Friday, May 27, 2011

Johann Wolfgang Pozoj - "Birth of Pozoj" [2007]

Artist: Johann Wolfgang Pozoj
Title: Birth of Pozoj
Genre: Post-Metal, Avant-garde Black Metal
Country: Croatia
Year: 2007

Track List:
  1. Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes
  2. Queen Emeraldas
  3. Autodistraktiv
  4. Hisperia
  5. Outro
"Johann Wolfgang Pozoj is an avant-garde black metal band from Croatia that came to existence in 2004 by merging of two “brother” bands - Intoxicate and Grob (Grave). The band’s name is derived from (pre) Indo-European myth about a dragon (Pozoj) and its later mythological and lingual derivations.
The first part of their opus is a Trilogy based on myth and the philosophical triad of thesis, antithesis and synthesis where those three phases represent the spirit becoming real through art.
The first album in the Trilogy – Birth of Pozoj represents the Trilogy’s symbolic phase where the idea hasn’t yet found its complete form, and the birth of the dragon (Pozoj) as a symbolic beginning of time flow. The album was released in 2006 via Progressive Attack Records"

I personally wouldn't even call their music "avant-garde black metal", because this album defies any attempts to label it. If you need labels - it's somewhere in between of epic crust (Fall of Efrafa etc.), post-metal, and progressive rock. Regardless of how you'd call it, the music is absolutely amazing, and the atmosphere it creates is great too. Definitely one of the best avant-garde metal albums to come out in the 2nd half of 2000's. It's also remarkable that the 2nd track is apparently inspired by Leiji Matsumoto's works, which I love too...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cracked Core - "Steal'n'Kill" [2011]

Artist: Cracked Core
Title: Steal'n'Kill
Label: Mental Excitement
Genre: Electronic / Industrial
Country: Russia
Release date: 2011

Track List:
  1. Hijack
  2. Radio:martial [martial mix]
  3. Монстрация
  4. Free Tibet
  5. Duck and Cover [glitch mix]
  6. Играй нойз, пили трупы [v1.1]
  7. SoAT [End Credits Theme rmx by Kazdalevsky]
  8. Freedom In Lost Underground [Friends Minimal Cut]
  9. Duck and Cover [technomix]
  10. Radio:martial [tribal mix]
A new, 3rd full-length release by Cracked Core. Highly recommended to listen with headphones ;) To have an idea of what kind of music is presented on this album, just watch this video:

Hope you'll like this one. And I'll take a rest from making posts here (though my blog doesn't look very popular anyway...)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Kazdalevsky / Cracked Core / First Sleg - RMX split [2011]

Artist: Kazdalevsky / Cracked Core / First Sleg
Title: RMX split
Label: Mental Excitement
Genre: Electronic / Industrial / Synthpop
Country: Russia
Release date: 2011

Track List:

  1. Цон [Cracked Core Summer mix]
  2. И пришла TTL-весна [Original 2010 mix]
Cracked Core
  1. SoAT [Kazdalevsky Stalled into flat spin mix]
  2. Militarity Theme [Synroc Warhead mix]
First Sleg
  1. Sunday Dub [Original Oldtape mix]
This split EP is a product of collaboration between two Russian experimental electronic musicians, and I already introduced one of them to you. It isn't as depressive and introspective as the majority of other works by Cracked Core, since these tracks were intended to carry a "positive" feeling of spring. As for First Sleg, it's an experimental/synthpop project by the same two people, and it's their first release under this moniker. Just like all the releases by Cracked Core, it's free for downloading and redistributing.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lady Winter - "The Rain Can't Be Forever" [2005]

Artist: Lady Winter
Title: The Rain Can't Be Forever
Label: Valiant Music
Genre: Heavy/Gothic Metal
Country: Russia
Release date: 2005

Track List:
  1. Phoenix
  2. The Rain Can't Be Forever
  3. Frozen Heart
  4. From the Backside of the Mirror
  5. Lonely Road
  6. She-Wolf
  7. The Sorrow
  8. Endless Maze
  9. Where the Rain Grows (Helloween cover)
Yet another female-fronted metal band, this time from Russia. I discovered Lady Winter about 7 years ago (even before this album was released), and even did a review of their demo for one not-so-serious webzine. Back in mid-2000s, Lady Winter was one of the most promising new Russian metal bands (especially if we take in account how underdeveloped the Russian metal scene was... and still is). Sadly it doesn't look like they will ever release something new, but their one and only full-length album is pretty decent. It has nice vocals and some catchy melodies ("Frozen Heart", "The Rain Can't Be Forever"), though it generally lacks some "heaviness", which is supposed to be in metal music. However, it's still much better than numerous Nightwish clones that dominate Russian female-fronted metal scene.

