November 2018 Power Metal Album of the Month: Dire Peril – “The Extraterrestrial Compendium”

PMAOTM november 2018 dire peril - the extraterrestrial compendium

Taking over the reins of this column has been an experience.  As I dove deeper into the ever-evolving mass that is power metal and its many offshoots, I’ve begun to tap back into those things that made me fall in love with metal when I was a kid.  The deeper narratives and mythologies, the technical prowess, all in favor to the all-mighty chorus – these were the things that shielded a troubled awkward kid growing up afraid and uncertain.  And as my life as a 45-year old man takes another sharp turn to the afraid and uncertain I’ve been leaning hard into those things that provided comfort before.  Since getting the promo for The Extraterrestrial Compendium, the debut full length from power metal super-duo Dire Peril, I’ve been struck with just how effective the album is at balancing grace and power, despite the pedigree behind.  For that and so much more it was a no-brainer it would be the November Power Metal Album of the Month.    Continue reading

Album Review: Master – “Vindictive Miscreant”

Master - Vindictive Miscreant

It’s all right there, before a single note is played.  It’s there in that extra syllable Paul Speckman injects at the end as he bellows “You’re nothing but a vindictive miscreant!” It’s a burst of disgust, dripping with vitriol tagged onto “miscreant,” a venomous punctuation before the guitars burst in.

It’s all right there, but what is it?  It’s Master, doing what they’ve been doing for 30 odd years, and not losing a step with new album (in case you couldn’t guess) Vindictive MiscreantContinue reading

Album Review: Realm of Wolves – “Oblivion”

Realm of Wolves - Oblivion

Every so often an album comes along seemingly out of nowhere so that its mark is made even more indelible because of its previous anonymity to a particular listener. For me, Oblivion is one of those albums.  I would encourage anyone reading this review to stop, go listen to the embed below, and then return for the remaining synopsis.  Okay, now that you’ve heard what I’m talking about, lets continue with the review.  Realm of Wolves are a Hungarian band that formed this year.  Even though that’s what the bio indicates and based on what I’m hearing, they must have been doing their black metal woodshedding for some time now. Earlier this year they released an EP, Shores of Nothingness, and now follow it with this debut full length. Continue reading

Concert Review: Amorphis, Dark Tranquillity, Moonspell and Omnium Gatherum, 9.24.2018

whisky a go go

When it comes to concerts, I try to go to at least one a year. After all, in between school and other events, it becomes rather difficult to catch them sometimes. However, when I heard that Amorphis was coming into town with three other bands I was curious about but never really dealt with before, I knew I had to see them. Thus, I decided to do the only thing I was able to do: prepare myself for a night filled with music by listening to the four band’s latest albums in order to know what to expect.

Of the four, I am most familiar with Amorphis – I had seen them once before as support for Nightwish in early 2012 – so I was expecting a good time from these guys. Seeing the others was a bonus. Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Clearing Out the Promo Pile, 2018 Edition

9C ov...Promo Pile

Every leaf that falls from a tree, signaling the beginning of winter and the end of the year feels like it lands as yet another promo I haven’t had a chance to get to yet.  The end of November also marks the time I start flushing out my various end of year lists, creating playlists of contenders and engaging in the massive purge of albums from my computer, releasing albums I’ll never come back to and freeing up precious space on the old hard drive.

But those lost, deserted promos call out to me, begging for another chance to be consumed, to be measured and contemplated.  So think of this edition of Nine Circles ov… as part of the process (or just a cheap sequel to my last post), digging in the dirt for those glints of promise that  – even this late in the year – can change a mind. Continue reading