Hollywood Metal Episode 17

Posted in Show Log with tags on April 22, 2008 by hollywoodmetal

Sunday April 20th 2008: Pagan Fest Special part 2…. with 3 weeks to go until PAGAN FEST HOLLYWOOD we continued on our 4 part series featuring only the bands playing at Pagan Fest Hollywood on May 8th at the House of Blues. ELUVEITIE was up first with (“Tarvos”). There was a few background people in the studio with Damon and I today and as soon as this song played they immediately began asking questions about the artist and the music. They found the flutes and woodwinds incredibly intriguing, the soft melodies floating over the top of heavy guitars always catches people off guard. It’s great to see non metallers take an interest in music they don’t necessarily understand. (“Ahti”) by ENSIFERUM was next. As I mentioned on the show I come from a 80’s thrash metal background, I grew up on bands like METALLICA, MEGADETH, SLAYER.. etc.. for years I thought that only guitars, bass and drums had a place in metal. Towards the late 90’s when I discovered extreme I have come to crave the added dimensions that come with the inclusion of keyboards and folk instruments in epic metal. This has evolved to the point where, in the case of “Ahti”, my favorite part about the song is the keyboard contribution to the song. Meiju Enho was the keyboardist when the tracks were laid and it’s masterful work. Unfortunately, Meiju has since parted ways with ENSIFERUM which sucks because it would have been awesome to see her rock at Pagan Fest. The 3rd song of the show was SUIDAKRA (“The IXth Legion”) and it was the subject of a segment we call “History Connection.” In this segment we like to feature a song and explain how the lyrics relate to a particular event or time in history. I sent a letter to Arkadius of SUIDAKRA and asked him to assist us with this because many of SUIDAKRA’s songs are written about historical events. He got back to me write away with a perfect bit of information about “The IXth Legion.” he writes:

Hey Brendan,

so here is the sorty behin the IXth Legion:

At the beginning of time, there was a Pict king named Cruithne, son of Cing, and Cruithne reigned for 100 years. He had seven sons called Fib, Fidach, Foclaid, Fortrenn, Caitt, Ce and Circenn. These names of Cruithne’s seven sons were also given to the seven provinces of Pictland. The origins of the Picts are clouded with many fables, legends and fabrications, and there are as many theories as to who the Picts were. The Romans called the pre-Celtic people of Scotland Pictii (Painted) or Caledonii, because Claudius’ words prove that (as described by many historians) the ancient Picts actually tattooed their bodies with designs. To the non-Roman Celtic world they were known as “Cruithni” and for many centuries they represented the unbridled fury of a people who refused to be brought under the rule of Rome, or any foreign invader.

Julius Caesar invaded England in BC 55, but it took about one hundred and thirty-five years before the Romans were ready to assault Scotland in 80 AD – the same summer that the Coliseum was opened and one year after the disaster at Pompeii. The Romans called Scotland ‘Caledonia’ because the dominant tribe of Picts they encountered was the Caledonii. The name is a Romanisation of the actual tribal name and it is difficult to know its meaning to the Romans.

Roman accounts of the Pictish Wars as well as later accounts tell us that the Pictish lands were mainly north of the Forth-Clyde line, to the north of the Antonine Wall.
When the battle started, Caledonians were initially very successful, but because of an outflanking manoeuvre by Roman cavalry, the Caledonians were eventually defeated. Historians believe that the Caledonian leader Calgacus survived this battle. They realised that the Roman army had a great advantage in a pitched battle in open country and the only way the tribes had any hope of beating the Romans was to conduct a united prolonged war. The Caledonians changed their tactics and conducted a guerrilla war and decided to remain as mobile as possible. They attacked their fortresses, military camps, and their Walls. It was a bold strategy: confront the lion in his lair!
Within thirty years of their establishment, the Picts had destroyed and burned the Roman forts, and according to Victorian legend, Rome’s most famous legion, the Ninth, was sent north from Inchtuthil to relieve Pictish pressure. Legend has it that legion was massacred and forever lost in an unknown battle against the painted men of the north…


Horns up to Arkadius for providing this gem of information about this great song and epic story. We closed the show with TURISAS (“Fields of Gold”). Some of my non-metalhead friends have been tuning into the show lately and they’ve been telling me how much they love TURISAS and TYR. Hearing things like this is awesome because a main reason I wanted to start Hollywood Metal is to educate people about the music and why it deserves praise even if you’re not into the music. Horns up to my good friend  John Davidson in Charlotte N.C. for the kind words this week about TURISAS and TYR.


