Kamelot

Nergard – Eternal White Review

Nergard – Eternal White Review

“We throw around the phrase “Nightwish clone” in here a lot (at least it seems like we do; I have no inclination to check my claims), but in this case it feels eerily accurate. With Eternal White, Nergard channel Century Child with some Winterheart’s Guild-era Sonata Arctica thrown in for “spice.” “Spice” is in quotation marks, by the way, because this isn’t a very spicy album – in fact, it’s played very safe, leaning on a formula that has served the Leaves’ Eyes, the Xandrias, and the Sirenias of the world well: symphonic first, metal second.” White is a passive color.

Avaland – Theater of Sorcery Review

Avaland – Theater of Sorcery Review

“The metal opera is, enduringly, one of my favorite concepts of the genre. Avantasia and Ayreon are the two projects that I return to most often, and it seems I’m not the only one. Adrien Gzagg, of Grenoble, France, has been similarly inspired, which is why today I’m introducing you to Avaland and its debut full-length, Theater of Sorcery, a symphonic power metal opera with a fantastical backstory.” Another rainy night at the metal opera.

Hevilan – Symphony of Good and Evil Review

Hevilan – Symphony of Good and Evil Review

“If you are one of the poor souls who’s managed to follow my pedestrian music journalism career, you know that I’m a hopeless Nevermore weenie. There’s just something about the way they combined immense, progressive, down-tuned riffing with powerful, operatic vocals that is incredibly pleasing to my ears. I was therefore absolutely defenseless against the promo blurb that touted Hevilan guitarist Johnny Moraes as having appeared in Warrel Dane’s live band, as well as on the late Nevermore singer’s posthumous solo release, Shadow Work.” Good times, bad times.

Souls of Diotima – Janas Review

Souls of Diotima – Janas Review

“The line that separates symphonic metal from pop metal is — well, it’s not really a line, is it? It’s hard to inject pop into your metal without diving headfirst into symphonic territory. Okay, let me try again. The Venn diagram that distinguishes between symphonic metal and pop metal leaves a lot open to interpretation.” Pop in a orchestra pit.

Winterage – The Inheritance of Beauty Review

Winterage – The Inheritance of Beauty Review

“You know when you lose a bet and find yourself wearing a Red Sox jersey and forced to eat a hundred cocktail weenies until you purge yourself in the tub? Well, that’s nothing compared to the Paw of Steel punishment for picking on Kenny. Ken told me it was corset-core. Cool, I like corsets. There may or may not have been the mention of Nightwish, but I cataloged that as trollarchy. So, I took the punishment and rolled with it. Well, you know those times when a movie character comes to a dramatic realization? When the camera zooms in, and they look up at nothing and whisper, “Dear GOD”?” Cheesy justice.

Helion Prime – Question Everything Review

Helion Prime – Question Everything Review

“Revisiting Helion Prime‘s Terror of the Cybernetic Space Monster in preparation for their new record was like listening to it for the first time all over again. Though no worse than I remembered, it is every bit as forgettable now as I had scribed in 2018, with the pain of its disappointment in 2020 only dulled by further proximity from the band’s stellar self-titled debut.” Pain, Prime, and power,

Winter’s Verge – The Ballad of James Tig Review

Winter’s Verge – The Ballad of James Tig Review

“It was with slight trepidation that I fished out The Ballad of James Tig from the promo pit some weeks ago. There was just something about the cover that I didn’t trust. Not to mention that a power metal band writing a concept album about a mythical Viking-esque adventure isn’t the most original pitch I’ve ever heard. But there’s something endearing about Winter’s Verge that has me investigating anyway.” Tigonometry.

Unleash the Archers – Abyss Review

Unleash the Archers – Abyss Review

“Though Unleash the Archers remains the goofy power metal band they’ve always been, Apex was a serious release. Lyrics, story, songwriting—Apex captured the band at their absolute best. Abyss: ‘A deep and seemingly bottomless pit.’ So, a pit, no matter its depth, so scary and hopeless that you wouldn’t follow a hit baseball down it. To follow-up an album called Apex with one called Abyss may be the most condemning thing yet. Is it clever or is the shortest distance between the summit and a hole in the ground straight down?” Highs and lows.

Awake by Design – Awake by Design Review

Awake by Design – Awake by Design Review

“Progressive power metal is a challenging genre to really nail. If you go too light, it feels insubstantial and sugary. Go too heavy on the prog and tech aspects and you lose accessibility. U.K.s Awake by Design have been refining and developing their sound since 2009, and on their self-titled third album they treat you to an hour and 17 minutes of melodic prog-power with nods to Kamelot and Pyramaze.” Sleep waking.

Selenseas – The Outer Limits Review

Selenseas – The Outer Limits Review

“Seeing the almighty “power metal” banner waving boldly above a Pile of Intrigue in the Promo Pit is a fascinating experience, because it never fails to bring out my optimism and cynicism in roughly equal amounts. On the one hand, I love power metal. On the other hand, it’s such a straightforward genre that even established acts occasionally have trouble with a potentially generic sound. As per usual, optimism won out, so today I will tell you about my experience with Selenseas, a Russian group dabbling in symphonic power metal.” Power outage.