Onward

Dialith – Extinction Six Review and Album Premiere

Dialith – Extinction Six Review and Album Premiere

Extinction Six is the full-length debut of the symphonic power metal band Dialith. Hailing from Connecticut, I took interest in Dialith because good symphonic power metal is rare. And, frankly, good unsigned symphonic power metal is even rarer. Symphonic power has a high bar to reach a “passable” grade; one of the highest in metal. Symphonic bands putting out mediocre albums are filled with musicians who are orders of magnitude more talented than many of their counterparts. But in order to create great symphonic power record, everything must fit.” Does it all fit? Well, we’re debuting the thing, so I guess there’s not a lot of tension.

Affliktor – Affliktor Review

Affliktor – Affliktor Review

“Delving between sofa cushions, peering into cupboards, kicking over rocks — we music scribes are always searching for the next band that that can bring joy into our pitiful existence. Doing so involves wading through the primordial soup of unknown metal acts, straining to spy a wolf among the bleating of listless mutton. This often plays out as a feedback loop that begins with the hope of discovering something special, followed by despair when our expectations are dashed and, finally, hope again when we give in to the gambler’s fallacy and convince ourselves that the next promo will be the one.” Onward, Toby, onward.

Kobra and the Lotus – Prevail I Review

Kobra and the Lotus – Prevail I Review

Kobra and the Lotus is a Canadian melodic power band that first came onto my radar in 2012 with their self-titled debut. Fronted by the actually-legally-named Kobra Paige, the band’s third LP, Prevail I, is on Napalm Records, after releasing the debut on Spinefarm, and 2014’s High Priestess on Titan Music. Prevail I is, apparently, the first of two albums which will be released in quick succession, and it’s being marketed as produced by the guy who produced Amaranthe‘s records, with a debut single squarely marketed at people who like Delain. Since the band’s debut was a solid power metal album, this strategy raises a question for me: three full-lengths (and three labels) into this whole experiment of being named Kobra, how’s the whole thing going?” That’s a very personal question.

Waxen – Weihung Auf Satan Review

Waxen – Weihung Auf Satan Review

“Metal has more than its share of genres and sub-genres already, but guitar virtuoso Toby Knapp (Onward, Where Evil Follows) is intent on carving out yet another one via his one-man Waxen project. That genre would be called something like “shreddy black metal,” since third album, Weihung Auf Satan essentially answers the question – what would happen if Richie Blackmore or Yngwie Malmsteen recorded a black metal album?” Prepare to be bewildered.

Where Evil Follows – Portable Darkness Review

Where Evil Follows – Portable Darkness Review

“Remember those shreddy noodlefest albums Shrapnel Records put out in the 80s and 90s? They’d basically take a guitar wiz kid like Marty Friedman and have him wank and solo through eight or ten tracks of masturbatory and self-congratulatory Yngwie worship. Since most of these albums sounded like 45 minute solos where the rest of the band went for coffee, they were never my cup of tea, but I certainly respected the talent involved. One of Shrapnel’s second-tier wank masters was Toby Knapp. After his stint on the noodle circuit he went on to found the very respectable throwback American power metal band Onward and release two very solid albums under that moniker.” The shred master hath returned to classic metal.

Kobra and the Lotus – Kobra and the Lotus Review

Kobra and the Lotus – Kobra and the Lotus Review

Metal has been doing some collective soul searching for a while. The retro-thrash and retro-death movements – along with the ever-growing vest metal movement – have been built on a longing back to the simple, the original, the true. In this push, a lot of bands have been making the claim to the true metal legacy and Kobra and the Lotus are no exception.