Alternative Metal

Life of Agony – A Place Where There’s No More Pain Review

Life of Agony – A Place Where There’s No More Pain Review

“A couple of years ago, I had a conversation with friend and former Angry Metal Guy colleague Jordan Campbell about how influential bands of the 90s have changed significantly, and usually for the worse. While we disagreed on some aspects, we both agreed that Life of Agony had the strangest career arc out of all of them.” Strange journey, still in progress.

Anewrage – Life-Related Symptoms Review

Anewrage – Life-Related Symptoms Review

“Hey, you! Yeah, that’s right, I know you and your ilk, only scurrying out of your hatch for a new record if the music is heavier than a dying panda reading Sartre and the album is only available in limited release as sheet music stapled to the bathroom door in an abandoned hospital. Well, you better slink back to your cobweb-ridden hovel as Life-Related Symptoms by Anewrage is none of those things.” Time to appreciate the gentler things in life.

Aborym – Shifting.negative Review

Aborym – Shifting.negative Review

“Listening to Shifting.negative makes me want to apologize. To all members of Aborym, and particularly mainman Fabrizio “Fabban” Giannese – I’m sorry for whatever conditions existed in your lives that caused you to think creating this album was a good idea. I also want to apologize to curious listeners, who may have seen Aborym’s past works compared to Anaal Nathrakh and Blut Aus Nord and assumed Shifting was another misanthropic, industrial black metal romp.” The apology tour has begun.

Retro-Review: Blaze – Tenth Dimension

Retro-Review: Blaze – Tenth Dimension

Tenth Dimension got name-dropped in my “Top 15(ish) of the 2000s” from 2010 and I have mentioned it from time to time on the blog. Every time a few readers show up and say stuff like “Oh man, yeah! Such a sadly overlooked record!” And while it is sad that it’s been overlooked, Tenth Dimension was released in a pretty difficult context. Blaze Bayley was basically a musical leper who got signed to SPV because of his name and connections to Iron Maiden. The story of his first post-Maiden band is one where everything was stacked against them, including signing with a label that obviously didn’t expect the band to amount to anything. BLAZE‘s debut album, Silicon Messiah, got released on the same day as Brave New World, and (shock) no one heard it. Yet it was hard hitting, modern and conveniently in a key that worked for Bayley’s voice. It was also produced by Andy Sneap and was thick and heavy. Two years later, the band turned around and dropped a concept album called Tenth Dimension, which not only features some of my favorite artwork ever, but ranks among my favorite heavy metal records of all time. With a review of Blaze Bayley‘s Infinite Entanglement in the pipeline, it got me thinking about this amazing album again.” And rather than wax 800 words about it as an ‘intro’ to my review of the new record, I thought I’d give it its own post.

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: He Is Legend – Heavy Fruit

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: He Is Legend – Heavy Fruit

“Once upon a time, in the days of MySpace, there was a band called He Is Legend. They had the misfortune of association with the mid-2000’s metalcore scene, and worse yet, they had a long way to go in the songwriting department. Over time they went through awkward growth spurts, thankfully ditching their core trappings, but struggling with finding their own style.” Mr. Fisting rings in the holiday season with the very first of our “Things You Might Have Missed” recommendations, and this time, it’s all about the fruit!

Quartered – Eyes And Ears Review

Quartered – Eyes And Ears Review

“Is there a better way to start a review of a metal album that with a brief discussion of semantics? Yes, there is, but I’m going to do just that anyway, written hooks be damned. Can anyone accurately define what “progressive” metal, or even “progressive” music, is? Is it letting everyone within earshot know that you listened to and enjoyed the entire discographies of King Crimson, Camel, and The Mahavishnu Orchestra?” Semantics? This here website is getting too damn educated these days!

Angry Metal Guy Speaks: On Genres as Pejoratives

Angry Metal Guy Speaks: On Genres as Pejoratives

A really curious thing happens from time to time that I think it’s time to comment on. Because we all (that is, those of us who read and/or write AngryMetalGuy.com) love heavy metal, we all essentially draw boundaries for it. It all depends on your perspective, but largely we say that one thing is metal and another thing is not. We make fun of the things we find to be not metal and we praise (and often deify unnecessarily) that which we find to be super metal. This is not a surprise. In fact, I’d guess that it’s a natural part of the human brain: we group things and put them in their place so as to better order our world. We also use cognitive short cuts in order to reach conclusions about the vast seas of information that exist outside of our existence.