Metalville

The Progressive Souls Collective – Sonic Birth Review

The Progressive Souls Collective – Sonic Birth Review

“Progressive metal in general can be a contested battleground. The genre and likely every single band within it has had the charge of pretentiousness levied at some point, and not always without reason. It is the terrain of 15 minute epics full of bloat, pseudo-intellectual lyrics that talk a lot and say very little, a small city worth of guest artists, and the paradoxical slavery to tropes first invented over 40 years ago. And there are no worse sinners than progressive supergroups. The Progressive Souls Collective, hereafter TPSC, is sort of mostly a supergroup but not quite.” Tough delivery.

Critical Mess – Man Made Machine Made Man Review

Critical Mess – Man Made Machine Made Man Review

“After waxing lyrically about female voices in metal in my previous review, a random grab from the promo bin saw it fit to expand upon that intro with a female growler. When leaving The Agonist, Alissa White-Gluz infamously said: ‘No one can do what I can do,’ and metal has been happy to prove her wrong time and time again. Bands such as Aephanemer, Bethlehem, and Light This City are just a few examples of extraordinary female laryngeal destruction, and Critical Mess is joining that growing pantheon.” Woman made.

Betzefer – Entertain Your Force of Habit Review

Betzefer – Entertain Your Force of Habit Review

“Picture this, if you will. It’s Friday night, for at least a little while longer anyway. The air is thick with smoke and raised voices, illuminated only vaguely by various neon signs and their reflections off countless bottles and glasses. Here at the Angry Metal Bikerer Bar®, the music matches the mood: from a cramped corner masquerading as a stage, four angry metal guys unleash gravely growls and swagtastic riffage unto the leather and denim-clad patrons with a gritty little ditty titled ‘Ain’t No Party ‘Til You Hurt Somebody.'” Far beyond dreidel.

The Quill – Born From Fire Review

The Quill – Born From Fire Review

“Seeing the number of debuts and sophomore albums in our promo bin can be a little depressing. It seems to suggest most bands don’t last beyond the early stages. Maybe these young bands are ripped apart over squabbles about the musical direction, or bickering over how to divide the piles of money and groupies, or simply life happening and leaving no room for 9 months of touring per year. Not so for The Quill, a Swedish ‘heavy rock’ group that has been active since 1990 and now have Born From Fire, their 8th album, loaded into the trebuchet.” Flowing prose or writer’s block?

Astral Doors – Black Eyed Children Review

Astral Doors – Black Eyed Children Review

“Nils Patrik Johansson is a busy guy. Over the last two decades, the man’s cashed checks with the on-again, off-again Lion’s Share, the on-hiatus Wuthering Heights, and Civil War, who he recently bailed on because he didn’t have the time (go figure). His work arguably peaked with the momentous output of Astral Doors.” When one war closes, an Astral Door opens.