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    Category: Walkways and Steps


    Postal workers need your help to make sure your deliveries are on time – WABI - December 20, 2019 by admin

    BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - With Christmas coming, Bangor's postal workers have some tips to help them out.

    The shopping season creates a huge increase in work for postal workers and they need your help to make sure your packages are delivered on time.

    So make sure your walkways and steps are cleared of snow and that your mailbox is easily accessible.

    Putting down salt and sand is also appreciated.

    "Ultimately we end up with about a 100 percent increase thereabouts. So if you can imagine your normal work day and then double it. That's approximately what it looks like, both at the retail counter and at the delivery part of our service," said Bangor's Postmaster, Charles Redburn.

    You can still mail your packages in time for Christmas but at this point you'll want to use an expedited service.

    Follow this link:
    Postal workers need your help to make sure your deliveries are on time - WABI

    Repairs to begin on Lafayette Cemetery in early 2020, Mayor’s Office announces – UptownMessenger.com - December 20, 2019 by admin

    The city-owned Lafayette No. 1 is ready for repairs. (via Mayors Office)

    The citys Department of Property Management is set to begin revitalizing and restoring Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, one of the citys most treasured historic resting places and a popular tourist attraction.

    The DPM will work alongside District B City Councilman Jay Banks, representatives from other city departments, as well as local historic preservationists to plan and complete the repairs, a city press release states. Graves at the site date back to the 1830s.

    We are excited about the opportunity to complete these much-needed repairs for our residents and for the many tourists who come to appreciate the cemeterys history, said Ramsey Green, Deputy CAO for Infrastructure. Preserving our cultural heritage as it is reflected in Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 is critically important, and we look forward to taking the next steps in 2020.

    The citys revitalization and restoration plans include the following:

    Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 has been closed since September to allow various city departments to complete assessments of the property.

    A sign greets visitors looking to enter Lafayette Cemetery #1. The historic cemetery has been closed since September. (Nicholas Reimann)

    During that time, several families who own tombs, crypts and copings inside of Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 have been able to complete repairs to their structures and earthworks, the city states. Uptown Messenger spoke with other family members who have been frustrated over a difficulty in accessing the cemetery.

    Since September, tourists and family members have been met with a padlocked gate and a sign: Lafayette Cemetery #1 will be temporarily closed for repairs.

    Many were frustrated over the apparent lack of work at the cemetery. City officials said they have been evaluating the site before beginning repairs.

    I think theyre going to finish this cemetery after they finish the streets in New Orleans, tour guide Martin Leblanc told reporter Nicholas Reimann in November. We havent seen any work.

    The citys repairs are scheduled to begin in early 2020 and will take approximately five months to complete. Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 is scheduled to reopen in spring 2020.

    Continue reading here:
    Repairs to begin on Lafayette Cemetery in early 2020, Mayor's Office announces - UptownMessenger.com

    CANADA: Tips and tricks to avoid painful winter injuries this season – BarrieToday - December 20, 2019 by admin

    Winter in Canada is often coupled with slushy terrain, snow shovelling and icy sidewalks. Its all a recipe for potential injuries that could put a damper on your holidays.

    Common winter injuries, like slipping on ice, send thousands of Canadians to the emergency rooms every year, according to a previous Global News report.

    This year alone, Ontario has seen more than 21,000 falls due to ice, said Sapna Sriram, a chiropractor and injury expert, on Globals The Morning Show.

    Buying proper winter boots

    Ensuring winter boots have proper treading and traction is a good way to be prepared for those slushy steps or walkways, said Sriram.

    You want to look for a couple of things that are different from a work boot or hiking boot, she said. If your boot has proper traction, youre going to ensure that its able to grip the ice.

    More than 10,000 Canadians were hospitalized for falling in December 2016, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

    But your boots wont be able to hold up against certain ice conditions, especially on inclines and declines. Thats why treading and texture are important when boot shopping, outside of their appearance, she said.

    Besides warmth, which is important, buying waterproof boots is also crucial, she said.

    If temperatures change and your foot is wet, you can actually get frostbite, she said. Its a pretty significant injury.

    You want to make sure the boots are also high, so youre able to lace them up tight to provide ankle support, as many people fall due to lack of ankle stability, she added.

    How to protect yourself if you fall

    With extreme conditions, falling can be inevitable, which is why its important to learn how to fall in a safer way, said Sriram.

    Never put out your hands as that could result in injuries to your wrists, she said.

    Instead of doing that bend through your knees, and you want to protect your hands by either crossing them or getting them out of the way, but it is hard to do if youre in the middle of falling, she said.

    Protect your head from injuries as well by tucking it into your chest, Sriram explained.

    If a fall is going to happen, hopefully youre having less of a significant injury, she said.

    Slippery conditions can become more dangerous when people are rushing to and from Christmas parties, and if theyve been drinking, Dr. Alecs Chochinov of Winnipeg in a previous Global News report.

    Its very easy to fracture a wrist or break a hip in the dark if youre wearing heels that you havent worn or if youve had too much to drink, he said.

    The importance of helmets when skiing or skating

    If youre planning to be out on the slopes or out on a rink this winter, buying a proper helmet that fits correctly is crucial, said Sriram. This is especially true when looking for a helmet for your child, she said.

    Make sure its an actual, certified winter sport helmet, because they have different properties outside of a typical hockey helmet, she said, adding that you should look for approval seals.

    The fit should be snug, and it shouldnt be going more than an inch above a childs eyebrow or extending below the nape of their neck, she explained.

    For more tips on how to prevent common winter injuries, watch Sapna Sriram in the video above.

