Thursday, 24 December 2015

Have A Very Metal Christmas

  In theory Heavy Metal and Christmas shouldn't be in the same room as each other without an enormous fight. "Joy To The World" vs "Raining Blood"?  Messy.

In practice, lots of metalheads love a bit of tinsel and a chance to sing about reindeer.

Here's a small selection of Metal carols for you all. Enjoy.

Twisted Sister - O Come All Ye Faithful

 

Orion's Reign - Deck The Halls

(It turns out that Symphonic Metal and Christmas music go together really well)


If you've ever sat down and wondered what Rammstein doing a Christmas song would sound like, have I got a treat for you.

 Psychostick - O Tannenbaum (In the style of Rammstein)




And to finish...you may have heard the Trans-Siberian Orchestra song "Carol of The Bells" . well here's the original version by one of my favourite bands of all time.

 Savatage - Christmas Eve/ Sarajevo 12-24




That's all folks. 

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Heavy Metal Cover Girls Strike Back

  Time to post part two of our look at SF album covers. In most cases the SF element consists of "wearing a shiny catsuit and holding a blaster" but I don't really see a problem with that.

  The Soda Shop Records Comp 3 

Space girl with blaster.
 Picture originally from http://www.thesleepingshaman.com

 Well, I was about..15% right on the shiny catsuit. The bit over her boobs is definitely very, very shiny. 

Shiny...

So shiny...

Where was I?  Ahem.

This is a free-to-download compilation which can be found at the above link. Go check it out. 

The next one brought some extra firepower. 

Kerion - Cloud Riders Part two: Technowars. (France 2015)

Girl with giant mech
I don't think you really need the swords love.

The band don't sound the way I expected . See for yourself. 


Dire Peril - Queen of The Galaxy EP (USA 2014)

How long did it take you to notice that there's another person on there?

I've had this cover in my folder for about 3 months and I only just noticed the robot-ninja thing.  

The band definitely like their SF. This track is inspired by Barbarella and guest stars the lead singer of Unleash the Archers. 



This nexct one is from the darker, more cynical end of SF.
Less Star Trek  (Shiny  and clean) and more Mad Max (Everything is shit and the people are nutters.)

Bobaflex -Anything That Moves (USA 2015)

I've never understoood why people who survived the apocalypse immediately start wearing the weirdest clothes. Why is she dressed like a  player from the Lingerie Bowl gone viking? Who knows.

The band are scuzzy Hard Rock and not bad at all.



I think this next young lady could use a nice big gun right about now.

Platzdarm - Another Breed EP (Russia 2015)

I have to go. Aliens just stole my date.

Check out their music at  https://platzdarm.bandcamp.com/
If you like the crunchier end of metal you might dig them.

That's all folks.


Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Heavy Metal Cover Girls...Conquer The Galaxy

Given all the hype about a certain film franchise at the moment, today seemed like a good chance to post some covers I've had in my folder for a while. I think you'll agree that they are very, very appropriate.

 First up, some Scandinavian rockers who may possibly have a thing for classic Sci-Fi

Kal-El - Pakal (Norway 2014)



He's behiiiind you....

 Kal-El (Norway) - Ecosphere (2015)



  Cover one is a tribute to the Golden Age pulp. This cover is a tribute to the SF covers of the 70s/early 80s. 
I would buy both of these if they were comics, just going by the covers.  

The band are Stoner Rock with a bit of groove going on.
https://www.facebook.com/kalelproject/


 Compare and contrast those covers with this more up-to-date take on the theme.

Otherworld - My Final Sacrifice Ep (USA 2015)

That's a big-ass gun. That's also a lot of hair.
 I have to wonder how often she gets those flowing locks trapped in the airlock. 
No wonder she isn't wearing a helmet.

The band are ModernMetal/Metalcore, it says here. 


I tend to use a very, very loose definition of Metal for these posts, which is why so far we've had Stoner Rock and Metalcore. This next lot are very definitely Heavy Metal - unless you're one of those strange types that think anything with clean vocals is practically AOR.

 Barque Of Dante - Lasting Forever (China 2013)

 She's got tangled up in her headphones, the poor love.
While he looks pleased with himself.  

I really need to hear more Chinese Power Metal



Kantation - Nephilim (USA 2015)

 Some of my favourite covers are the ones where you find yourself making up a little story to go with them. 
My immediate thought when I saw this one was "Welcome to Earth motherfuckers!"

Kantation are somewhere on the border between  Heavy and Power Metal. 



Some Old-School Cool to finish

Deserts Of Mars - Transmission (USA 2013)



This cover makes me sad.

This is what the 21st century was supposed to be like.

Instead we got The Kardashians, X-Factor, ISIS, Austerity and a world that keeps getting greyer and uglier.

