Blog Archives

Reggie’s July (2016) Roundup


July was a plentiful month for releases with Fates Warning, Centinex, Periphery, Black Crown Initiate, and Revocation leading the charge; at least concerning the albums I was able to get a hold of and take the time to listen to.  Here is a quick rundown…

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Fates Warning – Theories of Flight / Progressive Metal – Released on 1 July 2016 by InsideOutMusic

For fans of the earlier days of Fates Warning, this should be right up your alley. It’s tight, progressive, melodic, and heavy. It’s a solid Fates Warning album; probably one you’ve been wishing for, for a long time.  4 out of 5  Read the rest of this entry

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Reggie’s Top 15 Albums of 2014


Colourful 2014 in fiery sparklersThis year I had the pleasure of reviewing over 150 albums; some on my own, but most with my Metal State partners on our RoundTable review forum.  Despite being a great year in metal I only awarded five albums a best 5 out of 5 rating; four of them made my Top 15.  Those four bands are Revocation, Behemoth, Arch Enemy, Ghost Brigade, and Insomnium.  Arch Enemy did not make my list.  I guess you could say it’s one of those reviews I wish I could go back and change…same thing I said about Khaos Legions.  Arch Enemy has that kind of effect on me; come on strong and then fizzle a little bit.  I still like the album a lot and think it’s better than their last two albums.  All things considered in metal they didn’t make my Top 15 this year.

My average score for 2014 was a 3.7; perhaps a little on the high side on a 5-point scale, but it is worth mentioning that I gave up reviewing albums I seriously do not like.  For me it became a waste of time and energy talking about something I truly found dissatisfying.  My lowest rating, a 1.5, went to four bands; Ceremonial, Dodsferd, Heresiarch, and Shroud of the Heretic.  Sorry guys, your music is probably appreciated in some metal circles just not mine.

Over the last two years, a progressive metal/rock band topped my end-of-year list.  Sleepers Awake last year and Rush the year before that.  Machine Head made my #1 back in 2011 and are on my list this year, but not at #1.  Another thing worth noting is that seven bands on my list this year I heard for the first time ever.   They will have a * symbol next to their band name and album.  Another band that made my list this year was part of an article I wrote some years back called “Bands I Should Like, But Do Not.”  Click here to see the article and the band I have since grown a fondness for.  Lastly, four bands on my list this year are repeat offenders since I started doing lists in 2011.  You already know about Machine Head.  Who are the other three?  One of them is my #1 album.

2014 was a great year in metal in my humble opinion.  There seemed to be way too many releases to keep up with even for the four of us.  Based on what we experienced this year I think you will see a lesser amount of reviews on Metal State in 2015 (at least from me) and hopefully more original content and discussion pieces.  Enough chatter; here is my best in metal for 2015. Enjoy!

15.  Scar Symmetry – The Singularity (Phase I – Neohumanity)* (favorite song; Neohuman)

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 Reading up on the history of the band a little, I can see why long-time fans are at odds with the latest release from Scar Symmetry.  I, however, am a first time listener and coming in from the outside, I find this odd mix of extreme styles interesting.  I mean, it’s like Def Leppard meets death metal.  It’s quirky and melodic and at other times so damn heavy. Other times it’s a little of both.  I am cool with concept ideas for an album or a plan that is going to span multiple albums, but that has nothing to do with why the album is on my list.  It’s different, than most things you hear out there.  And, for that fresh appeal to my senses it makes my list.  Read the rest of this entry

Matt’s Top 15 Albums of 2014!!!


tumblr_static_cm4blpgifnwo8wokk0wo4scscIt’s that time of year again for arbitrary lists of really great albums that were released since the last time I did one of these things.  Contributing to my absolute burnout of writing about kick ass metal bands, I can not think of another year where there were just so damn many stellar records released.  I simply had to say fuck it, step back, and enjoy the great stuff I already had.  Sure, I missed out on some great stuff, but on the other hand, all killer no filler.  To try to make up for the insane amount of great albums this year I’ve expanded my usual 10 to 15 and will have an honorable mentions post sometime in the near future.  I hope you find yourself something cool to listen to with this list or at least nod in agreement with some of my picks.  Thanks for reading, sticking with AMSOM, and being awesome and stuff.  Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

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Album Review: Black Crown Initiate – The Wreckage of Stars


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Release Date: September 30th, 2014 on eOne Entertainment

Tracks: 10

Length: 53 minutes

Genre: Pushing limits in Progressive death metal

Location: Pennsylvania, US

Previous releases: Song of The Crippled Bull EP 2013

Recommended for fans of: Early Opeth, The Contortionist, Fallujah, Fleshgod Apocalypse

 

“…And we stand still, nothing worth changing, no cause to seek within our minds. There will never be another dawn here, a time where I’d feel, a time for taking and the path to freedom passed us by. Watch the waves and wither away here.”

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Video of the Week: Black Crown Initiate – Withering Waves


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The prominence and popularity of Black Crown Initiate has grown exponentially since the band started in the USA just two years ago. Their apprenticeship, if one may use that term in the context of a band with such good skills at its disposal, has been served with grand masters of metal.

It began in earnest when they were chosen above all contenders to join Goatwhore and Behemoth on the American Alliance Tour. Subsequently they toured with Septicflesh, Fleshgod Apocalypse and Rivers of Nihil. I doubt if any progressive death or black band could ask for a more complete induction.

The point is that Black Crown Initiate didn’t win a lucky draw or “know the right people” to gain those tour places. They fought their way there through sheer talent, dedication to perfecting their style of prog black, and unremitting hard work. In a ferociously contested metal domain, quality and originality will win through.

I’m greatly looking forward to the release of their debut album, “The Wreckage of Stars”, at the end of this month. This video of an album track, “Withering Waves”, is mouth-watering.

Track the band’s march to success on their Facebook page.

 

Songs That Define My Taste In Music #8 & #7 (Mik)


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This was indeed a difficult, but interesting challenge. Exactly what I like and look for in music, and mainly in metal, is something I’ve never thought about to a great extent before. And I wouldn’t say it’s important to know either, it’s just a way to get to know myself better (and a good excuse for making another list). It goes a bit deeper and is more specific than just saying “I like <insert genre here>”. These components I’m describing apply to any style of music I listen to.

#8 The rhythm section

Powerful, complicated drums and audible bass. Irresistible grooves and repeating, low-tuned guitars. All of those are very often included in the music I like the most. I enjoy listening through a whole album only following the drum patterns, or the bass lines, if they are interesting enough. A strong, complex rhythm section is the main reason why I love bands like Gojira, Opeth, Tool, TesseracT, The Safety Fire, some black metal and most djent.

Black Crown Initiate – Ghost She Sends

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EP Review: Black Crown Initiate – Song Of The Crippled Bull


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“Black Crown Initiate is the sound of a sentient being at war with itself and everything else;

an entity holding on for dead life as its inner and outer world dies”

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This is one of those “just buy it”-releases. So, just buy it…

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