Symphonic Metal

Symbolik – Emergence Review

Symbolik – Emergence Review

“I’ve always preferred melodic death metal to plain death metal. While I appreciate the skill involved in well-crafted brutality, I generally insist on having some kind of melody to follow along with or atmosphere to get lost in. I remember when Archspire hit the Angry Metal world through Relentless Mutation, and I could not understand the appeal. One day, not too long ago, it just… clicked. The technical skill, the expert neoclassical weavings, the sheer unmatched power of the thing — I’ve loved the album ever since. And ever since, I’ve been hungry for more. Symbolik are the next tech-death group to take a shot at winning my heart with Emergence, their debut full-length.” Heart clicks.

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?

Faustian Pact – Outojen Tornien Varjoissa Review

Faustian Pact – Outojen Tornien Varjoissa Review

“There’s something intriguing about black metal. While its origins are saturated with violence and its imagery is so defiantly anti-status quo, it’s calmed down significantly over the last decade or so. With more accessible styles like folk and post-rock taking more of a prominent role, it can be difficult to find the trve kvlt style that once circulated the underground in whispered rumors.” Dirty deals.

Isle of the Cross – Excelsis Review

Isle of the Cross – Excelsis Review

“I admire bands who chance their arm at cracking into peoples’ music rotation, especially where their intent is to chart a new path or weave existing genres in dynamic ways. Enter Jo Schneider and the band he leads called Isle of the Cross. Excelsis is their debut release and promised to be an “enigmatic journey of sonic power.” Enigmatic is the key word as I have been unsuccessful in my efforts to learn more about the band, including the country of origin. Further promoting itself as for fans of Opeth and Symphony X is a bold strategy indeed, so I turned to my first listen with great interest.” Excelsisore!

Ravenword – Transcendence Review

Ravenword – Transcendence Review

“An Italian symphonic power metal band formed by its keyboardist and primary composer releasing their first studio album, inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘The Raven.’ This is what I bring to you today, faithful readers, and I invite you to kick me TheKenWord once for every part of that sentence you feel you’ve read somewhere before.” If nights were wishes, ravens would Poe.

Corrective Measures: Blind Guardian Twilight Orchestral – Legacy of the Dark Lands

Corrective Measures: Blind Guardian Twilight Orchestral – Legacy of the Dark Lands

“What is the goal of Legacy of the Dark Lands? To my ears, it sounds the point of the album was to write a metal opera in the style of Blind Guardian. But what if the goal of Legacy of the Dark Lands, a thing that made sense at the time of its conception was accomplished between 2002’s A Night at the Opera and 2015’s Beyond the Red Mirror? What if, in the years since A Night at the Opera, Blind Guardian had developed their sound to be so unique and so orchestral that by the time Legacy of the Dark Lands was released, it was unnecessary and maybe even uninteresting?” S&M Part Deux.

Sometimes We Make Music – Trail of The Fallen Review

Sometimes We Make Music – Trail of The Fallen Review

“Apparently, these Norwegian musicians all live some 400 kilometers away from one another, and only make music sometimes. Lucky for us, this is one of those times. Trail of The Fallen is their debut full-length, a welcome offering of symphonic metal offering complete with a creepy skeleton on the cover. Between those two aspects and the band name, things are already looking good.” Long distance relations.

Nachtterror – Judgement [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Nachtterror – Judgement [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“Earlier this year, I channeled all the might that my status as an exalted AMG writer imbues me with and demanded the promo Maeskyyrn’s Interlude from Hypnotic Dirge (read: I sent a politely-worded email). They obliged and sent not only Maeskyyrn but also Nachtterror. Reviewing schedules being what they are, we couldn’t get to symphonic black metal six-piece Nachtterror‘s record in time for its release. And that is a damn shame because Judgement is a seriously good and incredibly varied slab of metal.” Metal cup runeth over.

Gorgon – Elegy [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Gorgon – Elegy [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“Unlike the other Gorgon from France that released a 43-minute album in January, this Gorgon plays an opulent brand of symphonic death metal—a personal favorite subgenre of mine. That their second full-length Elegy released two weeks into the year and is still kicking my posterior like the absolute badass it is should tell you all you need to know.” Gorgon will eat you.