This is a work in progess. This may be elaborated on, tweaked, or added to if it gains momentum. For now, enjoy.
You know, for as long as I can remember I have been different. It has taken decades to realize what I am, for the thing that others have seen lurking within me. Of course, I know what you are thinking “Dude, we get it. Your “inner demons” are manifesting, blah blah blah.” Well, you got the manifesting part right. Turns out I am a god damned werewolf. Ain’t that some shit!? Even more surprising is not knowing you are one rather piecing it together across spans of wild encounters and strange occurrences, detrimental and grim decisions. There were red flags that something was amiss, that I did not really belong around others yet that’s a hard thing to discern when the world is full of monsters. I mean hell I was married to one and couldn’t see it.
Honestly, if I looked at the women I have chased in my life there were some pretty obvious signs that they weren’t really human, save for one maybe. For example, I was traveling with a companion and we happened upon some young maidens. Now, initially I was drawn in by their flesh and the urge to hunt however I was the one unaware of the hunter within their midst. When I met her gaze I became enthralled, a trick I had not learned to be aware until later. She had porcelain skin with raven black hair yet it was her eyes that drew me in, captivated me in a manner I had not known. After some time passed and my hunt became more focused, my brother made an appearance. And, without hesitation, he said these words about her. “Her, and her family, are all vampires.” Now, I brushed off his notion because I figured he was just trying to protect me, though wise he is, however I was blind as usual. Looking back, his comment is more amusing than ever for I now see him for what he is, a vampire. Of course he noticed their behavior and abilities, he was one of them though not of the same clan. Vampires hate when you just lump them together, quite sensitive they are about their lineage and blood lines.
Well, things may have lasted save for the fact that my powers were growing and I knew not how to control them. We were much like Romeo and Juliet in our pairing, both from rival blood and madly in love. I look back and see the beast within throughout my life now and how it has affected and ruined so many things, so many families, loved ones, friendships. I ignored it, overlooked it, but have come to face it finally, hone it, tame it, at least for my own use. It pains me to be so oblivious even more so when believing that I was right or knew what I was doing...how foolish, how arrogant. Heartbroken, I fell into the arms of a witch whom I had become acquainted with over the years. My rage was too strong and, though she knew of some affliction and wanted to help heal me, I became a monster. She was the best at weathering my fury but my cruelty was unjust and without limit, the years thereafter were a blood soaked haze.
My blind, careless nature, wreathed in hatred, left me unaware of my own brothers hunger and growing rage. As much as I was incapable of taming myself, I was always the one willing and able to calm his vampiric onslaughts that came about from his thirst. He was always so even keel and clever when moderately sated yet, on rare occasions, he was a terror upon the land. I see now that he and I are truly brothers for we are damned by thirst and hunger, each one aiding the other over the years to combat our animalistic behavior. We may be fiercely independent and want our space but those things are worthless if all we lay in is ruins wrought by our own hands. I lost him for a while when the thirst snuck up and inflicted harm against one we called friend.
Heartbroken and angry, I sought another hunt, something to occupy my mind and body. There came a moment when I met a creature of rarity, a thing so unusual I could not but help to follow. I did not see her for what she was and my brother was gone to warn me. I mean, after a saint (the only woman not a monster that I hunted), a vampire and a witch, I figured it couldn’t get worse. Oh, so wrong. So blind. So foolish. More dog than wolf I seem to be, always seeking a master. We were betrothed, married, happy… then my brother returned. I will give him this, his cunning and guile is impressive. Upon meeting her he said nothing, was cordial, charming even. After some time, when we were stalking through the night like the old days, did he speak. He spoke a word that made my blood run cold and I did not want to believe him. She was, as I was to discover, a succubus. Though she looked like a normal woman this was but a ruse and I had been too angry and egotistical to see past the illusion. I bided my time until it was the right time to strike, to escape the dreamlike hellscape I had thought was my life. My brother aided me in freeing myself yet the danger only grew for her brood was enraged by this and still seeks my head after all these years.
