All posts by skullbone76

Freelance photographer from America, currently living in Finland covering heavy metal shows areound the country. Looking to branch out a bit into music, movie and concert reviews and band interviews. Check out my website skullbanger.net and leave me some feedback!

Music Review: Midnight Album: Sweet Death and Ecstasy

midnight - 2017 MAIN

Available: NOW

Label: Hells Headbangers

Official Websites

https://www.facebook.com/Midnight-87909491643/

http://totalmidnight.webs.com/

 

It seems Cleveland, Ohio has a very deep underground metal movement which is helped out by the locally based label Hells Headbangers.  While Hells Headbangers normally deals in a lot of extreme metal bands, I really admire the fact that they seem like a close knit group who are passionate about the metal genre.  While I am not typically an extreme metal fan the label does make efforts to include other bands of other genres that are either trying to get started or may be in danger of being lost to time.  As a result I sometimes find nice hidden gems among the promos I get sent to me from them. Continue reading Music Review: Midnight Album: Sweet Death and Ecstasy

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Music Review: Beast in Black Album: Berserker

BY: TJ Fowler

Label: Nuclear Blast

Available: Now

Official Websites:

https://www.facebook.com/beastinblackofficial/

http://www.beastinblack.com/

 

Power metal has really struggled for the better part of a decade and half with, in my opinion, being distinctive and creative.  While usually the vocalists in such bands have high octaves and range and the guitarists can solo and noodle…the songs themselves always were very barebones, one note droning with little to no melody hooks and double bass drumming with no variation while the singer just sings over everything.  Long gone are the days where bands like ACCEPT, Helloween, Manowar, Hammerfall and old Blind Guardian were at the forefront of the genre.  So to be a power metal band and distinct is a major feat these days.

Then along came a band called Battle Beast that I felt really encapsulated what power metal should be and could be and I felt they had the genre in the palm of their hands.  That was until and ugly breakup with founding member of Anton Kabanen and the rest of the band ruined that opportunity and future.

This left the main and only songwriter of that band out on his own and on a mission to put together another band.  The result of this is the multi-national band Beast in Black which has members from Finland, Greece and Hungary.  The first output from this conglomeration is the album ‘Berserker’.  From the start it is obvious Anton and Company have set out on a mission to prove themselves as stand outs in the power metal genre.

The main strengths of ‘Berserker’ are first and foremost the amazing vocals of Yannis Papadopoulos.  His amazing skills are most evident on the amazing ‘Blind and Frozen’ song where his voice soars higher than I would think humanly possible but also can go low and have a gritty metal vibe.  All the while everything remains in control and fits the music and lyrics fantastically.

This leads to the second part of the album I feel is its strongest point, the melodies and musical composition of the songs.  While one of the greatest weaknesses of power metal is very little musical variation until a solo i.e. one note shredding, this weakness is to a minimum (or at least not used to just be lazy) on ‘Berserker’ thanks to the great songwriting on Anton Kabanen.  While Anton is a fan of power metal he is also first and foremost a fan of well written songs and composition.  I think part of this is due to his appreciation of music outside of power metal such as musical composers of film soundtracks who can not rely solely on one note monotony for entire compositions. Lyrically, Anton is also very skilled in his writing and he knows how to make it all fit together coherently.

This isn’t to say there isn’t a few of the power metal weaknesses that crop up here in there on the album but they are minimal and even then there is still a lot of depth to the bands talent and musicianship from all members of the band.

If you are a fan of power metal but feel the genre has become stale, Beast in Black’s ‘Berserker’ should reawaken your interest in the genre.  The album is energetic and has some great classic tunes on it.  If anything you should listen to it for Yannis’s vocals alone.  The man must be part alien to have a range like he does.  Hopefully it didn’t take an anal probe to get that voice!

MATT GUILLORY releases the first single “INSIDE”

 

Longtime JAMES LABRIE band songwriter, producer, and keyboardist MATT GUILLORY releases the first single “INSIDE” from his debut solo project on November 9th.

Available on all digital media platforms. “INSIDE” was written and produced by Matt and also features guitar phenom MARCO SFOGLI (JAMES LABRIE), screamer ANDY SOLVESTRÖM (ex-AMARANTHE), bassist RAY RIENDEAU (JAMES LABRIE) and drummer JESPER SUNNHAGEN.

CHECK OUT MATT GUILLORY:
http://www.facebook.com/mattguillory
http://www.instagram.com/mattguillory

Guillotine released debut album

American Death Metal band Guillotine just released their debut self-titled album. The album was recorded at Ledbelly Sound Studio by Matthew Washburn, who also did the mixing/mastering.

https://guillotinemf.bandcamp. com/album/guillotine

Guillotine was formed in 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia by two brothers Lance and Adam Miller, who wanted to create a band that combined traces of Scandinavian Black Metal with old school Florida Death Metal. Evan Posey later joined the lineup as the drummer, rounding out the lineup with his brutal metal assault.

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