The Metal Moose Show – Episode 2016-01-17

If you want to get more information about any of the bands featured at The Metal Moose Show, simply Google the band and/or the song name to find their official website and Facebook page and, more important than that, attend their live concerts and buy their music. Here at The Headbanging Moose you can find detailed reviews of Swedish Melodic Progressive Metal band Cloudscape, Swedish Death Metal band Just Before Dawn and Norwegian Blackened Thrash Metal band Vingulmork (just click on the links below to read the reviews). Support your local bands… AND FOLLOW THE MOOSE!

On The Metal Moose Show this week:

1. Cloudscape – All For Metal
2. Casket Robbery – Annabelle’s Hell
3. Dawn Heist – Voyager
4. Dead Soul Communion – My Beautiful Mistake
5. Dead Colony – Stay Alive
6. For The Wolf – The Invisible Dead
7. Fireland – Servants Of The Dark
8. Just Before Dawn – Into The Iron Mist
9. Lift The Medium – Spinning Wheel
10. Second Rate Angels – Godspeed
11. Burn The Ocean – Days In November
12. The Lumberjack – Salvation
13. Thundermother – Roadkill
14. The Dead Prevail – Eradicate To Devastate
15. Rebel Wizard – A Place To Rest The Dead Inside Is Never To Be Found
16. Wasteland Rocks – I Say Burn
17. The Veer Union – Defying Gravity
18. Vingulmork – (I Am) The Darkness You Can Touch
19. Rhine – The Dark Of Winter

Click HERE to listen to this week’s episode on Spreaker.

Metal Moose Radio YouTube | Spreaker | iTunes

The Year In Review – Top 10 Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Albums of 2015

“Good day
My name is Necropolis
I am formed of the dead
I am the harvester of the soul meat
And I suck the lives from around my bed
My own two sons I gave them breath
And I filled their living corpses with my bile
What humanity I knew I have long forgotten
For me eternity is nothing
But a short while…” 

– If Eternity Should Fail, by Iron Maiden

Eternity might be nothing but a short while for the harvester of the soul meat, but for us mere mortals it looked like 2015 was never going to reach its end. Well, the year is finally phasing out and 2016 is already knocking on our doors, promising to be a much better (and less tragic) time for mankind. With that said, once again as a tribute to all bands and musicians who kept our hearts warm in the throes of a world crisis, here is The Headbanging Moose’s Top 10 Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Albums of 2015, excluding of course all EP’s, best of’s and live albums. Profitez-en bien!

Iron Maiden_The Book of Souls1. Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls (REVIEW)
As you read through the pages of The Book Of Souls you’ll inevitably realize that Iron Maiden’s gonna get us all, no matter how far.
Best song of the album: The Red and the Black

moonspell_extinct2. Moonspell – Extinct (REVIEW)
While this distinguished Portuguese Dark Metal band is among us, we can rest assured good and meaningful music is far from being extinct.
Best song of the album: Extinct

Stratovarius_Eternal3. Stratovarius – Eternal (REVIEW)
The Finnish masters of Power Metal are back with a beautiful album made to be eternal.
Best song of the album: My Eternal Dream

battle beast_unholy savior4. Battle Beast – Unholy Savior (REVIEW)
Battle Beast want the world and everything in it, and they’re definitely on their way to conquer it all with their brilliant brand new album.
Best song of the album: I Want The World… And Everything In It

My God-Given Right5. Helloween – My God-Given Right (REVIEW)
It’s our God-given right to keep banging our heads to the music by the happiest and most awesome Power Metal band in the world.
Best song of the album: Creatures in Heaven

scorpions_return to forever6. Scorpions – Return to Forever (REVIEW)
This rock may be rolling home after so many years of good service, but it still has A LOT to teach the world on how to make true Hard Rock.
Best song of the album: Rock ‘N’ Roll Band

cover7. Marduk – Frontschwein (REVIEW)
The Babylonian gods of Black Metal return with more of their blasphemous and apocalyptic war-themed music.
Best song of the album: Thousand-Fold Death

CoF_Hammer of the Witches8. Cradle of Filth – Hammer Of The Witches (REVIEW)
The metallic coven instituted by one of the most important Extreme Metal bands of all time keeps haunting our world with their music.
Best song of the album: Onward Christian Soldiers

