MOONSHIELD – The Warband

Moonshield - The Warband

Harken, brave adventurer, and let me regale you with an epic yarn of war and wizardry, of fire and fell deeds – a tale from days of old, veiled in the mists of legend! Well, not really, this is a music review. But looking at the cover art to the debut album by Moonshield you’d be right to expect a fair level of sword and sorcery shenanigans, and the Atlanta axe-wielders dutifully deliver on that promise. The Warband is a concept album recounting the battles of legendary war-chief Hengest who…

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THE DEVILS OF LOUDUN – Enduring Creation

The Devils of Loudun

The Loudun Possessions was a notorious witchcraft trial in Loudun, France in 1634. A convent of Ursuline nuns said they had been visited and possessed by demons. Following an investigation by the Catholic Church, a local priest named Father Urbain Grandier was accused of summoning the evil spirits. He was eventually convicted of the crimes of sorcery and burned at the stake. The Devils of Liuden was also a 1952 book by Aldous Huxley about the fanaticism and hysteria which surrounded the French town in the 17th century. There we…

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THE MORNINGSIDE – The Wind, The Trees And The Shadows Of The Past

THE MORNINGSIDE - The Wind, the Trees and the Shadows of the Past

There’s something to say about a band that are capable of combining sweeping, epic tracks with melancholic subject matter. The fact that the two elements juxtapose each other so vividly often leads to a breakdown in quality when all is said and done, so it is no surprise that music in the vein of what Russia’s The Morningside put together on their debut The Wind, the Trees and the Shadows of the Past is few and far between. To stylistically compare their dark, melodic, and fiercely sorrowful compositions is difficult…

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GARDEN OF SHADOWS – Oracle Moon

GARDEN OF SHADOWS - Oracle Moon

Melodic death metal is a precarious genre for many reasons, not least of which being the necessity for riffs to continually evolve, morph, and re-invent themselves to keep stagnation at bay. This necessity is amplified tenfold when song lengths increase from your average four or five minute affairs to eight, nine, and ten minute monoliths, where repetitiveness is the bane of all creativity. Thankfully enough, Garden of Shadows supplant each fading riff with one that still rings with melody and mystery, and their atmospheres are so profound and gigantic that…

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