Epica

Sede Vacante – Conium Review

Sede Vacante – Conium Review

“Certain assumptions will be made about gothic/symphonic metal bands. They will be fronted by a woman. They will prioritize strings as the most important melodic instrument. They will be Finnish. In the case of Sede Vacante and their sophomore release entitled Conium, these are at least partly right. You’ll note the female singer centralized in the band photo below. Strings do indeed feature. But the one sheet informs me that the band is both Finnish and Greek. What a revelation! Dusk aspiration.

Meteora – …of Shades and Colours Review

Meteora – …of Shades and Colours Review

“I can only imagine it’s daunting to form a new symphonic metal band. Arguably one of the most popular forms of metal, the scene is supersaturated with talent, and it often feels like the “greats” have already come, made their mark, and started to move on. Trying to make a dent in the sea of symphonic sanity is a huge task, but many are those who step up to try, and they all have my respect for it. The latest of their number I’ve come across is Meteora, who formed in 2010 in Hungary.” Grand expectations.

Deep Sun – Dreamland – Behind the Shades Review

Deep Sun – Dreamland – Behind the Shades Review

“Wherever I end up in life, I’ll always have a soft spot for symphonic power metal. As much as I’m happy to malign the genre for its general lack of innovation, I always try to make some time to let it prove me wrong. Discovering Dreamland – Behind the Shades, the third full-length release from Swiss Deep Sun gave me what felt like my first chance this year to do exactly that.” Night(wish) falls in Dreamland.

Epica – Omega Review

Epica – Omega Review

“This is a surreal moment for me. The first review I ever read on this site was Diabolus in Muzaka‘s hit piece on Epica’s The Holographic Principle, an album which I thought was super fun if overlong and oddly organized. I’ve been a die-hard fan of this band for over a decade now, having introduced myself to them with The Divine Conspiracy back in high school. With each successive release thereafter, save for the miscalculation that was Requiem for the IndifferentEpica refined and perfected their sound to the point that they are now unmistakable for any other symphonic metal band.” Omega predator.

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.