Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Metal in Video Games

Whether you believe it or not, metal is fairly common in video games. You gotta hear it to believe it. Let's take a look.

1. Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 (Sonic Adventure DX Director's Cut and Sonic Adventure 2 Battle for the Nintendo Gamecube) both feature a slew of great hard rock and metal tracks. While numerous artists were chosen for the soundtracks (not only limited to metal/hard rock), the one that stands out, in particular, is Crush 40. The band is home to Johnny Gioel, vocalist of Axel Rudi Pell, and accomplished guitar player Jen Senoue, both of whom have considerable experience in the metal and hard rock world. Without Sonic, I'd wager Crush 40 wouldn't have the level notoriety they're current enjoying in Japan and other countries. The tracks featured in both Sonic games are a little bit reminiscent of melodic heavy metal ala Pretty Maids, Fifth Angel, and some hard rock bands.

This music takes me on a trip down memory lane. I logged countless hours into both during my middle school years (still do sometimes), so the music will always be etched into my brain. I have the actual soundtrack to Sonic Adventure 2 as well, so... It's too bad the Sonic games that followed have really been a let down music-wise and gameplay-wise.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Arsis - We are the Nightmare (2007)

Hello. We are Arsis and we hope to bore you with our wanky technical skills. Admittedly, this is the only Arsis album I've heard in full, but it will be the last. I picked this album up sometime in high school because I thought the title track was pretty decent, and I figured the rest of the album would be on the same level. Boy, was I wrong.  

We are the Nightmare is heavily uninspired and only worth one run-through. Truth be told, there are some good ideas floating around, but they're never utilized in quite the right way, and the music comes off as pretentious noodling. The drumming fares worst because it's sloppy and all over the place. If Darren Cesca wasn't so set on showing off, his playing could benefit from a tighter focus and lack of fills after nearly every measure.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Discoveries of the Week Part One

Here's an idea: it would be neat to use every Friday to showcase my discoveries of the week. There's nothing better than sharing new music, right?

1. Power metallers Johansson just now popped up on my radar. I'm really digging the classical influence, but, then again, I'm a sucker for that stuff. This is a very good song, with nice vocals and a great instrumental section, but I have one complaint: the drums are overbearingly loud. I'm not sure if it's the YouTube video or the actual production, but I'll find out when I get some of their material in my hands. In the meantime, let's all rock out to this one.


2. I touched on Evil Survives in my last post. "Die like a Samurai" captures the spirit of Maiden-influenced heavy metal perfectly with harmonized leads and galloping riffs. Again, I'm a sucker for this stuff. Vocals might take a little bit to get used to, but they're actually pretty charismatic. At least he's trying.

"Die like a Samurai"

3. Debauchery are a band that I've always avoided to checking out based on their tasteless album covers, and their claimed similarity to Six Feet Under. Today, I decided to look into them, and I'm somewhat glad I did. The band is best described as a mix of AC/DC-oriented hard rock, heavy metal, and death metal, a strange combo, to say the least. I find the vocals to be extremely thick and generally unsuitable for a hard rock sound, but,after a while of listening, I could get used to it. Their vocalist also uses a higher vocal range that is much more suitable for hard rock. Check parts of "3 Riff Hit" as example.

To be frank, I still find their album covers to be tasteless, their lyrics to reek of stupidity, and their overall image to be odd, but somehow it just works because their music is mindless and fun. I'll post two tracks.

"3 Riff Hit"

"Death Metal Warmachine"


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Traditional Heavy Metal Revival! Praise the Metal Gods!

Over the past few years, the metal scene has experienced an explosion of heavy metal bands, forming a movement coined as the traditional heavy metal revival (though it kind of contradicts itself because bands never stopped playing this type of music). Personally, I'm ecstatic that these bands have popped up because pure heavy metal has been rather stagnant as of late with most bands residing underground among the ranks of Satan (just kidding, but seriously). These bands are from just about anywhere like Sweden to the U.S.A. to Canada and play metal in the vein of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon, and others.

Based on their first album, Enforcer combine elements of speed and thrash metal with heavy metal. It's a great combo. "City Lights" is an adrenaline rush of an instrumental, quietly wrapping things up with nice bluesy section for an outro. Don't ya get an Iron Maiden - Killers vibe from this song? I sure do.

