Apr17

X.Kernel – Face the Truth Review

X.Kernel – Face the Truth Review

“How do you feel about keyboards? Do you like ’em gloomy and atmospheric? Synthy and cheesy? Perhaps the classic piano flavor does it for you. Whatever your tastes, X.Kernel have got you covered. Their debut Face the Truth follows eight long years of melodic rumination and, if the album art can be believed, enough Phoenix Wright to cause nightmares.” Keys to the kingdom.

Ayreon – The Source Review

Ayreon – The Source Review

“Look, I know I’m late with this. I can hardly swing reviews these days and Arjen didn’t pull any punches with The Source. In fact, our Poofy-Haired Dutchman™ didn’t even do me a solid by making The Source a sequel to The Theory of Everything, an album I adored. Rather, he made it a prequel to 2004’s 01011001 (that’s “Y” for those of you who aren’t computers), an album that I’d spent precious little time with. What’s weird about that, is that 01011001 is probably his least popular album aside from Into the Electric Castle. When I went back to listen to it, I have to admit that I agree. So I was perplexed by the choice to write a prequel to it. But Arjen’s mind works in mysterious ways, which is why I have come to love his music so much. So, despite a history of prequels being horrible pieces of shit that not even a mother can love, Arjen gets better with age and I needed to give it a chance.” Chances are, Arjen wears a silly grin.

Ardent Spirits – Mountain Howl Review

Ardent Spirits – Mountain Howl Review

“Music is a lot like food. Both are nourishing: food for the body and music for the spirit. There’re no accounting for taste, but there’s semi-predictable consensuses (consensi?), such as nu-metal and tofurkey are both hellspawn that should be scorched from the face of the Earth. Sometimes you feel in the mood for a big, luxury five-course meal, so you load up Ayreon, sometimes you crave the greasy slop of Vader, and sometimes you prefer a salad so you throw yourself out the sixth-floor window. With all this said, who’s ready for a medium-sized bag of popcorn?” Kernels of truth.

Cursus – Cursus Review

Cursus – Cursus Review

“I consider last year’s 40 Watt Sun album a particularly effective example at creating space and even emptiness with its sparse arrangements and use of repetition, reflecting the social distance in the lyrics. Since every good example is most effective when juxta- I mean, when placed opposite a bad example, Cursus has volunteered to demonstrate.” Doom death, where is thy sting?

Wolfbrigade – Run With the Hunted Review

Wolfbrigade – Run With the Hunted Review

“Crust punk is an interesting beast. Stylistically speaking, its bludgeoning, relentless nature is closer to metal than perhaps any other style of punk, but only a handful of metal acts have dabbled in the genre. Vhol and modern Darkthrone have made admirable attempts at bringing crust to the metal masses, but ultimately the genre has flown under the radar of most fans.” Run with the crust pack.

MindMaze – Resolve Review

MindMaze – Resolve Review

“I’m a big fan of MindMaze’s Back From the Edge. Similar to Pyramaze‘s excellent Disciples of the Sun, it’s a true grower of a progressive power metal album that I’ve really warmed to over the years. It strikes an admirable balance between prog and power styles, carrying plenty of memorable hooks bolstered by proper prog songwriting in its longest tracks.” Power-prog and problems.

Ides of Gemini – Women Review

Ides of Gemini – Women Review

“Almost a decade ago, when I had only gotten my head stuck in the alluring crevice that is metal for a few short years, I stumbled upon a little-known atmospheric doom metal band called Black Math Horseman. I hardly listened to any doom, nor bands with female vocalists at the time (I wouldn’t develop a taste for it until years later) so the album, titled Wyllt, never really stuck, but the concept intrigued me nonetheless. Now, many trials and tribulations later, I find myself back in the loving arms of Sera Timms’ haunting cry with a different band by the name of Ides of Gemini.” Ides wide open.

April Releases You Might Overlook But Shouldn’t: Fates Warning / Steve Grimmett

April Releases You Might Overlook But Shouldn’t: Fates Warning / Steve Grimmett

“Every now and then a release comes along that deserves attention but for various reasons, a full blown review isn’t in the cards. Since two April releases fit that bill, we’re doing this rare and unusual music alert for the more discerning metal mavens (i.e. people with the good taste to share our tastes).” Things you haven’t missed …yet!

Aborted Fetus – The Art of Violent Torture Review

Aborted Fetus – The Art of Violent Torture Review

“Among an exciting breed of young talent and up and comers, long running acts such as Immolation and Suffocation continue releasing top-notch material, keeping the younger folk on their toes and creating a healthy link between past and present. Meanwhile certain bands admirably plug away through lengthy careers, causing modest waves in the deepest corners of the underground without ever really exploding or setting the scene on fire. Case in point being long running Russian act Aborted Fetus.” Nasty name, nasty music.