Blog Archives

Roundtable Review: Winter Thrice by Borknagar


borknagarwinterthricecdLabel: Century Media

Release Date: 22 January 2016

Songs: 9

Length: 56:52

Genre: Prog/Black/Folk/Viking

Location: Bergen, Norway

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Album Review: Queensrÿche – Condition Humän


queensrycheconditioncd-300x300As I age (I’m in my lower 40s now) I ponder the fate of my long-standing favored bands.  Let’s face it we’re all getting older and for me that means there will come a time when I read a story about a favorite band of mine quitting or retiring.  Queensrÿche, along with the Big Four bands and many others have been around long enough that I dread the day of their eventual end.  I thought Queensrÿche might have been headed there earlier than necessary with their former vocalist at the helm and all the craziness that ensued.  But damn, Queensrÿche dusted themselves off, picked up a great lead vocalist, and threw some uppercuts.  2013’s self-titled album paved a new foundation for the band and there appears to be no looking back…only aiming forward.  Read the rest of this entry

Roundtable Review: Meliora by Ghost (B.C.)


ghostmelioracdAlbum Review: Ghost – Meliora

Label: Lorna Vista Records (USA), Spinefarm/Rise Above (Europe)

Release Date: Aug. 21st, 2015

Songs: 10

Length: 41:35

Genre: Doom Metal/Psychedelic Rock/Pop

Studio Albums: Opus Eponymous, Infestissumam

Location: Linköping, Sweden

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Album Review: The Book of Souls by Iron Maiden


IronMaiden_TheBookOfSoulsIf there’s a single band that personifies heavy metal more than Iron Maiden, fill me in.  Metallica? Lars is a dweeb who sues his fans… and Lulu and angry saints.  Slayer?  They have become caricatures of themselves.  Black Sabbath?  Sharon Osborne and 1984-1990 happened.  Judas Priest?  Close, but lack that little something special.  No, there isn’t a band out there that can out metal Iron Maiden and after 30 years of inhabiting the embodiment of heavy metal they still continue to be metal as fuck.  For example, while recording The Book of Souls, the bands 16th studio album, Bruce Dickinson was suffering from a cancer on his tongue he reportedly got from kissing his wife in an Australian manner one too many times.  He went on to record his parts on the record with golf ball sized tumors in his tongue and throat.  He then kicked that cancer’s ass.  Metal as fuck?  I think so.

Because he wasn’t singing when he was at 100%, while still excellent, you can hear that Bruce is really pushing himself.  That imperfection is what makes Iron Maiden so perfect and so metal.  What is at the core of ‘having a metal state of mind’ more so than determination?  Even when lambasted for records like No Prayer for the Dying and Virtual XI Steve Harris and Co. kept their cool, improved themselves, and kept on delivering countless amazing shows and a stack of great songs and albums.  With a string of albums that were pretty damn good but not up to the exceedingly high Iron Maiden standards, the English gents, determined as ever, rise to the challenge and attempt to deliver their biggest album to date.

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Roundtable Review: Underworld by Symphony X


Symphony_X-Underworld-Front-Label: Nuclear Blast

Release Date: 24 Jul 2015

Songs: 11

Length: 64 Minutes

Genre: Thrash/Power/Progressive Metal

Studio Albums: Symphony X (1994); The Damnation Game (1995); The Divine Wings of Tragedy (1997); Twilight in Olympus (1998); V: The New Mythology Suite (2000); The Odyssey (2002); Paradise Lost (2007); Iconoclast (2011).

Location: NJ, United States

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Roundtable Review: Run with the Wolf by Drakkar


Drakkar coverLabel: My Kingdom Music

Release Date: March 16th, 2015

Songs: 10 + 5 Bonus Tracks

Genre: Power Metal

Studio Albums: Quest for Glory, Razorblade God, When Lightning Strikes

Location: Milan, Italy

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Album Review: This is No Fairytale by Carach Angren


a1683979843_2Like most suburban middle class American kids camping was a rather regular part of my summertime curriculum.  And like most camp outs in the middle of the woods a campfire was built at night and around it we sat telling ghost stories, roasting hot dogs, and making smores.  Those times are some of my favorite childhood memories, though not as cherished as they should be.  You see, there was always this one kid, let’s call him Little Billy, who really had a knack for crafting these really dark takes on the classics.  Instead of the man with the hook for a hand popping up behind the campers, Billy took it steps further and had the hook-handed man brutally bludgeon the camper, pop their eyes out with the hook, and suffocate on broken glass.  Then usually the camp chaperone would interrupt and end Little Billy’s macabre imagination.

Turns out Little Billy came from an abusive home filled with alcoholism, schizophrenia, and drugs.  This I never learned about until I opened the paper one day saw an article about how Little Billy had gotten drunk, beaten his girlfriend to death, and then took his own life.  Mutual friends and acquaintances filled me in on Billy’s childhood and my mind immediately recalled those horrible stories he would tell around the campfire.  Since then, I have never been able to look back on those memories the same.  Stuff like this is what I consider true horror.

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Roundtable Review: Pale Communion by Opeth


Opeth_Pale_Communion_album_artworkAlbum: Pale Communion

Label: Roadrunner Records

Release Date: August 26th, 2014

Songs: 8 +2 Bonus Tracks with digipack

Length: 55:48 (w/o bonus tracks)

Genre: Prog Rock

Studio Albums: This is their 11th LP

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

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Roundtable Review: Adaptation by Noctooa


a0233950795_10Label: Pesanta Urfolk

Release Date: 15 May 2014

Songs: 10

Length: 51 minutes

Genre: Dark Neoclassical Folk

Studio Albums: This is their debut album

Location: USA Read the rest of this entry