Epica

Eleine – Dancing in Hell Review

Eleine – Dancing in Hell Review

“Symphonic and power/symphonic metal are so hit-or-miss. Even when it comes to a couple of my favorites, I can love one release and loathe the next. That’s even when the most astute listener thinks the albums sound the same. It has to be the perfect balance of elements to catch my attention and keep me coming back for repeat listens. And, other times, I have to be in the right headspace. When I first heard Eleine‘s new opus, Dancing in Hell, almost all those elements came together.” Hell is a dance-off.

Scardust – Strangers Review

Scardust – Strangers Review

“I have a strange relationship with progressive metal. On one hand, I feel like the vast majority of prog is made up of decent song ideas separated from one another by fancy time signatures, self-indulgent experimentation, and other forms of needless wankery. But on the other hand, I proudly claim progressive titans Symphony X and Nevermore as my two favorite bands of all time. Those bands had a way of making their immensely complex compositions seem deceptively simple — a hallmark of a good prog band in my book. To me, progressiveness is really just the amplification of — or an embellishment upon — what a band already does well. Thus, my view that much of today’s “prog” music is really just embellished nothingness. On that cheerful note, enter Israeli progressive metal band Scardust.” Prog for dummies.

Leaves’ Eyes – The Last Viking Review

Leaves’ Eyes – The Last Viking Review

Leaves’ Eyes is a band I hear about plenty, but whose music I seldom actually hear. A few samples here and there, a sliver of news-worthy drama over there, a conversation once in a while — that’s it. So it’s a bit odd that I wound up with the responsibility of reviewing their latest output, The Last Viking, but then, sometimes not knowing about band-land drama is good for the weary reviewer.” Eyes Fatigue.

Moonlight Haze – Lunaris Review

Moonlight Haze – Lunaris Review

“Angry Metal Guy’s latest n00b interrupts your regularly scheduled black metal to bring the ultimate question: is power metal metal? “It has the word metal in it, so of course it is, you babbling bumbling baboon,” you say. I get it, and it’s been proven again and again, but while various facets of the metalverse have to justify why they’re not rock, power metal is one of the only styles that must justify why it’s not pop.” Justify our love.

Ani Lo. Projekt – A Time Called Forever Review

Ani Lo. Projekt – A Time Called Forever Review

“I have an irrational aversion to bands that name themselves after people. Perhaps it’s because I’ve always fantasized about being in a band, and choosing a righteous name for said band is always one of my favorite parts of the fantasy. Or perhaps it’s because, in my mind, a great band becomes something greater than the sum of its parts, a whole that transcends any one of its members. Or maybe it’s because I believe that the Dave Matthews Band is the very worst thing that humanity has ever produced.” What’s in a name?

Adrian Benegas – The Revenant Review

Adrian Benegas – The Revenant Review

Adrian Benegas, perhaps best known as the keyboardist and founder of symphonic metal act Tragul, is at the beginning of a familiar story: a talented musician and composer takes a step away from his band to attempt a symphonic power metal solo project, one in which the story, lyrics, and compositions will be done solely by himself. He will write a story and bring it to life in musical form, bringing in guest musicians and vocalists to play various parts of the story. Is this sounding familiar yet?” Avant horizon.

Nevaria – Finally Free Review

Nevaria – Finally Free Review

“I’m sure you figured it out from the cover art: yes, it’s me again, and I’m reviewing yet another female-fronted symphonic metal band. Why am I doing this to myself? How did I offend Steel Druhm, and when will he let me off the hook? All excellent questions for another day. For now, let’s focus on Nevaria, a Bavarian group releasing their debut full-length, Finally Free.” Freedom from mimicry.

Cathubodua – Continuum Review

Cathubodua – Continuum Review

“Fucking fuck you fucking all, you fuck fucking fucks. I absolutely fucking hate everyone right now and I blame each and every one of you miserable shits. I suppose I could blame Steel, him having personally assigned me to the nightmare which I must shortly relive, but I blame you. You, ‘dear’ ‘read’-er, are why we do the over worded and under think-ed things that we do, and to the best of my knowledge I have never hurt any of you enough to owe anyone the undertaking that was Continuum, an album I’ll be dedicating my life and liver to erasing the memory of.” Powers.

Ethereal Kingdoms – Hollow Mirror Review

Ethereal Kingdoms – Hollow Mirror Review

“Every once in a while, I’m put in a position where I have to explain to some wide-eyed innocent how it could possibly be that I don’t care much for Nightwish. The only reason this happens, mind you, is because of the band’s undying popularity and colossal influence in their genre. My problem? I like symphonic in my metal. But I don’t like the band that everyone seems to copy to get there. So why would I pick up Hollow Mirror, the debut full-length from Danish band Ethereal Kingdom?” Wishing for the night.