The Metal Files

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Candlemass – Death Magic Doom

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Let’s get this straight. I’m a Candlemass fan. I’m a fan of doom metal as well. Not a huge fan, but a fan nonetheless. I’m also a Solitude Aeturnus fan. I simply adored Robert Lowe’s soaring vocals on that stuff. When I had first heard about him joining Candlemass I was pretty excited. Then I bought King of the Grey Islands and totally got let down, mainly by the vocals.

I love all the Candlemass albums with Messiah Marcolin. In general there’s not a stinker in the bunch and his “comeback” album a few years back was nothing short of a great. I even liked the Chapter VI album with Thomas Vikström…A LOT! I really thought Lowe would be a good fit with this guys. I’m wrong. Unfortunately it has taken me buying the last 2 Candlemass CDs to prove it to myself.

His voice sounds tired and uninspired. To be honest, he sounds a lot like Dio on the latest Heaven and Hell album. Some might call that a good thing, but it’s not so good for me. I understand that many of the higher-ranged metal singers of yesteryear can no longer do it, and I can respect and recognize that. But with a band like Candlemass it’s pretty much expected…from me at least.

Lowe sound great on Solitude’s Alone album, still not like the early vocals he did with them but better than he sounds with Candlemass.

*shrug*

I dunno. I’ve listened to Death Magic Doom a few times now and I just can’t get into it. I think I’m going to go listen to Nightfall now.

Written by The Metal Files

May 30, 2009 at 8:15 am

I Won’t Dance…The Elder’s Orient

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My introduction to the mighty Celtic Frost was through some knucklehead pal of ours named Chris Shelton. He had the cassette for The Emperor’s Return and I checked it out for a few days. I thought it was absolutely horrible. Total shit even. What was wrong with this singer? Was he trying to pinch one out or something?

Then after reading several glowing reviews of Into the Pandemonium in Aardschok America or Circus or whatever, I decided to give it a shot. I’m glad I did. This album is incredible. Very different than Emperor’s Return, which in later years was deemed to be neither a good nor bad thing.

Pandemonium came out in my senior year of high school.  A former friend from high school and I sat next to each other in Mr. Gordon’s english class and constantly caught hell for talking (about music) during class. I really wish I had kept my english book from that year as just about every page was covered in band names and song quotes, many of which came from this particular Frost LP.

A few years later I started backtracking into the older Frost albums and I am glad I did. I “got it”. Tom G. Warrior was a great songsmith. Sure a lot of the riffs were simple, but he was creating music that no one had created at the time.

I always respected Frost for trying something new with every album, even Cold Lake. Although I will say this…One In Their Pride…WTF? Just plain awful.

As for Cold lake, it’s not a great album by anyone’s standards, but I don’t consider it to be a total wash. I liked Downtown Hanoi, Juices Like Wine and Once They Were Eagles. When I met Frost back in 2006, Tom G. signed my Cold Lake CD with the word “ABOMINATION”. I told him that I liked some of it and he responded, “You’re the only fucking one who did.” haha…Tom G. Ugh!

Now back to Pandemonuim. Other than that stupid “Pride” song, this album is great. I even dug the cover of Mexican Radio (Wall of Voodoo). My favorites would be Babylon Fell, Mesmerized, Rex Irae, Inner Sanctum and I Won’t Dance.

Definitely an album that brought me a lot of joy during such a shitty year. I hated school and didn’t want to be there.

Funny thing…there was this girl we kenw named Theresa(?) that looked EXACTLY like Tom G. Poor girl. She was also such a sleaze bucket…of course we dubbed her “The Bucket”.

ha! The Bucket!

These winter tears I’ll cry for you…

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So back in 1983 (or 84?) Kelz called me and told me of some tape he picked up at the Record Bar at Tower Mall by a band called Warlord. The album was called Deliver Us. It had a colorful little cover and was on Metal Blade Records, which we were discovering at the time seemed to have the greatest bands ever. He just kept going on and on about how great it was. So finally on a Sunday during church or sunday school, he slipped it to me for listening.

wow.

WOW.

This was one of those life changers. Seriously. The voice. The guitar work. This beast on the drums. Obviously this was pre-Internet so we had no way of knowing anything about these guys.