Survivalist Album Cover9. 4ARM – Survivalist (REVIEW)
A phenomenal heavy music album full of groove, fury and energy by an extremely talented Thrash Metal band from Down Under.
Best song of the album: Poisoned Mind

Slayer_Repentless10. Slayer – Repentless (REVIEW)
Live fast, on high, repentless, and keep listening to Slayer until the day you die.
Best song of the album: Repentless

And here we have the runner-ups, completing the top 20 for the year:

11. Vanden Plas – Chronicles of the Immortals – Netherworld II (REVIEW)
12. Monolith – Against The Wall Of Forever (REVIEW)
13. The Agonist – Eye of Providence (REVIEW)
14. Acrassicauda – Gilgamesh (REVIEW)
15. Vingulmork – Chiaroscuro (REVIEW)
16. Vorna – Ei Valo Minua Seuraa (REVIEW)
17. Dys Inbunden – One With Morbidity, The Opus Misanthropy (REVIEW)
18. Deadly Circus Fire – The Hydra’s Tailor (REVIEW)
19. Tsar Bomb – Exterminans IX:XI (REVIEW)
20. Profane And The Sacred – Chapter 1 : A Long Time Coming (REVIEW)

As this year we had tons of amazing EP’s being released by extremely talented bands from all over the world, why not providing you our Top 10 EP’s of 2015, right? (To be fair, although shorter in duration, some of them are significantly better and more complex than several full-length albums that became available throughout the year.)

1. Goatchrist – The Epic Tragedy Of The Cult Of Enlil (REVIEW)
2. Dö – Den (REVIEW)
3. Chip DiMonick – Uncaged (REVIEW)
4. Omega Diatribe – Abstract Ritual (REVIEW)
5. The Passion Of Our Souls – Soulmates (REVIEW)
6. Velaverante – My Dark Images (REVIEW)
7. Novallo – Novallo II (REVIEW)
8. Meridius – Meridius (REVIEW)
9. Judas Avenger – Judas Avenger (REVIEW)
10. Pergana – The Visit (REVIEW)

One thing that 2015 taught us all is that Heavy Fuckin’ Metal is still alive and on fire, and based on the music by countless independent bands reviewed here (that for different reasons did not make it to our top 10/20), it will keep shining brighter than ever for many years to come. Take a listen at the music by Rifftera and Amanita Virosa (Finland); Reanimator and Fractal Generator (Canada); Sarpentra and The Prophet (Russia); Dzhatinga and Irreversible Mechanism (Belarus); Helligators and Lykaion (Italy); Warmask and Hateful Warfare (Brazil); Morkesagn and Gasoline Guns (Ukraine); Void Creation (Austria); Nachtlieder (Sweden); Fjorsvartnir (Denmark); Broken Rain (Slovakia); Lanthanein (Argentina), among many others, and there you have the future of heavy music. And, obviously, don’t forget to listen to the METAL MOOSE RADIO SHOW every week, and to always HAIL SANTA!

Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year! See you in 2016!

And now, last but not least, a Christmas message from Eddie and the boys…

Album Review – Vingulmork / Chiaroscuro (2015)

Surrender to the dark side of Thrash Metal, offered to you by one of the most promising Scandinavian bands of the past few years.


VINGULMORK - Chiaroscuro cover artAlthough the year of 2015 is almost coming to its end, it seems there are still tons of awesome metal bands with considerable amounts of fuel to burn, providing us fans unbounded reasons to keep banging our heads nonstop like maniacs. This is precisely the case with Norwegian Blackened Thrash Metal desecrators Vingulmork, who before the curtains of this chaotic year close are releasing their cataclysmic debut full-length album entitled Chiaroscuro. The name of the album might be the junction of the Italian words “chiaro” (clear or bright) and “oscuro” (dark), but don’t expect to find any light in their music. It’s sheer darkness, architected in such a thrilling and virulent way you’ll be mercilessly knocked out like Ronda Rousey before the album is over.

Forged in 2012 at the very depths of Oslo, Norway, Vingulmork released their debut EP named The Long March at the beginning of 2014, but it’s now with Chiaroscuro that this talented quartet aims at conquering the world of heavy music with their inhumane combination of the unquestioned verve from Thrash Metal with the evildoing and perversity of Black Metal. If you hold true passion for the music by bands such as Skeletonwitch, Old Man’s Child and Dissection, the music by Vingulmork (which translated from Old Norse means “the forest of fescues”) brings forward all the elements needed to foster that darkest side of yours.

