Quick Quips: Sounds From The Dark Side (Metal Ed.)

There are some heavy albums that I have had in heavy rotation lately that I just haven’t had time to review…these are those albums:

Ihsahn – After

This is Vegard Sverre Tveitan‘s 3rd album in a trilogy under the Ihsahn moniker.  This Norwegian composer is one talented man.  He is most famous for his band Emperor, but this solo project had gained him quite a bit of critical acclaim.  This is a great album to take for a spin if you’re still on the fence when it comes to black metal.  It’s very easy to immerse yourself into.  He can growl and grunt with the best of them, but the clean vocals sound great as well.  The album mixes together progressive elements (even some brass here and there), symphonic black metal and even the occasion orchestral piece.  This is more than a metal album.  And to think the whole thing was created by one man is pretty amazing.

Charred Walls of the Damned – Charred Walls of the Damned

A metal supergroup of sorts with members from Iced Earth, Death, Testament, Judas Priest and Trivium.  This band makes music that sounds like it could have been released during the NWOBHM 80s. If you were into metal in the 80s and want something that sounds like that, but is current…get this album!

Listen via lala

Rotting Christ – Aealo

Aealo‘ means thrashing, catastrophe or destruction, so it’s the perfect name for the 10th release by the Greek black metal band.  They actually opened up a show I saw a few weeks ago, but I missed their set.  Just by their name I had serious doubts about their music.  But this album has a real industrial meets Pantera feel to it.  I guess it is black metal, but it is melodic and almost sounds like death metal to me.  Mixing Greek with English makes everything a little more interesting as well.  I do think the first half of the album is much stronger.  Some of the stuff coming after the minute long chant Nekron Iahes feels a bit weak, and the 9 minute history lesson, Orders from the Dead, can be skipped altogether.

Alcest – Écailles De Lune

This French metal band is more progressive/shoegaze than actual metal.  Not to say they don’t know how to grunt and growl and riff it up like the rest of them…but their albums go on atmospheric instrumental trips that would not be out of place on a Pink Floyd album.  I am still shocked at some of the great music coming out of France, but I am becoming of believer in what some have referred to as frog rock or frog metal.

Percées De Lumière via Stereogum

Martriden – Encounter the Monolith

Blacked death metal from Montana.  These guys have only been around since 2005 and they were suggested to me by my always reliable metal e-mail crew.  This is in-your-face metal and I’m not sure what made it stand apart from so many albums I listen to once and move on from.  Just not sure.  But I know I have not moved on from this one and I keep coming back to it.  So check it, see if you feel the same.

Listen via lala

Triptykon – Eparistera Daimones

This is Tom Warrior‘s third extreme metal band.  The scary looking Swede quit Celtic Frost in 2008 because of “irresolvable, severe erosion of the personal basis so urgently required to collaborate within a band so unique, volatile and ambitious”.  Well, I never listenedd to Celtic Frost.  I am sure I am the only one who didn’t listen to Celtic Frost that is listening to Triptykon.  Supposedly their 2006 album Monotheist is something of a modern metal masterpiece.  Well, if you think that is true…you will love Eparistera Daimones.  It’s pretty much Monotheist Part II according to Tom, who also says Triptykon is just Celtic Frost with a different rhythm section.  He was very happy with the musical output of Celtic Frost, he only left because the current drummer was an egotistical megalomaniac and Martin Eric Ain did not support him on kicking the asshole out.  So now Tom has his triptych..and Triptykon is some of the heaviest, strangest and best metal I have heard in a long time.  Avant-garde doom metal is what they are calling it.  Whatever.  It Rocks!