Album Review: Aeolian – “Silent Witness”

Aeolian - Silent Witness

Grad school has started, which means there’s been a lot of changes occurring behind the scenes that make me seek comfort in what I already know rather than experiencing new things. However, I couldn’t pass on music from the grandmother country, especially when there’s melodic death metal involved. Given how much I have written on the subject, the fact that I am still interested means that I am completely into finding new elements that seem to illustrate its evolution into something else. The thing about melodeath is that it’s currently evolving into something interesting and electronic. As we hear worlds collide, traditional melodeath – as defined by the popularity of Swedish melodeath, has become more focused on the country or region the band comes from. This has created a different sound that becomes dynamic and much more melodic in tone. With this in mind, we can look to Aeolian, a Spanish melodeath band whose debut album, Silent Witness, has a groovier blend of melodeath that I have not previously heard. 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

Throwback Thursday: In Flames’ “Clayman” turns 18

inflames-clayman-album

Though they’re little more than a punchline these days, it’s hard to overstate just how important In Flames were in my journey into metal fandom. As I began my crossover from nu-metal kid into “the real shit” — sometime around eighth grade — the Swedes were one of the first contemporary bands to really hook me. At their peak, they hit every note I wanted to hear: the sense of melody I’d come to appreciate from classic artists like Maiden and Priest; a heaviness that, unlike nu-metal, didn’t feel clownish; and most importantly, an almost unfairly catchy presentation of both those component parts.

And it’s thanks to that last point in particular that Clayman was the first In Flames album to hook me in. So in honor of its 18th birthday this past Tuesday, let’s take a look back at it.

Continue reading

The Nine Circles Audio Thing: Amorphis was May 2018’s Album of the Month!

We’re well into a new month, so that means we’re back with another chat about our favorite album from the old month! For this May-2018-edition of “old-month,” that album is Amorphis‘ spellbinding new set, Queen of Time. (Or, as one Chris Voss, might refer to it, Queen of Bee.)

Whatever you call it, it’s the Finnish legends’ thirteenth album to date, and we here at the blog were all pretty taken with it. (This time out, “we here at the blog” translates to: Dan, Corey, Chris, Vince, Hera and Mark. Josh S. wanted to be here, too, but Google Hangouts had other ideas and wouldn’t let him in. SO MUCH FOR NOT BEING EVIL, AMIRITE?)

Anyway, we all got together this past Sunday to discuss the album and are thrilled to be bringing that conversation to you now. Jump on in and take a listen!

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Album Review: Light This City – “Terminal Bloom”

Light This City - Terminal Bloom

When I think of melodeath – and particularly death metal – two places come to mind: Gothenburg, Sweden and Tampa, Florida. As the birthplaces of modern death metal as we know it to be, it should come as no surprise to anyone that the genre has diversified to the point where one can recognize the difference between each regional/state scene. In the case of the Bay Area band Light This City, their blend of melodeath on Terminal Bloom is infused with a heavy dose of thrash, making it sound both vibrant and hard as nails. Continue reading