Labyrinth

DarkTribe – Voici l’homme Review

DarkTribe – Voici l’homme Review

“Rather than a refreshed take on a démodé genre, DarkTribe’s music feels as if abducted from the late 1990s or early 2000s and put into stasis, trapped in that timeline and preserved in a pristine state forever. So powerful and candid is this stylistic anachronism that the band’s third LP Voici l’homme acts as a rotten Proustian Madeleine, eternally evoking yet never reaching the sonic imagery of first encounters with bands such as Labyrinth, Stratovarius, and Evergrey.” Lost tribes.

Fleshgod Apocalypse – Veleno Review

Fleshgod Apocalypse – Veleno Review

Fleshgod Apocalypse—known affectionately at the AMG offices as “Death Metal Rhapsody of Fire”—had a meteoric rise from its humble beginnings on 2009’s innovative Oracles. Though these Italian death metallers started on a Candlelight/Willtowtip, Nuclear Blast wasted no time elevating them to underground metal’s biggest stage. That pickup resulted in a larger budget, bigger productions and an evolution beyond the band’s death metal quartet status.” One of the brightest stars in the death metal universe is back with its fifth album. Will this be the one that makes us all go “Uuaaaaaauuuu”?

Michael Romeo – War of the Worlds Review, Pt. 1

Michael Romeo – War of the Worlds Review, Pt. 1

Michael Romeo is one of prog/power’s finest genii and is deservedly renowned for his day job as the guitarist and primary composer in Symphony X. Little known, however, is that Romeo released a solo album called The Dark Chapter in 1995. Only available on YouTube, the album is a mind-blowing display of, on the one hand, Romeo’s virtuoso talent and, on the other hand, just how far recording has come in the 23 years since its release. The Dark Chapter‘s first followup record is entitled War of the Worlds, Part 1 and on the surface, these two albums have little in common.

Dragonhammer – Obscurity Review

Dragonhammer – Obscurity Review

“The label’s press release for Obscurity states ostentatiously that the album will be the band’s ‘definitive consecration to the international scene.’ Sidelining that this is a gross misuse of the word and concept of ‘consecration’ on multiple levels, there’s no way to make me crankier right off the bat than with inane marketing bluster. Tread lightly, My Kingdom.” Dragon-sized PR misses.

Fleshgod Apocalypse – King Review

Fleshgod Apocalypse – King Review

Fleshgod Apocalypse is well known in these parts for having produced a debut album that I worship and two albums since then that I don’t. Back in aught nine, the band released Oracles, which was a neoclassical death metal record unlike anything I had heard. The songs were intense, with intricate, artful, and beastly guitar work. Unfortunately, while songwriting was excellent, the drum sound on the record was a bit like reading a great Russian novel IN ALL CAPS; high art, ruined by someone’s inability to capitalize properly. 2011’s Agony was a better produced record than its predecessor in some ways, but the band undermined its own sound by moving all the interesting melodies and ‘riffing’ to the orchestras. When they returned to correct this problem on 2013’s Labyrinth, the master was so bad that all attempts to rectify earlier missteps were voided by the static of clipping master.

Madam X’s Top Ten(ish) of 2013

Madam X’s Top Ten(ish) of 2013

“Wow, what a year! A large portion of 2013 has had me working my ass off in preparation for my stint out at sea with 70,000 Tons of Pure Fucking METAL! I’ve tried to curtail my excitement, but fuck it, this is huge – Carcass, Septicflesh, Finntroll, Overkill… what more could a girl ask for?” As Madam X shamelessly drops free plugs for a certain novelty cruise line, she also delivers her best albums of the year. That lady can multi-task!

Angry Metal-Fi: An Even Angrier Metal Guy

Angry Metal-Fi: An Even Angrier Metal Guy

“When Dave and I founded Metal-Fi, we were prepared for many things, but the one thing we weren’t prepared for was that Angry Metal Guy would get well, angrier.” So begins the first in a series of cross-posting articles about production and sound dynamics in heavy metal from the boys at the excellent website Metal-Fi, called “Angry Metal-Fi.”

Fleshgod Apocalypse – Labyrinth Review

Fleshgod Apocalypse – Labyrinth Review

Labyrinth is 2013’s incarnation of Fleshgod‘s neo-classical death metal. Once again, Labyrinth is not a clone of the band’s previous work, but instead it seems to be Fleshgod‘s attempt to reach a happy medium between Agony and Oracles, musically.” Angry Metal Guy weighs in to wordily explain how he feels about the latest slab of orchestral tech death from Italy’s Fleshgod Apocalypse. When we say wordily, we really mean it. Like a thousand freaking words just telling you what he thinks of this album. It’s kind of ridiculous really. No one should spend that much time writing about an album. Who the hell does he think he is?

Dragonland – Under the Grey Banner Review

Dragonland – Under the Grey Banner Review

Talk about the right album at the right time! While I was never that big a fan of the symphonic bombast and Lord of the Rings fetishism of power metal acts like Blind Guardian and Rhapsody, I was tasked with reviewing the new Dragon- land opus over the same long weekend that local movie channels played the LOTR trilogy nonstop in their full extended glory. Since Under the Grey Banner is yet another slobbering Tolkien love-fest, replete with elves, orcs, swords and sappiness (which completes their own trilogy started on their first two albums), it fit right in. Like their previous works, it’s a full-on symphonic cheese factory with enough grandiose pomposity to choke a Balrog. You know exactly what it will sound like and what will be included. Overblown keyboards, soaring vocals, choirs, frenetic neo-classical guitar wankery, it’s a big, overwrought symphonic mess. As such, it manages to work about as well as most albums of this ilk but at least it didn’t send me running for a shot of insulin until the midway point. While its nothing you haven’t heard before from the likes of Rhapsody or Labyrinth, its well done and quite entertaining at times in a too-close-to-Broadway-musical kind of way. However, it has it’s share of consistency issues and isn’t as strong as their 2004 Starfall release. That said, I’m sure fans of this type of Dungeons & Dragons music will love it like a +10 sword of sliceification. In case there was ANY doubt about the nerd-factor of this stuff, Dragonland created an interactive website with maps and narrations to help guide you on the mystic journey they planned for you. Holy nerd bait, Batman!