"City Lights"


Hailing from Canada, Skull Fist might just be my favorite new wave heavy metal band. They have an edge that draws me to their music, and I love the shred-centric riffs that their guitar players have come up with. The band's EP is constantly in my rotation because it's an easy, great listen, and it's fun--not to mention the cover is boss.

"Heavier than Metal"

Yet another group from Canada, Cauldron formed from the ashes of heavy/doom metal band Goat Horn. While the band has had two very good albums, I find it odd and somewhat disappointing that they dropped speed influence in the transition from their first to the second. Burning Fortune is still a worthwhile listen, but it shows weaknesses when placed up against Chained to the Nite.

"Conjure the Mass"

I've only recently discovered Evil Survies, but they're impressive. Let's get them on the radio (eh, wishful thinking for any of these bands). This is what metal is all about!

"Resist the Exorcism"

Chistian Mistress... well, are they Christian? To be perfectly honest, I have no idea, but their music rocks. I like the raw production on their EP because it feels genuine among today's polished, pasted productions. I may have gone little bit too far with that one, but many of today albums are overly computerized. Now that's certainly another discussion for another time!

"Black Vigil"

Last but not least, I couldn't forget to include White Wizzard. These guys are professionals: they know how to create an authentic heavy metal experience, and one that doesn't feel forced or fake. Their EP, High Speed GTO, is very good, while their album, Over the Top, is even better.

"Strike of the Viper"

I suppose six bands is enough. Rock on, and listen to metal the way it was originally was, you know, before it found itself accompanied by various subgenres.

Remember kids, this could be the future of metal.


Say What? Judas Priest were on American Idol Last Night?

Yeah, that's Halford and the rest of Priest (minus K.K.) performing with an American Idol contestant.

I'll be honest with you all. I was appalled that Judas Priest chose to perform on American Idol last night. Sure, it's understandable why they did it (money, tour promotion), but it irritated me to see one of the metal greats "sell out" like that (They've sold out before, but that's a discussion for another time.). On top of all that, their performance was abysmal with little emotion and featured a lackluster vocal performance. Rob, you just don't have it anymore.

That said, is Priest's retirement a good or bad thing? Just some food for thought.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Best Metal Album of 1984

I've decided to do a new series of posts where I'll highlight my favorite metal album from a certain year. Originally, I wanted to do these in chronological order, but, now that I think about it, it really doesn't matter how I go about them. I will only be crowning one album as best from a particular band for these posts, meaning they will be exempt from further winning. For example, Iron Maiden cannot have more than one album win, so I will not be picking another album from a band even if that album is a top pick for a specific year. Trust me, this is a hard choice because Maiden's golden years albums (1980 through 1988) are some of the best metal albums in existence.

Without further adieu, I present Powerslave by Iron Maiden, the holy grail of metal albums. In all honesty, I've never listened to an album as perfect as this one, attesting that it's the only album I would ever give a perfect score of 100%. Its got all the characteristics of an archetypal heavy metal album: plenty of harmonized lead guitar parts (a Maiden trademark), an Egyptian-sounding metal song (various aesthetic influences), excellent artwork, galloping bass lines, hot guitar solos, fantastic instrumental passages, and one of the most recognized metal epics ever, "Rime of the Ancient Mariner."

This might seem a bit cliché because any half-decent heavy metal band can attempt to do something like this, but nobody, and I mean no one, does it like Maiden. The quality is here; the emotion; the crunchy, stampeding riffs; the colossal feeling of epicness; it's just perfect.  Eddie and the boys really put their all into this one. When someone asks, "Hey, what's a good heavy metal album?" this one will be my recommendation every time. With as much passion as I have for Powerslave and influence its had on me, I can't afford not to review it in full sometime.

Runner-Ups and Notable Albums
- Bathory - Bathory
- Celtic Frost - Morbid Tales E.P. and Emperor's Return E.P.
- Deep Purple - Perfect Strangers (While not strictly metal, Deep Purple has been an undeniable influence on the genre, thus it makes this list.)
- Dio - The Last in Line 
- Grim Reaper - See You in Hell
- Jag Panzer - Ample Destruction
- Judas Priest - Defenders of the Faith
- Lizzy Borden - Give 'em the Axe E.P.
- Mercyful Fate - Don't Break the Oath
- Metal Church - Metal Church
- Metallica - Ride the Lightning (A decent enough album, but pales in comparison to Kill 'em All and Master of Puppets. I'm including it based on the impact it has had on metal.)
- Omen - Battle Cry
Queensrÿche - The Warning (My personal favorite 'rÿche album.)
- Ratt - Out of the Cellar (Mainly hard rock, but with obvious metal overtones. Very worthy of being included here.)
- Saint Vitus - Saint Vitus
- Sodom - In the Sign of Evil E.P.
- Trouble - Psalm 9
- W.A.S.P. - W.A.S.P.

