Angry Metal Guy’s Top Ten(ish) o’ 2019

AMGI’m a big fan of the D&D-themed webcomic Order of the Stick. As the comic became a true phenomenon a decade ago and its author Rich Burlew became increasingly in demand, he began drawing himself looking more disheveled with every self-portrait. In the introduction to the most recently released book, his self-portrait is wearing sweatpants, has unkempt hair and looks about ready to fall over. That is a feeling I viscerally share. Or, as the kids say in 2019: IT ME!1 But fortunately for me, despite my desperate, fundamental failures as a functional, competent adult human being, has reached new heights of prominence and readership in 2019. Again. We now average 1 million+ page views a month. We continue to be extremely productive, having brought on a bunch of new writers,2 and we continue to be the very best place for long form reviews on the Internet. Yet, we’ve also continued to expand with things like weekly playlists and primers, an excellent new interview series on mental health, and the ideas just keep coming. As we move into our ten(ish)th year, I’m pleased to say that I am not alone in this and thank Dio for that.

Running is a huge amount of work. Every review that gets published—and we produced 982 posts (779,386 words) in 2019 of which the vast majority were reviews—takes dozens of hours. From the moment we get an album in our inbox to the day it gets published, there are a half dozen people involved. We take pride in the quality of our writing, the consistency of our scoring, and our Angry Metal Standards™. In this process, it is particularly important that we recognize the gargantuan job that Steel Druhm, Madam X, Sentynel, and the good doctors Wvrm and A.N. Grier do. This well-honed machine takes seriously the daily calling of making the best metal website—blog or magazine—on the Internets. These people volunteer significant chunks of their lives to make this website happen and they do it remarkably well.

Then, of course, there’s a stable of writers—long-time and new—who continue to show up and deliver high-quality reviews, interviews, and to come up with great ideas. Again, our writers make the sheer volume of content we produce possible and they deserve respect for working hard, learning on the job, and for constantly trying to improve their own work and the website. We also have the privilege of working with fantastic promo people all over the place—PR companies and labels alike—who make this all possible. Well, not to mention that we’re living through an absolute explosion in the availability of music.

But while we’re at it, readers new and old deserve a lot of love for their dedication to us. Once again, you all continue to come here and make this the best community and comments online—even after we ditched Disqus. We are so grateful for you and while it’s difficult to be as involved as I would like to these days, I am comforted knowing that you guys are there—shitty taste and all—excoriating every decision I make like you all have your own eponymous websites that are enormously successful. Oh, wait…

I live day to day right now, so I will not make any grand proclamations or predictions about 2020; our ten(ish)th year of existence. I have hopes and I have ideas, but I want to let things happen as they happen. Enjoy every single day, readers. Everything you think you understand can disappear in a single second. Thus, “as is [the long play album], so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.”3

Belzebubs cover art#(ish): Belzebubs // Pantheon of the Nightside Gods — The number of symphonic black metal albums that I can remember having enjoyed since the start of is vanishingly small. Furthermore, I’m about as checked out from black metal as humanly possible these days. Yet, Belzebubs has demonstrated beyond a doubt that it’s not about me. No, clearly it’s black metal’s problem (see: Nazis, “ambience,” and “stagnation” for clues as to what the problem might be). Yes, Belzebubs is a webcomic-related musical project, but it’s so much more. It’s fun and definitely funny, but moreso Pantheon of the Nightside Gods is the perfect reminder that good songwriting trumps trends ten times out of ten.

Avantasia - Moonglow#(ish): Avantasia // Moonglow — Every year brings surprises. One of my big surprises was the fact that Tobias Sammet from Avantasia and I are finally on the same page. Moonglow is the best thing Edguy’s petite singer’s outsized sense-of-self has produced in his career. The brilliant combination of Jim Steinman-isms4 with Sammet’s Europower stylings produced a fun, poppy, and melodramatic album that finally feels like it’s worth the last 15+ years of hype. The cast is great (both Jørn and Tate are here and neither annoys me), the songwriting is superb, and I’ve listened to this a lot more than I would have ever imagined. Sure, it might sometimes sound like they’re raising money for We Are the World, but you can’t deny good songwriting when it’s waving its jazz hands in your face.

