Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Music Showcase: Van Canto

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Van Canto, Acapella Metal from Germany

    So! I've known about Van Canto for years now. What sets them apart from typical A Capella, you might be wondering? You may also be unfamiliar with Acapella,  come to think: Acapella/A Cappella is a song performed either solo or by a group with no instrumental sounds, relying solely on the harmony created be the voice(s). What brings the metal to their genre? They have a drummer and, occasionally, a guitar-style solo that is created by singing into the mic through a guitar's distortion pedal to create the same effect. It's pretty sweet, see below. (Skip to 3:25 for an example of the voice-created guitar sound.)

    That is from an older album, so, now that the introduction is over, on to the new album. Arriving this past February, Dawn of the Brave is their brand new hit album that I totally only discovered yesterday. It's full of bad ass original tracks as well as their token cover songs. They freakin' covered The Final Countdown! By EUROPE! Hahaha... ahem. It's awesome. So is Holding Out for a Hero. I had always wondered what that would sound like covered by a metal band. Anyway, this album was so good that I felt the need to interrupt my string of discoveries to pitch it! Napalm Records released an album sampler video, so check it out:

There is a running theme of Heroism in this album that shows in the video to Badaboom.

    I hope you enjoyed this band and teaser. So far, I haven't been shut down and accused of spam, so, I've got my fingers crossed and I'm knocking on wood, but I'm going to post links to not just this newest album, but their older albums too. As good as this new album is, the old ones are right up there with it. Take the time to check out their other hits and tracks. I totally recommend Neuer Wind, although it is in German.

Links!! Click the Albums to go to Amazon!

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Lol... this makes my third post in a row for German bands. Guess I'm in that kinda mood.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Music Discovery: Xandria

Xandria, Symphonic Metal from Germany

     Ironically, this is my first post for a band that sings predominantly in English! Anyway, enter Xandria, a symphonic metal band with smooth, elegant, and powerful opera leading vocals. This woman has one of the most beautiful voices that I've heard. I found the band thanks to Napalm Records and their "Female Fronted Metal" playlist. The second video on that playlist is for Xandria's song Nightfall. I fell in love with them immediately. If you liked the music of old school Nightwish, I can almost guarantee you'll appreciate these folks. I mean, they even do the deep voice over like from Kingslayer in this album (check out the song Betrayer for that.)

Bonus points if you noticed anything in that video that wasn't her. I certainly didn't.

     Now, I have picked up on a factoid that this band has replaced singers several times, so I speak only for this album in particular... regardless. I'm in love. This entire album has proven as kick ass as that song. They aren't afraid to go 'epic,' either. Their introductory track on this album is over ten minutes long and it is easily worth every second. Also, since the videos I will be sharing here are from their record label, they are totally legal and legit, so sadly, I do not get to make a joke about those jerks that upload stuff for free.

     Wait what? Official lyrics videos? That's GENIUS!

     I also highly recommend their track 'the Undiscovered Land.' It is of a slower 'epic ballad' nature and dang, it's so beautiful. Anyway, an important thing to note is that recently, my blog got shut down by google's 'spam bots.' I'm really not sure what part of my blog triggered the bot, but I have a sinking suspicion that it was the link list at the bottom of the page. I'm not sure what would be the best course of action... trying again or omitting  the links. Screw it, I'm putting a few links anyway. There happens to be an 'adult toy' company by the name of Xandria and I would hate if you were looking for the band because I didn't post the links and you accidentally encountered that.

So! About those links:
Their website: Here
Amazon Link: Here

P.S.: Expect more bands from that Female Fronted Metal playlist to be showing up shortly. I loved several bands on it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Music Discovery: Eisbrecher


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Eisbrecher, Heavy Metal from Germany

     So, my cousin Logan tells me the other day that I need to check out Eisbrecher. I didn't respond immediately at the time, so he broke the ice by telling me that they are like Rammstein. Okay, okay, I'm sorry. Lame pun is lame. Eisbrecher, as it turns out, is German for Ice Breaker (like the ships,) and they fall in an interesting genre of metal. Dubbed 'Neue Deutsche Härte', or 'New German Heaviness,' the genre was created in Germany when Rammstein released their first album. The genre itself is an interesting breed of heavy metal, dance metal, groove metal, and industrial metal. If you're not familiar with Rammstein or others in this genre, trust me, it's good stuff.

     So the name Eisbrecher, Ice Breaker, at first sounds like one of those things they picked because 'huh, this sounds kind of metal' (Teräsbetoni, anyone?) but then you see the video for Eiszeit and it's no longer just a name:

I don't always perform metal, but when I do, I require an arctic expedition team and an ice pick.

     Actually, they don't always dress so thoroughly for their theme, but they (or at least, their singer) often dress in naval or military elements with a cold weather flare. Common gimmick phrases shouted to the audience are 'Ahoi' and 'Es wird kalt', or 'Ahoy' and 'It's getting cold,' respectively. Part of me has to wonder if they don't instruct their venues to crank up the AC while they perform to enhance the experience. The other part of me wonders if the moshers bring ice picks, too. 

     But seriously, did you hear that? They lay down some killer tracks. So far, I've only heard the Eiszeit album--and heard it several times on loop, at that--but I would be willing to wager that the rest of their extensive discography is just as awesome. Go check out their album on youtube before it gets taken down. If it is any incentive, one of the songs (Gothkiller) features another singer and is in English. There will be a link at the bottom of this article. If you don't like the notion of experiencing the album on youtube and prefer thirty second previews, there will be a link to iTunes and amazon as well.

     Now seriously, go. Check out this album, or even better, buy that sucker. Here's a picture that'll really make you want to throw your wallet at the screen:

You're checking out more Eisbrecher? I think he likes you.

Amazon: Eiszeit Album
iTunes: Eiszeit Album
Offical Website: Not in English Though

Monday, July 21, 2014

Music Discovery: Grai

О земле родной, Gray 

Grai, Amazing Folk Metal from Russia

     Russia does it again! Thanks to and their 'People who bought this also bought...' section, I bumbled into this while grabbing album art for my very first blog post. As you might have guessed upon seeing 'Folk Metal' and 'Russia', this appeared in the suggestion area when I was viewing the band Arkona and, while they produce a similar style of music, they are far from being a 'cheap knockoff'. Here is a look at the band performing, and a look at how Grai is spelled in the Cyrillic alphabet: 

Performing Folk Metal in period attire will never go out of style.

     Thanks to those jerks that upload music on youtube (probably) without permission, I gave their entire album О Земле Родной (O Zemle Rodnoy) a listen and loved every second of it. Their album name translates to "About Our Native Land", according to Amazon, and I just learned from their Myspace that their band name means "the bird's cry." The album was full of beautiful flute music and intense metal guitar work to drive it powerfully forward. The vocals moved between mid-to-low death vocals and female lead voices in an elegant form akin to Masha Scream (when she's not, you know, screaming.) Here! Give them a listen!!

Never has wheat seemed more metal.

Want to check them out or stick them on your wishlists? Click below!

Itunes Store - O Zemle Rodnoy
Amazon - O Zemle Rodnoy
Facebook - Official Facebook Page
Myspace - Like people still use this.