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Album Review: Arcane – Known/Learned


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Release Date: January 20th, 2015 on Sensory Records

Tracks: 2 discs, 16 tracks

Length: A little over 2 hours

Genre: Progressive metal

Location: Brisbane, Australia

Previous releases: Ashes 2007, Chronicles of the Waking Dream 2009

Recommended for fans of:  Pain of Salvation, Dream Theater, Caligula’s Horse, Fates Warning, Anathema

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Mik’s Top 100 Favourite Albums of All Time #20-16


Top100A while ago, at the same time as Matt and Reggie, I posted my Top 100 All Time Favourite (Metal) Albums over at the forum The History of Metal on FB. It took a good amount of time and effort to put it together, but it was so much fun! My taste in metal is always changing, so the list will not always look the same. In fact, it’s already a bit different than it was when I first put it together and posted it on the forum seven months ago.

I tried to limit myself to three albums per band to make the list a little more diverse and interesting. I don’t really consider the ‘test of time’-factor when selecting what albums that will go on my list, instead I measure it by how strongly the album has affected me emotionally and how much/often it has helped me through both good and bad phases in my life. That’s why you can find quite a few newer releases among my favourites too.

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#20 Ihsahn – angL

I might be considered strange who prefer Ihsahn’s solo albums over his work in Emperor. But who cares, right? By now you all know I’m a sucker for a strong, unique singing voice and Ihsahn is one of a kind. His style of blackened progressive metal includes amazing riffs, dark melodies, relaxing bass lines, vicious screams and thoughtful, poetic lyrics. Like an all-in-one-package. Perfect.

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Mik’s Top 100 Favourite Albums of All Time #30-26


Top100A while ago, at the same time as Matt and Reggie, I posted my Top 100 All Time Favourite (Metal) Albums over at the forum The History of Metal on FB. It took a good amount of time and effort to put it together, but it was so much fun! My taste in metal is always changing, so the list will not always look the same. In fact, it’s already a bit different than it was when I first put it together and posted it on the forum seven months ago.

I tried to limit myself to three albums per band to make the list a little more diverse and interesting. I don’t really consider the ‘test of time’-factor when selecting what albums that will go on my list, instead I measure it by how strongly the album has affected me emotionally and how much/often it has helped me through both good and bad phases in my life. That’s why you can find quite a few newer releases among my favourites too.

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#30 In Mourning – The Weight of Oceans

This is the third In Mourning album in my list and their latest one, released last year. They keep getting better and better and ‘The Weight of Oceans’ is a very fine collection of songs. It includes my favourite In Mourning song, ‘Colossus’, possibly also one of the best songs written in the history of music, according to myself. The build up and groove in that one is amazing. ‘A Vow to Conquer The Ocean’ is another fantastic tune with great guitar work and the track titled ‘Celestial Tear’ is one of the most beautiful and emotional metal ballads I’ve ever heard. From the first listen, I found this to be a truly captivating album.

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Album Review: Caligula’s Horse – The Tide, The Thief & River’s End


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Caligula’s Horse has crafted songs that are so alive and so powerful that I get tears in my eyes. Their music makes me do more than just listen, I’m feeling it, I’m living it.  

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Genre: Progressive rock/metal with a unique, modern and intelligent sound

Recommended for fans of: Opeth, Pain of Salvation, Porcupine Tree, Karnivool, Dream Theater, TesseracT, concept albums, interesting music

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Song Of The Week: Caligula’s Horse – Dark Hair Down


If you have the slightest interest in progressive rock/metal, especially the kind with a good rhythm section and great guitar work, and some of your favourite bands happen to be named Opeth, Tool, Karnivool, Porcupine Tree  or Pain of Salvation, you need to check out the Australian band Caligula’s Horse. Don’t worry, they are not copying aforementioned bands, they do have a very nice style of their own and perfectly blends modern metal with a more classic proggy sound and outstanding vocals.

I first saw their name on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, as a recommendation by the band Ne Obliviscaris. Because they were mentioned by Ne Obliviscaris (another awesome band) and in the same sentence as “great gigs” and “Twelve Foot Ninja” (my latest musical addiction), I decided to investigate it further. After a couple of days and their new album ‘The Tide, The Thief and River’s End’ on repeat, I’m sold. Completely. In love. Head over heels…

Dark Hair Down‘ provides a taste of it, but the album has so much more than this to offer:

 

Full Album Stream:

Mik’s Top 100 Favourite Albums of All Time #66-70


Top100A while ago, at the same time as Matt and Reggie, I posted my Top 100 All Time Favourite (Metal) Albums over at the forum The History of Metal on FB. It took a good amount of time and effort to put it together, but it was so much fun! My taste in metal is always changing, so the list will not always look the same. In fact, it’s already a bit different than it was when I first put it together and posted it on the forum almost a year ago.

I tried to limit myself to three albums per band to make the list a little more diverse and interesting. I don’t really consider the ‘test of time’-factor when selecting what albums that will go on my list, instead I measure it by how strongly the album has affected me emotionally and how much/often it has helped me through both good and bad phases in my life. That’s why you can find quite a few newer releases among my favourites too.

