album review

Album Review: Emerson Hart - Beauty In Disrepair

If you're of a certain age, you know Emerson Hart's voice, even if you can't recall the name. As the lead singer of Tonic, he was front and center on a string of hit rock songs, including the most played single on all of radio in 1997. Anyone who turned on a radio back then knows “If You Could Only See”, and ever since he has continued writing great songs, even if the radio landscape has made it hard for an artist like him to get airplay. The pop world is fickle, and as the trends have changed, there isn't much room left for an honest songwriter.

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: Lost Society - "Terror Hungry"

Lost Society is one of those bands who comes along every handful of years and makes you sit up in your chair and say ‘let’s see what happens here.’ The band’s talent and clear understanding of thrash as we know it was so evident on their debut “Fast Loud Death” that they were practically on the verge of being anointed the Next Big Thing. So with mounting anticipation, the world awaits the forthcoming storm of the Finns’ second effort, “Terror Hungry.”

Album Review: Vangough - Between The Madness

The world of progressive metal is pretty insular, so when a band makes a splash, it's hard not to hear about it. Vangough was able to do that with their first two albums, the acclaimed “Manikin Parade” and “Kingdom Of Ruin”, albums I must say I never got around to checking out as fully as I should have. I heard the praise coming from all corners, but for whatever reason, I never managed to hear more than a song or two at a time. Album number three is now upon us, once again attracting a flurry of critical adulation, and this time I'm not going to let the band pass me by again.

Album Review: Sonata Arctica - Pariah's Child

When last we saw Sonata Arctica, the veteran band was in the midst of rebuilding their legacy, after a detour that alienated a large portion of their fan base. That record was a step in the right direction, but not one that was up to the standard that everyone has set for the band. For every great song they wrote, there was a ridiculous attempt at pop stardom, or a banjo-infused number that made little sense. By this point, Sonata Arctica has spent almost as much time rebuilding their credibility as they did establishing it in the first place.

Album Review: Shear - "Katharsis"

Two years ago Shear introduced the world to their debut full-length, “Breaking the Stillness,” which showcased the Finnish band as a band worth watching into the future. Two years later, the band releases “Katharis” to the world, the anticipated follow up that will put more cement in the band’s foundation and establish what trail they are attempting to blaze.

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: Earth Crisis - "Salvation of Innocents"

Growing up in Upstate New York and coming of age principally in the late ‘90s, Earth Crisis was a big f’n deal in my high school. Emerging from Syracuse, the hardcore pioneers dominated the regional scene, headlining shows all over the Mid-Atlantic and New England, eventually signing a major label record deal and having a real chance at bringing their brand of vegan hardcore to the masses.

Album Review: ASIA - Gravitas

It brings a smile to my face every time a veteran band puts a new album out, and is genuinely excited to do so. Far too often, the old guard is happy to churn out the hits on an endless loop, putting out albums only when it's required as proof of life, and never with the kind of gusto and energy they showed at the beginning of their career. It's an easy trap to fall into, one that holds a lot of appeal when the later albums you make will have no influence on either your legacy or wallet.

Album Review: Gus G. - "I Am The Fire"

Those expecting another Firewind record from Gus G will find themselves surprised by “I am the Fire.” The titular musician has said at length that for this, his first solo record, he wanted to defy expectation and shirk convention. While another guitar virtuoso, Jake E. Lee, released an album recently trying to prove he was still in the mold, Gus G is trying to break out of it. “I am the Fire” is Gus G’s personal release: his chance to write songs that feel good to him, regardless of how much discretion they do or do not require.

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