Yngwie Malmsteen

Badd Kharma – On Fire Review

Badd Kharma – On Fire Review

“We live in a society where people add extra letters (specifically u’s) to words that don’t belong. As well as spelling words purposely (I think?) wrong to give them more emphasis. Or they use words that don’t mean what they think they mean. Who could forget the days of ‘wassup?’ and ‘wazzup?’ I mean, what’s not hip about saying ‘what’s up?’ or ‘what is up? Or remember when people used the word ‘bad’ but actually meant ‘good’? Or when you use ‘cop’ instead of ‘get’ and ‘whip’ instead of ‘car’? What the fuck is going on around here? Now there’re umlauts over consonants and v’s instead of u’s. ‘Lead’ is ‘led,’ ‘funeral fuck’ is ‘fvneral fvkk,’ and ‘rand’ has a ‘5’ in front of it. And now… there’s Badd Kharma.” Fyre is hawt!!

NorthTale – Welcome to Paradise Review

NorthTale – Welcome to Paradise Review

“I’d like to think that AMG writers listen to an album many more times than the average music critic before penning a review. We all own records that grew on us exponentially, whether through casual or critical listening, and we know full well that it’s impossible to decipher the full scope of a work upon first exposure. Except, of course, for the times where that’s totally possible. From the very first notes of NorthTale‘s debut, their mission statement of resurrecting power metal’s glory days is laid plain, with multiple rotations failing to unearth compositional complexity or deeper motives.” Power outage.

Immortal Guardian – Age of Revolution Review

Immortal Guardian – Age of Revolution Review

“When I was first testing the waters of various metal subgenres over a decade ago, in order to familiarize myself with the scene as a whole, something became immediately apparent: I do not like virtuoso-helmed acts. Though bands like DragonForce, that relied on high-flying technical artistry, were standbys in my early days of metal fandom, it was clear to me as soon as I encountered a seventy-five minute, single-track instrumental shred album that indulgence at the cost of songwriting was standard practice.” Shred is not dead.

Michael Romeo – War of the Worlds Review, Pt. 1

Michael Romeo – War of the Worlds Review, Pt. 1

Michael Romeo is one of prog/power’s finest genii and is deservedly renowned for his day job as the guitarist and primary composer in Symphony X. Little known, however, is that Romeo released a solo album called The Dark Chapter in 1995. Only available on YouTube, the album is a mind-blowing display of, on the one hand, Romeo’s virtuoso talent and, on the other hand, just how far recording has come in the 23 years since its release. The Dark Chapter‘s first followup record is entitled War of the Worlds, Part 1 and on the surface, these two albums have little in common.

Mastercastle – Wine of Heaven Review

Mastercastle – Wine of Heaven Review

“Since their 2009 debut, Mastercastle have blasted from the blocks by channeling Iron Maiden‘s otherworldly focus on output. The Italians released five albums in six years, intent on spreading their cheesy neo-classicisms far and wide. This shotgun approach has done the band no favors, though; their potency stretched thinner with each new release. With lead axeman Pier Gonella nearing his 30th album, concerns of diminishing creative stores seem all too prescient. Mastercastle‘s sixth release Wine of Heaven reaches the breaking point, shaking the emperor down, stripping him naked, and flogging him through the streets.” All cheese, no wine.

Vale of Pnath – II [Things You Might Have Missed 2016]

Vale of Pnath – II [Things You Might Have Missed 2016]

“I never thought of myself as a tech death fan. Coming from a thrash background, I never needed insane drum machine combos or faster-than-light scales to get my dander up. But after penning one tech death TYMHM this winter, I was struck by the notable divide between Dormant Ordeal and current beau Vale of Pnath.” Kronos laughs at your newbiehood.

Asenblut – Berzerker Review

Asenblut – Berzerker Review

Vikings. They’ve overtaken motorcycle gangs, sparkly vampires, and variations of the zombie as the Big Thing of the Now in America, if our television shows and Faceborg timelines are correct. Thing is, “Vikings have been a trend for a long-ass time in the realm of heavy metal. Hell, Yngwie FOOKING Malmsteen was a Viking long before Amon Amarth first sailed their ships into stormy waters. He even proclaimed so himself! But that’s not gonna stop the new crop of metal bands from brandishing their axes, donning their horned helmets, and sailing away to uncharted lands. Germany’s Asenblut toss their shields into the pagan circle with their third album, Berzerker.” Do you have a Viking inside you? Want one?

Exmortus – Ride Forth Review

Exmortus – Ride Forth Review

“California’s own technical thrash metallers, are a band who does everything I love in metal. They write fast songs, packed with frantic energy and rarely pushing the 5 minute mark. Their guitar work is tight, melodic, and classically influenced. Ride Forth, which drops on January 8th from Prosthetic Records, is an album that goes from zero to 90 in a split second and never drops in intensity as it pounds through nine tracks of palm-muted, staccato licks, arpeggios galore, and non-stop double-kick ass kicking (all while doing it for the Horde!).” Well, that sounds promising. But everyone knows that things are never this simple with Angry Metal Guy.

Symphony X – Underworld Review

Symphony X – Underworld Review

Symphony X is New Jersey’s answer to Yngwie Malmsteen. That’s not just a funny blurb: the more I think about it the more I realize that that’s actually a surprisingly good description of the band. My relationship with the band started in 2000 with the release of the band’s absolutely perfect V: The New Mythology Suite. At the time, I described them to friends as being “Malmsteen—if he could write songs and had a good vocalist.” Since then the band has released some excellent records, but they’ve also taken a turn for the heavier, and edgier, moving further away from the traditional progressive/power wheelhouse and straight-up neocassical stylings. The orchestral approach on never quite disappeared—they’re a ‘neoclassical’ progressive/power band ffs—but from Paradise Lost on the band’s heavier attitude has continued to develop; embodied by Allen’s full-throated Jersey rasp.” Angry Metal Guy weighs in on Symphony X‘s newest release.

Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody – Prometheus, Symphonia Ignis Divinus Review

Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody – Prometheus, Symphonia Ignis Divinus Review

“Here’s a fun fact for you stat geeks: the average score gaily awarded to full Rhapsody releases by the resident Turilli fangirl (our great leader himself) is 4.83/5.0. Check ’em here. Clearly a much more objective party needed to intervene to prevent further such madness, offering a view impervious to Turilli’s rugged Italian charms.” Stop the madness. Lightning bolt!