Archive for November, 2010

GD-crossWhen I described God Dethroned’s previous two albums, Passiondale (2009) and The Toxic Touch (2006), as containing melody, vocalist/guitarist Henri Sattler must have taken it personally. Maybe he was even offended. I just meant that the songs, although heavy as all hell, were actually that: songs. Geesh. I say all this because Under the Sign of the Iron Cross is about as raw and extreme as you can get. This isn’t even death metal; it’s black metal if I’ve ever heard it. (more…)

Review by Greg Maki
He’s been a rocker, a rapper, even a country star. Now, he wants to be … Bob Seger? (more…)

Enslaved: "Channeling the wisdom of Odin"

Enslaved: “Channeling the wisdom of Odin”

From their beginnings, rising out of the Scandinavian extreme metal scene in the early ‘90s through today, there aren’t many metal bands that have covered as much musical ground as Norway’s Enslaved. Their influence of Norse mythology is credited with helping to pave the way for the subgenre of Viking metal and the many Odin-worshipping bands that have followed. And then there’s black metal. Arriving around the same time as other Norwegian corpse-painting bands such as Immortal, Darkthrone and Dimmu Borgir, Enslaved has been a prominent figure and survivor of the notorious Norwegian extreme metal scene. Nowadays, Enslaved has added a huge influence of progressive rock, but their style remains extreme, epic and unique. Yes, if you’re a metal fan and keep up to speed on the genre, Enslaved is a name you’ve often seen but maybe never heard.

The band is perhaps looking to change that. Enslaved has just released its 11th album, Axioma Ethica Odini (Sept. 28, via Nuclear Blast in North America) and is on its first tour supporting it, opening for the mighty Dimmu Borgir in packed U.S clubs. On the Darkness Reborn tour’s Nov. 7 stop at the Recher Theatre in Towson, Md.,’s Jeff Maki and Ryan Mavity caught up with Enslaved’s founder, vocalist and bassist, Grutle Kjellson. (more…)

Dimmu Borgir" "Taking Chance with Galder"

Dimmu Borgir” “Taking Chances with Galder”

The Norwegian symphonic black metal band Dimmu Borgir recently released its ninth album, the epic, black magic-inspired Abrahadabra (Oct. 12, Nuclear Blast). Recorded with a Norwegian orchestra and 38-member choir, the album is a grand feat, taking these corpse-painted satanic fiends to a different realm. At the same time, it can be closely compared to past recordings such as Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia and Death Cult Armageddon. This is a band that’s always been about taking chancesnow more than ever (they even recently toured Europe with Korn.)

Of course, with any new Dimmu Borgir album, fans, critics and “esteemed” music journalists waste no time in crying “sell-out” or “mainstream” and other misguided, kvultist viewpoints. Yes, the band has changed its style over the years and experimented with each release, but mainstream is the farthest thing from this band. We won’t see them as guests on American Idol anytime soon. To all those writing negative and close-minded reviews, see the band live like we did or talk to the band members, then maybe your opinions and critique would have merit. Abrahadabra is a fantastic album, exploding with new classics like “Born Treacherous,” “Gateways,” “Dimmu Borgir” and “Chess with the Abyss.”’s Jeff Maki and Ryan Mavity recently had a lengthy conversation with one of the band’s creative forces, Galder (Thomas Rune Andersen), lead guitarist since 2000. Aboard the band’s bus at its stop on the Darkness Reborn tour at the Recher Theatre in Towson, Md., he talked with us about Abrahadabra, working with the orchestra and the band’s evolution over the years. (more…)

COF-darklyLove of ‘em or hate ‘em, Cradle of Filth is back yet again. The band took a huge step in another direction with 2006’s Thornography (the album was met with Megadeth-Risk-like reactions), but returned to form with 2008’s Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder. Continuing along these lines is 2010’s Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa. (more…)

Dimmu Borgir: "Darkness Reborn in Towson"

Dimmu Borgir: “Darkness Reborn in Towson”

Dimmu Borgir, Enslaved

By Ryan Mavity

After a nearly three-year absence, Dimmu Borgir is back with a new album, Abrahadabra, and a U.S. tour, and much has changed for the band.

Gone since the Invaluable Darkness tour are drummer Hellhammer, bassist/clean vocalist ICS Vortex and keyboardist Mustis. In their stead are new keyboardist Brat (who, like Madonna Wayne Gacy used to in Marilyn Manson, just kind of stands there and looks creepy), drummer Daray and bassist Cyrus.

The remaining members, vocalist Shagrath and guitarists Galder and Silenoz, are the real stars of the show, as they have been for nearly a decade. They all play a certain role on stage; Shagrath as the frontman/evil rock god; Galder plays the dark jester; and Silenoz, who looks like the WWE’s Undertaker, prowls the stage looking like he’s seeking fresh souls to take to hell. (more…)