The Moustached Man’s Marvellous Mix of Metal Magic 2014

Yeah, I know what you are all thinking- Another list of stuff? Groan grumble groan. And yes that maybe true but this is new territory for me and I promise i wont keep you long, I’LL KEEP YOU FOREVER!

Ok, Slayer reference aside

I have listened to some cracking Metal this year and have recommended the odd one here and there to whomever wants some recommendations. So I thought i would do my top five  albums from 2014 that at present I cant live without

These are in no particular order as I really couldnt decide what I liked more as they are quite different even in subtle ways. This is the first time Ive done anything on my blog about Metal

Number #5: Archspire – The Lucid Collective 

Archspire are from Canada and i totally discovered them by accident and Im so glad that I did. This album has everything I could ever want. Musically its very technical, which is awesome but the songs are more than just clever arrangements and fantastic musicianship. Its like getting punched by the Hulk and then jumped on by Iron Man in the Hulkbuster whilst trying to keep your jaw off the floor.

Number #4: Fallujah – The Flesh Prevails 

Fallujah are from San Francisco and like Archspire I accidentally discovered them. This album blew me away and since then I have looked at their back catalogue which is just as amazing. Again this on the technical side of Metal, but with a real progressive feel that creates a rather stunning atmospherical recording. Some of the breakdowns will give you goosebumps and the riffs are just an endless onslaught of brilliance. The song in the link was my standout track, the harmonisation of the instruments is just spine tingling. Also the covers of their albums are pretty awesome too.

Number #3: Ne Oblivscaris – Citadel

This is the second album by the Australian, extreme progressive metal outift. And if you thought Fallujah was atmospheric then this album takes all that atmosphere and enhances it. Again this band is another example of fantastic musicianship, and the violin played by Tim Charles, (who also does the bands most lovely clean vocals) adds a real special layer of beauty to this wonderful album. I could talk about this incredibly melodic album for ages as it definitely one that needs to be added to your album collection, and you can slap whatever label you like on it but this is in a class of its own.

Number #2: Job For A Cowboy – Sun Eater

This is an interesting one. This is the Arizona metallers fourth album and the first one that I actually liked. With their previous albums I could never connect with it, and I didnt bother with them until this little monster. It has a rawness that the other JfAC albums dont have. The riffs are really crushing and the vocals are much improved from the bands previous efforts but this is a good thing as it is an example of a band that has evolved for the better, in my humble opinion, and It does make me want to give their previous albums another listen. Also the mix of Sun Eater is just lovely.

Number #1: Animals as Leaders – The Joy of Motion 

I adore this band and have always enjoyed their musical marvellousness and lovely time changes. For a three piece band they have such a powerful sound and probably some of the best playing I have heard. The bands lineup comprises of two guitarists (Tosin Abasi and Javier Reyes) who play eight string guitars and a very talented drummer (Matt Garstka.) And their intsrumental mastery crosses the genre labels in a very cosmic fashion. Although I loved Weightless (2011) this album is something else and more.

So there we are my dear friends, my top five. All these albums are available now so treat yourself with a bit of Metal. After all, what is Christmas without it,  just ask Christopher Lee. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVzOve8T39w

Ghoul Post by David Annandale (aka The Horror Supremo): Creeping Flesh and Meaty Themes

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Hello all, and welcome to the special Halloween Ghoul post by David Annandale.
Firstly I would like to thank David for doing this guest post, it is a terrific pleasure to have him on the moustached man’s blog. David is a very busy fellow, if he is not hunting the hordes of Chaos in the Warhammer 40K universe, he is giving lectures on the awesomeness of the cinematic galaxy to university students in the Canadian University of Manitoba. David is also a regular host on the Skiffy and Fanty podcast
He can also be found roaming the halls of the twittersphere @David_Annandale and is an overall splendid chap. So without further ado here is the man himself.

So first, a big thanks to Romeo for inviting me to be a guest on his blog. Given the season, what I’m going to do is talk about one of my favourite films to watch on Hallowe’en. I’ve been a horror fan for most of my life, so choosing one for the year’s Big Horror Night is difficult. During this season, I tend to gravitate more toward the atmospheric, the spooky and the old school, rather than the gore fest (which is not in any way to disparage the latter — if it’s been more than five minutes since I waxed enthusiastic about Martyrs, I need to rethink my life choices). Thus, Night of the Demon (1957) is a frequent contender for Hallowe’en viewing for me. In recent years, however, my go-to choice has become Freddie Francis’ The Creeping Flesh.

Some spoilers follow.

Produced by Tigon Pictures in 1973, The Creeping Flesh feels a lot like a Hammer film, what with the Victorian setting, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in the cast, and Freddie Francis behind the camera (among other Hammer films, he directed Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, though his greatest contribution to the horror film is likely as the DP for the non-Hammer The Innocents). Cushing plays a scientist who discovers a giant skeleton during his travels abroad. He comes to believe this monster was the literal embodiment of evil. Even more ominously, when exposed to water, the skeleton starts regenerating flesh.

Cushing’s wife is an inmate of Lee’s asylum. Terrified that his beloved daughter (Lorna Heilbron) will go down the same path, he injects her with a solution of the partially reformed creature’s blood, reasoning that he is inoculating her against evil. Things, as they say, Do Not Go Well.

So why do I love this film so? It has the great period atmosphere of British Gothics of that era (inaugurated in 1957 by The Curse of Frankenstein, but very much in its twilight in 1973). It has Cushing and Lee at daggers drawn, which is always entertaining. And the full manifestation of the monster is a sight to behold. But conceptually and thematically, the film is fascinating and rewards multiple viewings.

However much they are at odds, both Cushing and Lee’s characters are quintessential patriarchs, utterly convinced they belong at the top of the Great Chain of Being, and that they Know Best. And for these men, female sexuality is indistinguishable from insanity. In his desperate attempt to control his daughter’s sexuality, Cushing winds up destroying her, unleashing a damaged, violent form of the very thing he sought to repress. So not only does Evil itself have a towering physical presence in the film, but the brutal mechanisms of patriarchy are given explicit representation as well.

Furthermore, the film implies that the horrors of the twentieth century are precipitated by the evil released by Cushing. And though Evil has an external reality, its release is due to the fears and privileged beliefs of Cushing. This Gothic family drama, then, is a reminder that wars and other social cataclysms do not come out of nowhere, however much we may delude ourselves otherwise.

A cool monster. Great atmosphere. Wonderful spookiness. Icons of the field doing their thing. And, if you will forgive me, plenty of thematic meat on its bones. How could I do anything but adore The Creeping Flesh?

Thanks again David! and I hope everyone has an enjoyable Halloween.

David Annandale brings doom to untold billions as a writer of Warhammer 40,000 fiction for the Black Library, most recently in the novel Maledictus, and The Damnation of Pythos. As the author of the horror novel Gethsemane Hall, he hopes to end sleep for you forever. During the day, he poisons minds as he teaches film, video games and English literature at the University of Manitoba. If you have any fragments of hope still left, you can have them crushed at his website or by following his Twitter account.

Please check out Davids publications over at http://davidannandale.com/published-works/ and make sure to drop him a line on the twitter @David_Annandale David_Annandale_1_1_400x400 Damnation-of-Pythos