Diablo Swing Orchestra

Pristine – Ninja [Things You Might Have Missed 2017]

Pristine – Ninja [Things You Might Have Missed 2017]

“It might not have been the best year for male vocalists, but the women in metal more than made up for it. Stellar performances from bands as varied as Royal Thunder, Sabbath Assembly, Chelsea Wolfe, Myrkur, and Diablo Swing Orchestra showed us that the women can bring it. But the best performance of the year came from a band whose album flew under our radar back in June, Pristine, and their fourth album, Ninja.” Women to the front!

Seven Spires – Solveig Review

Seven Spires – Solveig Review

“Enter Seven Spires, a Boston-based act I blindly picked as a personal punching bag after going soft from weeks of reviewing great material. Featuring Adrienne Cowan of Light and Shade (a band we largely panned last year), their debut Solveig, armed with the most excruciatingly mediocre cover art of the year, is doomed to fail… right?” Books, covers, judgments, etc.

Thy Shade – The Last Goodbye Review

Thy Shade – The Last Goodbye Review

“You know, you can say what you want about female fronted symphonic metal like Nightwish, Within Temptation and Leaves’ Eyes, but they have (or had) some terrific vocalists. Tarja, Sharon van Adel, Simone Simons of Epica, the list goes on. In plenty of cases the music may be tepid and derivative, but at least those golden throats are there to put salve on the wounds and distract from the musical mediocrity.” Throwing shade.

Dark Sarah – The Puzzle Review

Dark Sarah – The Puzzle Review

“I’ll be honest with you, my first blush with Finland’s Dark Sarah, upon receiving their promo folder had me wallowing in despair, my lamentation palpable through gritted teeth for the seemingly poor choice I had made. Wading through publicity photos with the aesthetic charm of an easel that has been beaten to death by a rainbow, reading the insufferably trite album bio that speaks of mysterious caves and split personalities and the aforementioned laughable album cover all served to shrivel my hopes that I had discovered a ziggurat filled with wondrous music.” Dark Sarah has a dragon (and a cave troll).

Ketha – #​!​%​16​.​7 Review

Ketha – #​!​%​16​.​7 Review

“Earlier this year, a band hailing somehow not from Japan, but from Kraków, released an appropriately enigmatically-named EP that by all rights should have shat all over Angra‘s RoTM position, had anybody on the planet told us about it. But they didn’t. And for that you’ll burn.” We are aggrieved.

6:33 – Deadly Scenes Review

6:33 – Deadly Scenes Review

“Avant-garde metal as a subgenre nowadays is really devoid of meaning. Nothing more than an umbrella term to include all those bands that don’t fit neatly onto well-established shelves of “traditional” metal styles. In other words, it has become shorthand for “this is weird.”” The weird don’t need to fit in, but they should expect some wedgies nonetheless.

Dreamgrave – Presentiment Review

Dreamgrave – Presentiment Review

“Metal has been extremely retro in the last 5 years. From rethrash to retro death metal, the whole scene has crawled into its proverbial ass in order to wallow in the digested remnants of metal music that is just plain better. Rethrash celebrates the 2.5 years when thrash was the heaviest and most exciting music on the planet. Retro death celebrates a time when bands would scrape together their last Swedish kronor to put a record together that would still sound like total shit. All the bands who wish they were Black Sabbath celebrate a time when amplifiers didn’t actually have overdrive. But all of these celebrated sounds appeal to us because they were authentic: times when newness and creativity gave the world something exciting and special. One such scene for me is the melodic death and black metal scenes of the Scandinavian 1990s. It’s an era when metal was heavy, engaging, abstract, and yet melodic—it felt exciting and new. While not all of the best ideas from this era were executed perfectly at the time, it laid the groundwork for the late ’90s and the early aughts when great metal bands produced great music.” What the hell does this have to do with anything? Click and find out!

Lingua Mortis Orchestra – LMO Review

Lingua Mortis Orchestra – LMO Review

“I have a weakness for Rage. They’re a band that, while sometimes inconsistent, has long been a standard for cheesy German power metal. They manage to make music like it’s 1988 without blinking an eye, and while that cheese might not endear them to everyone, it certainly has endeared them to me. Twenty-twelve’s 21 was a concerning affair, however. The record contained none of the orchestral flourishes and progressive tendencies that I had been hoping to hear. Instead, 21 was a largely banal affair, with straight rock tracks and a tad more cheese that I could handle at times. Good; not great.” So, is LMO the solution we’ve all been waiting for? The Rage record we didn’t get last time around? Angry Metal Guy fills you in on the details…