Album Review: Poema Arcanvs — “Stardust Solitude”

Poema Arcanvs - Stardust Solitude

When I think of Chilean metal bands, I think of the heavily influenced and highly political thrash bands that cry about government corruption that was heavily exacerbated by Pinochet’s regime, rail about the current Chilean government, and comment on the current state of things. For a country filled with such a bloody history, it would make sense that their music would be energetic and angry, even when raising funds for earthquake relief. However, if you decide to look under the surface, that strife and anger can also translate well into a deep melancholy that permeates well into corta venas territory. Stardust Solitude, the sixth album by Poema Arcanvs (“Arcane Poem”) is an album whose sheer weight will sink you straight into an abyss of funeral dirges and riffs. Continue reading

Album Review: Black Crown Initiate — “Violent Portraits of Doomed Escape”

Black Crown Initiate - Violent Portraits of Doomed Escape

Black Crown Initiate made a splash with Song of the Crippled Bull, an EP that crawled deep into my skin and never left. On Selves We Cannot Forgive, they had struck gold with the balance of death metal and progressive tendencies that many would compare to the sound Gojira explored on Magma, albeit with a more melodic dissonance that made the album a delight to listen to. With this in tow, Black Crown Initiate managed to avoid the second album pitfall and now had a new direction to explore: whether their progressive tendencies could bloom into full technical mastery with an experimental edge. With the release of Violent Portraits of Doomed Escape, Black Crown Initiate has succeeded in this regard, creating an album that shows adept mastery into their craft while also revealing just how deeply emotional they can be. Continue reading

The Path to Paradise Begins in Hell – Neoclassical Metal

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

It’s been a while since I wrote something for the column, but I have been doing a lot of work and studying behind the scenes, which explains why there hasn’t been a lot of music writing lately. However, now that I have some time before grad school restarts, I can start talking about music again.

Blessed be thy gods.

For this episode of the column, I wanted to talk about a genre that combines both my love for classical (read: orchestral) music and metal, as I spend a lot of time listening to both genres. While symphonic metal tends to focus more on the vocal and operatic aspects of what we consider classical music to be, we tend to talk about instruments and instrumentation in accordance to their sound in a specific genre or in how they add texture to a song.

It’s time we talked about Neoclassical Metal.   Continue reading

Album Review: Al-Namrood — “Wala’at”

al-namrood - wala'at

Summer is here, and as someone who listens to black metal during her summer breaks it should come as no surprise that Al-Namrood has come swinging into the forefront of my listening queue. Although most of my forays into black metal have been of the atmospheric quality, Wala’at is something special, as it has stayed with me since I first hit play. Something about its dark influences and quality strike a heavy chord with me. Continue reading

Album Review: Ad Infinitum — “Chapter I: Monarchy”

Ad Infinitum

At this point, everyone knows how I feel about symphonic metal, and I have discussed at length about how the genre has been severely over-saturated over the years. However, this genre just keeps pulling me back, a siren’s call to those who hold out some hope regarding something new that is not coming from the pioneers and the well-known bands of the genre. As such, when I see a new band with the symphonic metal label, I immediately stand up and take notice of what they could potentially do. After all, finding a diamond within the grime and the white noise in a genre is the one thing that makes this old cynic want to give symphonic metal another chance. Ad Infinitum is that chance, as their debut Chapter I: Monarchy, checks all the boxes that makes good symphonic metal great. Continue reading