Weeping Skulls – Weeping Skulls

Don’t ever try and argue with someone that grindcore is music. It really isn’t. The genre is forever teetering on being one tin can snare from sounding like a washing machine full of cutlery. The “anti-music” logo exists for a reason, after all. Tonality, melody, harmony… all thrown aside for…

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Best Of – Power Ballads

Power ballads are in and of their nature sentimental sap-a-thons. They also happen to be one of the staples of metal and hard rock that kept its faint heartbeat alive at a time when the form had gone out of style with the mass public, if it had ever well and truly been “in.” These songs also served as gateways into metal for many a budding metalhead along with the more accessible songs that weren’t quite pop but had those sensibilities of melody and catchiness. This list is by no means definitive but it’s ours spanning a few decades and variants worth of feels. A number of contributors have added their favorites but please do share yours with us in the comments!

Opeth: Not the First Musical Act to Piss Off Their Fans

The wait is over. The release date for Opeth’s latest, Sorceress, is almost upon us; and with it, the latest round in the controversy that has dogged them for three albums now. “What happened to the death growls?” “Why aren’t these guys heavy anymore?” “Opeth sucks now.” These are not opinions that I personally share, as I’m huge fan of Pale Communion. That said, Heritage is certainly not their best record, or even one of their top 5. In fact, it may even be their weakest. No shame there, given the ridiculous quality of their complete discography. Time will tell how successful and well-regarded Sorceress is, though early indications are that your opinion on Sorceress will likely mirror your opinion on Pale Communion. The two tracks released in advance, the title track and “Will O’ The Wisp” certainly strongly suggest this.

But they aren’t the first band to release a record that has the fans howling with rage.

Kvelertak – Nattesferd

Norway’s Kvelertak experienced an explosive arrival to the metal scene in 2010 with the release of their universally acclaimed self-titled debut. Buzz spread almost overnight as their would-be niche black n’ roll experience found worldwide audiences and the attention of major label Roadrunner Records. The unabashedly catchy blend of black metal, hardcore punk, and cheesy classic rock riffs was a new experience to such a wide audience, and Kvelertak was quick to become a landmark album not just because of its novelty, but because of its genuinely exciting songs. So where are we now, six years and two albums later?

Heavy Rewind – Edguy’s Mandrake

I’ve been on a power metal kick lately. Oh, you’ve noticed have you? What with writing about Blind Guardian recently (and Iron Maiden, the power metal precursors), I’ve been dusting off old CD’s. These pieces of plastic were the adornments of my teenage years, confused and lost in the same generic haze that envelops most people at that age. It was a good time, I must say. I had just discovered so many great bands: Dream Theater, Pantera, Metallica, Opeth, Children of Bodom. And Edguy. I was at the perfect age for their antics, particularly those of their earlier albums, then fresh off the press. Before they had turned up their personas to eleven, before they had signed to Nuclear Blast and released their massive Hellfire Club, Edguy was a brave band, doing many different things within their power metal classification. Mandrake is the perfect example of that, featuring a dark perspective on what power metal should be doing along with plenty of 80’s pop influences. From the first track, I was hooked, my Blind Guardian saturated ears opening up completely to this new-yet-familiar sound.

Destrage Enter The Realm Of Purania

If the zombie ridden world of ‘My Green Neighbour’ didn’t tip you off, then you should probably be made aware that Destrage are completely bonkers. Their music is a non-stop jittering rollercoaster of swaggering riffs with huge choruses and frantic fretboard abuse complimented by equally frantic vocals, culminating in a…