GHOST – Prequelle

It is difficult to believe that we only four albums into their career. It feels strange as so much has been written on this Swedish heavy metal band that their tenure in the world of heavy metal seems like it should be longer. With so many fans, detractors, press coverage, marketing schemes, and new converts, Ghost should be at least 20 years old. It certainly feels that long.

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Watchtower #1

Watchtower: Bandcamp #1

My relationship with power metal has changed at least when trying to review it for this site. At one point I did a power metal Bandcamp series but then ran out of things to talk about. I then did a traditional metal revival series but then ran out of enthusiasm every month. Perhaps this is the split difference as a series dedicated to popular and upcoming Bandcamp metal albums which range from power, traditional, speed, and doom. The unifying force it seems is the quest for escapism and immersion of sound.

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DIMMU BORGIR – Eonian

Dimmu Borgir - Eonian

I love Dimmu Borgir but explaining it may take time. For as much as this Norwegian, once black metal progenitor, has taken criticism for their symphonic style, the more I am drawn to their world. Since the early 90’s, many bands and albums have done what was covered in Dimmu Borgir’s first two records For All Tid and Stormblåst. In terms of black metal history, these two records are not even hearlded compared to the cannocial albums from Darkthrone, Burzum, and Mayhem, Since 1997, however, few bands have covered the ludicrous ground trodden by Dimmu Borgir once leaving their traditional black metal sound.

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DARK STAR – Dark Star

Dark Star - Dark Star 1981

Classic Metal Rewind is a way for me to revisit the past and unearth some heavy and power metal gems that I was either not knowledgable enough to listen to when they were released or not born and thus unable to purchase. Even if I was alive during the time of these releases, there still is the reality that I would have not been cool enough to be in the know of some lesser known heavy and power metal. Classic Metal Rewind is a chance to carve my own history where I am laying in my bed with giant headphones and a stack of great records in my queue.

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Big Metal Month (April)

Adult Swim’s Singles series has been a pretty decent source for sub mainstream one offs from a variety of metal and non metal bands. In 2017, Adult Swin did 52 singles throughput the year from bands like Protomartyr, Thuindercat, The Field, Dinosaur Jr. and just about any band that was pulled from the collective brain of the hip listener. Pallbearer is up for a round following their well received 2017 record Heartless. Expect sullen dispositions and mournful congregations.

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KAMELOT – The Shadow Theory

We are going to be completely honest and say that this is probably my first experience with Kamelot outside of cursory acknowledgement of their name as a power metal band. Checking my mental library, it seems that yes, this is the first album from Kamelot I have listened to. I wish I could say otherwise but I am not going to sit here and pretend to recount facts about their past when I am just pulling them off the internet. What follows is an honest account from someone sort of…

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XOTH – Invasion of the Tentacube

XOTH - Invasion of the Tentacube

This is melodic death, as serious as last time, but now with a nice line in playful over-expression. Xoth were never slouches lyrically, each track of Hostile Terraforming had something worth hearing in it’s grunting, gritt throated vocals, and invasion of the tentacube is no different. They seem to double down on that this time, and audio balancing means they hover forever at the edge of understanding. Usually close enough for understanding on your second or third listen, but at a first spin you’ll be too awed by the thrumming of the guitars, the relentless drumming and the hearty, ever energetic bass to pay the words much mind.

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Big Metal Month (March)

Amorphis is a band who I totally know and respect for their early contributions to a subgenre and know almost nothing of their recent work. Queen of Time is the band’s 14th record since 1992 and marches closely to 30 years for the band being active. Queen of Time also sees a return and reformation of most of the original members for Amorphis which is funny considering how far this band has gone with membership. “The Bee” is an oddly named song but sees Amorphis where they feel most comfortable with a sound that is both harsh, melodic, progressive, and spotless in its production.

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Big Metal Month (February)

This is the third single from Judas Priest’s 18th album Firepower. The previous singles, “Firepower” and “Lightning Strike”, gave longtime fans and people who havent listened to metal since the 80’s something to look forward to to as both songs shook off the lethargy of previous records. “Never The Heroes” shifts down in terms of tempo but is still just as strong as previous singles even more so when not looking at the lame lyric animated video.

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VAELMYST – Earthly Wounds

Valemyst Earthly Wounds 2018

And it is time to come up from the graveyard, warehouse, and whatever festering bog for a different approach to death metal. Are those guitar solos that are not done by blunted buzzsaws? I say this fully knowing that Vaelmyst (the slaughter mist that appears over the bodies of the slain) is nowhere near the level of pop accessible. With that said, if one was looking for a fun excursion down the well threaded paths of melodic death with competent musicians and vocals that sound like severed heads, then you…

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VISIGOTH – Conqueror’s Oath

I do not think I have seen an album take over my social media feed as much as the new Visigoth. This is hilarious as Visigoth is not the type of band that many people know about unless you are into this type of music. Though the last.fm statistics for Visigoth put them at 9K listeners, metrics go out of the window when dealing with niche sounds with rabid fanbases. What are numbers for bands like Eternal Champion, Manilla Road, Atlantean Kodex, and Night Demon? The internet is a weird…

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SUMMONING – With Doom We Come (2018)

With Doom We Come

The news of With Doom We Come, the 8th record from Austrian black metal band Summoning, was met with an undeniable and overwhelming amount of excitement not just from the perspective of a group of fans but from followers of an entire genre. Dungeon synth’s relationship with Summoning may seem a bit complex being the band has a tandem relationship with the sound but with the announcement of the band’s first in five years caused an uproar in small bedrooms. This is perhaps why the new Summoning record is so…

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Big Metal Month (January)

Big metal month returns for 2018. This was a column I started to devote not only keep up with big name releases but also take a breather from releases that 10 people will probably hear. This also gives me a chance to keep myself up to date with the bigger labels and a mainstream approach to heavy music. It is also a different way for me to fish out any albums that would be interesting for full length review. I think I found one while the rest are sort of…

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On The Wings of Dragons

on the wings of dragons

JD McGibeny wants to ride a dragon. It’s a noble aim, and I’m willing to bet that somehwere near 90% of the sentient beings in the universe would agree with him, but I’m willing to bet not all of them consider it a passion like McGibney. It’s the title track of his EP, his website, his bio, this is a guy for who riding a dragon isn’t an idle wish, but a longterm goal, and one that doesn’t seem at all diminished by it’s apparent impossibility. This is a man…

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