Evergrey

Noveria – Forsaken Review

Noveria – Forsaken Review

“The mainstream view of metal is that it’s either scary or ridiculous. Which, I suppose, makes us all a bunch of clowns, both in how society views us and in our low-key terrorization of the collective subconscious. But you have to admit that a lot of metal really is a bit idiotic, with grown men playing Viking metal, stringing together the foulest descriptions of gore, or, in the case of power metal, screaming about flaming dragons in the skies.” Those dragons are en fuego!

Evergrey – The Storm Within Review

Evergrey – The Storm Within Review

“This time I just wasn’t ready for the bi-annual dose of inner turmoil, depressive introspection and damaged psyches that come with every Evergrey album. Personal issues have conspired to keep me away from reviewing as much as I’d like and I’ll admit to feeling a bit beaten down of late. That’s either the worst time to spin an Evergrey release or the best, depending on the level of masochism present in your twisted black heart. I personally would have preferred a brainlessly bombastic dose of barbarian metal or some hideous cheesy power metal about unicorn husbandry, but Wotan had other plans.” Storming and nothingness.

Equilibrium – Armageddon Review

Equilibrium – Armageddon Review

It’s hard not to be in the mood for some folk metal when I wake up every morning surrounded by towering pine trees and solar-eclipsed mountains. The birds chirping incessantly, the sun patiently ascending the treetops, and the gentle breeze carrying the sweet smell of dew-tickled pine needles. These are the surroundings that make folk metal. And what better way to take in this lush atmosphere than with a new Equilibrium release? Sure, there are bands better suited for my morning cup of coffee, but these Ensiferum and Finntroll worshipers have been delivering quality folk metal for close to fifteen years. 2016 finds them in a dark mood—a mood altogether surprising to a band known for being folking fun. So what happens when the band unleashes Armageddon on its fans? Is it too late to shut this off before the trees catch fire?

Jaded Heart – Guilty by Design Review

Jaded Heart – Guilty by Design Review

“I’m not going to lie, I have the biggest fucking headache right now. And who is to blame for this ailment? Bon-fucking-Jovi. Why in hell would I be listening to Bon Jovi, you might be asking? Because Jaded Heart‘s back-catalog resurfaced my hard-helmet, classic-rock listening, construction-work nightmares. Yep, you read right. I said Jaded Heart. Why would I dare review such a thing, you may also be asking? Well, curiosity killed the cat.” Paul Baloff actually killed that cat because it was a poser!

Borealis – Purgatory Review

Borealis – Purgatory Review

“Ever since I first rode side-by-side with Tom Englund above the crowd of an old Cajun-themed bar in Scottsdale, Arizona, I’ve been one of the biggest Evergrey fanboys ever. I’ve followed along for years as they powered their way through thick and (sadly) thin. Though I was ecstatic about the return of a couple significant members, I was a little let done by Hymns for the Broken.” Could it be that the good Doctor found a generic Evergrey substitute on the market.

Tantal – Expectancy Review

Tantal – Expectancy Review

“I know embarrassingly little about the Russian metal scene, so the opportunity to review Tantal’s latest album was particularly… tantalizing. Formed in Pushkino in 2004, Tantal released their debut The Beginning of the End (is that really the best name for a first album?) in 2009. This flew completely under my radar, so I had no idea what to expect from Expectancy – a post-Soviet critique of the motivational theories of Victor Vroom in the style of In Flames, perhaps?” Can a Russian version of Arch Enemy properly motivate you?

Evergrey – Hymns for the Broken Review

Evergrey – Hymns for the Broken Review

“Every few years like clockwork, Evergrey shows up to expose their innermost turmoil, angst and self loathing and generally harsh our collective mellow with their unique brand of misanthropic dark metal. Few bands are as adept at expressing the inner doubt, depression and ennui that make the human experience such a flawed one, and for that they certainly deserve praise and respect. Whether you care to have those particular emotions rubbed raw is a personal decision, but for those who relish their scar diaries, this act always provides the ideal soundtrack for ritualized self abuse.” Are you feeling too happy? Well, Evergrey is back to put the gum in glum.

Vanishing Point – Distant is the Sun Review

Vanishing Point – Distant is the Sun Review

“It seems I don’t get to review power metal all that much these days, though it was one of the reasons I was originally recruited by AMG in the first place (my official title was Assistant Chief Power Metal Weenie). Instead, it’s Rogga Johansson this, retro death metal that, yadda yadda yadda. Maybe that’s why it feels so refreshing to hear some genuinely solid power-prog from long running Aussie act Vanishing Point.” Steel Druhm takes a short break from reviewing Rogga Johansson projects to enjoy some prog-power. Feel free to join him.

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Avatarium – Avatarium

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Avatarium – Avatarium

“Some of these things “we miss” during the year are understandably obscure and I don’t lose much sleep worrying about the overall health of my Metal Detector. Sometimes however, we whiff on a biggie and are left wondering if our collective ear to the metal underground needs a hearing aid (of steel). This is one of those whiffs. That’s because Avatarium is the new project of none other than Leif Fucking Edling (Candlemass, Krux, Abstract Algebra, etc.) and since the man is one of the modern-day Lords of Doom, we clearly should have seen this coming sooner.” Oops is all we can say on this one. The classy thing to do is forgive and move on.

Evergrey – Glorious Collision Review

Evergrey – Glorious Collision Review

Doom metal is theoretically designed to make you feel sad and sorrowful. Some of it does the trick, some doesn’t. Oddly, the band that always manages to kill my happy happy joy joy moods completely and utterly isn’t even a doom act. Instead, its “dark metal” masters Evergrey. These guys have made their bones writing increasingly depressive, raw and emotionally crippling music and here on their eighth album, the sorrowful Swedes still haven’t picked up their prozac prescriptions. Yes, Glorious Collision is another massive dose of buzzkilling, fetishistically downcast heavy metal that will make you feel bad about yourself, others and life in general. Doesn’t sound like much fun does it? Well, I doubt anyone will ever argue that Evergrey makes good times music and no, they aren’t much fun to listen to. They are however, very good at what they do and they craft some excellent and beautifully tragic music with powerful feelings.