Blog Archives

Roundtable Review: Eldritch – Tasting The Tears


Label: Scarlet Records

Release Date:  February 17th 2014

Songs:  11

Genre:  Progressive power metal

Studio Albums:  Eight previous full lengths, first one released in 1995

Location:  Florence, Italy

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Album Review: Dead Ends – Petrichor EP

Dead Ends artworkLabel: This Is Core

Release Date:  December 12, 2013

Songs:  4

Length: 14 minutes

Genre:  Melodic metalcore/Post-Hardcore

Albums: This is their debut EP

Location:  Brescia, Italy

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Interview with Pete of Baroness/Concert Review: Baroness & Royal Thunder at Tunnel Club, Milan Italy Oct. 15, 2013

IMG_4495Spending many years crafting, evolving, and honing one of the most original sounds in music today, Savannah, GA band Baroness have carved quite a niche for themselves that transcends musical genre barriers and deeply appeals to fans of all styles of rock music.  If one can say anything about Baroness, it would have to be about how incredibly hard-working and determined its members are in bringing their love of music to their fans and delivering it at the highest quality possible.  Even a terrible tour bus accident which could have easily killed any member of the band couldn’t hold founding members Pete Adams (guitars/backing vocals) and John Baizley (lead vocals/guitars) from powering through serious injuries, healing themselves up, and reforming their rhythm section after Allen Blickle (drums) and Matt Maggioni (bass) very understandably took leave of the band.  Just a little over a year since the tragic accident Baroness have once again jumped onto the tour bus and returned to Europe to continue putting audiences in awe with their stellar live shows.

On Oct. 15th I was fortunate enough to be able to catch up with guitarist Pete Adams when they stopped in my city of Milan, Italy to play a show at Tunnel Club with Royal Thunder.  After witnessing my first live experience with a band I have followed for over 10 years and my chat with Pete I have found myself with an even deeper respect for the lads in the band.  All of the passion Pete put into his responses to my questions was reciprocated ten-fold when him and the band took the stage and the amount of smiles and good vibes the band exuded off-stage came with them onto the stage in a very uplifting way of saying ‘we’re back’.

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Album Review: Heimdall – Aeneid

cover-SC-231From the big boot comes Heimdall with their latest (to be) album release Aeneid.  Having never heard them before my expectations remained low or I should say nonexistent.  As advertised, Heimdall captures all the beautiful elements of a genuine Power metal band; sweeping melodies; emphasis on the keyboards; and of course the epic experience Power metal bands deliver.  Most importantly, I happily listened to the album from beginning to end which speaks volumes considering my attention span.

Heimdall’s music comes off with more or less a happy appeal similar to what you would find with some Helloween music; a little more upbeat.  It’s the kind of uplifting Power metal that makes you feel good unlike some other Power metal bands that rely on more intensity with orchestration and theatrics.  During most of the album, I felt like I wanted to sing along even though I don’t know any of the lyrics yet.

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Tales From Bandcamp: When Lightning Strikes by Drakkar

Click to go to the Bandcamp pageLast year there was one power metal release that really caught my ear.  Drakkar’s When Lightning Strikes was a thorough dose of soaring guitars, melodic vocals, and all round powerful power metal all tied together with a neat sci-fi narrative.  What I really liked about the record was that it had all those fun sensibilities I love about power metal but was able to maintain a mature and modern tone and not come of hammy.  To keep things short I’ll just link my review of the album here if you would like something more in-depth to read about the album.  I also did an interview with band founder and guitarist Dario Beretta and you can read that here.  But, if anything, what you should really do is click on the play button below and give When Lightning Strikes a listen.  Let us know what you though.  Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!

Band Links: Bandcamp Facebook

Album Review: Otehi – Noisy Spirit

Having previously taken on one of Cosmic Swamp’s roster before, I was a little more prepared for the fuzz-attack that this release was going to bring, although several surprises awaited as I sat down with Otehi’s début Noisy Spirit EP. Firstly, the band’s name means “negative karma” in the Lakota tongue, an appropriate name for the music despite the band’s Italian origins. Secondly, the strong songwriting belies the band’s lack of an anniversary, having formed in March 2011 and released this EP before the year was out. Thirdly, the DIY production puts much punk and black metal to shame, while the 37-minute runtime outstrips many full albums. And fourthly, their influences stretch across 4 decades and 3 continents. If the souls of Kyuss, Sleep and Fu Manchu (with the obligatory touch of Sabbath) were to telecommunicate between the Aussie Outback and dusty US Midwest, that should paint a good starting point for where Noisy Spirit crashes in.

