ALBUM REVIEW: Evergrey – A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament)


Good story telling is key to engaging a listener. Everygrey captures the listener with both words and music with their newest album A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament) (Napalm Records). The lyrics tell a coherent story that is augmented by the composition; both what is played and in the silence in between. The album runs like a play; it has a first, second, and third act clearly delineated. There is rising action, a climax, falling action, and a denouement; a tragedy in 10 parts. Everygrey’s A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament) creates an impression of being an open love letter to Vittorio de Sica.

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ALBUM REVIEW: James LaBrie – Beautiful Shade of Grey


Having amassed a discography of over twenty albums as the lead vocalist (of which this is the fifth solely under his own name), and nearly two dozen guest appearances across a thirty year professional recording career, you could have forgiven James LaBrie for taking some overdue and well-earned time off when the 2020 Dream Theater world tour was halted. Instead, he and Eden’s Curse (whose Trinity album was adorned by his distinctive a glorious pipes) guitarist Paul Logue began trading the musical ideas that would grow into Beautiful Shade of Gray (InsideOut Music).

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ALBUM REVIEW: Cage Fight – Cage Fight


Cage Fight is the new project from James Monteith, guitar wizard for technical / prog metal outfit TesseracT, and is a very different sound from what he delivers in his day job. Initially featuring Jon Reid on bass and Nick Plews on drums, the three-piece produced a number of instrumental demos before drafting in the extraordinary talents of French vocalist Rachel Aspe, formally of the band Eths, after James had seen a Black Dahlia Murder cover that Rachel had posted online. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Misery Index – Complete Control


Death Metal can be presented in various iterations: grimy and old school; melodic, and technical; symphonic and gothic. Each offshoot augments further exploration and daring.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Moon Tooth – Phototroph


Bizarrely named Long Island quartet Moon Tooth’s new record Phototroph (Pure Noise Records) is a wonderfully eclectic one that mixes many disparate influences into one cohesive, and thoroughly absorbing, whole. From prog, rock, NWOBHM, and grunge to name but a few, Phototroph is a sprawling, unique and engaging offeringContinue reading


REVIEWS ROUND-UP: Black Metal Special – I Am The Night – Freja – The Dark Overlords – Vimur – Haunter – Moonlight Sorcery


I Am The Night – While The Gods Are Sleeping (Svart)

While The Gods Are Sleeping is the debut album from Finnish black metal artists, I Am The Night. The band is made up of veterans of the scene that includes members of Insomnium, Paradise Lost and Omnium Gatherum. Here is an album dripping with nineties Norwegian black metal goodness clearly inspired by the works of Mayhem and Emperor. The traditional style and sounds are performed flawlessly by I Am The Night. The band not only plays a great tribute to the classic second wave of black metal but still manages to stamp their own signature on it.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Bloc Party – Alpha Games


 

Bloc Party burst onto the UK music scene with their raucous debut album Silent Alarms in 2005, proving to be a unique act in the indie rock scene, with a collection of uptempo songs blending contemporary post-punk with art rock. The band immediately resonated with a new generation in a similar way that contemporaries such as Arctic Monkeys and The Libertines had, largely helped by the flamboyant personality and distinct vocal style of frontman Kele Okereke. The record went platinum in its first year as the band were championed on mainstream UK radio by the likes of Steve Lamacq and Zane Lowe, with a buzz also being created in the States where extensive touring followed.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Pyrithe – Monuments to Impermanence


So, we have got to sit down and talk about how subgenre crazy the extreme metal world has become. It seems like with every week that goes by another fresh batch of new “subgenres” enter the metal lexicon. You see Deafheaven can’t be filed under Black Metal because they’re really a Post Existential Crisis Alternative Shoegaze Latte outfit. Ice Nine Kills’ early stuff was metalcore, but nowadays they’ve drifted over to Slasher Showtunes. I wish good luck to whoever has to classify whatever Pyrithe’s Monuments to Impermanence (Gilead Media).

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ALBUM REVIEW: Audrey Horne – Devil’s Bell


In the new “post-covid” era I have been hearing some awesome cuts coming from all kinds of artists. It makes me wonder how many took advantage of the downtime to hone skills and really dig into some songwriting.

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