The bond between my brother and I is strong for we have been hunted and wandered together for years but a vampire and a werewolf were not meant to live within the same cave. After some time and a training montage, I sought my own cave, for the experience of freedom and to perhaps master the beast within. I chanced upon the witch once more and she aided me in my soul journey, allowed me to dwell in her grove and chase her familiars. I was happy, for a time, yet distracted. I could tell the tameness of the place was having ill effects on my true goal. Her spells were powerful yet my willpower had grown vast and my hunger was far greater than ever so I left, wandering back out into the world once more to howl at the moon and sleep upon the mountainous stars.
I journeyed for some time through ruins and forests until I reached the shores of a place unknown to me. It was there I heard a song, a call on the wind that drew me nearer and nearer to the waters of a black lake. There, upon some rocks, basking in the sun was a beautiful young woman with her back to me. Her blonde hair was wet and shimmered in the sunlight while her head moved with the tune of her enchanting song. I sat and listened for some time, enjoying the soothing sound, the words resonating within me, calming my anger. It was when she stopped that the most shocking thing happened. She dove into the water. It was not the act that surprised me, but rather the fact that I had not noticed she had a scaly lower half that was very much like a fish. She was a mermaid, a siren to some, and she vanished before me without a trace into that dark water. Though drawn by the sound it was more of the place that I now realized I was drawn to for it was perfect. Remote, wild, and free. Staring into the black mirror of the lake I see back to my past, to my failures, to the horrors I unleashed. My tears break the tension of the water and muddle my dark reflection, giving me a moment of clarity, of inner reflection. I howl at the sky like I have never done before and I feel whole, the separate halves now joined.
We have yet another glorious Metal Monday to behold! Not only is that reason to rejoice but the fact that today is the day the new VELNIAS album released makes it all the sweeter. Scion Of Aether brings us more of that blackened folk doom metal we have come to love by this wild artist. Having stumbled onto Velnias some years in a compilation with many astounding artists I was left awe struck by the power unleashed upon me and so now I can share this new, dark gem with you, listeners.
Scion of Aether begins with Fissures within the Construct, a delightful, instrumental opening that sets the tone for what awaits. Now, I will say this about the song lengths. The instrumental ones are short and sweet while the main tracks are all a minimum of nine minutes... as it should be! Flowing into the next track we have Pariah of the Infinite and by the gods this one is lyrically awesome. I mean check this out "I invoke thundering fires..." "Raise the indomitable juggernaut" "Break the smothering tide against the prominence of iron will" !?!?!? THIS IS WHY I LOVE METAL! Eleven minutes of crushing energy! Resting from that monstrosity, we have Aurora Rune, which was the pre-released track and I have been quite taken with it. On par with previous track, this one builds into a rigtheous monster and has one of my favorite parts in the album starting at 3:38 but explodes at 3:47 when he howls "Behold the indifferent gaze and wanton grimace of a blind eternity" will straight melt you. You gotta finish the rest of the two-thirds left because Velnias offers no breathing room, just a stormy sea swelling to hurl and haunt you without remorse. Fourth, we get an instrumental break with Confluence of Entropic Umbra. Just some looming guitar work that is merely the calm in the storm. Supernal Emergent follows in tune with some delicious guitar work in the beginning before setting off into a gallop. "Blossom of the void..." "The pulse of the expanse..." "The haunted shell..." Velnias is all around astounding. Lyrics are wicked good and the instrument work is stellar. And lastly, the aptly named Oblivion Horizon. I cannot put the lyrics because the whole damn song is too slick to dice up plus it gives you reason to visit their page, have yourself a metal sojourn just for you. The intro to this last track will hook you for sure and carry you all the way through this fifteen minute monster of a track.
If anything, this album was released at the proper time. Though we feel doom upon us it is within the doom that we find the solace and strength and so Velnias echoes through my hallowed halls and resonates out to the world in need of song and stirring words. Let this aether wraith wander your life this week for each day is long and these tracks perfectly fit that need. Go now! Enjoy this delicious weekly treat and reconvene next time for more Metal Monday Madness! /,,/
As usual, I am way late to the game when it comes to certain artist but I will be damned if I don't give them their dues. This week we have the hellenic black metal artist known as Celtefog. Forged by Archon himself, this project is daunting and monstrous, like a great titan of old. We venture this time to the Outlands.
