The Steve Harris School of Lyrics Writing

Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls Review

Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls Review

On October 5th, 1930 while flying over France on its maiden voyage, the airship R101 crashed, killing 48 of the 54 people on board. The ship was the jewel of the British empire and had been built with increased lifting capacity, and was (at the time) the world’s largest flying vessel. Much like the Titanic, the R101 is a story of hubris—particularly as told by Dickinson on the track “Empire of the Clouds,” The Book of Souls‘ 18-minute closer. The R101 never was put through its paces, having not done full endurance and speed trials, before it undertook its maiden voyage for India, and on that voyage it tragically crashed. As a closer, “The Empire of the Clouds” is an epic which pushes Iron Maiden into territory never before explored. As an analogy for The Book of Souls, it strikes a little too close to home.

Cormorant – Dwellings Review

Cormorant – Dwellings Review

Cormorant is a band that I probably would have never found on my own. Instead, I just randomly got an e-mail from their promoter a couple years back, where she hooked me up with the band’s 2009 release Metazoa. I was duly impressed by what these coasties had to offer, so when I saw that these guys had a new record coming out, I definitely reached out to get a promo of it. And I’m happy that I did, though I think that Dwellings is a different beast from Metazoa. Bad? Definitely not. But did the band grow and get a lot better? It seems like the maintained a pretty even keel during the two years away.

Above Symmetry – Ripples Review

Above Symmetry – Ripples Review

Progressive metal isn’t an easy place to be. Let’s face it, much of the world of progressive metal is a tussle between an old guard of old fans (the Neanderthals of Metal) who really like bands that sound like Dream Theater, Queensryche, and so forth, and then there’s kind of everyone else. It’s disparate, difficult to define and often pretentious as hell with little logic as to what is in fashion with which group. This is the natural outcome of genrefication, in my opinion, and part of that is a question of where a band can actually progress to. You’re either not heavy enough or you’re too heavy and you never please anyone. Few bands ever really manage to fall outside of these well-worn ruts in the road, but there are some fantastic bands in those ruts, Above Symmetry is one of those bands.

Aspera – Ripples Review

Aspera – Ripples Review

Progressive metal isn’t an easy place to be. Let’s face it, much of the world of progressive metal is a tussle between an old guard of old fans (the Neanderthals of Metal) who really like bands that sound like Dream Theater, Queensryche, and so forth, and then there’s kind of everyone else. It’s disparate, difficult to define and often pretentious as hell with little logic as to what is in fashion with which group. This is the natural outcome of genrefication, in my opinion, and part of that is a question of where a band can actually progress to. You’re either not heavy enough or you’re too heavy and you never please anyone. Few bands ever really manage to fall outside of these well-worn ruts in the road, but there are some fantastic bands in those ruts, Aspera is one of those bands.