App Review – Heavy Metal Encyclopedia

Excellent app if you are searching for more information about a specific Heavy Metal band, album or genre, or even browsing for something completely new.

Rating3

unnamedAs I’ve already mentioned a couple of times here and many other times in real life, if you really love Heavy Metal you MUST ignore MTV, Much Music or any other music channel available in Canada or anywhere else. What we see on TV is not real music, and not even close to what Heavy Metal really is, despite one or another band that reaches stardom like Iron Maiden or Metallica. But then again, what they show on TV from those bands is usually their worst material.

When I was a kid/teenager, I used to “hunt” for some new bands and musicians at a special place in São Paulo (Brazil) called Galeria do Rock, where I discovered bands such as Grave Digger, Running Wild, Stratovarius, Cannibal Corpse, Children of Bodom, Axel Rudi Pell, among many others. However, nowadays that place seems a bit useless with all the apps and information we can get with our computers and smartphones. That’s why I want to focus today on a not-so-new free app created to increase your knowledge of heavy music, called Heavy Metal Encyclopedia or simply HME.

screen568x568The name says everything: it’s an online encyclopedia specifically designed for Heavy Metal and Hard Rock, which means you will not find any crap like Lady Gaga or Backstreet Boys there. There are several different types of search and filters you can apply when using the app, for instance you can filter by the year the albums were launched, or by music genre such as Viking Metal, Metalcore, Classical and Brutal Death Metal.  My favorite filter is by country, mainly because I believe this is the most fun when searching for something unique or completely out of the mainstream. Did you know Andorra has 3 Metal bands? What about Uruguay with 98 bands, South Korea with 175 or Oman with only one band called Arabia, which surprisingly plays Black Metal?

Or maybe you want to be a little bit more conservative and start with an already famous band. Let’s get for example our friends from the Big 4, Anthrax: with the HME app, you can read about their history, check all their discography including classic albums like Among the Living or their most recent release Worship Music, as well as check some info from many related bands like Exodus, Kreator, Sodom, Slayer, Nuclear Assault etc. And if you have the Spotify app installed in your smartphone or tablet, you can also listen to many Anthrax tunes or music from almost all of the other bands available.

screen568x568 (1)I’m not sure how often new information is added to this app, or if anything new is being added there anymore. For example, I couldn’t find some of the 2013 releases like Trivium’s Vengeance Falls or Helloween’s Straight Out of Hell. Maybe the app has been abandoned, who knows. One more thing, I just don’t understand why bands like Queen, AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Steel Panther and Aerosmith are not available in the app. One might say it’s due to their music style, but why then others such as Motley Crüe, Poison and Deep Purple are there?

Finally, it’s also possible to share the info you discovered/found through Facebook, Twitter, AirDrop, message or email, and you can even use it together with the other app I reviewed here, Songza, to expand your horizons in the world of Heavy Metal by browsing for unconventional bands on HME and then searching for that band’s material on Songza. The options are limitless, unless of course the app is no longer active/being updated, then we can limit everything until 2011/12.

Get the free HME app
App Store | Google Play

App Review – Songza

A very useful app for music lovers to enjoy anywhere, anytime.

Rating4

songzaSongza is one of those things/apps that make me believe there’s still hope in a world full of all types of useless garbage. In my opinion, any app that doesn’t add some value to your real life, or even worse, that provides the user a very fake or biased impression of life, should be banished from the planet. Fortunately, Songza is a very simple idea that can make your day a lot better, no matter what you’re doing: it’s a totally free music streaming service that recommends various playlists based on time of day, mood or activity, and you can also browse for playlists that contain specific artists, bands, music style or genre etc. Their slogan is “Good music makes good times”, and I agree 100% with them.

According to their website, Songza’s playlists are made by an expert team of music critics, DJs, musicians, and musicologists. However, there are many playlists created by users, which can be a lot more interesting as we music fans know what our friends want to listen to, right?

Songza (1)I’ve already created a playlist called Workout of the Beast, which includes 66 Heavy Metal songs from bands like Slayer, Cradle of Filth, Exodus, Arch Enemy, Primal Fear, among others, to be used as a soundtrack for those days at the gym when you need some extra energy in your workout. If you have some free time, give it a try and let me know if you enjoyed it (and if it helped you achieve that one more rep at the gym).

My favorite playlists so far are the ones below, which I’ve been listening non-stop for the past few weeks:

Reign in Blood

Death Metal

Hard Rock, Hard Bod

Hair Metal

Thrash Metal Shred

Today’s Titans of Metal

songza_articleOf course there’s a lot of crap in Songza (it’s not an exclusive heavy music app), and sometimes even the playlists you select might have one or two “surprises” that would make you want to shut Songza down and never open it again. Besides, there’s a limit of how many times you can skip the songs from a playlist if you’re not a premium user. I don’t consider these to be huge issues with this app, especially due to its strengths: there are no listening limits, it’s a light app that works well in any device, you can use it in your mobile devices, laptop or desktop, and you can have some fun creating your own playlists for the other users to enjoy (you cannot listen to your own playlists, though).

Another important detail is that as you keep “liking” or “unliking” the songs from different playlists, Songza will start recommending you different options, enhancing your experience with the app and making it a very useful tool in any moment of your real life. Just watch out to not select by mistake any playlists that might contain some disgusting shit like Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga, and you’ll enjoy Songza as much as I do.

Get the free Songza app
App Store | Google Play | Windows Store | BlackBerry World | SONOS | Amazon Appstore for Android