David Bowie

Tethra – Empire of the Void Review

Tethra – Empire of the Void Review

“Space is very metal. I don’t refer to the space between you and the nearest hunting knife, of course, but rather to outer space, which has captured the imagination of metalheads from all walks of the genre’s spectrum. Today brings Tethra’s Empire of the Void into the mix, a monstrous slab of death-doom designed to crush and inspire.” Void rage.

Demons & Wizards – III Review

Demons & Wizards – III Review

Blind Guardian has always fed my fantastical appetite through the years—providing me with stories and full concept records at a pace and with a passion that is pure fun. Then, there’s Iced Earth. A band that has given me plenty of headbangable moments and vivid imagery through their own concepts—even crushing my spirit at times with heartbreaking ballads and war/lost-love themes. When I first heard Demons & Wizards, I realized it was no different. In a single band, I could experience the storytelling nature of Blind Guardian and the crushing, yet crippling character of Iced Earth. For two—now three—records, this has been the goal of this power-metal duo. But, fifteen years is a long time to go without your partner-in-crime. Even identical twins can lose a connection after a decade-and-a-half of separation. So, what’s that mean for Kürsch and Schaffer and their precious III?” Two Demons, one Triwizard Cup.

Glitter Wizard – Opera Villains Review

Glitter Wizard – Opera Villains Review

“The AMG higher-ups fancy themselves benevolent despots. That’s because they allow us relative freedom to choose our own promos and surprise us with pizza and hobo wine office parties now and then. Occasionally they’ll even offer tepid praise after our reviews are published. Sure, the quarterly beatings leave marks, but they rarely break the skin. Then again, if they see us getting too comfortable, they’ll assert their authority by assigning reviews that leave us just enough rope to hang ourselves. They might make brutal boi Kronos review symphonic power metal, or give our morose Muppet a jaunty pirate metal sing-along. For reasons beyond my understanding, they saw the words Glitter Wizard in the promo sump and thought, “Now there’s a stop-bang pooper doop if we’ve ever seen one, and we know just the writer for the job.”” Feel the opera.

O.R.k. – Ramagehead Review

O.R.k. – Ramagehead Review

“It’s not often that so-called super-groups stick around for more than one or two albums. Invariably, the novelty of working together wears off, and competing priorities pull members in other directions. That hasn’t been the case with multinational prog rockers O.R.k., though: Ramagehead is the band’s third album, appearing like clockwork almost two years to the day after their superb Soul of an Octopusrecord. The quartet remains unchanged as well: the big names are Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson) on drums and Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree) on bass, but guitarist Carmelo Pipitone and singer/composer LEF are not to be ignored.” Ramage Inc.

Lydia Laska – Ego Death Review

Lydia Laska – Ego Death Review

“Sir David Bowie. The Duke, The Chameleon, The Goblin King. In January 2016, the world lost one of the greatest musicians it had ever known. Throughout his illustrious career, Bowie wore many faces, but even at his darkest, he retained a sultry air with his seductive voice and androgynous personae. First-wave black metal would place near-last on my list of metal genres that could pair with the Duke, but that’s exactly what ,b>Lydia Laska aim to do.” Look back in blackness.

Black Space Riders – Amoretum Vol. 2 Review

Black Space Riders – Amoretum Vol. 2 Review

“And now for part two of my reviews of two-part albums, the follow-up to Black Space Riders’ January release, Amoretum Vol. 1. What hooked me into that first album (and has kept me coming back regularly to select songs) was the overall feel of the songs — groovy, psychedelic cuts with a tight focus on rhythm and plenty of David Bowie influence. What I didn’t like was the opening song, an out-of-place, messy garage-punk outlier, and the penchant for the band to identify themselves only with initials. My final words in that review were ‘I’m on board for Vol. 2. Hopefully, Black Space Riders keep it going.’ So… do they?” Space madness.

Black Space Riders – Amoretum Vol. 1 Review

Black Space Riders – Amoretum Vol. 1 Review

“Back in 2015, Germany’s Black Space Riders underwhelmed El Cuervo to the point that, when jousting over January promos, he couldn’t even remember having reviewed Refugeeum. That is a warning sign if I’ve ever seen one, but something about Amoretum Vol. 1 intrigued me nonetheless, and I’m worried I might regret it: after all, Vol. 2 is also slated to come out this year, and I’ll get stuck with it, good or bad.” You take, you own it.

Until The Sky Dies – The Year Zero Blueprint Review

Until The Sky Dies – The Year Zero Blueprint Review

“I admit it, I can be a sadistic reviewer. Finding a truly, deeply terrible album gives me a certain perverse glee at the prospect of creatively tearing the malformed afterbirth to ribbons. The feeling is generally strong enough to overpower the dry heaves and stomach-clenching nausea of actually listening to it. But I have found my Waterloo.” The sky is falling (and dying).

Subterranean Masquerade – Vagabond Review

Subterranean Masquerade – Vagabond Review

“Twelve years down the road from the debut, Subterranean Masquerade no longer sounds the same. The psychedelic has lost ground to the Oriental, and the introduction of Green Carnation vocalist Kjetil Nordhus has brought influences from his main gig into the songwriting. The subtle madness and looming shadow have made way for a scene of sunlit clay houses in a strange, vaguely Middle-Eastern land.” The mind of an artist is murky and mysterious.

Steven Wilson – To the Bone Review

Steven Wilson – To the Bone Review

“The solo works of Steven Wilson were in ascendancy by 2012’s accomplished The Raven that Refused to Sing, a musically morose but sonically warm homage to 70s prog rock which drew me in with its Fripp-isms and ensnared me in its powerfully emotive web. 2015 saw the decidedly harsher tone of Hand. Cannot. Erase., which similarly impressed me with its engrossing tale of obliteration with more modern tools. The prospect of a sequel named To the Bone surely had a number of AMG writers all hot and bothered. His production has always been top-notch while his music is constantly developing, promising at least that it would stand apart from prior albums to offer something fresh.” Reinvent, refresh.