Nuclear Blast

Postcards From Natalie Zed, Part 3

Hellbound readers, we’re sure that by now you are all familiar with our Natalie Zed, right? Natalie was our big grand prize winner back in January, taking home more than 50 CDs + and shortly after she received her huge box ‘o CDs, Ms. Zed asked us over at Hellbound HQ if we’d be interested in running reviews of her winnings if she did postcard sized reviews of the albums. How could we say no?

So, without further adieu, here is Natalie’s third installment (reviews #21 – 30 for those keeping stats at home) in what Hellbound likes to refer to as “Postcards From Natalie Zed”…

Barren Earth: When the Prog/Metal Fusion Works Out Right…

“We all listen to progressive rock, so it’s natural that it comes across in the music. It was clear from the start that progressive elements would be featured in the band’s sound. And that was the reason for me to join. I remember seeing Opeth in 2006, and being very impressed by not just the music, but the whole presentation, and the juxtaposition of metal and prog. I thought then that this is would be an interesting musical path to explore. And Barren Earth has provided me with that path.”

Laura Wiebe Taylor in conversation with Barren Earth keyboardist Kasper Mårtenson about the band’s creation, their debut full-length album and more, exclusively for Hellbound.ca

Amon Amarth/Eluveitie/Holy Grail @ Odeon, Saskatoon, SK, April 16, 2010

As opposed to the combination of muscle and nuance that Eluveitie excels at live, Amon Amarth is always strictly about brute force. No frills at all, just five guys taking the stage and hammering out an hour and a half’s worth of rousing tunes. Led by the gregarious, downright jolly Johan Hegg, the band hunkered down and regaled the hot, sweaty crowd with a considerably longer set than their first North American tour, which was certainly a nice touch.

Cathedral – The Guessing Game

Modestly experimental and incredibly grandiose by their standards, this double album (their first ever) clocks in at an ungodly 80-plus minutes, way more than it should but, hey, it’s Cathedral. You know the fuzz-pedals were particularly gritty one day and writing got out of hand.

Immortal / Eclipse Eternal / Panzerfaust @ The Opera House, Toronto, ON, March 27, 2010

Immortal never failed to acknowledge the momentous occasion that their appearance was for the diehards in the crowd. From their frequent praising of the crowd to Abbath’s invocation of fan worship during “Tyrants,” the band’s antics never failed to garner overly-excited cheers from fans who had obviously been long bursting a gut to see their heroes in the flesh. While there was no fire-breathing to be had, Abbath and company didn’t fail to prove their musical chops.

Jonathan Smith reviews Immortal’s March 27th concert at Toronto’s Opera House. Panzerfaust and Eclipse Eternal also appeared. All concert photos by Adam Wills.

Postcards From Natalie Zed, Part 2

Hellbound readers, remember Natalie Zed? Natalie was our big grand prize winner back in January, taking home more than 50 CDs + and shortly after she received her huge box ‘o CDs, Ms. Zed asked us over at Hellbound HQ if we’d be interested in running reviews of her winnings if she did postcard sized reviews of the albums. How could we say no?

So, without further adieu, here is Natalie’s second installment in what Hellbound likes to refer to as “Postcards From Natalie Zed”…

Unleashed – As Yggdrasil Trembles

Unleashed’s tried and true formula is a simple yet very effective one: big, meaty old school death riffs, songs that engage audiences instead of challenge, and loads and loads of good, old fashioned Viking shtick, thicker and tackier than Mackintosh toffee. It’s been done to death to the point where Unleashed couldn’t be more predictable, but from 1991’s seminal “The Dark One” to 2004’s brilliant return to form “The Longships Are Coming”, this is one band where we’re totally willing to ignore their lack of new ideas, and simply relax and have fun.