There aren''t any songs on Youtube but check out their Bandcamp site.
If you like sludgey Heavy Rock you might dig these guys.

https://desertsofmars.bandcamp.com/

That's all folks.

Expect Part 2 in a day or so.


Saturday, 12 December 2015

Cheapo DVD Review: Rise Of The Fellowship (2013)

This bad-tempered rant  review is likely to get quite sweary. You have been warned. 


 Just for a change I'm going to post the back cover of the DVD as well. It will become relevant, trust me. 

  "A group of friends embark on an epic journey to find a new world they have only heard of, encountering dangerous obstacles and threats around every corner. During their quest they lose one of their most precious possessions and must display depths of bravery and heroism that they never thought possible. With the aid of some unexpected allies along the way, the companions fiercely look for certainty that they can reach their destination. "

    There's a reason one of my post tags is "DVD artists are lying bastards" and that's because of stuff like this :  Films cynically repackaged as something they aren't to grab more sales. 

I've seen a lot of that over the last few years and it annoys me. Maybe I'm naive but when I pick a film off the shelf because the cover looks interesting, that's the film I want to see. Discovering that I've been gulled yet again does not put me in the right frame of mind to appreciate the movie. 

"Rise Of The Fellowship" is probably the most extreme example of this bullshit I've ever encountered. 

Look at the DVD covers, both of them. You should now have a mental image of the film contained therein, right? 

Wrong.

Very, very fucking wrong. 

  I was expecting a low-budget fantasy that bore a suspicious resemblance to a certain recent series about hairy-footed little people. What I actually got was a low-budget, indie-flick about a bunch of gamers on a road trip. 
  Instead of a LOTR ripoff, I got a film that really wants to be "Fanboys - Gamer edition"

I would be impressed at the way the marketing wankers carefully concealed any clue to the real film...

...If I wasn't so pissed off.   

  If you'd made the DVD cover bear some resemblance to the bastard film I'd still have bought it.  A bunch of gamers trying to get across the country to a gaming event? Sounds like it could be interesting, so let's give it a whirl.  

  As it is, I started watching and my immediate reaction was "What the fuck is this?" which is not a positive thing by anybody's standards. 

 And why the hell is the DVD sleeve covered in knights? There aren't any in the fucking film. That's the sort of thing I'm good at noticing.  
 I'm really good at spotting beautiful women too. So believe me when I say that if the blonde on the cover was in this film, I'd have spotted her.    

  Somebody made a conscious effort to put "Rise Of the Fellowship" out in a sleeve that outright lies.

  Somebody is taking the piss and I am not fucking happy. 

Aargghhh!


  Now that my blood pressure has gone back down and I no longer want to punch somebody, I suppose I'd better talk about the film itself.

 "Rise Of The Fellowship" is OK, I suppose. Amusing, rather than funny, in that low-key Indieflick fashion and with some nods towards the LOTR trilogy that make sense in context. 
 There's quite a few daydream sequences - which does explain the pics on the back cover.  

  The gang are straight out of Geek Casting Central - the straight man, the chick, the fat kid and the guy who thinks he's funny - all of whom are easy to like, so wanting to see them prevail is also easy. . 
 The bad guys are exactly what you'd expect from this kind of film - a bunch of Jocks who act like utter tossers just because they can and some authority figures who just don't listen, man.  

 You have to wonder what the hell was going on in American schools when the last two generations of film-makers were growing up. Somebody ended up with some real issues. 
  The story is straightforward with few real twists, none that can't be seen from a mile off anyway. No real wacky hijinks either. This is a PG film which does limit the shenanigans a bit.

How much did I pay for this: £1
Was it worth it?  Once I'd stopped being angry at the blatant bait & switch, "Rise of the Fellowship" is an ok movie. Not stellar and "Fanboys" does the same thing but better. 
 Having said that "Rise of the Fellowship" has its moments and enough charm to keep me watching so, yes, I'd say this film was worth the quid I paid. 

Ler me finish with a personal message from me to the misbegotten son of an ape who came up with the packaging. And all the other tossers who keep pulling this trick. 


  That's all folks. 


  

Thursday, 10 December 2015

The Metal Project: 2015 continued.



 Welcome back, friends, followers and people who arrived here by accident. 

   If you're in the mood for some self-referential metal, or just fancy doing a bit of headbanging, step this way.  I have a few more songs from this year and I think you're going to like..at least some of them.  Enjoy.

Starting with one I literally found twenty minutes ago,  here we go. 

Antipeewee - Thrash Metal Fist (Germany)


Honour to: FB Metal Groups 2

Black Vomit 666 - Carniceria Con Metal (Colombia)



Honour to: headwar88

Deathhammer - Total Metal (Norway)



Honour to: Nuclear Sodomy

Emerald Sun - Metal Dome (Greece)

(Has a definite touch of the Manowar and a spoken word intro for exta metalness. Excellent.) 


