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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.

Cormorant – Metazoa Review

Cormorant – Metazoa Review

Before this last week I’d never heard of Cormorant[1. Cormorant: “a large diving bird with a long neck, long hooked bill, short legs, and mainly dark plumage. It typically breeds on coastal cliffs, and is noted for its voracious appetite.” This voracious appetite has come to be used figuratively implying “an insatiably greedy person or thing.” – Thanks OAED] or of Saturnine Media. Because of this, I was able to be pleasantly surprised by what is one of the best underground albums of the year. But if you’re reading this, you don’t have to be surprised, you can go out and buy it as an informed consumer. You’re welcome.

Sonata Arctica – The Days of Grays Review

Sonata Arctica – The Days of Grays Review

I’ve been a big Sonata Arctica fan for a long, long time. One of the first records I ever reviewed in my entire reviewing career was Silence, which by many is still considered to be the band’s finest record. I loved it, and I was instantly hooked by the band’s sweet hooks, tightness and particularly the vocal stylings of one Tony Kakko. The music was just technical enough to make me feel superior to all the people who were listening to Nu-Metal, but poppy and feel good were the other traits that I loved about the band. I’ve always described it as “driving music.” You know, hit the open road, go as fast as you think you can get away with and blast Sonata Arctica at top volumes while you barrel down the highway into the amazing summer day. Sound familiar to your experience? I hope so, because that’s the angle I’m starting from.

Black Sun Aeon – Darkness Walks Beside Me Review

Black Sun Aeon – Darkness Walks Beside Me Review

I have often commented that Finland is really producing the best metal in the world right now. Of course, when I say that I’m usually associating with bands like Moonsorrow, Finntroll or Amorphis, but apparently I’ve been leaving out a band from that whole list because they’re on a small label: Black Sun Aeon. Right now I’m going to add Black Sun Aeon to the pantheon of excellent metal coming from Finland, but unlike those other bands, they’re not wandering on the folk/viking side of things, but instead they’re doing more old-fashioned mid-paced death, intermingled with a doomy goth element that I haven’t heard done well for a long time.

Fejd – Storm Review

Fejd – Storm Review

Napalm Records has long been one of my favorite labels, putting out a lot of bands that I really dig (especially the Vintersorg/Otyg/Fission stuff), and they’ve recently taken a hard dive into folk metal and other genres more of this type. So I wasn’t surprised, but I was particularly excited, when I read that Sweden’s Fejd (pronounced like the English word “fade”) had been signed to Napalm as I had earlier discovered their demos which had been put up for free at the Free Metal Albums blog. I had discovered the demo “I en tid som var…” and had gotten really excited the band, and was frankly surprised that they hadn’t been picked up by anyone. So as you can suspect from this introduction, I was eagerly anticipating Storm—the band’s newest release.