CONCERT REVIEW: Swallow The Sun – Abigail Williams – Wilderun – Live at The Sanctuary


It was a cold, rainy evening last Sunday in Motor City, but that didn’t damper the spirits of those attending the metal show happening at The Sanctuary. Residing in the humble hamlet of Hamtramck, next to Detroit, this music venue is the pulse of the heavy scene for the whole city. Many gathered in the quaint sized concert hall because the Doom Metal masters, Swallow the Sun were in town. This legendary act of doom ‘n gloom is on the road promoting their new album Moonflowers (Century Media Records). Plus, they brought along Abigail Williams and Wilderun as their supporting acts, making it a night filled with decadent heaviness.

Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Swallow the Sun – Moonflowers


Swallow the Sun is one of those bands that has created a notable amount of music over the years while remaining true to their own unique sound. They have managed to consistently innovate their thoughtful voice while maintaining their originality. For over twenty years, this Finnish act has been a wheel and stern to the Doom Metal genre. They have steered their ship into the darker depths of this vast category and beyond. It has only been two years since we were given their last album, When a Shadow is Forced into the Light (Century Media Records), yet the founder and writer for the band, Juha Raivio still has a lot to say. The group’s eighth full-length record, Moonflowers (Century Media Records) is coming out to expose their deeper levels of heartache and affliction. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Cradle Of Filth – Existence Is Futile


The world is in disarray. Leaders are untrustworthy, people are divided over almost every issue and every day brings new adversity and disappointment. At a time when distrust outweighs optimism there is surely no better opportunity for music to provide a much-needed escape from all the despondency and pessimism. So what do you do if you happen to be UK symphonic Goth metal act Cradle of Filth? That’s right. You release an album called Existence is Futile (Nuclear Blast Records). That’ll cheer everyone right up.

Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Moonspell – Hermitage


Every album that Moonspell releases explores a different facet of their Gothic Metal style, sometimes responding to the one before it in a constant tug-o-war between darkness and light. Their thirteenth album, Hermitage (Napalm Records), is no exception. In contrast to the grandiose symphonics of 2018’s 1755, the band opts for a scaled-back, atmospheric approach with more Prog influence thrown in than usual. It seems to invoke the band’s early vibe without going full throwback and also reminds me of Tiamat or Opeth in spots.

Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Sirenia – Riddles, Ruins & Revelations


 

Returning with their tenth full-length album, Norwegian symphonic Gothic act Sirenia continues both the good work and the alliteration of their last couple of studio outings with their latest release Riddles, Ruins & Revelations (Napalm Records). Operatic vocals, a robust rhythm section, pounding riffs and flighty keyboards dominate proceedings, punctuated by some expert lead guitar work and differing vocal styles. Adorned with thunderous breakdowns or quieter, slower sections each cut remains interesting rather than outstaying its welcome.

Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Bloody Hammers – Songs of Unspeakable Terror


Bloody Hammers are the Hard Rock husband and wife duo Anders Manga (Vocals, Guitar, Bass) and Devallia (Keyboards/Organ). Hailing from Transylvania County, NC, the Gothic-Metal rockers released Songs of Unspeakable Terror (Napalm Records). Of the Horror-Punk record, Manga says, “When the pandemic hit and I realized I’d be stuck at home for a while, I started thinking I needed to dig into a music project. I was oddly inspired by the unknown, and fear that this plague was gonna wipe us all out. I needed a creative escape.”

Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Oceans Of Slumber – Oceans Of Slumber


Oceans Of Slumber is still exercising their now-signature Progressive/Gothic Metal style but their fourth album comes with a noticeably different attitude. The music is still eclectic and dynamic though the structural shifts aren’t as abrupt as before. The themes and delivery are still driven by heavy emotions but feel more grounded than the overbearing urgency that came with 2018’s The Banished Heart. This is a decidedly more mature execution, which goes along well with the decision to release this album as a self-titled affair.Continue reading


CLASSIC ALBUMS REVISITED: Nevermore’s This Godless Endeavor Turns 15


While Nevermore never quite broke into the mainstream, they always seemed to be just under the radar ready to make an impression. The band’s signature combination of proggy rhythms, gothic vocals, groovy chugs, extreme drums, and shredding solos seemed to have something for everyone in the Metal sphere, but their eccentric execution also meant they never found belonging in any single demographic. That all seemed like it was poised to change with their sixth album, 2005’s This Godless Endeavor (Century Media Records), which saw them gain greater exposure compared to their earlier efforts and more unanimous acclaim.

Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Paradise Lost – Obsidian


Many consider the British band, Paradise Lost to be the fathers of the Gothic Metal genre. Formed in 1988, four out of the five members have been there since the beginning. This tight-knit group of guys is a prime example of a hard-working band who knows how to stay creative and original. The exploration and determination of this act has led them down some unique roads over the years. After experimenting on albums like One Second (Music for Nations) and Believe In Nothing (EMI), Paradise Lost got back to their roots in 2015. They embraced their Death Metal background with the release of The Plague Within (Century Media Records) and 2017’s Medusa (Nuclear Blast). Now with the release of their sixteenth record, Obsidian (Nuclear Blast), their heaviness is being fleshed out with even more distinct devastation. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Dawn of Solace – Waves


The ingenuity, inventiveness, and inclination of Finnish artist Tuomas Saukkonen appears to have no limits. He is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer who has been making music magic for a considerable amount of years. One of his many successful ventures is a solo project called Dawn of Solace. Tuomas released his first record, Darkness (Dead Air Records) in 2006 and the betwiching gloom he captured on that release was different from all his other works. Now it’s time to get another taste of this project’s gothic goodness on the new album, Waves (Noble Demon). Continue reading