Theatre of Tragedy

Leaves’ Eyes – King of Kings Review

Leaves’ Eyes – King of Kings Review

“Once a writer has reviewed a band, it’s standard practice for them to review any subsequent records that band releases. Unless, of course, AMG wrote the original review and is too busy masturbating over old Iron Maiden records to critique new music. As you will have noticed, this scenario arose just the other week, and that’s why it’s fallen to me to review Leaves’ Eyes‘ latest platter.” We have a system and you’re gonna use it!

Dreamgrave – Presentiment Review

Dreamgrave – Presentiment Review

“Metal has been extremely retro in the last 5 years. From rethrash to retro death metal, the whole scene has crawled into its proverbial ass in order to wallow in the digested remnants of metal music that is just plain better. Rethrash celebrates the 2.5 years when thrash was the heaviest and most exciting music on the planet. Retro death celebrates a time when bands would scrape together their last Swedish kronor to put a record together that would still sound like total shit. All the bands who wish they were Black Sabbath celebrate a time when amplifiers didn’t actually have overdrive. But all of these celebrated sounds appeal to us because they were authentic: times when newness and creativity gave the world something exciting and special. One such scene for me is the melodic death and black metal scenes of the Scandinavian 1990s. It’s an era when metal was heavy, engaging, abstract, and yet melodic—it felt exciting and new. While not all of the best ideas from this era were executed perfectly at the time, it laid the groundwork for the late ’90s and the early aughts when great metal bands produced great music.” What the hell does this have to do with anything? Click and find out!

Leaves’ Eyes – Symphonies of the Night Review

Leaves’ Eyes – Symphonies of the Night Review

“In 2009 I received a promo for Liv Kristine’s ‘new’ band Leaves’ Eyes and I was curious. The record was called Njord and as a fan of Liv’s voice and epic symphonic metal I figured for sure that I would be in for a treat. I was wrong. I was so very, very wrong. My complaints about the album were many—but a lot of it had to do with the fact that it was so compressed that it never felt heavy and the song-writing was just plain mediocre. Meredead, which followed two years later on schedule, was also a miserable record. The folky stuff was of the “let’s throw in a flute, hooray folk metal!” genre and I simply didn’t even have the patience to finish reviewing it. But because I am a masochist (and I’ve always liked Liv’s voice ffs!), I broke out Symphony of the Night when it arrived in my box.” Always a sucker for a lady with a pretty voice, Angry Metal Guy gave the new Leaves’ Eyes a chance. Is this turning into Charlie Brown, Lucy and the football?

October Falls – The Plague of a Coming Age Review

October Falls – The Plague of a Coming Age Review

Back in ’10—when I was wearing an onion on my belt ’cause that was the fashion in those days—I reviewed a record from Finnish atmospheric black metallers October Falls called A Collapse of Faith. At 40+ minutes of a single song, my Angry Attention Deficit Disorder hindered me from loving this record. While it was good, had great melodies, interesting ideas and an old school production that added a fuzzy atmosphere to the whole thing, I was never able to really bring myself to come back to it. It might have been perfect for some of the depressing, snowy days that we get here in Sweden, but I’ve got a quite bit of go-to music for that. Still, I was curious was when I received the promo for The Plague of a Coming Age. With its fantastic cover art, and its 9 easily distinguishable songs, I thought this might be a step in a direction I could enjoy.

