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

Best of 2017: Hera’s List – Woes of Research

9C 2017 EOY Header Image

We’re stoked to feature Hera Vidal, purveyor of all things heavy and writer/deep metal researcher for sites like Broken Amp and Metal Bandcamp here as a featured guest presenting her Top Albums of 2017.  Hopefully we’ll see her pop up here again in 2018.  Until then, take it away, Hera! 

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2017 was a fantastic year for metal. However, this means that I now have another pile of albums to look into that I probably missed. The struggle to keep up with releases is real, you guys.

Anyway, it’s list season!

Now, there is some criteria for me to decide my top albums of the year, and they usually revolve around one key factor: I have not written about them, whether they are planned drafts or have been published elsewhere. That means albums like E, Berdreyminn, and Codex Omega – which I enjoyed – and a bunch of black metal albums are not going to be on this list.

With that in mind, here is a list of 10 albums I enjoyed in 2017. If you think I missed one, please let me know via Twitter and/or any way you can get ahold of me.   Continue reading

Best of 2017: Zorn of Zornheym

Zorn (guitars), Zornheym
Zorn

Sweden’s extreme metallers Zornheym released their debut full length, Where Hatred Dwells and Darkness Reigns, back in September on Non Serviam Records. Epic and grandiose are just a couple of words that describe the nine tracks found on this symphonic metal album, it’s heavy and extreme in precisely the right places but the atmosphere is the real star here and the super crisp production helps drive the point home. Zorn (lead guitarist) sent us his picks from 2017, head inside to see what he chose.  Continue reading