I probably forgot something, but this list makes me realize that it was indeed a very fine year for metal.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Versailles - Noble (2008)

Because I was so impressed with Versailles' song, "The Revenant Choir," I grabbed their debut album off Amazon and have had it in my hands for about a week now. Needless to say, I'm enamored with it.

If you're looking for power metal in the vein of USPM, you should probably pass Noble all together, though it does have a fair bit of grittier influences. That's not say it doesn't have any power, but it's deeply rooted in European power metal sound, something that fans either seem to love or hate. Despite that, it definitely isn't cheesy in any way; those looking for an album full of songs to bash heads to should avoid the majority of the record's track listing. But there are some exceptions, however, like "To the Chaos Inside" and "Zombie," which are pretty darn headbangable, making you want to sock the guy next to you in the gut.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Initial Blabbering About Uriah Heep's Into the Wild

If you didn't know that Uriah Heep recently released an album called Into the Wild, then you better get in the loop. Initially, I found it to be less engaging than Wake the Sleeper (another recent album), but now I'm reconsidering that thought because the album literally just clicked with me today. You know the feeling when you "get" something?

You must be thinking, "Is Uriah Heep really a metal band?" Well, yes and no. The band have undeniably had some metal material and, on top of that, their influence on the genre has been massive. I consider them very relevant to my blog. Uriah Heep are essentially in the same league as bands like Rush, Thin Lizzy, and Deep Purple when it comes to the impact they've had on the genre, and when it comes to classification.

Phantom Witch - Phantom Witch (2007)

Local bands (in my area) have always piqued my interest, but each time I check them out, I am habitually underwhelmed, although I have found a few gems. Believe it or not, I ran into Phantom Witch on eBay back in 2008 and decided to give them a try based solely on their name. Simply titled Phantom Witch, their sole EP has a no frills, plain Jane cover slathered with their logo. Because of that, I have little idea why I picked the band aside from the fact that they were described as thrash metal for fans of the old school.

For the first review I ever wrote on Metal Archives, I ended up choosing this very EP, giving it an 84%. It really is quite good considering it sounds like a "polished" demo and given the status of the band as newbies. Overall, I was pretty satisfied for the price I paid ($5 or something like that).

Friday, May 20, 2011

Come Worship in the Church of Metal (Is it the End of an Era?)

Possibly my biggest metal-related regret was seeing Metal Church break up because I never got to see them live. The news shocked me considering the band had recently released their album This Present Wasteland, and it seemed like they still had years left, with a strong presence and good songwriting Touring proved to be problematic because their record label at the time (SPV) collapsed right out from under them, causing any promotion to fly out the window. This Present Wasteland only sold 900 some copies in its first week making the situation worse (in case you're wondering, I bought one). Yes, that's absolutely abysmal. Further obstacles plagued the band, but they were never clear on what they were. I guess all the bad stuff happens to the good guys.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Accept - Blood of the Nations (2010)

One of the best albums released last year came from German heavy metal band Accept. I've blared it many a time in my car and had sufficient time to form an opinion on it and, with that being said, it might actually be the very best album released in 2010. Because the band was missing singer Udo Dirkschneider, who to my knowledge refused to rejoin, Accept recruited Mark Tornillo, former T.T. Quick vocalist, to take over the job as front man. To be honest, I prefer Accept with Tornillo, as his vocals are much more powerful and convey a better sense of emotion that Udo can only hope to match. Tornillo screeches, screams, yells, hacks and slashes his way to the top, which I suppose is hard to explain, but ends up being better heard. Udo may be regarded as legendary by fans, but he pales in comparison to Mark on technical abilities like range. Remember, this is coming from someone who started listening to Accept with their classic albums like Restless and Wild, Balls to the Wall, Russian Roulette, and Metal Heart. Mark is no joke.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thoughts on Scar Symmetry's Past Situation and The Unseen Empire

There's no doubt in my mind that my favorite melodic death metal band is Scar Symmetry. The act has always had the right combo of tasty guitar playing and vocal talent to keep nearly any metalhead satisfied. However, once Christian Älvestam (vocals) left the band, my interest began to wane, even if he held virtually no song writing credit. The man is one of the most diverse and talented vocalists in metal, churning out heavenly clean vocals to the lowest of growls. Because of his departure, Scar Symmetry replaced him with two vocalists, one who would assume clean vocal duties; the other harsh. Both are actually very good, but not in the same league.

