heavy metal

Album Review: Monuments - The Amenuensis

Recently, I was embroiled in a debate over the nature of progressive metal. What was at the heart of the discussion was the old schism between prog and Prog, a distinction that has never been fully sorted out. When spoken, and without the capitalization made apparent, we could be talking about music that either attempts to circumvent traditional structures by exploring musical boundaries, or music that is fully dedicated to playing technically challenging material. Both claim the mantle of progressive, but my mind can only legitimately give the title to one of them.

Album Review: Envenomed - "Evil Unseen"

When one thinks of Australian metal or rock, invariably AC/DC and Jet are the stereotype. Airbourne and some others are in there too, but everybody at this point knows exactly what’s being talked about. So when Envenomed was reportedly a melodic thrash act from the continent down under, there was a certain amount of cynicism that was probably to be expected. Why break the stereotype now, it’s been working so well?

Album Review: Channel Zero - "Kill All Kings"

When I say "channel zero", what comes to mind? Is it the Public Enemy song "She Watch Channel Zero"? Or maybe you think of a half-hour sitcom/sketch hybrid about a post-apocalyptic colony that broadcasts a pirate television station in the wastelands near what used to be Glendale. While both are good, and correct, answers the answer I was looking for is "Belgian thrash metal band who just released their latest album "Kill All Kings" on Metal Blade Records". Better luck next time.

Album Review: Goatwhore - "Constricting Rage of the Merciless"

Let’s face reality right off the hump – coming off the success of “Blood for the Master,” it’s all been on the upswing for Goatwhore, a band of that rare breed that still fervently believes metal is best as a DIY, furious experience. For Pete’s sake, their poster (albeit edited,) appeared in a SportsCenter commercial. To quote that network’s Stephen A Smith: That’s. Box.

Album Review: Vintersorg - Naturbal

What makes folk metal interesting is how it is the unlikely union of two things that should not go together. Metal is hard, brash, and abrasive, while folk music is soft, acoustic, and introspective. Folk would be at the bottom of the list of other genres I would expect metal to ever be paired with, given the fundamental differences between them, and yet there is a healthy and thriving scene of folk metal bands that have managed to forge a connection between the two styles.

Album Review: Incura - Incura

One of the more unfortunate realities of being a music fan is that the more you seek out great music, the less you will find. There are only a certain number of albums out there that will resonate with you passionately, and expanding your search and listening to more and more records is futile. What will happen is that you will wind up hearing massive amounts of music that are either bland or offensive to your senses, to the point where you begin to doubt if you still love music the way you once did.

Preview of Ages to Come

There’s just a certain joy about new projects, aren’t there? They all possess a certain sense of combinative anticipation and mystery that makes them compelling. The beginning of a new project, especially when the members of said musical enterprise have established themselves under other names, is an endless spring of contemplation and speculation that only ends when the result graces us with its presence.

Album Review: Corrosion Of Conformity - "IX"

Please tell me you've heard of Corrosion Of Conformity. If not, C.O.C. is a band who has been around for almost as long as I've been listening to metal. They started as a hardcore band and, through the years, morphed into a distinctly metal group. I remember hearing them back in the day, around the "Animosity" era, and I was pleasantly surprised when I heard them change their style on "Deliverance" in the 90's. I lost track of them through the 2000s because, as it turns out, they were "on hiatus" from 2006 to 2010.

Album Review: Equilibrium - Erdentempel

On an esoteric level, I can appreciate what black metal means to the music world. There is certainly a place for music that seeks to convey the darkest aspects of the human condition, although I have never been able to understand the particular way in which it has been manifested. Whether through pure black metal, or other sounds that have pervasive black metal influence, the appeal of such music is entirely lost on me. The monotony of the frosty guitars, and especially the shrieked vocals, leave me cold, if you pardon the pun.

Album Review: Crowned By Fire - "Space Music for Cave People"

Look, we’ve had this conversation before and we’ve had it on these very pages. There will always be a place for a record like “Space Music for Cave People.” For all of metal’s twists and turns and evolutions both positive and negative, there is an intrinsic feeling of ‘home’ amidst the dirty, blues-base of overdriven thunder the likes of which is Crowned By Fire’s exclusive stock in trade.

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