Obsidian Shell - "Angelic Asylum" [2010]

Artist: Obsidian Shell
Title: Angelic Asylum
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Country: Hungary
Release date: 2010

Track List:
  1. My Arrival
  2. Orphanage
  3. Fear
  4. Dream
  5. Endsequence
  6. Starfall
  7. Summoner Of The Wind
  8. Second Birth
  9. Wings Of Cruelty
  10. Farewell
  11. Misanthropia 2: Eternal Darkness
One more album by Obsidian Shell, maybe not as impressive as Elysia, but still good (and released under a free license as well). Need I say more? Here's some release notes taken from Jamendo:

"It was a long, cold and dark night when the idea came... even Elysia hasn't been written but something started in our minds. It took 3 years, lots of songwriting, recording and mixing but now its done - the reflection of our souls, and this reflection is pure as snow: no one altered or modified anything on our basic idea of the album Angelic Asylum. We wrote the songs, we did the recording and mixing and even the mastering is home made by Henrik. If you like our albums and willing to support us you can buy this album on and depending on how much it's worth to you"

Obsidian Shell - "Elysia" [2009]

Artist: Obsidian Shell
Title: Elysia
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Country: Hungary
Release date: 2009

Track List:
  1. Ezer Év
  2. Jégvirág
  3. Álomcsapda
  4. Vadon Rejteke
  5. Csendes Káosz
  6. Vérmocsár
  7. Elveszett Lelkek
  8. Emlékmás
  9. Megtört Álom
  10. Farkaskönny
  11. Búcsúszó
  12. Misanthropia
  13. Jégvirág (orchestral)
You want more metal with female vocals from Hungary? Well, I've got some for you. Obsidian Shell is a relatively new 3-piece symphonic metal band who released both their albums under a free license (CC BY-NC-ND), so it's perfectly OK to post it here. Moreover, their vocalist is really good; probably the best female voice in Hungarian metal. Musically, Obsidian Shell seems to be highly influenced by their compatriots Alhana with their idea of "fairy metal". "Elysia" is a quite lengthy release, but it's really worth listening.

Alhana - "Tündértánc" [2005]

Artist: Alhana
Title: Csillagszellő
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Country: Hungary
Release date: 2002

Track List:
  1. Intro
  2. Élj úgy
  3. A zafír égen túl
  4. Száműzött angyal
  5. Az utolsó bárd
  6. Mágus
  7. A sárkány őrei
  8. Álomvilág
  9. Kísértet
  10. Vigyázz rám
  11. Csillagszellő
The first and only full-length album by Alhana. Unfortunately, it seems like we will never hear any more releases from them - according to Encyclopedia Metallium, their last concert was held on 2009 September 14 during the Metal Ladies Night Fest, and the band is officially split-up from that day.

Alhana - "Csillagszellő" [2002]

Artist: Alhana
Title: Csillagszellő
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Country: Hungary
Release date: 2002

Track List:
  1. Nem akarok
  2. Az ördög csókja
  3. Az öregember
  4. A mágus
  5. Csillagszellő
Do you share my love to rock and metal music in Hungarian language? If yes, then I'd like to bring this demo to your attention. Alhana was a female-fronted symphonic metal from Hungary who self-labelled their music as "tündérmetal" or "fairy metal". Perhaps it will give you some idea of what kind of music they play ;) Of course it's only a demo, but it's good enough if you want to hear not very heavy music with female vocals in Hungarian language. As far as I know, this demo is distributed freely.

Sacra Arcana - "Titkos Szertartás" [2005]

Artist: Sacra Arcana
Title: Titkos Szertartás
Genre: Folk Metal
Country: Hungary
Release date: 2005

Track List:
  1. Isten Kardja
  2. Fekete sereg
  3. Visszavárnak az álmokba
  4. A magyarok Szent-Gallenben
  5. Miller's Tale
  6. A szegényember és a halál
  7. Ugass a farkasokkal
  8. 'Round the Fields of Athenry
Sacra Arcana is a Hungarian folk metal band too, but they don't sound much like Dalriada. Most importantly, there aren't much female vocals: they have a female violinist who does some vocals, but the lead vocals are male. Most of their lyrics are in Hungarian, except for a couple of Celtic folk songs. In the Encyclopedia Metallum, their lyrical themes are listed as "Magyarism, Hungarian medieval history". Don't know what they meant by "magyarism", but it's definitely not so-called "hungarism" or any other nationalist ideology: I've talked to one of their members on a couple of years ago, and according to him, the band is definitely not nationalist, "nemzeti rock" or anything like that. As of today, Sacra Arcana seems to by split up, after releasing only one album. What a pity...

