Sunburst

Angra – ØMNI Review

Angra – ØMNI Review

Angra‘s Secret Garden was a surprise for me. It captured my heart by being extraordinary in its execution, not its novelty. The record was a solid group of songs that were well-written, well-performed, and fun to listen to. But let’s not kid ourselves, aside from having a spunky new 23 year-old drummer and slightly used 41 year-old singer, Angra wasn’t really doing anything unexpected. The record was graced by Jens Bogren’s Industry Standard Power Metal Production™, a guest appearance by scene matron Doro Pesch, and it was a straight forward affair. Secret Garden‘s directness was charming in its lack of pretense, and I’ve come back to it a lot since then. So, three years later, 2018 starts off with Angra‘s newest record entitled ØMNI. And this time, they’ve gone and written an orchestral, progressive metal concept album about the future. So, how’d that work out for them?” AMG and Angra together again.

Kobra and the Lotus – Prevail I Review

Kobra and the Lotus – Prevail I Review

Kobra and the Lotus is a Canadian melodic power band that first came onto my radar in 2012 with their self-titled debut. Fronted by the actually-legally-named Kobra Paige, the band’s third LP, Prevail I, is on Napalm Records, after releasing the debut on Spinefarm, and 2014’s High Priestess on Titan Music. Prevail I is, apparently, the first of two albums which will be released in quick succession, and it’s being marketed as produced by the guy who produced Amaranthe‘s records, with a debut single squarely marketed at people who like Delain. Since the band’s debut was a solid power metal album, this strategy raises a question for me: three full-lengths (and three labels) into this whole experiment of being named Kobra, how’s the whole thing going?” That’s a very personal question.

Angry Metal Guy’s Top 10(ish) Records o’ 2016

Angry Metal Guy’s Top 10(ish) Records o’ 2016

Twenty-sixteen was a year that started so well. I’d recently performed a counter coup, reorganized things, appointed Steel Druhm to my Internet Banana Republic Enforcer for Life and I was reviewing a lot of stuff. The Record(s) o’ the Month were landing on time, and the trains were on schedule. Then tragedy struck… Alas, the good that was the beginning of the year turned into a fucking bullshit slog where I became progressively overcome by life. Longtime readers will know that I have been much less involved on the back half of this year than at any point in our long history. And I’ll just be honest, I’ve been considering even setting aside the mantle of Angry Metal Guy altogether. This year has been a year of endings, in a way. The end of my faith in humanity. The end of Agalloch‘s post-Ulver reign of terror. The end of a lot of famous lives.

Sunburst – Fragments of Creation Review

Sunburst – Fragments of Creation Review

“It’s well known that I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with power metal and progressive/power. Some of my favorite bands ever—Symphony X and Blind Guardian the most obvious among them—fall into this category, and I keep an ever-watchful eye peeled for new additions to my catalogue. Yet the genre is also plagued by some serious annoyances for me. First, many of the most popular vocalists are people who I find nigh-on unlistenable (Warrel Dane). Second, unlike my esteemed colleague and dictatorial collaborator Lieutenant Corporal Steel Druhm, I find that much of the music being produced within this scene just isn’t terribly heavy. Bands that others worship—see Anubis Gate—feel washed out and bland, offering up little “metal” to keep me engaged.”