Spinefarm

Yer Metal Is Olde: Nightwish – Oceanborn

Yer Metal Is Olde: Nightwish – Oceanborn

“I was seven years old for most of 1999—the year Nightwish‘s breakout record Oceanborn saw its worldwide release. It would be seven more years before I would finally encounter what constitutes one of the most exhilarating listening experiences of my life. Since Oceanborn dropped, scores of symphonic metal bands have made countless attempts to imitate it, yet each clone of this record since has failed spectacularly to match either its significance or its quality. Hence this little entry of mine into the annals of Yer Metal Is Olde.” Own the Night(wish).

Venom – Storm the Gates Review

Venom – Storm the Gates Review

“It’s always sad when a band has an internal branding dispute of such magnitude that it gives rise to two separate, but identical, entities. In this case, UK legends Venom are now forced to share a moniker with Venom Inc. and it may not be such a bad thing. Last year I reviewed the corporate crusher’s debut, Avé, where I waxed pompous over its unremarkable, but undeniably decent, content. Now, the black metal originals have returned with no less than their fifteenth studio album Storm the Gates.” Sounds of a poison fading.

Winterfylleth – The Hallowing of Heirdom Review

Winterfylleth – The Hallowing of Heirdom Review

“The first time I sat down with The Hallowing of Heirdom, I was in denial. With every song, I expected the sky to crack open and a dark sheet of black rain to pour from blood-red clouds. It never happened. And, as a result, I’m going to try to rate, compare, and measure The Hallowing of Heirdom against Winterfylleth‘s decade of atmospheric black metal records. For how much I hate the phrase, this is like comparing apples to oranges.” Strum and drag.

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.

Shining – VII: Född förlorare Review

>Shining is about as hip as it gets among so called “underground” black metal bands, though really at this point, what with being signed to Spinefarm now, I guess they’re not super underground anymore. But whatever, success does not make a band sucky by its very nature—no, it’s Angry Metal Guy’s Law of Diminishing Recordings™ that does that. And with the anticipation building around VII – Född förlorare (English: Born Loser[s]) due to the myriads of issues that surfaced in the process of recording, mixing and getting the album even out, it pretty much should go without saying that I’ve really been looking forward to this record. Haven’t you been looking forward to it? Damn straight.

Amaranthe – Amaranthe Review

Amaranthe – Amaranthe Review

Amaranthe has three vocalists. Just let that sink in for a while. From what I can tell, not one of those vocalists plays an instrument. Instead, they found three “attractive” people to do vocals for them. The first is a woman, who sounds like a pop singer (think E Type) and who I guarantee you cannot name a Slayer record. The second is a screamy dude. He’s got a beard (’cause he’s tough and angsty, you see) and he screams, but not too much (he must be very, very, very bored on stage). And then there’s the ‘power metal’ vocalist (Berg from Dream Evil) who’s just as over-produced as the chick vocalist and is there to get 14 year old girls all silly over his perfectly groomed dreadlocks. Behind them are several soulless session musicians (from Mercenary, Dragonland and Engel). Though, frankly, this is a band that is functionally made of session musicians, since integrity seems to be lacking.

Crimfall – The Writ of Sword Review

Crimfall – The Writ of Sword Review

One of the things that one can never take into account when one is a music reviewer is the fact that one receives records and must render judgment in a short amount of time. Especially as a “soulless blog,” production of material sometimes happens in a week. In a sense, every review you read from a label who doesn’t trust this Angry Metal Guy is being done “split second” as opposed to having time to let a record ripen. Such was definitely the case with Crimfall’s first record As the Path Unfolds… which, while I enjoyed it, didn’t strike me as anything more than just an enjoyable record. However, here I am two years later listening to it regularly and really loving it. If I would score the record today I would give it a 4.5 and I would encourage you all to buy it (buy it, seriously, it’s great).

Children of Bodom – Relentless Reckless Forever Review

Children of Bodom – Relentless Reckless Forever Review

Children of Bodom. I think the last time I cared about a Children of Bodom release was when I heard the very disappointing Follow the Reaper which followed what was absolutely in my top 5 for 1999 the venerable Hatebreeder. Oh man, I not only loved the shit out of that record, I even saw them play an amazing show (with the exception of a bored Wirmen being a douche on the keyboards) at Milwauke Metalfest. And I defended the band’s honor against every old, grizzled metal dude on the extreme metal forum I went to at the time. They called them Children of Boredom. Unfortunately, I kinda started to agree with them after a while and the records that followed Follow the Reaper were progressively more and more embarrassing.