There may only be five tracks yet these pieces are absolutely astounding. Kicking things off with the over ten minute long first track, The White Fjord. Slow building, and a tad over two minutes before it even begins to grow, this track builds into an absolute maelstrom. The pacing, creativity, and atmosphere created along the way will hook you and lull you setting the mood for what lies in wait. Next we have Natur (Nature) and with it begins a familiar recording voice I have heard before. The first time I came across this usage was in Fates Warning's Disconnected Part II (a killer track for atmosphere and the Pleasant Shades of Gray album is awesome). Natur then explodes with life, wailing and crashing a while before getting into a resonating and captivating part from 5:22-6:42 that is so delicious. However, at the 8 minute mark, like clockwork, the growl and spoken part kicks in with slick guitar work and female vocals molded in as well. It is overwhelming in the best way possible and awesome to believe how this worked out so well. Up On The Hills is third track chiming in with bells and thunder before a diablo-esque guitar begins taking me back to Tristram all those years ago. And just like the descent into hidden madness that game offered, Up On The Hills is a wild ride full of misery and sorrow, chillingly beautiful. Another sweet span from 3:40-6:18 before a stellar ending that will leave you crushed. Following next, fourth in line, we have To The Celtic Lands. Some of my favorite guitar work on this album lay in this track as well as the lyrics are gripping and grim with a journey that leads toward redemption and renewal in the old ways. Listen beginning to end with the words to really get the feeling. And now, last, and most importantly, 279 BC. This is a track that caught me by surprise. We are lured by the sounds of the sea and the birds and a humming guitar in wait. Yet, as it progresses the instrumental work within swells into a phenomenal track. Though it seems sparse on lyrics, I discovered within the music video (below) some extra bits that really set the stage. It was the nail in the coffin for me to add it to my collection because I was enthralled by the brilliance of this track. Play the video, crank up the volume, and let Celtefog envelope you.
So, Outlands comes with high praise and this is just the tip of the iceberg really. I have been weeding through the other albums (yeah, I bought them all) to find what other wonders I may have been missing. I am certain I will find so much more given time however for you, for this week, much needed, we look to the Outlands. No matter the hardships we endure there can be a new dawn for each of us should we have the energy and resolve to face the challenge. /,,/
As I gaze out from my dark tower, jutting from the waves, alone amongst the rocks, I see the state of the world. A plague surges across the land, a viral fear, shaking the core of the world. It is in this time I can think of no better metal to showcase than that of Doom. So, this week we shall DROWN with the newest release, Subaqueous. A two track monstosity that will crush you beneath the tidal surge (and beautiful cover artwork to set the visual mood).
Now, though there are only two tracks they both run over twenty minutes EACH! That's right, a forty minute leviathan that is split with two tales. Drowned VI (continuing from the first release) is called Mother Cetacean and it is a haunting masterpiece. A slow sink into the abyss, unable to fight the current, incapable of living any longer in world now hollow with loss. Our showcase song of the week, check out the lyrics below for the story and the sorrow.
Following track six, we have Drowned VII: Father Subaqueous. Gotta say, if you skim the lyrics I feel there is a Cthulhu reference in here but maybe that's just me. Compared to the previous song, this track is so much heavier in pace and construction, the words grim and deep like the sea itself. Just as it is terrifying, this track (and the sea) are equally enchanting. I have found myself coming back for more with each listen and still I find it as enthralling and awesome as the first time my ears heard the waves and drums crash together.