    With files from Global News reporter Leslie Young

    Original post:
    CANADA: Tips and tricks to avoid painful winter injuries this season - BarrieToday

    UK’s First Zero-Emissions Street to Open Next Year in London – Geek - December 20, 2019 by admin

    The U.K.s first 24/7 zero-emission street is expected to open to vehicles*, cyclists, and pedestrians by spring 2020.

    For 18 months next year, Beech Streetmuch of which runs under the Barbican Estate apartment complexwill block gas and diesel automobiles from entering.

    (Exceptions include emergency vehicles, as well as access to residential parking lots, refuse collection, and deliveries. Everyone else will be rerouted on approach.)

    This is a groundbreaking scheme by the City of London Corporation, Oliver Sells, Streets and Walkways Sub (Planning and Transportation) Committee chairman, said in a statement. It will bring substantial health benefits to those who live and work in the Barbican area, and will also help reduce noise pollution.

    Named after Nicholas de la Beche, a lieutenant of the Tower of London in the 14th century, Beech Street runs west-eastmostly in a pseudo-tunnel under the Brutalist Barbican Estate.

    According to the City of London, the busy, enclosed thoroughfare experiences high levels of contamination.

    This new project, however, aims to reduce air pollution and bring nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels within guidelines set out by the European Union and World Health Organization.

    Officials also hope it can improve air quality for Beech Streets neighborsparticularly two nearby schools.

    Drastically reducing air pollution requires radical actions, and these plans will help us eliminate toxic air on our streets, according to Jeremy Simons, chair of the City of London Corporations Environment Committee.

    Nobody should have to breathe in dirty air, he continued. And we will continue to take bold and ambitious steps to ensure that the health of Londoners is protected.

    The trial will be enforced using automatic license plate recognition cameras. Drivers who ignore the new rules will be slapped with a fee.

    If successful, the program may be made permanent, and even expanded to other streets across the City of London.

    * Zero-emissions ones, of coursewhich must comply with Transport for Londons standards: maximum 70g CO2/km, minimum 20-mile zero-emission range, Euro 6 equivalent NOx emission standard.

    More on Geek.com:

    Read more:
    UK's First Zero-Emissions Street to Open Next Year in London - Geek

    End of the road for Castle Wynd taxi rank in Inverness – Inverness Courier - December 20, 2019 by admin

    The taxi rank in Castle Wynd which is due to close as part of the redevelopment of the wider area.

    AN Inverness taxi rank will definitely close next month to allow for the redevelopment of the wider Castle Wynd area.

    Highland Council has confirmed the rank in Castle Wynd will still close on Monday, January 6, despite an official complaint from the Inverness Taxi Alliance.

    Members had urged for the work to be put on hold while their complaint over the removal of the rank was investigated by the Scottish Ombudsman.

    However, city of Inverness area manager David Haas stated in an email: It is considered that there are no grounds for delaying the closure of the taxi rank at Castle Wynd, set to be implemented from and including Monday, January 6, 2020.

    Alliance chairman Andrew MacDonald has claimed the only alternative that had so far been offered was inadequate.

    In his response, he added: The failure of the council to come up with a satisfactory replacement for this operation will create, without doubt, at best, major congestion and difficulty on the existing ranks in Academy Street and potentially put the safety of the public at risk.

    Members of the city of Inverness area committee previously agreed to the removal of the taxi rank arrangements at the Wynd and a full-time replacement will be maintained on the south side of Bridge Street.

    Details of the redevelopment scheme have been announced and contractors, Wills Bros Civil Engineering Ltd, have been appointed to carry out the 373,515 project.

    It is hoped that pedestrians will benefit from an increase in walkways and upgrade of the steps to Inverness Castle and the footsteps leading to the River Ness behind upper Bridge Street will also be improved following completion of the 16-week project.

    A Highland Council spokesman said the January 6 start date had been selected to allow for adequate notice to be given to the public and for the rank to be used throughout the festive period.

    He added: The works will include road and footway reconstruction using granite setts and kerbs, and Caithness flagstones. New granite steps will be installed on the Castle approach and steps, along with new pedestrian handrails.

    Related article: Inverness taxi rank will close next month

    More here:
    End of the road for Castle Wynd taxi rank in Inverness - Inverness Courier

    There is a proper way to fall, and other tips to avoid winter injuries – Global News - December 20, 2019 by admin

    Winter in Canada is often coupled with slushy terrain, snow shovelling and icy sidewalks. Its all a recipe for potential injuries that could put a damper on your holidays.

    Common winter injuries, like slipping on ice, send thousands of Canadians to the emergency rooms every year, according to a previous Global News report.

    This year alone, Ontario has seen more than 21,000 falls due to ice, said Sapna Sriram, a chiropractor and injury expert, on Globals The Morning Show.

    Ensuring winter boots have proper treading and traction is a good way to be prepared for those slushy steps or walkways, said Sriram.

    You want to look for a couple of things that are different from a work boot or hiking boot, she said. If your boot has proper traction, youre going to ensure that its able to grip the ice.

    Story continues below advertisement

    More than 10,000 Canadians were hospitalized for falling in December 2016, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

    But your boots wont be able to hold up against certain ice conditions, especially on inclines and declines. Thats why treading and texture are important when boot shopping, outside of their appearance, she said.

    Besides warmth, which is important, buying waterproof boots is also crucial, she said.

    If temperatures change and your foot is wet, you can actually get frostbite, she said. Its a pretty significant injury.

    You want to make sure the boots are also high, so youre able to lace them up tight to provide ankle support, as many people fall due to lack of ankle stability, she added.

    With extreme conditions, falling can be inevitable, which is why its important to learn how to fall in a safer way, said Sriram.

    Never put out your hands as that could result in injuries to your wrists, she said.