(Echo of) Dalriada - "Jégbontó" [2006]

Artist: Echo of Dalriada
Title: Jégbontó
Genre: Folk Metal
Country: Hungary
Release date: 2006

Track List:
  1. Rianás
  2. Árpádházi Margit Balladája
  3. Galamb
  4. Védj Meg Láng - 1. Rész
  5. Téli Ének
  6. Virrasztó
  7. Igaz Hittel
  8. Hajnalünnep
  9. Drégel
  10. Szondi Két Apródja - 1. Rész
  11. Jégbontó
Another female-fronted metal band from Hungary, but unlike Ideas, they're playing folk metal. Back in the 2006, their name was Echo of Dalriada, but now they have shortened the name to just "Dalriada". According to Metal Archives:

"Dalriada (also Dál Riata) was a Gaelic overkingdom on the western seaboard of Scotland with some territory on the northern coasts of Ireland. In the late 6th and early 7th century it encompassed roughly what is now Argyll and Bute and Lochaber in Scotland and also County Antrim in Ireland.

The titles of their albums are ancient Hungarian names of months. So "Fergeteg" is January, "Jégbontó" is February, "Kikelet" is March, "Szelek" is April, "Ígéret" is May, "Napisten" is June, "Áldás" is July, "Új Kenyér" is August, "Őszelő" is September, "Magvető" is October, "Enyészet" is November, "Álom" is December. Arany-Album is an exception, because it contains the poems of János Arany"

If my (limited) knowledge of Hungarian doesn't deceive me, then the name for April literally means "Winds", August - "New Bread", December - "Sleep" or "Dream"... But it's quite off topic, let's return to the music. To have an idea of what kind of music they're playing, just watch this video for the song "Téli Ének" ("Winter Song"):

Ideas - "Ébredés" [2006]

Artist: Ideas
Title: Ébredés (Revival)
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Country: Hungary
Release date: 2006

Track List:
  1. Kegyetlen idők
  2. Új nap
  3. A völgy
  4. Béke
  5. Az operaház fantomja
  6. Ébredés
  7. Túl az élet hajnalán
  8. Angyal
  9. Újra élni
Sympho-gothic metal with female vocals... well, it isn't a novelty for our times, but this band sings in Hungarian! I've met people, who called Ideas "a Nightwish clone" - but first of all, they started to play music in 1994 (Nightwish started in 1996), and they really aren't too similar to Nightwish. The track "Az operaház fantomja" is probably the best metal version of Phantom of the Opera I've ever heard (I don't like the covers by Nightwish and Dreams of Sanity, and Coptic Rain's "Phantom" isn't exactly a cover of Phantom of the Opera). Other tracks are nice too, especially "Angyal".

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Brigitte Handley & The Dark Shadows - "Darkness Calls" [2009]

Artist: Brigitte Handley & The Dark Shadows
Title: Darkness Calls
Genre: Psychobilly/Rockabilly
Country: Australia
Release date: 2009

Track List:
  1. Dave Likes Dolls
  2. Alien Movies
  3. Stand Off
  4. Sleeping with a Vampyre
  5. Time To Fight Back
  6. Identity
  7. Lament Of A Lost Soul
  8. Freedom of Choice
  9. Gonna Getcha
  10. Sour Times
  11. Mad At You
  12. Bitter Taste
  13. Pesticide
Some more female-fronted psychobilly for you! This time the band is from Australia. It's probably the last time I post psychobilly/rockabilly in my blog (at least in the next few months), next time I'll focus on metal and industrial.

Love-in-a-Mist - demo [2005]

Artist: Love-in-a-Mist
Title: Love-in-a-Mist (demo)
Genre: Gothic/Alternative Rock
Country: Ukraine
Release date: 2005

Track List:
  1. Taste of Blood
  2. Gone
  3. Back Home
One more female-fronted Ukrainian rock band, and just like Rockland Ladies, they seem to be split up for now. There's almost no information about Love-in-a-Mist (whose name obviously refers to a sort of flower), except for a forum which wasn't updated since 2006. Anyway, Love-in-a-Mist was a female duo musically quite similar to a Finnish band Lab - not quite "gothic rock", more like alternative rock... These 3 tracks are fine for a demo, sadly it's unlikely if this demo would be re-released in better quality. Anyway, the melodies are catchy, and I like such kind of vocals.