Dialith - Extinction Six album cover#(ish): Dialith // Extinction Six Extinction Six is one of the best power metal records I heard in 2019 and Dialith is a band that promises to be worth watching going forward. The album, as I mentioned at the time I reviewed it in August, does the enviable work of firmly planting the flag of metal back into the ground of symphonic power metal. Dialith’s singer Krista Sion channels classic Tarja-era Nightwish in a lot of her performances over a soundtrack of smartly written, impressively performed songs. This makes Extinction Six a victory. It’s filled to the brim with memorable songs, brilliant solos, and a whole array of great ideas. Even better, this is just the beginning. Dialith has room to grow and that should excite everyone! I liked it enough to debut the damn thing back in August and I love how right I was to do that.

The cover of In Mourning - Garden of Storms, the record of the month#10: In Mourning // Garden of Storms — While not new, In Mourning’s reinvigorated Garden of Storms continues to feed my narrative about the future of melodic death metal going into the next decade. Garden of Storms finds these Falun-based Swedes dropping thick riffs, ripe with groove and laden with hooks. They offset their heavy side with the perfect use of Insomniumesque melancholy and this is one of the places where they shine, finally shrugging off the never-really-accurate claim that they would replace Opeth. Garden of Storms is the band’s heaviest, most creative and most engaging record since they blew everyone out of the water in 2008, and there was never a question that it would end up on my End of Year list. I expect to be wandering in this garden for years.

The album cover of Fleshgod Apolcayse - Veleno, art by Travis Smith#9: Fleshgod Apocalypse // Veleno — There is no doubt in my mind that my initial review of Veleno is accurate. The lesser follow-up to the devastatingly brilliant King, Veleno is an album that I think more people would expect to end up on my disappointments list than at spot #9 on this list. But this impression is the misleading result of Fleshgod trying to followup what was a truly defining moment for them. Veleno is not that—it rehashes ideas, has worse production, and is not conceptually interesting—but it is fun, engaging and addictive. The day I posted the review, I wrote in the AMG group: “Here’s the ‘what are the chances I just gave a 3.0 to my Record o’ the Year’ thread.” I wrote that fully aware that Veleno would be showing up again in December. The kind of orchestral death metal that Fleshgod accomplishes is, to me, among the most exciting and enjoyable variations of the resurgence of melody in extreme metal. The cinematic brilliance of Veleno is apparent on tracks like “Fury” or “Sugar,” and it’s a truly enjoyable album that I liked more than almost anything I heard this year and that I probably underrated.

Opeth - In Cauda Venenum cover art#8: Opeth // In Cauda Venenum — If Åkerfeldt retired today, I think that he could do so happy that he had produced In Cauda Venenum last. The album, which still seems to excite a surprising number of cranky former fans despite Opeth not having been a metal band in over a decade, is a demonstration of the skill of the band he has assembled and is one of his conceptually most impressive records to date. With a brilliant use of archival material for samples and an ever-increasing variety of orchestral sampling, In Cauda Venenum manages to both feel like an Opeth record and to expand their sound. Part of what makes the album gripping for me, as a Swedish speaker, is that Åkerfeldt didn’t shy away from his impulse to write In Cauda Venenum in Swedish. This adds layers of nuance to one of the band’s biggest weaknesses, while lending them a cultural repertoire upon which to draw that genuinely differentiates this material from anything they’ve done before. I can’t shake the feeling that this is Mikael’s “death” album; a midlife realization of mortality made vinyl. And as such, it feels mature, personal and as vital as ever.

Lacuna Coil - Black Anima#7: Lacuna Coil // Black Anima — Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would be placing a new Lacuna Coil album in my Top 10(ish). I have a soft spot for certain things the band has done, but I can say that it’s been a decade and a half since I was particularly interested in a Lacuna Coil album. Black Anima, however, is an album that speaks for itself. Lacuna Coil has taken hold of the reins of their sound and reoriented back toward something heavier, while developing their sound toward something more dynamic. In the process, they seem to have created the perfect distillation of the sound they were always aiming for. Black Anima is poppy, tight, groovy and memorable. The vocalists both sound fantastic—Andrea with his growls and Cristina having continued to develop her vocals—and the end result is a record that capitalizes on the promise that Lacuna Coil always had. Producing an album this tight and heavy, along with a clear visual signature, you can tell that they genuinely nailed their vision. And hey, I’m happy to hear it!

