Review: Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct Nov25

Review: Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct

A little context: I’m a big Metallica fan. I have been for over twenty years now. What’s funny is unlike most fans, I discovered Metallica through Megadeth in a sort of six degrees of Kevin Bacon moment; it took me three Megadeth records to finally arrive at Puppets. Sad but true. But the truth is I lost track of Metallica right after 1996’s Load, an album that completed their transition from being everyone’s favorite Bay Area thrash metal band to a full-fledged hard rock one, bifurcating their fanbase in the process. Since then these retired thrashers have fallen under hard times, with the band probably hitting rock...

L’Orfeo Nov07

L’Orfeo

Orpheus. You know I’m a big fan of Claudio Monteverdi‘s L’Orfeo, which is considered by most music historians as the first great operatic work, and certainly the oldest opera still part of the modern repertoire. It recounts the famous Greek myth of Orpheus and Euridice. The tale briefly goes something like this: Orpheus’ wife, Euridice, is bitten by poisonous snakes while running away from a satyr. After Orpheus finds his wife dead in the fields, he plays a variation on a theme from Opeth‘s Damnation and vows to save his wife by retrieving her from the Underworld. When he finally arrives in the land of the dead...

Dynamics With A Vengeance Nov01

Dynamics With A Vengeance

When Avenged Sevenfold finally saw the production light in 2013, I honestly thought it was the band going through some kind of mid-life crisis. You know, when a <insert your favorite big market band here> suddenly looses all inspiration and find themselves reevaluating everything and anything in order to get those creative juices flowing again. Regardless, Hail to the King proved that a high dynamic metal record (DR10) could be the best selling album in the nation, landing the top spot on the Billboard chart the very first week it was released. Well King was no fluke, since A7X have done it again by dropping yet another stellar...

Review: Sojourner – Empires of Ash Oct30

Review: Sojourner – Empires of Ash

Summoning. For the last two decades Summoning have not only been churning out some of the most epic black metal ever conceived by man, but their body of work has pretty much codified the genre. However, after 2001’s Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame, their output had slowed down considerably, with new album release cycles measured in Valian years instead of solar ones (alright, not quite that long but still). Consequently, this has opened up the flood gates for others to show off their best Summoning idolatry and at the same time, pick up the slack. A prime example is Caladan Brood’s 2013 epic, Echoes of Battle, which executed...

Review: Virvum – Illuminance Sep30

Review: Virvum – Illuminance

To describe the Swiss metal scene as “burgeoning” wouldn’t exactly be quite accurate since over the years the Swiss have been responsible for some of extreme metal’s most revered acts, including Coroner, Celtic Frost, and Samael to name just a few. However, the truth is that despite all of the scene’s great exports, the Swiss ironically really don’t do straight up death – and certainly not tech death. For tech death, I would normally point you in the direction of their German cousins to the north or their Italian neighbors to the south. But a small four piece collective called Virvum is trying to...

Religiously Irreligious Sep19

Religiously Irreligious

What’s funny is that after ten albums under their belt, Moonspell is still one of those bands that I have a hard time picking exactly which record of theirs is my ultimate favorite. Before I started writing this article, I was absolutely positive their magnum opus was 2008’s Night Eternal. Now before you file a court order to commit me (Too late! -Dave), I am quite cognizant of the fact that most Moonspellians will cite the band’s debut, 1995’s Wolfheart and its follow-up, 1996’s Irreligious, as the alpha and omega of this Portuguese collective’s career. And looking back, justifiably so, since Night...

Review: Nordjevel – Nordjevel Sep05

Review: Nordjevel – Nordjevel

Meet Nordjevel, a melodic black metal band formed in 2015 when a two like-minded miscreants from the North, vocalist Doedsadmiral and bassist/guitarist Nord, found common ground over their fervor for life, liberty, and the pursuit of the occult. Soon after, their search for a full time drummer led them to float their newly formed concept with F. Widigs of Marduk fame, who apparently jumped on-board immediately after hearing just a few rough demos. A year later, their self-titled full length debut popped out via Osmose and here we are. Before I go any further, let me get this off my chest: Nordjevel’s debut is probably the catchiest...

Forgotten Legends: Morbid Saint – Spectrum of Death

Forgotten Legends is an ongoing series where we look back on those extraordinary yet often overlooked albums that are essential to any serious metal collection. They can be of any format, released at any time. As always, a dynamic range measurement is provided for reference. When I was growing up, my whole world revolved around Megadeth, Metallica, and to a lesser extent, Slayer. That’s it. They were the be all, end all of metal, and ignorance was as they say, bliss. However, as I grew older, my metal tastes slowly evolved and I started to take my metal more seriously. That’s one of the reasons why in fact I started to read a...

A Sanctuary For Dynamics Aug01

A Sanctuary For Dynamics

  Despite the laundry list of projects Dan “The Man” Swanö has been associated with, most fans know of Dan from his years of service with Bloodbath or as the singular mastermind behind Edge of Sanity. Sure, his solo record, 1999’s Moontower, was stellar too, and so is some of his more recent output with his brother Dag under the Nightingale moniker, but it is really the first two aforementioned projects that everyone associates as “classic” Swanö. But I also think his latest project, Witherscape, may soon be held in the same high esteem as some of those earlier seminal works too, as its debut, 2013’s...