Angry Metal-Fi: The Best & Worst Sounding Records of 2017

Angry Metal-Fi is a series of articles that are cross posted on Angry Metal Guy and Metal-Fi as a collaborative effort to evangelize dynamics in metal. 2017 was an interesting year for metal. My partner in crime claims it was another crappy year for dynamics in general, and unfortunately given the entries below, it’s hard to argue with him. However, I would counter and say that they were still quite a number of good to great sounding releases too. In fact, Dave and I had a harder time weeding out the truly terrible sounding albums from the really great sounding ones which is always a good sign. Now look: This is just our list. And...

Review: iFi Audio Groundhog Jan10

Review: iFi Audio Groundhog

Ground Gate If you’ve been playing this game as long as I have, then you’ve probably been buzzed at least once in your life – and I’m not talking about alcoholic euphoria either [Well, I’m out. -Dave]. No sir, I’m talking about that audible buzz you get the first time you plug some new component into your system. Very recently, I got my “buzz” on when Audeze sent me a pair of LCD-i4’s for review. Here’s what happened: after unpacking these beauties from their unmarked box, I hastily hooked them onto my ears, checked to make sure the Pro iCAN was set to low gain, and then turned...

Alex’s Top 10 of 2017 Dec28

Alex’s Top 10 of 2017

2017 was a so-so year for metal but an epic one for me. Toward the beginning of this year, my wife gave birth to our first child, a baby boy. Consequently, Metal-Fi came to a screeching halt as I learned to change diapers in the wee hours of the morning, discovered the power of a good swaddle, and spent nights on end just checking to make sure he was still breathing. I also never thought hearing the word “Dada” could make a grown man cry – it can. My son and I are like two peas in a pod exploring the world together; him for the first time and me doing it all over again but acting as a co-pilot now. It is a strange yet...

Go High-Res For The Holidays Dec24

Go High-Res For The Holidays

Here’s the thing: Dave and I have always been skeptical about high-res. First off, the whole concept is somewhat nebulous since the industry can’t really standardize on a formal definition of it. As a result, many labels have taken advantage of that fact by advertising a record as “high-res” when in fact it’s just an upsampled version of the original CD. Secondly, even though most audiophiles equate any format with a greater than 16-bits/44.1kHz sampling rate with “high-res,” a higher sampling rate in itself can’t compensate for a poorly produced master because ultimately no amount of...

Metal-Fi Prize Giveaway: Audioengine B2 Wireless Speakers Nov01

Metal-Fi Prize Giveaway: Audioengine B2 Wireless Speakers

It’s that time again where your participation in the Metal-Fi community finally pays off! I’m not talking higher dynamic range either, or am I? [Dave: Groan.] Metal-Fi and Audioengine are teaming up to giveaway another pair of B2 wireless speakers this month and I’m hoping all of you enter to win. If you aren’t familiar with the B2, then head over to their site right now to read up on one of the most versatile speakers on the market. The winner will be announced on November 30th. One final tidbit: AE is thinking about expanding the finish options on the B2 and wants your input. So please feel out the survey below....

Review: Audeze LCDi4 In-Ear Headphones Sep08

Review: Audeze LCDi4 In-Ear Headphones

Introduction When Audeze introduced their iSine series about a year ago, there were actually three different models announced: the i10, the i20, and the LCDi3. Most of you however, probably remember reading only about the i10 and i20 since those pairs were the only ones in actual production and ready for review. I myself reviewed both pairs and to make a really long story short, walked away considerably impressed. Not only do both models outperform most IEMs in their class, but rival many full sized headphones too. Fast forward to today: Audeze just recently announced they are finally shipping their LCDi reference model, now renamed the...

Review: Burial Oath – Beyond the Vale of Shadowlands Aug01

Review: Burial Oath – Beyond the Vale of Shadowlands

Do you yearn for the days when black metal was still a simple endeavor? A time when its taxonomic boundary was both well defined and clearly understood; a time when grown men could don corpse paint with pride; a time when black metal was, well, exactly that – no more, no less. Maybe I’m just a closet luddite. But the truth is more often than not, I just want to listen to Plain Old Black Metal™ without any pretentiousness or pretense that seems to be the metal du jour these days. If you know of what I speak, then say hello to my little friend, Burial Oath‘s Beyond the Vale of Shadowlands. Shadowlands triumph is in its...

Review: Æther Realm – Tarot Jun22

Review: Æther Realm – Tarot

I want you to imagine a record that has the folksy edge of Ensiferum combined with the melodic complexity of Wintersun all delivered through this very Mors Principium Est sounding package. That, in a nutshell, is Æther Realm‘s Tarot. Sounds delicious, right? But let’s step back for a moment. If you haven’t heard of Æther Realm, I’m not surprised. Their 2013 debut, One Chosen by the Gods, which though a laudable effort in its own right, was a bit too overt in its Wintersun meets Ensiferum worship, and came off as more novelty than anything of actual substance. Nevertheless, if you did happen to stumble upon it, Gods...

Review: Nokturnal Mortum – Verity May26

Review: Nokturnal Mortum – Verity

Nokturnal Mortum is one of those bands that everybody should know but very few actually do. And as I stated in my vinyl follow-up about the band’s 2009 magnum opus, The Voice of Steel, a big part of that has to do with their now former association with the NSBM movement early on in their career. But over the last decade, the band has tried to distance themselves from said movement and in the process rebrand themselves as a fairly prototypical blackened folk metal band. In fact in 2014, lead vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and the band’s spiritual leader, Varggoth, addressed some of these issues head on by stating that since the...