Witherfall – A Prelude to Sorrow

Even before Warrel Dane’s death, it seemed highly unlikely that we’d ever see a Nevermore reunion. Now, following the iconic singer’s sudden passing, it would appear to be completely off the table. The silver lining to this tragic turn of events is that they leave the door open for a…

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The Anatomy Of – Etherius

To be honest, this list makes me feel happy because it mentions Iced Earth’s Something Wicked This Way Comes. Early Iced Earth is criminally underrated in the contemporary progressive/power/heavy metal community; while their later works leave a lot to be desired, their early albums are downright incredible. Add more common, but still excellent choices like Dream Theater and Metallica to this list and you’ve got yourself one sweet Anatomy!

Novareign – Legends

There’s a special place in heaven reserved for albums who don’t waste their listeners time. Skipping over intro tracks and getting right to the point, these albums want you to know exactly what they’re about, no frills or special announcements necessary. This works especially well for anything extreme, as the sheer shock of an album just exploding into over the top life can be a magnificent feeling. This is very much the case with Novareign’s Legends. These power metal enthusiasts hailing from California waste no time with their debut album, immediately diving into a mass of riffs, powerful vocals and galloping bass. The rest of the album rides on the momentum of these initial notes to create one of the best releases in the traditional metal revival that’s been going on for the past few years (and on which we posted in length not two hours ago).

White Wizzard – Infernal Overdrive

I’m in the process of writing an article on the difficulties of being a power metal/heavy metal listener, specifically dealing with its problematic themes and aesthetics. I won’t bore you with too many details (since I’d like you to read when we get around to posting it) but I thought it impossible to write this review without mentioning it. White Wizzard traffic in the kind of traditional metal revival sound that’s becoming increasingly popular, joining the ranks of Lunar Shadow, Sumerlands, Spellcaster and Visigoth, to name just a few of the bands operating in this milieu. As such, Infernal Overdrive is a treat for those in love with the sounds and sensibilities of oldschool, melodic metal; combining the genres of heavy metal and power metal, the album is a veritable rollercoaster of solos, emphatic vocal passages and rumbling bass.

Hey! Listen to Isaurian!

Metal newbies would have you think metal just started borrowing from shoegaze’s sounds a few years ago. While Deafhaven popularized the fusion in 2013, the genres have been bedfellows for quite a while. Jesu, as far back as 2004, brought the psychedelics of shoegaze together with abrasive industrial metal, a juxtaposition rarely touched upon by newer metalgaze bands who usually gravitate toward aesthetics of black metal and sludge metal. Brazil’s Isaurian brings a new vibe to industrial shoegaze metal (that’s a mouthful). Where Jesu went ugly and violent, Isaurian dials it back to a gothic melodicism.

Iced Earth – Incorruptible

Note: I am one of the biggest Iced Earth fans out there. I’ve loved the band since I was 16 and will always continue to follow them. They hold a special place in my musical upbringing. This review hurt to write, but you have to be fair to the things you…

Unleash The Archers – Apex

Crafting a great power metal album is a difficult thing. The genre is so steeped in thrills and adrenaline, it can be easy to create something too over-the-top and annoying. Writing the catchiest chorus, playing the fastest solo, and singing the highest notes aren’t going to mean anything if the music doesn’t have depth and meaning. Great power metal albums like Nightfall in Middle Earth, Land of the Free, The Metal Opera, and, more recently, Noble Beast employ subtly when necessary. They have memorable choruses and great riffs but also moments of real emotion. While less serious bands like Primal Fear, Dragonforce, and Sabaton have their proper place and legitimate enjoyment factor, they will never be remembered in the same way.