After Forever

Leaves’ Eyes – Symphonies of the Night Review

Leaves’ Eyes – Symphonies of the Night Review

“In 2009 I received a promo for Liv Kristine’s ‘new’ band Leaves’ Eyes and I was curious. The record was called Njord and as a fan of Liv’s voice and epic symphonic metal I figured for sure that I would be in for a treat. I was wrong. I was so very, very wrong. My complaints about the album were many—but a lot of it had to do with the fact that it was so compressed that it never felt heavy and the song-writing was just plain mediocre. Meredead, which followed two years later on schedule, was also a miserable record. The folky stuff was of the “let’s throw in a flute, hooray folk metal!” genre and I simply didn’t even have the patience to finish reviewing it. But because I am a masochist (and I’ve always liked Liv’s voice ffs!), I broke out Symphony of the Night when it arrived in my box.” Always a sucker for a lady with a pretty voice, Angry Metal Guy gave the new Leaves’ Eyes a chance. Is this turning into Charlie Brown, Lucy and the football?

Within Temptation – The Unforgiving Review

Within Temptation – The Unforgiving Review

As one of the elevated culprits who took guilty pleasure in bringing the so-called “female fronted” symphonic metal genre to fame, Within Temptation has often been right next to the milestone names of Tristania, Theatre of Tragedy, Nightwish, After Forever and the like from this infamous subgenre [Also known as “Chick Metal” by this member of The Patriarchy – AMG]. This is often accompanied by blunt comparisons, senseless “expert” statements and, of course, rabid hate from people who just can’t appreciate chicks in metal [Example: my earlier comment. – AMG]. But hey, life goes on and so does the music industry. Whatever the case, unlike their colleagues who have gone through hard time line-up changes that have proven catastrophic at times, Within Temptation has continued to add new chapters to their own story. Through times of war between legions of Tarja and Anette die-hards, crazy Vibeke rumors in the air, Floor & Sander drama break-ups, the flame of Within Temptation continued to burn ever brighter, offering fascinating music with each release.

Star One – Victims of the Modern Age Review

Star One – Victims of the Modern Age Review

Arjen Lucassen, I may have misjudged you. You see, Mr. Lucassen and his projects tend to invoke very different reactions depending on which segment of the Angry Metal demographic one asks. To some, his celebrity studded prog-rock and metal projects with Ayreon and Star One are overblown, self-indulgent, pretentious and worthy of scorn and ruthless mockery (I’ve heard “Gayreon” tossed around more than a little). Others will tell you the man is a musical genius and crafts some of the most adventurous progressive metal out there today. Yours truly was firmly rooted in the former camp (as is AMG, admit it!!) but I’ll concede that parts of Star One’s first album Space Metal ended up being a guilty pleasure despite the cheesy and lightweight “sci-fi metal” concept and sound [Whereas, I reviewed it back in the day on Unchain the Underground and thought it was self-indulgent shit. – AMG]. Well, I’m mighty shocked at the direction Mr. Lucassen has opted to take album number two, Victims of the Modern Age. This is a far FAR heavier, more metallic album, taking the basic foundation of Star One and toughening it up in every way. This is so metallic and straight forward that it sounds nothing like any of Mr. Lucassen’s other works.

Edenbridge – Solitaire Review

Edenbridge – Solitaire Review

First things first. Edenbridge is a long running, very professional and entertaining female fronted, epic/symphonic band from Austria. Now, as we prepare for the release of Solitaire, their seventh album, it’s time to face some inconvenient truths. As good as these guys (and girl) are at what they do, this is not metal and it strains sense and sensibility to be reviewing this on a website called Angry Metal Guy since there is nothing here the least bit angry, or metal. This is not an attack on Edenbridge and I mean no negativity since I actually like Edenbridge quite a bit, from their debut up to and including Solitaire. It’s just time to cast them out of the metal universe and into the world of mainstream music.