Album Review: Dreams in Fragments – “Reflections of a Nightmare”

Dreams In Fragments - Reflections of a Nightmare

After making a hard left on symphonic and gothic metal around 2014 and going straight off the deep end, I figured the genre was as good as dead. Given the saturation of it, I became jaded and decided to stick to bands that I knew and loved. Over the years, I have seen bands come and go in this genre and while some have done things differently by changing their sound, others have been using the same tropes. When I heard of Dreams In Fragments and their latest album Reflections of a Nightmare, I was hoping for new things – a change in the beauty/beast vocal trope, new tones embedded in the music, and maybe a new approach to the genre. Every year, I am disappointed with new bands and unfortunately, this one is no exception to the rule. Continue reading

Within Temptation live at the House of Blues, 3.3.2019

WithinTemptation.3.3.19.103

Band: Within Temptation

Photographer: Corey Butterworth

Location: House of Blues, Boston, MA

Date: March 3, 2019

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Album Review: MaterDea – “Pyaneta”

MaterDea - Pyaneta

Over the years, symphonic metal has remained stagnant, allowing bands that have remained in the game to continue releasing albums while new, fledgling bands have to stand out by incorporating new elements in the tried-and-true method of operatic vocals and death growls. In short, it’s a battleground where bands have to prove they have staying power. Now, that doesn’t mean that bands have to add new things in order to stand out – sometimes, having the same formula in your albums is better than throwing different elements at the wall to see what sticks. In the case of MaterDea, their fifth release Pyaneta does a little bit of both, eventually changing into something more cohesive and consistent. Continue reading

Album Review: Dreamfire – “Atlantean Symphony”

Dreamfire - Atlantean Symphony

Originally released in 2012, Atlantean Symphony is now being reissued under Minotauro Records. Complete with remastered music and two bonus tracks, Dreamfire brings their brand of neoclassical ambience with gorgeous soundscapes, chanting vocals, and an atmosphere that inspires both fascination and awe. Interestingly enough, Atlantean Symphony is not a metal record, and Dreamfire is not a metal band. Rather, Dreamfire is the one-man project of Osirion, who did the entire album on his own, and what you get is an expanse of music that is easy to get lost in. The album has no lyrics, so all you can do is listen and be captivated by the ambiance, the instruments, and the mood the album sets. Continue reading

Column: The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell – Symphonic Metal

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

Last month, I discussed the three albums that led me on the way to become a metalhead after I decided to find the heaviest matter of the universe. Those three albums became the springboard that would eventually lead me to the kind of music I would enjoy now as an adult. Because my subgenre of choice was symphonic metal for a good portion of my teenage years, it became a springboard of sorts into other genres that I would end up enjoying as well. However, before we get there, I decided to backtrack into this subgenre that I have revisited with caution since I stopped being involved in its fandom in 2014. Continue reading