    Instead of doing that bend through your knees, and you want to protect your hands by either crossing them or getting them out of the way, but it is hard to do if youre in the middle of falling, she said.

    Story continues below advertisement

    Protect your head from injuries as well by tucking it into your chest, Sriram explained.

    If a fall is going to happen, hopefully youre having less of a significant injury, she said.

    Slippery conditions can become more dangerous when people are rushing to and from Christmas parties, and if theyve been drinking, Dr. Alecs Chochinov of Winnipeg in a previous Global News report.

    Its very easy to fracture a wrist or break a hip in the dark if youre wearing heels that you havent worn or if youve had too much to drink, he said.

    If youre planning to be out on the slopes or out on a rink this winter, buying a proper helmet that fits correctly is crucial, said Sriram. This is especially true when looking for a helmet for your child, she said.

    Make sure its an actual, certified winter sport helmet, because they have different properties outside of a typical hockey helmet, she said, adding that you should look for approval seals.

    The fit should be snug, and it shouldnt be going more than an inch above a childs eyebrow or extending below the nape of their neck, she explained.

    Story continues below advertisement

    For more tips on how to prevent common winter injuries, watch Sapna Sriram in the video above.

    With files from Global News reporter Leslie Young

    2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

    Here is the original post:
    There is a proper way to fall, and other tips to avoid winter injuries - Global News

    Liveability, happiness sets Utrecht apart as a great place to live (sponsored) – NL Times - December 20, 2019 by admin

    This sponsored article was produced by HousingAnywhere.

    Make sure you consider living in Utrecht if you are moving to the Netherlands. Already voted as one of the best and happiest places to live not only in the Netherlands, but in the whole world, the countrys fourth largest city is an impressive hometown choice.

    Here are some reasons why.

    One of the most outstanding characteristics of Utrecht is the fact that you can easily make your way around town. It is a smaller city that you can quickly see on foot, with abundant walkways.

    As one expects in the Netherlands, it is also very friendly for bicyclists. It came in second for the most cycling-friendly city in the world. Also, the city has built the world's largest bicycle parking stationwith 12,500 available spots to park bikes.

    Utrecht was voted the fourth happiest place in the world by a BBC travel report. Given its size, life in Utrecht feels quite easy-going, especially with the outstanding city center Zocherpark, a kilometer-long park with the famous Lepelenburg bridge. Its proximity to other international cities also makes it one of the best places to live, with good connections by rail and access to four major Dutch highways. The city sits just 40 minutes from Schiphol Airport.

    It provides the out of city feel while also offering proximity and a great social life. From here, it is also quite easy to access the Dutch countryside.

    Another distinctive reason why you should rent an apartment in Utrecht is the notable canals in the city. The canals have existed in the city since early 1800. At that time, they were used as trading routes. Warehouses were built along the canals to store goods offloaded from the boats traversing the waterways.

    Today, these warehouses built many years ago are now restaurants and nightclubs. They offer a great ambience to guests and revellers. Restaurants have set up their outdoor seats right next to the canals and guests can enjoy the fresh air and the sound of water as they enjoy their coffee.

    Away from Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands, Utrecht offers the true picture of Dutch culture. Amsterdam is more of an international city with a mix of cultures and lots of expatriates.

    Utrecht, on the other hand, provides a deeper sense of Dutch culture and lifestyle you wont find in the capital city. There are plenty of opportunities to learn the Dutch language in Utrecht, with classes offered at all levels to small private groups and in university classrooms alike.You can also enjoy the Dutch food from the numerous cafes and restaurant squares and live in several neighborhoods that are mostly car-free.

    Utrecht has been in existence for a long time. It has a rich history that is easily visible from the design of the city. It was fortified and the canal outside the city center was part of its defences. Following that route created when the city became more open allows you to quickly navigate around it, focusing on the tallest building within the city center known as the Dom Tower.

    Dom Tower is also the tallest church tower in the Netherlands and the permanent symbol and landmark of Utrecht. With this landmark in a small city, you can hardly get lost.

    As a medieval city, Utrecht has been in existence since the 8th century and is still an important cultural center in the Netherlands.

    Living in Utrecht ensures that you can quickly hop into a train and you will be in many of the major Netherlands cities in minutes. If you work in any of the major cities of the country, particularly in the Randstad, you can live here and have a short commute to and from work every day.

    You are also very close to the Dutch countryside from here. You can catch a train to enjoy the scenery and the vast landscapes out of the city.

    The citys central location is one reason why Utrecht has the busiest train station in the Netherlands.

    If you are looking to move to Utrecht with your family, you do not have to worry about schools, with many high-quality schools in this quaint city. Public schools in this city are highly acclaimed and offer high-quality education. You will definitely find a good school for your children regardless of their age.

    Utrecht University is one of the largest universities in the Netherlands, and the city itself has some 70,000 students enrolled in its eight higher education institutions. Consequently, there are always new faces within the city every year coming to join the university. It also carries significant historical importance and numerous academic achievements and breakthroughs.

    As more and more people choose Utrecht over Amsterdam, the city has decided to create additional housing to host the increasing number of residents.

    There are several residential estates that are being built for this purpose. They are contemporary in their design but fit in perfectly with the history and age of this beautiful city of Utrecht. They will host more families as more and more expats and immigrants discover more cities in the Netherlands beyond Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

    Just like the Dom Tower, the Hoog Catharijne is another Utrecht point of interest. It is one of the largest indoor malls around the world.It attracts large amounts of visitors every day, as it is just steps away from Utrecht Central Station. To be fair, some of the residents of the city consider it an eyesore and do not particularly care for it.

