Ayreon

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.

Embrace of Disharmony – De Rervm Natvra Review

Embrace of Disharmony – De Rervm Natvra Review

“Stagnation is a problem. In this wondrous day and age where music can be shared across the globe at a mere few clicks, you’d think that “too much of the same” in metal would be a laughable concept. Instead, it’s an actual problem. An uncountable number of fledgling bands are being influenced by the same big acts and creating essentially the same sound over and over again. There is nothing more exciting in this musical sphere than a band that breaks the cycle of stagnation, who smashes through stereotypes and clichés both to rise above the rest and revitalize their sad, tired genre. Symphonic metal, I give you Embrace of Disharmony and their sophomore effort: De Rervm Natvra.” Symphonies of slickness.

Rendezvous Point – Universal Chaos Review

Rendezvous Point – Universal Chaos Review

“Lately, I’ve come to a realization: I really like progressive metal. The lighter, bouncier, often less heavy warmth of its synth-tastic embrace has been rather alluring of late, and I’ve been leaning more towards the Ayreons, the Civilisations, and the Riversides of my collection. Shortly after I came to this realization, I came to another: not all prog is created equal, as the three aforementioned examples demonstrate capably. Still, seeing an album cover with that much purple on it in piqued my interest nicely, and that’s the story of how I snatched up Universal Chaos, the sophomore album from Norwegian prog metal act Rendezvous Point.” Prog is chaos.

Melted Space – Darkening Light Review

Melted Space – Darkening Light Review

“Headed up by pianist, keyboardist, and classically-trained composer Pierre Le Pape, Melted Space represents an ambitious attempt to unify heavy metal with an opera, featuring a full orchestra and a cohort of guest vocalists and musicians which would make Arjen Lucassen (of Ayreon) and Tobias Sammet (of Avantasia) think twice.”Go big or go back to the conservatory.

Record(s) o’ the Month – October 2017

Record(s) o’ the Month – October 2017

“Hoo boy! It’s the 7th of November and I’m dropping the Record(s) o’ the Month from October. What on earth will you people do with yourselves when you don’t have a late Record o’ the Month to complain about? Oh right, you’ll complain about the record I chose. I’d say “You can’t win all the time,” but when it comes to the RotM that’s not true. I do win all the time.” Trolling with timeliness.

Vuur – In This Moment We Are Free – Cities Review

Vuur – In This Moment We Are Free – Cities Review

“I’m about as far from a nationalist as you can get, but for metal I make an exception. In the Netherlands, for a country 17 million strong, the amount of metal icons is remarkably low, with Ayreon probably the most famous example from our little patch of Earth. But we did produce some big names among female vocalists, and none more so than the insanely productive Anneke van Giersbergen, whose angelic voice featured on a wide array of guest performances, three Ayreon albums, numerous Devin Townsend collaborations, The Gentle Storm and of course quirky doom goth icons The Gathering, where her upward trajectory began. Seeking more focus in her musical escapades, she decided to relegate her more quiet acoustic side to her solo name (formerly Agua De Annique) and concentrate her progressive metal tendencies in new project Vuur.” The unsinkable Anneke.