Neo-Classical Metal

Yer Metal Is Olde: Nightwish – Oceanborn

Yer Metal Is Olde: Nightwish – Oceanborn

“I was seven years old for most of 1999—the year Nightwish‘s breakout record Oceanborn saw its worldwide release. It would be seven more years before I would finally encounter what constitutes one of the most exhilarating listening experiences of my life. Since Oceanborn dropped, scores of symphonic metal bands have made countless attempts to imitate it, yet each clone of this record since has failed spectacularly to match either its significance or its quality. Hence this little entry of mine into the annals of Yer Metal Is Olde.” Own the Night(wish).

Rhapsody of Fire – The Eighth Mountain Review

Rhapsody of Fire – The Eighth Mountain Review

Rhapsody’s history has all the operatic drama required of its Italian heritage. Rhapsody, one of the ‘90s and early-aughts’ finest power metal bands, rose to prominence on the back of outstanding material before suffering a string of setbacks in the mid-2000s. After some legal drama and a triumphant return with two brilliant albums in two years, the band’s primary composers—Luca Turilli and Alex Staropoli—split the world in two.” Now Rhapsody of Fire is back with its third post-split album and first with a band new vocalist. What could go wrong?

Corrective Measures: Angry Metal Guy’s Stack o’ Shame Edition

Corrective Measures: Angry Metal Guy’s Stack o’ Shame Edition

“Like with video games or books, one’s “Stack o’ Shame” is the stuff one intends to do but has not been able to do for one reason or another. These reviews are all too late to write full 600-800 word reviews for. On the other hand, I am going to be way too busy this winter to be able to handle writing a bunch of TYMHM. So, I am invoking my right to rule through this (hopefully one-off) post that rounds up some stuff that I fully intended to review and didn’t. So by ways of an apology to both you, the readers, and the albums in my Stack o’ Shame, I bring you some angry, metal blurbs. Mea culpa.” Sometimes sorry is enough.

Mistheria – Gemini Review

Mistheria – Gemini Review

“If only it were that simple. Completely instrumental albums are more difficult to write, I think because we are automatically drawn to voices. Without a vocalist, the tracks must be carefully composed to guide the listener’s attention and keep a sense of structural flow and integrity. Gemini is not carefully composed. Gemini doesn’t have flow and barely any structure. Rather, Gemini is a group of very talented musicians wanking onto a biscuit and hoping you’ll eat it.” Don’t eat the buttermilked biscuits.

Mastercastle – Wine of Heaven Review

Mastercastle – Wine of Heaven Review

“Since their 2009 debut, Mastercastle have blasted from the blocks by channeling Iron Maiden‘s otherworldly focus on output. The Italians released five albums in six years, intent on spreading their cheesy neo-classicisms far and wide. This shotgun approach has done the band no favors, though; their potency stretched thinner with each new release. With lead axeman Pier Gonella nearing his 30th album, concerns of diminishing creative stores seem all too prescient. Mastercastle‘s sixth release Wine of Heaven reaches the breaking point, shaking the emperor down, stripping him naked, and flogging him through the streets.” All cheese, no wine.

Iron Mask – Diabolica Review

Iron Mask – Diabolica Review

“While Narnia has shifted their direction to a more power-metal sound, Iron Mask stayed true to the Mighty Malmsteen. Hell, Iron Mask even used an actual Malmsteen vocalist for their epic Black as Death release. But, the Belgian’s 2013 record, Fifth Son of Winterdoom, was not good. And I’m sorta afraid to hear this newest release. Well, duty calls. Here goes nothing…” Answer the call of Malmsteen.

Narnia – Narnia Review

Narnia – Narnia Review

“It’s not every day that you see C.S. Lewis’ name in a metal review. But a Lewis cameo is inevitable when reviewing a band called Narnia. If you’ve never heard the band before, I bet you’re picturing seven full-album concepts based on Lewis’ Narnia saga. Well, put those thoughts away because they’re wrong. This Swedish power-metal outfit does indeed have seven records, but not a single one of them is a front-to-back concept. There are the occasional Narnia-influence songs but, for the most part, the band uses Lewis’ folklore as an instrument to spread the word of God; and not in a subtle way.” I think you’ve been lion!

Goatcraft – Yersinia Pestis Review

Goatcraft – Yersinia Pestis Review

“One of the best aspects of writing for Angry Metal Guy Inc. Ltd. Turbo Hyper-Fighting Edition, besides the scenic view of the cemetery right outside the window of my broom closet/office, is the chance to review something challenging and different. Texas one-man black metal act Goatcraft definitely fits the bill as both. Yes, we review a crap-ton of one-man (or woman) black metal here, but I don’t recall us ever reviewing an album that’s strictly piano.” One man, one keyboard…all blackness.