Arch Enemy

The Night Flight Orchestra – Sometimes the World Ain’t Enough Review

The Night Flight Orchestra – Sometimes the World Ain’t Enough Review

“AMG.com has ridden the The Night Flight Orchestra (“NFO”) horse pretty hard since the release of their first album in 2012. The illustrious Dr. Fisting (then masquerading as Fisting Andrew Golota) was their discoverer and therefore the designated reviewer thus far. Now that he is absent, presumed dead, I have taken up this mantle to impart opinions on a band that our founder abhors.” New tickets to paradise.

Light This City – Terminal Bloom Review

Light This City – Terminal Bloom Review

“May 2011. A younger Mark Z. has just finished his junior year of college, reeling from adolescent crushes and mired in deep apprehension for the future. In this turmoil, nothing soothed the soul better than the rushing emotion and positive energy of bands like A Wilhelm Scream, No Trigger, and Heartsounds. Were they metal? Fuck no, but their intricate melodic punk was exactly what I needed at the time. This listening regime also had the unexpected consequence of reintroducing me to Light This City.” Hit the lights!

Evil Drive – Ragemaker Review

Evil Drive – Ragemaker Review

“Two years ago, Evil Drive gave me a lot to think about when it comes to female-fronted metal bands. Like Arch Enemy, this Finnish quintet’s vocalist (Viktoria Viren) is a combination of banshee and hellhound. And, for the most part, she even looks It. But, unlike Arch Enemy, Evil Drive sported an image for their debut that made The Land of the Dead the melodeath soundtrack to a fraternity-organized wet t-shirt contest. Which damn-near ruined a decent melodic death record for me. Well, the band is back with Ragemaker and, thankfully, all that nonsensical fluff is gone.” Road rage.

Bloodhunter – The End of Faith Review

Bloodhunter – The End of Faith Review

“Unlike the more northerly regions of Europe, the Iberian Peninsula is not often thought of when the metal scene is considered as a whole. There are bands, many of them well-known and respected, but the area is not Germany or Finland. Thought of even less is the Galacia region of Spain. But all the same, it’s spat up a lively little melodic death three-piece (after some down-sizing) in Bloodhunter. The name might be a little silly, but the music is not, fusing a traditional Gothenberg sound with hints of mid-period Death for their sophomore album The End of Faith.” The Iberian conspiracy.

The Great Discord – The Rabbit Hole Review

The Great Discord – The Rabbit Hole Review

“A few weeks ago, I described the latest Arch Enemy album as the bad kind of pop metal: too slick, too loud, too focused on choruses and too conscious about image. But there’s a different, less negative definition possible of pop metal: not afraid of loading the songs with easily digestible hooks, catchy melodies, EDM influences, simplistic structure and a focus on vocals. It’s daring, because it seems to aim at a gap between fandoms: too slick and not challenging enough for metalheads, but too heavy for the mainstream.” Pop goes the minstrel.

Astaroth Incarnate – Omnipotence – The Infinite Darkness Review

Astaroth Incarnate – Omnipotence – The Infinite Darkness Review

“Addition, subtraction, so much of metal involves the bolting-on and prying-off of countless sub-genres. Musicians and critics often fall into the trap of viewing music less as an expression of fertile creativity and more like a chest of drawers awaiting assembly. Start with a death metal base, insert black metal vocals into socket B, affix progressive chords perpendicular to the shelves… wait, we’re missing two slats and I’ve stripped a screw. Billed as a melding of tech death, black, and thrash, Omnipotence – The Infinite Darkness by Toronto natives Astaroth Incarnate had the cynic in me guessing the end-result without listening to a single note.” Maths are hard.

Arch Enemy – Will to Power Review

Arch Enemy – Will to Power Review

“It’s a ritual most metalheads born in the 80’s have participated in. At some point, that guy who got into metal a few months before you did comes up to you, brandishing a discman, and says: “You gotta hear this, there’s a band with a chick who can growl!” In 10% of the cases, he’d have Kittie or Otep with him, but most of the time he’d be talking about Arch Enemy, the melodic death metal band whose primary distinguishing feature is having a chick who can growl.” Growlers, man.

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.

Night Flight Orchestra – Amber Galactic Review

Night Flight Orchestra – Amber Galactic Review

Night Flight Orchestra have rapidly escalated from ‘modern metal dudes pretending to be classic rockers’ into something far more authentic and interesting. Their 2012 debut Internal Affairs was a shockingly good burst of late-1970s glory, especially considering the Soilwork and Arch Enemy members involved. 2015’s Skyline Whispers took the band’s sound into the synth-heavy ’80s, resulting in heavy rotation in the AMG office and a spot on my own Top 10(ish) list that year. Further solidifying their legitimacy, NFO recently signed a deal with Nuclear Blast, leading to the release of their 3rd record Amber Galactic.” Sleazy nights, galactic lights.

70000 Tons of Metal: One Man’s Journey

70000 Tons of Metal: One Man’s Journey

“My friends ask me what happened, but my ability to verbally communicate has been reduced to moaning and a weeping noise that sounds something like a baby panda crying for milk. I wonder how I’m going to make it through the final day of this floating festival. I wonder when the aching will subside. I wonder where my life went so wrong. How did I end up here, on the 7th annual 70000 Tons of Metal cruise, weak with exhaustion and feeling like my body has been bludgeoned with a sledgehammer? My mind drifts back…” Tales from a 70000 ton heavy thing.