Melodic Metal

Mister Misery – A Brighter Side of Death Review

Mister Misery – A Brighter Side of Death Review

“‘Don’t judge a book by its cover,’ so the saying goes. But in our modern metal landscape, where a single look at an album cover or a song name can hook us or repel us forever, it’s damn hard to do otherwise. Mister Misery (strike one) are dying for your attention, as illustrated by that album cover (strike two). Their so-called brand of “horror metal” should be strike three, good morning, good afternoon, good night. And yet… maybe read the first page.” Twisted Mister.

Arion – Vultures Die Alone Review

Arion – Vultures Die Alone Review

“I don’t put much stock in award shows or competitions. Really, who amongst us does? Ever since the first Metal Grammy went to Jethro Tull metal fans around the world have viewed these sorts of things with more than a little trepidation. So when a band comes my way that came to fame in a competition, it’s more a curse than a blessing. Power metal act Arion (the Finnish act, not the Greek) is such a band. As teens these guys were finalists in UMK, the Finnish qualification program for Eurovision, eight years ago.” Beauty pageant meets the metal world.

Into the Obscure: Straight Line Stitch – When Skies Wash Ashore

Into the Obscure: Straight Line Stitch – When Skies Wash Ashore

“We all have our dirty metal secrets that we selfishly keep to ourselves, only sharing with a select few close to us. Or alternatively, we incessantly talk up underground gems and spread the gospel to anyone that will listen, as we cherish our slice of underground cred. Into the Obscure aims to right the wrongs and unearth the artists/albums that for whatever unjust reason didn’t get the exposure, appreciation or credit they sorely deserved the first time round.” Core beliefs.

Volturian – Crimson Review

Volturian – Crimson Review

“The brainchild of Frozen Crown‘s Federico Mondelli and Sleeping Romance‘s Federica Lanna, Volturian prioritizes fun over all. These tunes will get stuck in your head, you will kind of hate that they get stuck in your head, and you will be powerless to stop it if you give it the smallest opening.” Activate earworm lock!

Quiescency – Message for Lamb Review

Quiescency – Message for Lamb Review

“Metalcore. Deathcore. The ever nebulous ‘melodic metal.’ These are tags that discomfit discerning metalheads like myself. In those rare moments where I experience the excitement for a new release in these genres, as I did with Russia’s Quiescency, the worst case is that my anticipation overinflates. Since the band announced Message for Lamb roughly forever ago, my expectations for their debut record swiftly reached an unreasonable altitude. Alas, what goes up must come down.” Lamb stewed.

The Wizards of Winter – The Christmas Dream Review

The Wizards of Winter – The Christmas Dream Review

“If you’re familiar with Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, The Christmas Dream by holidazzle super group The Wizards of Winter is the metal equivalent. I myself am no stranger to these cinematic fruitcakes, as Mrs. Cherd and my jolly old father-in-law take perverse pleasure in subjecting me to them every Yuletide. It’s become such a tradition that we’ve devised a game of Christmas movie trope bingo, and it’s easily adapted to this brand of metal holiday album.” Nice snow globes!

Black Passage – The Veil Review

Black Passage – The Veil Review

“Every now and again we at AMG receive promo that defies genre classification. Out of those, one or two make us crazy trying to decide whether we even like it or not. This review marks the first time I get to experience said phenomenon firsthand. Black Passage, a “metalcore” quintet out of Bay Area, CA, are releasing their debut LP The Veil at the tail end of July.” Pigeons without holes.

Pythia – The Solace of Ancient Earth Review

Pythia – The Solace of Ancient Earth Review

“Ah, yes. Symphonic power metal fronted by an operatic leading lady. This is the stuff that got me into metal in the first place, and my love for it remains unflagging still. But great albums from this specific formulation of the genre made themselves scarce in recent years, with only ElvellonDelain (shut up, entire AMG staff!), and Epica (shut up, entire AMG staff!) releasing albums I enjoy on a consistent basis. So when I saw a promo that featured name drops from two of those three bands and Nightwish, I knew what I needed to do.” Metal cred is overrated.

In Flames – I, the Mask Review

In Flames – I, the Mask Review

“Let’s get one thing straight. In Flames is not a melodic death metal band anymore, and they haven’t been for quite a while. This is not in and of itself a bad thing. It’s just the way it is. That being said, The Jester Race was a magnificent piece of Gothenburg melodeath. The band has since become the Law of Diminishing Recordings’ main bitch and haven’t been able to get out from under that role. Yet I, opportunist that I am, was all too eager to snatch their thirteenth effort I, the Mask from the grubby claws of the AMG Consortium.” Snatch and sob.

Hatchet – Dying to Exist Review

Hatchet – Dying to Exist Review

“The best metal is not purely contemplative music, but the music of action that’s worth attention. The kinetic element of metal is present in the energetic rhythms and soaring harmonies, through the murk and the ice, in the slam and the breakdown; it’s baked into the idea of heaviness itself. This music makes those who get it move; we mosh, we furiously bang our heads, throw up the horns, or play an air instrument. The gut feeling that good metal gives me makes me need to do something: have a lively night with friends, furiously scribble a review draft, play an instrument, work out, or even just pace about and enjoy the music.” Chopping spree!