Ayreon

Charlie Griffiths – Tiktaalika Review

Charlie Griffiths – Tiktaalika Review

“The Side Project Era is a common part of the evolution of many successful bands. They’ve been around for a while, they’re doing pretty well, and they know what they sound like. But naturally different members have different musical preferences and want to try different things. They could leave the band, but that’s pretty drastic. Enter the Side Project. Today’s example stars Charlie Griffiths, one of Haken‘s guitarists, taking an opportunity to write for six-string guitar after years of playing eight-string with his main band.” Side pieces.

Mythopoeic Mind – Hatchling Review

Mythopoeic Mind – Hatchling Review

“I love learning new words. Yesterday, Cherd made me aware of ebullient, and I’m still waiting for an opportunity to use pulchritudinous, which I learned from the review of the last Shape of Despair album (also waiting for a new Shape of Despair album), in casual conversation. Mythopoeic is another new word for my vocabulary, which is becoming increasingly pretentious at a frightening rate, and it’s also the main reason I selected Hatchling for review today. According to the notes that came with the album, this is the sophomore release from Norwegian prog-rockers Mythopoeic Mind, formerly the studio project of one Steinar Børve of Panzerpappa.” Words can hurt.

Avaland – Theater of Sorcery Review

Avaland – Theater of Sorcery Review

“The metal opera is, enduringly, one of my favorite concepts of the genre. Avantasia and Ayreon are the two projects that I return to most often, and it seems I’m not the only one. Adrien Gzagg, of Grenoble, France, has been similarly inspired, which is why today I’m introducing you to Avaland and its debut full-length, Theater of Sorcery, a symphonic power metal opera with a fantastical backstory.” Another rainy night at the metal opera.

Heathen – Empire of the Blind [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Heathen – Empire of the Blind [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“Heathen. I’ve got three shirts that say it and nine people that call me that. I liken it to a word like ‘dickhead.’ It’s got great pop and works in all situations. Though it’s maybe more fun to call my mom a ‘dickhead’ rather than a ‘heathen.’ But, I suppose it depends on the day. Speaking of fun, let’s talk about that other Heathen. The one that released Empire of the Blind, and we never got it.” Blind fury.

Ayreon – Transitus Review

Ayreon – Transitus Review

“There’s nobody quite like Arjen Anthony Lucassen. Sure, Tobias Sammet of Avantasia is the other big metal opera guy, but he can’t match Arjen for variety or quality. Besides the prog/power sound of Ayreon‘s core albums, his other successes include the gorgeous classical instrumentation of The Gentle Storm, the mopey Porcupine Tree prog of Guilt Machine, and more.” Show tunes on show.

Winter’s Verge – The Ballad of James Tig Review

Winter’s Verge – The Ballad of James Tig Review

“It was with slight trepidation that I fished out The Ballad of James Tig from the promo pit some weeks ago. There was just something about the cover that I didn’t trust. Not to mention that a power metal band writing a concept album about a mythical Viking-esque adventure isn’t the most original pitch I’ve ever heard. But there’s something endearing about Winter’s Verge that has me investigating anyway.” Tigonometry.

Course of Fate – Mindweaver Review

Course of Fate – Mindweaver Review

“I’ve always been interested in bands that have long histories and comparatively brief discographies. Course of Fate is a Norwegian sextet that formed back in 2003, but their debut full-length album Mindweaver is just now releasing, seventeen years later.” Time is the mindweaver.

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.