Jan 182011

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 . . .) Continue reading »

Oct 192010

Dreaming Dead is a death metal band from Los Angeles that incorporates a multitude of styles into their music. They also have the distinction, whether they want this kind of attention or not, of being one of those few, good extreme metal bands with a female vocalist (Elizabeth Schall) — who is also an inventively killer guitarist.

We really enjoyed the band’s 2009 debut, Within One, and we’ve been looking forward to the release of their follow-on album, Midnightmares, which it appears the band has recorded as a three-piece, while continuing to hunt for a second guitarist (who Schall wants to be a woman). We haven’t seen any definitive release date, and the band may be holding that up in an effort to find a label who would distribute it.

However, yestrday, Dreaming Dead released an official video for a song called “Overlord” from that forthcoming album. The video itself is fairly no frills — just the band playing in a dark club setting, with lights intermittently revealing the band members as they hammer out the song, and rapid cutting from one shot to the next.

And then there’s the song itself — it’s fucking great: a fascinating piece of modern death metal with driving rhythms, technical musicianship, catchy hooks, and an unexpected instrumental diversion near the end. And Schall is a magnetic presence even on video, with a blend of Nordic rasps and bestial growls to accompany her creative guitar leads.  Check out the video after the jump. We’re pretty sure you’ll like it  . . . Continue reading »

Dec 262009

Female death metal vocalists are few and far between. Frankly, I don’t understand how dudes can produce those sounds on a regular basis without destroying their voices. I know there’s a secret, I just don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s because I haven’t yet watched Melissa Cook’s The Zen of Screaming instructional video.

But what I really don’t understand is how any woman can produce those harsh, deep, gutteral, death growls — at all. I could tick off on the fingers of one hand the women who are currently carrying it off reasonably well (if I had a six-fingered hand): Angela Gossow of Arch Enemy, Grace Perry of Landmine Marathon, Elizabeth Elliott of Dreaming Dead, Mel Mongeon of Fuck the Facts, Krysta Cameron of iwrestledabearonce, and occasionally Alissa White-Gluz of The Agonist.

As of this morning I need to add a seventh name: Jessica Desjardins of Canadian deathcore band Bloodshoteye.   (More after the jump, including some video) Continue reading »