Neo-Classical Metal

Mora Prokaza – By Chance Review

Mora Prokaza – By Chance Review

“Your fifth grade science fair project. Frankenstein’s monster. That godawful sandwich you made of leftover hash browns, macaroni and cheese, hot dog buns, and spaghetti sauce. Said godawful sandwich growing furry mold sitting in the back of your fridge after vowing you’ll eat it later. What do all these have in common? They’re experiments, forays into the unknown. Rife with experimentation, will Mora Prokaza‘s latest blackened oddity fall into the happy slurpee realm or the “acquired taste” maggot cheese kingdom?” I’ll just stick with the Haggis.

Yer Metal Is Olde: Nightwish – Oceanborn

Yer Metal Is Olde: Nightwish – Oceanborn

“I was seven years old for most of 1999—the year Nightwish‘s breakout record Oceanborn saw its worldwide release. It would be seven more years before I would finally encounter what constitutes one of the most exhilarating listening experiences of my life. Since Oceanborn dropped, scores of symphonic metal bands have made countless attempts to imitate it, yet each clone of this record since has failed spectacularly to match either its significance or its quality. Hence this little entry of mine into the annals of Yer Metal Is Olde.” Own the Night(wish).

Mastercastle – Wine of Heaven Review

Mastercastle – Wine of Heaven Review

“Since their 2009 debut, Mastercastle have blasted from the blocks by channeling Iron Maiden‘s otherworldly focus on output. The Italians released five albums in six years, intent on spreading their cheesy neo-classicisms far and wide. This shotgun approach has done the band no favors, though; their potency stretched thinner with each new release. With lead axeman Pier Gonella nearing his 30th album, concerns of diminishing creative stores seem all too prescient. Mastercastle‘s sixth release Wine of Heaven reaches the breaking point, shaking the emperor down, stripping him naked, and flogging him through the streets.” All cheese, no wine.

Iron Mask – Diabolica Review

Iron Mask – Diabolica Review

“While Narnia has shifted their direction to a more power-metal sound, Iron Mask stayed true to the Mighty Malmsteen. Hell, Iron Mask even used an actual Malmsteen vocalist for their epic Black as Death release. But, the Belgian’s 2013 record, Fifth Son of Winterdoom, was not good. And I’m sorta afraid to hear this newest release. Well, duty calls. Here goes nothing…” Answer the call of Malmsteen.

Apocalyptica – Shadowmaker Review

Apocalyptica – Shadowmaker Review

“I felt some remorse back in 2013 that I didn’t make more effort to review Apocalyptica‘s Wagnerian tribute (Wagner Reloaded), an album that’s seen me through many long flights between South Africa and New York. Along comes Shadowmaker, Apocalyptica now have a dedicated vocalist as Franky Perez (ex-Scars on Broadway) takes his spot in the limelight and I get a chance to make right.” These guys lasted way longer than you expected, didn’t they?

Galar – De gjenlevende Review

Galar – De gjenlevende Review

“Much like rap-rock legends 8ball, Galar got dynamics. A lazy person might describe Galar’s music as “what Windir would sound like if they were a bit sadder, less widdly, and exchanged the cheesy synths for real instruments.” To be fair though, there’s more to them than that.” Need more black in your diet, maybe Galar is for you?

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?

Children of Bodom – Relentless Reckless Forever Review

Children of Bodom – Relentless Reckless Forever Review

Children of Bodom. I think the last time I cared about a Children of Bodom release was when I heard the very disappointing Follow the Reaper which followed what was absolutely in my top 5 for 1999 the venerable Hatebreeder. Oh man, I not only loved the shit out of that record, I even saw them play an amazing show (with the exception of a bored Wirmen being a douche on the keyboards) at Milwauke Metalfest. And I defended the band’s honor against every old, grizzled metal dude on the extreme metal forum I went to at the time. They called them Children of Boredom. Unfortunately, I kinda started to agree with them after a while and the records that followed Follow the Reaper were progressively more and more embarrassing.