look elsewhere. The following just might, maybe, cause a heart attack – especially if the idea of gore like Scattered Remains, Splattered Brains makes you want to heave your ripening meal all over the keyboard.
To start, I’ve thoroughly been enjoying waking up to the sound of Arkaik‘s debut album “Reflections Within Dissonance.” Let me be the first to tell you that there’s nothing quite like waking up headbanging, pumped with fresh glass scraping my inner eardrum. I’m not a man of genres – in this day and age it can mean a gruesome, bloody death (preferably by Beheading and Burning, but fingernail removal is fine too) — so know that the bloodier my descriptions are, the higher the recommendation is.
The title track Reflections Within Dissonance definitely rips your intestines out via bellybutton by sheer force once it lulls you into a false sense of “I’m only gonna lose a leg listening to this one.” They keep grinding at your teeth with a sander up until about halfway, when they break it all down and cause your gums to bleed. In fact, they manage to do a great job of balancing shredding your arms with a cheese grater and shattering your ears with an icepick and technicality all the way to the end.
Another one of my personal favorites, Obscured Luminosity, keeps things more in the technical realm compared to other songs, meaning each brutal stroke of the guitar and pounding of the bass pedal is like a sledgehammer to a kneecap. When it does get brutal, they’re merely taking a table saw to your jaw. The ultimate climax comes when the bassist decides that the table saw isn’t enough and rips a short — but eyeball popping — solo. After that, you’ll never look at the album in the same way again.
Then there’s Elegy for the Disillusioned, where you feel like there’s wave after wave of sewing needles being shot at your face. They keep the thrashing and breakdowns transitioning so rapidly smooth you won’t even notice you’re being swept away by a tidal wave made of acid – be sure to hang on to your skin.
There you have it – it’s up to you to decide whether you can go without a couple spare limbs for a while. Overall, the album gets a gore cleanup rating of an hour and a half in my book. Still a couple of stains that won’t come out of the carpet, but I don’t mind the maggots.
Now, for the question of the week: “If you could go to any concert, and could time travel, what would it be?” Three people replied with their responses:
“Dude, if I could time travel I’d go to the future and watch Dethklok destroy everything!” – DJ Nick
“I’d have Overkill and Kreator start the concert, then have Motörhead and Manowar. Even though it’s pretty much impossible.” - Metal Commander
“If I could choose… it would be Nile.” – 9th Priest
There you have it, cannibals. Check out the next show to hear the question of the week, and come back to read a review of Borknagar‘s “Universal”. You might even get lucky and see pictures of the Cannibal Corpse concert at Volume 11! To end on a lighter note, I leave you with this: