Saturday, February 12, 2011

Diablo Swing Orchestra

Remember that "What the fuck?!" ultimatum I gave you? Well this is my insurance policy. If nothing else surprises you, this must. I can't guarantee a single one of you will like them, but I can guarantee it will momentarily short circuit every single one of your brains. According to Wikipedia, Diablo Swing Orchestra is a "Swedish avant-garde metal band". According to me, it's what would be produced if opera, jazz, metal, swing and crazy all had an orgy.

Here is Balrog Boogie, the opening track off their first album, The Butcher's Ballroom.

Next is A Tap Dancer's Dilemma, another opening track, but this time from their sophomore album, Sing Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious.

Also, I noticed two of the videos I posted yesterday were removed from Youtube, so if you missed them, there should be shiny new working links now.

Friday, February 11, 2011


As I said yesterday, Live For the Kill was a good segway for this post. Why? Because near the end there's an instrumental piece that can't help but to stand out. That was Apocalyptica. Apocalyptica is a band that is made up of four brothers playing Cellos. They started off by covering Metallica songs, and over the years have performed with many bands, and have created their own songs. Some with lyrics (Using guest vocalists/musicians) and some without. Bellow, is a sample from their first album, and a couple from their latest.

What's better than The Unforgiven by Metallica? The Unforgiven played on cellos.

These next two tracks are from their release last year, 7th Symphony. This one is The End of Me with vocals by Gavin Rossdale from Bush.

And lastly we have Broken Pieces with vocals from Lacey Sturm of Flyleaf.


All videos should be working now.

Amon Amarth

First off, for those of you that said yesterday's band was too heavy, I may have some bad news....This is another melodic death metal band. But this post was already written, so it's not getting deleted. I will however say that with *possibly* one exception (There's a couple posts for this week that I haven't written.) We are leaving death metal behind us after today.

Amon Amarth is a Swiss melodic death metal group from Sweden (Thanks for the correction Arcee!) that, because of their lyrical themes, is often referred to as "viking metal". There are really only three things you should know about this band: 1) All they sing about are vikings and viking lore. 2) The name Amon Amarth translates to "Mt. Doom" in one of the Elvish dialects. And 3) The lead singer is Sabertooth from the X-Men comics. (Not really, BUT LOOK AT HIM!)

If that doesn't already pique your interest, I don't know what will. I will say that unless you're a blackened death metal fan and think shitty production value is "cool", start off with one of their latest three albums. (Fate of Norns, With Oden on Our Side, and Twilight of the Thunder God.) Prior to these releases, their sound is quite harsh. With every release however, it has become better, and more melodic.

They have a new album coming out next month called "Surtur Rising". From what I've heard, they are keeping the production value the same, but using harsher vocals. Personally, I wish they kept the vocals where they were for WOOOS and TWOTTG, but I'm just happy that I'm getting me some new Amon Amarth.

This song is from the album The Fate of Norns, which is when their music really started becoming melodic. It's about the battle of Foteviken. Where Magnus The Strong, prince of Denmark, retreated in a battle, and got 2,000 of his men killed. Mangus was captured, and held for a high ransom, which his father paid. When his son was returned, the king took his head.

Next, a sample from With Oden on Our Side. There's not much to this one. It's just about an army prepping for battle. Notice though how the vocals are clearer than in The Beheading of a King. Also, brace for epic unison windmills.

Lastly, is a track taken from Twilight of the Thunder God. I chose to post Live For the Kill here, simply because I LOVE the surprise guest solo at the end. (Hint: This song is also a good segway to tomorrow's post.) However, lyrically, there's no grand story. Which is a shame, because this album is full of them. If you listen to only one song today, make it this one.

Also, I know this post is already pretty long for a band post, but I figured this was relevant enough.

I made that a couple years ago, when Amon Amarth came to play in Atlanta. I tried to get it signed, but my friend that I brought had to get up at the ass crack of dawn, and couldn't wait 2-3 hours after the show in the cold so I could get some signatures. The horn is a bull's horn that was bought online. I boiled it, removed the core, and  cleaned it. I forget where I got the skull, but I put some home made lead musket balls in the back of the nostril and sealed that off with Mighty Putty to act as a counter weight for the drinking horn.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


So, like I said, I have recently received a free ticket to an Eluveitie show. If you are not familiar with these guys, they are a Swiss folk metal band. While I am a fan, of them, lyrics are what really speak to me. So if I can't make them out (Due to them either being in another language, or if there's too much growling/shrieking, or the production value being too low.) I have a tendency to ignore the band. With that being said, I do love when a metal band incorporates any kind of unique instrument. Folk metal almost always delivers with this. Many times, they'll include Old World instruments like the hurdy gurdy. In Eluveitie's case, the vocals aren't always quite as melodic as I'd prefer, and they're often in Gaulish. At the same time, however, they can still be categorized as melodic death metal, so they're not too unrecognizable, (The English ones, at least) and they do have some softer songs that sound quite beautiful, even though I have no clue what they're saying......Plus, they are by no means lacking in the unique instruments department, which, along with the Celtic folk melodies, is what really sells me. I have to say that this is one incredibly rare exception for me, where the lyrics take a backseat to the music.

