ALBUM REVIEW: Mono Inc – Ravenblack


 

The German Rock scene is legendary for producing exceptional bands like Scorpions and Rammstein. This schnitzel-loving nation is also known for its more niche music acts. Mono Inc. has been at the helm of the Gothic Rock movement since the early 2000s and they show no sign of slowing down.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Beyond The Black – Beyond The Black


Often reserved for debut releases, eponymously titled albums usually tend to herald a band’s emergence into a more public consciousness. A proud declaration of intent that relies solely on a name. However, a title-free album released further down the line can just as easily foreshadow a lack of creativity or imagination. This isn’t always the case, of course, and thankfully, the latest full-length from German symphonic act Beyond the Black stands as one of their strongest records to date. Confident and enthralling, Beyond the Black (Nuclear Blast) sees the Mannheim metallers acting as a quartet for the first time, the band choosing to use session musicians since the departure of bass player Stefan Herkenhoff last year.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Judicator – The Majesty of Decay


When one thinks about the Power Metal genre, several European bands might come to mind. There are the greats like Blind Guardian, Helloween, and Rhapsody of Fire that have carried this grandiose genre for many years. Yet things are beginning to change. A fresh take on speed, symphony, and big vocals is occurring in North America and Judicator is one of the bands making it happen. They have been around for ten years and are getting ready to release their sixth full-length, The Majesty of Decay (Prosthetic Records). Even with a handful of lineup changes over the past decade, the sound that made people’s ears perk is still there. Known for writing about historical events and people, this new release is a concept album that takes on a much darker theme.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Wolfheart – King Of The North


 

Finland is a country known for their long, cold winters. Wolfheart is a band that captures their nation’s wild and wonderous weather in their dramatic and dynamically dark sound. The group’s appropriately named debut record, Winterborn came out in 2013 and they have consistently been conveying the majestic magic of Suomi ever since. Now this four piece is getting ready to release their sixth full-length, King of the North (Napalm Records) where they dive even deeper into sharing stories about their country’s lore and land. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Blind Guardian – The God Machine


 

2019’s fully orchestral concept album Legacy of the Dark Lands aside, it’s been seven long years since Blind Guardian‘s last proper full-length release. Seven years, which more recently included a global pandemic and lockdown periods that for much of the music industry meant nothing but frustration and turmoil, but actually afforded the German power metal act time to concentrate on where to head nextContinue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Powerwolf – The Monumental Mass – A Cinematic Metal Event


Although it’s widely accepted that Lockdown was just one massive shitshow for the entertainment industry, it did help create a new method of career survival – live streaming. Artists of all shapes and sizes took to the internet, charging for unique live or pre-recorded shows to help pay the bills. Some were obviously quite small scale, filmed in sweaty little music studios for next to no money while other, larger acts were able to attempt much grander projects, many enhancing the experience further by utilising fancy computer generated special effects and impressive physical sets.

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CONCERT REVIEW: Nightwish – Beast In Black Live at Terminal 5


Nightwish is the only band that can make me cry. More on that later on. For now, it’s great to finally have them return stateside and with Beast in Black. I have to say it was kind of nice just to have two bands on a show. I get that everybody wants to tour and play catch up but sometimes less is more.

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CONCERT REVIEW: Cradle of Filth – Frayle Live at The Machine Shop


Flint, Michigan, might be known for the crime, cars, and crisis. Yet this down-and-out town has more to offer than that. Music fans know it best for being home to The Machine Shop. This nationally acclaimed music venue has been hosting, supporting, and celebrating bands for twenty years. This special concert lounge has gained its reputation because of their genuine love of live music and doting on its patrons. They bring to mid-Michigan audiences an enthusiasm and care most venues don’t bother with anymore. It was a bright, spring evening last weekend when a group of goth kids formed a line outside this beloved hall’s doors. They were exposed to more sunlight than what they were probably used to, but it was worth it because the Symphonic Black Metal Titans, Cradle of filth, were in town. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Visions of Atlantis – Pirates


If you’re looking for a metal album about pirates this summer that you can listen to guilt free (what? I meant now that we’re all mature enough to not worry about calling things like this a guilty pleasure… honest guv!), you need look no further than Visions of Atlantis’ eighth full-length album, the rather bluntly and descriptively titled Pirates (Napalm Records).

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CONCERT REVIEW: Apocalyptica – Lacuna Coil Live at The Majestic Theatre


Detroit’s Midtown is buzzing with culture and is home to some of the best music venues in the city. At the heart of this exciting district rests the prestigious Majestic Theatre. The building is over one hundred years old and carries a lot of music history in its walls. Last Thursday the venue’s marquee lit up with the name Apocalyptica. The Finnish act brought their Cell-0 Tour to Motor City, and they picked the perfect place to promote their latest record. Along with Italy’s Lacuna Coil, the night was set up for an enchanting experience filled with glamor, energy, and theatrics. The brisk April night started off with a queue of symphonic metal enthusiasts lining up around the building. Soon the large and ornate theatre room was filled with eager devotees ready for the music to begin.

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