HOLY FUCK LOST IN VEGAS READ MY BLOG, AND TWEETED A LINK TO IT!
Ok, I’m good.
Seriously though, I’ve been a fan since they reacted to Megadeth’s “Holy Wars”
Their excitement is infectious, you can see they “get it” right away.
I’m pretty sure every metalhead, to some degree or another, gets a thrill seeing someone who isn’t a fan of the genre experience that level of excitement (as of today that video has over 1 million views).
They’re more of a phenomenon than just a channel, and their incredible popularity in the metal community has spawned some copy-cats in the metal industry (like this entire new segment called “metal reacts only” from Metalsucks) and elsewhere trying to soak up a bit of the limelight. I think there’s even a youtube channel with 2 metalhead dudes reacting to non-metal videos.
Often imitated, never duplicated.
I’ll probably never get a chance like this again, so I’d like to take a second to recommend a few songs I think Ryan and George might like. Trying to go by genre here, maybe make a poll?
Thrash:Testament – “The Pale King” (fan favorites aren’t always the best example of what an artist is capable of, their new album has the production quality you guys seem to prefer) v.s. Metal Church – “Needle and Suture”
Power Metal: Unleash the Archers – “Tonight We Ride” or “Awakening” v.s. Blind Guardian – Voice in the Dark”
Melodic Death Metal:Soilwork – “Stabbing the Drama” v.s. In Flames – “Trigger” v.s. Solution .45 – “Gravitational Lensing”
Black Metal:Immortal – “Sons of Northern Darkness” v.s. Cradle of Filth – “Nymphetamine” (If you guys like getting shit from so called elitists, simply mention Cradle of Filth)
Folk Metal:Eluveitie – “Call of the Mountains” or “Inis Mona” v.s. Cellar Darling – “Avalanche”
Make sure you check out more of their reaction videos here, and if you like what you see subscribe to their channel (and their twitter). They’re already over 300,000, and react to videos largely based on viewer recommendations.
2015-2016 has been an unprecidentedly good time for metal. We’re in the middle of a “metal bubble”, the market is saturated with excellent material. Not sure how long it’ll last, but (seeing as there isn’t anything really incredible slated to release in December) I thought it would be a good time to sum up Metal Stuff’s best releases and biggest dissapointments in metal: 2016 Edition.
This one hit me out of nowhere. I saw something about the release of the album on facebook, checked it out, and BAM. Blown away. Probably one of the most pleasant surprises I’ve experienced this year.
It’s an all-star lineup of metal musicians in a modern (and metallic) interpretation of Antonio Vivaldi’s masterpiece “The Four Seasons”. And by All-Star I mean they have members of Symphony X, Testament, Unleash the Archers, The Scorpions, Helloween, Within Temptation, Stratovarious, Savatage, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Soilwork, and a whole fuckload more.
I really can’t say enough good things about these guys, this is a piece I would reccomend to metalheads, fans of classical music, and just about evreyone inbetween.
I first heard this album through my side gig doing reviews for Hard Attack Magazine. No bells, no whistles, no frills. Just excellent (old school style) death metal with horror b-movie samples. If you’re into old school death metal – be sure to pick up a copy.
Have to admit, I was pretty eagerly anticipating this album. I participated in the crowdfunding effot they put forth to make the album happen, I went and saw them live twice in the year leading up to it’s release. And I wasn’t dissapointed one bit.
This is easily his best work since “Hellbilly Delux”, and while he hasn’t completly strayed from the hard rock sound, the band certainly went in a more metallic direction. This is the first album the band’s put out in years that I can listen to from start to finish without skipping a single track. If you’re a Zombie fan, you won’t be dissapointed.
Sooooooo fucking good. Adding layers of atmosphere to melodic death metal seems like a pretty big risk, but these guys took it and the result was (in this author’s humble opinion) a huge fucking success. I would go so far as to say this is the Melo-Death version of the album Opeth should have released. I’ve always liked the band, but they were never really at the forefront of my musical collection. This album changed that a bit, I’ll be keeping an eye on these guys now for sure.
Proggy and ambient, while still managing to retain the soul of melodic death metal – I highly recommend this album to anyone who will listen. And a few people who won’t.
