Album Review: Life of Agony – “A Place Where There’s No Pain”

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Walk through the list of trials, tribulations, and transformations — physical and emotional — Life of Agony underwent in order to reach a point where we now have A Place Where There’s No Pain, their first album in 12 years.  Watch and read the interviews.  Then go back and listen to an album molded in the most classic of hard rock shells, where voice, guitar, bass and drums meet to craft a journey through dark and messy corners, guilt and shame and rage that reaches a level of catharsis over the course of its ten tracks.  It’s also a monster of a record refreshingly unapologetic in its approach to what Life of Agony is in 2017. Continue reading

Album Review: Artificial Brain – “Infrared Horizon”

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If we’re gonna talk about Artificial Brain and their new behemoth of an album Infrared Horizon, we need to talk about space.  And I don’t mean space as in the overall concept of the record, or indeed of the band’s thematic palette.  I’m talking about the space in between notes, the dynamic release of tension that is essential in order to break apart the monotony that a record this dense can easily fall prey to.

In other words, let me tell you how Artificial Brain learned every lesson they needed to learn in order to craft one of the best death metal albums of the year.   Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Vintersorg

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Andreas Hedlund, aka Vintersorg, aka Mr. V (if you believe his Wikipedia page) was a prime component of my re-entry into extreme metal.  After falling in with Opeth’s Morningrise I wasn’t sure where to head next, so I went to the record store and maxed out my credit card randomly picking up a bunch of CDs I thought looked cool.  The first one I listened to was Empiricism by Borknagar, and while my response to the music was lukewarm (more an issue with the production than the actual songwriting) the vocals hooked me immediately.  As fate would have it one of the other CDs I picked up was Vintersorg’s Cosmic Genesis, and listening to that I began to get the sense of just how much versatility and talent this guy had.

So much versatility and talent it’s taken at least seven different bands to contain him so for this week’s Nine Circles ov… let’s dive into some of the music created by, driven buy, or enhanced by the man some (I don’t know who) know as Mr. V.   Continue reading

Album Review: Cryonic Temple – “Into the Glorious Battle”

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“To arms, my brothers!  For today we march Into the Glorious Battle with the Cryonic Temple!  Or we march to the Cryonic Temple so that we may go Into the Glorious Battle!  Look: we’re either engaging in a Glorious Battle at the Cryonic Temple or with the Cryonic Temple or against the Cryonic Temple…to be honest I was a little unclear when the orders came through, what with all the keyboards and major arpeggios they’re playing through the loudspeakers.”

“Anyway, to arms!” Continue reading