Draconian – A Rose for the Apocalypse Review

Draconian – A Rose for the Apocalypse Review

It’s Angry Metal Confession time kiddies. Steel Druhm has many things he should confess but for now, lets focus on aspects of the metal scene I’ve grown weary of. First up has to be symphonic black metal. Its been done, overdone, redone and ultimately, undone. Another very overused gimmick is beauty and the beast vocals (death metal vox paired with soaring, usually operatic, female vocals). Since Theatre of Tragedy came out with Velvet Darkness They Fear, every gothic metal band under the moon tried their hand at the style and while it can be amazing, it’s been overblown in a major way. Because of the staleness in this approach, only the very best practitioners leave any impression on me. Draconian is one such expert unit and while I liked their early material, I LOVED their 2008 release Turning Seasons Within. That opus managed to balance heavy doom with ethereal gothic sensibilties and they made the beauty and beast approach work magnificently. Now with A Rose for the Apocalypse, these Swedish glumsters have done it yet again and offer a top quality gothic-doom/death album brimming with emotion, intensity and dark atmosphere. Its good enough to make me rethink my position on the entire paradigm and its a real slobberknocker of a metal album.

Amaranthe – Amaranthe Review

Amaranthe – Amaranthe Review

Amaranthe has three vocalists. Just let that sink in for a while. From what I can tell, not one of those vocalists plays an instrument. Instead, they found three “attractive” people to do vocals for them. The first is a woman, who sounds like a pop singer (think E Type) and who I guarantee you cannot name a Slayer record. The second is a screamy dude. He’s got a beard (’cause he’s tough and angsty, you see) and he screams, but not too much (he must be very, very, very bored on stage). And then there’s the ‘power metal’ vocalist (Berg from Dream Evil) who’s just as over-produced as the chick vocalist and is there to get 14 year old girls all silly over his perfectly groomed dreadlocks. Behind them are several soulless session musicians (from Mercenary, Dragonland and Engel). Though, frankly, this is a band that is functionally made of session musicians, since integrity seems to be lacking.

Within Temptation – The Unforgiving Review

Within Temptation – The Unforgiving Review

As one of the elevated culprits who took guilty pleasure in bringing the so-called “female fronted” symphonic metal genre to fame, Within Temptation has often been right next to the milestone names of Tristania, Theatre of Tragedy, Nightwish, After Forever and the like from this infamous subgenre [Also known as “Chick Metal” by this member of The Patriarchy – AMG]. This is often accompanied by blunt comparisons, senseless “expert” statements and, of course, rabid hate from people who just can’t appreciate chicks in metal [Example: my earlier comment. – AMG]. But hey, life goes on and so does the music industry. Whatever the case, unlike their colleagues who have gone through hard time line-up changes that have proven catastrophic at times, Within Temptation has continued to add new chapters to their own story. Through times of war between legions of Tarja and Anette die-hards, crazy Vibeke rumors in the air, Floor & Sander drama break-ups, the flame of Within Temptation continued to burn ever brighter, offering fascinating music with each release.

Sirenia – The Enigma of Life Review

Sirenia – The Enigma of Life Review

So, I must admit, I was excited to hear this new Sirenia record. For whatever reason I’d not spent much time getting to know the band of former Tristania founding member Morten Veland and I guess I figured that Sirenia had to be pretty good ’cause, well, I’m willing to give people who have done cool shit the benefit of the doubt. Of course, it’s been a decade since the band formed and I’ve never had the kind of intrinsic motivation to actually go out there and try to learn the about the band, and after listening to The Enigma of Life I’m pretty damn glad I never wasted my damn time [see the final note, however – AMG].

Angry Metal Guy’s Classics #4: Theatre of Tragedy – Velvet Darkness They Fear

Angry Metal Guy’s Classics #4: Theatre of Tragedy – Velvet Darkness They Fear

It’s been a while since I’ve updated a “classic record”, hasn’t it? But I think I’ve hit another one that is a must have for anyone who likes good metal. I mean, any kind of good metal at all. When I was just an Angry Metal Teenager I first was introduced to a bunch of stuff that I just couldn’t get into because it was too much for me. But there was one band that really pumped out a kind of music that I latched onto that was both heavy and melodic, but also extreme and cool. That band was Norway’s Theatre of Tragedy and that record which really turned me onto the band and later the “beauty and the beast style” (often imitated, but never improved upon) was the record Velvet Darkness They Fear.