I still purchased the band's first album without Älvestam. Though the majority of the songs were instantly recognizable as Scar Symmetry, I came away disappointed because I felt the band had incorporated a little too much -core influence with the addition of scattered breakdowns. Suffice to say, without Christian the band wasn't the same. I simply shelved the album and followed his numerous musical projects instead.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

First Thoughts on Morbid Angel's New Track "Nevermore"

After an eight year hiatus, death metallers Morbid Angel are back. Even though "Nevermore" has been streaming for only a week, I'm just now getting around to listening to it. According to various posts, there appear to be two opinions hovering around the song: those who call it the greatest comeback ever, and those calling it complete rubbish. I fall into the latter. I find the track to be rather forgettable, a feeble attempt to recapture glory that the band once had. It's only wishful thinking that Morbid Angel will match the material on their debut or Covenant.

Despite not being impressed with the song's overall package, Trey's guitar work is as good as it has ever been, with some fairly nice riffs and grooves scattered throughout. The problem is that it suffers from a huge lack of hooks, making it highly unmemorable. The production, while decent for guitars, sounds incredibly artificial for the drums further, spoiling any potential enjoyment. While I have no doubt that Pete is capable of playing his drum parts out of the studio, the fake sounding aura that surrounds his playing is just fake aesthetically and tough to fully absorb.

To be honest, I prefer an unclean, yet clear, production, rather than a polished, "perfect" one that Morbid Angel use here. As if things couldn't get any worse, David's growls sound weak, a far cry from his golden days. It's disappointing to see your favorite death metal band in a predicament like this. Here's to hoping that "Nevermore" is a grower, and that the rest of the album easily tops it, ridiculous track listing and all (the song names for the album are ridiculous and not in a good way).

Click this link to take a listen to the song for yourself. No comment on how the band looks these days.


Edit: Pete did not drum on this album (or song). Thanks for the heads up! Looking it up, I see that Tim Yeung (of Divine Heresy) took over skull-bashing duties. Not exactly who I was expecting, but interesting nonetheless.


Monday, May 16, 2011

One Year Since the Passing of a Legend: Ronnie James Dio

Take a moment to remember the greatest heavy metal vocals to ever walk the Earth. A year ago, today, Ronnie James Dio passed away from stomach cancer. The night of the day of his death I had a bit of a Dio marathon, including all of his work from Elf to his solo project. You name it, it was there.

Dio's passing hit me (and many other metal fans) very hard, especially because he was a primary influence in my musical development--anything from playing an instrument to establishing personal musical taste. Bar none, Dio will continue to be one of the biggest influences on metal music with his work's message living on to be introduced to budding metalheads by their veteran peers.

Often a musician is only universally recognized as great when he or she dies. Take for example Dimebag Darrell or Jimi Hendrix: both excellent musicians, yet not fully "great" until their deaths. Defying all of that, Dio was already special. Even when he was living, he was labeled as the greatest metal vocalist in existence, a status very few musicians can claim to have held.

Let's take this moment to remember Dio through his music.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier (2010)

As much as it pains me to say, Iron Maiden's latest album, The Final Frontier, is somewhat of a disappointment. While I'm postive the band hasn't run out of steam (Maiden is currently the most popular they have ever been!), it feels like they are slowing down because they opted for a more progressive sound, and that's NOT what I wanted to see. Unfortunately, Bruce Dickinson's vocals sound strained and coarse on more than a few tracks, so I always find myself wondering, "What's the deal, bro? You still sound fantastic live, so where's your oomph in the studio?" The bottom line is, I really wish the band would have taken more time recording the album because, though instrumental parts sound great, Bruce could have stood to improve his vocals. It sure seems like he did everything in one cut.

Another niggle I have is the production. Shirley, you need to push the guitars up higher in the mix. I want to hear them instead of having all three rhythm guitar parts stuck in a giant blob.

