“I can’t imagine being without those lyrics.” – A TMO Interview With Marcus Siepen: Part 2

Siepen part 2

In the second and final part of our interview with the Blind Guardian guitarist, we talk books, Game Of Thrones, The Wire and the integral role storytelling plays in his music.

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“Blind Guardian is a metal band. Period.” – A TMO interview with Marcus Siepen: Part 1

Siepen part 1

The Blind Guardian guitarist talks about his band’s ambitious new album, Beyond The Red Mirror, and revisiting Imaginations From The Other Side twenty years on.

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The Once and Future Thrash: Top 30 Thrash Albums of 2014

AK-47 ShellsLast year was the first year I took the massive amounts of thrash music that smothers my inbox and credit card statements and ranked it into a top thirty list. It was a grueling endeavor that consumed most of my time in the latter part of November and early December, but I was able to sift through a ton of material to give you, oh dear readers of The Metal Observer, a sort of snap shot of the year. 2014 was no different.

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Procreating the Wicked: The Year’s Best in Slime

Procreating the Wicked

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Procreating the Wicked; the year’s best in slime, grime and filth. Here is where the year’s filthiest and foulest examples of old goat metal can be found. The best of the best in those amalgamous forms of metal including bits of black, death, thrash, heavy, speed and whatever other type of metal that comes to mind, as long as it’s filtered through ample layers of Hellhammer, Venom, Motörhead and Sarcófago. Without further ado, here’s the years best in sleazy blackened metal.

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The Once and Future Thrash: Top Five Thrash EPs of 2014

Once and Future Thrash Banner

Some say that thrash is best consumed in small portions and often it’s hard to argue that point. The riffs. The energy. Sometimes all you need is four or five tracks to truly ‘mosh it out.’ Here is the top five thrash metal EPs of 2014 for you thrashers out there to hunt out. Some of these were random finds in my constant search for new thrash, so don’t be afraid to support your local bands…you never know when you will find the next big thing.

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Eluveitie / Arkona / Skálmöld, London 11 November 2014

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Is it common knowledge that Eluveitie have a huge following in London? Having seen Orphaned Land four days earlier, I expected a similar sized crowd for this gig. Surely folk/death metal is quite a niche genre? Clearly not, as the O2 Academy Islington was sold out and rammed for the visit of the Swiss band and their support.

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Orphaned Land / Silent Opera / Mylidian, London 7 November 2014

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While there’s nothing wrong with the Tufnell Park Dome as a venue per se, and the alcohol prices are very reasonable, it’s just a bit off the beaten track, especially for those of us who have to travel back through central London. That’s the only reason I can come up with for the poor Friday night turnout at this gig for the excellent Orphaned Land.

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