Thursday, October 16, 2014

LOTD! Shocktober listens.........


Time to catch up on some listens. Tonight King Diamond swoops down into New England. Let's get wicked creepy.

DAY 14

DAY 15

Day 16

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

HMT Dual Track by Track Review of Eternal Khan's A Poisoned Psalm

A Poisoned Psalm
Eternal Khan

When I reached out to Eternal Khan last week about interviewing the band about their upcoming album "A Poisoned Psalm" they were gracious enough to send us a download of the cd to review. As I often do when I have a new interview coming up and need some expert advice I hit up Professor Fork Tongue, the in-house underground metal expert. He immediately pitched me an idea to do a dual track by track review for the cd. So here it is. I'm extremely happy at how it came out and it feeds off what Prof. Fork Tongue and I had collaborated on when we first started this site. If there is any band that deserves the special treatment and care that we gave each song on this cd, it is Eternal Khan. This  is just the tip of the iceberg as I will be posting later on this week our interview with the band. Great guys, great music and they are just a stones throw away from Heavy Metal Textbooks headquarters. Check these guys out and definitely pre order this cd. Now on to our review.

Bells on the Black Hour

Grownman - This song based on the Salem Witch Trials. Gotta love that very ominous intro. Sounds like a funeral march. I'll probably say this throughout this review but it definitely would make for a great score to an old school horror movie. Love the galloping guitars and the first generation Death metal feel to this. This is the song that originally got me hooked on the band.

Prof. Fork Tongue - The thing like I enjoy most about this band is I instantly know it's them as soon as it comes on. That's rare these days. I love the synopsis of each song that comes with the download. I hope it's also in the CD notes. It's fairly common in metal but I also love the intelligent lyrics. I made mention in previous reviews of this band to Faustcoven and Negative Plane and I don't hear that anymore. I'm not sure they were ever an influence but that's what they conjured up in my mind. Now they just conjure up Eternal Khan. That's the sign of a good band. Love the dropped out outro.

Raging Host

Grownman - The production on this album is incredible. Eternal Khan definitely have their own signature sound. A great song about a Spectral Horde riding across the sky. I absolutely love how the vocalist phrases the lyrics "No refuge in the dark wood". Something about it every time I hear it triggers this response in my brain and I just wanna head bang.The combination of the speedy picking and those crashing symbols really give this song that cold wintry atmosphere. You can almost feel a cold breath riding down your spine.

Prof. Fork Tongue - Love the middle eastern style drums that run through this song. There's a couple great sounding transitions in here which seems to be a strength of the band. I prefer when these guys slow it down which they do a bit in spots on the song. Again. the lyrics are fantastic throughout the album and so are the drums which were both done by D.Murphy. I love the guitar and vocals too don't get me wrong but drums are something I never really notice but I'm noticing them so that's somewhat new for me.

Undermined and Abandoned

Grownman - A tune based on the existential quandary of why we're here and what the hell to do with that realization. This band has amazing timing and rhythm. Love that each song takes you on a journey and the songs have these crazy twists and turns.

Prof. Fork Tongue - A great thing about the guitar work with these guys is that they never sacrifice atmosphere for riffs or vice versa. I love both but combining the two well is tough and they do it exceptionally well. The line "At odds with the nature of our nature. Tragically self-aware." is a great line and I love the cadence at which it's delivered.

The Tower

Grownman - This is absolutely my favorite track on the album. The intro reminds me of something off Danzig's 4 album. Any comparison's to the Evil Elvis rhythm section is coincidental. This isn't about the Gods Killing...this is about their complete disdain for humanity.The low and slow bluesy strum transitions into really beautiful atmospheric riffs. Hammering drums and the lightning fast picking that quickly come into play bring to mind a scene from Godzilla. Throngs of people just running away from a godlike monster that's just glaring down at them with rage and disgust. I'm probably reading too much into this, no? 

Prof. Fork Tongue - The gods may have been disappointed when humans couldn't actualize their potential but I'm not disappointed in this song. Best track on the album hands down. What a great intro. Again, I love when these guys slow it it down, always the highlight in my eyes. When it picks up I can't help but head bang while I'm typing. Your gods have left The Tower.

The Black Stork

Grownman - Thanks to Professor Fork Tongue for filling me on what this song is about. This song is fast and brooding. The acidic vocal delivery of each line along with the grand scale of the song structure makes you feel like your walking down the long corridor of an abandoned hospital. The chords during the last 30 seconds of the song are really beautiful and somber like a sad lullaby.

