The Beatles

Haunt – If Icarus Could Fly Review

Haunt – If Icarus Could Fly Review

“Yet, dread begins to grip you as you recognize the name and realize Haunt put up their debut less than a year ago. That’s never a good sign, is it? This can only end in one of two scenarios: this new release is a rushed, directionless piece of shit or If Icarus Could Fly is Part II to Burst into Flame.” Spirited or spirit adrift?

Howlin’ Sun – Howlin’ Sun Review

Howlin’ Sun – Howlin’ Sun Review

“I’ve already waxed poetic about my deepening love for ’70s rock but the ’60s remain a relatively uncharted territory for me. I’m of the not-so-humble opinion that The Beatles are overrated (though unquestionably hugely influential) and I find the progressive developments and greater variety found in ’70s rock far more appealing to a decade whose bands who were still much simpler and overtly blues-based. Thus, the promise of ’60s rock with a heavier edge, professed on the promo sheet appealed—on what am I missing out? Can the ’60s interest me? Will I ever stop questioning myself? Answers to some of these questions might be found below.” Question self, question music.

Vintersorg – Till Fjälls del II Review

Vintersorg – Till Fjälls del II Review

Till Fjälls (“To the Mountains”) marked the début of Sweden’s Vintersorg and thus began one of the better melodic black and folk metal bands around. Though their music phased out the folk influences and replaced them with even more melody, Till Fjälls del II is a definitive statement that they still care about folksy stimuli. Cast your eyes over the rather excellent artwork. Do you see the mountains, the trees, the snow, the Northern fucking Lights? I think you’ll agree that they definitely still care about nature and shit.” Just call him “the Natural.”

Steven Wilson – 4½ Review

Steven Wilson – 4½ Review

Steven Wilson is one of music’s best producers and, as I ranted and raved last year, quickly becoming one of progressive music’s best songwriters, as well. Hand. Cannot. Erase. was, as I’ve just recently written again, a triumph. However, like all triumphs—yes, all of them—part of honing in on the “triumphant” is knowing when to edit. That doesn’t always mean that what was cut was bad, of course, and is Steven Wilson and his trusty (and ridiculously talented) backing band knocking out 37 minutes of excellent leftovers.” Yeah, I guess you should probably just expect a lovefest.

Novembers Doom – Bled White Review

Novembers Doom – Bled White Review

“Of all the bands skulking around the doom/death catacombs, none manage to trigger more raw emotion in me than Novembers Doom. They aren’t necessarily the best band in the genre, but when they lock everything in, the melancholy pours like rain off a tin roof in Seattle. They’re the authors of one of the most depressing songs of all time (“What Could have Been”) and there’s something unique about their fusion of Paradise Lost and Type O Negative with vaguely Opeth-esque style death metal that really drills deep down into the heart of darkness within.” If you’re staring into the heart of darkness, it must be November!

Blackfinger – Blackfinger Review

Blackfinger – Blackfinger Review

“If the prospect of Trouble without longtime vocalist Eric Wagner seems like a bad idea, the thought of Wagner without Trouble is simply a question mark. Other than his Lid project back in the ’90s, the man hasn’t done much outside of his main band, leaving us to wonder what Eric Wagner might sound like if left to his own devices. And it seemed like we’d never find out, given his lack of output since leaving Trouble back in 2007. Finally, after a six-year absence, Wagner re-enters the music world with his new band, dubbed Blackfinger.” There are a few big Trouble fanboys on the AMG staff and they were all atwitter over this release. Should they be? Should you?

Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats – Mind Control Review

Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats – Mind Control Review

“Occupying the same retro 70s “occult rock” genre as Ghost, Devil, The Devil’s Blood and Occultation, Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats brought a lot of firepower to the retro doom knife fight with their 2011 Blood Lust opus. They showcased the same hooky, memorable song writing chops and appreciation of the past that Ghost featured on their debut, but folded it into a heavier overall sound with big, distorted guitars and a weird serial killer/stalker atmosphere. While I wouldn’t say it bested Opus Eponymous, it was a close second, and way better than the rest of their occult rock ilk.” Can you expect more slamming, jamming doom rock from your creepy Uncle, or did the dreaded Curse of 2013 claim yet another hapless victim.

Cathedral – The Last Spire Review

Cathedral – The Last Spire Review

“So this is the end of the road for Lee Dorrian’s long-running psychedelic doom experiment. Looking back on Cathedral‘s career, they’ve certainly delivered some entertaining, diverse albums while helping make doom cool and interesting again. While I always favored their earlier, less trippy stuff like Forest of Equilibrium and The Ethereal Mirror, their subsequent releases always had something worth investigating. So how does the ringmaster choose to lower the final curtain on his Carnival Bizarre? By returning to the beginning and re-introducing us to the raw, crushing doom that put them on the map in the first place.” Please remove your hats and bow our heads as we mourn the passing of modern doom giants, Cathedral. Steel Druhm will provide the eulogy and you’re all welcome to join us afterward in the graveyard for refreshments.

Interview with Mirai Kawashima from Sigh

Interview with Mirai Kawashima from Sigh

Enigmatic and uncomfortably cheerful, gregarious and ambitious Happy Metal Guy managed to catch up with Mirai Kawashima from the Japanese avant-garde black metal band Sigh. He bombarded him with positivity, amusing anecdotes and uncomfortable questions about steel phalli until Mr. Kawashima relented; answering the questions and talking about… flowers? This fucking blog gets weirder and weirder every day.