Honour to: mpampis flou


Dragonheart - Forged Into Metal (Brazil)




Honour to: diamhea


If you liked any of these, spread the word and check out the channels I linked to.

That's all folks.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

The Metal Project: 2015



    As we come towards the end of yet another year, it seemed like a good idea to do a round up on some of the songs that come out this year.  Trends may come and go, and new sub-genres may get created on a weekly basis but there is one constant factor in the world of Metal. 

Somewhere out there, somebody is writing a song about Metal and how awesome it is. 

 May it always be so, forever and ever, amen. 

  Primal Fear - In Metal we Trust (Germany)


Honour to: Frontiers Music


Eternal Thirst - Metal Rules The Earth (Chile)



Honour to: eternalthirstChile

Diavolos - Death Metal (Greece)

(FFO Bathory, Possessed and Venom)

Honour to: FB Metal Groups 2

Ancient Prophecy - Metal is Still Alive (Germany)

(The album cover suggests Death Metal but the band are actually Trad metal with dual vocals
May possibly be Christian Metal)



Honour to: zombie13

Grey Wolf - We Are Metalheads (Brazil)


Honour to: True Heavy Metal

Night Demon - Heavy Metal Heat (USA)

(Pure 1980s Heavy Metal worship. Fine by me.)  


Honour to: l.linhildr

Servant - Sludge Metal Destroyer (USA)

(As sludgey as a sludgey thing) 



Honour to: MrStoneBeliever

Majesty - War For Metal (Germany)

(A band that writes a lot of meta-metal songs.)
  

Honour to: Metal Desire

I hope you found something to like.
If you did, please take a moment to visit the channel that posted it. 

I still ahve a few songs left, but I'll sve them for another post so for the time bieng...

That's all folks. 


Thursday, 3 December 2015

Cheapo DVD Review: Rise: Blood Hunter (2007)

 Back at the start of November I bought 12 DVDs from CEX and I said I was going to review every single one of them. Now I remember why I don't usually do that.
 For the 12th and final act in this saga, I'm looking at one of the few films in history with a murder victim getting their own revenge.


 When reporter Sadie Blake investigates a subculture of vampire wannabes she inadvertently stumbles across the real thing and ends up getting her jugular ripped open. 
When she subsequently wakes up in a steel drawer, Sadie is not at all happy with her new status as a vampire, especially since nobody bothered asking her first. 
Aside from anything else, being turned into a vampire does involve being brutally murdered. That, she's really pissed off about and somebody is going to answer for it.

  
  I mainly picked this up because Lucy Liu is in it as I've been a fan of her work ever since Ally McBeal.

But, as one of my mates once put it "She's going to spend the rest of her career playing Dragon Ladies."

Lucy Liu is a pretty decent actress and  has the range to handle a variety of roles. It just so happens that she's really good at playing tough cookies with a sharp tongue.
 It works really well in this movie. There's a nice contrast between the three stages of Sadie's life - confident reporter, traumatised victim and badass vampslayer. Like I said, Lucy Liu has the range to switch gears as required.
.   IMHO, I think Lucy's performance manages to make an OK vampire movie  just that little bit more OK.
 Not great, but better than it would be otherwise.

 Actually the acting is better than it normally is for this kind of film. Lucy Liu does a good job, so do Michael Chiklis, as a cop/grieving father seeking answers, and James D'Arcy who plays head Vamp Bishop with a mix of charm and complete bastard. Carla Gugino and the late Mako don't get as much to do but make the most of what they have.

 The movie itself is not as good as it could have been. The story jumps about between present events and flashbacks at odd moments, which derails things, and the movie as a whole is curiously flat. Considering the amount of blood shed in nasty ways, you'd expect a bit more punch to proceedings. I'm not sure why I didn't really feel it with "Rise..", just that I watched but was not immersed.

The idea of a vampire hunting down other vampires is not a new one and neither is said vampire being female (See the dreadful Bloodrayne films... the frankly appalling Vampire Shadows...and Innocent Blood which is one of my favourite vamp films.) but while Sadie is a decent character, the film on the whole is never more than "Sorta OK"

How much did I pay for this: £1.50
Was it worth it: Debatable. I realised halfway through that I'd rented this DVD a while back but had forgotten it. I never forget a film I've seen so what does that tell you?
 Watch if you're a diehard Lucy Liu fan but otherwise, I wouldn't go out of your way to see "Rise: Blood Hunter"

As it so happens, I bought some more DVDs at the weekend and I need to start working my way through those.

Nah, screw it... I'm gonna take a break from films and do some other stuff instead. Expect a Heavy Metal Cover Girls feature in a day or so.

 that's all folks.  
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