Prof. Fork Tongue - I've done deep, deep research into eugenics so when I saw the title of the song I pretty much knew where this was going. To make it short and sweet I'll quote a little something I wrote about the movie "The Black Stork" of which the song is based on. "In 1917, Hollywood produced The Black Stork, a story about a mismatched couple who are counseled by a doctor against having children. However, the couple become pregnant anyway and the woman gives birth to a defective child that she allows to die. The deceased baby’s spirit then ascends into the arms of Jesus Christ. Hailing it as a "eugenic love story" in publicity ads, the eugenic movement had its own propaganda film at last, and it promoted The Black Stork throughout the nation.It’s catch-phrase: “Kill Defectives, Save the Nation and See ‘The Black Stork.” Not quite “Save the Cheerleader, Save the World,” but close. Dr. Haiselden, then famous in eugenics circles for his baby-killing ways in Chicago, played himself as the doctor in the film." Anyway onto the song. Once again really great lyrics seemingly through pro eugenics glasses. I don't mean that as a knock either, that's what you do when you write songs. People take stuff too literal sometimes. Really great somber ending as Grownman said, almost like a "sad lullaby".

Void of Light and Reconciliation

Grownman - Hearing this makes me want to unsheathe a sword and storm a castle. Something really medieval about the tone and rhythm. This is another amazing tune. I wanna hear this as a score over a movie about an evil king. This song perfectly captures the transformation of the mind and it's descent into evil. The rage in the delivery of the vocals and the overall composition of the song really illustrate the story. I absolutely love how much range the band has and the tools they have at their disposal. To think this is only three musicians and how immense of a sound they can get out of all the transitions they come up with. There is not one song on this album that just stays the course. Eternal Khan strive on each track to outdo themselves.

Prof. Fork Tongue - I read the lyrics before reading the synopsis and what I came up with was "a darkness is creeping up ever so slowly and when it takes hold it obliterates all". After reading the synopsis that's pretty much what it was. I thought about it in a literal sense but it's more of "a negative and repressed aspect of one's personality reemerging on its own terms to the detriment and shock of the unsuspecting subject" which is essentially the same as what I was thinking just from a different angle. That's a sign of great writing right there.

Into the Twilight Abysses

Grownman - Based on a HP Lovecraft "The Dreams in the Witch House". Take my money. One of my favorite Gothic horror writers, H.P. Lovecraft hailed from Providence, RI, home base of Eternal Khan. This makes me very happy. The song captures all the drama of the story and I really wish someone would adapt it to a movie so this could be it's lead score. Love how the chords are like the angles in the character Gilman's room. They draw you in while the bass, percussion and vocals hint at the void that waits behind it all. There is drama and adventure at every turn.

Prof. Fork Tongue - Take away my metal card, I don't know shit about Lovecraft. Could never get into fiction, shoot me. This may be my second favorite track of the album and the one that most reminds me of their EP "A Primitive History", which I also loved.

Conclusion: An amazing album back to front that finds the band fully realizing their own sound. The exceptional cover art and extras make this a must own. 

D.Murphy - drums, lyrics T.Phrathep - guitar
N.Wood - guitar, vocals

Rock and Shock 2014 This Weekend!

Monday, October 13, 2014

LOTD! Shocktober 13th - 13 Tracks of Danzig

Today is the 13th day of Shocktober and we celebrate the dark prince of heavy metal, Glenn Danzig. 13 Tracks handpicked from all of Danzig's solo albums including the Black Aria albums. 

LOTD! Day 11th & 12th

Post weekend's Monday damnit. Once again, I'm playing the catch up game. So let's hear Day 11th and 12th's selections. I'll be back for 13 later on.

Friday, October 10, 2014

New Pink Floyd Streaming

 "Louder Than Words" is a new single off the upcoming Pink Floyd Album Endless River. The first since the passing of Keyboardist Rick Wright. This is the followup to Division Bell released in 1994. This track is reportedly the only track on the new album to feature lead vocals and the band's final album.
Endless River is set to be released on November 11th.

LOTD! Shocktober 9th and 10th Picks

Catching up with our LOTD!'s and carrying on with our Horror-riff-ic selections for this month of ghosts and groovy ghoulies.......This is a double shot off the Cubo De Sangre label, Bitch Witch sing about "Running away from nightmares" while Swordwielder deal with the world's demise. Don't listen alone. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fast Finds

We go dark this week. Morose, heavy and into the unknown. There are no google maps for where we are going.

Bells on the Black Hour
A Poisoned Psalm
Eternal Khan

These three gentleman from Providence, Rhode Island know their blackened doom metal. Powerful opening track that begins like a soundtrack to a Hammer Film and turns into a pummeling Venom-like journey into the unknown. I really enjoy the slight middle eastern plucking riffs that show up in places along this track. (Review coming soon)

The Flame of Life...burns no more

Depressingly beautiful music with an inspirational speech laid over the track.
There is also a version without the speech for those who want to hear a slightly more morose version.

The Walls Conclave

The Walls Conclave are a healthy amount of Death and Hardcore with a slice of Grind for good measure coming out of Germany. Chunky riffs and hoarse vocals make for a pretty compelling record. I enjoy that the band doesn't follow the path that a lot of bands trying to be the next Chelsea Grin are doing these days. The variation in vocal styles are subtle and brutal.The musicianship of the band is beastly.

