Vinyl Follow Up: In The Woods… – Pure

While I don’t worship at the altar of Omnio, I’ve long been an In The Woods… fan, and I was very pleased to see the band finally release a successor to 1999’s excellent Strange In Stereo with last year’s Pure. In The Woods… morphed over time from a black metal band through progressive and on to a mix of avant garde and the rather nebulous “dark metal” tag used for otherwise difficult to categorize music blending elements of gothic and doom metal, without really falling into either camp. Dark metal is probably the best descriptor for Pure, which is a much more conventional album than its not so immediate predecessor. If you were expecting...

Vinyl Follow Up: Katatonia – The Fall Of Hearts

I’m sure everyone has their favorite Katatonia album. For me, it’s 2006’s The Great Cold Distance that reigns above all others, with both album tracks like “Soil’s Song” and “July,” as well as B-sides “Unfurl,” “Code Against The Code,” and “Dissolving Bonds,” remaining not just some of my all time favorite Katatonia songs, but favorite songs full stop. I would also say that the latter are superior to any of the tracks on Night Is The New Day (That’s not saying much. -Alex). Happily, the band rebounded after that disappointment in 2012 with Dead End Kings, but I think it is this year’s release, The Fall Of Hearts, that is their...

Lake of Tears – Headstones

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. Alright, let’s say you’re a big fan of bands like Moonspell, Katatonia, and Type O Negative, and are looking to expand your already substantial gothic metal/doom repertoire. Furthermore, let’s also assume that you’ve built up a reputation as a veritable gothic metal/doom cognoscenti, but are now unbelievably finding yourself running out of albums...

Dethroned & Uncrowned Vinyl Follow Up May20

Dethroned & Uncrowned Vinyl Follow Up

For those unfamiliar, Dethroned & Uncrowned is Katatonia’s acoustic reworking of their latest full length, 2012’s Dead End Kings. The heavy riffs of the original are completely gone, as is nearly all of the percussion. What’s left are the core elements of the songs: simple melodies rendered by acoustic guitars, plenty of keyboards and synths, and a simply incredible delivery from vocalist Jonas Renkse. Since Dethroned is not a traditional new release, nor is it exactly what I’d call metal, we decided not to do a formal review of the CD. However, in our interview with Katatonia’s go to engineer, David Castillo of Ghost Ward, he made it...

Delain – The Human Contradiction Apr29

Delain – The Human Contradiction

Since I covered the overall history of Holland’s Delain in my review of their last release, Interlude, here I’ll delve a bit more deeply into the circumstances surrounding the release of their last full length, 2012’s We Are The Others. Delain’s first two albums, Lucidity and April Rain, were both released on Roadrunner, and had it not been for the buyout of Roadrunner by Warner Music in 2010, things likely would’ve continued as normal. Instead, Warner pushed heavily for the band to adopt a more palatable and mainstream sound (think Evanescence or Lacuna Coil) as well as to promote vocalist Charlotte Wessels’ physical attributes as...

Triptykon – Melana Chasmata Apr15

Triptykon – Melana Chasmata

The bitter end of institutional metal bands like Switzerland’s Celtic Frost can lead to promising new starts, and that’s certainly been the case with vocalist and guitarist Tom “G. Warrior” Fischer’s new band, Triptykon. Celtic Frost’s 1985 album To Mega Therion was a massive influence on a huge number of bands in a variety of genres, from Gorgoroth to Nirvana. In fact, after operating briefly under the name Blitzkrieg, Sweden’s Therion went so far as to take their name from the album. 1987’s Into The Pandemonium was a decent if not necessarily spectacular follow up, but after that, the band’s penchant for genre exploring would lead...

Alpha Noir Vinyl Follow Up Feb05

Alpha Noir Vinyl Follow Up

This follow up is a bit different from the norm, because we never actually reviewed the CD release of Moonspell’s Alpha Noir. Why not? Well the main issue with the album is that the companion CD, Omega White, which was only included in the double CD limited edition version, was far better than the main event. Moonspell’s goal with Alpha Noir seemed to focus on little besides heavy riffs. The actual songwriting alternated between bland: “Em Nome Do Medo”, silly: “Versus”, and cringeworthy: “Lickanthrope,” (with lifelike wolf sounds!) and not much else. After waiting four years following the release of the superb Night Eternal, Alpha Noir was...

Wolfheart – Winterborn Nov08

Wolfheart – Winterborn

I think all but the most casual fans of the Finnish melodic death band Before The Dawn could tell that something had gone very wrong after the 2011 release of Deathstar Rising, and the subsequent departure of bassist and clean vocalist Lars “Eikind” Eric Si and drummer Atte Palokangas. Before The Dawn had already been through one reinvention following the release of 2004’s 4:17 Am – founder and mastermind Tuomas Saukkonen disbanded the band’s then lineup and recorded all instruments for his next album, 2006’s The Ghost, himself. That album did mark the first appearance of Eikind as a clean vocalist and...

Ecnephias – Necrogod Aug02

Ecnephias – Necrogod

Ecnephias formed back in 1996 in Potenza, Italy, but has only been active in terms of recorded output in the last few years, with their first full-length release, Dominium Noctis, not arriving until 2007. Not long after that, the band went through a major shakeup with almost all of the original members departing, leaving only founding guitarist and vocalist Gianfranco “Mancan” Mancusi. After a few more member shuffles, the band’s lineup finally stabilized in 2011, coinciding with the release of their third full-length, Inferno. After a two year break, they have returned with their latest effort Necrogod. The band has been...