Hollywood Metal Episode 16

Posted in Show Log with tags on April 22, 2008 by hollywoodmetal

Sunday April 13th 2008: HOLLYWOOD METAL GOES LIVE! Today the show was live on KLAS FM at 5pm (89.7FM). From this point on the show will be in live broadcast format. The time slot is still not certain at this point. In about two weeks Hollywood Metal will have a regular time slot. Today’s show was the first in a 4 part series we are doing leading up to PAGAN FEST HOLLYWOOD on May 8th. We’re only going to play bands coming to that show. We led off with Finland’s ENSIFERUM (“Old Man”). This song is so heavy! It simply has to be listened to at high volume to truly appreciate it. SUIDAKRA was next with (“Lays from Afar”) off their 1999 release. The song is one of their faster pieces and the main vocals are firmly in the black metal camp with clean vocal interludes. Keyboard symphonics and accompanying violin segments give this song a lot of depth to go along with a killer rhythm cadence. After a minor studio issue we played ELUVEITIE (“Calling the Rain”) from Switzerland. This band is one of the premier folk metal bands in the world. Those who don’t believe that woodwind instruments have a place in heavy metal really need to hear this band which is pronounced, “el-way-tea.” This song has excellent folk melodies combined with sharp guitars and powerful vocals. It’s a tough band to follow. Luckily, TURISAS was up next with (“Battle Metal”). Battle Metal are quite possibly the best two words to describe this band as this song and every other one make you just want to charge with swords drawn into battle! The male chorus’s and grandiose sounds from the keyboards create one of the most EPIC sounds ever. The final song played was TYR (“The Hunt”). I announced it on the show as “The Rage of the Skullgaffer” because initially I wanted to play them both but we’ll play this one next week. There is some great lead guitar work taking place in “The Hunt.” I’m really looking forward to watching them shred at PAGAN FEST.

Hollywood Metal Episode 15

Posted in Show Log with tags on April 22, 2008 by hollywoodmetal

Saturday April 5th 2008: Episode 15 was a feast of black metal. Out of the gate was a thrash/black metal band called SKELETONWITCH (“Baptized in Flames”). Once you get over the name and realize that this is not an 80’s hair metal cover band you’ll realize that this one of the best thrash metal bands in the USA. Blending thrash riffing with black metal elements this band has the fresh sound that I think thrash metal needs, especially here in the states. Sweden’s NAGLFAR was up next with (“The Way of the Rope”). This band has been around for a long time and is considered one of the best known black metal outfits from sweden. The music doesn’t stray too far from the traditional black metal mold but if your looking for a solid, go to, black metal band NAGLFAR has stood the test of time. Staying in Sweden, MITHOTYN (“King of the Distant Forest”) was next. Unfortunately, these guys disbanded after 3 excellent albums in the late 90’s but the legacy they left has been a big influence for today’s new viking metal bands. Another band that disbanded of their own accord was EINHERJER which we played next. The song was “Naar Hammeren Heves” from the 1997 EP Far Far North. As I mentioned on the show, I have never never seen such variance among metal fans as I see in the opinions on EINHERJER albums. Some people claim that one of the albums is mediocre and yet to others it’s a viking metal masterpiece. Regardless, everyone agrees that this was an important and influential band for the genre. This weeks show ended with KAMPFAR (“Ravenheart”) from Norway. The word KAMPFAR is an old norse war cry to Odin and this band is a testament to Norwegian black metal.

Hollywood Metal Episode 14

Posted in Show Log with tags on April 22, 2008 by hollywoodmetal

Saturday March 29th 2008: Episode 14 rocked so hard! Things got started with a staple of everyone’s viking metal collection… WINDIR (“Arntor, Ein Windir) which translates to “Antor, the Warrior.” Valfar played all but the drums on this epic masterpiece which features excellent guitar riffs, atmospheric keyboards and softer melancholy interludes. R.I.P. Valfar. Next was a new band from Finland called DEAD OF NIGHT (“Follow the Misery”). This was off their debut full length release and it has some excellent guitar work and vocals that just pour out misery. The production quality could be a little better but still a stellar release and I am expect big things from these guys. Up next was my favorite song of the episode. (“Der Zeiten Wende”) from NEBELHORN, a one man band project from Germany. Start to finish this song thunders along with a catchy main riff and ultrasonic drumming. Impossible not to rock to! We closed the show with a prominent black metal band from Norway called RAGNAROK (“A Nights Kingdom”).  This band has had a lot of members coming and going over the years but their albums have remained at a high quality. Currently the band is fronted by Horst who is the main man in TAAKE, which we played a few weeks ago. Shagrath from DIMMU BORGIR was also a member a few years ago. Their albums received great reviews from the sources I trust and today’s song pretty much demonstrates that.

