Wishbone Ash

Ashbury – Eye of the Stygian Witches

Ashbury – Eye of the Stygian Witches

Ashbury, of Tuscon, Arizona, are olde. Their debut called Endless Skies dates back to 1983 but evidently flew under the mainstream radar, while 2018’s Eye of the Stygian Witches is only their third full-length release in these past 35 years. Olde; Tuscon-dwellers; under-appreciated; unreliable; these are all characteristics of our very own Dr. A. N. Grier. Older than dirt and sky.

Pseudo/Sentai – Bansheeface Review

Pseudo/Sentai – Bansheeface Review

“I’m a bit wary of reviewing prog records because I don’t want to end up sitting through eighty minutes of decadent aural onanism from tedious Dream Theatre wannabes (I would rather listen to eighty minutes of “Wannabe”). But done well prog provides musical nourishment rarely offered by other genres, and having spent a large portion of the year listening to grindcore, I was ready to take a risk with Pseudo/Sentai.” Jean-Luc is a risk taker and that can be risky.

Opeth – Heritage Review

Opeth – Heritage Review

Disclaimer: Knowing how to review this record has been very difficult for me because I’m a big fan of the band and I have no desire to try make my opinion seem bigger than the band’s work. I understand my subjective position as a reviewer very well. But this record suffers from pretty major issues that it make it very difficult for me to enjoy and that show off the weakness of the band in its current incarnation. I am aware that there will be a good amount of whining and gnashing of teeth over this review, and you’re welcome to it. Just remember that I 1) am not invested in Opeth playing death metal; 2) like plenty of bands that have changed their sounds; and 3) enjoy progressive and abstract music of all stripes very much.

Retro-spective Review: Camel – Music Inspired by the Snow Goose

Retro-spective Review: Camel – Music Inspired by the Snow Goose

So, during this time of burnout, one thing doesn’t seem to be changing: the will to critique things and to tell people how important my opinion is how cool some music just really is. One of the things that happens to me when I get burned out on metal is that I go back and start researching other shit like, for example, the guy who wrote Meat Loaf’s music (Jim Steinman) or in this case, 70s prog. The ’70s were an era when music was musical and the production didn’t suck fucking ass and there was no douchebag screaming about how tough he was into a microphone to try to make you realize just how extreme his music is (unless of course you count KISS, but I don’t, ’cause they suck and they weren’t screaming, they were just douching it up).

Enslaved – Axioma Ethica Odini Review

Enslaved – Axioma Ethica Odini Review

It is not hard to accept one fundamental axiom of the post-black metal Norway that I have referred to recently: Enslaved is easily Norway’s finest band. From the beginning the band has always been strong; grown-ups in a room filled with angry teenagers. This sense has not lessened with the passage of time. While certain members of the scene will forever be singing their equivalent of Alice Cooper ridiculous teen hits as 45 year olds (or older, like the man himself), Enslaved will continue to push the boundaries of black metal with a mature and progressive sound. Starting with the release of Below the Lights in 2003, Enslaved has produced four modern classics of “progressive, psychedelic black metal.” The fourth of this string of amazing albums was Vertebrae, which was released in 2008 and landed the band a tour with Opeth as well as more recognition than they had ever received worldwide. And with good reason: it was the best record the band had written to date.