Big Metal Month (November / December)

Big Metal Month was a new idea I had to keep up with some of the giant labels in heavy metal releasing new albums from well known bands. Since I have chosen to spend all of my time with dungeon synth and things no one else cares about, it is surprising to see some of metal’s biggest releases pass without notice. Big Metal Month also sounds like a comic book which comes in an oversized magazine with lots of pictures. This obviously makes me happy. Please use this column to…

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NE OBLIVISCARIS – Urn (2017)

ne obliviscaris urn

I remember Portal of I when it came out in 2012 and the massive amount of hype this band got surrounding unorthodox yet seamless approach to extreme music. It seemed like a new era of music for some. I was not around for their 2007 demo which seem to follow the same cycle of hype and foreshadowing to great things. Urn is Ne Obliviscaris’ third record celebrating 10 years of releases and as 2017 comes to a close, this band reminds everyone that they have a firm hold in the…

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ELVENKING – Secrets of the Magick Grimoire (2017)

Elvenking – Secrets of the Magick Grimoire (2017)

If one has read previous digest from me, I have been spending 2017 focused on power metal in the vein of USPM and early speed metal. Because of this, melodic power and European based sounds has been a distant memory. This is perhaps why I have enjoyed Secrets of the Magick Grimoire so much as it reminds me of a time when I adored bands like Rhapsody and Dragonland. If we are being honest here, I know little to nothing about Elevenking aside from their kick ass name and their…

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Big Metal Month (October)

Big Metal Month was a new idea I had to keep up with some of the giant labels in heavy metal releasing new albums from well known bands. Since I have chosen to spend all of my time with dungeon synth and things no one else cares about, it is surprising to see some of metal’s biggest releases pass without notice. Big Metal Month also sounds like a comic book which comes in an oversized magazine with lots of pictures. This obviously makes me happy. Please use this column to…

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ENSLAVED – E (2017)

Well, here we are with Enslaved and boy do we have a lot to talk about. Enslaved is fairly new to me meaning that aside from this Norwegian band being monumental in any black metal list or article, much of their post 2000’s work was vague to me. This came in conflict with the band’s continual popularity with each of their records. Last year I feel backwards into the band’s discography working my way from a frosty viking black metal band into a psychotropic warriors plunging their way through a…

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Big Metal Month (September)

Mastodon returns to us with a short EP which is following their 2017 album Emperor of Sand. The difference between these two releases is Cold Dark Place is a stripped down minimal version of Mastodon with a steel pedal guitar as the primary instrument. While I have had varying views on Mastodon since basically their beginning, Cold Dark Place is an interesting diversion for the band who has had varying successes with experimentation over the course of their career.

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SEPTICFLESH – Codex Omega (2017)

Septicflesh - Codex Omega

Before we start this review. I must give thanks to Spiros Antoniou (Seth) for not only having an AMA on r/metal rather than other places on Reddit but answering most of the questions from fans including mine about the alien latex suit they wore for promo shots. the name Septicflesh carries weight in the extreme metal world for being one of the more recognizable names in the atmospheric / symphonic death genre mostly because there are only a handful of bands actually employing the style. Even if this wasn’t the…

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Heavy Metal 2017 (August)

As we seen with most of our cover images, this painting by Frank Frazetta, titled the Norseman and made in 1972, graced the cover of the inaugural volume of Flashing Swords magazine which was an anthology of sword and sorcery and other weird fiction. The first issue had stories from Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, and Poul Anderson. unlike other publications which sort of butchered the original composition,. Flashing Swords was unique in the fact that the entire Frazetta painting was given a nice black frame which allowed the picture to…

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Big Metal Month (August)

Big Metal Month was a new idea I had to keep up with some of the giant labels in heavy metal releasing new albums from well known bands. Since I have chosen to spend all of my time with dungeon synth and things no one else cares about, it is surprising to see some of metal’s biggest releases pass without notice. Big Metal Month also sounds like a comic book which comes in an oversized magazine with lots of pictures. This obviously makes me happy. Please use this column to…

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VINTERSORG – Till Fjälls, Del II (2017)

Till Fjalls, Del II

Till Fjälls (1998) was an important release for not only Sweden’s Vintersorg but also the field of folk / viking / progressive / whatever metal which would eventually blossom over the next couple of years. To this day the sounds and melodies on Till Fjälls exemplify music that is not only interesting but also immersive. Perhaps this is why, almost 20 years later, the band has decided to revisit the snow blasted landscape of their debut record with a conceptual followup.

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WINTERSUN – The Forest Seasons (2017)

Wintersun The Forest Seasons

Wintersun has had a long and tortured history. This is not to say they have not had their share of fame and praise, rather, the polarity that this Finnish melodic death band casts is long and extreme. Since the band’s well regarded self titled debut, the band has both been hyped by its fans and frustrated by its own series of production delays. Time I, originally scheduled for many years earlier, did both serve as a celebration for fans and also the platform for the eternal wait for its proposed…

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Heavy Metal 2017 (July)

Heavy Metal July

As always with this series, I enjoy highlighting art, mainly from Frank Frazetta, but also celebrating other popular works that could possibly align with the sound of traditional heavy metal. Case in point, pulp fiction. If we are going to be more specific than the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Though this writer has many works collected in his career, the name Boroughs is enshrined to two characters, John Carter and Tarzan. The later is where our picture comes from and not from Tarzan but his progeny Korak. The painting…

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Popular Metal Radar (July)

I think I am always going to be destined to write roundups or at least be drawn to them. Processing music is a daunting task and for as many things which come out every week it is difficult to keep up with them or peak people’s interest in everything. Already this site has a dungeon synth and a traditional/speed metal roundup which is delivered to a small niche and loyal audience. What is funny about spending so much time in niche pockets is often not hearing larger releases. I tried…

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Heavy Metal 2017 (June)

It is now June which mans the series of Heavy Metal 2017 has been running for half of a year. In that time we have seen some wonderful things and fought marvelous battles. More importantly I have had the opportunity to search for Frank Frazetta paintings which has allowed me to seek out the source material. This month’s image comes from the 1977 collection of Conan stores called The People of the Black Circle which was painted by…wait for it….Ken Kelly. Yes the artist know for his Manowar covers, unsurprisingly…

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