Soilwork - Verkligheten#6: Soilwork // Verkligheten — In 2010, I reviewed The Panic Broadcast after having not heard Soilwork in ages. I liked it fine—probably overrated it, honestly—but I can tell you that I never returned to it. Since then, every time they release an album, I check it out and shrug my shoulders. Verkligheten, however, dug under my skin and—like our obdurate reality—refused to budge. The fact that Soilwork had really delivered on Verkligheten was made even more clear to me seeing them live in Stockholm. Not only were they excellent live, but it was clear how both the band and the crowd was completely into the new tracks. The whole performance just slapped. As I continued to revisit Verkligheten it occurred to me that, indeed, Soilwork had released an album that I genuinely love and which is clearly one of the band’s best to date. Things that in the past often seemed contrived—every song’s big melodic chorus—work to perfection. The riffs are hooky and the songwriting tight. Even Strid’s vocals, which I have never loved, sound better than ever. Verkligheten is tight and driven, with great songs, sharp hooks and groove for days.

Xoth - Interdimensional Invocations 01#5: Xoth // Interdimensional Invocations Xoth was one of the true revelations for me in 2019. Their sound is a brilliant mishmash of influences that land them squarely into territory that fans of thrash, black, and death metal can all love. Seemingly built on the back of the most innovative parts of the 2000s-thrash scene, Interdimensional Invocations is a wild ride that grabs the listener by the throat, shaking until resistance is gone. And it’s tough to dislike anything Xoth puts on offer; the package feels complete from the art to the production, Xoth has produced an album that seems to perfectly reflect their vision. Personally, Interdimensional Invocations also takes me back to a time when sadboi melodic death metal wasn’t the only thing anyone considered to be melodeath. Building on the back of thrash innovations to make something interdimensional—something that spans the metal subgenre multiverse—fills me with the anticipation that only a truly remarkable album can deliver. Bonus points for being a Top 3(ish) art of the year contender.

An angel exploding out of DNA. This is the album cover of this review.#4: Turilli/Lione Rhapsody // Zero Gravity (Rebirth and Evolution) — Yes, I’m a sucker for the [(Luca) Turilli(‘s) / Lione] Rhapsody [of Fire] brand,5 but loving Zero Gravity was not a given. I had not been head-over-heels for Prometheus, frankly, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But furthermore, I really loved Allesandro Conti’s voice and was skeptical of Luca teaming up with Fabio again, as Fabio has sounded better than ever in Angra. Hell, the band even decided to do a duet with Elize Ryd (Amaranthe) and Lione as the album’s first single.6 But when I sat down with the album it became clear to me that Zero Gravity was the perfect bridge between Turilli’s love of scoring soundtracks and vocal music and the over-the-top power metal of his past. The album is loaded with bombastic arrangements, unexpected ideas, and a score that helps it to sit right in a blind-spot among power and prog writers; the crossover between orchestras and electronics that has been developing to an art form in video game soundtracks (like the Mass Effect 3 or Shadowrun: Hong Kong OSTs). That, combined with Turilli’s fantastic ear for choral compositions, makes Zero Gravity an album that stands on equal footing with its predecessors, while still feeling like something new. It really is a rebirth and evolution.

Black Sites - Exile#3: Black Sites // ExileBlack Sites makes good, honest heavy metal. Exile is an album filled to the brim with classic heavy metal tracks, written by Trials’ Mark Sugar (and’s Dr. Fisting). Like Trials before it, Black Sites has two brilliant strengths; the riffs and the songs. Exile channels classic heavy metal by writing catchy songs with razor hooks and catchy choruses. Practically every song on this album features beltable choruses and guitar swingable riffs that evoke the classics of the genre like Rainbow or Maiden. Yet, Black Sites is idiosyncratic, with a sound that is all its own. With a timeless, and pristine, production job that is pregnant with bass, rocks unmatched guitar tone, and has just a touch of single slap reverb to give it an ’80s vibe, Black SitesExile distills what’s great about classic heavy metal in a thoroughly modern package. If these guys came from Brooklyn, had mustaches, mullets, and exposed their hairless chests beneath jean vests, they’d be the talk of the metal town.7 Alas, they just make great music, so you’ll have to settle for them not being widely hyped.

Soen - Lotus#2: Soen // Lotus — I reviewed Lotus in November of 2018 and, impressively, the record is still as relevant and moving as it was over a year ago when I first heard it in that Stockholm studio. Lotus finds Soen delivering on their vision completely and growing as writers along the way. Not only is the album brilliantly produced—even the crushed master sounds good, though the vinyl master is divine—but the songwriting shows that Soen is maturing before our eyes and it is gratifying to see. Over time, I have come to appreciate the emotional core of Lotus more than I had time to appreciate in the beginning. In particular, tracks like “Penance” and “River” have continued to bring me back, demonstrating the development of López both as a lyricist and composer. Furthermore, the addition of Cody Ford’s excellent ear and artful guitar work helped to raise the bar even further. The ultimate test of any album’s quality is time and Lotus stands tall over a year later as one of the very best albums released in 2019.