    These and many more factors encourage a large number of expatriates moving to the Netherlands to consider Utrecht as a viable location to set up their residence. It exposes you to the Dutch culture and is close enough for a short commute to and from work. Further, it is steeped in history and has a busy and fun social life.

    See the original post:
    Liveability, happiness sets Utrecht apart as a great place to live (sponsored) - NL Times

    Riley’s Top 20 Albums of 2019 – Metal Injection.net - December 20, 2019 by admin

    Hoorah, one more year down the drain and fifty flippin' music releases have been chosen by yours truly! Despite listening to and whittling down my favorites out of a heck ton of full-length albums, EPs, and non-metal releases, there still is music that Im just now catching up on (Cattle Decapitation, Cult of Luna, Diamond Construct, etc.) and wishing I could squeeze in here without disrupting the harmony and order that I methodically tinkered on for too long.

    Regardless of the inevitable inability to hear everything that came out in 2019, the below choices should provide good listening for any metalhead. Although my tastes are slightly biased towards prog and metalcore/deathcore, we have releases below in styles of post-hardcore, folk metal, jazz fusion, alternative, some blackened metal here and there, and more. Hope you discover something new you enjoy and here's to a metal-tastic 2020!

    P.S. My band, Kinkshamer, released our debut EP this year! If you're a fan of progressive metalcore with some naughty themes, we're on all streaming services.

    P.P.S. If you want to listen to all my choices listed below, you can on these Spotify and Apple Music playlists.

    A couple years ago, Uneven Structure's La Partitionalmost made my top albums list and as we arrive now at Paragon, they have made enough notable steps forward to start this countdown off. Despite a few vanilla tracks, there are some glorious moments on here that provoke the smooth, sharp attributes of Tesseract or Monuments. Even though the immediate, hard-hitting pieces like "Outlaw," "Jester," and "Hero" will be my go-to songs, consuming all twelve songs consecutively provided the mesmerizing experience that I have missed from the aforementioned acts as of late. Lastly, the archetypes and characters listed throughout the tracklisting struck a chord with me and allowed each piece to have purpose.

    Released via Long Branch Records / Listen to "Outlaw" below:

    In the first phase of the deathcore era, many of the groups were at a competition to become the most heavy and extreme amalgamation of death metal and hardcore, which was impressive at the time. Nowadays, the novelty of that shtick has worn off and bands in this subgenre need to follow more experimental paths and dedicate time towards stronger songwriting. The Last Ten Seconds of Life is a solid example of gradually increasing the quality of their music with each release, Machina Non Grata being the clear pinnacle so far. At times, the act is relentlessly brutal with pounding snare beats and discordant riffs creating an undeniably intimidating metallic barrage. On the other hand, we see The Last Ten Seconds of Life understanding the give and take relationship in the dynamics of music with pregnant pauses, samples, and actually catchy vocal melodies establishing tension and release.

    Self-released / Listen to "Sweet Chin Music" below:

    Admittedly, I wasn't initially sold on the metal-absent direction the band has been heading in since Malina. While I do long for the guitar-driven riffs and patterns from Coal and The Congregation, the trail they're currently sauntering down has actually shaped up to be far more interesting. Focusing further on Einar Solberg's stellar vocal range and synth build-ups, Pitfalls is even more calming than Malina, yet is twice as striking. Moody zen-like themes and momentous musical peaks are particularly shown on "Alleviate" and "The Sky is Red."

    Released via InsideOutMusic / Review / Listen to "Alleviate" below:

    From Israel, Walkways is an alternative/progressive metalcore act that truly caught me off guard and constantly kept dragging me back to listen to the infectious tracks off their latest LP. Catchy singles like "Despair (For Heaven's Sake)" and "Half the Man I Am" fill the charming chorus-laden metalcore void that Bring Me the Horizon left behind since they recently went pop. As you continue through Bleed Out, Heal Out more layers of this monstrous project are unveiled with influences coming from djenty technicality of Periphery and atmospheric elements alike Textures. I will say that this record isn't exactly captivating from front-to-end, however a large majority of these tracks are meritable enough to deserve high praise and an inclusion on this list. In addition, I foresee this as just the beginning of a successful future in the modern core scene.

    Released via Nuclear Blast / Listen to "Bleed Out, Heal Out" below:

    Last year, Black Tongue landed on my best albums of year list and was easily the heaviest of 2018, if not all time. This year though, Humanity's Last Breath squashes the competition and earned acclaim through the absolute sheer heaviness on Abyssal. Their previous material was effortlessly crushing, but the band didn't rest on their laurels as their recipe of deathcore, djent, and black metal expanded. Inevitably, these styles forged together to create an immense beast of a record. Opener "Bursting Bowel of Tellus" and "Fradga" may be the highlights of the record, but the amount of experimentation in vocal effects, guitar noises, and rhythmic syncopation is constant and vast.

    Released via Unique Leader Records / Listen to "Fradga" below:

    As previously stated, these albums are included on this list for a myriad of distinct reasons. Impressively enough though, The Rising ticks off every requirement far beyond what I normally expect. "Rosa Alba" and "Rising" unveil an extremely heavy side in the realm of both Meshuggah and Make Them Suffer. Alternatively, "Shadows" and "Set It Off" have a provocative melodic and lyrical impact that should be viewed as no less than enthralling. Most importantly, there is a shocking abundance of variety showcased in The Rising from the metal-pop-punk fusion in "Splinters" and to 90's prog Porcupine Tree-like nostalgia shown via "Another." All in all, Polish progressive metallers Materia are a fresh and an utterly remarkable act that should be on everyone's radar.

