Valkyrja – Contamination Review

Valkyrja – Contamination Review

Early in my tenure in 2009 I received a record that was being re-released by Metal Blade: Valkyrja’s Invocation of Demise, which was a release of an earlier record that was initially released in 2007 on Northern Silence Productions. There were several substantive complaints that I had about the record, which can be summed up as follows: there is nothing new and/or interesting here; it is repetitive and boring; the songs are hyper simplistic and despite being fast, don’t feel terribly heavy. The challenge, then, for Valkyrja to produce a record that I review better is to improve on these things (and since Valkyrja is out to prove themselves to me and me alone, they certainly will try… *cough*) with their new release Contamination.

Ihsahn – After Review

Ihsahn – After Review

Easily one of the most anticipated records of 2010 for me has been Ihsahn’s new offering. While I was a passing Emperor fan, really just a fan of In the Nightside Eclipse and Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk-era, I was taken by Ihsahn’s solo stuff. The Adversary felt fresh, progressive enough, a step away from the later Emperor material of which I wasn’t a fan, and it captured the sonic styles and textures that he was never quite allowed to explore while in Emperor. The record didn’t stick with me as I had hoped, while I listened to it occasionally it didn’t hold a steadfast position in my discography. On the other hand, angL blew me away. Probably the finest record of 2008, angL has maintained a steady place in the rotation and is a record that I’ve showed to dozens of people. Perfectly produced, perfectly composed and smartly written, angL contained everything that I wanted out of a new progressive metal record. So, of course, when I heard that Ihsahn would be releasing a new record in 2010, I became justifiably excited.

Annotations of an Autopsy – The Reign of Darkness Review

Annotations of an Autopsy – The Reign of Darkness Review

Every once in a while a record just jumps out at you and kicks your ass every which way. The originality, the brutality, everything that you want from death metal just hits you right in the face and leaves you dazed, but pleased. The Reign of Darkness, the sophomore release of UK death metallers (or deathcorers if you read the interwebs, though I’m inclined to just call this death metal) is not one of those records. And while it can be very difficult to write about just how good a band is or how bad a band is, I find the most difficult reviews to write the ones where you have to say “I don’t like it, but you might if this is your thing.”

Orphaned Land – The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR Review

Orphaned Land – The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR Review

Few bands will ever make their own mark on a genre of music. it’s just a statistical rarity. Someone once told me that there are something like 5 million bands on MySpace, if that gives you an idea of the breadth which exists when one is thinking in terms of how many musicians there are out there. Of those, most of them probably last longer than a year, never produce much of a demo much less get signed to a real label, and how many ever produce a real step forward into a new decade with a statement of great things to come? The chances of becoming a professional musician are basically NIL and then of the number that do, how many ever produce something that will be remembered and affect enough listeners to ever influence any? That number is even smaller. Orphaned Land is one of the few bands that will ever exact change in metal and they are doing so now with their new record The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR.

The Greatest Band EVER (to come from Wausau, Wisconsin that starts with a D…)

My buddy Chris just uploaded a video from the now defunct Heathen Crusade’s first ever show. It was where his former band Dumah opened up for Moonsorrow and Primordial and it was probably one of the best shows of his, or any member of that band’s, life. Anyway, little did I know they had taped […]

Mnemic – Sons of the System Review

Mnemic – Sons of the System Review

Mnemic has been around in the ether for a while but I’ve never given them a proper listen until now. The band has good promo, they’ve toured Europe twice with metal giants (like ’em or not) Metallica, they look like real metal dudes and they’ve got cred because a couple people I know compared them to Meshuggah back when they first came out. Unfortunately, Sons of the System sounds a lot less like Meshuggah and a lot more like Sonic Syndicate. This record is another convergence point for things that I’m not really keen on in the world of metal and I’ll give you a short run-down.

Orphaned Land Post a New Track on Myspace and get Confirmed for Wacken!

Orphaned Land Post a New Track on Myspace and get Confirmed for Wacken!

One of this Angry Metal Guy’s most-anticipated records of 2010 is definitely Orphaned Land’s forthcoming record The Never Ending Way of the ORwarriOR (which, btw, I’ll be posting a review of shortly). According to a press-release that I received today have put up a new track on MySpace “Disciples of the Sacred Oath II”. This song is awesome (actually the whole album is awesome) and everyone should go check it out. There are already two tracks up there, the first single “Sapari” and “Vayeh OR”, both of which are also excellent. Here’s the presser:

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.