Sensory Records

Melted Space – Darkening Light Review

Melted Space – Darkening Light Review

“Headed up by pianist, keyboardist, and classically-trained composer Pierre Le Pape, Melted Space represents an ambitious attempt to unify heavy metal with an opera, featuring a full orchestra and a cohort of guest vocalists and musicians which would make Arjen Lucassen (of Ayreon) and Tobias Sammet (of Avantasia) think twice.”Go big or go back to the conservatory.

Damnations Day – A World Awakens Review

Damnations Day – A World Awakens Review

“A blend of power metal and modern thrash that borrowed sounds from bands as diverse as Borealis, Iced Earth, and Sylosis, Damnations Day’s debut is an intriguing album that I still periodically return to despite some weak links and a couple of forgettable acoustic numbers. I had hoped that in the four years since that album the band would have diligently developed a filler-less follow up.” Hope is like a fickle seamstress.

Oddland – Origin Review

Oddland – Origin Review

“Popular music has had a shadow looming over it for years: talent shows, where thousands of contenders come to have their hopes and dreams shattered, burned and the ashes spread to the winds. Apparently the practice has also come to unpopular music; in 2011, Century Media crowned proggers Oddland the winners of the Suomi Metal Star contest. Those last three words make me gag, but at least Oddland got a record deal out of it, with Dan “The Man” Swanö as their mix and mastering bonus.” It’s not every day you get to win a Swanö.

Wolverine – Machina Viva Review

Wolverine – Machina Viva Review

“I could spend all 700 words of this review talking about why Wolverine is a horrible name for this band. As most of us northerners are aware, wolverines are vicious beasts capable of bringing down prey far larger than themselves. They have a gluttonous reputation, and almost no other creatures want to mess with them. Wolverines certainly wouldn’t be in a band that featured keyboards, or harmony backing vocals, or heaven forbid a fretless bass solo.” What’s in a name, you ask?

Kingcrow – Eidos Review

Kingcrow – Eidos Review

“If there’s anyone to thank for this review of Kingcrow‘s Eidos, it would have to be our esteemed Steward King, Steel Druhm. This little piece of progressive mastery almost slipped through the cracks before the dreaded Scribe Hammer™ came crashing down on my checkerboard mahogany and human-flesh paneled desk. Said Hammer (and the tyrannical HR department) may be painful here at the AMG office, but without the necessary discipline, AMG writers would run amok and reviews would focus almost exclusively on 600-700 words of the exact nonsense you just read.” Spare the rod, spoil the blog.

Malpractice – Turning Tides Review

Malpractice – Turning Tides Review

“These days, prog metal seems to be coming down to how many strings your guitar has, if you’re a virtuoso or not, and what presets you have on your Axe-FX. Seriously, it seems like all the prog metal bands in the scene today have been obsessing over effect processors and compression during production, that it just drains the enjoyment out of it. Even then, they’re too busy wanking on their guitars, trying to constantly outperform everyone else who crosses their path. Essentially, to quote Devin Townsend, it’s a “dick swinging competition.”” When the dicks are a swinging, don’t come a dinging. Anywho, here’s some prog metal.

Prospekt – The Colourless Sunrise Review

Prospekt – The Colourless Sunrise Review

Prospekt is a British tech-prog metal band, whose debut full length, The Colourless Sunrise features a blend of traditional progressive metal, melodic metal, and djent. While it’s always a fun game to pick out a band’s influences, Prospekt spoiled that job for me, as their Facebook page proudly lists the likes of Symphony X, Dream Theater, Opeth, and Meshuggah, among others. Sadly for Prospekt, they don’t quite measure up to the lofty standards of the aforementioned influences. Still, for our more astute readers, that mention of Meshuggah has got to stand out a bit, so let’s spend some time examining that.” Another day and another probationary writer joins the AMG fray as Dagg sheds some light on the prog-metal scene and up and comers, Prospekt. Do they have the chops to impress in such a cerebral, artsy-fartsy genre? They certainly packed the right influences!

Voyager – The Meaning of I Review

Voyager – The Meaning of I Review

Now here’s something quite a bit different! Australia’s Voyager has been tinkering with their odd blend of progressive space metal for a while now. However, here on album number four The Meaning of I, they’ve really hit on the perfect blend of influences and styles. Taking elements of traditional, power, progressive and even death metal, Voyager fuses it all together and the result is an odd, hyper-melodic and unique album that’s as intelligent as it is catchy (and its VERY catchy). As a big fan of their 2009 release I Am the Revolution, I expected great things and even I was surprised by how good this ended up. With traces of Nevermore, Star One, Tyr, Pagan’s Mind, Scar Symmetry, Vanden Plas and Anubis Gate swirling about in a creative maelstrom, you should certainly expect the unexpected. Despite the plethora of influences, The Meaning of I ends up a cohesive and compelling release with one killer song after another and brains til Tuesday. In case that doesn’t have you interested yet, they may be the only metal band currently using a melodica both in the studio and live. Call them spacey-prog or astral-metal but whatever tag you throw on them, they rock muchly. Can you tell Steel Druhm is impressed? He is.