Inner Wound Recordings

Dark Sarah – The Golden Moth Review

Dark Sarah – The Golden Moth Review

“Hope is a curious thing. It is sustenance where nourishment is absent; light where darkness broods; a rope thrown into a pit where escape is unfathomable. When I was saddled with Dark Sarah’s previous album, The Puzzle, back in 2016, I was little more than a whelp on this venerable site. I was tasked with making hay from a record hewn from gaudy symphonic metal, a genre I had little appetite for and went about my assignment with scant enthusiasm. Hope is what I clung to, the hope that The Puzzle would be the exception to the rule. The end result was an album of middling quality that held potential for much more. So here we are with Dark Sarah’s new release, The Golden Moth, and again I find myself turning to hope.” Make the climb.

Leah – The Quest Review

Leah – The Quest Review

“Symphonic metal wraps up the teenage rebelliousness of heavy music in the comforting folds of palatable vocals, unsubtle melodies, and often attractive front-women for fans to drool over. Is this an oversimplification? Perhaps, but I would have a hard time being persuaded that there is not some truth in this. Leah aims for greater things.” Aim big, miss bigly.

Reissue Alert: Obsession to Have Their Classic Albums Reissued Via Inner Wound Recordings

Reissue Alert: Obsession to Have Their Classic Albums Reissued Via Inner Wound Recordings

“This month Inner Wound Recordings announced they will be reissuing the classic albums from 80s cult metal heroes, Obsession. Hailing from Connecticut, Obsession burst on the scene in 1982 when they scored a track on Metal Blade’s Metal Massacre compilation series (Vol. II). 1984s Marshall Law EP set the template for great things to come.” Find your new Obsession!

Power Quest – Sixth Dimension Review

Power Quest – Sixth Dimension Review

“In my personal pantheon of guilty pleasures, Power Quest reigns supreme. Formed in 2011 by ex-DragonForce keyboardist Steve Williams (lead songwriter and sole remaining original member), this band made a name for themselves in the early-to-mid 00’s by redefining the meaning of cheese, mashing Teutonic power metal together with synth-drenched glam rock—think Van Halen’s “Jump,” by way of Freedom Call, and you’ll have a reasonably accurate idea of what to expect. ” The cheese quest never ends.

Wind Rose – Stonehymn Review

Wind Rose – Stonehymn Review

“Despite numerous recommendations from plenty of people smarter than I, reading any Tolkien beyond some excerpts has eluded me. I have nothing against the man or fantasy in general, but tend to get caught up reading other things instead. So perhaps it’s inexperience or a biased understanding of the Lord of the Rings universe by playing Shadow of Mordor almost pathologically when that came out, but in Round Two of reviewing Italy’s Wind Rose I noticed something that wasn’t present in their Wardens of the West Wind success: this sounds like what I’d imagine Middle Earth metal would.” Frodo-core.

MindMaze – Resolve Review

MindMaze – Resolve Review

“I’m a big fan of MindMaze’s Back From the Edge. Similar to Pyramaze‘s excellent Disciples of the Sun, it’s a true grower of a progressive power metal album that I’ve really warmed to over the years. It strikes an admirable balance between prog and power styles, carrying plenty of memorable hooks bolstered by proper prog songwriting in its longest tracks.” Power-prog and problems.

Pyramaze – Contingent Review

Pyramaze – Contingent Review

Pyramaze has made a career out of defying expectations and being impossible to anticipate. With constantly shifting styles and revolving door vocalists, each new album promises something totally different. Enigmas that they are, it still seemed they’d found a near-perfect sound and a killer front man on 2015s excellent Disciples of the Sun, and since it was such a compelling, addicting album, I hoped they would tinker sparingly with their approach when it came time for a sequel. Alas, it was clear early on the band wanted to take what they did on Disciples and expand on it ten-fold for Contingent, going for a kind of post-apocalyptic conceptual piece with cinematic soundtrack elements and a greater symphonic presence.” Every contingent has a contingency fee.

Dark Sarah – The Puzzle Review

Dark Sarah – The Puzzle Review

“I’ll be honest with you, my first blush with Finland’s Dark Sarah, upon receiving their promo folder had me wallowing in despair, my lamentation palpable through gritted teeth for the seemingly poor choice I had made. Wading through publicity photos with the aesthetic charm of an easel that has been beaten to death by a rainbow, reading the insufferably trite album bio that speaks of mysterious caves and split personalities and the aforementioned laughable album cover all served to shrivel my hopes that I had discovered a ziggurat filled with wondrous music.” Dark Sarah has a dragon (and a cave troll).

Enbound – The Blackened Heart Review

Enbound – The Blackened Heart Review

“A few years back I had the pleasure of seeing Kamelot live at the only venue in my home state that hosts good metal concerts. It was a brilliant show, with the audience belting every lyric while the band granted us an unanticipated level of interactivity, yet one man I met in the crowd remained nonplussed. Forget one of America’s best power metal bands; this guy was excited as all fuck to catch second-rate supporting act Delain.” Taste is a terrible thing to taste.