HELLOWEEN – Straight Out of Hell

Helloween - Straight Out of Hell (2013)

Where to start with Helloween? Where to start with power metal in general. Unlike Manowar or Rhapsody of “Dragon’s Breathe” Fire “Eternal”, my knowledge of Helloween does not extend much past their generally agreed upon classic records. Keepers of the Seven Keys Part I and II are eternally enshrined in the hall of heavy metal essentials. Those two records, for the time and place, are phenomenal and godlike and because of this, few people travel beyond its golden gates. I do not intended to understand everything Helloween has gone through,…

Read More

PHARAOH – Bury the Light

PHARAOH - Bury The Light (2012)

It’s worth noting that upon completing my first listen of this album I immediately put it on again. I hardly ever do that. And though repeated listens have revealed plenty of imperfections, the emotional core of the album – its most compelling trait – remains strong. On this album, ex-Control Denied vocalist Tim Aymar weaves lush, exciting tales, packages them as delightfully catchy melodies, and delivers them with a powerful, raw tenor voice. I mean, this guy straight-up sings like it’s his last song before the firing squad takes aim.…

Read More

CARACH ANGREN – Where the Corpses Sink Forever

Note: This entry is apart of Kaptain Carbon’s survey on missed albums from 2012. This is, at least, how he justifies a nearly one year old record. File this next to Dordeduh in bands I did not know about until they showed up en mass at the end of the year. Holy shit guys. You all fucking loved this album. Carach Angren you say? After a bit of research in the library vaults I found this band on a dusty back shelf. This Dutch symphonic black metal band has had…

Read More


Folk metal. Let us start there shall we? It is easier than starting anywhere else. Generally, folk metal reactions are divided between absolute devotion and baffled stares. The combination of folk music with heavy metal could yield an almost limitless amount of combinations. The usual result, however, is somewhere between metallic group dances and trolls playing to a polka beat. This is fine because it is, usually, quite enjoyable. But beyond folk metal’s first tier of drunken rambles is a second group of experimental pioneers who are taking the breadth…

Read More

BLIND STARE – The Dividing Line

Blind Stare - The Dividing Line (2012)

Blind Stare is a sextet from Finland who play a “symphonic” style of Melodic Death Metal. This is their second album, and the first of theirs that I have listened to. There is a lot to like about this album. First of all, there are the vocals of Eino Tuominen and Jaakko Lehtinen. Eino, the primary vocalist, provides the harsh vocals, which are emotive, dynamic and fairly easy to understand. Jaakko provides the clean vocals, which are surprisingly strong considering the style of music this band plays. I actually would…

Read More