2004

Into the Obscure: Brocas Helm – Defender of the Crown

Into the Obscure: Brocas Helm – Defender of the Crown

“Join me, boys and girls, for a little history lesson slash tragedy. It was the early 80s in the United States, with thrash metal on the verge of taking over the metal scene completely, particularly in the infamous Bay area. Traditional heavy metal bands in the US were far and few between. Manilla Road’s star was rising, but from San Francisco came the sounds of a wildly creative band, sprung up from the ashes of a band called Prisoner. This band was Brocas Helm, and for a little while after their 1984 debut Into Battle, they seemed poised to be at the forefront of US traditional metal.” Trve romance.

Yer Metal is Olde: The Dillinger Escape Plan – Miss Machine

Yer Metal is Olde: The Dillinger Escape Plan – Miss Machine

“In my experience, there are two kinds of people; the ones that love The Dillinger Escape Plan, and the ones that don’t really get what all the fuss is about. Among the former group, there are those who say that they peaked early and have been cruising since Under the Running Board or 2002’s brilliantly strange Mike Patton collaboration Irony is a Dead Scene. These fans will claim that, after one of these two albums, the band either stopped being abrasive enough or stopped being inventive. In scientific circles, we tend to call sentiments like these “Wrong.” In reality, the zenith of the world’s most beloved mathcore band came in 2004, with a bold and bold-faced album named Miss Machine.”

Wintersun – Time I Review

Wintersun – Time I Review

For a few years now, the proverbial white whale of the heavy metal scene has been a new Wintersun record. After the band’s initial, highly acclaimed (some would say overrated), self-titled debut from 2004 former Ensiferum frontman Jari Mäenpää essentially fell off the face of the earth. Now, I’m not a die-hard fan, so I have not kept up with the ridiculous, neurotic, Axl Rose-like kabuki theater that apparently drove fans nuts, but the fact that 8 years later we’re getting record number two should probably tell you the torture that Jari put his fans through. Teaming up with Kai Hanto of Swallow the Sun on drums, Jukka Koskinen of Amberian Dawn and Cain’s Offering  on bass and Teemu Mäntysaari of the short-lived Imperanon on guitar, Jari’s new record, what we now know to be 2012’s Time I, has teased fans for years and has ruffled some feathers. So the question is at it always is: can this record possibly live up to the sky-high expectations that the fans have.