Melodic Metal

Volturian – Crimson Review

Volturian – Crimson Review

“The brainchild of Frozen Crown‘s Federico Mondelli and Sleeping Romance‘s Federica Lanna, Volturian prioritizes fun over all. These tunes will get stuck in your head, you will kind of hate that they get stuck in your head, and you will be powerless to stop it if you give it the smallest opening.” Activate earworm lock!

Quiescency – Message for Lamb Review

Quiescency – Message for Lamb Review

“Metalcore. Deathcore. The ever nebulous ‘melodic metal.’ These are tags that discomfit discerning metalheads like myself. In those rare moments where I experience the excitement for a new release in these genres, as I did with Russia’s Quiescency, the worst case is that my anticipation overinflates. Since the band announced Message for Lamb roughly forever ago, my expectations for their debut record swiftly reached an unreasonable altitude. Alas, what goes up must come down.” Lamb stewed.

The Wizards of Winter – The Christmas Dream Review

The Wizards of Winter – The Christmas Dream Review

“If you’re familiar with Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, The Christmas Dream by holidazzle super group The Wizards of Winter is the metal equivalent. I myself am no stranger to these cinematic fruitcakes, as Mrs. Cherd and my jolly old father-in-law take perverse pleasure in subjecting me to them every Yuletide. It’s become such a tradition that we’ve devised a game of Christmas movie trope bingo, and it’s easily adapted to this brand of metal holiday album.” Nice snow globes!

Black Passage – The Veil Review

Black Passage – The Veil Review

“Every now and again we at AMG receive promo that defies genre classification. Out of those, one or two make us crazy trying to decide whether we even like it or not. This review marks the first time I get to experience said phenomenon firsthand. Black Passage, a “metalcore” quintet out of Bay Area, CA, are releasing their debut LP The Veil at the tail end of July.” Pigeons without holes.

Ascend the Hollow – Echoes of Existence Review

Ascend the Hollow – Echoes of Existence Review

“I am ashamed. Why? Because I almost let this badass record slip through my greedy clutches. You see, my good friend (who we know as Septic ’round these parts) randomly pops in now and again to apprise me on some of his choice metallic discoveries. He introduced Irish/German/Dutch quartet Ascend the Hollow to me and I was instantly hooked. Like, so fast my head spun. I needed to share my excitement for Echoes of Existence with as many people as possible, but how? It would’ve been grand if we received promo, I thought. Then, all of a sudden I received a virtual sucker punch while rooting around the bin—the thing’s been sitting there since the end of April! How in the actual heck did I miss that??? And lo I experienced great embarrassment. I nearly neglected one of the coolest new bands to materialize out of absolute nowhere this year.” Finder of nearly lost things.

Pythia – The Solace of Ancient Earth Review

Pythia – The Solace of Ancient Earth Review

“Ah, yes. Symphonic power metal fronted by an operatic leading lady. This is the stuff that got me into metal in the first place, and my love for it remains unflagging still. But great albums from this specific formulation of the genre made themselves scarce in recent years, with only ElvellonDelain (shut up, entire AMG staff!), and Epica (shut up, entire AMG staff!) releasing albums I enjoy on a consistent basis. So when I saw a promo that featured name drops from two of those three bands and Nightwish, I knew what I needed to do.” Metal cred is overrated.

Avandra – Descender Review

Avandra – Descender Review

“There are some excellent metal records out there—Voyager‘s Ghost Mile comes to mind, along with Wishfield‘s self-titled release from earlier this month—that I find quite relaxing. These kinds of records sneak up on you. You might not think much of them at first, but as time passes you crave them more and more. Which brings us to the band of the day: Avandra. ” Prog for pondering.

For All I Care – Forever and a Day Review

For All I Care – Forever and a Day Review

“Has there ever been a time when metalheads ’round the ‘verse rightly celebrated non-Converge metalcore? I am not qualified to answer this question, for in my infinite wisdom, I actually dig In This Moment quite a lot—and, for the record, Maria Brink sounds incredible live. I feel no shame for this, and because of that I am sure Angry Metal Guy would love nothing more than to sacrifice me to a rabid Muppet while playing Tetragrammacide in the foreground for good measure. But I digress. Germany’s For All I Care is a metalcore sextet of the non-Converge variety, and Forever and a Day is their debut full length. And as you might suspect given my polarized taste, it is possible that I might love this stuff.” We care a lot.

In Flames – I, the Mask Review

In Flames – I, the Mask Review

“Let’s get one thing straight. In Flames is not a melodic death metal band anymore, and they haven’t been for quite a while. This is not in and of itself a bad thing. It’s just the way it is. That being said, The Jester Race was a magnificent piece of Gothenburg melodeath. The band has since become the Law of Diminishing Recordings’ main bitch and haven’t been able to get out from under that role. Yet I, opportunist that I am, was all too eager to snatch their thirteenth effort I, the Mask from the grubby claws of the AMG Consortium.” Snatch and sob.