July 2018 Power Metal Album of the Month: Michael Romeo – “War of the Worlds, Pt. 1”

PMAOTM Michael Romeo - War of the Worlds, pt. 1

Greetings and salutations, fellow champions of the rock.  July has been an absolutely insane month for new extreme music, so much so that I am still buried under a mountain of albums I need to catch up on.  Normally I’d apologize for the Power Metal Album of the Month for July coming to you a few days late, but all things happen for a reason, and that reason was I needed to pick myself up off the floor after hearing the kinda-sorta* solo debut from Symphony X axeman/chief songwriter Michael Romeo, the unapologetically classic War of the Worlds, Pt. 1.   Continue reading

Column: The Path To Paradise Begins In Hell – Melodic Death Metal

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

In last month’s column, I discussed my love for symphonic death metal and the three albums that brought it to the forefront of my memory. One of those albums, Bu-Tik, seemed to straddle the line between symphonic metal, melodeath, and black metal, which is a good segue into what we will be getting to today.

The more I kept listening to symphonic death metal, the more I began to realize that there was something else to it. Some of the albums I would look into would also have the melodic death label, which intrigued me. As a former cellist, symphonic and melodic were used interchangeably – granted, there is a fine line of separation – so I always associated them with orchestra music or operatic metal. However, sometimes you need someone to push you in a different direction in order to try something new.

After that push, I became somewhat more educated not only in the difference between melodic and symphonic death metal, but also what melodic death metal actually was.

It’s time we talk about melodeath. Continue reading

Circle Pit: Albums We Missed Q2, 2018

purgatory

From time to time we all get together as a team and discuss some of our favorite albums we missed covering at release time and there’s been plenty of these discussions so far this year. Whether due to time slipping away from us or whatever the case may be, we miss them. Well, now that we’ve just passed the end of June, we are proud to bring you some overlooked highlights from the second quarter. So, without further delay, let’s jump right into it. Albums we missed in Q2 2018. Here. We. Go.Continue reading

Column: The Path To Paradise Begins In Hell – Symphonic Death Metal

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

On last month’s column, I discussed some of the genres to look forward to as I descended forwards and ascended backwards into my timeline as a metalhead. I also mentioned going into some deep cuts, but have decided to forgo that completely as I want to continue exploring genres and their gateway albums. With that in mind, it’s time we move forward into a hybrid genre that fully led me down a rabbit hole.

Back in my peak symphonic metal days – that would be early 2009 to late 2012 – I didn’t dabble into any other genre except when someone recommended me an album or a song to listen to. Of course, I did, but didn’t move forward with those recommendations, hoping that, once I got comfortable with my metal listening habits, I would take the time find out what I really liked and pursue that. However, Pandora would throw a wrench in my routine by slowly introducing a dose of death into the music.

It’s time we explore my foray into symphonic death metal.   Continue reading

Circle Pit, Vol. VII, June 2018: “What Album Can You Not Live Without”

nine circles circle pit

I know, you thought this would be a quarterly round up. Sorry, but you’ll need to wait a little longer for that. It’s been a minute since we did one of these with an actual topic. Well, two years to be exact. But who’s counting? Anyway, the question was posed to our group: “What’s the ONE album you absolutely, positively cannot live without?” And the rules were simple, we graciously allowed everyone to actually pick two: one metal album and one album of any other genre. Or, those that never branch out could opt to name just a metal album. Yes, that’s contradictory to the question, but our folks generally like more than just metal so sue us for breaking form. There was some great conversation about these picks but for now, we leave you with the group choices and a playlist at the bottom. Enjoy. Continue reading