    Self-released / Listen to "Rosa Alba" below:

    I was pretty sold from the get-go with a lineup holding members from bands like Fallujah and Wolf King, who previously hit my best albums lists as well as musicians of Wrvth, Anisoptera, and Behold the Desecration. This debut LP blew me away with how it presents a technical death metal ferocity with such grace. The balance between the abrasive, hefty parts against the clean atmospheric moments is astonishing and a real breath of fresh air.

    Self-released / Review / Listen to "Left to Waste" below:

    The best part about discovering new bands is you can vividly hear their youthful spirit and abundance of energy through the music. City State contains a heck ton of bombastic metalcore vigor into this debut LP shown via catchy and banging singles "Crooked Walls" and "Wilt." Additionally, I love the range they reveal from the straight-forward moshpit inducer "White Lies" to the melancholic ballad "Reflections."

    Released via Famined Records / Listen to "White Lies" below:

    I am a huge advocate for the fusion of metal with other country's ethnic folk styles and Motanka's self-titled debut record executes such a unique identity with perfection. Their metal foundation containing prog, sludge, and groove was alluring enough, but once they added the stylistic twist of hammered dulcimer, folk percussion, and soaring melismatic vocals, they reached untouchable heights.

    Released via Napalm Records / Listen to "Oy ty moya Zemle" below:

    Not only is this record ridiculously heavy, but it's surprisingly a very fun listen. Most deathcore acts strive to simply grind their listeners eardrums into a fine powder, where Angelmaker succeeds in performing the aforementioned action, yet also elegantly pieces together tasty grooves and energizing death growl melodies. In most albums of this style and intensity, my brain is worn out halfway through, however Angelmaker brings forth steel-strong songwriting and sinister atmosphere a plenty, coaxing me deeper into their menacing realm.

    Self-released / Listen to "Hollow Heart" below:

    These guys seriously blew up this year and they absolutely deserve all the hype they've garnered. Helix is a robust display of this Japanese act's unification of nu metal, djent, and post-hardcore with their metalcore center. And sure, I'm not fully sold on their clean vocal, melodic sections, but Crystal Lake's bold experimentation and understanding of mature song structure already places them on par with other large names in the scene like Northlane or Erra.

    Released via SharpTone Records / Listen to "Aeon" below:

    After the flacid non-album single "All Out War" and the cringy new masks reveal, I prematurely pinned this record to likely be a disappointing flop. Once the day of release came, my curiosities caved and I dug right in with the intention of rolling my eyes and smugly being correct in my assumptions that the Slipknot bubble had finally popped. Roughly five songs in and my attitude shifted. Songs like "Solway Firth," "Unsainted," "Birth of the Cruel," and "Orphan" stand out as the hard-hitting radio rotators, yet the most significant elements on here are the cohesion and experimentation. Slow burner "A Liar's Funeral" and piano-based "Spiders" are one of a kind tracks in Slipknot's discography and pinpoints the band stepping out of their comfort zone. While We Are Not Your Kind does not stand toe to toe with the group's first three records, I would take this latest LP over .5: The Gray Chapter and All Hope is Gone any day.

    Released via Roadrunner Records / Review / Listen to "Solway Firth" below:

    Alike Motanka, Myrath's strengths lay in their ethnic fusion. Their layering of chanted vocals, lush string orchestration, and grandiose production teleports you to their fantastical world. I found many similarities to Orphaned Land's Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs within Shehili, however Myrath is still very much so capable of maintaining a unique style shown by their biting vocal hooks and gut-punching riffs. The compositional expertise displayed throughout this record had my attention grabbed the whole time.

    Released via earMusic / Listen to "No Holding Back" below:

    Born of Osiris' debut EP The New Reign will always remain my all-time favorite release by the band as well as a monument in the Sumerian-core/progressive metalcore scene. With each release, the band strayed from the creative qualities shown on that EP, yet on this mini-album, they find their footing once again. While there is comparability to the previously mentioned EP on The Simulation, this album is overalla best of both worlds for all Born of Osiris fans, shown in the duality of the catchy singles "The Accursed" or Under the Gun" akin to Tomorrow We Die Alive or Soul Sphere paired with the experimental and beefed up tracks "Disconnectome," "Analogs in a Cell," or "Silence the Echo" that harken The New Reign or The Discovery likeness.

    Released via Sumerian Records / Review / Listen to "Silence the Echo" below:

    The past couple Thank You Scientist albums have been pretty impressive, but never engaged me enough to warrant becoming a full-fledged fan. Terraformer completely changed my outlook on this project however. For starters, the songwriting was stepped up ten whole notches on this record, with hooks never ceasing to bounce around my head all day. The choruses of "FXMLDR" or "Everyday Ghosts" were pure earworms. Simultaenously, the songs are capable of building up tension through varied rhythms and boisterous horn sections. If you're keen on jazz-fusion, prog rock, and falsetto vocal styles all packed together in a very cinematic and explosive package, this LP is perfect for you.

    Released via Evil Ink Records / Review / Listen to "Swarm" below:

    With the band's debut record, Chromaparagon, being an excellent execution of lively and unconventional clash of progressive metal and alternative rock, I was a bit concerned that this follow-up wouldn't be as capable of possessing such playful and bewildering artistic leaps. Luckily, I was proven wrong. All eleven songs on here show Moon Tooth exploring new territory in heavy strides from the galloping hard rock speed of "Omega Days" and "Awe at all Angles" to the climactic and crushing outro of the ballad-esque title track. In the past, comparisons of Mastodon or Mars Volta arose for this band, but Crux is concrete evidence that Moon Tooth are now in a league of their own.

