Angry Metal Guy’s Law of Diminishing Recordings

The Black Dahlia Murder – Everblack Review

The Black Dahlia Murder – Everblack Review

The Black Dahlia Murder were on a downward slope, succumbing to Angry Metal Guy’s Law of Diminishing Recordings™ with every step when Deflorate was released. The album was bordering on “nothing special,” and a record that probably didn’t make many End o’ Year Lists from that year or rank anywhere near Unhallowed or Nocturnal on lists of what TBDM‘s best record was. So, as fans of this blog know, Ritual‘s release was a gigantic step for The Black Dahlia Murder. It was an album that truly revolutionized the band’s sound, gave them a fresh start and blew my fucking mind. It should not be understated the seriously epic shift in feel and writing between Deflorate and Ritual, and the result is maybe one of the biggest swings for me in terms of excitement about a band’s forthcoming work that I can think of. A new TBDM record was becoming routine; Ritual proved that it was anything but.

Rhapsody of Fire – From Chaos to Eternity Review

Rhapsody of Fire – From Chaos to Eternity Review

Rhapsody of Fire is like the kyrptonite of Angry Metal Guy’s Law of Diminishing Recordings™. While they did have diminished recordings when they signed with Magic Circle Records (PRO-TIP: the “magic circle” in question is your anus… which will get fucked by Joey DeMaio), the last two years have been tremendously productive for these Italians. First, they came back with 2010’s The Frozen Tears of Angels which was an amazing success by all accounts and received a raving 5/5 review from me. Then they released The Cold Embrace of Fear which wasn’t exactly the greatest thing they ever did, but it was good and had some solid songs even if it contained far more voice acting than I’d’ve liked (“IT’S AN AVALANCHE!!”). And they managed to drop a guitarist and pick up another one (by the name of Tom Hess) on the way. But now this. From Chaos to Eternity.

Shining – VII: Född förlorare Review

>Shining is about as hip as it gets among so called “underground” black metal bands, though really at this point, what with being signed to Spinefarm now, I guess they’re not super underground anymore. But whatever, success does not make a band sucky by its very nature—no, it’s Angry Metal Guy’s Law of Diminishing Recordings™ that does that. And with the anticipation building around VII – Född förlorare (English: Born Loser[s]) due to the myriads of issues that surfaced in the process of recording, mixing and getting the album even out, it pretty much should go without saying that I’ve really been looking forward to this record. Haven’t you been looking forward to it? Damn straight.

Flotsam and Jetsam – The Cold Review

Flotsam and Jetsam – The Cold Review

OK, I’m gonna be brutally honest here. Flotsam and Jetsam hasn’t been good for a long long time. Although they get huge points for durability, perseverance and stick- to- it- ness, their last truly good record was Cuatro which came out way back in 1992. Few bands demonstrate the Angry Metal Guy’s Law of Diminishing Recordings in such a stark fashion. Their debut, graced with the presence of the soon to be long gone Jason Newsted, was great and considered a classic in some circles. The follow up was angry, thrashy and showed a young, hungry band with scads of potential and a limitless future. Sadly, after that the Flots hit the fan and album three was a directionless, amorphous (not in the good way) blob. Although Cuatro righted the ship, it was also their qualitative high water mark. Since then these Arizona based gluttons for punishment have soldiered on, releasing five albums worth of sub-par metal to ever dwindling patronage. With that tale of metallic tragedy behind us, welcome to album number ten, The Cold. Long ago I learned to approach new Flotsam records with low and/or no expectations so as not to be pummeled by disappointment most cruel. Usually, there were a few respectable tracks per album with the rest being throw aways. Naturally I approached The Cold armed with my standard Flots protocol and to my surprise, the thing ain’t half bad (or 2/3rds bad as they’ve generally been). Do we call it a comeback for the Flotsmeisters? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet huh.

Crowbar – Sever the Wicked Hand Review

Crowbar – Sever the Wicked Hand Review

So I’m super unqualified to review this record because I a) don’t like sludge and b) have never listened to Crowbar before this moment. Sure, I’m sure I should have heard them, but I gotta be honest with you, I’ve been sort of busy. There are plenty of scenes that have developed since the 1990s and the slow, southern rock post-thrash stuff has never been my thing. Name bands from south of the Mason-Dixie line and I probably don’t like them unless they’re Kris Kristofferson. Always hated Down, didn’t think Corrosion of Conformity was terribly special (and this one’ll really burn your ass), I never liked Pantera or its postbellum incarnations. (Oh and I don’t like Black Label Society because they want to be a southern band even though Zakk Wylde is from fucking NEW JERSEY.) Given all of that, then, I was pretty fucking stoked that listening to this record wasn’t torture! In fact, it was really enjoyable. Let me regale you with the tale.

Blind Guardian – At the Edge of Time Review

Blind Guardian – At the Edge of Time Review

Blind Guardian is easily one of the most unique bands that modern metal has ever encountered. I really do think that they are one of the most original acts to ever come out of any scene, sub-genre or crevace within the greater history of metal. Combining bay area thrash influence with a German power/thrash legacy and sprinkling liberally with Queen, this German act has been at the forefront of power metal and progressive metal since Imaginations from the Other Side (for sure, and probably even before that). Few bands in metal command the kind of insane loyalty from their fanbase and few bands ever deserve that kind of loyalty, frankly. Even for me, personally, Blind Guardian was one of the bands that really got me exploring modern power metal. I picked up Nightfall in Middle-Earth and my life was forever changed. That record still ranks in my top 10 of all time, easily.