Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Satan Spawn's Best Of 2013

Year: 2013

2013 was a great year for metal indeed. Month after month, fans were bombarded with releases from their favourite bands. There were no dearth for quality releases from big bands and except for a couple of bands, all the others managed to live up to the hype surrounding their releases. Another thing that must be mentioned about the releases this year, is that it was a year for comebacks. 

Big names that had been in slumber, arose from their hibernation and delivered some amazing stuff this year. Due to the sheer number of releases, I was unable to check out all the good ones. However, I did go through a substantial amount of records and the following ones are the ones that I feel are truly the best.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

My Top Discoveries Of 2013

Year: 2013

2013 turned out to be a special year for me in terms of music. I started this webzine last December and as a result, I had the opportunity to check out so many underground bands from across the globe. Though not all these bands were worth the time, some of them were absolutely stand out brilliant. Though not widely known, these bands showcased their potential through their releases this year. Most of these bands are still unsigned, while a few of them have already signed deals with small time labels. Whatever the case, one thing is for sure. These bands have the potential to make it big and one must definitely keep an eye on them.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Gig Review - Black Metal Krieg 3 sponsored by Transcending Obscurity and S.B. Music

Year: 2013

A couple of weeks back, Mumbai was the home to the third edition of the country's biggest black metal festival called Black Metal Krieg. The brainchild of Stark Denial vocalist, Kunal Marie Gonsalves, Black Metal Krieg came back this year with the biggest line up yet. 9 bands from across the country convened at Hotel United 21, Thane on 8th December, 2013 which served as the unholy altar that day.
Here's how it went...

Friday, December 20, 2013

Unscarred - Fake Democracy EP - Album Review

Year : 2013

Many people call metal, the man dominated genre. But many women have risen up and proved all of those people wrong. Examples are women like Tarja Turunen (ex- Nightwish), Simone Simons (Epica) and even Angela Gossow (Arch Enemy) who has proven her worth in growling and the band being one of the pioneers of melodic-death metal. These are just few examples and there is a long list examples I can put here. But I have never heard a female voice in Thrash Metal. Thrash metal is one of those genres that steals away your attention with fast music and is usually fronted by masculine men.

Gig review - Neal Morse band Featuring Mike Portnoy at Mood Indigo, IIT Bombay.

Year: 2013

This was one gig that I had anticipated for a long time and even missed the likes of Black Metal Krieg 3 for. To watch the God of all drummers play. Mind you, I did have my fill. The gig on the following evening with Neal Morse and Mike Portnoy was worth the 600 bucks I paid for. Hell, it was worth much,much more than that.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Fragarak - Crypts Of Dissimulation - Album Review

Year: 2013

This year, I have listened to way more records than I usually do. However, there weren’t any records that absolutely knocked me off my feet and shattered all my expectations. That is, until I heard this beauty of an album called ‘Crypts of Dissimulation’ by Fragarak. Right off the bat, I’ll declare that this album is beautiful masterpiece and nothing less than that. In fact, this is one of the best albums I’ve heard from the Indian scene for quite some time now. Go ahead and buy this. But in case you need more convincing, read on.

Space God Ritual - Eldritch Tales - Album Review

Year: 2013

Eldritch Tales-The sophomore album of US Stoner/Doom metal band Space God Ritual-just months after their debut- is to be said; pure, unadulterated old school doom metal on the veins of Trouble and St.Vitus. The guitars are downtuned as usual, the drums slow and the vocals haunting and mystic,which takes you to another world, especially when you're tripping on substance.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Rhapsody Of Fire - Dark Wings Of Steel - Album Review

Year: 2013

Rhapsody of Fire is a Symphonic Power Metal band from Italy who are known to be one the pioneers in their sub-genre. The band is popular for fantasy lyrics written by founders Alex Staropoli and Luca Turilli. They started with 'The Emerald Sword Saga' followed by sequel, 'The Dark Secret Saga'. It concluded in their last album 'From Chaos Till Internity' (2011) which also served as the last album for co-founder and guitarist Luca Turilli with the band. After that album , the band split in half with other half known as Rhapsody and referred to as Luca Turilli's Rhapsody. All lyrics till now were written by keyboardist Alex Staropoli and guitarist Luca Turilli. 'Darks Wings of Steel' marks the first Rhapsody Of Fire album without Turilli writing lyrics. Lyrics were written by Alex Staropoli and vocalist Fabio Lione. The band still kept the theme of fantasy lyrics in this album. Is it a start of new saga?

