Reviews

Record reviews

Månegarm – Nattväsen Review

Månegarm – Nattväsen Review

Nattväsen (Night Creatures) is the name of the new Månegarm record, and one that works well with the feel of the entire album. Clocking in at a good LP length of 45 minutes, this record explores musically and lyrically the fears which we as humans have had as long as there has been night. Those fears of the things that creep out of sight, be it the ghost of a mountain (“Bergagasten”), the creatures in our dreams (“Nattsjäl-Drömsjäl”) or a mythical creature (“Draugen”). This concept seals together a record of some of the best folk/viking metal that is currently available by any band.

Sonic Syndicate – Rebellion EP Review

Sonic Syndicate – Rebellion EP Review

Sonic Syndicate // Rebellion EP Rating: 1.0/5.0 – This is everything that is wrong with modern metal Label: Nuclear Blast (EU | US) Websites: sonicsyndicate.com | myspace.com/sonicsyndicate Release Date: Nov. 6th, 2009 Sonic Syndicate are a pop rock band that somehow got signed to Nuclear Blast. Apparently they’re from Sweden, but I wonder if other […]

The 11th Hour – Burden of Grief Review

The 11th Hour – Burden of Grief Review

When I started this review zine I had a friend who told me that I shouldn’t write in the first person on here. That as a reviewer I was to try to write objectively, like my opinion is fact and not simply a jaded metal guy on the Internet spewing his opinions about records. I think this is impossible for a lot of reasons, but one of them is that we all like certain things and dislike other things. I’ve been decried by readers for liking certain records that are apparently aren’t metal enough for them. Whereas others think I’m too hard on their favorite band. But this record proves my point that one needs to write from a place of opinion. See, I have never been the world’s biggest doom metal fan. To be totally frank, I associate a lot of doom with “funeral doom” or “drone doom,” which is a genre that I find to be incredibly boring. And honestly, I like bands that bring it with intensity and speed. I like staccato riffing and tight technicality and progressive approaches. I’ll make no bones about it, I normally associate slow and boring in my brain. That’s right, I probably have hated on your favorite doom metal band of all time at one point or another. So consider that when you’re reading this review and take it for what it is.

Blaze Bayley – The Night That Will Not Die Review

Blaze Bayley – The Night That Will Not Die Review

Blaze Bayley, for those who don’t know (where the hell have you been??) is the solo project of former Wolfsbane and Iron Maiden frontman of the same name. Honestly, this guy’s story is a true underdog story. To hear it told, he was the singer that no one wanted until he got picked up by Wolfsbane and then he was chosen to fill Bruce Dickinson’s shoes in Iron Maiden after Bruce decided he was too cool for the band. There was absolutely no way for him to win in that situation. A man with a baritone register filling Dickinson’s shoes is just ridiculous and everyone should’ve known better: but this reviewer humbly submits that X Factor is a classic record and that Virtual XI, while definitely weaker, was not weak because of Blaze, but instead because of Steve Harris’ writing and the very poor production. In fact, I’m still waiting for those two albums to be remastered.

Arkona – Goi, Rode Goi! Review

Arkona – Goi, Rode Goi! Review

Sure, folk metal is Europe’s deathcore, but somehow it’s so much more enjoyable as a genre! It probably has something to do with the accordions. Oh, and the lack of breakdowns. If folk metal is Europe’s deathcore, than I’d have to say that Arkona is the equivalent of The Red Chord or Between the Buried and Me: so much better than the genre-title implies. Many have come to associate folk metal with the silliness of Korpiklaani and written it off as too much for their tastes. Then there are other people who get a little bit nervous about the sort of nationalistic shit that could easily be associated with a band like Arkona in a land where right wing extremists are definitely an issue. But as far as this Angry Metal Guy is concerned: Arkona is not your average folk metal band and Goi, Rode, Goi! is definitely not your average folk metal record.

The Red Chord – Fed Through the Teeth Machine

The Red Chord – Fed Through the Teeth Machine

The Red Chord has been one of the best respected bands that really came out of the metalcore scene a few years back. I’ve got plenty of friends who dig these guys and dig this stuff and I can definitely understand why. For fans of the breakdown and the chug, there are few bands out there who do it with the kind of proficiency and.. well, lack of boringness that The Red Chord have managed to do it with. Fed Through the Teeth Machine is another example of the fact that metalcore has produced some bands that don’t make the metal gods sad inside.

Three – Revisions Review

Three – Revisions Review

Progressive rock and metal have been looking for a new band to update the genre with something new and original for a long time. While the progressive metal sub-genre has expanded outward, it seems like progressive rock has been left to whiny emo kids and their pretentious and totally incomprehensible space odysseys. Though in recent times bands like The Dear Hunter have started to appear, they tend to be far more eclectic, and rock oriented than I think many fans of progressive guitar rock are really looking for. So when Three burst onto the scene a few years back and was, really, the first band to do something new and interesting with progressive rock since the mid-90s, they began getting some well-deserved attention.

Nile – Those Whom the Gods Detest Review

Nile – Those Whom the Gods Detest Review

Nile has long been one of the few brutal death metal bands, in that sort of Hate Eternal vein that I’ve ever been a real big fan of. They have, probably due to the judicious use of their musical talent, been able to make a type of brutal death metal that is interesting and varied enough that it doesn’t feel like a waste of time to listen to. Actually, that’s the understatement of the year. These masters of grindy death metal have produced some of the most memorable death metal albums of the modern death metal era starting in earnest with their classic record Black Seeds of Vengeance in 2000, but continuing through to today. 2007’s masterpiece Ithyphallic made my top 10 list and I have been greatly anticipating my chance to listen to the new opus, entitled Those Whom the Gods Detest.

Gorgoroth – Quantos Possunt Ad Satanitatem Trahunt Review

Gorgoroth – Quantos Possunt Ad Satanitatem Trahunt Review

Gorgoroth is almost more infamous than famous these days. Known for the extremity of its members, its outrageous and genuinely evil and offensive stage shows and, most recently, its law suit, the band has gained the respect of the black metal scene in recent years for moving ahead of the pack with a calculated but extremely raw sound. 2003’s Twilight of the Idols and the band’s 2006 release Ad Majorem Sathanas Gloriam had seen the band slipping from the hands of the former primary writer into the hands of King ov Hell. With that, the sound of Gorgoroth became far more aggressive, blasty and chaotic. Of course, with the split, Gorgoroth reverted to Infernus who wasted no time in producing a new ode to Satan: Quantos Possunt Ad Satanitatem Trahunt.