Amorphis

Ensiferum – Thalassic Review

Ensiferum – Thalassic Review

“Try as they might though, Ensiferum‘s glory days seemingly sailed on without them after From Afar. 2017’s Two Paths aptly laid out the options before the band: death or glory. Without righting the ship fast, the hallowed melofolk act would scuttle all hope of escaping brand and exile. So they did the one thing guaranteed to sell nowadays: write some pirate metal.” Used YARR dealership.

Aleah – Aleah Review

Aleah – Aleah Review

“Readers of this site, and fans in general, know of Aleah Stanbridge. After doing some work on her own and collaborating with The Mission’s Andy Cousin in That Which Remains, she laid down guest vocals for Swallow the Sun and Amorphis before forming Trees of Eternity with Swallow the Sun guitarist Juha Raivio. Trees of Eternity released Hour of the Nightingale in 2016, months after Aleah tragically passed away from cancer at age 39. Since then, Raivio has been assembling and touching up Aleah’s work, and he’s finally presenting it to us now in the form of a double album.” Music is immortal.

Sinisthra – The Broad and Beaten Way Review

Sinisthra – The Broad and Beaten Way Review

Sinisthra isn’t a band on the lips of many outside their home country of Finland, and I’m not sure they’re all that well known there either. Their biggest claim to fame is the presence of Tomi Joutsen on vocals. He appeared on their debut way back in 2005 before he was recruited by Amorphis, and after he was, the band went into a state of cryonic freeze. Over the years the various members continued to write music for an eventual followup.” Is this the Way?

Babylonfall – Collapse Review

Babylonfall – Collapse Review

“I’ve always maintained you should not be able to eat food off death metal albums. The level of dirt and grime inherent in the recordings complements the themes of death and decay in the music. Even melodeath – the gentler second-cousin twice removed of death metal – shouldn’t sound too clean in my books. Babylonfall, a new group from Finland, arrive with a fair bit of buzz surrounding their debut effort, Collapse. Ostensibly playing a brand of music in the style of latter-Amorphis, these guys hew far more closely to the ‘melo’ rather than the ‘death’ side of things.” Death be not cleanly.

On Thorns I Lay – Threnos Review

On Thorns I Lay – Threnos Review

On Thorns I Lay have had an unusual career arc, evolving from doom death into goth rock and eventually alt-rock weirdness. After a 12 year period of inactivity, these Greeks reinvented themselves as a doomy melodeath act and 2018s Aegean Sorrow mixed elements of Insominium and the early Peaceville titans adroitly for an impressive platter of sadboi death. Threnos sees them sprinkling a wee bit more of their old doom style into their melodeath sound.” Thorn birds.

Aether – In Embers [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Aether – In Embers [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Wintersun has long been a favorite of mine. Sure, it’s a band with a whole bunch of frustrations, but Jari Mänepää is a strong composer, and he’s got a cool sound that I can’t help but like. His wild blend of melodeath, power metal, black-tinged folk, and symphonic over-the-top wizardry appeals to me. It’s always a good Time T(w)o listen to well-composed symphonic heavy metal, and this is where the Polish group Aether come in.” Less spa, more metal.

Apotheus – The Far Star Review

Apotheus – The Far Star Review

“Every now and then you run into something that seems to have been made specifically for you. It’s like someone reached into your head, downloaded a copy of your soul, extracted exactly the sort of things you enjoy, and made something that panders to the template it found. Apotheus’ promo described a progressive melodeath band with a sci-fi concept album about interstellar colonization. Periods for emphasis, but Sign. Me. The. Fuck. Up.” Swallow the wvrm.

Ethereal Kingdoms – Hollow Mirror Review

Ethereal Kingdoms – Hollow Mirror Review

“Every once in a while, I’m put in a position where I have to explain to some wide-eyed innocent how it could possibly be that I don’t care much for Nightwish. The only reason this happens, mind you, is because of the band’s undying popularity and colossal influence in their genre. My problem? I like symphonic in my metal. But I don’t like the band that everyone seems to copy to get there. So why would I pick up Hollow Mirror, the debut full-length from Danish band Ethereal Kingdom?” Wishing for the night.

Vorna – Sateet palata saavat Review

Vorna – Sateet palata saavat Review

“With the annual pilgrimage to dead leaves and perpetual darkness underway, an appropriate soundtrack is imperative to survival; I need something that will simultaneously sonically augment the surrounding scenery as well as shield me from its scheduled sadness, something which will bring this death to life and save me from it. Such a savior has arrived in the form of Vorna‘s Sateet palata saavat, and though I am loathe to share such splendor with the likes ov you, the urge to babble about said greatness has temporarily overtaken my selfish recalcitrance: you’re welcome, yo.” The autumn wind smells like Muppet.

Manntra – Oyka! Review

Manntra – Oyka! Review

“Why do people listen to folk metal? For that matter, why do I listen to folk metal? There are many plausible answers to this strangest of questions, beginning with “power metal and Vikings are a great combination,” and spanning all the way to “flutes are cool, man.” Truthfully, I think “folk metal” is too broad a term. When I first stumbled across Okya!, the fourth full-length from Croatian folk metal band Manntra, I was intrigued by the “folk metal” tag the band carried, but also brought with me the usual trepidation of not really knowing what to expect. Ensiferum folk metal and Eluveitie folk metal are, after all, very different metals, but both fall under the same basic tag.” A jig in a folk.