Neurosis on Pukkelpop!

I heard some great news this morning on the radio. One of the bands playing at the Pukkelpop festival this year will be Neurosis. This is excellent news as they don't play very often. And it's been years since I was last at that festival but I'll definitely be going this year.
If you haven't heard about Neurosis before, I recommend checking out the album "The Eye Of Every Storm". It's a piece of music that propels metal into another level.
Anyways, this news just made my day.


Lenses are metal!

In case you didn't know:


Preview Graspop 2008: day one

The complete lineup for Graspop 2008 is known by now, and I'll be going there anyway. So let's have a look at what we can expect this year starting with the first day.

  • Firewind: Never heard of this band, but according to the bio, they are spearheaded by Gus G. formerly of Nightrage and Arch Enemy. Might be interesting, but they have to play so early that I'll probably miss them.
  • Damn Your Idols: A belgian band playing metal/hardrock like Channel Zero used to do. Channel Zero's songs were often a mixed bag. If I'm early I might check them out as well, but I'm not expecting them to blow me away.
  • The Lucifer Principle: A dutch band, playing "stomping death metal". I haven't listened to any songs yet. I mostly know them because one the local cd shops in Antwerp managed to put about 15 copies of their latest cd in display. You'd think they were Metallica or something...
  • Steak Number 8: Winners of Humo's pop poll this year. I heard a bit of their songs on the radio and it sounded somewhat sludge/post-rock-like (think Neurosis). Could be good.
  • Dedicted: A new death/thrash band on Shiver records. They only made some demos apparently.
And so we get in to some better known terrain:

Moonspell is a band from Portugal that made quite a journey through different metal styles. They started out as a black metal band with albums like Wolfheart, a true classic. Later on they made some less extreme albums and I lost track of them.
Nevertheless, the know how to play so I look forward to seeing them again. I just hope they don't put them on the main stage but in one of the marquees.

Deathstars is the first band that I really don't want to miss. I'm a big fan of these guys and their deathglam. I often dig bands that try to do something new and this group definitely fits that description. These guys have also been around longer than you might think. Previously the members played in illustrious bands as Dissection and Swordmaster (anyone else up for a Swordmaster reunion? Wraths Of Time, baby! Maximum Fucking Volume!).
They should have a new album out later this year as well.

Obituary means a round of oldschool death metal. I remember them having some of the coolest t-shirts. I don't really follow their music, but I'd like to check them out this time.

Nile on the other hand, means new school death metal. I like the egyptian theme they keep on using. I've seen them live before, but it's been several years. They should be worth cheking out again.

Easteuropean deathmetal pioneers, Behemoth, are on my list as well. They consistenly deliver well played and well produced albums. I saw them live once, about 10 years ago, on the "With A Dragon's Blade" festival.

Morbid Angel, what's not to like? This original death metal band is always a treat. They are taking their time with releasing some new material however. Maybe they got some surprises for us at Graspop?

Ministry, american industrial band extraordinaire. I'm only familiar with the Psalm 69 album which I used to play quite a lot. They announced that they would no longer make any new music.

The following bands will be playing as well, but I have no real interest in seeing them: Symphony X, Yngwie Malmsteen, Testament, Black Stone Cherry, Tesla, Saxon, Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Judas Priest (except if they play "Breaking The Law").


Tentacle Metal

I mentioned my interest in the Cthulhu Mythos before, and I'd like to elaborate a bit on it in this post. In the 1920's there was an American writer who went by the name of H.P. Lovecraft. As someone who was regularly ill, he was confined to his house a lot which led him to start writing. He wrote horror stories that got published in several pulp magazines at that time. He also maintained an active correspondence with other writers about the universe he created through his stories. This universe was a mirror image the world we know with the profound difference that alien beings roamed the galaxies since the dawn of time and came to earth ever since it was created. On our earth they created large cities and civilizations and waged war on each other. Since the dawning of man, they have been lying dormant waiting till the stars are right for them to rise again.Cthulhu with the city R'lyeh in the background.Image via Wikipedia

Now, when we are talking about alien beings, we're not talking about your regular Hollywood-type, humanoid alien, but about truly alien organisms. Think tentacles, interdimensionality, time travel, tentacles, slime, avatars, non-euclidean spaces, and some more tentacles. Among these alien beings, there were "Great Old Ones". Unique, and often gargantuan, creatures with an intelligence (and an agenda) far beyond the comprehension of men. The most famous of these Great Old Ones is without a doubt Cthulhu. He is in fact so iconic for this Lovecraftian universe that it is commonly referred to as the "Cthulhu Mythos" (which wasn't a term invented by Lovecraft, by the way, but by one of his followers).

Apparently, I'm not the only one with an interest in the Cthulhu Mythos. As it is an inspiration for several metal bands as well. Some only refer to Cthulhu himself, like in some of the following songs:Others take a different road and write songs about the Great Old Ones in general, as in these:
And these are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. There are definitely more bands with a Cthulhu Mythos theme out there and when I come across them, I'll list them on my blog. If you have any good tentacle metal references, I'll be happy to hear about them.


lolmetal III: I has a hungry...

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Using necro chicks in a video, you're doing it wrong...

A few days ago, I found a post about Lair Of The Minotaur's latest video in my feed reader. The video is for the "War Metal Battle Master" song.

I am not impressed...

The video features several warriors fighting and severing arms, legs and heads. There's lots of gore done through (I guess) purposefully badly executed special effects and looks very amateurish. Up until halfway through the video it all looks very homo-erotic as well, because of those large muscled almost naked warriors. I can only imagine what they must have been talking about doing about that, maybe it went like this:

A: "Hmmm, shouldn't we do something about these naked guys?"
B: "Yeah, let's put some topless chicks in there now."
A: "Ok, but they have to be troo and kvlt chicks..."
B: "I know, maybe they can be naked AND eat the fallen warriors!"

Yes, eat the fallen warriors...

Personally, I don't have a problem with cannibalistic necro harpies. But this video clip just makes it all look childish. This is just being controversial for the sake of being controversial. If you need to go through these measures to get noticed as a music band, you're no longer on the right track.