I’ve been a fan of Devin Townsend’s work for over a decade now, but I had never given this side-project of his a listen before this year. And I’m glad I finally did, the man’s a fucking genius. His mix of electronic/ambient music and metal is flawless. Transcendence is a fucking masterpiece from start to finish.
This album was another pleasant surprise for me in 2016. They ran an (apparently) successful Facebook advertising campaign for months before the album released – so when it dropped that whole “name brand recognition” thing they talk about in advertising took effect. I checked them out just to see, and boy am I glad I did.
Excellent prog metal that ranges from melancholy to borderline brutal, with cleans and screams for days. I’ll be adding this album to my vinyl collection shortly after the holiday season ends (when I actually have money again).
This one was no surprise, I’ve been listening to these guys for about 2 decades now (since Destroy, Erase, Improve was released in 1995).
I have to admit, I was nervous about this one. I’m not a huge fan of Koloss or Catch 33, and I thought there was a good chance they’d continue in the “artsy” direction of concept albums and slow songs. Boy was I wrong, this is a return to Chaosphere-level heaviness.
Admittedly, I have some very strong (and sometimes conflicting) opinions when it comes to the style of black metal known as “post black metal”. I’m hesitant to embrace “post” anything, and (at least in the US) the post-black metal scene is nothing but a bunch of whiny hipsters aping black metal music to seem edgy, when in reality all they’re doing is playing shitty alt-rock with a few black metal elements thrown in.
Saor, to me, embodies the exact opposite of this. It’s a solo project hailing from Scotland, and let me tell you this guy is a fucking artist. He’s the real deal, and a wicked cool guy to boot. He nails the black metal aesthetic and combines it with traditional celtic instruments to create soundscapes that are melancholy and ambient, without sacrificing some of the pure fucking rage at the heart of real black metal.
This guy is pretty much single-handedly responsible for making me redefine what I consider “heavy music”. Nothing but good things to say about this band, and this album simply cements him as a consistently solid and groundbreaking artist.
This album will rip you a new asshole. Then it will rip your new asshole a new asshole. I think you can see where I’m going with this. By the end of the album you’ll be shitting yourself out of your asshole’s asshole’s asshole.
This album doesn’t let up for a goddamn second. Full on brutal tech-death. Who the fuck knew Spain could produce (basically) the perfect death metal band? Holy fuckshit. I want to buy two copies of this album – one to listen to and the other to leave unopened for posterity. I’ll be telling my fucking grandchildren about how brutal these guys are.
Yo dawg, I heard you like blastbeats. So we put blastbeats on your blastbeats.
In all seriousness, no human on earth has any business playing as fast as the drummer does. This British teen duo actually makes deathcore tolerable. Scratch that, enjoyable. Not quite as good as their first album, but still one of the best albums this year.
Not going to front like I’m some O.G. who’s been listening to them since “Harvest Wombs” – I came across this band by chance right after their previous album, “The Flesh Prevails”, was released. I was just surfing YouTube and liked the album artwork (Totally a valid way of finding new music, it’s scary how good YouTube has become in recommending things you might like). I didn’t listen to anything else for a week, and turned a few of my coworkers on to the band.
When I heard they were releasing a new album I was super fucking stoked, and I wasn’t dissapointed. Every track is pure fire, and I still listen to this album at least once a week. I love the fact that they retained the ambient/brutal sound while making sure that each album has it’s own unique sound, atmosphere, and identity. Easily one of my favorite bands period.
I’ve been a fan of this band since I was street teaming for Nuclear Blast pre-2006, and I have to admit I find it pleasantly odd/surprising that a band I’ve listened to for years is becoming as popular as they are. Sabaton is easily the fastest rising band in metal, and they deserve it. These guys are relentless road dogs, with a solid live show. The fact that you learn more about history from a Sabaton show than you do in an entire year of public school in America is just the icing on the cake.
Plus, they wrote a song about the Scottish battle of Bannockburn (that pays tribute to William Wallace and Robert the Bruce) – what’s not to love?
These guys are hands down my favorite black metal band. Every album they release is consistent while remaining stylistically fresh and distinct. “Where Shadows Forever Reign” is, in my opinion, their best material to date – and they’re gaining a lot of well deserved international attention because of it. This includes their fair share of controversy – earlier this year they garnered a lot of attention due to members of a local Romanian government announcing they would allow a church-based political group to vet which bands would be allowed to play in the area (in direct violation of the Romanian constitution). This was a direct response to Dark Funeral’s show at Bucovina Rock Castle.
