album review

Album Review: From Hell - "Ascent From Hell"

Paper is a deceptive medium. It always has been. Insidiously, paper sits idly by and lets people scrawl out visions that look like can’t miss propositions until they get into planning and ultimately, execution. Paper never voices an opinion or contrarian voice – it never gives any indication that the information encoded on it might be faulty or without merit. So when From Hell, a band composed of members of Nevermore, Slayer and Death Angel slides across the desk, promising a semi-concept album full of crafted horror stories, it seems like a great idea…on paper.

Album Review: Ronnie James Dio - This Is Your Life [Tribute Album]

In the annuls of heavy metal, when all is said and done, I continue to believe that Ronnie James Dio will endure as the greatest hard rock and heavy metal singer of all time. From his early days in Rainbow, until his last recordings with Heaven & Hell, there was no denying the force of nature that was Ronnie James Dio. He was everything that was great about metal; a caring, intelligent man who loved nothing more than the power of music. Throughout his illustrious career, Dio's voice became synonymous with metal, his voice the soundtrack of countless lives.

Album Review: Pilgrim - "II:Void Worship"

Take a look around. Everything seems to be moving so quickly. Today's world is a fast paced, go-go, what's next, sort of place. We should all strive to take a few moments to slow things down a bit. Fortunately, we now have a soundtrack to help us achieve that very thing and it comes in the form of the new album by the Rhode Island based doom metal trio known as Pilgrim, "II: Void Worship".

"II: Void Worship" is a sequel to their first album, "Misery Wizard" which I was unfamiliar with prior to hearing this new album. So, this was my introduction to Pilgrim.

Album Review: Lacuna Coil - "Broken Crown Halo"

Lacuna Coil at one time seemed poised to absolutely dominate the metal universe and become the next great breakthrough artist in the genre. Unfortunately, they were stalled by an ill fate – a section of their fans backed away and resented the band’s natural evolution toward a more accessible sound, angry that the fury of Lacuna Coil’s early releases had become, in their eyes, too commercial.

Album Review: Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell - "Check 'em Before You Wreck 'em"

The rock and metal revival movement that got off to a running start a couple years ago has continued in earnest, thriving into 2014. With the joyful reception of that material by fans and press in the past, it’s time to produce and prove sustainability.

Album Review: Delain - The Human Contradiction

Female-fronted, symphonic metal is one of the few types that can appeal to more than the average metal fan. Whether it's the difference a female voice makes, or the symphonic arrangements tempering the more metallic aspects of the music, the bands of this style have been able to find an audience beyond the usual groups, which is essential, given how their music goes against most everything that modern metal stands for. The roster of bands mining this style is ever increasing, but not nearly as many are able to do it well.

Album Review: Emerson Hart - Beauty In Disrepair

If you're of a certain age, you know Emerson Hart's voice, even if you can't recall the name. As the lead singer of Tonic, he was front and center on a string of hit rock songs, including the most played single on all of radio in 1997. Anyone who turned on a radio back then knows “If You Could Only See”, and ever since he has continued writing great songs, even if the radio landscape has made it hard for an artist like him to get airplay. The pop world is fickle, and as the trends have changed, there isn't much room left for an honest songwriter.

Album Review: Bigelf - "Into The Maelstrom"

Alright, class. The subject we'll be discussing this week is a genre commonly referred to as "progressive metal". When I hear the word "progressive" I think of acts like Rush and King Crimson. Technically, Fates Warning and Queensryche are also classified as progressive along with one of the most successful progressive metal acts, Dream Theater. Add to that list the album I'm reviewing today, "Into the Maelstrom" by Bigelf.

Album Review: Lost Society - "Terror Hungry"

Lost Society is one of those bands who comes along every handful of years and makes you sit up in your chair and say ‘let’s see what happens here.’ The band’s talent and clear understanding of thrash as we know it was so evident on their debut “Fast Loud Death” that they were practically on the verge of being anointed the Next Big Thing. So with mounting anticipation, the world awaits the forthcoming storm of the Finns’ second effort, “Terror Hungry.”

Album Review: Vangough - Between The Madness

The world of progressive metal is pretty insular, so when a band makes a splash, it's hard not to hear about it. Vangough was able to do that with their first two albums, the acclaimed “Manikin Parade” and “Kingdom Of Ruin”, albums I must say I never got around to checking out as fully as I should have. I heard the praise coming from all corners, but for whatever reason, I never managed to hear more than a song or two at a time. Album number three is now upon us, once again attracting a flurry of critical adulation, and this time I'm not going to let the band pass me by again.

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