Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)
For those not famililar with black metal it might come as a surprise that this dark & heavy music is more than fast guitars shoving out riffs faster than one can think but is actually filled with some technically challinging playing verging on progressive rock. Ouija of Spain, an example of how black metal has spread across the globe, debuted in 1997 with Riding Into The Funeral Paths. The two years of rehearsals that went into it's creation clearly showed as Ouija gained fame in the metal underground both in Spain & abroad as a band that was moving metal to new levels & keeping the black metal flame faithfully alive. In 2000 they experienced line-up changes & recorded a second album but broke up & the album was shelved. Now, after a decade in silence Ouija returns with the four song Adversary. It might only be four songs but there's nothing lacking & everything you could ask for from a black metal album. It's such a tight & well-crafted EP of pure black metal that it's almost a surprise to discover that Ouija has been a non-entity for so long. But, the secret is that when Milgard & Map went to reform Ouija they grabbed three members from Spellcraft ... crafting one of the most cohesive sounding debuts one could dream of. Like every black metal band the music is largely driven by driving guitar & bass riffs creating little moving lines with seemingly endless variation under a sheen of distortion & pounding double bass drumming. For those that decry this style of music as senseless melodies I recommend a listen to Adversary. Even when lost underneath the singing the guitar riffs never get boring nor fall into endless repetition, but create something that I'd put up against Cradle of Filth any time. Intricate is a word that comes to mind listening to the guitar playing. Then, there's the vocals. So many black metal bands rely on the throat/screaming approach, but Ouija actually goes back to black metal's roots with the band Mayhem where the goal was to create musical darkness not just scream blasphemy. If Dracula gave birth to a singing vampire/human hybrid the result would be Midgard whose great vocals effortlessly dive through a range of sounds, echoes, grunting & reverberations that will make your skin crawl. Trust me. As for those that want to be shown the diversity of black metal the album ends with a five minute acoustic instrumental with howling wind as it's only rhythm. As creepy as it gets. The music of werewolfs and the night.