Hellgoat

Metal!: Jorn, “Symphonic”

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On the 25th day of the 12th month of 2012, the Six-Tongued Hellgoat was summoned to arise from the ashes and bring darkness to this place called POPdose. Join him in his quest.

Ritual Thrust into the Profane Maw of Churning Filth

Raise your fist and shout

Raise your fist and shout

Album: Jorn, Symphonic
Label: Frontiers
Release: January 22, 2013
Genre: Power Metal
Rating: 8.5/10

Goddamn. Is there a better way to kick off the first metal post of 2013 than with a new Jorn record? Hell, no. Seriously, this guy is what metal is all about. Jorn is the best kept secret from the US metal world. Yeah, power metal isn’t exactly what the mortals go for over here but Jorn Lande also doesn’t make typical songs in the genre. Power metal can get so damn cheesy and over the top that it’s tough to listen to new bands but a veteran like Jorn brings strength to the songs that the kiddies can’t do. Everything he does, peaks in bombast but never seems to cross the line into lame-o territory. And he’s one of the greatest vocalists the metal world has ever experienced.

The Hellgoat assumes you have guessed by the title that this would be a symphonic record. Jorn culls 13 tunes from his past and either adds an orchestra over them or re-mixes them to welcome the sound of the strings into the new setting. He also adds a cover of his favorite artist, Mr. Ronnie James Dio, with “Rock ‘n’ Roll Children.” If you’re familiar with his catalog then you might be pleased as he didn’t choose all the “hits” that he had. He picked tracks from all eras of his catalog ranging from rockers like “A Thousand Cuts” (2012) to the poppier “Behind the Clown” (2004).

Since Jorn’s sound is already close to symphonic anyway, the Hellgoat wasn’t expecting much going into this though. But the string arrangements really do add an extra layer to his already fantastically heavy riffs and really the whole record has a grand epic feel to it. At a mind blowing 71 minutes, it’s a little long but then again, this is made to wear you down and leave you out of breath in the end and it certainly does that. Face it, Jorn is getting better with age and this should have a home on your iPod.

Best moment: The grand arrangement of “Black Morning” leading into the fierce rock of “Like Stone In Water.” It just doesn’t get any better.

Somnolent Regurgitation of the Scrolls of Proselytism
(The Hellgoat wishes to convert you to the ways of the metal.  But he prefers to let the press release and bio do most of the talking on these nefarious black circles.)

Album: Snakecharmer, Snakecharmer
Label: Frontiers
Release: January 21, 2013
Genre: Blues Rock

Press: Originally founded in 2011 by former Whitesnake members Micky Moody and Neil Murray, the Snakecharmer super-group includes the perfect mix of calibre musicians with Laurie Wisefield, Harry James, Adam Wakeman and Chris Ousey with members gigging record breaking tours, earning double platinum selling albums and playing to crowds of 100,000. Musically this record is everything you would expect from musicians with such a pedigree: a finely crafted Hard Rock album with Blues and Melodic overtones, akin to Whitesnake (1979-81 era), Bad Company and with hints of early Foreigner as well.

Hellgoat’s Take: (6.5/10) The Daewoo has been parked out front for days now. Where’s Tawny?

Album:  Circle II Circle, Seasons Will Fall
Label: Armoury
Release: January 29, 2013
Genre: Power Metal

Press: Armoury Records, in conjunction with Hamburg, Germany-based earMUSIC, will release the sixth studio album from American metallers CIRCLE II CIRCLE this Winter. Led by former Savatage vocalist Zak Stevens, the 12-track Seasons Will Fall promises to be the band’s strongest album to date both musically and sonically blending Stevens’ history and unique “Savatage style” with the fresh sounds he’s meticulously developed with CIIC — a commanding fusion of metal and hard rock, powered by his passionate melodic rock vocals. From the howling guitar riffs of “Diamond Blade” and “Killing Death” to the energetic sound of “Never Gonna Stop,” the album contains everything you want from a heavy rock album.

Hellgoat’s Take: (5/10) The Hellgoat is not a fan of Zak Stevens, though Savatage fans should enjoy this. It’s probably their best album.

Album:  Rotten Sound, Species At War
Label: Relapse
Release: January 22, 2013
Genre: Grindcore

Press: Finland’s kings of grind Rotten Sound give us Species At War, a stop-gap EP to bridge the wait from 2011’s Cursed and their next full length. Six songs of world class, blistering grind. First 1000 CDs come with a Rotten Sound sticker and first 1000 12”s come with exclusive etched b-side.

Hellgoat’s Take: (8.5/10) The Hellgoat loves Rotten Sound but at only eight minutes long, it was over before these words made it to paper. Fuckin’ brutal. Buy the vinyl.

Album: Blockheads, This World Is Dead
Label: Relapse
Release: January 22, 2013
Genre: Grindcore

Press: French grindcore outfit BLOCKHEADS have been punishing heavy music speedfreaks for over two decades, doing tours with and supporting the likes of Napalm Death, Entombed, Carcass and Obituary all over the European continent. With This World Is Dead, BLOCKHEADS are determined to spread their aural annihilation throughout the rest of the universe. This World Is Dead is 40 minutes of brutally efficient, grade-A, frenzied grind that ranks right up there with the top purveyors of the genre.

Hellgoat’s Take: (5.5/10) Hellgoat disagrees with the “grade-A” assessment unless “grade-A” is the new way of saying “grade-C.”

Album: Gruesome Stuff Relish, Sempiternal Death Grind
Label: FDA Rekotz
Release: January 25, 2013
Genre: Grindcore/Death Metal

Press: There is an abundance of (early) Carcass worshiping bands around the globe, but there are three that possess the same old, rotten spirit and the same musically quality like the UK cult band. General Surgery, Haemorrhage and the Spanish gore-hounds known as Gruesome Stuff Relish. On previous releases the band showed us the direction straight to the crypt to your most horrible nightmares with a stunningly intense brand of classic Death Metal and gory Grindcore. After two full length albums and various split releases it’s time for album number three – Sempiternal Death Grind. This is the most intense and creepy material the band has written to date.

Hellgoat’s Take: (7.5/10) January is Grindcore month it seems. The Hellgoat agrees with the press on this one. Intense indeed.