The album cover of Wilderun's - Veil of Imagination - a slightly surrealist, twisted tree covered in flowers

#1: Wilderun // Veil of ImaginationWilderun is once again receiving my highest honors making them the only band to repeat as my Record o’ the Year. And somehow, Veil of Imagination is even better than its predecessor. This record is a complete album from a brilliant band who we all have the privilege of seeing develop before our own eyes. There are only so many superlatives that I can write before I become a self-parody, so I will try to keep this brief. Veil of Imagination feels like the starting gun for a new decade of melodic death metal and that’s why I called it “iconic.” Like Soen and Xoth below, Veil of Imagination is a record that clearly exists as more than the sum of its parts, because everything is in place. The combination of inventive songwriting and arrangements (both songs and the album flow), stellar orchestral compositions, and the production, are all wrapped up in a cool concept with amazing artwork. These all complement each other, making Veil of Imagination truly stand out from the crowd. It’s records like this one that remind us all of the strength of the full-length album as an art form. It’s the kind of thing you want to put on in headphones and just sit down to listen.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Æphanemer // Prokopton — I didn’t listen to Prokopton nearly enough because I was so busy that I just didn’t make it there. I finally got to it late and it is a truly fantastic album. So why an honorable mention? Well, I just haven’t been at it long enough to really know where it would land in my list. I tried it out in the bottom five, and then as an (ish) but lists are hard, guys and that meant leaving off other stuff I prioritized throughout the year. I like Æphanemer for a lot of reasons, but they also feed into my sense that there’s a rising wave of melodic death metal that is going to be reinvigorated in the upcoming decade. Prokopton is a melodic death album, yes, but it doesn’t feel derivative; it feels visionary. I’m looking very much forward to hearing more from these guys in the future.
  • Disillusion // The Liberation — Like Æphanemer, Disillusion was very hard to knock down this list. After such a long silence, this album turned out to be a tour de force of proggy melodic death metal. The Liberation is clearly brilliant and whoever left it off this list deserves to be fired. *rabble rabble*
  • Eternal Storm // Come the Tide — For fans of melodeath, Eternal Storm‘s debut is yet another glimmer of hope in an increasingly fecund crop of excellent melodic death metal bands. Come the Storm offers up everything we can want in this regard: chunky riffs and brutality meet with melancholy melodies and birth an addictive listening experience. This record is memorable and hooky and I was so pleased to see how much love it was getting at release time. Don’t forget about these guys, because the tide will be back.
  • Musmahhü // Rise of the Odious — One of the only “blackened death metal” albums I loved in 2019, Musmahhü has stuck with me since January. While atmospheric, Musmahhü is never monotonous. Rather, it is loaded with great ideas and a palpable sense that it’s about a half inch from going off the rails. Such chaos and a difficult production job make the album feel unhinged. And that unhinged feeling—rawness and extremity—is easy to love and fun to come back to.
  • Galneryus // Into the Purgatory — Somehow I missed the very existence of Galneryus prior to hearing Into the Purgatory and I cannot tell you how happy I am to know that they exist. Really, why isn’t there more Japanese power metal that I’m listening to? I mean, this feels like a huge hole in my heavy metal knowledge and literally the culture best suited to producing the happiest, cheesiest, weirdest and most amazing power metal ever. This album with proper time could easily have made the list above. I love it and now I shall plumb the depths of their discography. Exciting days…
  • Fvneral Flatvlence // Carnal Confessions — I am only a man. How can I resist this terribly named but well-executed doom metal album? I mean, that something is popular by definition means that it’s good, right?

Top 7(ish) Song(s) of 2019:

#ish: A New World: Intimate Music from Final Fantasy – “Tower of the Magi” — Of all the variations on the, apparently, quite successful Final Fantasy orchestration industry, the “Intimate Music” variation is my favorite. These are arrangements of different songs performed by a chamber orchestra. The second volume which was just released this year, and this song—from Final Fantasy II—struck me as a particularly cool arrangement. I remember that when I saw the first Distant Worlds show in Stockholm all those years ago, half the crowd was made up of people in metal shirts. This song should clearly demonstrate the connection.

