This Week I Have Been Mostly Listening To…

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Motionless in White

The ‘Challenge Alex’ experiment continues. This weeks suggestion comes from Beckie. When I asked what genre of music this was I was told it is a kind of Heavy Metal/Rock. Wikipedia tells us it is Metalcore/Gothic Metal/Industrial Metal – so let’s see what happens to my middle-aged-lady sensibilities!!!! Turning up the volume for…

Motionless in White…

N.B: this is NOT a review – it’s simply an experiment in expanding my listening tastes. 

*** WARNING*** THERE WILL BE PROFANITY***

What I listened to –

1. Necessary Evil feat. Jonathan Davis – Reminded me a little of Marilyn Manson. The opening has this familiarity that I cannot put my finger on; a repeated refrain on an unidentifiable instrument. With lyrics stolen from Lesley Gore’s 1960s “It’s my party” for the verse – ‘It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to, Cry if I want to, cry if I want to…” Becomes, “It’s my body and I’ll die when I want to, Die when I want to, die when I want to…”. All very Goth with Emo lyrics – of course all teens have this dark side (No-one likes to talk about it though). There’s some lyrics sung in ‘Screamer’ style. I first heard this type of singing from Norwegian bands about 10 years ago.

What does it sound like to me? Sort of what Beckie said – Heavy Metal/Rock. I can hear it’s roots in the Metal genre, completely updated to include the Gothic and Industrial.

Did I like it? Yes! My head was banging and my foot tapping from the first notes on.

2. Reincarnate – Opening with electronic, industrial guitar sound. Vocals vary between growly to ‘poppy’. This has a softer feel compared to the first song. Heavy on the drums, briefly.

What does it sound like to me? Pop, with a ‘screamer’ influence.

Did I like it? Not as much as the first one. It was okay.

3. Eternally yours – Sounds like a keyboard and drum opening, which was rather ‘pretty’ (Hey, I’m getting used to the hard-core dudes!). Again the growler voice makes way for the pop; chorus and verse see-saws between two vocal styles – intense, dark and aggressive to lighter vocals and guitar.

What does it sound like to me? Pop/Metal/Goth

Did I like it? Nah.

4. Black Damask – Piano melody, light Gothic, almost something one might hear as film intro, then pow! All of a sudden to screamer vocals (No, I do not know what he was saying!) and then the pop voice briefly, but mostly the ear-splitting, teeth-grinding roaring bile of an angry (young?!) man.

What does it sound like to me? Goth Metal

Did I like it?Kind of.

5. Puppets 3 (The Grand Finale) Feat. Dani Filth – Strafing the guitar again. Did some one scream or was that keyboard. High octane, racing lyrics, drums and guitar chords. The speed is quite exhilarating; however, I did have a look at the lyrics and find it’s a kind of ended romance and felt a little aggrieved that this sound should be slave to yet another ‘love song’. There is a brief moment we hear guitar solo, and it so reminded me of those 1970s Metal Bands.

What does it sound like to me? Goth/Metal

Did I like it?I think so; though I didn’t enjoy the sentiment in the lyrics.

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Puppets 3

 

6. Death March – Industrial alarm like the workers are finished, rolling heavy drums lead into screamer vocals. Lead singer, Chris ‘Motionless’ Cerulli, sounds even more like Manson in this. Pretty tame considering it’s called Death March.

What does it sound like to me? Metal.

Did I like it? It was okay – would have liked more Industrial sounds included.

7.Immaculate MisconceptionTwenty-eight seconds of what sounds like a single chord on a church organ gives way to an angry roar “What the fuck?!” and continues to rant throughout, backed by, what I would call regular pop vocals. A sudden halt – the ears sigh with relief – and twelve seconds of what sounds like wind through abandoned warehouse.

What does it sound like to me? Industrial Goth

Did I like it? Would have liked more of the eerie industrial stuff and it’s beginning to sound very ‘samey’ by now.

8. Creatures – Spoken word from, what I believe to be, archive radio footage, scratch,“Death”, rattle, rubbing, clink, ring and tapping sounds are the intro. Breaks into a frantic drum and guitar rhythm with a slower keyboard accompaniment. Just after the mid point the vocals take on the cleaner more innocent quality before reverting back to screamer. Ends with the ‘itchy’ metal and a woman’s voice saying “There is more inside of me.” and stops dead.

