Stepping Stone: Dio’s Dream Evil

If the purpose of Stepping Stone is to shine a spotlight on the bands and artists which started us on our way to metal, then Ronnie James Dio is one of the biggest stones in our path. Whether just by listening to his music at an early age or being influenced by his vocal style, the number of artists who have owe a debt to Dio is immeasurable. He is one of the largest names in a scene obsessed with the cult of personality, with plenty of drama and lore to back that figure (Ozzy vs. Dio, the “horns” and more). But I’d like to focus on a different story for this Stepping Stone, on mine rather than on the grandiose depiction of grand narratives within our scene and community. I’d like to take you back to the days when I was jut discovering metal and the power it had and what that power meant for the teenage version of Eden.

Half-Life: Trivium

Trivium are a band in a unique position. They exploded onto the scene very early on, accruing a lot of fans and haters simultaneously. After putting out an album that helped define a generation, they stepped back from the spotlight a bit, but their most interesting material actually came out…

Hey! Listen To Lechery!

Swedish act Lechery was born when Martin Bengtsson left Arch Enemy to pursue his own musical vision. The band, who play a very traditional and familiar style of classic, epic heavy metal, released their debut album Violator in 2008, and it was well received, but the band subsequently fell on hard times, with a series of unfortunates accidents and setbacks keeping them from capitalizing on the album release as well as they should have. Luckily, they managed to find their footing again, and now in 2018 they’ve released their third, and likely best, album, We Are All Born Evil.

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).

The Will to Power – Coming to Terms With the Allure and Problematic Themes of Heavy Metal

Metal is inherently problematic. That’s a fact that anybody listening to metal should accept and come to terms with. It doesn’t mean that metal shouldn’t listened to, written about or loved; most things on the scale of globe-spanning musical genres are problematic. Metal’s inherent complex nature stems from the very reasons why metal is appealing and that’s what makes it so intrinsic to the style. Since metal appeals to places within us which society would rather not deal with, like war, violence, personal power, the mystical aspects of nature, and darker themes, those who work within the genre are prone to excess. In the process of writing about these themes and of immersing oneself within them, many artists lose the distinction between that which is to be faced and understood and that which should be aspired to or desired.

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.

106 – Colors Me Surprised

End of the year, so there’s not a lot of news! Shokran covering Linkin Park, Arkona teasing a new album, a new Portal track, Gene Simmons getting banned from Fox News. Decibel’s weird top 40 of the year. Then we discuss why I didn’t enjoy the new Xanthochroid releases and what merit they may have regardless. We introduce a new segment: “Game Changer”, then we discuss Between the Buried and Me’s Colors and how it, well, changed the game. Finally Eden plugs his love letter to Iron Maiden’s Powerslave. Cool people time, including the Korean Netflix show Stranger, then five movies Eden saw at a sci-fi festival, and the superhero simulator Megaton Rainfall. Enjoy!