Nightwish

Deep Sun – Dreamland – Behind the Shades Review

Deep Sun – Dreamland – Behind the Shades Review

“Wherever I end up in life, I’ll always have a soft spot for symphonic power metal. As much as I’m happy to malign the genre for its general lack of innovation, I always try to make some time to let it prove me wrong. Discovering Dreamland – Behind the Shades, the third full-length release from Swiss Deep Sun gave me what felt like my first chance this year to do exactly that.” Night(wish) falls in Dreamland.

All Things Fallen – Shadow Way Review

All Things Fallen – Shadow Way Review

“We all have a type. Deep down inside, my type often reflects as moody, noodly, groove-kissed prog. So, when I see a promo that promises all of those things, I can’t help but shove it in my ears and hope for the best. Enter All Things Fallen who presents as a supergroup of sorts, boasting members of Pain of Salvation, Darkwater, and Almah—a little digging reveals it’s more of a supporting cast coalition. A little less ego can go a long way in collaborative projects, so smaller names are not exactly a bad thing.” Manbun-core.

Gladenfold – Nemesis Review

Gladenfold – Nemesis Review

“I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed some solid Finnish metal. You know what I mean—the kind of metal that’s aggressive, adventurous, inspired by nature or history or something along those lines, with that je ne sais quoi that is the Finnish charm. I didn’t realize at the time that Gladenfold is a Finnish band though—mostly I just liked the album cover on Nemesis, and the promise of some solid melodeath helped too.” Race to the Finnish.

Siren’s Rain – Rise Forth Review

Siren’s Rain – Rise Forth Review

“Sometimes, the cover of an album is meaningless, you know, just a cliched picture of a skull or zombie or something to adorn the record sleeve. Sometimes, however, the artwork can tell you a lot, both about what to expect from a record and about the band behind it, which presumably signed off—or in a few cases even designed—the artwork in question. In the case of Tacoma, Washington’s Siren’s Rain and their self-released debut album, Rise Forth, the artwork triggered an all too familiar sinking feeling.” Graphic displays.

Lost in Grey – Under the Surface Review

Lost in Grey – Under the Surface Review

“It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed female fronted symphonic metal, or to use a common colloquialism, Nightwishcore. This has not been entirely happenstance; though I do blindly grab an album from the bin on occasion, I’ve otherwise avoided all the usual markers wherever possible. But I’ll make an exception for Lost in Grey, the only Nightwishcore I’ve ever granted my wholehearted recommendation for attempting to escape the tightly cinched corset of the genre’s many clichés.” Own the night(wish).

Nergard – Eternal White Review

Nergard – Eternal White Review

“We throw around the phrase “Nightwish clone” in here a lot (at least it seems like we do; I have no inclination to check my claims), but in this case it feels eerily accurate. With Eternal White, Nergard channel Century Child with some Winterheart’s Guild-era Sonata Arctica thrown in for “spice.” “Spice” is in quotation marks, by the way, because this isn’t a very spicy album – in fact, it’s played very safe, leaning on a formula that has served the Leaves’ Eyes, the Xandrias, and the Sirenias of the world well: symphonic first, metal second.” White is a passive color.

Avaland – Theater of Sorcery Review

Avaland – Theater of Sorcery Review

“The metal opera is, enduringly, one of my favorite concepts of the genre. Avantasia and Ayreon are the two projects that I return to most often, and it seems I’m not the only one. Adrien Gzagg, of Grenoble, France, has been similarly inspired, which is why today I’m introducing you to Avaland and its debut full-length, Theater of Sorcery, a symphonic power metal opera with a fantastical backstory.” Another rainy night at the metal opera.

In Tormentata Quiete – Krononota Review

In Tormentata Quiete – Krononota Review

“What a profoundly odd band In Tormentata Quiete is. Plenty of Italian bands are grand, pompous, cheesy, and theatrical, but few do it like this one, sporting three vocalists in a range of styles but remaining light on orchestral elements. Their first foray into the halls of AMG was shot down with a 1.0 from Grymm for being unstructured and containing baffling, out-of-place elements like rap breakdowns in the middle of their semi-symphonic avant-garde drama metal. Their second, Finestatico, earned them a 3.5 from yours truly, seemingly fixing everything its predecessor did wrong. Krononota sees another change of the guard in the vocal department, but can they maintain the high standard of before?” Pomp in a weird place.

Everdawn – Cleopatra Review

Everdawn – Cleopatra Review

4.0ldeneye gets all the attention around these parts when it comes to the topic of overrating. I try to be more reasonable with the scores I dish out than my fellow Pacific Northwestern coworker, but I admit I feel I have slipped under the radar with the multitude of high scores I have handed out, particularly to bands hovering in the symphonic metal sphere. My point is, I’ve dished out my fair share of very good and above scores, and this review of Everdawn‘s Cleopatra is yet another example.” A plague of overrating?

Souls of Diotima – Janas Review

Souls of Diotima – Janas Review

“The line that separates symphonic metal from pop metal is — well, it’s not really a line, is it? It’s hard to inject pop into your metal without diving headfirst into symphonic territory. Okay, let me try again. The Venn diagram that distinguishes between symphonic metal and pop metal leaves a lot open to interpretation.” Pop in a orchestra pit.