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

Album Review: Torchia — “The Coven”

Torchia - The Coven

Bands don’t have to reinvent the wheel to be good at their craft. Or, at least, that’s what I tell myself when I listen to a new album and am oddly disappointed when it fails to capture my attention. While disappointment tends to be the feeling du jour when it comes to certain genres, there are still nuggets of music here and there that bring joy because some aspects of a particular genre are still thriving. This is the case with Torchia, whose newest release, The Coven, seems to stick with the powerful riffing we see in a lot of early melodeath, but they also add a little groove to their sound. Continue reading

The Path to Paradise Begins in Hell – Tech Death

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

Well, it’s been a while since I wrote one of these, but now that I have some time to sit down and write, I decided to talk about another genre near and dear to my heart that doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention (unless you are Unique Leader Records, which, in that case, they are doing the Lord’s work).

Last time I wrote something for the column, I finished talking about ten genres in metal that I was introduced to, in addition to adding ten more albums for reference. I also hinted at another genre that I love—I have too many of those—that will be discussed.

Also, the last time I wrote something, I was not under quarantine, so please remember to wash your hands.

Well, it’s time.

As many of you know, I have my favorite genres when it comes to my listening preferences, and I tend to not stray far from that path. However, since my early encounter with them, that genre is a comfort, one that I can reach out to when I need it.

Also, fair warning: I know I tend to hyperbolize a lot of things that have happened to me—because humor is the best medicine to dealing with misery—but make no mistake: they still come back to haunt me when I am feeling down.

Let’s talk about Tech Death. Continue reading