Saturday, 18 June 2016

Heavy Metal Cover Girls...And Ravens

 I started doing HMCG because I noticed that certain themes kept being used time and time again: Women with swords, women with motorbikes, women doing magical stuff . You get the general idea.

  Along with the above, I also found something else: Even if the artist stays away from the regular cliches, if one artist is using an idea, a trope or a theme then there will be others doing the same. Case in point: What we're going to look at today. Ravens. (or Crows. I've never been able to tell the difference.)

Ravens/Crows whatever have a long, long tradition as birds of omen, links to the world of the dead, possessors of wisdom and cunning  and generally being a wee bit more magical than your average bird. Nobody ever puts pigeons on album covers; there's a reason for that.

  All of which means that if the artist wants a quick, visual clue that things are getting weird, sticking one or more big, black, ominous looking birds is a guaranteed win.

   So you might ask yourself "How many different ways can a cover artist fit a beautiful woman and some big black birds into the same pic." and my answer would be  "Come and see."

 I am not going to do the Poe line. You know the one. 

The first two share common elements but do things very differently.

Against Myself - Odyssey To Reflexion (Greece 2015)metal album cover woman mirror

A woman stripping off in front of a mirror held by giant, disembodied hands that shows
the Scales Of Justice over a deserted city. Meanwhile ravens try to avoid being eaten by a burning eagle.
Umm...

It's a really well done cover but can somebody clever please explain to me what the actual fuck it's meant to represent?

Against Myself are from the less bombastic end of Symphonic Metal


Persona - Elusive Reflections (Tunisia 2016)album cover beautiful woman mirror


A lonely young woman sits in front of her magic mirror, her two pet ravens ready to fly off and do her bidding.
One's going to the newsagent for 20 Benson and Hedges while the other has instructions
to put £10 on  Tunisia beating Senegal in the African Cup.
In the days before smart-phones, people used what they had available.

I am always keen to hear bands from metal scenes I don't know very well, so the prospect of checking out a Tunisian band has me intrigued.

For some reason Persona sound like they ought to be Dutch.
Have a listen and see if you agree.



Ichy - Princess Of Death EP (Russia 2015)

woman white dress crows
This is one of those covers that gets a lot more disturbing when you get up close.

Far Away: Pretty girl in a pretty dress chilling with her avian buddies.

Close up: Bloody woman with no freaking eyes waiting for her minions to bring back a fresh soul.

There's no music available on Youtube, sadly.
So here's a link to their Google Play page
Princess of Death album

Akoma - The Other Side Ep (Denmark 2012)metal cd woman in white doorway

If this were a horror movie, everybody in the room would be yelling at her.
"Stop walking towards the glowing thing. Are you mental?"
Then again, she is wearing a nightie so Mr Conscious Thought might not be home right now.

Akoma are Symphonic Gothic Metal with a bit of a Kate Bush in places.


Ex Animo - Neverday (Ukraine 2016)album cover pretty girl birds

 Something about this just screams "Witch" to me.
A pretty witch in an elegant ballgown with a thing for clockwork, mind you.
Whether she's a good witch is something you'll have to find out for yourself because I'm not getting close enough to ask.

Ex Animo are a Gothic Metal crew with a Harsh Male/Beautiful Female vocal tagteam.


Can I take a moment away from snarking for a sec?

  So far, we've had band from 5 different countries all working with the theme "Beautiful woman + ravens" and coming up with a range of end results. 
  Every single one of these Cover Girls is elegantly dressed and every single one of these covers is well put together, while clearly meant to have some meaning. 
  As I write this sentence right now, I haven't heard a single note from any of these bands but I've already got a mental image as to how they're going to sound. I'm expecting a lot of Symphonic/Gothic stuff. 
  When I've finished  adding the pics and captions I'm going to go back and add some songs. Let's see if I was right. (Ninja Edit after hearing the bands: Mostly.) 

Now back to our cover stars and their feathered friends. 


Moses Bandwidth - The Golden Ages Of .. The Era Of Moses Bandwidth (Indonesia 2013)

You don't need to look closely to get that whole "Run Away. Run Away Now!" vibe from this young lady. 
Correction - young lady Ageless Vampire Queen Of The Night And Empress of All Scary Shit. 
She really rocks that satin corset though. 


Moses Bandwidth are another one with Gravel/Silk vocals



 And finally, a bit of cheating on my part. 


Human Temple -  Murder Of Crows (Finland 2010)

Not Ravens but close enough to slot into the post without too much filing. 

Wonder what she's summoning them for? 
Possibly to sit on the roof of her mortal enemy's house and wake him up at 5am with their bastard cawing
You know they do it deliberately.    


Human Temple are classy Melodic Rock 


  I hope you found a band to like or a cover you really dig. 
Let me know in the comments and I'm really not kidding when I say I want to know what that Against Myself cover is all about. 
It's bugging me.


