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Roundtable Review: Run with the Wolf by Drakkar

Drakkar coverLabel: My Kingdom Music

Release Date: March 16th, 2015

Songs: 10 + 5 Bonus Tracks

Genre: Power Metal

Studio Albums: Quest for Glory, Razorblade God, When Lightning Strikes

Location: Milan, Italy

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Album Review: Colored Sands by Gorguts

37985313 years.  13 long years Gorguts fans have had to wait for a new album by the Canadian technical death metal beasts to release a collection of new music to boggle their minds and violate their souls.  13 years is long time in between albums (‘glares menacingly over at Tool’) and in those years a lot of people forget about most bands.  But not Gorguts.  From their humble beginnings as a pretty cut and dry death metal outfit they really took the metal underground by storm with a stylistic shift on their 1998 album Obscura and pretty much invented what is know today as technical death metal.  Unfortunately the suicide of drummer Steve McDonald led to the break-up of the band and Gorguts main mastermind Luc Lemay went on to pursue various other projects, namely Negativa.  Anywho, Luc decided to reassemble Gorguts once again in 2009 and played some local shows and leak a rough demo of new tracks.  This led to fans going nuts as if Gorguts would be official back together which Luc stated is the case and that Gorguts had new material for everyone and a new album was in the pipeline.  Naturally, fans were ecstatic, buuuut, it would be some time before that album would come out due to yet another death in the band (guitarist Steve Hurdle died of surgery complications, note: if your name is Steve, do not join Gorguts).  This led the writing and recording to be delayed, and now with all the drama and tragedy behind them, that long pined for new album is upon us and it is called Colored Sands.

You may be asking if the album lives up to the hype and the rocky and tumultuous wait worth it.  Does Gorguts come flying onto the tech-death scene and show all these fucking amateurs how it’s done?  Well, in short, yup, they prove once again why they are considered the premier band in tech-death metal.

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Album Review: In Strange Aeons… by Crimson Dawn

562307_10151404829560749_1209439880_nIn the realm of heavy metal album reviews the word ‘epic’ gets abused more than a nubile young girl on the set of the latest Rocco Sifreddi flick.  It gets poked in every possible angle and more than often gets stuck where it doesn’t belong.  By definition the word should solely be used to describe something of or relating to a literary epic poem, or the poem itself (eg. The Iliad or Beowulf).  It’s in there, in the music reviewer mind we oft confuse and misuse the word for something that sounds heroic (Ensiferum), huge or gargantuan (Moonsorrow), or fantastical (pick nearly any power metal band).  My favorite misuse of the word is when I wish to describe a feeling of a Herculean musical journey that would make the Fellowship of the Ring jealous.

And why the hell am I talking about the word ‘epic’ in an album review?  Well because the band Crimson Dawn have self-proclaimed Epic Doom Metal as their genre, and quite honestly, it genuinely fits with what is contained on their debut album, In Strange Aeons…  As a whole, all of their elements fit with every misuse and correct use of the word.  Throughout the course of the record you will go on a long journey crossing fantastical soundscapes encountering heroic riffs, towering song structures, and massive grooves.  All with this hint of flair that will bring to mind some of those ancient epic poems that you I love so much.  Epic is really the only word I can find that simply describes the whole of Crimson Dawn’s sound, so I will use and abuse it.

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Backtracks: Stratovarius – Elysium

It’s hard to talk about Stratovarius without bringing up the recent departure of Timo Tolkki, the bands lead guitarist, head drama king, and main songwriter.  He left(and or was removed, sources are not very clear on what happened) in 2008 and continue to pursue his other projects such as Renaissance Revolution.  So, what’s a band to do now they’re missing a major key component of their structure?  Well, hire another amazing guitarist and keep on trucking.

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A great warrior is standing at the gates of a castle that is about to be stormed looking to the sky as a bead of sweat drops down his nervous brow.  This grand swordsman wipes the sweat from his brow and hides all of his nervous inhibitions so he does not lose the courage of the army standing behind him.  He know he must be brave and strong for the people at this castle have oppressed him and his people and land for far too long.  To muster up his courage and of his men he unsheathes his great iron broadsword made by his brother, the blacksmith.  Light reflects off snow landing and melting on the edge of his blade as he raises high into the air.  This light calls the attention of his men along with the thundering battle cry that come pouring from lungs.  “We have come, and we will take back what you have forcefully taken from us!”  And then turning to the castle, the swordsman thunders, “Prepare to return to where you have come from.  Our blades, our spears, and our arrows are thirsty, and today, they will sated!!!”  The army bellows in agreement and then the epic battle ensues.

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Album Review- Unto the Locust- Machine Head

   iohdesgrhuuihgfiuah….Sorry about that.  It was just my jaw hitting the keyboard as I sit here listening to the latest and highly-anticipated new L.P. from Machine Head.  I’ll say this right up front and immediately, Unto the Locust is in-f*ckin’-credibe, un-f*ckin’-believable, abso-f*ckin’-lutely damn mind-blowing.  Front to back this album is non stop metal awesomeness and you would be a fool to pass this release up, period.

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