Below are a couple examples of their work.


One last note. I should have added this earlier, but I forgot. While these music posts will be mostly some type of metal, they'll also be really unique bands. Seriously, if you don't go, "What the fuck?!" at least once in the next week....I dunno....I'll give you a cookie, or something. I don't have to come up with an "or else". You know why? Because you're going to go, "What the fuck?!"

Also that brings me to another point. This isn't really a music blog, so I'm limiting this series to about a week. I figure that gives me enough posts to share some unique bands, while also allowing me to incorporate some kind of flow.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Okay, so I lied...

....THIS is actually going to be the last exploration/ghost post. I thought about skipping this story for a number of reasons. One, this was after my camera went out of commission, so there's no lovely photos to go with the story. Two, I started this series keeping the content mostly focused on the photos/exploration, and not on the ghost aspect as I didn't want this to become full blown /x/. This post, due to the content, and the fact that I have no photos throws that out the window. And lastly, I value all the anonymity as I can get.While I could still edit it, the place we went to is right next to my school. As I already let the name slip in a comment, then that no longer matters.

Okay, I suppose I should start with some history....During finals week last year, me and a couple friends were, like all good college students,  blowing off studying in lue of planning some good ol' B&E. (Okay, really, we were looking for a way to get legitimate permission to explore the ruins of Old Bryce Mental Institute......But we were also trying to find out when the cops patrol the land.) In our search, we found THIS page.

5) Dump Road, Jacksonville: In The Event of a Hanging

The Dump Road is the unofficial name given to the Old Chief Ladiga Indian Trail. In the early 1800s the settlers traveled this trail many a-time. The Brownwood's Estate is located nearby and supposedly the contractor for the subdivision quit mid-product because he had an eerie experience on the road. During the day horses and wagons have often been seen on the trail. Many have also claimed to see an African American hanging from a clay embankment where there is now an illegal shooting range. Supposedly, an old slave house is located up in the mountains and may be a cause of some of the disturbances. People who have been brave enough to camp in the area have awoken to blood curdling screams in the forest and a feeling of intense heaviness. Torches and lights have also been seen traveling along the trail. Many people believe it to be the event of the hanging. Also seen is a man walking into the forest towards the mountain.

*Note* Writing this post, is the first time I've looked at this article since first finding it. Re-reading it has creeped me out a bit for reasons that will soon be evident. At the same time, however, it also makes my account sound a bit more suspicious if you already don't believe it.  As with my previous posts, take from it what you will. I don't expect to make believers out of anyone. If anything, I congratulate you on keeping a skeptical mind.

So the three of us found this article, and immediately saw, "Jacksonville, AL" Which is where we go to college. So we find the coordinates, grab a GPS, and set off to find Dump Road. As it turns out, it's at the very end of a subdivision about a mile away from the campus. The road turns a corner, starts going up a mountain, leaving all the houses behind, and dead ends in the woods. According to local  lore, they were supposed to add on to the subdivision, but "mysterious things" kept stalling them. (I'm sure it was nothing like running out of money when they closed the army base nearby.) In any case, you can see where they started clearing a road. This has essentially become a dirt bike trail.

We pulled out our flashlights, and started on the trail. It went through the woods for a bit, and then opened up on a grassy clearing on the side of the mountain. While the clearing went up the mountain for quite a distance, it only went across for about 500 feet. At that point, the trail went through a little "entrance way" back into the forest. This "entrance way" was  a few fallen trees and thick brush. We'll come back to this.

We continued to follow the trail entering the woods again. Pretty soon, there were a couple dried creek beds that the trail dipped down into. While we were coming up the far side of the second creek bed, me and one of the other guys heard the *very* distinct sound of a step/slip on a gravel incline directly behind us. The two of us instantly whipped around, (The third guy had gone ahead, but was within eyesight.) and looked around for any sign of life. After many minutes of looking, we came up with nothing. While it would be improbable for someone to follow us that far without our knowledge, it was downright impossible for someone to have made that sound, and then run off in the woods without making any more noise. We were now at a clearing, where they had bulldozed into the mountain. All we had left to do was follow the trail up to the top of the mountain, where there was a fire pit and a beautiful view of the city. So, we finally decided to carry on. We take no more than 3-4 step when we hear the exact same sound coming from the exact same spot. Again, we whip around, and search for any sign of life. No luck.

Again, we decide to trek on. We reach the top, do some oooohing and aaaaahing, then start walking back. We didn't hear any more noises, but when we walked through the grassy clearing, I felt like we were being watched. Now this is something that NEVER happens to me. As I have said, I'm on these explorations, mostly just for that. Exploration. Even when I go full on ZOMG GHOSTS! I never get any kind of feelings. Despite this, I felt the bottom of my stomach free fall, and then got the feeling someone was watching us. I turned around, and back at that "entrance way", I saw a black figure standing there. He stared at me/us for a second, then turned to his left (Which was towards the mountain, corresponding with the article above.) and walked into the wall of fallen trees and brush. I let out some expletives, and ran over to where I saw it standing. At this point, the other two guys had turned around, and were chasing after me. I told them what I saw, and we looked for any spot that someone could have slipped through. We saw no spot (on either side) that someone could have easily crawled over/through, much less done so silently.