    Released via Pure Noise Records / Review / Listen to "Musketeers" below:

    With the dissolution of the Devin Townsend Project, I had some worries about the direction of Devy's next release considering those members have been seemingly crucial in his recent output. More-so though, I was head over heels curious about what was in store with all the hype and mystery that surrounded Empath prior to any material surfacing. Once the "Genesis" single emerged, I was convinced this would be a magnificent record and upon taking the full album in, I was even more overwhelmed by the wide stylistic spectrum squeezed inside, shown mostly by the aforementioned genre stew "Genesis" as well as the intense Strapping Young Lad-esque "Hear Me" contrasting with the ambient-electronic rock piece "Sprite." It's safe to say that a large majority of Devin's discography has an emotional element attached, even if disguised behind layers of faux-machismo or humor, yet Empath feels to be his most vulnerable and mature through lyrical content within "Spirits Will Collide" or "Why?" Empath is without a doubt a new chapter in the dynamic timeline that is Devin Townsend and I stay true with other prog fans when I say this is an exceptionally exciting new step.

    Released via HevyDevy Records, InsideOutMusic / Review / Listen to "Genesis" below:

    I'd consider it common knowledge throughout the metal world that Meshuggah is one of the most impactful and influential giants of modern extreme metal. Yet, there comes a time where a ruler must fall and is replaced with a more apt and powerful force. With past releases, I've viewed Car Bomb as a Meshuggah-lite, however, considering the lackluster previous release of Meshuggah and the emergence of such a catastrophically heavy and breathtaking beast that is Mordial, it is clear that Car Bomb just took the gold medal. This LP shows the band taking their style to a bold new level, conjuring up an insane concoction of sporadic Deftones-meets-The Dillinger Escape Plan compositions. Mordial is a landmark in the metal genre, pushing forward experimentation, heaviness, and cohesion to the new extreme.

    Released via Holy Roar Records, Solid Grey Publishing / Listen to "Scattered Sprites" below:

    Modern prog rock/metal can be a hit or miss with all the experimental elements and unconventionality at play. On Descender though, Puerto Rican act Avandra hits a clear homerun with every musical characteristic meshing together in such beautiful unison. There is melodic mastery at play in vocalist Christian Ayala's deliveries allowing for the most uplifting and emotionally moving crescendos. On top of that, the guitar and piano work resembles that of Porcupine Tree and Dream Theater in an equally nostalgic and virtuosic fashion. Every single note in this LP serves a purpose, lulling you down into the melancholic depths before boosting you to the astounding heights in an overall mesmerizing journey. Clearly this album is far from being one of the heaviest releases of the year, but Avandra proves that a unique and clever approach to songwriting, phrasing, and atmosphere can be far more stunning and significant.

    Released via Blood Music / Listen to "Even//You" below:

    I recall discovering this project a couple years ago from their "Nazareth" music video and being absolutely blown away by the vocalist's angelic croons that perfectly complimented the pop and electronic rock soundscapes. But the eruptive climax that truly hammered the nail in the coffin of my obsession was of course the djent-y and down-tuned breakdown finale. Although "Nazareth" continues to be one of my favorite tracks by Sleep Token, Sundowning is proof of an even sleeker and more varied collection of heavenly, yet heavy compositions. Granted, this isn't 100% a metal album considering a chunk of these tracks stick to musical traits of ambient, indie, pop, electronic, etc., but to an extent, that's the beauty and appeal of Sleep Token. Songs like "Levitate" and "Sugar" will harness the somber energy of Bon Iver or Hozier where "Gods," "Higher," and "The Offering" can slam as hard as Deftones' Diamond Eyes era or even Vildhjarta. If that contrast isn't the embodiment of ground-breaking progression within not only the metal genre, but music as a whole, than I don't know what is. Treat yourself by giving this full record an immersive listen and be blessed by Sundowning. Join the worshippers, you won't regret it.

    Released via Silent Room Recordings, Spinefarm Records / Listen to "The Offering" below:

    HONORABLE MENTIONS:

    15. With Our Arms to the Sun The Mogollon Monster (a bit softer and more meandering than its predecessor, yet nonetheless a meaty continuation of their previous post-metal masterpiece Orenda)

    Self-released / Listen to "Rebirth"

    14. Vintersea Illuminated (one of the most endearing aspects of metal is the aspect of contrast and the cold black metal movements side by side with truly beautifully melodic, prog metal parts is certainly commendable on this six-song record)

    Released via M-Theory Audio / Listen to "Old Ones"

    13. Raiju Non Sequitur (one mustgive praise to a band that crams hardcore, prog, pop punk, and death metal together into one Coheed and Cambria reminiscent record)

    Self-released / Review / Listen to "Silk & Gold"

    12. Artificial Language Now We Sleep (I'd predict that this band's best material is ahead of them, but for now, their proggy Tesseract-like djent tendencies had some serious eyebrow-raising moments within this LP)

    Self-released / Review / Listen to "Trail of Lights"

    11. Cemican In Ohtli Teoyohtica in Miquiztli (if you're a fan of the "tribal" energy that Sepultura brought to death metal in their earlier years, you'll dig this Mexican act for their folk metal fusion)

    Released via M-Theory Audio / Listen to "Guerreros de Cemican"

    10. Babymetal Metal Galaxy (while maybe not as consistent as their two previous records, this new album's most interesting endeavors is the cultural diversity with themes of jazz, Indian, and Latin music thrown into the compositional process of stand-out songs)

    Released via Amuse Inc., Cooking Vinyl, earMusic, Toy's Factory / Review / Listen to "Pa Pa Ya"

    9. Shredhead Live Unholy (based out of Israel, this record redefined modern thrash for me, as if Slayer was actually exciting in 2019)

    Released via Legend Recordings / Listen to "Overshadows"

    8. Arctic Sleep Kindred Spirits (holding the same chugging and lulling energy as their past output, this new material is perfect for long road trips)

