It’s about time credit is given where credit is due. The first dose goes to Vancouver based quartet Anciients, who deliver an astonishing debut album unto our ears. But the second dose? To Season Of Mist for reaching out far and wide and giving this fusion four piece a chance to shine through the haze.
If only I didn’t need to have a day job to pay the bills. I would love nothing more than to sit here, write reviews and talk metal all damn day. Fuck. But in the last two weeks, we have had a full slate of reviews, and it is time to catch up on some of the best. Ghost (add the B.C. if you’re naughty) gave us a reason to change our opinion. Though their recently released sex toy box set may change it back. Hvile I Kaos took cello metal to a new arena. Heaven Shall Burn has a fair amount of Brian’s spit on their collective dicks, while Shining just didn’t have enough to warrant their black-jazz moniker this time around. A new Amorphis album took time to grow before cementing itself in our brains, and a new disc from The Old Wind literally blew us away. God damn, it’s been a great 2013.
With so many great, and not so great, bands coming out of Sweden, it can be hard to get yourself over the hump. The Old Wind, however, have all of the tools to make a big splash in their local and global scenes. With thundering guitars and drum beats, “Feast On Your Gone” brings the pain in the best possible way.
You can take whatever funds you have, and turn it into a album worth hearing. It doesn’t take a million dollar advance to make it work. Herder, a six piece outfit, the recording process was not worth whatever money they spent, and it leaves their new “Doomed” EP feeling flat and muddled.
No matter how hard he tried, Brian had a difficult time giving the latest output by symphonic metal act Visions Of Atlantis a good score. Lacking the shine and luster of previous efforts, and relying too heavily on a poor male vocal, the songs that make up “Ethera” leave a lot to be desired.
Recorded nearly a decade ago, “I Have The Right To Remain Silent” might not be fresh and new in the literal sense. But despite the time between recording and release, Amaranth have something unique on their hands. Acoustic inspired doom metal that sounds as good today as it did in 2003; and will continue to do so in 2023.
There are bands that you could pick out of a lineup after a few listens, and there are those that stand out from the rest with only a few notes. With a virtual library of albums in their back catalog, Amorphis have given us plenty to listen to; and plenty to enjoy. And “Circle” is another notch in the belt of one of modern metals best bands.
Truth be told: I don’t speak a word of German. But with the amazing set of songs that inhabit the latest Tervingi album, “Gotensaga,” that doesn’t seem to matter. Brutal, invigorating, and captivating, this album is one for the ages.
Metal fusion has long been an obsession of ours. With the solid foundation of distortion and waves of terror, it becomes a platform for whatever you choose to add. In the case of Jorgen Munkeby and the industrial jazz titans known as Shining, you have a match made in heaven. The man with the saxophone that launched a million mosh pits returns with “One One One.”
To release what many fans will herald as a crowning achievement, some 17 years into your existence is not only a victory, but a success on every level. After years of evolution and growth, Heaven Shall Burn have raised the bar for releases going forward. “Veto” is the best work to date, with a Blind Guardian cover to boot.