Candlelight

Cruachan – Blood on the Black Robe Review

Cruachan – Blood on the Black Robe Review

So, like them or not, Cruachan has been around since the early 1990s doing their Celtic folk metal bit with varying success. Their most widely well-regarded record is the album Folk-Lore from 2002, but there was at least a little love for the band’s blending of Gaelic folk music and metal. For me, the band has always had an air of ‘amateur’ about them. While bands like Primordial and Skyclad produced unique music at a high level, there’s always been a seed of a good idea with Cruachan, but an execution problem. So, how does Blood on the Black Robe live up to the legacy of the band?

Winterfylleth – The Mercian Sphere Review

Winterfylleth – The Mercian Sphere Review

Winterfylleth is a pagan black metal band from Manchester, England who previously has a full length that was released on Profound Lore. They join the ranks of modern black metal bands who, while conforming to many aspects of the genre, are still fighting against the basics: grindy Satan worship. Instead, Winterfylleth produces atmospheric, but melodic black metal that fits in perfectly with a lot of what’s going on around the world in black metal, but that definitely couldn’t be grouped in with sort of “post-black metal” crowd. The Mercian Sphere has the basic foundations of what could be a highly successful record in 2010, but there are a few things that get in the way for this Angry Metal Guy.

Limbonic Art – Phantasmagoria Review

Limbonic Art – Phantasmagoria Review

I loved Bathory growing up. I mean, I REALLY loved me some Bathory! That crazy Quorthon and his one man band really tore it up while basically giving birth to the black, folk and viking metal genres all by his lonesome. However, A.B. (After Bathory), many one man bands rose up in the frozen, gloomy black metal basements of the world, some good, many not. Therefore, when I heard that long running Norwegian black metal act Limbonic Art was now essentially reduced to a one man project for co-founder Daemon, I was more than slightly uneasy about the release of this, their seventh album, Phantasmagoria. Further enhancing my unease was the advance word that the album would again feature a drum machine (a long running negative for this band). With unease and hesitation upon all our minds (or at least mine), here we go.

Nachtmystium – Black Meddle II: Addicts Review

Nachtmystium – Black Meddle II: Addicts Review

If you ask any black metal purist what real “black metal” should sound like, you will probably get a slew of bands that, seem to blur into each other somewhat in a slew of blast beats, tremelo-picked riffs and shrieked vocals – and woe betide he who dares to experiment with this time honoured recipe. Black metal is a cutthroat genre among its fans, and bands that defy the trends of the genre yet still dub their metal “black” are quick to draw the ire of the once faithful. Blake Judd’s Nachtmystium took a major gamble when they decided to pursure a more avant-garde approach to black metal with Instinct: Decay and have both won and lost fans, but so far, (In this angry metal guy’s opinion, at least) their less orthodox releases have been consistent and relevant to the modern black metal landscape.

Circle of Dead Children – Psalms of the Grand Destroyer Review

Circle of Dead Children – Psalms of the Grand Destroyer Review

Here at Angry Metal Guy Industries ©®, staff is small [by which he means “little people” – Ed.], deadlines are many and mercy is neither asked for nor granted. Therefore, we of the reviewer caste don’t always get to cherry pick bands or genres we love. Because of this ugly truth, sometimes a review must be done for something outside our musical wheelhouse. That is the very dilemma facing yours truly with a review of Psalms of the Grand Destroyer by Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s own Circle of Dead Children. Album number four by these purveyors of inhuman deathgrind is sick, twisted, chaotic and brutal for brutality’s sake, but is it good? That is a mighty tricky question.

Ihsahn – After Review

Ihsahn – After Review

Easily one of the most anticipated records of 2010 for me has been Ihsahn’s new offering. While I was a passing Emperor fan, really just a fan of In the Nightside Eclipse and Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk-era, I was taken by Ihsahn’s solo stuff. The Adversary felt fresh, progressive enough, a step away from the later Emperor material of which I wasn’t a fan, and it captured the sonic styles and textures that he was never quite allowed to explore while in Emperor. The record didn’t stick with me as I had hoped, while I listened to it occasionally it didn’t hold a steadfast position in my discography. On the other hand, angL blew me away. Probably the finest record of 2008, angL has maintained a steady place in the rotation and is a record that I’ve showed to dozens of people. Perfectly produced, perfectly composed and smartly written, angL contained everything that I wanted out of a new progressive metal record. So, of course, when I heard that Ihsahn would be releasing a new record in 2010, I became justifiably excited.

Claustrofobia – I See Red Review

Claustrofobia – I See Red Rating: 2.5/5.0 – Drop the scale runs and make it shorter, and this would be a better album Label: Candlelight Website(s): myspace.com/claustrofobia Release Date(s): EU: 19.10.2009 | USA: Release date unclear Anyone who’s ever been a guitarist knows that guy who shames you.  Well, maybe not everyone, ’cause sometimes you […]

Evile – Infected Nations Review

Evile – Infected Nations Review

Thrash revival has been a big deal of late. I mean, thrash is the biggest thing since.. well, thrash, in the metal scene right now. Bands from all over the world, particularly in the underground, are donning tight jeans, jean jackets, Kreator and Exodus patches and looking for the next big thrash prodigy. Earache is not the only label releasing thrash revival stuff, it’s coming from everywhere (Candlelight has been particularly prolific with the thrash revival). Evile is on that bandwagon, whether they like it or not, but they have a different take on it. That is: they sound a lot more like the mature Bay Area.

The Atlas Moth – A Glorified Piece of Blue-Sky Review

The Atlas Moth – A Glorified Piece of Blue-Sky Rating: 3.5/5.0 – A mix of sounds that works very well, but doesn’t stand out for me.. Label: Candlelight Website: theatlasmoth.com Release Date(s): EU: 21.09.2009 | USA: 10.6.2009 Sludge, and many variations thereof, have definitely been working their way into the “mainstream” consciousness of heavy metal […]

Insomnium – Across the Dark

Insomnium – Across the Dark

Insomnium is one of those bands that rides on the border of melodic death metal and progressive rock, straddling the fence between good, solid heavy music and the proggy stuff that all the sadboy metal guys listen to. Those guys who secretly love The Cure and Depeche Mode and end up making stuff that sounds like newer Katatonia, Anathema or Amorphis. This isn’t really a critique, but it lets you know right off the bat where these Finnish melodic metallers are standing in reference to the never ending “is melody metal” war that seems to be going on these days.