Mighty Music

No Return – The Curse Within Review

No Return – The Curse Within Review

“My first plunge on that trip occurred somewhere late 2003, almost half a lifetime ago. It was the release of Dance of Death by Iron Maiden, though I had been primed by popular bands such as Rammstein and System of a Down, and my father’s extensive classic rock collection before that. Soon I found myself rocking out to the unprecedented brutality of Children of Bodom and Norther, diving headfirst into the world of melodic death metal. Listening to No Return, I am transported back to those halcyon days, despite never hearing the French band before picking The Curse Within from the promo bin.” History-core for dummies.

Forsaken – Pentateuch Review

Forsaken – Pentateuch Review

“Malta’s Forsaken is often cited as their country’s answer to Candlemass and the long-dormant-and-sorely-missed Solitude Aeturnus, it should check off all the tick marks for a good-to-great album. And with their fifth full-length (and first album since 2009’s After The Fall), Pentateuch, it would seem like a solid grand slam of Epicus Doomicus Malteseum Metallicus.” “Seem” is a red flag.

Vital Breath – Angels of Light Review

Vital Breath – Angels of Light Review

“Alternative metal is among the broadest of genre tags in heavy music. A few months ago, UK act Zedi Forder impressed with their solid interpretation of the alt metal style on their self titled debut. Alas, I broached this second LP offering from France’s Vital Breath with both trepidation and cautious optimism when I saw they were also listed under the alternative metal umbrella.” Alternative to what?

Force Majeure – The Rise of Starlit Fires Review

Force Majeure – The Rise of Starlit Fires Review

“The AMG promo well had been experiencing a significant power metal drought since I rolled into these hallowed halls roughly a year ago, but within in the past month, something changed. There were no less than five new releases in the genre to choose from, and choose I did; Tales of Gaia turned out disastrously, but I figured that Finland’s Force Majeure, with their surprisingly audacious band name, might turn things around.” Unprecedented or run o’ the mill?

Repulsive Vision – Look Past the Gore and See the Art Review

Repulsive Vision – Look Past the Gore and See the Art Review

“I have a complicated relationship with standard death metal; that is to say, the old school, cave-your-skull-in-with-a-cinder-block variety. I love the style, but you don’t need access to our promo bin to realize how much and how often the stuff is churned out (i.e. oh, so goddamn much), and as a result, I rarely go hunting for undiscovered gems so much as I stick to what I know and cherish. However, I found myself with a hankerin’ for a hunt last week and my search resulted in an album that seemed no-frills enough to get me by.” If you seek death you will find it.

Corona Skies – Fragments of Reality Review

Corona Skies – Fragments of Reality Review

“Having read plenty of trash masquerading as philosophy and heard plenty of nonsensical music both within and without metal, I figured I was desensitized to weird stuff. Hell, the world seems almost desensitized to weirdness; Jacques Lacan, one of the biggest dolts to ever pretend to think about stuff and write it down, posited that an erection was equal to the square root of -1 and more than zero people took him seriously.” Weird is full of surprises.

Tygers of Pan Tang – Tygers of Pan Tang Review

Tygers of Pan Tang – Tygers of Pan Tang Review

“I love the 80s. And who wouldn’t? If you are an olde guy like me, the 80s were the peak of metal. The big bands were huge (Maiden, Priest) and new shit was cropping up everywhere (Metallica, Slayer). Luckily, as a teen back then I managed to hold down a job, so I was able to spend all my $6 hour wages on music at every opportunity.” Crouching Tyger, hidden Pan-Tang.

Evil Drive – The Land of the Dead Review

Evil Drive – The Land of the Dead Review

“Every promo to hit my desk receives an initial listen without the reading of websites, promo sheets, or any such fuel that would result in premature judgment. Sometimes absorbing myself in the artwork or the musical theme of the album transforms a mediocre first-listen into something worthwhile. Other times it does not.” Will such a fair and even-handed approach make Evil Drive a pleasure trip?

Burn the Mankind – To Beyond Review

Burn the Mankind – To Beyond Review

“Death metal, at least in its most modernistic and stereotypical actualization, largely eschews the cerebral in favor of the visceral, crafting violent soundscapes that reinforce instead of juxtapose the narratives of disfigurement, annihilation, and warfare that accompany the music. And…cut.” Fancy words from a pretentious man.