Hollywood Metal Episode 13

Posted in Show Log with tags on April 22, 2008 by hollywoodmetal

Saturday March 22nd 2008: Episode 13 premiered the new epic intro taken from BATHORY “Prelude” off the Nordland I album. This is my favorite album intro, it really sets an epic tone for the show. Russian band SVARTBY was the first played today. These guys hail from St. Petersburg but the name of the band is Swedish for “The Black Village” and they sing in Swedish as well. (“Skogens Ursinne’) was the name of the track played and I really enjoy this one because its upbeat and the folk instruments mirror the rhythm guitars which gives the song a richer sound  while keeping the song light and upbeat. Germany’s RIGER was next with (“Brandschiff”). This one is great because the melodic melody that hovers over the rhythm guitars is so clean and powerful. One can’t help but to rock during this one! Up next was Finland’s MORS PRINCIPIUM EST with (“The Unborn”) . As I mentioned on the show, I really dig how they used the keyboards in this song. It was the perfect amount and to the perfect effect of creating the uptempo atmosphere. That combined with the angelic voice of the female background singer produced a great track. England’s mighty BAL-SAGOTH were next with (“Shackled to the Trilithon of Kutulu”). This band produces some great keyboard driven symphonic black metal but the real gem is the band’s mastermind Byron Roberts.  Byron’s signature voice over narrative vocal style created one of the most epic sounds in metal today. After a brief venting session, where I called out the loser who wrote the worst review ever about our last band on metal-archives.com, we played that very band… XIV DARK CENTURIES. That guy did not know what the hell he was talking about when he rated their 2006 album a 45% and to prove it we played (“Thing”) from that album and it totally rocked! If anyone out there writes reviews for metal archives, do the metal world a favor and write a new review for XIV DARK CENTURIES’ (2006 Skithingi).

Hollywood Metal Episode 12

Posted in Show Log with tags on April 22, 2008 by hollywoodmetal

Saturday March 15th 2008: Episode 12 opened with ABUSED MAJESTY from Poland (“A Burning Army”). These guys are currently without a label which surprises me because the high quality of their music is very high. Next we played GWYDION from Portugal (“Turning of the Wheel”). This band has a very interesting vocal style. To me the guy sounds like an evil court jester from medieval ages. Nonetheless this is excellent Viking / Folk metal from yet another great band on Trollzorn Records out of Germany. This is the third band we have played from that label and there will be several more coming up. The next band needed no introduction if you have seen Metalocalypse on the cartoon network. DETHKLOK rules! We played (“Thunderhorse”) which is on The DethAlbum but this version was taken from one of the early episodes because it is slightly different from the album version and I think a little better. Finnish powerhouse CATAMENIA was next with (“The Day The Sun Faded Away”).  These guys are know as a Melodic Black Metal band and the main melody for this song was stuck in my head all week, I could not wait to play this. Closing out the show was a melodic death metal band from Australia, our first Australian representation on Hollywood Metal. Be’lakor (“Tre’aste”) is just a great example of well performed and well produced melodic death metal.

Hollywood Metal Episode 11

Posted in Show Log with tags on April 22, 2008 by hollywoodmetal

Saturday March 8th 2008: Episode 11 opened with a band from Sweden called TME (“The Worlds Collide”). TME features some members from various Swedish metal bands like Vintersorg, Otyg and Fission. Finnish rockers AMORAL (“Mute”) were next up with a melodic death metal song that sounds completely different from most Scandinavian MDM bands. The guitars have an upbeat quality to them that totally makes me want to party and rock out! “Buffalo’s metal saviors” were next, a band called DRAGONWIND, hailing from my hometown of Buffalo, NY. The song was (“Above the Storm”) and it’s just a quality piece of melodic death metal that features some excellent guitar work throughout the song. Sweden’s ANACHRONAEON were next with (“The English Wizard”) This is a truly great piece because it combines a number of different song elements similar to a multi-movement symphony. A smooth melody pierced with groovy almost bluesy interludes lead up to one of the best solo’s I’ve heard in a long time. Let it be known that any song that features a 2 minute solo is automatically awesome! Right now this is a studio only project by the two guys in the band but they should definitely get a full band together at some point and tour because they rock!