Things You Might Have Missed 2009

Oskoreien – Illusions Review

Oskoreien – Illusions Review

Oskoreien is another one of those DIY projects that I was directed to which delighted me to check out. There was a time when you, as a metal guy, probably got friended by Oskoreien on MySpace, when the creator was in full-on promo mode. The tracks that I remembered hearing were very much in the Ensiferum / Wintersun kind of vein. Lots of sweep picking and sort of melodic death influences. So when I got my hands on the Illusions EP I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Interview with Mary Zimmer from Luna Mortis

Interview with Mary Zimmer from Luna Mortis

One of the most promising bands that I’ve ever encountered in my time in the underground has been Luna Mortis. Within the scene that they were surrounded by, it was basically taken for granted that if someone from the scene was going to take off it would be them (at the time called The Ottoman Empire). To no one’s surprise they got bigger, got better management, got a better band together and continued developing. To no one’s surprise they started getting good press and good reviews and making contacts. To, I think, a lot of people’s surprise they ended up getting signed by Century Media. Not that they didn’t deserve it, but just to think that a group of local kids were getting picked up by the label that had shepherded so many of us into the extreme metal scene was pretty astounding.

Top 10(ish) of 2009

Top 10(ish) of 2009

Well, everyone else under the sun has been releasing their Top 10 lists, and for those of you faithful readers out there I’m sure you’re also interested in what I’m going to say about the best records of 2009. First, let me say that for the first half of this year I was not indeed Angry Metal Guy, but instead, I was just a normal guy buying my metal and hoping that it was going to be fucking awesome. Now, I’m a bitter critic. As a bitter critic I hear a lot more, but this year has still been characterized by some of the biggest bands on the scene for me. Mainly, Amorphis, who in my opinion have released the finest album of the year, if not the finest album of their very distinguished career. But, let me get to that later. There have been some great records this year, but there has been a lot of mediocre shit. Think of this list as being two-tiered, top 10 and then top 20. The top 10 are the records that I think were really awesome, elite albums, the second 10 are records that I think are great and worth your time and effort. Note that I haven’t heard certain albums that I’d like to hear due to that whole poverty not being offset by stealing music thing. With this, I hope to launch AngryMetalGuy.com into the new year on a new note: one where bands suck less.

Luna Mortis Dropped by Century Media

Unfortunately, the up-and-coming Madison, Wisconsin progressive metal act Luna Mortis has been dropped by Century Media. There’s a lot that I can say, but I think honestly that Century is not only making a mistake here, but I think just in general that labels are unwise to not let bands develop. Honestly, the business is so cut-throat and retarded sometimes. These guys are seriously talented, and I hope they get picked up by someone who gives them a chance. Especially since Century signed fucking Iced Earth and gave them how many records to get good? Seriously…

Things You May Have Missed: Kalisia – Cybion

Things You May Have Missed: Kalisia – Cybion

One of the most surprising records of this year for me and one that I’d sort of forgotten about until recently was Kalisia‘s epic concept album Cybion. Sold online as a single track for very cheap, this is one long-ass amazing progressive soundscape that probably shouldn’t be missed. These guys come from France which puts […]

Be’lakor – Stone’s Reach Review

Be’lakor – Stone’s Reach Review

Be’lakor is an Australian melodic death metal band that has been getting some serious attention in the underground despite the fact that much melodic death metal has pretty much been declared by the scene to be dead on arrival. I’d been reading about them for some time so I just wrote them a message on MySpace and the guys were cool enough to send me a copy to review. And I can see why they’re so eager to get their music out to the masses, it’s a bit like ear heroin.

The Chasm – Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm

The Chasm – Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm

In a lot of ways one has to feel a bit bad for The Chasm these days. They have worked as hard, or harder, than almost any band in the underground and fought for ground the whole time. They finally managed to fight their way to a good record deal with a good label that subsequently collapsed and now they’re back at at ground zero. Well, not really ground zero, think Point A. But not even really Point A, because honestly Point A is “write good music,” which they’ve got down. However, as opposed to breaking up after getting knocked down, The Chasm have instead produced a record: 2009’s opus Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm, which doesn’t have the same kind of support that it should have despite its fantastic quality.

Blaze Bayley: At the End of the Day – Lawrence Paterson (Book Review)

Blaze Bayley: At the End of the Day – Lawrence Paterson (Book Review)

A few of you might have noticed that I have taken to reporting a lot on Blaze Bayley (the man and the band), and this is partially due to the fact that I have long been a fan of his solo stuff (and his tenure in Iron Maiden). As I’ve stated before, I think that X Factor is a classic album and I will continue to defend that to this day (though, I will definitely also point out that it is poorly produced, as was Virtual XI, which in my book was also poorly conceived). In any case, I, like others who gravitated to the Blaze-era Iron Maiden, continued to follow him afterwords and were happily surprised by the quality of the material that his newly formed band BLAZE had produced. Since then, I have paid attention, with a heavy heart often times, to an ongoing saga of an excellent underground band getting ignored, fucked repeatedly by labels, management and finally crumbling under the weight of outside and inside pressures. For me, the collapse of BLAZE and the rise of Blaze’s current self-titled incarnation was shrouded in mystery as I was just a fan witnessing it from the outside, but much of what I did not know is now available in a book written by current Blaze Bayley drummer Lawrence Paterson entitled At the End of the Day (and conveniently available for Christmas!).