Review: Tiamat – Amanethes

Monday, 27 July, 2009

tiamat-amanethes“It’s been a long time but we are here again”. This is how “Amanethes” starts and I’m not talking about a white rapper introducing him for the third time. I’m talking about the latest Tiamat album from 2008, which hasn’t come to my attention before a week ago.

It starts out more black/ death since early recordings in the 90ies. But it also have lots of symphonic elements that sound more like other Century Media bands than the unique sound that I will remember Tiamat always gave the goth rock scene. (Note: Tiamat released this record at Nuclear Blast.)

Amanethes is a disappointing record. It sounds like a patriarch that lost its power, now old but still howling. This could be charming, but it’s convulsive. The record has its moments, but all in all its fragmented and missing the killer riffs and / or atmospheric passages from earlier albums.

Although I’m far from impressed, I think “Katarraktis Apo Aima” has a savage rage and Johan Edlund succeeds on the two minute short track to show how vehement and lost he is. And on the other side the a more sad and slow track “Misantropolis ” also provides me with lots of real authenticity . As if Tiamat is in no use of forcing the feelings and melodies forward. Here they are, unpretentious and straight forward. And the greek guitars and drums in the end gives some of the originality which I’m missing on the record in general.

For some reason Johan Edlund continues to sing with a dark voice. To me this makes me think of the Sundown record, where former Tiamat bassist Johnny Hagel contributed. Johan Edlund explains why he sings with the low voice in an interview from 2008:

“It comes very natural for me. I do not have to struggle to sing that kind of songs. That is my natural voice. I struggle a bit more when I have to sing high or to scream, then I need a lot of energy. But the more low vocals I can do anytime.” – quote in Lords of Metal

Well. Sounds kind of boring to me not pushing yourself to the limits. You’ll find a more positive review at Metal Storm.

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Roskilde Festival 2009

Monday, 15 June, 2009

roskilde-festival One year ago I said I wouldn’t participate in the wild and wonderful Roskilde Festival. Two days before I changed my mind and saw memorable performances by MGMT, Battles, Girl Talk and Shantel, while Yeasayers and others have gone into oblivion.

Again this year I am not going. But if I were, there would be plenty of bands to see. The smaller stages have my attention as always. I believe Pet Shop Boys, Coldplay as well as Oasis and Trentemøller are going to kick as at the Canopy stage. But there are a some other bands I would like to promote.

It’s both Karen O’s rock’n’roll attitude as it’s the good melodies and details in the production that convince me Yeah Yeah Yeahs are going to play a great concert. Fever Ray has released a promising album. I’m not sure what to expect – as The Knife only played a few concerts this could both be spectacular or disappointing. I’d also promote White Lies and Friendly Fires for their 2009 dark sound and popular and danceable tunes.

More dark and metal I would love to hear Zu. They are from Ipecac (Mike Patton label) and is all about drone riffs, monster drums and jazz-saxophone. They have some kind of the same approach as Lightning Bolt. I have never seen Isis live, which probably would be enough reason for me to see them. And talking about the heavy stuff I would recommend both Mono and Wolves in the Throne Room.

It’s not going to be heavy all of it. Den Sorte Skole, Hauschka and maybe Shogu Tokumaru have made some impressing releases lately and their approach are never more far out than I think of dancing or dreaming myself far away. Especially Danish act Den Sorte Skole is a must see.

More crazy and edgy you’ll find Gang Gang Dance and Deerhoof. Sometimes Deerhoof gets somewhat annoying in a childish way. Sometimes Gang Gang Dance get too arty farty. However Roskilde Festival must be the perfect place to see these two bands.

After this I’ll probably need to rest and relax. Both Jenny Wilson and Marnie Stern could be nice to see. And The Whitest Boy Alive indeed. If you pass the Lounge stage I’ll recommend you to see the poet Morten Søkilde. His exploration into the sound of syllable is both amazing, beautiful and a somehow kitsch.

Have a nice festival!

New album from the intelligent caveman

Wednesday, 15 April, 2009

Sunn o - Monoliths & DimensionsMan, I’m looking forward to the Monoliths & Dimensions album from Sunn o)) later in May (26th).

The Wire has made a couple of transcriptions from interviews with band members and collaborators. Quoting Oren Ambarchi:

Sonically, I think this record is a huge step up from the previous releases and the palette of sounds is much more varied and ambitious than any of the previous releases.

More interviews and articles: http://thewire.co.uk/details/artists/?artist=3070
Available at Southern Records / Shop from the 4th of May.

Part 4: Die for metal. (1995 – 1999)

Saturday, 27 December, 2008

moonspell - wolfheartthe gathering - mandylion

I had listened to Rage Against the Machine years before and was a little familiar with heavy metal like Manowar, Megadeth and Blind Guardian through high school friends. But it was when Moonspell as a support band to Morbid Angel played at Pumpehuset in 1995 I got hooked. This sound was majestic, symphonic and gothic. As Moonspell was signed at the German record company Century Media I became familiar with The Gathering, Tiamat and Samael. And through mail order from Nuclear Blast I bought lots of albums including the Black metal acts Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth and The Kovenant.
I was also found of Type O Negative. Sadly their concert was cancelled in 1996 cause of a down tool by Danish truck drivers. I could have got a free concert with Marilyn Manson, but in anger and sorrow I refused and went home. Doh!
I was to regret this a couple of month later, as I heard – and immediately loved – “Antichrist Superstar”. This was their breakthrough and I believe the record and the gossip have had a huge impact on later artists. Maybe more than people actually realize.