I think the most effective way to voice my opinion is with a short blurb on each song, which should be fun.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Thoughts on Versailles

Japan: the land of technology, Grand Seikos, and nearly everything opposite of American culture. I've got to hand it to the Japanese; they know how to make an excellent product, no matter what it is, including neoclassical power metal act Versailles. Consider me thoroughly impressed.

Extreme theatrics appear to be first nature for the Versailles and an essential part of their identity. To be honest, I feel like I'm taking a step back into the seventeenth or eighteenth century when I watch their videos, thanks to baroque-era looking clothing and theatrics combined decidedly quirky music. Initially, I found myself wondering if the members were male or female but, in the end, it hardly matters because their records are, for the most part, about the music, not a gussied-up drag queen.

Friday, May 13, 2011

F.K.Ü. Will Show You the Guiding Light

...that is if you're a total poser. Okay, so maybe they won't show you the light, but they'll mosh you to death until you listen to something worthy. No, that can't be it. This song is a parody, right? That's how I see it. It's like a parody of the the thrashers in the eighties who viewed "hair / glam" metal as a total bastardization of what heavy metal was about, as the majority were watered-down hard rock or pop (Please don't make me rant about the terms "glam / hair" metal again. I've put them in quotations for a reason. They're inaccurate labels, not a music genres!).

F.K.Ü. are part of what many coin the new wave of thrash bands. Thrash kinda went underground after the early nineties, but it's always been around. It never died. I don't care what you say. Recent thrash metal bands (two-thousands and beyond) are often deemed as unoriginal and as copycats because more than a few pay close homage to their idols. I won't disagree with those negative nancies, but I do think it's a little too harsh on bands that want to bring thrash back in full force.

 Let's be honest; thrash has been underground for some time. Bands like Kreator, Megadeth, and Sadus put out their last hurrahs (arguably their best albums...) before they either fell apart or conformed. Of course, there were always a few bands that stayed true to their roots, but still... My point? Thrash needs to make a comeback.

Be happy. F.K.Ü. are here to provide you with some thrashin'. "The Pit and the Poser" is guaranteed to get you moving, your head banging with its groovin'. It's catchy, rifftastic, and, most importantly, fun. Contrary to the popular belief, not all metal is about killing, satanism, and all that other good stuff. In reality, that's only a small chunk of it. F.K.Ü. prove that.

Listen and think about what I've said. Is this song parodying thrashers' views in the eighties, or is it aimed at making fun of scene kids today? Your call.


Shhhhhh! Come on, just act like everyone else. You'll fit in just fine.

I thought this title was fitting. I don't think it's too much of a stretch to include some hard rock in a metal blog, as many bands frequently cross back and forth between boundaries of the two genres. Truthfully, the line between hard rock and metal is sometimes tough pick up on unless one has considerable listening experience.

Well, what should I say here? Oh, yes... Firehouse are one of my absolute favorite hard rock bands, but that shouldn't surprise you. Pretty much everything I've blogged about so far is something I enjoy. Don't worry, I'm going to bash some things later. Stay tuned...

Firehouse formed at the tail end of the '80s ('89 to be exact), so they were taking quite a chance playing a style of music (i.e. metal and hard rock) that was rapidly going out of style in the mainstream. Grunge ultimately proved to an unbeatable enemy unless, say, you were Metallica, but don't get me started on their antics.

Anyway, on many of their songs, Firehouse hold metallic elements, particularly in the guitar playing, which isn't unexpected because they were influenced by a number of bands that ranged from metal and hard rock, among other things. The guitar tone on their debut is superb, with big meaty riffs with a nice distortiony sound that isn't compressed. It's hard for me to find a fault on their debut, as well, but if I had to choose a weak spot it would definitely be "Love of a Lifetime." The world be a better place without so many ballads.

Now, if I find you calling Firehouse glam or hair metal, I'm going to give you a nice sock in the gut. Glam / hair metal isn't even a real genre of music! It does nothing to describe a band's musical qualities, only their appearance. Well, how can a word (genre or subgenre to be exact) describe musical qualities? In all truth it doesn't, but common musical attributes are eventually associated with whatever the word is. What does hair / glam metal describe? NOTHING. Too frequently bands were unfairly lumped under that label. You want an example? Tesla. Tesla had zilch to do with that. Hair / glam bands could be a plethora of different things, like heavy metal, power metal, hard rock, or even pop... (Yes, I'm looking at you Poison. You're disguised as a hard rock band, but you're little more than sugar-coated pop.). Firehouse is simply a hard rock band that gussied up their hair a little bit. Nothing extreme and no make-up. Thank god.

