Avantasia

Virtual Symmetry – Exoverse Review

Virtual Symmetry – Exoverse Review

“My personal favorite of the AMG banners has always been that most legendary of Yngwie Malmsteen quotes – “How can less be more? That’s impossible!” It’s a perfectly true statement as long as you’re willing to completely miss the point of the original cliché, which, frankly, makes for a great worldview. In that vein, I bring you progressive metal, in the form of the sophomore full-length from Swiss-Italian Virtual Symmetry; that output, Exoverse is the very definition of an album that believes, with everything that it’s got, that less is not more, that that would be impossible.” More is MOOAR.

Dark Forest – Oak, Ash & Thorn Review

Dark Forest – Oak, Ash & Thorn Review

“U.K.’s Dark Forest has been cranking out high quality music since 2009, with a very interesting blend of Euro-power, traditional heavy metal and just enough folk elements to give them a slightly unique sound. Albums like The Awakening and 2016s Beyond the Veil were very good, teetering on the cusp of greatness, borrowing from NWoBHM legends like Iron Maiden while also dipping into the slick songcraft of Avantasia and prime Sonata Arctica. Their compositional and storytelling acumen improved with each release and I just knew they had a truly big release in them dying to burst free.” Really good wood.

Enzo and the Glory Ensemble – In the Name of the World Spirit Review

Enzo and the Glory Ensemble – In the Name of the World Spirit Review

“First off, I’d like to apologize if you can’t hear me too well. I’ve been instructed to shout over the anguished shrieks of the Master of Muppets, who’s having a tough time right now. You see, we’re gathered here today to review In the Name of the World Spirit, the third release from Enzo and the Glory Ensemble, the progressive metal project masterminded by Enzo Donnarumma (Members of God), which is a touch outside of the creature’s usual wheelhouse. But positive, progressive, slightly cheesy power metal is something that I happen to delight in, so here we are! Embracing the glory (ensemble).” Double Glory Awaits.

Angry Metal Guy’s Top Ten(ish) o’ 2019

Angry Metal Guy’s Top Ten(ish) o’ 2019

I’m a big fan of the D&D-themed webcomic Order of the Stick. As the comic became a true phenomenon a decade ago and its author Rich Burlew became increasingly in demand, he began drawing himself looking more disheveled with every self-portrait. In the introduction to the most recently released book, his self-portrait is wearing sweatpants, has unkempt hair and looks about ready to fall over. That is a feeling I viscerally share. Or, as the kids say in 2019: IT ME!

Adrian Benegas – The Revenant Review

Adrian Benegas – The Revenant Review

Adrian Benegas, perhaps best known as the keyboardist and founder of symphonic metal act Tragul, is at the beginning of a familiar story: a talented musician and composer takes a step away from his band to attempt a symphonic power metal solo project, one in which the story, lyrics, and compositions will be done solely by himself. He will write a story and bring it to life in musical form, bringing in guest musicians and vocalists to play various parts of the story. Is this sounding familiar yet?” Avant horizon.

Cathubodua – Continuum Review

Cathubodua – Continuum Review

“Fucking fuck you fucking all, you fuck fucking fucks. I absolutely fucking hate everyone right now and I blame each and every one of you miserable shits. I suppose I could blame Steel, him having personally assigned me to the nightmare which I must shortly relive, but I blame you. You, ‘dear’ ‘read’-er, are why we do the over worded and under think-ed things that we do, and to the best of my knowledge I have never hurt any of you enough to owe anyone the undertaking that was Continuum, an album I’ll be dedicating my life and liver to erasing the memory of.” Powers.

Until Rain – Season V Review

Until Rain – Season V Review

“Until Rain deal in progressive metal and have been doing so since 2009, with four full-length albums already under their belts prior to Season V. I confess, I am only familiar with their most recent release, 2017’s Inure, which offered up dark, moody prog, featuring heavy bass lines and, at times, even flirting with djent and blastbeats (see, for example, “This Solitude”). I didn’t love it but I certainly liked it and there is no question Until Rain showed some vision and genuine songcraft on it.” Who’ll stop the rain?