    Self-released / Listen to "Meadows"

    7. Revillusion Heart(less) (holding nostalgia to industrial big names like Marilyn Manson and Ministry as well as holding an A-team of guest musicians, this project was thoroughly solid and overlooked)

    Self-released / Review / Listen to "Pure Pollution"

    6. Bent Knee You Know What They Mean (seeing them perform live while opening for Thank You Scientist this year was what really hooked me on this act and even though the material might be a tad bit more kick-ass on stage than on record, this LP still packs a wildly progressive punch)

    Released via InsideOutMusic / Listen to "Bone Rage"

    5. Sitar Metal Sitar Metal (a bit self-explanatory, this sitar-driven six-song release breaks boundaries between the Western and Eastern world and I'm excited for what will now come forth with the floodgates open)

    Self-released / Listen to "When Time Stands Still"

    4. Antagony Ashes (I unfortunately missed out when these guys were active in the scene over a decade ago, but this sporadic material proves that they haven't aged in either intensity or songwriting abilities one bit)

    Self-released / Review / Listen to "Ashes"

    3. Helms Alee Noctiluca (ever since the Sleepwalking Sailors record, I've been hooked on their Mastodon-like prog/sludge sound and they continue to impress, expanding their vocal harmonies and melodies)

    Released via Sargent House / Listen to "Interachnid"

    2. Porn The Darkest of Human Desires, Act II (the longer I listened to this record, the more I realized how layered and diverse this band had from radio-friendly industrial Marilyn Manson tunes to slow-paced Type O Negative grooves)

    Released via Les Disques Rubicon / Review / Listen to "Here for Love"

    1. The Odious Vesica Piscis (my gut feeling says to compare this act to Between the Buried and Me for their weird factor taking the front of the stage, but at the end of the day, this album exemplifies their experimental, yet unique identity)

    Self-released / Listen to "Repugnant"

    EPs:

    10. Dealer Soulburn(a real strong djenty metalcore debut from a band that's definitely heading places)

    Released via Stay Sick Recordings / Listen to "Pretty Stupid"

    9. Landless Moonflower (this Slovakian post-hardcore act evokes the quirks and hooks of Dance Gavin Dance)

    Released via Famined Records / Listen to "Blooming Mind"

    8. Abyss Above Doombound (also from Slovakia, this group's mesh of black metal and deathcore is undoubtedly slamming and memorable)

    Self-released / Listen to "Flesh Exposed"

    7. Muldrotha Where Terror Thrives (with members from The Zenith Passage, Fallujah, Decrepit Birth, etc., this short, but sweet deathcore release has my appetite ready for more)

    Self-released / Listen to "Sanctum"

    6. Somewhere to Call Home Panic Disorder (I'm pretty excited to see what this band will evolve into considering their current nu-metalcore style may not be exactly groundbreaking, but is certainly solid)

    Self-released / Listen to "Leech"

    5. To Be Gentle L'autre Cote de Peur (if you ever felt like your relaxing post-rock jams needed a bit more of a raw, hardcore edge, this band found the perfect dynamic balance between the two seemingly contradictory subgenres)

    Released via Gamut Records / Listen to "Flesh and Blood, Bone and Dream"

    4. Treehouse Burning Suffering (harnessing the electronicore energy of older Enter Shikari and the zaniness of Sikth, this South African act's EP is a far more engaging metalcore execution)

    Self-released / Listen to "Krasitam"

    3. The Contortionist Our Bones (with their somewhat lackluster Clairvoyant album, I started to be a bit concerned about the future of this band, but these three tracks and a cover genuinely revived my perspective of The Contortionist)

    Released via eOne / Review / Listen to "Early Grave"

    2. Jinjer Micro (not to infer that this Ukranian progcore's Macro LP that just recently came out was a complete disappointment, but this EP was far superior and consistently enjoyable with catchy djent tunes on full display)

    Released via Napalm Records / Review / Listen to "Ape"

    1. Hive The Mirthless Kind (I previously mentioned Humanity's Last Breath being the heaviest LP of the year, but this massive beast is granted heaviest EP of 2019)

    Self-released / Listen to "Bellow"

    NON-METAL:

    5. Clipping There Existed an Addiction to Blood (experimental rap)

    Released via Sub Pop Records / Listen to "Blood of the Fang"

    Read the rest here:
    Riley's Top 20 Albums of 2019 - Metal Injection.net

    Petrol & diesel cars to be banned from this popular UK road in first zero-emissions street – Express - December 20, 2019 by admin

    Petrol and diesel vehicles will be unable to access the street which will only be available to pedestrians, cyclists and electric vehicles.Beech Street,which runs under the popular Barbican Estate,will see the ban introduced from Spring 2020 under newproposalsfrom the City of London.

    The legislation will be enforced across the whole day in the first instance of a blanket ban for polluting vehicles in the UK.

    Vehicles which are not fully electric ordo nothave the capability to drive in zero-emissions will violate the zone andmotoristscan be charged up to 130.

    The charges can be reduced to 65ifthey are paid within two weeks.

    Automatic number plate recognition cameras will monitor which vehicles have entered the zone and will assess whethertheyfall within the regulations.

    READ MORE:Bristol to become the first British city to ban diesel vehicles

    The City of London says restrictions will be in place for up to 18 months before a final decision is introduced regarding the long-term future of the project.

    A successful trial could see further measures introduced across the City of London to reduce carbon pollution.

    Jeremy Simmons, chairman of the City of London Corporation's environment committee said: Drastically reducing air pollution requires radical actions and these plans will help us eliminate toxic air on our streets.

    Nobody should have to breathe in dirty air and we will continue to take bold and ambitious steps to ensure that the health of Londoners is protected.

