Nightwish

Ravenword – Transcendence Review

Ravenword – Transcendence Review

“An Italian symphonic power metal band formed by its keyboardist and primary composer releasing their first studio album, inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘The Raven.’ This is what I bring to you today, faithful readers, and I invite you to kick me TheKenWord once for every part of that sentence you feel you’ve read somewhere before.” If nights were wishes, ravens would Poe.

Serious Black – Suite 226 Review

Serious Black – Suite 226 Review

“It’s no secret that Serious Black has fallen out of favor with me since 2016’s Mirrorworld. I mean, how do you fuck up a recipe as simple as As Daylight Breaks? Furthermore, how do you go from a Grier top-ten pick to a disappointment of the year? Well, it happened. Which found me almost missing out on 2017’s Magic and completely missing out on that same year’s acoustic release, First Light. And, when this year’s anticipated new record landed, I almost missed out again. For better or worse, Suite 226 is here with another concept story. This time a deranged lunatic rather than a top-hot magician. All I can say is buckle-up, kiddos. If I have to be here, then so do you.” Why so Serious?

Abigail Williams – Walk Beyond the Dark [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Abigail Williams – Walk Beyond the Dark [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“Manned by the dark mind of Ken Sorceron, Abigail Williams has come a long way in the last decade. Surviving lineup changes, relocations, and changes in musical directions—as well as fandom—Sorceron pushes on, refusing to settle on a path created for him by others’ expectations. Up ahead is another bend in this path. So, take my hand and let’s Walk Beyond the Dark together.” Abby normal

Coronatus – The Eminence of Nature Review

Coronatus – The Eminence of Nature Review

The Eminence of Nature is Coronatus‘ ninth studio album. Before claiming this album as my own for review, I performed my usual quick search on the AMG site to see which one of my coworkers was historically responsible for dishing out either love or distaste in response to Coronatus‘ eight other albums. Had to be either Twelve or TheKenWord given their public and overzealous love of the cheesiest of the symphonic metals. I was pleasantly surprised to see “No results for ‘Coronatus’ Try another search?” pop up on my screen. Eight albums and not one was covered by AMG?!” Bad omens.

Crusade of Bards – Tales of Bards and Beasts Review

Crusade of Bards – Tales of Bards and Beasts Review

“Hello, my name is Twelve. I am an addict. I use symphonic metal and Nightwish. I…wait a second. I’m not Twelve! Silly me. But I too enjoy symphonic metal a whole lot, perhaps too much. Even at its cheesiest it makes me unreasonably happy to listen as richly layered orchestrations mesh with distorted guitars and galloping double-bass kits. I especially love it when, like on the incredible Imaginaerum, the band is able to afford recording with a full-blown orchestra and choir—or at least when part of the symphonics come from actual instruments instead of digitally reconstructed simulations. It is this last feature that drew Spanish sextet Crusade of Bards to my attention.” Symphonomania.

Ethereal Kingdoms – Hollow Mirror Review

Ethereal Kingdoms – Hollow Mirror Review

“Every once in a while, I’m put in a position where I have to explain to some wide-eyed innocent how it could possibly be that I don’t care much for Nightwish. The only reason this happens, mind you, is because of the band’s undying popularity and colossal influence in their genre. My problem? I like symphonic in my metal. But I don’t like the band that everyone seems to copy to get there. So why would I pick up Hollow Mirror, the debut full-length from Danish band Ethereal Kingdom?” Wishing for the night.

Keys of Orthanc – A Battle In The Dark Lands of The Eye… Review

Keys of Orthanc – A Battle In The Dark Lands of The Eye… Review

“Given the right formula, the right ingredients, and the right opportunity, metal — music in general, but metal for our purposes — can be the gateway into new worlds. Using metal as a means for escapism is both wonderfully cathartic and cathartically wonderful. And I don’t mean that in the generic Nightwish-esque ‘how about that wanderlust, eh?’ kind of way. I mean when metal grabs you by the throat, drags you across the threshold and laughs mercilessly when you try to explain that one does not simply walk into Mordor. At least, that’s what Keys of Orthanc are doing here.” Eye came, Eye saw.

Northern Genocide – Genesis vol. 666 Review

Northern Genocide – Genesis vol. 666 Review

“Industrial metal hasn’t had a great run as of late. The few I have reviewed in my three-year tenure at AMG did not fare well. In fact, the only good industrial metal I have heard in that time was the new Rammstein earlier this year, meaning the underground has delivered exactly zilch. Of course, I may have simply missed a whopper, but fact remains that most bands touting the term seem to use it as an excuse to blow out the speakers with horrendous production and/or use it as an ersatz term for metalcore or nu-metal. Maybe the debut from upstarts Northern Genocide can make a difference.” The Devil’s factory.