Fates Warning

Fates Warning – Long Day Good Night Review

Fates Warning – Long Day Good Night Review

“As the year mercifully draws to an end and we start thinking about list season, there are still a few November releases that many of us are looking forward to. This is one of them: the thirteenth album from American progressive metal outfit Fates Warning. As last week’s YMIO shows, I’ve been a fan of this band for decades, and Long Day Good Night had a tentative reservation in my Top Ten-ish list once it was announced.” Long times.

Psychotic Waltz – The God-Shaped Void Review

Psychotic Waltz – The God-Shaped Void Review

“The nostalgia circuit has been around forever, and while it’s fun (sometimes) to see old bands play their decades-old hits in casinos, it’s even more fun when formerly awesome bands reunite and put out new GOOD music. Case in point: Satan, with a 26-year gap between releases – and with a trio of excellent new albums to boot. Psychotic Waltz tried their best to match that, going 24 years between releases here, but with an asterisk: The God-Shaped Void is their first album in 26 years with the original lineup. Take that, Satan!” Not the last Waltz after all.

Thoughts Factory – Elements Review

Thoughts Factory – Elements Review

“So when I pulled my head from the murk of the most grimy, gritty, and distorted music metal has to offer to review the clean, keyboard-laden progressive metal of Thoughts Factory, my initial reaction was that of a belligerent child forced to take a shower after playing in the mud: I don’t like it this clean! Make it more filthy! But does that knee-jerk reaction hold on repeat listens?” Clean thoughts.

Schammasch – Hearts of No Light Review

Schammasch – Hearts of No Light Review

“There are two kinds of metal albums that tickle my fancy. The first kind takes a band’s trademark sound, alters it just enough to keep things fresh, but also retains everything that makes that artist or band unique, enjoyable, and otherwise impossible to do without. The other has mere glimpses of what made that band who they are, but throws so many curveballs, surprise left hooks, and a kitchen sink or twelve your way, and demands that you catch it all. Swiss avant garde spiritualists Schammasch most certainly fit into the latter with relative ease. Even after releasing a three-disc, exactly-100-minute monstrosity in the form of Triangle back in 2016, it still didn’t fully prepare me for what Hearts of No Light had in store for me.” That’s a big Schammasch!

Ray Alder – What the Water Wants Review

Ray Alder – What the Water Wants Review

“Ray Alder has accumulated some major prog bona vides during his time on the music scene. Replacing the mighty John Arch in Fates Warning way back in 1988, Alder became one of the major faces of American prog-metal. His sojourn with prog super group Redemption only reinforced his place in the genre pecking order. After 30 years in the game, 2019 sees the man release his first solo album.” Water bending.

Atlantean Kodex – The Course of Empire Review

Atlantean Kodex – The Course of Empire Review

“After impressing the metalverse with 2013s The White Goddess, the band took their sweet time crafting a followup, and the long-awaited The Course of Empire definitely dials up the Bathory-esque epic Viking side of Atlantean Kodex‘s mammoth heavy metal sound. Along with the band’s usual While Heaven Wept meets Manowar on Manilla Road take on oversized throwback metal, there’s a powerful Hammeheart influence under-girding the already titanic, soaring compositions, making for a heavier, darker sound.” Atlantean Empire rising.

Trauma – As the World Dies Review

Trauma – As the World Dies Review

“Last month I reviewed the latest Very Good release from Flotsam and Jetsam, a band known more for their contribution to Metallica than to thrash music in general. Well, not to be outdone, here comes Trauma, a band that should be known even more so for their contribution to Metallica. After all, it was Trauma that gifted the inimitable Cliff Burton to Metallica, and as we all know, the rest is history. And it was history for this Sunset Strip band: their debut album, Scratch and Scream, came out two years after Burton departed, and it was another three decades before their follow-up, Rapture and Wrath, dropped. Now here they are with As the World Dies, their third album (a mere three years after their second, instead of thirty), and another attempt to establish themselves as more than just a footnote in metal history.” And it certainly won’t be their cover art that does it, so can their music?