 Quoth the Big D : That's All Folks. 

Thursday, 16 June 2016

The Metal Project: E is for Evil


  We're now up to the Letter "E" and still going strong. I am confidently expecting to have trouble with certain letters - Q being the obvious one - but for the time being, I can still cherrypick the more interesting stuff.

As always, I hope you find something cool that you didn't know about before. Enjoy. 

Extreme Attack - Metal Slave (Ecuador2013)

(Heads-Down Thrash) 


Honour to: ExtremeAttackBand


Electric Eel Shock - Metal Man (Japan 2012)

(Not exactly a metal band but I think they're close enough)



Honour to: Sonicfields CrewD

Enter Obscurity - Destroy Poser Metal (Norway 2014)

(Black/Speed Metal. More the latter than the former on this track) 



Honour to: EnterObscurityBand


Eden - Soy Metal (Spain 2012)

(Catchy Melodic Metal)


Honour to: lordjafet

Evil Rage - Heavy Metal is My Law (Colombia 2014)

(No Frills Heavy/Speed Metal)


Honour to: Evil Rage

Exciters - Metal man (Sweden 1986)

(Old-school Heavy Metal)

El Dragon - Soldado De Metal (Argentina 1991)

(Straight Up Metal in that Spanish/S. American Style)



Honour to: Pocholo2071


And we're done for today.

See you in a little while for "F"

That's All Folks. 

Monday, 13 June 2016

Bears and Bums and Blue Things

Hello again. 

I know, me posting twice in two days is a bit rare these days but since I had some pics left over from yesterday, it seemed like a good time to put them up. 

 Once again we're looking at the wall art on display in the heart of Southsea.  As far as I know, it's all done by the same team so: cheers guys! 

 The first two were from the walls of the Grosvenor Casino, which has nice white walls that are perfect for a bit of creative decoration.  I say "were" because last time I was down that way, the walls were already being painted over with new designs.  
  I wonder how they got this effect? Is it some sort of decal? 

 I have no idea what this is. some sort of Derpy living kidney-thing. 
We're going to see him again later.

  Between Debenhams and New Look is a little alley that leads round to Tonbridge Street and it's a favourite spot for wall artists to show of their skills. You honestly cannot describe this as "graffitti" -it's too vibrant and  impressive for that. 

 
  A nude bear goes mushroom hunting under the starlight. 

This is quite impressive.
I don't understand it, mind you.

   I can see this sunbathing cutie causing some awkward conversations between curious children and their parents.
 "Mummy. That lady has no clothes on."
"It's..art...so it's ok."
"Does that mean the magazines under Daddy's bed are art as well?"
Snarking aside, I'd love to see this artist do a comic or something.
She is rather charming, isn't she? 

The flying kidney has now evolved arms but doesn't seem to be enjoying whatever game the big blue thing is playing. 
 It worries me that this might be how this species reproduces...

Is that Gargamel from The Smurfs? 

I plan to pop into town at the weekend with my camera and see what's changed. 
I'm sure it's going to be bizarre and amazing.

That's all folks. 

Sunday, 12 June 2016

The Big Birds Of Southsea

  I've written about the colourful murals of Southsea before and one of the things I like is that the gallery is always changing it . Which keeps things fresh and interesting for us residents.

  As a matter of fact, since I took these pictures, the team responsible have been at work again, so I'm glad I got chance to document these examples of their work before it was gone.

 If anybody reading this is responsible for making Southsea prettier - or knows somebody who is involved - I'd just like to say how much I appreciate your efforts and I hope y'all don't mind me putting your stuff on the internet.

  Now let's look at some ginormous birds. 

   Whoever this guy is, he has a thing about birds looking pleased with themselves 
 This is on the side of the SPAR shop on Ashburton road and is about 4 feet tall. 

This slightly smaller version is over the road on the wall of the defunct Grosvenor casino.
I like the little action lines - he's nodding along to his own little birdy thoughts. 
Do blue birds dream of  blue sheep? 

And finally we get these tiny, tiny blue birds of happiness down the alley beside Debenhams 

  After that, things get a bit funkier.
These are also from the "gallery" behind Southsea Town Centre.


Thinking about it, I find it a bit disturbing that this hen is basically wearing dead baby chickens.

Maybe it's the chicken equivalent of those Death Metal t-shirts with zombies and stuff.  

  Colourful, isn't he?
The little chicken wellies are a nice touch. 

There's some other stuff from both locations but I'll post that another day. 

That's all folks. 

Thursday, 9 June 2016

The Metal Project: D Is For Decibels


 Good evening and welcome to another edition of The Metal Project

  After my brief attempt at making the Eurovision Song Contest a bit more Metal it's time to go back to our A-Z of all things heavy and metallic.  Today we're on the letter "D"

  Without further ado, let's dive in. enjoy. 