Deicide - In the Minds of Evil - Album Review

Year: 2013

'In the Minds of Evil' is album number eleven from Death Metal veterans Deicide. Coming out two years after 2011's forgettable 'To Hell with God' and with the addition of new guitarist Kevin Quirion, who replaced the shred wizard Ralph Santolla, the new album has a lot to prove for the band that has existed since the dawn of the genre. Now frankly speaking, Deicide have been on a downswing since 2006's 'Stench of Redemption'.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Meat Train - Man Made Flesh - Album Review

Year: 2013

2013 is drawing to an end and thanks to this webzine, I had the opportunity to check a lot of underground bands that I normally wouldn’t have listened to. It is quite surprising how sometimes a band can be so talented and yet remain so underrated and unknown. I can quote a lot of bands like that, which I discovered this year. The latest addition to that list is the London based Death Metal / Grindcore outfit called Meat Train.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Darkthrone - The Underground Resistance - Album Review

Year: 2013

About 6 years after the biggest Norwegian Black Metal band found out that they are going stale and did a major genre transition from shrieking Satanic hymns to singing cheesy ballads about metal and everything that follows it, comes the biggest and best release since then. The masters of the dark have suddenly become the masters of versatility. The Underground Resistance is clearly a benchmark on the band’s discography, and notably one of the best albums of the year.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Top Indian Metal Releases Of 2013

The Indian Metal Scene is something which is still in growing stages. Though metal as a form of art, is not widely accepted in this country, the number of people appreciating it, is on the rise. 2013 saw a lot of releases from bands hailing from different parts of the country. Though there weren't as many big shows involving international acts as in 2012, the underground live scene is something that saw a phenomenal growth this year. This year also saw bands like Kryptos, Devoid and Inner Sanctum do various shows in Europe!

The following, are the albums that I consider to be the six best releases from the Indian Metal Scene in 2013. Note that, this is just my opinion and the albums are in no particular order. They were all equally impressive.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Interview with Blackrat

Year: 2013

Earlier this year, I was snooping around on bandcamp when I came across a band called Blackrat. Their brand of sleazy black thrash captured my attention and I went on to do a review of their debut full length, which can be found here. So who is Blackrat anyways? Read the following conversation and find out..

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mental Killing Spree - Centrifuge Of Man - Album Review

Year: 2013

It is not very often that I get obsessed over a band after just listening to their debut. But once in a blue moon, there comes a band whose capabilities are projected with sheer brilliance in their very first album. This is especially rare in a genre like Death Metal where all ideas seems to have been tried and there is a lack for fresh input. Surprisingly though, German DeathGrind band Mental Killing Spree manage to keep it fresh though their ideas have been heard before.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Interview with Stark Denial

Year: 2013

Black Metal Krieg is India's only event which caters exclusively to the genre of Black Metal, which is still in a growing stage in India. The band responsible for this dedicated black metal festival is the one  and only Stark Denial. 

Having successfully organised two editions of the event, Stark Denial is back and this time, they are bringing a legion of the country's finest black metal bands to Black Metal Krieg 3. With barely a week left for the dark day, we had a chat with the band about the show and their upcoming EP.

Stark Denial - War EP - Album Review

Year: 2013

Stark Denial’s debut is a record that has been much awaited by hordes of Black Metal fans in India. This band who has been active in the scene since 2006, is one of the integral forces behind the Black Metal Krieg fest. After three years, and two editions of the gig, the third edition of Black Metal Krieg will also serve as the album release show for Stark Denial. Now, the question on everybody’s mind is, is the debut worth the long wait? Or does the expectations created by the wait itself, bog down the quality of this release?