The Anatomy Of – Wilderun

Sometimes, a lead single can all but guarantee you’ll love an album, which was very much the case after I heard “Far from Where Dreams Unfurl.” As I outlined in my review, Wilderun have crafted my favorite prog metal albums of the year with Veil of Imagination by a wide…

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Release Day Roundup – 1/26/18

Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure…

Ensiferum – Two Paths

In the 2000s, metal went through a strange phase. Scandinavian high octane melodeath bands found a shared passion for melody, hooks, and flashy guitar work with power metal bands as well new lyrical inspiration from folklore. Overnight, it seems metal spawned a whole scene with a new pool of clichés (well, sort of new) to exploit. Folk metal was nothing new at the time but there was a huge rebranding of it and every label was jumping on board. New bands popped up every year, some great and some boring as hell. One of these bands, Ensiferum, unfortunately introduced heavy metal’s most notorious edging expert, Jari Mäenpää, into the world. Jari left in 2004 to focus on Wintersun, but Ensiferum has continued its steady output of quality music since his departure. Their new album, Two Paths, continues their streak.

41 – Dogs Of Eden

You didn’t think that, once I discovered the secret of being lazy about these show notes, I’d go back to being not lazy, right? The structure of that sentence was abysmal. But I had a fun time trolling Eden this episode, and so did his new dog (RIP)! We talk about: Oddland, Disillusion, Alcest, ColdWorld, Native Construct, Babymetal, Devin Townsend, Departe, Brain Tentacles, Opeth, Orphaned Land, Infant Annihilator, Betraying the Martyrs, Inanimate Existence, Fountainhead, Anciients, Hannes Grossmann, Leander, Abnormality, Wintersun and Nader Sadek. Then, balls deep on Lamb of Dog! I mean, Lamb of God!

38 – We’re Not Even Trying

I actually enjoyed the “don’t really bother to put stuff in the description” format as it makes my life easier, but hey, I guess I can make an effort once a week. Just kidding, we have new music or related stuff from: Oddland, Orphaned Land, Mephistopheles, Jimmy Pitts and Equipoise, Imperium Dekadenz, Drudkh, Inquisition, Periphery, Gojira, Hadal Maw, Iron Maiden, Exotype, Ayreon. We talk about the split between Obscura and Tom Geldschlager getting heated (check out his new song by the way!), this interesting article on language in metal, Insomnium cancelling their show in Turkey, and the recent trend of sexual assaults at festivals. Then we do the long-awaited Balls Deep on In Flames, hence the episode title (it refers to the band, not us)!

Sacred Geometry – Mapping Metal’s Connection With the New Age

A month or so ago, I wrote a post titled “The Occult in Modern Day Metal”. In it, underneath countless of apologies for the simplifications I was about to present the readers, I took a brief look at how the occult has lent words, images, ideas and themes to the metal genre. Charting three main movements, I attempted to offer an initial direction for asking questions, a jumping point for something much more extensive. Perhaps where I’d left the most gaps was with the last part; the post was getting long, the hours were getting late and the subject matter was growing more complex. This should come as no surprise to those versed in the source material itself (and my writing/sleeping habits, if we’re being honest). You see, that final part dealt with the New Age and its ties to progressive metal. The thing is, however, that New Age is one of the most loosely defined, scholarly debated and impossible to understand spiritual movements to have ever existed. It’s right up there with Zen Buddhism, Sufism, Swedenborg-ism (I swear that’s a real thing, you can Google it) and other obscure, esoteric belief systems.

ETHS – Ankaa

Once upon a time, there was a band called ETHS. This band did pretty much whatever the fuck they wanted, blending nu-metal with all sorts of influences. Did that mix work? Not really. The band were, somewhat rightfully, written off as another in the wave of post nu-metal hybrids that didn’t really hold water. However, it now appears that ETHS are back and that everything has changed. Nu-metal is no longer their mainstay and in its place, something much darker has seized center stage. Now, their latest album is called Ankaa, and its a brooding, massive piece of deathcore turned every other adjective from the dark spectrum of English. It has electronic breaks, oriental singing in Arabic, French nearly-spoken word, guttural growls, screams and whatever else you bloody well desire. This makes it a veritable monolith, eschewing cohesion for a narrative all of its own.

13 – They’re Trying To Build A Podcast

Eden’s back! That’s good, because we have a lot of news to cover this week. David Bowie’s passing is obviously on our agenda, as is Stereogum’s analysis of Nielsen’s music report, Textures’s new single, Obscura’s new single, and the Behemoth/Myrkur U.S. tour. Then we go into the in depth discussions of the week, the first being my overall review of System of a Down’s career as a whole, since I discovered them last year, and the second being accents of singers who aren’t native English speakers and how that affects their music. Don’t forget the off topic section at the end as well!