Opeth

Siderean – Lost on Void’s Horizon Review

Siderean – Lost on Void’s Horizon Review

“For the second time this year, I grabbed what appeared to be a brand new band’s debut record, only to find that the band has already existed for many years in another form and under another name. This may, in fact, be the member’s first full-length release together, but before they changed their name to Siderean in 2020, the band had worked under the name Teleport for ten years, releasing demo after EP after demo as their sound evolved from the Voivod / Vektor-influenced progressive thrash of their beginnings into another beast altogether. On their final release as Teleport, the 2018 demo The Expansion, the band abandoned nearly every trace of their original thrash sound, embracing a proggy death metal that was infused with copious amounts of dissonance. Somewhere along the way, the members decided that their evolution warranted a fresh start and a fresh moniker, and Siderean was born.” Bring me the event horizon.

The Wring – Project Cipher Review

The Wring – Project Cipher Review

“The promo’s promise of “Rush without the synths” is a pretty decent summary of what The Wring are going for here. The key elements are complex, layered, noodly guitar/bass lines and shifting time signatures. Prog’s regular downfall is letting the noodling get in the way of good songs, but The Wring keep things tight and let the songcraft lead.” Loose cipher.

Vokonis – Odyssey Review

Vokonis – Odyssey Review

Vokonis have been on my radar for a few years now. I jumped in when their debut, Olde One Ascending, was rereleased in 2018, and liked it enough to review their third album, Grasping Time, right here back in 2019. As I found out after purchasing their second release The Sunken Djinn, Grasping Time was a slight step back. It was still a fun record, and the trio came up with many great moments, at times displaying a real knack for catchy riffs and progressive arrangements, but it just seemed like that magic formula was still eluding them. When word of Odyssey came out late last year, my first thought was “Damn, that is spectacular cover art.” Then the inevitable follow-up: “I hope the music holds up.” Thankfully, it does.” Homeric.

Yer Metal is Olde: Opeth – Blackwater Park

Yer Metal is Olde: Opeth – Blackwater Park

“There are very few albums that I consider to be 5.0s or, in AMG money, ‘iconic.’ There are even fewer that I can actually picture the moment I first heard. One of those, however, is Blackwater Park. Opeth‘s fifth full-length album probably shaped my extreme metal tastes more than any other single record and I cannot believe it is already 20 years old.” Park of the beast.

Thron – Pilgrim Review

Thron – Pilgrim Review

“Bands like Thron felt much more special to me as a fledgling member of the AMG staff back in early 2017. In those days, I was just happy to be covering something good. Thron‘s debut LP wasn’t just good; it was damn good, and the best record I had covered for this blog at the time I penned my review. Its follow-up, Abysmal, was nothing like its namesake. We unfortunately never received a promo for Abysmal, but it was a successful risk for the band, as they pivoted from pure meloblack to something more diverse and richly textured. As ironically great as Abysmal was, I am somewhat happy I never covered it in retrospect. Its successor, Pilgrim, is on an almost identical playing field.” Thron trend.

Luna’s Call – Void [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Luna’s Call – Void [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“2020 provided plenty of quality metal releases, but only a scant few of those which tickled my fancy fall into the “progressive metal” category. Of those, we missed two that deserve mention. The first is Cellar Vessel‘s immense slab of Xanthrochroided symphonic prog-death, entitled Vein Beneath the Soil. The second—and, obviously, more preferred, since I’m writing about it—is UK quartet Luna’s Call‘s sophomore epic Void.” When the void calls…

Yer Metal Is Olde: King Diamond – The Eye

Yer Metal Is Olde: King Diamond – The Eye

“Then there’re examples like Fast Eddie Clarke walking away from Motörhead and the canning of Ozzy Osbourne by Black Sabbath. Anthrax, Exodus, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest lost their vocalists, who psyched everyone out and returned later anyway. In some cases, end-of-era albums are more like transition pieces—bridging the gap between the band of old and the band of new. Arguably Metallica‘s …And Justice For All fits the bill. It was clear that Justice was different, but it wasn’t until Metallica arrived that everyone saw what Justice really was. King Diamond‘s The Eye is also such an album.” Fading eyesight.