I go through stretches when I fall behind in reading other metal blogs because I get too distracted by other things, like this blog — which I know all of you read every day, without fail, even if it means skipping a meal or a shower or letting your cat/dog fend for itself. Yeah, right. But I do always read Steff Metal‘s regular feature called Linking Horn because there’s always something interesting in there that I’d otherwise miss.
Her current Linking Horn feature linked to a Metal Insider piece I hadn’t seen which summarized a recent Nielsen Music and Midem report about music consumption habits. Some of what’s in that report wasn’t surprising — like the data showing that almost 50% of online users obtain their music from the internet without paying; the report found that neither digitally downloading a full album nor a single track reached 20%. What a shock.
But one item did surprise me: The survey showed that 58% of online users consume music by watching music videos through the computer and 20% watch music videos on their mobile phones. Granted, the survey wasn’t limited to any particular musical genre, and the numbers could be entirely different if you were to conduct a survey limited to metalheads. I know I don’t watch metal music videos that often because, mainly, they suck.
Usually, the videos are so bad that they detract from good songs and do nothing to make mediocre songs better. Instead, they seem to function more as bait than actual entertainment — a way of luring you into listening to a song or a band for the first time out of curiosity (because it’s faster than downloading), though sometimes I’ll watch one for a song I already know just to see what the band looks like. But I don’t claim to be like most people, and the study seems to verify that most people like to consume music (and probably print) when they can see pictures at the same time — which is why moving pictures make such attractive bait.
All of which is a windy lead-in to the real point of this post. Over the last couple of days I took the bait and watched some new just-released music videos, and for different reasons, I thought they were worth sharing. They feature music from Vreid (Norway), Stigma (Italy), Semargl (Ukraine), and members of Dreaming Dead (U.S.). (after the jump . . .)
The first video is for a song called “The Sound Of The River”, which will be included on a forthcoming album from Vreid. This will be the band’s fifth album, but this video was the first Vreid track I’d ever heard. I thought the song was quite cool — a blend of melodic black metal and prog-metal, with a haunting melody, very interesting drum rhythms, and a segment of clean singing that I thought enhanced the song (and you know how rarely we have that feeling about clean singing around here).
As for the video, I thought it was above-average, mainly for the fog-shrouded waterscapes (I could have used more of those scenes and fewer of the half-naked wretch in chains). Anyway, as bait, this video succeeded, because now I want to hear the rest of that new album when it comes.
Vreid’s new album, entitled “V”, is scheduled for release on February 7 via Norway’s Indie Recordings, and it’s available for pre-order now on Amazon (and elsewhere).
The next video was released yesterday by Italy’s Stigma for a song called “The Undertaker”, which is the title track from an EP released in digital-only format earlier this month. The same song also appeared on the band’s second full-length release, Concerto For the Undead, which appeared last April. I didn’t hear that album, but a couple years ago my NCS collaborator IntoTheDarkness gave me a CD he’d made that included a song from Stigma’s 2008 debut, When Midnight Strikes!, and I remember liking it. So, I decided to watch this video.
The song is a catchy piece of metalcore, thankfully without any clean singing. It includes some more-subtle-than-usual breakdowns and an infectious instrumental passage near the end, and although I can’t say the song breaks any new ground, it successfully tempted me to pick up the EP for later listening. As for the video, I’m afraid it’s nothing special, but at least it wasn’t an annoying distraction from the music — which is my default expectation about metal vidz.
The EP includes three new songs, in addition to “The Undertaker”. It was mixed/mastered by Bleeding Through vocalist Brandan Schieppati and Anaal Nathrakh‘s Mick Kenney, and it’s now available on iTunes and Amazon MP3.
Okay, regular readers know that those genre-benders in Ukraine’s Semargl are one of my guilty pleasures. At least one of you has asked that I stop foisting them on you. Well, no such luck.
I first got hooked on a song called “Credo Revolution” from the band’s 2010 album, Ordo Bellictum Satanas, and featured the video for the song in an NCS post last year. It’s pop music with black-metal trappings, corpse-paint with plenty of tits and ass, tremolo picking and electro dance beats. Then, a bit later in the year, I offered a live performance video of the band playing another song from that album, called “Credo Possess”. Yes, all the songs on the album begin with the word Credo.
So, yesterday Semargl released yet another video, this one for the song “Credo Flaming Rain”, and of course I had to watch it. I already knew the song, but I was hoping for some shots of Nera, who’s the front-woman for a band called Darzamat and supplied guest vocals on this track. The song itself is another slice of rock (this one, at a softer pace) with black-metal trappings, and it includes Jonny Maudling (Bal-Sagoth, My Dying Bride) on piano. Once again, it’s not the kind of music we usually listen to or write about here, but like everything else Semargl does, it’s catchy, and I think Nera has a nice voice. So shoot me in the head, I’m weak.
The video, on the other hand, leaves something to be desired. It got a bit monotonous, I had trouble linking the visual symbology to the song’s lyrical subject matter, and the chick in the black gown and mask isn’t even Nera. But I’m showing you the video anyway because . . . well . . . it’s Semargl.
In addition to Nera and Maudling, the album features guest appearances by Iscariah (ex-Immortal), Novy (ex-Behemoth), Vrangsinn (Carpathian Forest, Nattefrost), and Ashmedi (Melechesh) as producer.
STEPHANIE PICKARD AND ELIZABETH SCHALL (DREAMING DEAD)
Last but not least, here’s a video of guitarists Stephanie Pickard and Elizabeth Schall performing a dual-guitar instrumental at the Fernandes booth at this past weekend’s NAMM international music industry trade show in Anaheim, California. I’m a Dreaming Dead fan, I’m an admirer of Schall’s singing and playing, and I watched this because I was curious to see what Stephanie Pickard was all about. Dreaming Dead announced earlier this month that she had joined the band as a second guitarist, which makes DD one of the few metal bands to feature two female shredders. The shredding in this video starts just before the 2:00 mark.
Hope you got something out of one or more of these videos. As always, enjoy the rest of your fucking day.