Melodic Metal

Parasite Inc. – Cyan Night Dreams Review

Parasite Inc. – Cyan Night Dreams Review

Parasite Inc. is one of those bands that I want to fall deeply in love with, but I have no idea why anymore. This inexplicable yearning for that special spark with this German quartet no doubt owes its existence partially to the group’s super-fun debut, Time Tears Down. Since then, Parasite Inc. rapidly declined into cheesy, stale melodic metal that made me cringe more often than not. I had hoped that Cyan Night Dreams, the band’s third full length, might be the start of their redemption arc.” Hopes and dreams (and parasites).

Bloodywood – Rakshak Review

Bloodywood – Rakshak Review

Bloodywood’s approach to metal is, on the surface, similar to Linkin Park’s in that they often combine rapped verses with sung choruses—utilizing both English and Hindi lyrics—backed by gym-ready riffs reminiscent of Hacktivist, We Butter the Bread with Butter, and even Dyscarnate. Look beneath those superficialities and you find a ton of cool Indian folk instrumentation playing along, particularly weighted towards woodwinds and festive drums.” The Rock Shack is now open.

Stuck in the Filter – June’s Angry Misses

Stuck in the Filter – June’s Angry Misses

“So here’s a segment you all likely are too young to remember/never thought you’d see again. And it comes from the most unlikely source to boot—me! I discovered this feature through one of our monthly staff review calls/execution ceremonies, and I thought it was a shame we don’t use it more often. This comes on the back of a month where many of us were swamped with life events, massive overtime at work, and other such stressors. Naturally, we missed a bunch of releases, both ones we received promo for and ones we didn’t.” No filter!

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!