Symphonic Metal

Deep Sun – Dreamland – Behind the Shades Review

Deep Sun – Dreamland – Behind the Shades Review

“Wherever I end up in life, I’ll always have a soft spot for symphonic power metal. As much as I’m happy to malign the genre for its general lack of innovation, I always try to make some time to let it prove me wrong. Discovering Dreamland – Behind the Shades, the third full-length release from Swiss Deep Sun gave me what felt like my first chance this year to do exactly that.” Night(wish) falls in Dreamland.

Depressed Mode – Decade of Silence Review

Depressed Mode – Decade of Silence Review

“When I first saw the name, “Depressed Mode,” I assumed it was an homage to synth-rock icons, Depeche Mode. Nope. Turns out, these Fins are being literal. That’s their thing. Even their album names are literal. Decade of Silence is the third album after 2009’s For Death and follows a decade(ish) of… er… silence. Depressed Mode plays symphonic doom in the vein of… well… it’s complicated.” Silence is deadening.

Gladenfold – Nemesis Review

Gladenfold – Nemesis Review

“I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed some solid Finnish metal. You know what I mean—the kind of metal that’s aggressive, adventurous, inspired by nature or history or something along those lines, with that je ne sais quoi that is the Finnish charm. I didn’t realize at the time that Gladenfold is a Finnish band though—mostly I just liked the album cover on Nemesis, and the promise of some solid melodeath helped too.” Race to the Finnish.

Tersivel – To the Orphic Void Review

Tersivel – To the Orphic Void Review

“Few bands in metal have the combination of popularity and totally idiosyncratic sound that Gojira enjoys. The first time I saw the band perform, it was still playing support for Fear Factory; nowadays that’s hard to imagine, and would most likely be the other way around. On top of that, its style is instantly recognizable; mechanistic, multi-stage, palm-muted riffs full of syncopation and odd time signatures combined with complex drum fills and patterns. It’s so readily familiar, in fact, that the band have begun to sound like a flanderized version of itself, and any band taking inspiration from the Frenchies is bound to run into copycat accusations. That didn’t stop Tersivel from trying anyway.” Ape the best, ignore the rest.

The Devils of Loudun – Escaping Eternity Review

The Devils of Loudun – Escaping Eternity Review

“Hailing from Seattle, and featuring members of Aethereus—who themselves released a stellar album just a few weeks back—The Devils of Loudun specialize in death metal of the melodic and symphonic variety. The band’s debut full-length Escaping Eternity finds neoclassical guitar leads and keys soaring over a foundation of thick, grooving riffs, while the powerful vocals of Aethereus‘ Vance Bratcher dial the heaviness quotient up to critical levels.” Devil be Loud(un).

Lastera – From the Ashes Review

Lastera – From the Ashes Review

“If there’s one musical style I could argue “let me down” last year, it was power metal. Nothing really grabbed me, nothing impressed me, nothing stuck. That’s disappointing, mind you, because I generally love power metal in all its cheesy, crazy glory. So when I came upon From the Ashes, the debut full-length from Danish newcomers Lastera, I didn’t need much convincing to check it out.” Ash power.

Heart Healer – The Metal Opera by Magnus Karlsson [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

Heart Healer – The Metal Opera by Magnus Karlsson [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

“Following my TYMHM for Seven Spires‘s Emerald Seas last January, I continued doing my homework to stay up to date regarding any new projects vocalist Adrienne Cowan took part in. It’s no surprise then that one year later, I find myself writing another TYMHM for a band involving Cowan in a major role.” Hearts conSPIRE.

Wilderun – Epigone Review

Wilderun – Epigone Review

Wilderun’s Epigone marks the band’s first new material while signed to Century Media, but fourth record. Readers of this website will know that I think they are the best band of the 2010s, having composed progressive, deathly, folksy metal records that will stay with me forever. Their last two albums have both been my record of the year (and AMG Himself’s) and the band continues to accrue acclaim for their incredible sound and talent. Epigone is, without a doubt, an album that comes with high expectations from everyone. It’s interesting to note, then, that the title means “a less distinguished follower or imitator of someone.”

Age of Athena – Gate to Oblivion Review

Age of Athena – Gate to Oblivion Review

“This is also how I feel about symphonic metal, its glimmering, shiny surface often subject to intense scrutiny from those who say the subgenre has stagnated. Enter Age of Athena, a new band from Canada’s Ontario whose debut, Gate to Oblivion, combines “influences of American metalcore and European symphonic metal.” Symphony of opera destruction?

W.E.B. – Colosseum Review

W.E.B. – Colosseum Review

W.E.B. was not what I was led to believe them to be. The promo titling called them “Symphonic Metal,” which in my mind doesn’t extend to the extreme side of things. Upon sampling their new fifth installment, Colosseum, however, I came to realize I was misinformed. ,b>W.E.B. is perhaps one of the most extreme bands I’ve heard in the last two years that rightfully claim the symphonic metal tag.” False flags and sticky WEBS.