Camel

Opeth – In Cauda Venenum Review

Opeth – In Cauda Venenum Review

Thirteen albums in, I’m still excited about new Opeth records. While I am, indeed, an Angry Metal Guy, I appear to have taken the band’s merger into progressive rock better than other metalheads having loved Pale Communion and enjoyed Sorceress. And being Angry Metal Guy, the responsibility for (and privilege of covering) such a huge event like a new Opeth album falls to me. The problem, of course, with being the guy who has to review the new Opeth record is simple; I am the guy who has to review the new Opeth record. And reviewing In Cauda Venenum is a major endeavor. As the next step in Opeth‘s journey, In Cauda Venenum is a fascinating, complicated album. And In Cauda Venenum is not a journey that everyone is going to love taking.” More-peth!

Riverside – Wasteland Review

Riverside – Wasteland Review

“I did not know what to expect when I started listening to Riverside‘s new album Wasteland. In a way, I was surprised that it was written and released. After Piotr Grudziński’s sudden and untimely death in 2016 the band was effusive in their love for him and open about what a deeply personal loss they had suffered. The three remaining members elected to release a compilation of instrumental material featuring Piotr’s work and songwriting in 2016 entitled Eye of the Soundscape. This was followed by a live album called Lost ‘n’ Found on Bandcamp independently which featured Piotr in a show on the 18th of October, 2015 in the Netherlands. And then, apparently, Riverside began writing new music.” From loss, creation.

The Sea Within – The Sea Within Review

The Sea Within – The Sea Within Review

“I’m as leery of self-proclaimed supergroups as the next guy. They almost never work out. Usually, though, they at least have some humility about themselves, and claim they are not in fact a supergroup, but rather just a bunch of chaps who happen to want to make music together. Not so with The Sea Within. In fact, guitarist Roine Stolt (Transatlantic, The Flower Kings) says “Call it a supergroup if you want – I think we can handle that.” Big words!” Super group, super attitude.

Kayak – Seventeen Review

Kayak – Seventeen Review

“I consider myself fairly well-versed on the subject of 70s prog. I’ve got scores of albums by dozens of bands, and what I don’t have I can usually recognize. So when something comes about that I haven’t heard of (like last year’s Sea Goat record), it’s gotta be for a good reason — like the band not recording anything, or sucking. So here we are with Dutch outfit Kayak, probably spelled backward, and their latest album Seventeen, which I have found out has nothing to do with Kip Winger strutting around partially clothed.” No Winger, no hairpiece!

Yer Prog Is Olde! Camel – Rain Dances

Yer Prog Is Olde! Camel – Rain Dances

“You know Genesis right? And Yes? And Pink Floyd? And King Crimson? The big names of the English progressive rock scene which is more or less the best ‘scene’ to have ever existed (in music or otherwise). One name which flew relatively close to the ground during this era is Camel. It was only in retrospect that they began to enjoy their utterly deserved praise, thanks, in no small part, to the adoration of one Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth.” Camels!

Draugnim – Vulturine Review

Draugnim – Vulturine Review

“I’m not going to lie. I chose to review this promo on the basis that Draugnim sounds like Draugr – an entity which should be familiar to fellow Elder Scrolls nerds. On this basis, I predicted vaguely folkloric Scandinavian black metal. Indeed, Vulturine boasts Finnish Pagan metal similar to a popular band whose new album is also soon to drop.” Super nerds unite!

Steven Wilson – Hand. Cannot. Erase. Review

Steven Wilson – Hand. Cannot. Erase. Review

“Unlike many of my friends and colleagues, I’ve rarely been moved by Steven Wilson’s music. With notable exceptions, Porcupine Tree‘s studio work put me to sleep. Nor, I must admit, was I a fan of Insurgentes or Grace for Drowning at release. Despite having long been harangued for being an Opeth fanboy, I could not get into Storm Corrosion. In fact, if you’d asked me 5 years ago, I would have said that Steven Wilson’s genius is the ways in which he makes other bands sound incredible. That changed for me, however, with The Raven Who Refused to Sing from 2012. So when I heard that Wilson had a new record coming, I was intrigued: would it keep up the momentum and style of The Raven?” Well, can it?

Barren Earth – On Lonely Towers Review

Barren Earth – On Lonely Towers Review

Barren Earth may be the only band I ever forgive for not giving me an audition to be their vocalist. After it was announced that Mikko Kotamäki (Swallow the Sun) was leaving the band and that they were publicly searching for a singer, I screwed up my courage and dropped them an email with some songs. Being that I am “the standard by which all should be judged” (which is why I started a blog), I was duly shocked, dismayed and offended that they never even sent me a kind rejection letter.” Bitter and jilted, can Angry Metal Guy ever forgive this Finnish super group their taste in singers!?

Ayreon – The Theory of Everything Review

Ayreon – The Theory of Everything Review

“Of all of Arjen Lucassen’s projects, Ayreon is his best known and my least favorite. Having previously given both The Human Equation and 01011001 a shot, Ayreon really was a nut I couldn’t crack. Partially this is because I think the rock opera genre of power/prog metal bands à la Avantasia or Timo Tolkki’s Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Avalon tend to lack vision; but the writers also lack the kind of talent necessary that make undertakings like Jesus Christ Superstar or Little Shop of Horrors fun and interesting.” One does not simply write a 600 word review for a 90 minute concept record from Arjen Lucassen. Click to see the epic of The Theory of Everything.