I don’t think a lot of people realize that bands like Dark Funeral and Behemoth are bastions of free speech in that part of Europe, as many Eastern European countries are firmly in the grip of a very conservative church (the Russian Orthodox Church, especially, seems to be radically motivated against heavy metal music).
Even without all the controversy – this is a solid fucking album that I listen to with some regularity. Lord Ahriman is a fucking musical genius.
Easily the best album release this year. Probably the one I anticipated the most, my full review of the album can be found here. Heavy metal isn’t a contest, but if it was Testament would be winning. I’ll just sum my thoughts on this album up from the first paragraph of my review;
“The “Thrash Revival” has been in full effect since 2015 – it seems like every major player from the Bay Area Thrash scene is back in the studio pumping out the jams. Testament stands out among these giants – delivering, hands down, the best Thrash release of 2016. In fact, I think ‘Brotherhood of the Snake’ deserves a nomination for the best metal album of 2016, period. Considering how good ‘Dark Roots of the Earth’ was, I had high hopes for Testament’s new album. Brotherhood of the Snake not only met my expectations – it exceeded them (and then some)!”
Abbath – Abbath (huge fan of the guy, not as good as his work in Immortal)
Megadeth – Dystopia (This album made me a fan of Megadeth)
Fleshgod Apocalypse – King (Criminally underrated band, excellent release)
Rotting Christ – Rituals (Not their best work, but really quite good)
Killswitch Engage – Incarnate (Second album with Jesse Leach back on vocals, fantastic album!)
Otep – Generation Doom (has a few good songs, but has some stiff competition this year for best album)
Aborted – Retrogore (these guys never put out a bad album)
Hatebreed – Concrete Confessional (If you’ve heard one Hatebreed album you’ve heard all of them – good but not great)
Dead by Wednesday – The Darkest of Angels (Love these guys – from the same scene as Shadows Fall)
Death Angel – The Evil Divide (excellent and diverse Thrash album)
Nails – You Will Never Be One Of Us (Quite the pleasant surprise this year)
Be’lakor – Vessels (Good melodeath, if a little bit stereotypical of the genre)
Brain Drill – Boundless Obscenity (Jesus Christ, so good)
Despised Icon – Beast (Triumphant return of a deathcore band that doesn’t suck)
Running Wild – Rapid Foray (These guys are legend)
Sodom – Decision Day (German Thrash, awesome album)
Vader – The Empire (Pure gold)
Starkill – Shadow Sleep (I helped crowdfund the album, was not disappointed one bit)
In Flames – Battles (Had a few good songs, better than their last album)
Metallica – Hardwired to Self Destruct (They set the bar so low for the past 30 years that even a sub-par thrash album is praise worthy)
Avantasia – Ghostlights (just good fun!)
Anthrax – For all Kings (hooray for thrash revival!)
Entombed A.D. – Dead Dawn (death’n’roll done right)
Lacuna Coil – Delirium (Surprisingly good)
Gojira – Magma (Good, but not my favorite)
Amon Amarth – Jomsviking (Awesome album, but not quite good enough to make my top 15)
Metal Stuff’s Biggest Disappointments in Metal, 2016 edition
Considering the lineup changes DevilDriver went through in 2015, I tried to give this album a little wiggle room when criticizing it. 2 guitarists, no bassist, half the band is green. They didn’t really have time to get together and synchronize as a band – this album sound to me like a record company rushed them to meet a deadline. It’s not bad, but to call it anything other than a disappointment would be disingenuous. I hold DevilDriver to a pretty high standard – Dez is a goddamn genius as far as metal is concerned. I hope their next album will be a little better.
This fucking guy. Don’t get me wrong, I love Machine Head – and their album from last year (Bloodstone and Diamonds) was fucking excellent. I just can’t take Robb Flynn seriously. He’s a fucking attention whore who tries to stay socially relevant and apes Corey Taylor to do so. He’s an mildly successful social chameleon at best, and an overreacting turncoat bitch at the worst. His treatment of Phil Anselmo in the media was fucking horrid.