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Concert Review: Gods of Metal (Day 4) (Ozzy & Freinds, Opeth, Black Label Society, Lamb of God) Milan, Italy June 24, 2012

From the second I heard that one of my all-time favorite bands and fathers of heavy metal, Black Sabbath, were going to reunite for a tour I jumped on grabbing tickets as soon as possible.  No other bands were yet announced, but man, an opportunity to see Black Sabbath in what could be their final tour, hells yeah, you can’t put a price on that.  Unfortunately due to Tony Iommi’s battle with leukemia which arose after tour dates were set in the Black Sabbath show that was scheduled was canceled.  Luckily Mr. Tony Iommi was able to muster up enough strength to pull of a single homecoming show in his hometown of Birmingham, England and got to get the satisfaction of having the band come full circle and land back at home.  To Mr. Iommi, I say get well soon and I can’t wait till you can get the Sabbath ball rolling again.

But what about all the other shows that Black Sabbath promised to play?  Well, what’s the next best thing to Black Sabbath?  How about the face of the band, Mr. John Michel Osbourne, err, Ozzy!  Well, I bought tickets to see Black Sabbath, I’ve already seen Ozzy God knows how many times now and Black Sabbath only twice.  They tossed in Slash, Zack Wylde, and Geezer Butler, so I guess I can say I was sold on not trying for a refund on my ticket.  Having Opeth on the bill too, helped a pinch 😉  But before I get too ahead of myself, how about a little info on what else went down that day, it was a festival after all.

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Album Review: Lahmia – Into The Abyss

The album cover for Into The Abyss by Lahmia.
When a band has ticked most of my personal criteria for melodic death metal by the end of the first two songs, I can feel fairly reassured that the remainder of the record is going to provide some aural delight for my two ears. Lahmia offer a blend of various extreme metal genres such as melodeath (primary basis), black (mostly Swedish), death and some goth, but actually hail from Italy despite their Scandinavian sound. Their first full-length slab, Into The Abyss, is a honed hour which brings together influences such as Arch Enemy, Thurisaz and Dark Tranquillity, the latter of which remains most prominent, and is still quite a ride after multiple spins.

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Album Review – Il Confine – Folkstone

When I first moved out to Italy, naturally, one of the first things I wanted to do was check out some Italian metal.  The Italian language has very poetic and flowing attributes to it; that mixed with Italy’s deep history in music (both classical and modern, especially the Progressive Rock scene during the 70’s) and culture I was sure I would find some really original homegrown metal music right off the bat.  Unfortunately, while I did find some great Italian metal bands, none of the ones that really connected with me sung in the Italian language (with the exception of Rhapsody who have a handful of songs in Italian), which is what I was really looking for.  Fast-forward a little bit of time to when I discovered Folk Metal and went nuts with how awesome this sub-genre is.  During this time I came across a band from Bergamo, Italy.  Folkstone immediately rocked my socks off with their Medieval, Celtic sound filled with rocking guitars, energetic drumming, furious bass playing, and commanding and understandable singing (which was great for me as I was learning Italian at the time, and still am) all tied together with copious amounts of live bagpipes and a harp player bringing beauty to the music.  Their album Damnati ad Metalla (Damned to Metal) became one of the most played albums in my music library and now I have my hands on their new album Il Confine (The Confine/The Border) and I’m happy to tell you that this one will also become one of my most played albums.

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Concert Review – Dream Theater – Mediolanum Forum – Milan, Italy – Feb. 21st, 2012

The first time I saw the legendary Progressive Metal band Dream Theater they performed in a tiny club in New Jersey (The Tradewinds, in Seabright) in 1999.  Suffice to say it was a magical evening and due to the size of the club, a very intimate concert.  Over the years, each time I went to catch this awesome band live the venues kept getting bigger and bigger due to their immense popularity, and somehow they were able to maintain that intimate feeling that I had got when I first saw them.  February 21st, 2012 marks my 6th time seeing Dream Theater in the largest venue I’ve seen them in yet, the Mediolanum Forum in Milan, Italy, and somehow they are still able to maintain that intimate magic that they’ve held over their many years together.

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