Saturday, April 29, 2017

Y is for Yaksa

The world's most populous nation was bound to provide at least one of the featured headbanging bands in this A to Z. Hailing from the Chinese capital, Beijing, Yaksa are described  as nu-metal by Wikipedia, but they are metalcore, and I like them.

They are Hu Song (vocals). Huang Yao and Dao Xu (guitars), Gao Yufeng (bass), and Ma Lin (drums). In 2016, they released their fifth studio album, Undercurrent. This track is the title track from their previous record, You are not the Loser.

Friday, April 28, 2017

X is for X-Mantra

Nepal? Really? The hardest letter of the A to Z 'X', and I find a
heavy metal band in this little Himalayan  nation of just over 20 million people. Well why not? These Kathmandau homies (Rojesh Shesthra on vocals, Sandeep Tuladhar, guitars, BJ Shresthra, bass, Bikram Shrestha, drums, and Nabin Mahajarn, guitars) got together in Y2K and have been rocking the subcontinent with their thrash metal ever since.

Their most recent release was Pralaya and this track is called 2012

I back my van up to the loading dock with the metal tunes blaring to gain the attention of the backroom boys at Chemistwarehouse. In fact the music does not do the trick so I press the bell, and talk with the young fellow who opens the door for me. Turns out he's a metal fan too. 'Do you like Trivium?' he says. 'Never heard of them," I reply.

Next time I rock up to collect their used syringes- a job I did with distinction for many years- the young headbanger has a disc for me. "Have a listen to this," he says.

The disc was Ascendancy, and as a result of it and the generousity of the guy at Chemistwarehouse, I became a Trivium fan. The year was 2007, and the band was between releases Shogun to come, featuring one of Trivium's all time classics, Down from the Sky, and The Crusade which in my opinion is one of the best heavy metal albums of all time.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

W is for Wrust

Botswana melodic death metal band Wrust were formed in 2000, in the city of Gaberone, and consist of Stux Daemon (vocals and guitar), Ben Phaks (bass), Oppy Gae (guitar) and Dem Lord Master (drums).
Heavy metal is considered a niche genre in Africa which perhaps explains why there aren't many bands from this continent.

Wrust's sophomore album Intellectual Metamorphosis was released in 2013, and from it is this track called Hate 'Em All

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

V is for Voivod

One of the big four Canadian thrash metal bands, Voivod are from Quebec and, like many bands which achieve any longevity, they have evolved and experimented with different genres over the years: from speed to progressive to thrash. 

Formed in 2002, Voivod have released 13 studio albums as well as a number of demos, live recordings and compilations. They've been through a few line-up changes as well. Current members are Snake, Chewy, Black and Away, and they feature on the band's most recent release, Target Earth (2013), and this track is of the same name. Target Earth

A young fella at church gave me a copy of a CD by a metalcore band called As I Lay Dying, and I liked it a lot. So much so that I bought another of their releases, (and every one since.) This a truly great metal band in my opinion-or should I say was. In 2014, lead singer and lyricist, Tim Lambesis was arrested, charged and convicted for conspiracy to commit murder. He went to jail, and the band went into indefinite hiatus. Lambesis was released from prison in February this year, but AILD has not resurfaced; the remaining members having got themselves another singer, changed their name and their style a little as well.

Lambesis' lyrics are some of the most profound I have ever heard, and I still love to listening to AILD. I don't know any of the details of what led him to hire someone to kill his ex-wife, but I hope and pray that he is okay, and that he will once again start writing.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

U is for Ubiquitous

Hailing from the Midlands of the UK, this four piece band produces noisy, angry music featuring higher pitched screaming, as well as growling. According to one source they "deliver an angry and energetic fist to the face of the listener." - ouch!

The band members use stage names: Typhoeus (drums), Belial (vocals and bass), Abaddon (vocals and guitar) and Baphomet (vocals). To satisfy your curiousity, Typhoeus was the most deadly creature of Greek mythology, Belial is a Hebrew name for the Devil, Abaddon is the biblical Angel of Death, and Baphomet is the goat-headed idol of occultism. A charming mob, I'm sure.

Combining elements of death, black and melodic death metal, Ubiquitous have a new album (their sophomore album) which was just released at the beginning of this fine month of April. It's called Ad Portas Inferi which is Latin for The Gates of Hell

I don't like this song or the video, but you might enjoy Superbia.

Monday, April 24, 2017

T is for Taberah

The second Australian band to feature in this A to Z is Taberah who describe their music as heavy metal played with the spirit of rock and roll. I call it a old school power metal, but whatever label is attached, it's pretty damn good, and unlike 95% of the other featured bands, there is some hope I may get to see them play live. They may not make it to the Top End, but I can hop over to Bris-vegas pretty easily.

Taberah is one of the places mentioned in the Bible through which the Israelites passed during the exodus. That could be irrelevant trivia or the origin of the band's name. Melbourne is a long way from the Middle East.

Formed in 2005, Taberah are Jonathan Barwick (guitar and vocals), Myles 'Flash' Flood (guitar), Tom 'Bam Bam' Brockman (drums) and Dave 'The Doctor' Walsh (bass).

Their latest release is called Sinners Lament (2017). This track is called Child of Storm. and its from the album which has now made it on to my 'want to buy' list.

Speaking of Aussie metal, my next visit to the Hordern Pavilion was again with James and a couple of his mates was on July 24, 2010 to see the awesome Parkway Drive who were supported by The Devil Wears Prada. This time James was in the mosh pit, while his old headbanger dad sat in the stands and loved every minute of it.

Friday, April 21, 2017

S is for Swallow the Sun

I had to listen to a lot of what I considered to be pretty ordinary doom/atmospheric metal bands before I found these guys. Swallow the Sun are Juha Ravio, Markus, Jamsen, Mikko Kotamaki, Aleksi Munter, Matti Honkonen and Juuso Raatikanen, and they hail from Jyvaskyla in Finland. In my limited experience, I reckon they are a cut above.

Formed in 2000, their most recent studio release was Songs From the North I, II ∧ III. (2015) The song I chose to share with you is Cathedral Walls (2012) and I think it showcases every thing good about metal and its diversity. Dare I say it's a beautiful and powerful song.