5.0

Vienna Teng – Inland Territory

Every Angry Metal Guy has a soft side, right? Not necessarily. I think lots of angry metal guys sort of lack soft sides, at least when it comes to music–which is a shame, because they often miss very musically interesting records that are being put out by other bands and musicians throughout the world. Sure, I agree that the majority of what pop music has to offer is pointless, unentertaining, drivel that hurts me somewhere deep down inside… Regardless of the state of pop music, though, every once in a while you stumble onto an artist that somehow manages to bridge that gap between the angry, stubborn four year-old who just wants to hate things that don’t fit into his very small view of the world and your inner connoisseur who is willing to set aside those judgements to just enjoy excellence when confronted with it.

Amorphis – Skyforger Review

Amorphis – Skyforger Review

Amorphis is easily one of my favorite bands producing metal in the 2000s. Over the last few years I’ve seen a lot of the bands that I really got into when I was a young, impressionable metal guy start to get more and more popular as they got picked up by bigger labels, got put out on the market, and as metal got cool again (who’da thunk it?)–bands like Opeth, Enslaved, Amon Amarth and others. Amorphis, however, had fallen off my radar, and I think a lot of people’s radars, before they got themselves a new vocalist. A man of small stature, and huge personality and voice: Tomi Joutsen. For whatever reason, this breathed life into the venerable, and quite excellent, band taking them out of their temporary lull and pushing them to the forefront with the bands putting out the best modern metal has to offer.

Iron Thrones – Visions of Light

Iron Thrones – Visions of Light

It’s maybe just me that falls for this kind of stuff, but sometimes bands just jump out of nowhere and bite you in the ass and present to you their own version of exactly what it is you appreciate in the music that surrounds you. In this case, what it is in the underground scene that still appeals to you even though you’re getting old, bitter and disconnected from a lot of the modern bands that people are pissing themselves over. Iron Thrones are just that band, that band that makes you jealous as a musician, that makes you excited about the future of metal and makes you totally, ridiculously confused as to why on earth they’re unsigned!