I'll post my favorite Firehouse song (and it's from their debut). No, it was never a hit, but it slays anything they ever did that was well known.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Loudness - "Like Hell"

"Like Hell" is one of my favorite Loudness songs because it's catchy, has great riffs, and the classically-influenced leads in the middle of the song are superb. Akira Takasaki has loads of fans around the world and rightfully so. He is one heck of a guitar player.

Loudness were one of the first, if not first, Japanese heavy metal band to gain recognition in the United States and, by doing so, paved the way for other Japanese acts to pursue worldwide distribution for their music.

Take a listen to "Like Hell." I doubt you'll be able to resist the awesome riffs and guitar playing. I know I couldn't.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Initial Thoughts on The Absence

Melodic death metal has a tough time standing out in these days because nearly every idea has been done to death. While they aren't exactly unique, The Absence still are an enjoyable band (based on what I have heard) despite performing a cliché brand of melodic death metal.

From the songs I've heard, which, in all honesty, isn't many, "Dead and Gone" stands out, while songs like "Enemy Unbound" are somewhat boring due to uninspired drumming. Despite shortcomings, The Absence are home to two very good guitar players, both of whom clearly draw their influence from guitar shredders from the eighties and other projects that have popped up since; listen not only to their lead guitar playing, but also take a look at their guitars.

Yeah, the pink tiger stripe guitar looks like something George Lynch would have used. I know he has a similar yellow one. Overall, it's going to take some time to form a real opinion on the band, meaning taking a closer look at their material and, hopefully, just hopefully, the band have some tricks up their sleeves on their albums.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Kreator - "When the Sun Burns Red"

I'm buried in the books right now because I have two exams tomorrow, so this is all you get today. It's from the album Coma of Souls, which is an absolute thrash masterpiece.


Thursday, May 5, 2011


I just now ran into Isole, a doom metal band, that I discovered quite some time ago. Funny how I forget bands and then find them again... Here's a taste of the band from their newest album, along with an older track released a few years before. I'm definitely picking up one of their albums next week.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Discovery of the Century!

Okay--I just found a NWoBHM band called Overdrive with a song called "Nightmare." My jaw pretty much dropped upon hearing it because it's so darn catchy, yet haunting at the same time. Just listen to that organ part!

It's a shame that I can't find the original version on YouTube, so we'll just have to settle for the version the band rerecorded in 2005 (the original was released in 1981). Not as haunting, but awesome nonetheless. I reccommend you listen to the original if you can. It's amazing.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Rock Goddess - "My Angel"

Continuing with the NWoBHM songs...

A band with girls?!?!?!? Yep. I'm including a live version of the song as well, the exact video that got me into the band a year or two ago.



Monday, May 2, 2011

Demon - "Liar"

It's finals week, so I'm keeping my posts relatively short. I'll be posting a song from the NWoBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) movement for each day remaining in the week.

Rock out, and do whatever you cool kids do to metal and hard rock songs. You'll miss my extensive commentary for a few days, but you'll have to deal with it!

This one's called "Liar" by Demon. Released in 1980.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

"Passiondale" or "Paschendale?"

Whether you realize it or not, The Battle of Passchendaele was a major battle during World War I, and perhaps the bloodiest. Interestingly enough, it has become a hot topic in metal because God Dethroned and Iron Maiden have written songs about it.

Detailing the horrors and effects of Passchendaele, neither song is a particularly nice waltz in the park. But what did you expect? Iron Maiden's "Paschendale" has some of my absolute favorite lyrics in metal and, when paired with music, creates a surreal experience that I can't describe through a blog. God Dethroned's "Passiondale" is an excellent song, as well, creating a melancholic, yet frenzied experience, exactly how the battle was. I can easily give Iron Maiden the nod here. Why? Well, I'm not going to tell you my full reasoning because I want you to decide your favorite for yourself.

"A serenade in lead
For all those who died
Wartime atrocities
No sign of life"



"In a foreign field he lay
Lonely soldier, unknown grave
On his dying words he prays
Tell the world of Paschendale"