Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

From the oft-frozen land of Finland comes one of the best power metal bands among the many from this particular area of the world. Celesty was formed in 1998 in Seinäjoki, Finland. The original lineup of the band included bassist Ari Katajamäki, drummer Jere Luokkamäki, and in 1999 guitarist Tapani Kangas. This quartet apparently released a demo that was never released, nor saw the light of day. According to the band’s website, Katajamäki and Kangas had to depart the band due to military obligations in 2000, after which the band’s search led them to add guitarist J-P Alanen and vocalist Kimmo Perämäki. It was with these final two additions that Celesty got in the studio and released their first official demo, “Warrior of Ice” in 2001. Though I was able to dig up no audio, the demo has been described as “typical power metal vocalist soaring over the double bass and speedy guitar riffs filling for an epic atmosphere much like you would find on Destiny-era Stratovarius.” With the release came the addition of keyboardist Juha Mäenpää.

Their second demo Times Before the Icewas released in 2002 to “even better reviews” [than of their previous demo] and the band’s popularity began picking up steam. That same year, they signed with Spanish label Arise Records and released the Reign of Elements album to wide acclaim. As the band crept more and more into the consciousness of the metal world, their success and popularity grew, as did their catalog of music. After another change in label and lineup (as with all bands), Celesty released Vendetta in 2009. From this most recent release comes today’s Metal World/Melodic Mondays installment: “Like Warriors.” I chose this song because it excellently displays the blistering guitar solos that metal lovers have come to expect and because of its sheer epic sound. Judge for yourself and leave a comment:

For the final shot of Irishness during this most Irish of months I bring you a band that is a little closer to home. Formed in 1997 by Irishman Dave King, Flogging Molly eventually got all the right characters in place: Dave King on guitars, vocals and bodhran; Dennis Casey on guitars and vocals; Matthew Hensley on accordion, concertina, piano and vocals; Nathan Maxwell on bass and vocals; Bridget Regan on violin, tin whistle, classical guitar, uilleann pipes and vocals; and Robert Schmidt on drums. The group also had a growing following at Molly Malones, the Los Angeles bar that gave them their start. Though they didn’t start out with a specific ‘signature’ sound in mind, how could they not pay homage to the homeland of founding members Dave King and Bridget Regan? I would put their sound somewhere between punk rock and Celtic rock. It’s just fun, rowdy, usually feel-good music. Though they have some more serious, even melancholy themes, I prefer the good timey songs such as the Devil’s Dance Floor, from their 2000 album Swagger:

Happy St. Patrick’s week!

Albeit one day late, today’s installment comes from none other than one of the most famous and successful bunch of musicians to ever come out of Ireland, indeed of all time– U2. This iconic group of rockers has been entertaining the masses since forming in 1978. Although they didn’t know much about playing music at the time, this quartet knew they had something special right from the start. All that had to happen to get these guys together was for Larry Mullen, Jr. to post a want ad on the bulletin board at the school they all attended. By practicing in Mullen’s kitchen in Dublin, they whittled the six respondents to the ad down to five and they had their band. Next, they decided on a name. Not knowing much about music at the time, they called themselves ‘Feedback’. They began as a cover band, until, according to Wikipedia, their growing popularity drew four of the band members together, causing the fifth, Dik Evans, to feel like an outcast and leave the band onstage during a show. From there, as they say, the rest was history.

I felt like I had no choice but to pick one of the most famous of their legendary Irish rock anthems. Sunday Bloody Sunday became one of the band’s signature songs. Heavily laden with emotion, the lyrics speak to one of the most horrific events in Ireland’s tumultuous history. ‘Blood Sunday‘ began as a planned civil rights march by protesters in the city of Derry in Northern Ireland on Sunday, January 30 1972. Northern Ireland at the time was in a battle against internment by the British and would-be civil rights marchers feared military action that would aim to stop the event. In the end, 14 protesters were shot and killed that day by British troops. Granted civil rights can be an incendiary, divisive issue, but by all accounts, the people that died that day were fed up and wanted what any free-thinking human being wants: freedom. Despite the deeply emotional issues about which this particular song was written, U2 remains one of the most widely respected and best selling bands of all time. Although I do not own any of their albums, my own Irish heritage cannot help but draw me into their mesmerizing charisma and sound.

I’m with Entertainment Weekly and “Chuck’s” Twitter followers: HE NEEDS HELP. This is not funny. I would be very interested to see your comments below on what you think of the whole Charlie Sheen spectacle.

Greetings,

Since St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, I thought I would dedicate this month’s Melodic Mondays to that joyous day of celebration. Normally you might expect to find a great band playing traditional Celtic folk music in Ireland, the birthplace of such music. In 1992, however, longing to perform fairly exclusively classic Irish music, the drummer in Serbian band Roze Poze Dušan Živanović learned to play the accordion to expand his musical repertoire. He also formed his own band with Ana Đokić (violin) and Dejan Lalić (mandolin, banjo, tin whistles). Later Aleksandar Petrović, Vladan Jovković, and Dejan Jevtović joined the group and together they became the Orthodox Celts. After playing mostly small shows, the group released their first album in 1994, which featured covers of Irish folk songs.

Since the only significant source of information about the band is on their Facebook, I will not just regurgitate it here. I just really appreciate their dedication to such a lively and cheerful music style that is so steeped in tradition. Go to their page and check them out. Also, take a look at one of their videos below:

Hey there music lovers,

This week I bring you The Very End, a melodic death/thrash metal band from Ruhrgebiet, Germany. Unfortunately, since they formed in 2005 (?) and do not seem to be a very well known band, there isn’t much information out there to share with you. So, just check out their video for the single A Hole in the Sun off of their 2011 release “Mercy & Misery”. Enjoy!

I would like to direct your attention today to a phenomenon on the internet that has people essentially selling their souls to develop an over-the-top, in-your-face online persona. While internet surfers have the option to watch or not watch whatever they want online, why must people try so hard to foist their need for fame on a mostly unsuspecting internet public? Take for example the video stylings of a character called Shaye Saint John:

According to www.musicalfamilytree.net, ‘Shaye Saint John’ was created seemingly sometime around 2006 by the lead singer Eric Fournier of Blood Farmers, an British punk band from the mid-’80s. Movie review site beyondhollywood.com characterizes the ill-conceived back story for this obnoxious abomination as “a mask wearing quadriplegic, [with] a high-pitched whine that is as annoying as it is difficult to understand.” I would have to agree, as the short vignettes available on YouTube seem to show only snippets of a mentally disturbed individual performing meaningless and confusing (if not perplexing) tasks, seemingly without context.

The videos are like a proverbial nightmare on hallucinogenic drugs. They make no sense whatsoever and seem to serve only to garner as much attention as possible for their creator. This is not to say art is not in the eye of the beholder. From the many comments on the YouTube videos, to the some 900 fans on Facebook, this particular bout of insanity seems to have something of a cult following. To this particular beholder (yours truly), however, this entire endeavor is just more noise on the biggest forum for attention whores in the world: the internet.