Rare Breed by The Shrine

Writer’s Note: Before I continue, I gotta say that it’s been too long!  Life has been insane and I’ve gone a little more insane too!  There is far too much for me to catch up on.  Movies, video games, music albums, whatever!  But, I’m back in action in one form or another.  Even though I’m not completely back together, I’ll continue to shamble on with this reanimated corpse of a blog as well.  Will I be back to a weekly basis?  Not sure, I’m trying to kick my gaming projects into full gear.  You might get me weekly, maybe every 2 weeks.  But enough about me, let’s talk about THE SHRINE with their 2016 album, “RARE BREED!”

The Shrine wasn’t a band I would have stumbled upon by myself.  That credit goes to some of my good buddies who love hopping bars and venues to support local and smaller name bands.  But none the less, I was intrigued upon hearing their raw and awesome sound at the St. Vitus bar in Brooklyn back in October 2015.  It was a joined show between them and Dirty Fences with “Big Truck” opening for them.  It was a sick sound to make for a truly sick show.  While the band did not have the newest CD available to the public yet, I was hooked on their righteous riffs and violent vibrancy.

Now, how would I describe The Shrine?  They’re a thick and fuzzy soundscape of rocky bluesy tradition, colliding with classic yet fresh hard rock alongside a screaming torrent of skater punk rock rage.  Now, what does that mean?  An eclectic mix of rock music sounds blended into a distinct, modern sound.  Containing an energy that brings to mind classic era punk and alternative groups, while bringing a heaviness and raw power associated with a Sabbath era sound; The Shrine proves to be a band that keeps a crowd rolling.  Their most recent release, “Rare Breed”, unleashes a raw and lively sound to capture the spirit of Rock and Roll.

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Album Review: Christmas – A Ghostly Gathering

Tired of the saccharine crap that floods radio waves from early November to early January?  It’s the same old derivative playlists only lightly spiced up by flavor of the year bubblegum pop.  After a while, it’s grating to the mind and soul.  Now, for gloomy souls like myself, there’s a genre of music that appeals as a proper alternative.  I speak of dark ambient/atmospheric music.  Combining this with the motifs and inspirations of the early winter holidays and you have the recipe for a fantastically freaky but festive experience.  Groups such as Nox Arcana have created their own contributions to yuletide terror, with their own excellent releases.

This time around, it’s Midnight Syndicate’s turn to show their musical mastery for a truly magical christmas time.  When I speak of “christmas magic”, I’m not talking about holly jolly merriment, I’m speaking of the twisted and bizarre folklore that extends several centuries at the very least; strange shadowy beings, seemingly alive winter winds, strange monstrosities, wandering ghostly spirits and tons more.  These are the myths crafted in small villages and written by just as crafty poets.  Whether it be St. Nick’s demonic helper from the Alps or the ghosts that haunt Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, the weird and supernatural is just as much a part of Christmas as it is Halloween.  With that, there’s plenty of reason behind a horror-oriented Christmas album.  I’m referring to the latest release by atmospheric gothic music group, Midnight Syndicate.  Their newest release, “Christmas A Ghostly Gathering” has a mix of original pieces and dark takes on traditional hymns and holiday essentials.  In a sense, it’s like Midnight Syndicate heard the soundtrack to “A Nightmare before Christmas” and wanted to make their own take on Horror for the Holidays.  Read on for more.

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Ramblings: Hail to the King

It still feels weird, losing an icon like B.B. King; one of the last true legends of the blues genre.  While readers know I’ve always loved hard rock and heavy metal music, both of those forms of musics wouldn’t exist without the blues; especially the more electric blues/proto-rock’n’roll pioneered by artists like King.  I was upset by his passing, but it didn’t really hit me till now.  His sudden death caught me off guard as I was trying to write a review.  Compete that with catching the “con flu” (from the convention I attended over the weekend) and I was in a hazy state of mind.  Needless to say, I feel like heading to my folks’ place and asking to borrow some vinyl records (of the blues master myself) is an appropriate way of paying tribute.

From the Vaults: Legion of Shadows by Nox Arcana

I’ve been a huge fan of Nox Arcana for ages!  In a sense, I’m a part of their Legion of Shadows!  But, this album has tons of appeal beyond the fandom itself.  Don’t believe me?  Check it out!

Nox Arcana
Your favorite mad doctor returns to cover one of his favorite bands of the “Dark Ambient” genre, Nox Arcana.

The terror continues this Halloween with Nox Arcana’s latest release, “Legion of Shadows.” This album commemorates 10 years of fantastic frightening music from the band. It has been dedicated to Nox Arcana’s fanbase, who are known by the same title as the record.

What makes this album special is that many of its concepts take inspiration from fan submissions and creations from all around the world. Legion of Shadows is indeed an eponymous gift to the fans, but does it offer enough for the rest of us creepy creatures to enjoy?
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