Though DROWN is new to me, I am familiar with some of his other works such as Tchornobog and Aureole. Markov Soroka (the man behind these projects) is a brilliant person and I am excited to delve into some of the other works I have overlooked. Regardless of the state of things, there is still so much to enjoy and cherish. Though we may be isolated, adrift on our own rafts amongst a sea of flames, we can still hear the songs and enjoy the shimmering of the ocean with all its hidden glory. Keep strong, my friends. /,,/
Drowned IV: Mother Cetacean
Walks the sandy stage
salt water spits at her feet
mocking the death of her son
Her skull swollen with grief
Her heart throbbing a slow waltz
A rhythm with which she dances
Into the sea...
Bodies of creatures ill-famed
Kissed by suns none
Possess abstract burdens
In which their young are devoured
The mother's heart
Surrounded by crushed lung
Beats no more...
Cetacean calls, for the death of their young
Mother Human sinks, for the death of her son
Human swam towards their call
Seized by subaqueous tide
Human and whale sank even further
Deeper, deeper, deeper
The trench beckons equivalence
The burdening depth of the sea
Has swallowed your son.
The burdening depth of the sea
has swallowed your young
The burdening depth of the sea
Has swallowed your son...
... I drown...
IT'S TIME FOR SOME MAGICK!!! Metal magick to be more precise as we find ourselves at the mercy of OSSOMANCER. This album is long overdue for a showcase and no longer can I resist it's call to be heard so let us delve into the Artes Magickae, into the realm of divination and prophecy brought to us by this stellar artist.
First off, I am a sucker for Egyptian mythology and mummies so right out the gate the album art hooks me (looks like the ibis/thoth body design). I will point out the sweet spots as we move through each track (as is my way) but do give every song a listen because I have found this whole release to be mighty and worth visiting.
We begin with Necromancy and let me tell you... there is no better way to start an album! Ye olde corpse prophecy, a cadaverific divination, thundering into existence with slick guitar and drum work. The vocals at 3:01 change pace for the track and really set the mood carrying into the end of the track which wails and screams with wicked energy. Next up, we have Aeromancy. The prophecies of wind and air swirl as this track surges in like a gale with one of those beats that causes you to rock your head in response. Though I dig the pace, the shift at 02:22 sets up for yet another killer end to a track as this one growls and grows its way out. Third, and the showcase track, we have Scapulimancy. You know, scapulae! Shoulder bones from bovines used for divination? Well, now you do! And on top of that, one hell of a track. Creeping in, knocks down pillars and shakes the earth as it gains speed. At 1:06 when the ram's right shoulder is mentioned all the way through Babd's name is summoned, that growl at 1:24 is too good. But wait, there's more! We come back around at 3:11 offers some righteous guitar work before moving into the last bit which continues this magnificent ride. Following that beast of a track we have Chiromancy (kiromancy) which starts off without warning, galloping with a fury. Who knew palm reading could be this metal? I already did... but now you do! You gotta listen to the part from 2:40 until the end to hear so old school impressive vocals that remind me of Iron Maiden and Iced Earth a bit. Hydromancy is next. No, not waterbending, more like reflective prophecy, water spirits and nymphs to call upon. A track strong with lyrics, the best setups are when they are speaking that names (1:28-1:42 for example) but the guitar work in here will surprise you. Aptly following the water based track, we have Pyromancy. Fire magic! Following its name, this track is much heavier and harder, like a raging inferno. I can't pick a specific portion because the whole damn track is rad but do listen for that mighty wail towards the end... it will give you shivers. Lastly, we have Geomancy. I can never think of this without thinking of the geomancer from FF Tactics which introduced me to the wonders of earth elemental combat. I like the weight, pace, and more haunting tone of this track. Slower and more crushing but at times like an earthquake, shaking the average pace, shattering the air and ground as it heralds in the end of this awesome album.
I hope the Ossomancer and Artes Magickae brings you the same mystical power it has brought me. I will keep my eyes on the stars for more to come from this artist so until we can reconvene beneath the altars of old allow this album to carry you through the week. /,,/
A druid lingers among the stones of Ulaid
The fog breaches from the sea
Hooded crows throng and cackle overhead
This night he must augur the coming of war
Scald-crows gather skyward ready for the violence
He prepares the scapula waiting for a message
Dancing shadows through the smoke of the sacred fire
War sisters congregate to direct the outcome
A ram's right shoulder blade to reveal fate
It should be boiled clean – no remaining flesh!