Maybe I was hoping for “Hail the Apocalypse Part II”, but this album fell flat for me. Which sucks, because they’re a very cool band who’s been underrated for the majority of their career. This album just didn’t clique for me, there wasn’t one song I can honestly say I enjoyed – just a massive disappointment.
I can’t quite put my finger on it, but this album just didn’t feel right to me. Like, maybe it was a bit too rushed or under-produced. Which sucks, because Christian Älvestam is my favorite metal vocalist – the guy’s easily the hardest working man in metal and super talented. From Scar Symmetry to Svavelvinter, Torchbearer, Miseration, Quest of Aidence, and all the fucking songs he’s lent vocals to – this guy is the fucking man. He shits excellence, except this album. I feel like he should have spent a little longer perfecting the songs, and not rushing to release a double album.
It’s sad to see a halfway decent band on the downswing of their career. They tried to stay relevant by releasing a song bashing “metal elitists”, and ironically that’s what seems to have tanked their career. Maybe the elitist ones were correct.
From every single band on their roster, to the act of completely selling out the image of the Summer Slaughter tour to sell a movie starring the lead singer of the Blackveil Brides, the continued existence of Sumerian Records bothers me. Apparently, in the metal scene money = credibility in some circles. Puke.
I respect when an artist or band wants to branch out, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. Opeth has earned the right to do whatever the fuck they want, but that won’t stop me from getting my hopes up (and consequently having them dashed on a rock to the point of near death) every single time they get ready to release a new album. The band even signed to Nuclear Blast and were allegedly down-tuning for the record. I was so hyped. I heard the first single, “Sorceress” – SO EXCITED! Then the album dropped, and what transpired afterwards can only be referred to as one of my biggest disappointments of 2016. Fucking artsy prog from a band that had (at it’s peak) some of the best fucking death metal vocals ever.
Contrary to the title, I actually really like clean vocals in metal. As long as they’re not whiny and angst filled. This does seem to be a major point of contention in the metal community.
Some people absolutely love it, and some people can’t stand it. Especially in sub-genres like Melodic Death Metal (and it’s American cousin Metalcore), clean vocals have become so commonplace it’s almost camp. Bands like In Flames, Soilwork, Scar Symmetry, Solution .45, Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, All that Remains, and the like have been using clean vocals for years – with great success. The list goes on.
And more recently bands like Lamb of God, Whitechapel, Hatebreed, and Amon Amarth have had clean vocals on at least one track of their albums.
The way I see it, there are two things you need to look at when evaluating a band using clean vocals.
Why are they doing it? This should be pretty obvious. If a bands been playing pretty much the same thing for over a decade, sometimes they just want to switch things up. Which is cool, you have to respect artistic integrity and the willingness to branch out and try something new. If the band hasn’t gotten a lot of radio play, and suddenly they have a song with a clean chorus on your local rock station – then you know exactly why they did it. Not cool. I understand wanting to get popular, but if you’re even remotely familiar with heavy metal you should know that you aren’t getting into it for radio play.
Do you like it? I’m actually talking about listening to the song objectively. Maybe this will be the song that makes things “clique” in your head and makes you enjoy a clean chorus now and then. Maybe you just absolutely hate them all, and this will only confirm it for you. If you don’t give it a chance and actually listen to it first before passing judgement – you’re just a fucktard.
Personally, I think there are certain vocalists who should never do clean vocals. I don’t see Karl Sanders from Nile or Corpsegrinder from Cannibal Corpse branching out and doing clean vocals just yet. And that’s cool – if they did I’d be more worried about the world ending.
But clean vocals are a pretty integral part of metal. Besides the obvious Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, guys like Phil Anselmo from Pantera and Warrel Dane from Nevermore have been incorporating clean vocals for years.
And if you have anything negative to say about Nevermore, you’re wrong and I hate you. Those guys fucking rule, and Jeff Loomis is a god.
In fact, even bands like Arch Enemy have been toying with the idea of incorporating clean singing. Alyssa White-Gluz did a lot of them in her prior band The Agonist (they’ve actually gotten a lot better since she left the band, Victoria is a much better fit with their sound).
Also, Manowar has clean vocals. And Manowar kills posers with steel. Your argument is invalid.
In summation, if you don’t like clean vocals pull up your big kid pants and don’t fucking listen to it.