Album Review: Uhtcearu – “Madness & Creation”

Uhtcearu - Madness & Creation

It’s a thing of true joy when bands do unexpected things or further explore smaller nuances of albums past and actually stick the landing. And while Uhtcearu’s direction on third full length, Madness & Creation, is more subtle than Lord Dying’s recent about face, it is a bit of a different look. This time out melodic black metal takes a backseat to the band’s progressive side as well as a more straightforward black metal approach and as a result we’ve got ourselves a different, more well rounded, and stronger version of Uhtcearu. Continue reading

Profile: Christian Ayala of Progressive Metallers Avandra

Avandra

The story of Avandra and how their sophomore effort, Descender, came to be on Blood Music is one filled with strife and a fairy tale turn of events. The album was written in the wake of Puerto Rico’s devastation caused by Hurricane Maria and due to the huge response from their debut, one fan wrote to Blood Music and the rest, as they say, is history. Or at least, how they ended up where they are now. Avandra’s music is progressive in nature, epic in scope and sound, and overall a pleasure to listen to with just enough bite to cut through the otherwise majestic atmosphere. Just ahead of the album’s release we had the chance to pose our Profile questions to mastermind Christian Ayala Cruz, who also takes care of vocals, guitars, and synths, so head below to see how it went down. Continue reading

Second Circle: Ghost Ship Octavius and Mortanius

second circle - ghost ship octavius and mortanius

In Dante’s Inferno, the second circle begins the proper punishment of Hell, a place where “no thing gleams.” It is reserved for those overcome with Lust, where carnal appetites hold sway over reason. In Nine Circles, it’s where we do shorter reviews of new (ish) albums that share a common theme.

We’re still early in the music season, and it’s been a hot minute since we talked about power metal here on the site, despite my promises to the contrary.  Happily, not only has February started to bring a few promos to the inbox, but it also brought a theme, with two bands whose names end in “-ius” which is enough for me to get off my ass and do a Second Circle.  So without further ado let’s dive into Ghost Ship Octavius and Mortanius. Continue reading

Album Review: Astronoid – “Astronoid”

astronoid self titled

On the Scriptnotes podcast, professional screenwriters John August and Craig Mazin dispense advice to young and aspiring writers, and a recurring thread is the idea that building a career of screenwriting isn’t about writing one perfect script, but about being able to repeat that process on an ongoing basis. While not diminishing the merits of a single particularly good work of art, longevity requires more than that. That is the question that is asked of Astronoid’s self-titled sophomore album.   Continue reading