    Emergency vehicles will be exempt from the ban which has been installed to reduce pollution across the popular thoroughfare.

    The enclosed nature of the road means the area experienceshigh levelsof air pollution and the scheme hopes to reduce this to withinWorld Health Organisation (WHO)targets.

    While motorists and locals could be caught out with the changes,the City of London Corporation has confirmed an information campaign will be visible long before restrictions come into effect.

    The marketing campaign will include street signing, social media updates and direct discussion with major companies situated around the area.

    Streets and Walkways Sub Committee Chairman, Oliver Sells QC said: This is a groundbreaking scheme by the City of London Corporation.

    It will bring substantial health benefits to those who live and work in the Barbican area, and will also help reduce noise pollution.

    The experimental scheme will be enforced using the latest in smart camera technology and I hope it will be the first of many other schemes like this.

    However, many locals attacked the introduction of the scheme on social media withsomesuggesting the new legislation was"stupid".

    One user posted: So Vehicles that emit emissions will have to travel further in more congested roads creating additional emissions. Groundbreaking stupidity!

    Another added: So you're going to close a non-residential tunnel and displace the traffic on to Banner street.

    The residents are gonna love the increase in traffic driving past theyre front doors 24/7."(sic)

    The City of London Corporation has also backed proposals to turn part of the popular Square Mile into a zero-emission zone by 2022.

    The proposals would also see the speed limit cut to just 15miles per hour (mph)to help reduce the number of pollutants exiting vehicles.

    The proposals are alongside the Mayor of LondonsUltra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)scheme which charges up to 12.50 extra per day on polluting cars, vans and motorbikes.

    More here:
    Petrol & diesel cars to be banned from this popular UK road in first zero-emissions street - Express

    Sanusi given two days to accept appointment as head of Kano chiefs’ – New Telegraph Newspaper - December 20, 2019 by admin

    The National Economic Council (NEC) is considering the investment of N2 trillion Contributory Pension Funds in the development of infrastructure including roads, rail and power.

    Nigerias Pension Funds has grown to N9.44 trillion, according to the pension monthly summary report for August released on October 15, 2019.

    Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, while briefing State House Correspondents after the NEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja said: Up to 20 per cent of the pension funds under the current law can be used for infrastructure.

    NEC is expected to receive a final report from the sub-committee early next year.

    NEC comprises the 36 state governors, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Minister of Finance, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and some other government officials.

    According to the Kebbi State governor, who was joined at the briefing by the Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, the mechanism has been used successfully in other countries.

    He said: So today, the sub-committee presented an interim report where they advised on some of the issues that came up while deliberating.

    Of particular note was that other countries have been using the same mechanism South Africa, Saudi Arabia and others have been using their pension funds and sovereign wealth authorities investment process to create platform for development.

    So, the committee is reported and identified potential road infrastructure, infrastructure in the power, rail sectors that can be funded through this mechanism.

    They noted that this years budget, for example, has N169 billion for roads across the federation and is grossly inadequate. But with this mechanism, maybe up to N2 trillion can be accessed and leveraged upon.

    At the NEC meeting, there was a review of the performance of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority and we are all impressed about experience they had gained in the last few years and their performance.

    And it was decided that a committee be set up on how we can leverage on that performance to create a platform where pension funds can be used for infrastructure development in a safe manner, so that there will earn long term returns for the pension funds while also helping to build Nigerias infrastructure, Bagudu noted.

    NEC has set up a sub-committee to see how pension funds can be used for infrastructure development as provided for by the Pensions Reform Act.

    Speaking further, Bagudu said NEC also received the interim report of the of the Nasir el-Rufai sub-committee to consider the ownership structure of Electricity Power Distribution Company.

    The Council discussed that since the privatization of Electricity Power Distribution Company that at least 40 per cent that was meant to be for the states government and federal government have not been so distributed.

    Therefore, a committee was set up to review the status/ownership of those shares that have not been distributed and report back to NEC, he explained.

    He confirmed that council received a presentation by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, titled evaluation options going forward.

    You may recall that 10 years ago, the Niger Delta Power Holding Company was created and it is owned by federal, states and local governments. They had 10 completed generating plants and two others that are in the process of being completed generating about 4,500 megawatts.

    The board of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company and shareholders, who are the governors and local government chairmen, reviewed the options going forward because in the design of this company, the assets were supposed to be privatised.

    The options were discussed and members of the NEC advised to study the presentation so that at more opportune time, NEC can review the presentation and take whatever necessary steps henceforth, he added.

    The Finance Minister informed NEC on the balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) which she said stood at $324.967 million as at 19th November, 2019.

    Ahmed said the balance in the Stabilisation Account as at 17th of December, 2019 was N30.479billion while the Natural Resource Fund, still at the same date, is N88.283 billion.

    Meanwhile, yesterdays NEC meeting reviewed the security situation in the country and concluded that security had improved generally across Nigeria.

    Governor Sanwo-Olu said the NEC sub-committee on security presented the report on security situation to the session.

    The committee is chaired by the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.

    According to Sanwo-Olu, the Fayemi committee, which has the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, and other heads of security agencies as members, reported that there was a reduction in proliferation of small arms as a result of the closure of the countrys land borders.

    The committee also reported that states were advised to set up on zonal basis, security trust funds to help address security challenges.

    Community policing is also important as a means of engaging our youths and reducing youth unemployment in the country, he said.

    He added that the NEC also looked into the dispute between the Ministry of Mines and some states over access to mining sites and recommended that the ministry should do more advocacy.

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    Sanusi given two days to accept appointment as head of Kano chiefs' - New Telegraph Newspaper

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