In other news, one of my friends won two tickets to the Eluveitie (Swiss folk metal) show at the Masquerade is Atlanta, and is giving me one. So I think the next few posts will be about music.....After that, who knows?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Is that an EVP in your pants, or are you just happy to scare the everliving shit out of me?

So, this will likely end my string of urban/haunted exploration posts. I might have one more story in me, but after this trip, my camera went out of commission for a while, and then life crept up and took away all my time.

A couple weeks after checking out the graveyard in Eastern Bumblefuck, we wound up going back there. We were supposed to check out another location, but after a night of driving, the person that was supposed to be familiar with the area, came to the conclusion that he had no idea where it was. We were in, or near Clay county, and was not looking forward to a wasted night, so we decided to revisit the graveyard. 

Now, normally when we go out, we make a point not to mess with anything. The reasons differ from person to person and place to place, but they can range from the legal to the superstitious. One guy in the group, however decided that he should move the collapsed wooden structure off the slate below. I assure you that he did have good intentions, only wanting to clear off the grave. 

That's about it, for that night. We stuck around for a bit longer, but nothing of note happened.

The next day, I went through my photos, and one of the other guys went through the audio. He worked at the radio station, so he had access to much better equipment than I did. We met up to see if the other had found anything, and he said he had two clips that he wanted me to hear.

Track 1

Track 2

Now, let me say that I could/can hear something in these, but I've been told--namely by my roommate at the time--that others can't make anything out. Despite my hearing of  *something*, I had put it under the "hmmmm....Interesting." file, because there's still context to consider. Is it really wind or leaves? Was someone talking? Am I only hearing what the voices in my head want me to hear? It wasn't until later that day, when I met up with the rest of the Scooby Gang that I really went "What the fuck?!?!?!"

You see, my roommate at the time had brought along his little sister because his family lives close to the campus, and she was interested in our adventures. When I sat down with them (None of whom had heard what was on my U3.) and said, "I have the photos and audio from last night." Most of them were real exited to see if anything was caught. My roommate's sister however simply said, "That man didn't like us very much." I immediately look over, "What did you say?" "The angry man last night. He didn't want us there." My roommate said not to worry about her, "She was doing this all night." I plug my U3 into someone's laptop, and say, "I think you might want have a look at this." Her only response, ".....But the woman was nice."

Now, I don't know about you, but what *I* hear on the first recording is a male's voice saying, "Get out." The second one is harder to tell. I've heard some people say they hear "Help me". And some people say it sounds like, "Penelope". I talked to this girl more about what she saw, and she said that there was a tall man in a suit yelling at us, and a woman in a white dress that was at the wooden structure. She "seemed sad, but nice".

Now I can't stand here and say that I have evidence that ghosts exist. For all I know, the audio could be natural sounds, and my friend's sister could have made everything up. And for all you know, I could have made everything up. But hearing her describe these apprehensions before knowing anything about what I was going to play, definitely sent shivers down my spine.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Old graveyard in Clay county, Alabama

This is from a trip to Eastern Bumblefuck, Alabama. After driving for a few hours, parking, then hiking through the woods, we finally came upon some old tombs that were just piles of rock. As we progressed deeper into the woods, the graves became noticeably more modern. Still, I don't believe there were any  from the 1900s or later.

After three to four rock mounds, there were a number of granite slabs, and a collapsed wooden structure.

Beyond the wooden structure, there were just tombstones scattered throughout the woods.

Now I'm not entirely sure what is going on in this last one. When I took it, I didn't notice any bugs. Although, it is entirely possible that I could have missed one. Additionally, if you notice, it's in front of the leaf, which rules out a reflection from the stone. It could be a light, but there appears to be a motion trail behind it.
I mentioned in a previous post that I go on these explorations, not expecting to find anything, but instead just because I like exploring.With that being said, I do believe in ghosts, and those beliefs are based on first hand encounters. This however, is not one of those encounters. A vast majority of the time, when someone claims to have a picture of an "orb" it's really either a reflection, a bug or a light. The rest of the time, it's Photoshop. In the case, it's most likely a bug, despite what I do, or do not remember seeing.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Same house, different date.

We had to leave early the first time, so we went back to the same house later. I would like to again say that none of the damage to this house was done my myself or anyone that was with me.

 A dead duck.

 Poetry of the highest order.

A bit of urban exploration I did.

This is from an old house in GA me and some friends explored. I would like to clarify that  we provide no damage to any of locations that we visit. This location, along with many others that we go to are supposed to be haunted. Which is one reason why we visit them. I can't speak for everyone else, but I, for one, just like exploring old locations. If we do happen to see anything, awesome. But I'm not holding my breath.

 Because even ghosts need to have safe sex!

I need to get out and explore some more. If anyone knows of any places in the AL/GA area, him me up.