Blemishes and indents reveal premonitions
Badb flies above in the misty dimness
Féth Fíada conceals the sage impeding interruption
He carefully coddles bone in his blackened cauldron
The firelight stretches over ancient stones
Goddesses encircle tight to instill ardor
An adept reader of bone must read the largest hole
Position should be confirmed – to reveal death!
Scapula for survival of due carnage
Morrígan sends a croak into the hazy gloominess
A ram's right shoulder blade to reveal fate
It should be boiled clean – no remaining flesh!
Blemishes and indents reveal premonitions
Nemain observes through the fog-strewn murkiness
The eye of the bone faces upward to the sky
Where the war crows reside in obscurity
The seer inspects his token of fortune
To evade death or die in great fury
My computer has been released from its hold within the wicked depths and so now we may play the songs of mad dreamers once more! Behold! A NEW METAL MONDAY!
Regardless of how much enthusiasm that may seem to have, I am quite exhausted. Tired from waiting on things to return or be received and of chasing my own wild desires. Having stumbled onto yet another astounding album (this time a split between two giants) I found myself at a loss when Bandcamp revealed none of SAD's albums (though DOMOS's portion is within their hallowed halls). So, what did I do? You're damn right I hired an orphan down the street to sneak aboard a boat and find me a copy somewhere in Greece. Well, needless to say, I haven't heard from the orphan so I used a more crude method and ordered a physical copy online.
Guided By The Chants From The Other Side by SAD/DOMOS. First off, this album art has been my phone background for a few weeks now and I still do not tire of it (plus I am a sucker for nautical stuff). Hooking me immediately, the first half is by SAD and leads with a track called The Rape Of Innocence. Suprisingly, I found the second track, To Flee From Mundane Thoughts, equally as impressive. Imious leads after and SAD's half is finished with Old Wounds. Riveting, haunting, and alluring, SAD has earned a sound place within my collections halls.
The second half is ruled by the Colombian born DOMOS and I must say I was so consumed by SAD that I had not considered the prowess of DOMOS... and oh, how I was surprised. A Prophecy, A Mystical Road is the first track and it tears off with slick guitar work and harsh vocals. Portal of Ethereal Whispers shreds into existence before kicking off into a stellar piece. Eternal Damnation is up next and begins more brooding though keeping up the pace DOMOS brings. Yet, as they say, they saved the best for last for Blood Sacrifice has actually become my favorite track on the entire album. Give it a listen compared to the others and I know you understand why I found it so mighty and enthralling.
This whole purchase and journey has been a wild ride, allowing a random pick on a whim to grow and call to me, finding a well versed artist unknown to me until now, SAD, and another I had not expected but wholly appreciate, DOMOS. As for a split album, this has to be one of my favorites. I love the split with Amiensus and Oak Pantheon (because A Demonstration is awesome!) while I also really enjoyed the Ramihrdus and Decarabia split for a whole different atmosphere. These works are good partnerships to strengthen the musicians as well as increase exposure for some I may not have known. Also, a split is a double feature and this kinda makes up for missing last weeks Metal Monday so... ENJOY! /,,/
Oak Pantheon/Amiensus Split
Well, my computer is off getting some invasive surgery done so there will be a delay in content for a few more days until they remove the bandages, clean off the viscera, and release it back into the void for me. What? Your computers keys aren’t slimy and undulating? I suppose biotech and the dark arts makes all the difference yet the plane we humans wander about has not yet heralded in that delightfully dangerous ability.
