Symphonic Metal

Symbolik – Emergence Review

Symbolik – Emergence Review

“I’ve always preferred melodic death metal to plain death metal. While I appreciate the skill involved in well-crafted brutality, I generally insist on having some kind of melody to follow along with or atmosphere to get lost in. I remember when Archspire hit the Angry Metal world through Relentless Mutation, and I could not understand the appeal. One day, not too long ago, it just… clicked. The technical skill, the expert neoclassical weavings, the sheer unmatched power of the thing — I’ve loved the album ever since. And ever since, I’ve been hungry for more. Symbolik are the next tech-death group to take a shot at winning my heart with Emergence, their debut full-length.” Heart clicks.

Ani Lo. Projekt – A Time Called Forever Review

Ani Lo. Projekt – A Time Called Forever Review

“I have an irrational aversion to bands that name themselves after people. Perhaps it’s because I’ve always fantasized about being in a band, and choosing a righteous name for said band is always one of my favorite parts of the fantasy. Or perhaps it’s because, in my mind, a great band becomes something greater than the sum of its parts, a whole that transcends any one of its members. Or maybe it’s because I believe that the Dave Matthews Band is the very worst thing that humanity has ever produced.” What’s in a name?

Isle of the Cross – Excelsis Review

Isle of the Cross – Excelsis Review

“I admire bands who chance their arm at cracking into peoples’ music rotation, especially where their intent is to chart a new path or weave existing genres in dynamic ways. Enter Jo Schneider and the band he leads called Isle of the Cross. Excelsis is their debut release and promised to be an “enigmatic journey of sonic power.” Enigmatic is the key word as I have been unsuccessful in my efforts to learn more about the band, including the country of origin. Further promoting itself as for fans of Opeth and Symphony X is a bold strategy indeed, so I turned to my first listen with great interest.” Excelsisore!

Corrective Measures: Blind Guardian Twilight Orchestral – Legacy of the Dark Lands

Corrective Measures: Blind Guardian Twilight Orchestral – Legacy of the Dark Lands

“What is the goal of Legacy of the Dark Lands? To my ears, it sounds the point of the album was to write a metal opera in the style of Blind Guardian. But what if the goal of Legacy of the Dark Lands, a thing that made sense at the time of its conception was accomplished between 2002’s A Night at the Opera and 2015’s Beyond the Red Mirror? What if, in the years since A Night at the Opera, Blind Guardian had developed their sound to be so unique and so orchestral that by the time Legacy of the Dark Lands was released, it was unnecessary and maybe even uninteresting?” S&M Part Deux.

Sometimes We Make Music – Trail of The Fallen Review

Sometimes We Make Music – Trail of The Fallen Review

“Apparently, these Norwegian musicians all live some 400 kilometers away from one another, and only make music sometimes. Lucky for us, this is one of those times. Trail of The Fallen is their debut full-length, a welcome offering of symphonic metal offering complete with a creepy skeleton on the cover. Between those two aspects and the band name, things are already looking good.” Long distance relations.

Coronatus – The Eminence of Nature Review

Coronatus – The Eminence of Nature Review

The Eminence of Nature is Coronatus‘ ninth studio album. Before claiming this album as my own for review, I performed my usual quick search on the AMG site to see which one of my coworkers was historically responsible for dishing out either love or distaste in response to Coronatus‘ eight other albums. Had to be either Twelve or TheKenWord given their public and overzealous love of the cheesiest of the symphonic metals. I was pleasantly surprised to see “No results for ‘Coronatus’ Try another search?” pop up on my screen. Eight albums and not one was covered by AMG?!” Bad omens.

Crusade of Bards – Tales of Bards and Beasts Review

Crusade of Bards – Tales of Bards and Beasts Review

“Hello, my name is Twelve. I am an addict. I use symphonic metal and Nightwish. I…wait a second. I’m not Twelve! Silly me. But I too enjoy symphonic metal a whole lot, perhaps too much. Even at its cheesiest it makes me unreasonably happy to listen as richly layered orchestrations mesh with distorted guitars and galloping double-bass kits. I especially love it when, like on the incredible Imaginaerum, the band is able to afford recording with a full-blown orchestra and choir—or at least when part of the symphonics come from actual instruments instead of digitally reconstructed simulations. It is this last feature that drew Spanish sextet Crusade of Bards to my attention.” Symphonomania.

The Wizards of Winter – The Christmas Dream Review

The Wizards of Winter – The Christmas Dream Review

“If you’re familiar with Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, The Christmas Dream by holidazzle super group The Wizards of Winter is the metal equivalent. I myself am no stranger to these cinematic fruitcakes, as Mrs. Cherd and my jolly old father-in-law take perverse pleasure in subjecting me to them every Yuletide. It’s become such a tradition that we’ve devised a game of Christmas movie trope bingo, and it’s easily adapted to this brand of metal holiday album.” Nice snow globes!