What does it sound like to me? Industrial Goth/Metal

Did I like it? I think so. I liked the intro and ‘outro’ especially and the frantic drums and bass.

 

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M.I.W  America

9. America – Was that an animal or a horse screaming at the very beginning?! Carousel music and a voice played backwards, stretch into the tune then other eclectic sounds and a cricket? A steady drum and guitar beat matching the growling vocals provide a very coherent piece. Feels like this is the band’s actual sound, it’s has more confidence (you don’t need to scream to sound confident) and isn’t trying to ‘fit in’ as much angst and variation as possible.

What does it sound like to me? Industrial Goth.

Did I like it? Yes. Second favourite after Necessary Evil.

10. Loud (Fuck It) – Nirvana style trash guitar intro. Bit of a contrast to what I’ve become used to with this group.

What does it sound like to me? An anthem. More rock than anything Goth. If the vocals were sung without roaring, this could be a rock song, a good rock song (I hate stadium rock), but not Goth.

Did I like it? Kind of. Not sure if it’s good or mediocre.

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M.I.W’s Chris ‘Motionless’ Cerulli

To round-up – I will probably be giving Motionless in White another listening to. I do not, as a rule, watch the music videos that are made for the songs I have been listening to – I do believe that the audience today puts too much emphasis on these visuals, which in turn, takes away from the actual thing they should be paying attention to – the music. I have peeked at one or two (just to see) and I did with M.I.W. I had mixed reactions – Oh, not more of this/Cooool/Derivative much?/I wish I was a teenager again. Another issue I have is the names of the band members – Chris “Motionless” Cerulli (lead vocals), Ricky “Horror” Olson (rhythm guitar), Devin “Ghost” Sola (bass); I mean, really? Come on guys, how old are you? (Turns out, Cerulli is 31, Olsen is 29, and Sola is 27).

There was a lot of swearing in the vocals, much of it I think I missed too!! But swearing doesn’t offend me – I like a good swear myself sometimes – but repetition is the sure way to make that word impotent. And who wants an impotent Fuck!?

 

Demons Ate My Sun aka Total Eclipse

It’s an exciting day for some people! Others are less so, and then there are the ‘meh’ crowd. All of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun.

I can’t get too excited as this eclipse will not be visible from the UK; many things are not visible from the UK, clouds and rain have a lot to answer for (as well as too much street lighting). I believe in London they might see a slight, partial eclipse – but I don’t live in London either! Besides, weather is dull, drizzly; British! Not conducive to astronomical activities.

Get your updates here: https://www.nasa.gov/eclipse2017

When we have had eclipses that can be seen in Britain, we mostly all see it at around a similar time. But as America is so huge in comparison, there is a kind of timeline of viewing which will peak at 2:44:59 pm EDT, when the moon obscures 71.6% of the sun; beginning at around 13:20 and ending around 16:00.

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Check out this link to find out where you should be: https://www.theverge.com/2017/8/20/16175776/total-solar-eclipse-2017-what-time-is-it

In the past, civilizations held differing views of the reason for an eclipse: dragons (China) or demons (India) eating the sun, dogs stealing it (Korea), a bear taking a bite out of it (Pomo; Native Americans), the sun was angry (Ancient Greece), the sun and moon quarreled (Inuit), a vampire tried to swallow it (Tatars, Siberia). There are those who still hold that it is a magical moment and traditions are carried out around the world to ‘reclaim’ the sun.

My husband is interested in astronomy. He also makes sundials; small pieces for the windowsill (hence name of his business Windowsill Art). He was contacted by a gentleman in America who is the head/secretary/leader (I don’t know what you call the person who runs an astronomy enthusiast society!) who asked for 38 sundials in time for the eclipse. He got to work. The number was increased to, I think 42 eventually. It took around 5 months to complete them. They were carefully packed off on their journey last month and arrived safely (no thanks to USA Customs!!!!)

I like the idea of the members of the society all turning up and this chap handing them a sundial each as they take their places; like children on a picnic getting a lunchbox!

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I am looking forward to seeing the videos/photos/news reports later showing hundreds of ‘those weird Americans’, waving their arms while painting their chests like something out of ‘The Wicker Man’ and wailing for the return of the sun. It so could happen!

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Whatever you are doing today, have fun, protect your eyes, don’t whoop into your neighbours ear, and pick up your litter before you leave!

 

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