Steven Wilson

Opeth – In Cauda Venenum Review

Opeth – In Cauda Venenum Review

Thirteen albums in, I’m still excited about new Opeth records. While I am, indeed, an Angry Metal Guy, I appear to have taken the band’s merger into progressive rock better than other metalheads having loved Pale Communion and enjoyed Sorceress. And being Angry Metal Guy, the responsibility for (and privilege of covering) such a huge event like a new Opeth album falls to me. The problem, of course, with being the guy who has to review the new Opeth record is simple; I am the guy who has to review the new Opeth record. And reviewing In Cauda Venenum is a major endeavor. As the next step in Opeth‘s journey, In Cauda Venenum is a fascinating, complicated album. And In Cauda Venenum is not a journey that everyone is going to love taking.” More-peth!

The Mute Gods – Atheists & Believers Review

The Mute Gods – Atheists & Believers Review

“With some exceptions, in a rule-of-thumb sort of way, the ‘technical’ modifier means ‘this was harder to play’ while ‘progressive’ means ‘this was harder to write.’ As such, experience is highly valued among progressive musicians especially, and progressive supergroups seem more common than other genres. The Mute Gods is another one of those, consisting of Steven Wilson’s bassist Nick Beggs and drummer Marco Minnemann, who also performs guitars here, and keyboard player Roger King who played with Nick and Steve Hackett of Genesis fame.” Great expectations.

Amaranthe – Helix Review

Amaranthe – Helix Review

“One part pop, one part -core, and one part power metal, Amaranthe could only have come from Sweden: a country and people so obsessively modern and image-conscious that they created the Eurovision industry, the national Twitter account, and the marketing model for trend-driven consumption from furniture to clothing. Even some of the most iconic metal Sweden has produced had remarkably trend-driven second acts. In Flames‘ fall from melodeath darlings to nü-metal wannabes was followed by bands adopting the Swedecore sound. What’s the most successful metal band that Sweden has produced since Gothenburg? Well, Ghost. But even for Sweden Amaranthe is another level entirely.” Amaranthe is back for more. How’s that working out for them?

The Sea Within – The Sea Within Review

The Sea Within – The Sea Within Review

“I’m as leery of self-proclaimed supergroups as the next guy. They almost never work out. Usually, though, they at least have some humility about themselves, and claim they are not in fact a supergroup, but rather just a bunch of chaps who happen to want to make music together. Not so with The Sea Within. In fact, guitarist Roine Stolt (Transatlantic, The Flower Kings) says “Call it a supergroup if you want – I think we can handle that.” Big words!” Super group, super attitude.

Oceans of Slumber – The Banished Heart Review

Oceans of Slumber – The Banished Heart Review

“Here’s one many of us at AMG have been waiting for with bated breath. Back in 2016, Oceans of Slumber’s excellent but flawed Winter made it onto a number of year-end lists, including AMG Himself despite his positively negative review. Needless to say, all of us were eager to see if the Texas progsters could tighten up in a few areas and push things a bit farther on their next release. Of course, being the pack leader, AMG asserted himself early and claimed dibs on this prized promo, but a quick call to Jeff Gillooly and the review was mine.” Sweep the leg.

Kayak – Seventeen Review

Kayak – Seventeen Review

“I consider myself fairly well-versed on the subject of 70s prog. I’ve got scores of albums by dozens of bands, and what I don’t have I can usually recognize. So when something comes about that I haven’t heard of (like last year’s Sea Goat record), it’s gotta be for a good reason — like the band not recording anything, or sucking. So here we are with Dutch outfit Kayak, probably spelled backward, and their latest album Seventeen, which I have found out has nothing to do with Kip Winger strutting around partially clothed.” No Winger, no hairpiece!

Record(s) o’ the Month – August 2017

Record(s) o’ the Month – August 2017

“It’s nearly October, so in the 2017 tradition: here’s the August Record(s) o’ the Month. To be honest, August was a cracking month. Surprisingly solid, given everything. There haven’t been many months—maybe September can compete—with this many good new records to choose from. But when we did the internal voting it became clear: My word is law, and what other people think is completely irrelevant.” Absolute power corrupts absotootly.