Pride & Joy Music

Ani Lo. Projekt – A Time Called Forever Review

Ani Lo. Projekt – A Time Called Forever Review

“I have an irrational aversion to bands that name themselves after people. Perhaps it’s because I’ve always fantasized about being in a band, and choosing a righteous name for said band is always one of my favorite parts of the fantasy. Or perhaps it’s because, in my mind, a great band becomes something greater than the sum of its parts, a whole that transcends any one of its members. Or maybe it’s because I believe that the Dave Matthews Band is the very worst thing that humanity has ever produced.” What’s in a name?

Secret Rule – Against Review

Secret Rule – Against Review

Secret Rule is an Italian quartet gracing the metal scene with their fifth studio album. Reading through the band’s promo gave me a glimmer of hope that I got my hands on something exciting. They’ve shared the stage with the likes of Xandria and Delain and are recommended for fans of Within Temptation, all three of which are exuberant bands full of energy and marked by grandiose, winsome sounds.” Double secret probation.

Luca Sellitto – The Voice Within Review

Luca Sellitto – The Voice Within Review

“As I look back upon the strange and unwieldy mess that we’ve been calling “2019,” I feel like something has been missing. Something uplifting; something powerful. And I’m already short on word count, so, long story short, it’s power metal. In fact, I’m in such a slump for the stuff that seeing The Voice Within, the debut solo album from Luca Sellitto, the guitarist from Italian act Stamina, described as “neoclassical power metal” in the promo bin caused me to grab it so fast I hadn’t even registered the glowing electric guitar on the cover.” Power outage.

Adrian Benegas – The Revenant Review

Adrian Benegas – The Revenant Review

Adrian Benegas, perhaps best known as the keyboardist and founder of symphonic metal act Tragul, is at the beginning of a familiar story: a talented musician and composer takes a step away from his band to attempt a symphonic power metal solo project, one in which the story, lyrics, and compositions will be done solely by himself. He will write a story and bring it to life in musical form, bringing in guest musicians and vocalists to play various parts of the story. Is this sounding familiar yet?” Avant horizon.

Crusade of Bards – Tales of Bards and Beasts Review

Crusade of Bards – Tales of Bards and Beasts Review

“Hello, my name is Twelve. I am an addict. I use symphonic metal and Nightwish. I…wait a second. I’m not Twelve! Silly me. But I too enjoy symphonic metal a whole lot, perhaps too much. Even at its cheesiest it makes me unreasonably happy to listen as richly layered orchestrations mesh with distorted guitars and galloping double-bass kits. I especially love it when, like on the incredible Imaginaerum, the band is able to afford recording with a full-blown orchestra and choir—or at least when part of the symphonics come from actual instruments instead of digitally reconstructed simulations. It is this last feature that drew Spanish sextet Crusade of Bards to my attention.” Symphonomania.

Tarchon Fist – Apocalypse Review

Tarchon Fist – Apocalypse Review

“What? You thought Victorious was gonna be the only metal band we reviewed here with bright colors and dinosaurs in their album art? Fools! The lot of ye! Tarchon Fist, an Italian heavy metal quintet formed in 2005, demands representation in the land of outlandish tapestries bursting with muscular sword-dudes and rampant nonsense. I summoned Apocalypse from the post-apocalyptic wasteland that is August’s promotional dump site because I believed the metal deities wouldn’t permit such artwork were it not for the righteous wares forged therein.” Fist of the Past.

Glasya – Heaven’s Demise Review

Glasya – Heaven’s Demise Review

“The level of diversity available with metal music is a wonderful thing. At any given moment, I’m completely enamored with two or three styles of metal, but those styles are constantly in flux, my needs and desires shifting with the mood of a given day. Lately, I’ve been coming back around to symphonic metal. Embrace of Disharmony launched me back in, and I’ve come to miss that orchestral, symphonic, and otherwise over-the-top element in my heavy metal. Enter Glasya.” Wish upon the night.

Floating Worlds – Battleship Oceania Review

Floating Worlds – Battleship Oceania Review

“Power metal is one of those genres that promises a lot but has a tendency to under deliver. Progressive power — prower? — metal promises more and delivers less often still. While the key constituents, including soaring guitars, prominent keyboards, bombastic drums, and faux-operatic vocals, are all welcome, the manner in which they are stitched together is often where it comes apart. Add to this the risks inherent in making a concept album and you have quite the heady mix.” Watership down.

Qantice – The Anastoria Review

Qantice – The Anastoria Review

“Somewhere in my timeline of metal fandom, the term “symphonic metal” ceased to act as a flame for my moth-like tendencies. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when this occurred, but the source is not. Over time, artists began to implement symphonic elements as less of an enhancer and more of a blatant crutch. Bands utilizing full orchestrations have proven so successful under the Nuclear Blast banner that the ensuing deluge of Nightwish and Dimmu Borgir knock-offs still taints the AMG promo sump to this day. And that’s part of what makes Qantice so dadgum charming: they play highly ambitious symphonic power metal on their own terms.” Symphony for the Devil.

Secret Rule – The 7 Endless Review

Secret Rule – The 7 Endless Review

“There’s a category of music you don’t see much outside certain nerd circles, that of the “filk song,” or fan-fiction-as-music, even in a genre of music as intrinsically nerdy as metal. Oh, sure, you can rattle off a number of prominent examples, even excluding edge cases like Symphony X’s Paradise Lost. Hell, a sizable chunk of Blind Guardian‘s output falls firmly in this camp. But overall, it’s not as big a thing as you might expect, especially on the poppier side of the genre. So imagine my surprise when, slogging through the wasteland of the promo bin, I discover an album by a band billing themselves under “melodic metal,” written around Neil Gaiman’s classic The Sandman.” Nerds unite.