Album Review: Gamma Ray - "Empire of the Undead"

How's this for a heavy metal story - a band works on an album at their own studio for the better part of a year and, just as they near completion, the studio burns and destroys most of the contents. One of the few surviving items are the master tapes of the album. This is what happened to Gamma Ray and the tapes that made it through the fire became their latest offering, "Empire of the Undead". It makes sense, though. Everyone knows metal cannot be destroyed by fire.

Album Review: Anti-Mortem - "New Southern"

Every now and again, we need an album like this. A concise record that isn’t particularly concerned with technicality or image and instead seeks only to slake our thirst for the base impulses of metal as we know it. Anti-Mortem’s “New Southern,” the debut record from the band hailing from Oklahoma, hangs its hat on the idea that metal burns brightest in the furious furnace of the heart more than the unchained imagination of the mind.

Album Review: Tuomas Holopainen - The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck

The thing about concept albums that often gets forgotten is that both the artist and the listener have to truly be invested in the story for the album to work as intended. Without that sincerity, they amount to nothing more than bloated albums that use art as a means of excusing their weaknesses. When a bad idea comes along, like writing a double concept album about a mystic charlatan who was the medieval equivalent of a carnival huckster sitting in front of a crystal ball (yes, I'm talking about “Nostradamus”), there is no hope of the album ever overcoming the subject matter.

Album Review: Triptykon - "Melana Chasmata"

Triptykon’s debut full-length record from 2010 “Eparistera Daimones,” was a confused affair, even though it was greeted with unqualified praise from the reviewing universe. It lacked direction, rambled on in random progressions, and never established a musical purpose beyond trying to cram as much force-fed anguish into the product as possible.

Horror Icon Mini-Marathon: JOE DANTE

Making horror is challenging; making comedy is difficult. Making horror-comedy is an unenviable task. So many things can go wrong, because the balance is so delicate that the entire filmic house of cards can collapse in on itself with the slightest misstep. Occasionally, filmmakers will make one or possibly two decent entries into the sub-genre; however, only one filmmaker has made an entire career out of the precarious high-wire act, and that filmmaker is Joe Dante.

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