Review

Mnemic – Sons of the System Review

Mnemic – Sons of the System Review

Mnemic has been around in the ether for a while but I’ve never given them a proper listen until now. The band has good promo, they’ve toured Europe twice with metal giants (like ’em or not) Metallica, they look like real metal dudes and they’ve got cred because a couple people I know compared them to Meshuggah back when they first came out. Unfortunately, Sons of the System sounds a lot less like Meshuggah and a lot more like Sonic Syndicate. This record is another convergence point for things that I’m not really keen on in the world of metal and I’ll give you a short run-down.

In Mourning – Monolith Review

In Mourning – Monolith Review

In 2008 the underground was taken by storm by a little-known Swedish progressive death metal band called In Mourning that released a tour de force entitled Shrouded Divine. A powerful combination of melodic death metal, Opeth-y style progressive bits and death metal with just a touch of core (trust me, just a touch), they were ranked highly on many year end lists and, frankly, left a bit of an impression on this Angry Metal Guy. See, there is life past Opeth in Swedish progressive metal, something that I had been coming to doubt. In Mourning managed to put out a record that had all of the great heaviness and thickness that one wants in a death metal record, while still managing to keep the haunting progressive parts fresh and interesting. The question is can they keep it up? Is it possible that they’re able to follow up such a lauded record with something even better?

Things You May Have Missed: Kalisia – Cybion

Things You May Have Missed: Kalisia – Cybion

One of the most surprising records of this year for me and one that I’d sort of forgotten about until recently was Kalisia‘s epic concept album Cybion. Sold online as a single track for very cheap, this is one long-ass amazing progressive soundscape that probably shouldn’t be missed. These guys come from France which puts […]

The Chasm – Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm

The Chasm – Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm

In a lot of ways one has to feel a bit bad for The Chasm these days. They have worked as hard, or harder, than almost any band in the underground and fought for ground the whole time. They finally managed to fight their way to a good record deal with a good label that subsequently collapsed and now they’re back at at ground zero. Well, not really ground zero, think Point A. But not even really Point A, because honestly Point A is “write good music,” which they’ve got down. However, as opposed to breaking up after getting knocked down, The Chasm have instead produced a record: 2009’s opus Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm, which doesn’t have the same kind of support that it should have despite its fantastic quality.

Blaze Bayley: At the End of the Day – Lawrence Paterson (Book Review)

Blaze Bayley: At the End of the Day – Lawrence Paterson (Book Review)

A few of you might have noticed that I have taken to reporting a lot on Blaze Bayley (the man and the band), and this is partially due to the fact that I have long been a fan of his solo stuff (and his tenure in Iron Maiden). As I’ve stated before, I think that X Factor is a classic album and I will continue to defend that to this day (though, I will definitely also point out that it is poorly produced, as was Virtual XI, which in my book was also poorly conceived). In any case, I, like others who gravitated to the Blaze-era Iron Maiden, continued to follow him afterwords and were happily surprised by the quality of the material that his newly formed band BLAZE had produced. Since then, I have paid attention, with a heavy heart often times, to an ongoing saga of an excellent underground band getting ignored, fucked repeatedly by labels, management and finally crumbling under the weight of outside and inside pressures. For me, the collapse of BLAZE and the rise of Blaze’s current self-titled incarnation was shrouded in mystery as I was just a fan witnessing it from the outside, but much of what I did not know is now available in a book written by current Blaze Bayley drummer Lawrence Paterson entitled At the End of the Day (and conveniently available for Christmas!).

Things You May Have Missed: Cain’s Offering – Gather the Faithful

Things You May Have Missed: Cain’s Offering – Gather the Faithful

You may, actually, have missed that Jani Liimatainen (ex-Sonata Arctica) actually has a new band! For those of us who are long time fans of Sonata Arctica, this was great news! However, the bad news was quickly assessed when I realized that Tim Kotipelto had, in fact, done the vocals on this record. So, good news and bad news. Well, I gotta say that Cain’s Offering didn’t end up being a bust, but I gotta be honest with you, I still fucking hate Timo Kotipelto’s vocals more than almost anything in the world. He just can’t quit sounding thin, irritating, annoying, whiny and.. generally crappy ALL THE TIME. His lyrics aren’t very hot either, honestly, nor is his understanding of English (though honestly it’s hard to blame him for fucking up prepositions and prepositional phrases given that Finnish has no prepositions at all and English is his second language…).

Månegarm – Nattväsen Review

Månegarm – Nattväsen Review

Nattväsen (Night Creatures) is the name of the new Månegarm record, and one that works well with the feel of the entire album. Clocking in at a good LP length of 45 minutes, this record explores musically and lyrically the fears which we as humans have had as long as there has been night. Those fears of the things that creep out of sight, be it the ghost of a mountain (“Bergagasten”), the creatures in our dreams (“Nattsjäl-Drömsjäl”) or a mythical creature (“Draugen”). This concept seals together a record of some of the best folk/viking metal that is currently available by any band.