Deepspeed - Heavy Metal Bulldozer (Malaysia 2007)

(I thought this might be a cover of the Metalucifer song but nope.
 Apparently these guys used the song title first.  
But if you like Metalucifer, you may like Deepspeed)


Honour to: 666SpeedHell



Dirges - Metal (Colombia 2010)

(Angry South American Thrash. Very, very angry)


Honour to: carlosAMC96



D├ęborah - Metal Praise (Mexico 2008)

Starts off quite melodic, with some really nice guitar work,  then the Black Metal vocals start.
The end result is an interesting collison of musical styles. 


That's a woman singing, by the way. 
Oh, and this is a Christian Band. 
I find myself intrigued. 

Honour to: Evyllnyvel


Deja-Vu - Metal Warriors (Spain 1999)

Straight up Heavy Metal. Sung in English, which is unusual for Spanish bands.



Honour to: Alfonso Climente


Diatort - Metal War (Brazil 2015)

Crunchy Death/Thrash that mixes it up a bit to good effect



Honour to: diatort


Decibel  Rebels - Beer, Tits and Metal (Germany 2013)

Metal continues to be gloriously Un-PC.  I approve.
But fucking hell, that's a dodgy CD cover...



Honour to: BasementProduction1


Dangerous - Metal Heritage (Chile 2015)


Breakneck Thrash where the bassist is determined not to let the guitarists have all the fun



Honour to: FB Metal Groups 4

Band website here: https://dangerouschile.bandcamp.com/


Dissector - Metal On Loud
 (The Metalheads Anthem) (Russia 2015)

Singalong Anthem that was the theme for the legendary Wacken Festival




Honour to: Metalheads Forever


One more then we're done for today.

Deangersmith - It's All Just Metal To Me (UK 2013) 

No frills chugga-chug. Gotta agree with the sentiments though



Honour to: Deanger Smith

That's all folks

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Wrestling World October 1974

  I dusted off my scanner today (Literally, there was about 2mm of dust on it. I should hoover more) to bring you some more select pics from a vintage wrestling magazine.

 This time around we're looking at Wrestling World  from October 1974



 First up some pics of the Valiant Brothers, recently crowned WWWF tag team champions. 
  They look like nice lads.  Although they're definitely starting to pick up some battle-scars
  Dick The Bruiser was already a grizzled veteran by 1974. He was still wrestling well into the 1980s.  
Meanwhile Johnny was Rookie Of the Year in 1969
 Poor Johnny is looking a bit battered. 
I'd also want to have a word with whoever dressed that head wound. 
 Were they drunk at the time?  
Shit.. I hope that isn't a bit of his face hanging off. 

Next up, a couple more nice young men.

  Maaaaayyyybe not. 
Maybe their mothers shouldn't have named them "Brute" and "Skull"

Brute and new partner Bulldog Brower deploy a bit of charm here.

Take a moment to note how close the audience are to the ring. 
No barrier either. 
This is why 1970s "Heels" frequently had to fight their way back to the dressing room. 

One of the things I find fascinating about these old mags is reading the profiles of guys I've never heard of.
Like this cheerful chappie.
Naturally I googled him and Ron Martinell seems like an interesting guy.
Served in Vietnam in the Army, Navy and Marines then became a wrestler.
Crippled in an auto-accident that doctors thought would leave him in a wheelchair forever...
but returned to the ring to become Continental Champion in 1980. 

He has a book on sale Heaven, Iron and I.

Skipping ahead a bit, Andre The Giant battles Japanese legend Antonio Inoki. 
  Then scares the crap out of some other grapplers. 
Inoki, Kowlaski and Vachon are all pretty big blokes and Andre makes them look like kids playing with daddy. 

There's a piece next about whether Kung Fu should be allowed in wrestling.
(This was during the 1970s Kung Fu craze, remember.) 

Mad Dog Vachon clearly fancies his chances. 

Following by the near obligatory "Lady Wrestlers " piece.

Daisy Mae and Joyce Grable wait for the bell to ring. 
Female Hillbilly gimmicks are surprisingly rare. 
When I say "Surprisingly" I am of course being very sarcastic.  

  Veteran Belle Starr tries to roll Vicki Williams over into a Boston Crab. 
This is going to hurt a lot so Vicki is reluctant to let this happen. 

The British Wrestling scene was clearly big enough to be of interest to American readers.

  The scary looking Ken Davies tries to strangle Mel Cartwright with his own elbows.

Johnny Czeslaw was a refugee from Communist Poland who became a popular star 
in British rings. Later on, Czeslaw did some acting before losing his eyesight to a brain tumour.
He died in 2014.

Lastly, Betty Nicoli looking sweet and innocent in a glamour headshot.

What's that?

"Didn't the cover say something about mud wrestling?"  I hear you ask.

Oh alright then.

Here's actual pro wrestlers War Star and Jackie West ruining their hair in a mud puddle that looks a wee bit chilly to me.. 




That's all folks. 
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