Wintersun

Daidalos – The Expedition Review

Daidalos – The Expedition Review

The Expedition is a concept album that tells the story of the doomed 1845 voyage of Captain John Franklin and his crew of 129 men and their frost-filled journey through undiscovered portions of the northwest passage. Grizzled sea captains? Ice pirates? Adventure? Excitement? A Jedi may not crave such things, but I sure do. Daidalos have certainly plucked a worthy story from the annals of history on which to base their album. And as is their right, the band has chosen the soothing sounds of symphonic, epic black metal to tale this tale.” Voyage of the damned.

Forsaken Eternity – A Kingdom of Ice Review

Forsaken Eternity – A Kingdom of Ice Review

“I like it when black metal is fun. And I know, I know, that’s not “the point” of the genre, except we’re way past the ‘90s and black metal is a whole lot cooler than it used to be. And if you don’t believe me, why not take a gander at that cover art and wilt under the crushing weight of your own doubts? Forsaken Eternity is a symphonic black metal act from the United States, and, despite having been around since 2015, A Kingdom of Ice is their debut full-length album. Here, we see a comparatively young band who plays it fast, plays it cool, and plays it pretty fun.” Forsaken frowny faces.

Gladenfold – Nemesis Review

Gladenfold – Nemesis Review

“I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed some solid Finnish metal. You know what I mean—the kind of metal that’s aggressive, adventurous, inspired by nature or history or something along those lines, with that je ne sais quoi that is the Finnish charm. I didn’t realize at the time that Gladenfold is a Finnish band though—mostly I just liked the album cover on Nemesis, and the promise of some solid melodeath helped too.” Race to the Finnish.

Marrasmieli – Martaiden Mailta Review

Marrasmieli – Martaiden Mailta Review

“Nostalgia is powerful. As I write here, I’ve found that I can often remember exactly where I was when I first heard a noteworthy promo, and the ability to relive those experiences through music makes me happy. When I first heard Between Land and Sky, the debut full-length release from Finnish Marrasmieli in January of 2020, I was commuting to work, comparatively new employment that I enjoyed, blissfully unaware that we were not all that far away from everything changing. While the year itself turned out to be less-than-great, the album certainly was, and I came back to it a lot as uncertainty took over. Because of this, Between Land and Sky has a special sort of significance to me, and the news that Marrasmieli has returned with a new full-length album was thrilling.” Wistful introspection and pandemic nostalgia.

Malice Divine – Malice Divine Review

Malice Divine – Malice Divine Review

Malice Divine is the brainchild of classically-trained Toronto musician Ric Galvez. The self-titled record finds Galvez handling the entire creative process and all of the performances with the exception of the drums. Known primarily as a lead guitarist in the Toronto scene, Galvez was excited about the opportunity to indulge in a solo project. But old habits die hard, and Malice Divine glistens like a guitar fan’s wet dream. Galvez combines the melodic blackened death sounds of Necrophobic and Dissection with the emotive soloing and progressive song structures of Death and the technical majesty of Wintersun.” Malice in Meloblackland.

Finntroll – Vredesvävd Review

Finntroll – Vredesvävd Review

Finntroll’s role in the development of modern folk metal cannot be understated. Re-visiting classics like Jakens tid and Nattfödd often leads me to wonder how these guys managed to rip off my favorite folk albums before they were written. The unabashed and upfront nature of their folk qualities changed the game. That said, it’s amazing that Finntroll are still relevant. 21 years into the game, the newer blood in the genre reasonably should have surpassed them by now.” Troll down memory lane.

The Projectionist – Under the Cruel Glow of Terror Review

The Projectionist – Under the Cruel Glow of Terror Review

“Every year is the same. I write reviews all summer long, getting into a rhythm in the hopes that I’ll be able to continue these habits into the school year, but every year – nope. I need to take a week, sometimes two, to adjust to kids, staff, and district breathing down my neck before I can hit the ground running with a new batch of fall promos. So with all this going on, a new learning management system, and COVID looming at our doors, I pray to the Metal Gods above that they bless me with something good as I shuffle through perpetual exhaustion for two weeks. Will The Projectionist shed some light into my gloom?” Be cruel to your school (teacher).

Unleash the Archers – Abyss Review

Unleash the Archers – Abyss Review

“Though Unleash the Archers remains the goofy power metal band they’ve always been, Apex was a serious release. Lyrics, story, songwriting—Apex captured the band at their absolute best. Abyss: ‘A deep and seemingly bottomless pit.’ So, a pit, no matter its depth, so scary and hopeless that you wouldn’t follow a hit baseball down it. To follow-up an album called Apex with one called Abyss may be the most condemning thing yet. Is it clever or is the shortest distance between the summit and a hole in the ground straight down?” Highs and lows.

Atavistia – The Winter Way Review

Atavistia – The Winter Way Review

“Do you miss Wintersun? Are you hoping Jari Mäenpää gets his groove back soon? Have an epic melodeath itch that no amount of black metal shenanigans can scratch? Well, Atavistia is here to take your mind off Jari’s attempts to convince you to build a recording studio for him to finish Time II.” Low winter sunblind.