Symphonic Metal

Souls of Diotima – Janas Review

Souls of Diotima – Janas Review

“The line that separates symphonic metal from pop metal is — well, it’s not really a line, is it? It’s hard to inject pop into your metal without diving headfirst into symphonic territory. Okay, let me try again. The Venn diagram that distinguishes between symphonic metal and pop metal leaves a lot open to interpretation.” Pop in a orchestra pit.

Therion – Leviathan Review

Therion – Leviathan Review

“If forced to describe my relationship with Therion over the past 30 years, I would have to call it “complicated.” I was there at the start when they were a simplistic but enjoyable doom death band. I watched with interest as they slowly integrated opera and symphonic orchestration, making them one of the most unique extreme metal acts of the 90s. They had ups and downs over the decades that followed, with the lowest moment coming on 2018s 3-hour, triple album rock opera atrocity, Beloved Antichrist. Now Therion is back with their 17th album, Leviathan.” Opulence as pestilence.

Genus Ordinis Dei – Glare of Deliverance Review

Genus Ordinis Dei – Glare of Deliverance Review

Genus Ordinis Dei’s last platter, Great Olden Dynasty, was a surprisingly excellent piece of symphonic and melodic death metal. Italian metal is not usually known for its restraint, particularly with symphonics, but while the orchestral textures were as excessive as expected, the songwriting was tight and focused, and the versatile roar of vocalist Niccolò is a fantastic asset to the band. 3 years later, the band’s aspirations have grown.” Inquisition-core.

AMG Goes Ranking – Nightwish

AMG Goes Ranking – Nightwish

“The life of the unpaid, overworked metal reviewer is not an easy one. The reviewing collective at AMG lurches from one new release to the next, errors and n00bs strewn in our wake. But what if, once in a while, the collective paused to take stock and consider the discography of one of those bands that shaped many a taste? What if three aspects of the AMG collective personality shared with the slathering masses their personal rankings of that discography and what if the rest of the personality used a Google sheet some kind of dark magic to produce an official and all-round definitive aggregated ranking of that band’s entire discography? Well, if that happened, we imagine it would like something like this …” Nightwish falls on AMG.

Eleine – Dancing in Hell Review

Eleine – Dancing in Hell Review

“Symphonic and power/symphonic metal are so hit-or-miss. Even when it comes to a couple of my favorites, I can love one release and loathe the next. That’s even when the most astute listener thinks the albums sound the same. It has to be the perfect balance of elements to catch my attention and keep me coming back for repeat listens. And, other times, I have to be in the right headspace. When I first heard Eleine‘s new opus, Dancing in Hell, almost all those elements came together.” Hell is a dance-off.

Leaves’ Eyes – The Last Viking Review

Leaves’ Eyes – The Last Viking Review

Leaves’ Eyes is a band I hear about plenty, but whose music I seldom actually hear. A few samples here and there, a sliver of news-worthy drama over there, a conversation once in a while — that’s it. So it’s a bit odd that I wound up with the responsibility of reviewing their latest output, The Last Viking, but then, sometimes not knowing about band-land drama is good for the weary reviewer.” Eyes Fatigue.

Memoremains – The Cost of Greatness Review

Memoremains – The Cost of Greatness Review

“Pop metal. Sure. Why not. Sorry, hang on, I missed a crucial detail there. Finnish pop metal. Sure! Why not? Frankly, as much as I may have misgivings about the style, pop is generally meant to be a cheery style and right now I could use some cheer, because this month has seriously sucked on just about every level and, frankly, I’m getting tired of catharsis. So I’m turning away from doom for a second, turning up the speakers, loading up The Cost of Greatness, and am ready for my self-prescribed dose of artificial happiness (non-drug category). So bring it on, Memoremains. Bring. It. On.” The price of happiness.

Almanac – A Discographic Review [Tsar (2016), Kingslayer (2017) and Rush of Death (2020)]

Almanac – A Discographic Review [Tsar (2016), Kingslayer (2017) and Rush of Death (2020)]

“For the last four years, I have been neglecting—and you have been denied my Very Important Opinion™ about—one of the most idiosyncratic voices in metal: Victor Smolski. And so, in a Swallow the Sun-sized act of hubris, I’m writing a discographic review of Victor Smolski’s Almanac.” You can’t spell “Almanac” without MAN!