And Vingulmork don’t give you a single second to breathe before their sonic devastation begins in the magnificent Collapse and Rebuild, a brutal composition that summarizes their music style by blending the riveting riffs from Thrash Metal with the obscure growls from Black Metal. In addition, Frontman Jostein Stensrud Køhn sounds like he’s possessed by an evil entity so aggressive his vocals are, while drummer Simen Kandola delivers beats inspired by the greatest drummers from the Bay Area Thrash. As destructive as the opening track, Hold Your Ground provides an accelerated feeling as if a heart attack is about to come, with guitarist Martin Kandola offering the listener his evil-inspired riffs amidst pure Thrash Metal music. And that’s just the beginning of Chiaroscuro, my friends.

Don’t get deceived by the calm acoustic intro from the chant beautifully entitled (I Am) The Darkness You Can Touch, as it quickly morphs into a dark sounding with elements of Death Metal that will violently kick you in the head. Jostein growling like a demon, together with some interesting breaks leading into some pure Black Metal moments and its lugubrious lyrics (“I will lay waste to your sense of belief / Replace all pleasure with anguish and grief / I will demolish all ways to control / I will take hold of and bury you”), turn this ode to obscurity into one of the top moments of the album without a shadow of a doubt. In The Haunting, the band delivers a melodic and ferocious onslaught of metallic music in less than 3 minutes, reminding me of the high-octane Thrash/Death Metal by Skeletonwitch, while Old Hate flirts with Melodic Death Metal but with extra dosages of wickedness added to the sounding, not to mention the great job done by Martin with his sick guitar riffs accompanied by the intricate bass lines by Steffen Grønneberg.

VINGULMORK band photo (3)With an enraged Simen on drums, their dark metal machine keeps rolling and smashing everyone and everything in From Promise, a straightforward tune that will ignite some serious mosh pits during their live performances, with highlights to the beyond bestial vocals by Jostein, and don’t stop banging your head or slamming into the pit because Vingulmork offer us all Painting Lives, another insane track where there’s even time for a catchy chorus that will stick into your mind for a long period of time (“Every moment counts / And everything amounts / To pull apart is not an art / And so we count all that amounts”).

The two last arias in Chiaroscuro are just as nefarious as the rest of the album, starting with the striking White Dress, Black Heart, with yet another demented performance by the entire band, in special by Jostein and Simen. This is at the same time the most Thrash Metal and the most Death Metal of all tracks, which obviously elevates its quality to a whole new level of carnage, also presenting thoughtful lyrics that make total sense if you know how harsh the winter can be (“The winter is grinding knives / It will take another life / Cutting through frozen flesh / Claims a mark in every bone”). And closing this top-notch album we have their most obscure and disturbed tune, It Will Suffice, where the band definitely embraces darkness by showcasing their strongest Black/Doom Metal vein. A lesson in extreme music by this incredible Norwegian act, where the music cuts like a sharp razor until it fades away into a melancholic and demonic finale.

To get a taste of what Vingulmork have to offer in Chiaroscuro, you can visit their Facebook page or take a listen at the official album preview by Crime Records, but I’m pretty sure you’ll almost instantly go grab your copy of the album at the Crime Records webstore or at CD Baby. Forget about the never-ending war between darkness and light, simply surrender to the dark side of Thrash Metal offered to you by one of the most promising Scandinavian bands of the past few years. You will not repent that.

Best moments of the album: Collapse and Rebuild, (I Am) The Darkness You Can Touch and White Dress, Black Heart.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2015 Crime Records

Track listing
1. Collapse and Rebuild 3:38
2. Hold Your Ground 3:17
3. (I Am) The Darkness You Can Touch 5:24
4. The Haunting 2:36
5. Old Hate 2:59
6. From Promise 3:29
7. Painting Lives 3:34
8. White Dress, Black Heart 2:23
9. It Will Suffice 5:45

Band members
Jostein Stensrud Køhn – vocals
Martin Kandola – guitar
Steffen Grønneberg – bass
Simen Kandola – drums