Before the Dawn

October Tide – Tunnel of No Light Review

October Tide – Tunnel of No Light Review

“Steel Druhm is a sucker for well done doom death with oodles of morose, melancholy atmosphere. Yep, I like stuff that makes me feel as if I’m slowly drowning in an ice cold Finnish lake as wood gnomes and forest elves cry and throw Mardi Gras beads into the water (just go with it, don’t analyze). Because of these predilections, I heartily enjoyed the last opus from this bunch of downcast Swedes, which featured several members of Katatonia at one time or another. After some line up changes and a few years away from the game, October Tide skulks back with Tunnel of No Light and it’s business as usual (that business being depressing but darkly beautiful music).” But is the business as successful as before? Steel Druhm splashes about and does his best to answer that very question.

Steel Druhm’s Top 10(ish) of 2011

Steel Druhm’s Top 10(ish) of 2011

We made it through another year here in Angry Metal World. We overcame Terminal Reviewer Burnout Syndrome, careers and personal lives, just to bring you more of our self-righteous, ego-driven babbling and blathering. Why did we do it? Because we care so damn much! Now, as the year grinds us all towards inevitable doom, it falls to me to get the metal wheel a rollin and name my picks for the best albums of 2011. This was a pretty solid year, so it was tough to figure out which albums belonged where, but you demanded it, so I’m delivering the goods, Yeah!

Steel Druhm’s Top Ten Songs of 2011

Steel Druhm’s Top Ten Songs of 2011

It’s a week-long reflection on the year in metal music here at Angry Metal Guy and we’re getting all sorts of nostalgic and sentimental. We’ve already covered the worsts, so now let’s get to the firsts! For the very first time, we’ve decided (by that I mean AMG decided) to name our top ten best songs of the year. Though it sounded like an easy task, once I tried to create said list, it proved quite difficult. There were so many potential candidates, it became an arduous culling process to find the ten metal gems to rule them all. While the list seems final, I’m sure I forgot some amazing stuff and I’m also sure you bastards will point it out to me. Steel Druhm awaits your scorn, disapprobation and silent judgment.

Black Sun Aeon – Blacklight Deliverance Review

Black Sun Aeon – Blacklight Deliverance Review

Tuomas Saukkonen is clearly a man concerned with the dangers of idle hands. To stave them off, he’s forever toiling in various musical projects (Before the Dawn, Dawn of Solace, RoutaSielu) and his highly underrated Black Sun Aeon project. While primarily known for his work in the excellent Before the Dawn, Tuomas has always used this project to explore more morose, gothic-tinged doomscapes while taking cues from fellow countrymen Insomnium and especially Rapture. As with the previous two Black Sun Aeon releases, Blacklight Deliverance is a compelling mix of death, doom and goth, with hauntingly beautiful melodies, ample heaviness and razor-sharp songwriting. It doesn’t break any new ground and at times veers very close to the aforementioned influences, but its a highly enjoyable journey nonetheless and has a few moments of absolute brilliance. It’s also a much more tightly focused work than 2010’s double album Routa and as a result, feels more immediate and accessible.

RoutaSielu – Pimeys Review

RoutaSielu – Pimeys Review

So, it’s actually a little weird that I would even be reviewing this disc since it seems to hardly be receiving an international release at this point, but it’s got some points of interest. First, it’s the band of Before The Dawn and Black Sun Aeon mastermind Tuomas Saukkonen, so it’s not like something one wants to actually ignore. Saukkonen produces a lot of material, he probably has 4 bands I don’t know of even, but the man has a heart of metal and his material is always solid, heavy, groovy and laden with great choruses. RoutaSielu isn’t a whole lot different; only this time the whole record is in Finnish and it causes some accessibility issues.

Before the Dawn – Deathstar Rising Review

Before the Dawn – Deathstar Rising Review

Ah, the life of a reviewer. It has it’s share of perks for sure. The promos, the forum for spouting self-righteous opinions, the money and of course, the women. However, all of that glory fades when compared to the thrill of reporting that a beloved band’s new album is fantastic. This right here was a release I’ve been waiting eagerly for and I had to beg, harass and harangue Angry Metal Guy into letting me review it. Because he’s a harsh but fair employer, he finally relented and let me address the sixth album by these gents from Finland (although that probably means I have to review a crapload of cheesy metalcore albums in the near future [How’d you know!? – AMG]). For those unfamiliar, Before the Dawn is a little difficult to pigeonhole neatly into one genre. They’re essentially a melodic death metal unit with a fair amount of gothic, and at times, doom metal added in. It’s been a successful and highly enjoyable combination and these guys always impressed me with how they blended heaviness with melody and huge hooks. I’m very happy to report that Deathstar Rising is another big success for these guys, contains some of their best material so far and is one of the best releases of the still early year.