  Check out the track "Slaughter" for an entertaining romp and stomp.

Shocktober 8th - Eternal Khan

Bells on the Black Hour
Eternal Khan
Album: A Poisoned Psalm

Today's pick is inspired by the Salem Witch Trials.
Eternal Khan are set to unleash a boiling cauldron of Blackened metal straight from the dark alleyways of Lovecraft's favorite city, Providence, Rhode Island.
A Poisoned Psalm will be released on October 21st. You can check out their first track from that album now on Bandcamp.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Slipknot .5: The Gray Chapter - Track by Track Review

.5: The Gray Chapter
Track by Track Review by Grownman

Ominous opener that sounds a hell of a lot like something off Nine Inch Nail’s Downward Spiral. Corey Taylor’s vocals over an eerie synth warble is definitely a departure from the signature in your face style of the band’s previous efforts.

A slow start transitions into signature “IOWA” era ‘Knot.
The bouncy groove, march step percussion and Taylor’s earlier style of vocals definitely hearken back to the bands first major label album. That said, something is missing. Maybe it’s the immediacy of that first album. It’s trying too hard to be pissed off or maybe it’s a more mature intensity that doesn’t feel as dangerous as it did back then. Or maybe as a fan I’m expecting more.

This is a good tune. The old meets the new on this. Slower tune that finds itself in the groove. Taylor’s variation between clean singing and rapid delivery is sure to grab the Stone Sour fans. The band’s musicianship is excellent and the departure of Jordison is barely noticed. Hell this guy may even have more range.

The Devil In I
Still not totally sold on this tune. I think it’ll be a tune I’ll have to listen to quite a bit in context with the rest of the album. I’m personally not a fan of listening to singles too much before an album. This fits more with their last album that’s for certain.
As much as Taylor denies this is about Jordison, this is about Jordison.

On first listen, I’m really bored about the opening of this song. The lounge style singing seems to be a set up for harsher moments and I feel like they should just cut the sh*t and get onto it. Maybe this song will wear on me but so far I’m gonna forget this one real quick.

Another Iowa’esque track. I like the tempo of the track, the vocals sound a bit same’ish. I’m longing for a chorus I can sing along with or just some type of hook. Instead most of the song goes absolutely nowhere until the somewhat bouncy chorus shows up.

Promising start. The track has it’s moments but I’m starting to feel like a broken record. Nothing new and not as good as what they’ve done in the past. Feeling like the band wrote this coming off some really tough times in their life and could’ve benefited from a longer break. Less is more and this is too much.

Ballad. Fans will be pissed. Song about the band’s chemistry and their will to overcome their own issues. Hmm…as a fan, I can’t stand when bands sing about themselves.

This is the companion piece to Goodbye. Sounds quite a bit like Eyeless with some clean singing parts. Lyrics “I need you to hate me”….as a long time fan, songs like this are tempting me.

The One That Kills the Least
A mixture of sincere clean vocals and then more of the tempered yet angry vocals off the last album. Slipknot trying to sound like Slipknot but not that Slipknot.

Brutal tune that finally breaks out of the conventional sound that the rest of the album is falling into. It’s edgy and dangerous.

Be Prepared for Hell
A brief interlude with disturbing talking and hints of laughter.

The Negative One
Hands down best song on the album. A reminder that the band can still kick ass with the intensity of their youthful selves. Whatever they were doing when they wrote this, they should do a lot more of. It’s so good that it makes the rest of the album pale in comparison.

If Rain is What You Want
Taylor sounds a bit like Bowie with his delivery. The song is a good tune to go out on.  They scale back on so much of the noise and cut right to the chase. It’s moody without being sappy. A song that finally takes a moment to breath and showcase the talents of the band rhythmically without being so over the top. Not at any point do I compare this sound to Stone Sour or old Slipknot. I hope this is foreshadowing of what’s to come once they grow into the new members and shed the skin of the old.


Overall this is an inconsistent album. The majority of tracks lack a balance between where they've been and where they are now as a band.  Yes, this is the most aggressive they've sounded in years but it comes at a price more times than not.  I thoroughly enjoyed 4 tracks out of 14.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

LOTD! Shocktober 7th

Let's stop pussy footing around. One band comes to mind when you think of October and Halloween. The Misfits. Doyle, their former bassist left the 'fits some years back and formed Gorgeous Frankenstein which had varied success. Fortunately he retooled his musical vision and rebranded the band DOYLE. The Abominator album has been his most successful album to date outside of the Fiend club.
This tune stylistically reminds me of Danzig's own Circle of Snakes album. Which is a very good thing. Sit back, relax and get lost in the Valley of Shadows.

Valley of Shadows
Album: Abominator