As far as Metal goes, do some independent exploring. Let YouTube or Pandora take you down a rabbit hole,
do not resist. Gaze upon the album art and let the brush strokes of madness influence your selection. There is much to be found beyond the physical and the expected so take a sojourn into the abyssal realm of noise and allow the electricity to shred your senses. /,,/
As if a gift from the gods, YGG (You know, Yggdrasil!) has revealed itself to me. Like some cross between the brilliance of Drudkh and the lore of the Norse, this four track album, called The Last Scald (pretty sure that's Skald considering the material), is thick with creativity, wild energy, and slick artwork. The showcase track is Last Skald for certain (that intro build up is too strong!) however the first track Dead Swamps hooked me initially and still pulls me back in with that crushing bass and wicked instrumentation. In The Hope of The Eternal has some riveting portions while The Wake of Awakening plays out the end with a bittersweet ability.
Each track has a select piece of artwork below which I have provided yet go, visit upon their Bandcamp page, support this mighty artist and revel in their prowess! YGG has produced a cataclysmic blizzard of an album and I shall usher it into the states, welcoming its frigid, wailing call as these ice wraiths summon a storm that will make us stronger and leave us in awe. /,,/
YGG - The Last Scald (Skald)
1.) Мертвые топи - Dead Swamps
2.) Последний скальд - Last Skald
3.) В надежде о Вечном - In The Hope of the Eternal
4.) Віса пробудження - The Wake of Awakening
В небе парят искры ,
вместо руки крыло,
И нет копья лишь мед.
Вот зов из Сердца -Молитва Боя,
Удар волны, кормы прибоя.
И ветер не утихнет звезд.
Вот вечность воет — Зовет! Зовет!
Сейчас врата откроет!
Сорвет с петель, оседлая Бурю.
Великий свет поток любви.
Дух силы Слова , воплощение.
Грудь искры жгут.
Ты терпишь — тишина смирения.
Сжав крылья в кулаки, копье не тления.
Могуч ты Вечный мудрый скальд.
Sparks float in the sky,
instead of a hand wing,
And no spear just honey.
Here is a call from the Heart - The Prayer of Fight,
Wave strike, surf feed.
And the wind will not calm the stars.
Here is eternity howling - Call! Calling!
Now the door will open!
Rip off the hinges that have settled the Storm.
Great light is the flow of love.
The Spirit of the Power of the Word, the Incarnation.
Chest sparks burn.
You endure - the silence of humility.
Squeezing wings into fists, the spear does not decay.
May you be the Eternal Wise Skald.
What metal have I been listening to lately? Well, give a listen and find out!
Kalmankantaja, ORM, Alaic, Boreal Hymn, Omnianthropy, AERA, Ossomancer, Katharos XIII, Winterfylleth, Selenite, Blencathra, Belore, Vastigr, Vosbud, VELNIAS, Haunt, and Fortress Of The Olden Days
This is the album art I mentioned!
"Vástígr!!!" He shouts from the frozen summit, the biting wind churning around him as he peers into the icy beyond. Looming above, the Aurora Borealis radiates across the sky, streaks of cosmic power wavering before the stars. Within him, The Burden of Knowledge, the Ouroboros of unending suffering, a ceaseless, cyclical tormen chilling his bones. This is to be his last stop, traveling Til Alle Veienes Ende where one can meet themselves and witness the might of The Mountain Spirit, left lingering in the Aura Aeternitatis
Thought I would have some fun with this Metal Monday since there is not much to go on lyrics and and this is a newer artist. Vástígr is a wicked new addition to my arsenal and wildly follows the recent Vosbúð who also hail from Iceland. I approve and promote what is echoing from the frozen fjords of the north and am keeping my eye out for anything else linked to the area.
I decided to run with a cryptic story breakdown of the songs and album name mixed within the album to help paint a mental picture of what seems to resonate from this albums core. Showcase wise, The Mountain Spirit is my favorite however The Burden of Knowledge and Ouroboros also challenge this position making it a hard decision for a pick this week. Honestly, if you need some crushing power and epic tracks then Aura Aternitatis is a delicious choice to help tackle your week. Give Vástígr a listen and Vosbúð too if you hadn't previously. Though mighty and cold these artists offer great reward for those willing to brave the cold, challenging journey. /,,/
THE MAD BARRON
The Source Of The Metal