Turisas

Verikalpa – Tuoppitanssi [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Verikalpa – Tuoppitanssi [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Verikalpa at its core is akin to a blend of melodic death and black metal. Laden with keys that sound like accordions and a logo that looks straight off of Ensiferum’s merch table, Tuoppitanssi could have fallen with ease into the ‘been done before’ bin without much effort from the listener.” And yet, I’m reviewing it 10 months late.

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.

Silver Bullet – Mooncult Review

Silver Bullet – Mooncult Review

“Who was your gateway band? The one that got you into metal, the one you blame for this obsession that never goes away? Mine was Nightwish; the idea that you could combine orchestral and metal concepts together swept me away completely, and for a while, symphonic metal was all I could listen to. Today, however, I only listen to the band rarely, and I believe the genre is sadly stagnated. But while navigating the depths of the promo bin, I found myself drawn to it once again and decided that my first ‘official’ review around here should pay homage to that exhilarating initial experience.” Cult of the Night(wish).

Týr – Hel Review

Týr – Hel Review

“At the stony, windswept crossroads of Viking, folk, power and traditional metal sits Týr on a cottonwood throne bedecked with fishing nets and boat hooks. Hailing from the tiny Faroe Islands that sit between Iceland and Norway, these mysterious descendants of Vikings have impressed with their distinctive brand of genre hopping since their sophomore album Eric the Red came ashore in 2003. They’ve been uncomfortably quiet since 2013s outstanding Valkyrja, making Hel among my most anticipated releases of 2019.” Hel-o, is it me you’re looking for?

Mongol – The Return Review

Mongol – The Return Review

“If you ascribe to the Arrow of Time theory, as AMG Inc. certainly does, you can never look back. Forward, always. A million-promo horde batters constantly at the wall, and only a brave few can stem the tide. So it’s the rare album indeed that subverts the laws of nature and demands you look backward. The Return is just such a prize.” Withstand the folk of time.

Orphaned Land – Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs Review

Orphaned Land – Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs Review

Orphaned Land has gone through a lot more change than I think I even realized as they have made the journey from an obscure but promising melodeath band to a major label metal act. Back in 2013, I ended my review of All Is One by urging the band and the label not to “fuck with the formula.” The new record, which I was not impressed by, was being released only three years after the incredible The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR. All Is One lacked the depth and force of any of the band’s previous material, a fact which I attributed to the album not having been given the time it needed to germinate. But I didn’t fully realize that since the release of 2011’s The Road to OR-Shalem, the formula had already been pretty well fucked. The first drop was Matti Svatizky in 2012, he was followed by Yossi Sassi in 2014. Both the guitarists had been in the band since 1992 and Yossi is the one I have always associated with Orphaned Land‘s characteristic “oriental”+prog rock sound. With Yossi’s departure, it was hard to not imagine that decline was inevitable. So I admit that I approached Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs with mixed feelings and a healthy dose of dread.” Fear and the Orphan.

Sirenia – Dim Days of Dolor Review

Sirenia – Dim Days of Dolor Review

Sirenia hasn’t been getting much love from AMG Industries of late, and perhaps rightly so. The bands 2015 release The Seventh Life Path was criticized harshly for both its cheesy, formulaic approach to symphonic metal and its abundance of beautiful women. The 2011 offering, The Enigma of Life, fared absolutely no better. While I will never be one to condemn the inclusion of sexy band photos (female or otherwise), I did find myself agreeing with the general sentiments; both albums were trite, shallow, and boring.” Sex sells, but who’s buying?