Saturday, July 11, 2015

Taking Weeaboo to the Next Level: LadyBaby

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This is not how I envisioned my first blog post in quite some time, but I can't resist the temptation.

As I sat down to my desk a few mornings ago, I noticed a text from a friend with a link. Typically, these are links to Asian pop music because he knows it's a vice of mine and a genre I shamelessly enjoy with a fervent passion. What the link's thumbnail suggested was pretty standard fare--a trio comprised entirely of women. Or so I thought. 

Looking closer revealed that the middle member was a tad bigger than the girls to the left and right. Intrigued, I thumbed the play button and realized what I assumed was another bubbly dance song couldn't be more wrong--the middle member was indeed a cross-dressed man and and Australian at that. Metallic sounds quickly overtook the speakers, reminding me a of BabyMetal, a group that I hold mixed feelings about but gave props to last year on my best songs of 2014 list

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Wonderfully Nerdy: A Conversation with Øyvind Rekdal of Cleaver & Chton

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At The Metal Advisor, we make it no secret that we love Cleaver, Chton, and their free-spirited members to death. Three years ago, we interviewed Cleaver for the first time and found them cordial, sincere, and, best of all, fun as hell, so we naturally jumped at the chance to talk with them again--and Øyvind was ready and raring to go at the opportunity. 

Our goal with this interview was to get a bit more personal and find out what drives the collective membership (or, in this case, Øyvind!). The story behind Cleaver's music and what inspires their themes and imagery were questions we curiously pondered, as we absorbed Øyvind's grimy, spacey sci-fi answers. Or perhaps it was the horror books and films the band spoke highly of in the past. Regardless, it was a bunch of hoopla and folklore to us, but we're eager to learn and, with Øyvind's book and film recommendations in hand, we have an extremely solid place to start.

And you will, too.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Havukruunu - Rautaa ja Tulta (2015)

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Havukruunu made a substantial splash on The Metal Advisor last year, appearing on the year-end song list in a respectable sixth place (though the list was in no order!). Since then, the two-piece has been hard at work crafting more melodic black metal hooks with a pagan tinge, and their record, Rautaa ja Tulta, is of course another lovely affair deserving of a look. Screeched, brooding vocals intensely head each song like nails on a chalk board, while the music cruises powerfully underneath--the pairing isn't far removed from what Windir, Vreid, and others commit to recording. The contrast between the two can be slightly jarring at first, given the melodicism of the music, but if one has any degree of familiarity with black metal, it's a non-issue.

Symbolic of struggle may be a better way to describe the contrast between the vocals and the music, though. There's a push-pull between the two that, despite the contrast, has them work in tandem with one another for musical survival. Not all melodic black metal is like this, either. There's something inherently different about Havukruunu versus other black metal bands. And it feels great to know they're using it to their advantage, intentional or not.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Iron Maiden - The Wicker Man (2000)

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Recently, while browsing a closing record store, I came across Iron Maiden's Wicker Man single for a measly dollar. Going-out-of-business sales are often great for treasure digs, and this time was no different, as I scored big after years of not wanting to pony up the money for an altered track for the radio. Admittedly, though, the song is excellent and features a slightly reworked chorus, where Bruce lets a smattering of harmonized vocalization shine. Overtaken are the nifty, melodic guitar leads that underpin the usual chorus fare on Brave New World, but it's still nice to hear Maiden mix it up, even for the sake of a single.

Curiously, one can't help but wonder if this version of "The Wicker Man" was a product of Maiden's or the record label's. You'd think that any decent label would know better than to mess with one of the most influential heavy metal bands of all time--who have have received very, very little radio support throughout their illustrious career--but big labels are businesses. They don't think rationally (in terms of the artist's historical past). They don't care about the consequences of their actions (if money is involved). And they sure as hell don't give a rat's ass what the hardcore fan thinks. Now is as good a time as any to get the money train rolling and cash in on success, they hastily justify.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Mary Todd - Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel (2014)

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Time gets the best of us and sometimes we forget what we had planned for the weeks ahead. Back in November, Mary Todd enjoyed having their first-ever music video for "THC/Consensual Cannibalism" featured on TMA and, even though we weren't completely enamored with their music, we enjoyed having them.

A question we planned to answer was: how is the rest of the album? Well, to get it out of the way, Mary Todd and Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel aren't metal. In fact, they hardly resemble it, but the music is still balls-to-the-wall abrasive music, and thats good enough for us. Admittedly, it isn't the kind of music typically enjoyed by TMA and its readers, but we strive to help artists promote their music in spite the style.