Now I’ve mentioned plenty of times before how some of us had parents who thought that metal was evil and was going to make us kids want to sacrifice goats and paints walls with the blood and such…ok, well there was that one time, but I digress. But this album wasn’t really one of those. Sure it has a song called Lucifer’s Hammer which is about nuclear war. And sure there’s a song called Black Mass which talks about the events of a black mass, but not in a way that made us want to become Satan worshippers. Such silliness. Unfortunately our parents were more brainwashed by this stuff than we were. I guess they meant well. Whatever. My mom found Kelz’ tape that I had hidden under my mattress and threw it away. So ultimately I had to buy him another one. I bought one for me too and just learned how to hide things better. It was tough being a metal kid in my house sometimes.

So in 1984 Warlord releases “…And the Cannons of Destruction Have Begun”. It was a bit of a let down as they had a new singer and they rerecorded most of Deliver Us. The new singer just didn’t have the feel as the original guy. The upside was that there were a few new tracks with the new singer and he sounded GREAT on those. Soliloquy, Lost and Lonely Days and Aliens were all fine songs, albeit played a little sloppily.

In 1986 when I met Big Bill, I turned him onto Warlord and he flipped out over them much like we did. He ultimately ordered the video that went with the …”Cannons” LP. We watched thiat thing practically every week. When he got the video and other merch that he ordered from them, there was a handwritten note that said “Call me if there are any problems…Thanks…Mark.” and had a phone number attached to it. So one day when we were hanging out, Bill called and it ended up being the number to Mark Zonder’s house in LA. We freaked out. I got to talk to the guy a few times and he was always super cool. He told us of the final split of Warlord and how he was making some extra cash doing studio work and touring with the dance band Animotion. I remember specifically one of the phone calls that we made to him. He was in his home studio and the guys from Fates Warning were over there. Granted this is before Mark joined the band but apparently he was already good friends with those guys. Unfortunately I didn’t get to talk to the FW guys but I could hear them in the background talking and playing a little bit of music. Trippy stuff.

Warlord had a penchant for writing good ballad style songs, sad songs…Winter Tears, Soliloquy, Ms. Victoria, Lost and Loney Days. Even their upbeat songs always seems to have a tinge of sadness to them. Maybe it was in the chords that Bill Tsamis used when he was writing, maybe in the vocal delivery…but it was there.

I really don’t know how to say it in any other way than “I LOVE WARLORD”. For a band that really only had on true studio album, it had such a major impact on me. OK, sure they did a “new album” a while back with Mr. Cans from Hammerfall on vocals, but it just wasn’t quite “Warlord-ish” enough for me. That’s not to say that’s it not a good album, because it is, but it’s not…ugh…I don’t know how to say it. I think you understand.

Winter Tear’s lyrics:

The morning woke, the day was breakin’ . . . she left me far behind
She was gone, I couldn’t take it . . . no more tears to cry.

We gathered ’round her place of resting, for the last goodbye
She lay in white like a dream unending, the saddened clouds they cried . . .

Tears for all the joy we had
Tears for all the pain
All the years I have to live
These Winter Tears, I’ll cry for you until we meet again

You gave me life, you gave me lovin’
Showed me what love could bring
And every night when I think about you
I begin to sing . . .

Tears for all the joy we had
Tears for all the pain
All the years I have to live
These Winter Tears, I’ll cry for you until we meet again

Tears for all the joy we had
Tears for all the pain
These Winter Tears I have inside
Will always cry your name.
The years I have to live . . .
These Winter Tears, I’ll cry for you until we meet again

Written by The Metal Files

May 15, 2009 at 8:13 am

I Don’t Like Music

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I haven’t been listening to much of it lately. That last thing that caught my ear was Valkyrie’s latest CD, Man Of Two Visions. If you’re into Pentagram, Sabbath et als, pick this up. It’s great. I hope they swing through Texas again.

My friend in Colombia turned me on to Rata Blanca this week. There are a few vids on YouTube. I dig the guy’s voice. The music ranges from mid-80s Deep Purple to basic power metal, but it’s not bad. Oh, it’s all in Spanish so if that bothers you, don’t listen.

But in general, I’ve been disinterested in listening to any music at all lately. I guess it’s just a phase.

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November 6, 2008 at 9:24 pm

The Great CD Purge of 2008

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This week I have these up for sale on eBay.

I’m going through my CD collection and trying to carve it down some. There’s so much fluff and stuff in there that I just never listen to so there’s no need to keep it around. The last purge I did back in 2004 reduced my collection by about 200 CDs. I don’t think this one will be as drastic.

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August 25, 2008 at 8:48 pm

Thanks Phil…

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For giving me some of my most favorite music ever and for being a huge inspiration for me to play bass. One of the few times I find a posthumous happy birthday wish non-asinine.

Aug 20, 1939 – Jan 4, 1986

Written by The Metal Files

August 20, 2008 at 11:19 am