Wizard's blog

Album Review: Arkona - "Yav"

Ok, I'll admit it. Everything I know about Russia I learned from watching "Rocky IV" and that's not very much. That being the case, I knew I was in for a challenge with the latest album from Arkona titled "Yav". To be honest, upon receiving "Yav" in my inbox and reading the description, I became a little nervous when I saw that Arkona is a "Pagan Folk Metal" band. Here's the kicker, though; it turns out I'm a fan of Russian pagan folk metal.

Album Review: Saliva - "Rise Up"

Throughout the history of rock and metal, there have been a number of groups who have replaced their lead singer for various reasons. It's no easy task. A band can replace a drummer with very little fanfare. They can replace a bassist and even a guitarist and generally continue on without fans blinking an eye. But replacing your front man, your lead singer, that's a tricky one. It has certainly been done before with varying degrees of success; Alice In Chains, Exodus and Anthrax did it. AC/DC and Van Halen have done it and continued or built upon previous successes. So has Iron Maiden.

Album Review: Prong - "Ruining Lives"

Heads up, fans of early 90's metal. Prong is back with a new album. But before we get to just how awesome the new album is (sorry for the spoiler), I have my very own, albeit unexciting to anyone but me, Prong story.

Album Review: Gamma Ray - "Empire of the Undead"

How's this for a heavy metal story - a band works on an album at their own studio for the better part of a year and, just as they near completion, the studio burns and destroys most of the contents. One of the few surviving items are the master tapes of the album. This is what happened to Gamma Ray and the tapes that made it through the fire became their latest offering, "Empire of the Undead". It makes sense, though. Everyone knows metal cannot be destroyed by fire.

Album Review: Scream Arena - "Scream Arena"

Have you ever had to put yourself out in front of other people to be judged? I think just about everybody has. Whether it was an oral report in school or a project at work, it's never easy to stand up and let people critique something you've worked hard on. It's even more difficult for an artist. Good art comes from the soul. You spend a lot of time working, practicing, honing your skills but, eventually, if you want to take your craft to the next level, you've got to put it out there and let it be judged by the masses. People you don't even know are evaluating your soul.

Album Review: Pilgrim - "II:Void Worship"

Take a look around. Everything seems to be moving so quickly. Today's world is a fast paced, go-go, what's next, sort of place. We should all strive to take a few moments to slow things down a bit. Fortunately, we now have a soundtrack to help us achieve that very thing and it comes in the form of the new album by the Rhode Island based doom metal trio known as Pilgrim, "II: Void Worship".

"II: Void Worship" is a sequel to their first album, "Misery Wizard" which I was unfamiliar with prior to hearing this new album. So, this was my introduction to Pilgrim.

Album Review: Bigelf - "Into The Maelstrom"

Alright, class. The subject we'll be discussing this week is a genre commonly referred to as "progressive metal". When I hear the word "progressive" I think of acts like Rush and King Crimson. Technically, Fates Warning and Queensryche are also classified as progressive along with one of the most successful progressive metal acts, Dream Theater. Add to that list the album I'm reviewing today, "Into the Maelstrom" by Bigelf.

Album Review: Nocturnal Breed - "Napalm Nights"

Have you ever found an album that changed your life or, at least, changed the way you listen to music? An album so good that, when it ends, you just can't wait to play it again from the beginning? So have I. Unfortunately, "Napalm Nights" by Nocturnal Breed is not that album.

Album Review: Calabrese - "Born With A Scorpion's Touch"

My review for this week is a couple of days late but I've got a good reason. No, the dog did not eat my homework. I don't even have a dog. I have cats. I used to have a dog but that doesn't matter much now. The reason I'm late is because I changed my mind.

Album Review: Andi Deris - "Million Dollar Haircuts On Ten Cent Heads"

What makes a great album? There is no one thing that makes an album "great". Is it the quality of the music? The talent of the musicians? Sometimes, but some of my favorite albums were made by bands who were not what you would call "great musicians". The Misfits or The Ramones come to mind. Is it lyrical content? Again, sometimes but not necessarily. A song need not contain flowery prose or well executed poetry to make it great. So, what is it then? Art appreciation (and music, even metal, is certainly an art form) is subjective, to say the least.

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This week we discuss alchemy, camera technology, a first time guest host joins the show, and we review "As Above, So Below".  

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