ANTIKYTHERA – Antikythera

Antikythera is an implausibly spelt word that means three things: An island near Greece, the improbably complex hunk of a Hellraiser puzzle box found on that island near Greece, and this group of musicians found on an island between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. I’m assuming the ancient puzzle box is their inspiration, because they channel the same complexity, mystery and ancient metal as their namesake, all the while somehow avoiding getting lost in a wooden box for hundreds of years. It’s a tricky balancing act, I assume.

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SUBSTRATUM – Substratum (2017)

I am sort of upset that I am writing a review on Substratum’s full length as I think they would be great for my new Heavy Metal 2017 column. Fine, I will write a long form review on this… but there better be good heavy metal for February. Now with that out of the way, please welcome the glorious dawn with some energy that arcs like lightning.

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The Flight of Sleipnir – Skadi (2017)

Doom folk. Stoner folk. Stoner Doom. Whatever words are used to describe The Flight of Sleipnir it really does not capture the blended variety for this Colorado band as they ride the line between post black, psych, doom, and atmospheric sludge which is, unsurprisingly, is not easy to classify. What is easy to grasp is the band’s unwavering loyalty to Norse mythology as the songs, albums and existence for this band is dedicated to making old stories feel like acid trips in the woods.

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Heavy Metal 2017 (January)

This is the first installment of a 12 month series investigating new heavy / traditional / power / speed / doom which seems to be experiencing a new found popularity. We are not in a new wave of anything rather just in a time when more people are paying attention to this style of music. Also each section will feature a different painting from the mater fantasy weaver Frank Frazetta. January’s image is Dawn Attack painted in 1991 which was used on the Science Fiction compilation L Ron Hubbard Presents:…

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BUCKETHEAD – Pike 243 – Santa’s Toy Workshop (2016)

I used to be really into Buckethead. I believe that my enjoyment for Buckethead predated my full swan dive into heavy metal. Between the time of Monsters and Robots and Cuckoo Clocks of Hell, I was on board with crazy shredding from a maniac that never seemed to stop. If you know Bucketheads current history, this last sentence is even more hilarious. Around 2007 when he was releasing his 9 hour 13 disc limited album In Search Of, I began to feel a little light headed with the amount of…

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In Mordor Where The Shadows Are – Homage to Summoning (2016)

Summoning is one of my favorite metal bands. This is not something I say lightly. Rather, favorite bands are only acquired after years of deep thought and reflection. This Austrian band’s contribution to atmospheric black metal as well as parallel influence in the dungeon synth scene and genesis for a smaller grouping of “Summoning-like” bands has elevated their status from metal act to something mythological. Add to this the band’s obsession with Tolkien lore and one has a legendary act which is all deserving of a tribute record. I feel…

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Heavy Metal 2016

I believe that it is safe to say that heavy metal in the year 2016 is getting stronger, perhaps to the point that a divide between good and bad is starting to form. When I say heavy metal I mean traditional metal as it is being distinguished from the more symphonic variety of power metal. This could also include some forms of power as well as speed. 2016 saw a lot of words being thrown around for a style that has been around through ups and downs for decades. The…

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ANTIKYTHERA – Antikythera (2016)

The Antikythera mechanism is an ancient analogue computer and orrery used to predict astronomical positions and eclipses for calendrical and astrological purposes,as well as the Olympiads, the cycles of the ancient Olympic Games. Melodic death is not a genre that you see at the local level compared to things like black and death metal. Melodic death is usually presented by established and experienced with albums full of polish and gloss. Antikythera is from Los Angeles and has made their entrance into the metal universe with a decent EP clouded by…

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Bandcamp Power Metal Roundup #10

Power Metal Roundup

To be honest, it infuriates me when an album is not available for full preview. I can understand if the album is actually not physically out but I should be honest with my emotions. Perhaps this is because teaser tracks and previews for albums feels like an archaic process that was reserved for a time when access to pretty much everything was limited. Bandcamp preview tracks and announcements feel strange in an era where you could get everything at once as long as one turns their attention to the provider….

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METALLICA – Hardwired … To Self Destruct (2016)

A few years ago, I read through Paul Brannigan and Ian Winwood’s Into The Black which chronicled Metallica’s most contested and debated portions of history. This segment of history being the time right after the Black Album up to their infamous collaboration with Lou Reed. Despite the book not being as interesting as its premise, a big take away was the ability for Metallica to self sustain and be a long running heavy metal band who were beyond trying to impress people. When one has reached a certain level of…

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HAMMERFALL – Built To Last (2016)

hammerfall

What is there to say about HammerFall that probably hasn’t been said in the last decade or so? You all know that this band is a Swedish heavy / power metal outfit that since 1997 has made it their goal in life to keep playing the same type of music they seemed destined to do. Since that time in 1997, HammerFalls has made a similar sounding albums complete with their own armored mascot named “Hector” which has appeared on each cover. Save for 2011’s Infected, every cover has had some…

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SAOR – Guardians (2016)

One can rely on Saor for many things. Not only does this Scottish black metal artist have a legion of devoted followers, but the passion which has been welling up inside those fans since 2014’s Aura has been tangible and almost frightening. This is why the announcement and preview of the artist’s third record Guardians has been met with excitement, acclaim, and downright longing from that community. It is hard not to get excited with everyone as Saor has been one of the few artists who has been making new…

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KHEMMIS – Hunted

I know that certain corners of the internet are not as well traveled as others but I am here to tell you that one particular corner is hot with a fiery passion over Khemmis’s new record. This may sound strange as this Colorado based band represented by 20 Buck Spin has done little other than release an esoterically celebrated record in 2015. What in the world would get so many people excited other than fantasy driven traditional doom? Oh just that.

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This Year in Traditional Heavy Metal

This Year In Traditional Heavy Metal

There has been a term that has been floating around for a few years and it is a little bothersome. The New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal has been given to bands that both play in the style of traditional heavy metal as well as embody a traditional aesthetic in either dress, album art, or just general attitude.The term is bothersome because the same term was applied to a new wave of old school death metal some years back and eventually just became death metal. It is also the same…

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