Within Temptation

Leaves’ Eyes – The Last Viking Review

Leaves’ Eyes – The Last Viking Review

Leaves’ Eyes is a band I hear about plenty, but whose music I seldom actually hear. A few samples here and there, a sliver of news-worthy drama over there, a conversation once in a while — that’s it. So it’s a bit odd that I wound up with the responsibility of reviewing their latest output, The Last Viking, but then, sometimes not knowing about band-land drama is good for the weary reviewer.” Eyes Fatigue.

Volturian – Crimson Review

Volturian – Crimson Review

“The brainchild of Frozen Crown‘s Federico Mondelli and Sleeping Romance‘s Federica Lanna, Volturian prioritizes fun over all. These tunes will get stuck in your head, you will kind of hate that they get stuck in your head, and you will be powerless to stop it if you give it the smallest opening.” Activate earworm lock!

Secret Rule – Against Review

Secret Rule – Against Review

Secret Rule is an Italian quartet gracing the metal scene with their fifth studio album. Reading through the band’s promo gave me a glimmer of hope that I got my hands on something exciting. They’ve shared the stage with the likes of Xandria and Delain and are recommended for fans of Within Temptation, all three of which are exuberant bands full of energy and marked by grandiose, winsome sounds.” Double secret probation.

Coronatus – The Eminence of Nature Review

Coronatus – The Eminence of Nature Review

The Eminence of Nature is Coronatus‘ ninth studio album. Before claiming this album as my own for review, I performed my usual quick search on the AMG site to see which one of my coworkers was historically responsible for dishing out either love or distaste in response to Coronatus‘ eight other albums. Had to be either Twelve or TheKenWord given their public and overzealous love of the cheesiest of the symphonic metals. I was pleasantly surprised to see “No results for ‘Coronatus’ Try another search?” pop up on my screen. Eight albums and not one was covered by AMG?!” Bad omens.

Pythia – The Solace of Ancient Earth Review

Pythia – The Solace of Ancient Earth Review

“Ah, yes. Symphonic power metal fronted by an operatic leading lady. This is the stuff that got me into metal in the first place, and my love for it remains unflagging still. But great albums from this specific formulation of the genre made themselves scarce in recent years, with only ElvellonDelain (shut up, entire AMG staff!), and Epica (shut up, entire AMG staff!) releasing albums I enjoy on a consistent basis. So when I saw a promo that featured name drops from two of those three bands and Nightwish, I knew what I needed to do.” Metal cred is overrated.

Imperia – Flames of Eternity Review

Imperia – Flames of Eternity Review

“Any magician will tell you that the key to most tricks is misdirection: draw the audience’s eyes away from where they should be looking by any means possible. While their attention is averted, the sleight-of-hand takes place. What separates the greats from, say, Magician Bob at your niece’s third birthday party, is the seamlessness with which this technique is performed. Or to put it bluntly, if you notice that you’re being distracted, they’re doing it wrong.” Oh, this bodes well…

Within Temptation – Resist Review

Within Temptation – Resist Review

“The times they are a changing. Once not so long ago, Within Temptation was in the vanguard of symphonic metal, powered by the wonderful voice of Sharon den Adel. Early albums like Mother Earth and The Silent Force balanced dark moods with accessible songcraft, and though they were never a super heavy outfit, their overall style fit well enough in the metalverse. Over time their sound became more glossy and pop-centric, drifting closer and closer to alt-rock, culminating in the commercially grasping dumpster fire that was 2014s Hydra. Four long years have gone by without a followup, reinforcing the bad taste that album left behind.” Resistance is brutal.

Lemuria – The Hysterical Hunt Review

Lemuria – The Hysterical Hunt Review

“It would probably surprise nobody to learn that my background as a metalhead began with symphonic metal. Somehow (read: through a series of ill-advised sessions of reckless YouTube binges) I discovered it during the early days of high school. Symphonic metal enlivened me and became my gateway into this marvelous metalverse. Today I return to that hallowed ground upon which my transformation manifested. Waiting there for me is Lemuria—a symphonic black metal band from Belgium, est. 1999—with their third epic The Hysterical Hunt.” Night hunt at the opera.

Akoma – Revangels Review

Akoma – Revangels Review

“Let’s play a game of ‘guess the genre!’ We have a band with a nondescript, vaguely fantasy-sounding name. Google betrays it to be the Ghanese word for ‘heart.’ The album name is Revangels, which I’m guessing is a contraction of revenge and angels? That seems likely, but I choose to believe it’s about angels that have become groupies for deceased drummer The Rev, instead because that’s more clever than the alternative.” Show no symphony.