#7: Belzebubs – “Cathedral of Mourning” — It’s hard not to make this song of the year because of the video alone. Brilliant stuff from a brilliant band/project/comic thingymabobber. Also, the bassist follows me on Twitter and I have no idea what that actually means! Is it just the guy who draws the comic? Or is it the bassist from Insomni…Belzebubs? So many questions…

#6: Lacuna Coil – “Veneficum” — Nothing makes my love for Black Anima feel justified quite like “Veneficum.” First, I now know how the word is pronounced in Italian (DAT C SOUNDS LIKE A CH!), but second, this song is epic. It has all Angry Metal Guy Approved™ melodrama necessary for one of these lists. Furthermore, this is one of the places where Cristina’s vocal development is clearly happening. I love the drama and composition here. This song stood out to me immediately and I still think it’s great.

#5: Soilwork – “Full Moon Shoals” — As a song, I’m not totally convinced it’s the best on this album. But, man, this song has one of the riffs of the year. The hook, right when the guitar comes in on “Full moon Shoals,” might very well be the reason I started coming back to this album. While it seems simple and feels like it should be innocuous, it turns out that I can’t let it go. Nearly a year later, I’m still listening to it all the time.

#4: T/L Rhapsody – “Amata Immortale” — Speaking of operatic songs in Italian, I love the fact that Turilli and Lione have doubled-down on producing music in their native language. While it removes the unintentional hilarity at times, it helps to emphasize the Turilli’s writing and Fabio’s vocal strength. I think the metal world should sit up and take note of the fact that Luca Turilli is a really talented vocal composer. His duets from the recent albums have been brilliant and this track is no exception.

#3: Black Sites – “Feral Child” — This track has it all: fantastic riffs, great feel and flow, a memorable bridge and a beltable chorus. If this doesn’t make you want to pump your fist in the air and head bang like a motherfucking madman, then you are beyond help. Also, this record may have the best batch of guitar solos on a record since Trials last graced this list and “Feral Child” is no exception. Note, as well, the fact that they’re not using backing tracks. That helps to contribute to the classic feel and is a welcome change of pace.

#2: Blind Guardian Twilight Orchestra – “Harvester of Souls” — This album is a very difficult record to get a feel for and I struggled for months to write a review of it (it’s… interesting, but problematic? Ultimately disappointing.). Still, the one song that immediately worked for me is “Harvester of Souls.” While it doesn’t have bass and drums, this song still has the depth and heft to work—which I would argue is one of the biggest problems with Legacy of the Dark Lands as a whole. Fans of Blind Guardian will also note that parts of this song are on the band’s last album. It’s brilliant on that record and it’s brilliant here. Alas, this couldn’t be said for the rest of the album.

#1: Wilderun – “The Tyranny of Imagination” — This song is about my dissertation project. I don’t know how they were able to so perfectly be inside my brain in order to write it, but y’know, there it is. Regardless, if only my dissertation were this brilliant. These guys must be witches.


#1: Soen – “River” — Like “The Words” before it, “River” touches me emotionally in a way that many things in metal don’t. The song flows brilliantly and the lyrics are clearly profound and personal. I think what seals the deal is the guitar solo, which is instantly memorable and loaded with feeling carried only in the fingers of a few guitarists (see: David “Fucking” Gilmour and apparently Cody “Fucking” Ford). This song makes me ache and I love it.

Either way, I’m good. These two songs are brilliant for such different reasons, but they are both utterly brilliant and I cannot choose between them.

Biggest Disappointments:

Sonata Arctica // Talviyö — I already wrote about this at length, but Talviyö is bad. I have been through a lot because of my Sonata Arctica fandom, but I have always had an unwavering belief in Tony Kakko. In spite of everything, he will quirk his way into something brilliant. I’m starting to wonder if Talviyö is a sign that’s not going to happen.

Leprous // Pitfalls — Below is a Corrective Measures for Pitfalls that I had written after I failed to deliver the review on time. It is the full-length version of why Pitfalls is a disappointment. It’s not that it’s bad outright. Rather, the album is conflicted and the vision the band appeared to be pursuing on Malina seems to have fallen victim to impulses that don’t seem to match well.

Corrective Measures: Leprous // Pitfalls

Leprous naming their new album Pitfalls seems appropriate, but ambiguous. Is this an In Flames-style universe brain moment, where the band dubs the album after what they think of the record? Are they commenting on the potential issues facing them? Or is this potentially an epic self-own, giving ammunition to critical reviewers who will undoubtedly be unable to resist such low-hanging fruit. Did these Norwegian-metal-turned-progressive-indie-pop-and-Apple-iPod-commercial just accidentally step into a trap of their own design? What if it’s just a mind game, meant to make listeners and fans like myself overthink the thing? I am unclear of what they desire to communicate. Interestingly, that’s the pitfall along Pitfalls’ path, as well.

Pitfalls has the basis of a compelling sound. Leprous successfully builds up a melancholy, or downright mournful, sound throughout Pitfalls while offsetting it with danceable moments. The songs follow a uniform arc—with verses soft and “glitchy,” contrasted by escalating choruses (with an Anathemaen tendency toward long, slow builds)—and this works well on songs like “Alleviate” and “Below.” In their best moments, there’s a not-so-subtle disco vibe that works its way through the bass (“Be My Throne”) and drums. And you can find traces of their progressive credentials making their pop songs smarter on tracks like “At the Bottom” or “Observe the Train,” where drums and bass syncopate their rhythms, creating memorable moments of variation. Finally, it’s impressive how many ways that the band has ‘embodied’ emulated tone and with the addition of orchestral arrangements Pitfalls can reach new levels of poppy melodrama.

Unfortunately, Pitfalls is an album without a clear sense of what it does well. Pitfalls’ songs balance on the border of indie pop and art rock, but they do not weave them together effectively. Rather, Leprous simultaneously undermines the strength of their pop songs—the hooks—and the stimulating side of art rock. This tension is best exemplified in the album’s two major pitfalls: “Distant Bells” and “The Sky Is Red.” Ostensibly attempting to create moody atmospheres using piano and subtle dissonance, both songs falter because of dragging “introductions” of five minutes. Rather than building tension, the songs annoy and lag; “The Sky Is Red” clocks in at 11:22 and has a climax that’s uninteresting, but the heaviest thing on the album, while the still-too-long-at-7:23 “Distant Bells” wastes a catchy and well-placed Millenial Whoop in its climax because 40 seconds of interesting doesn’t make up for 7 minutes of banality. Confusingly, Leprous fails to commit to writing with the brevity and sizzle that good pop often requires. Tracks that push five minutes overstay their simple ideas and small variations of syncopated bass and drum rhythms do not make them more interesting. No matter how well Einar croons—and boy can he croon—it doesn’t change the fact that ideas are overstaying their welcome.

The conflicting visions for Pitfalls produce an album that is less than the sum of its parts. “Alleviate,” “At the Bottom,” “Be My Throne” and “Below” all form the core of what should be a better record. But instead, Pitfalls drags because the record lacks clarity and purpose.8 It’s interesting to note that Malina is a much longer album, but it pops with engaging, addictive material. Unfortunately, despite impressive sonic choices and production, Pitfalls simply features a number of choices that result in an album that has its moments, but is a real low-point in the band’s career. I know a subset of fans does really like this album—and I can see where there are some genuinely promising moments—but I would direct potential listeners to Malina or Bilateral, where the band’s Rush Ratio is much closer to one-to-one.9

Show 9 footnotes

  1. Also, apparently, YEET!
  2. By the way, and this isn’t a joke, if you haven’t heard from us yet, you technically aren’t out of the running yet. I still have the applications open until we n00b you or jettison you. Hope springs eternal. – AMG
  3. Though, if it’s not great, length matters, see this post. The original quote is: “As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.” – Seneca, I’m not sure where I found this quote originally. I think it’s from On the Shortness of Life, but if you know its original source, it would be much appreciated.
  4. If you don’t know Jim Steinman, I recommend you really go back and listen to those Meat Loaf albums. But also, see the following songs: “Holding Out for a Hero,” “Making Love out of Nothing at All,” and “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”
  5. It can lead to bad judgements like that I probably overrated The Eighth Mountain, I apologize.
  6. Thus once again making my joke about every middle-aged man in power metal being in love with her suuuuper uncomfortable for everyone involved. Because she’s been a guest on them all.
  7. Yes, that was a non-twitter subtweet. Also, Trials wasn’t metalcore you useless fuckers, it was motherfucking thrash metal.
  8. Also, it has 18 minutes of a 56-minute run-time invested in two fundamentally skippable songs.
  9. The Rush Ratio™ is the ratio of Poppyness to Progressiveness on any given album.
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