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#70 Nightwish – Dark Passion Play

I was sad to see Anette Olzon leave Nightwish, she was the reason I started to really like this band and their music. Anette and Marco (bass player/vocals) really complement each other so well. The folk music influences makes this album more interesting than their previous ones and it doesn’t have a single bad song on it. Fortunately I had the chance to see them live with Anette after this album was just released and it was a really great show.

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Album Review: TesseracT – Altered State


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Your assumption brings to a conclusion of no consequence.
And I refuse to play into your hands for your appeal.”

– Of Matter: Retrospect

A band that makes progressive music has the freedom to be whatever they want. Progressive bands can and should experiment and break boundaries to reach their musical vision. The members of TesseracT were not afraid to do this and took a road less traveled with this album; they once again created something fresh and unexpected (no, I’m not only talking about the saxophone solo) in a sub-genre that has become saturated with unoriginal bands. ‘Altered State’ is a confirmation of their remarkable talent when it comes to creating strong musical structures combined with an intense and emotional atmosphere. If you are a fan of progressive rock/metal and bands like Anathema, Pain of Salvation, Periphery, Karnivool or Tool this album might be interesting to you. The first single ‘Of Mind: Nocturne’ was out already in October last year and it has been a long wait for one of my most anticipated releases of the year.

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Album Review: Resonance Room – Untouchable Failure


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Resonance Room from Italy released their second album Untouchable Failure last week. It’s an elegant mix of heavy prog and dark gothic metal with a strong influence from bands like Pain of Salvation, Katatonia and Evergrey. That sounds like a good thing, right?

Yeah, for the most part it is! I enjoy every single one of the ten tracks on the album; they are easy to listen to and follow. The melancholic atmosphere, heavy guitars, the soft passages and melodies with keyboards in the background, just like it should be. Untouchable Failure is a nice step forward from their previous release Unspoken. This time they managed to create a more diverse, warm and deep sound, even though I wish it would be a bit more consistent and dynamic. The singer’s Italian accent can clearly be heard in most of the songs and it can be a problem if you want to listen to the lyrics and hear what he’s singing. Fortunately, he has a very pleasant voice that suits this type of dark, gothic music.

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Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #35-#31


Over on my favorite forum for rambling about metal, The History of Metal (it’s an open Facebook forum, so anyone, meaning you, can join and flap your jaw about metal with a wide variety of metalheads from all over the world), the admin made a challenge to all the members to create their top 100 albums of all time. Loving making lists I’m all on this. Between the ~1500 albums I have there is a lot to filter through and this has turned into quite a daunting, yet fun, challenge. This list will represent where I am with my favorite albums right now, if I were to do this last year or next year, while being similar, I’m sure there would be lots of differences. My only self-imposed limitation on this is I’m confining each band 3 albums in the list to avoid entire, very large, discographies over saturating it. Every 5 days or so I’ll make a post with the next 5 entries into the list. Fellow bloggers, I extend this challenge to you (and be sure to let me know where and when you’ll be posting it, I’d love to read it), and for readers without a blog join up with THOM and post yours there! Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

#35 BE by Pain of Salvation

Who is God, what is God, where is God, does God know what he is doing, does God believe in himself, what is the meaning of life? These are some questions that PoS explore within their sci-fi concept album BE. Within the record some of the questions and concepts they arise on the subject are some of the most interesting I’ve heard on the subject. While I do not believe in a ‘God’ in the popular sense of the word, delving into the themes and doing some extracurricular research on the album has led to me asking myself some serious questions. And then there’s the music contained within to boot. Even if you’re not concerned with the concept, PoS weaves some of the most touching and most emotional pieces of music they have written throughout their career, ranging from metal to classical piano suites to heart strung ballads. And “Vocari Dei” (the God’s answering machine song) is one of the most powerful and emotional pieces of music that PoS have ever written. This is one album, regardless of preferred musical genre or faith, I recommend everyone listening to.

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Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #85-#81


Over on my favorite forum for rambling about metal, The History of Metal (it’s an open Facebook forum, so anyone, meaning you, can join and flap your jaw about metal with a wide variety of metalheads from all over the world), the admin made a challenge to all the members to create their top 100 albums of all time.  Loving making lists I’m all on this.  Between the ~1500 albums I have there is a lot to filter through and this has turned into quite a daunting, yet fun, challenge.  This list will represent where I am with my favorite albums right now, if I were to do this last year or next year, while being similar, I’m sure there would be lots of differences.  My only self-imposed limitation on this is I’m confining each band 3 albums in the list to avoid entire, very large, discographies over saturating it.  Every 5 days or so I’ll make a post with the next 5 entries into the list.  Fellow bloggers, I extend this challenge to you (and be sure to let me know where and when you’ll be posting it, I’d love to read it), and for readers without a blog join up with THOM and post yours there!  Enjoy!!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

#85 Voimasta ja Kunniasta by Moonsorrow

When I first discovered the world of folk metal by way of Eluveitie I was instantly driven to go out and hunt down some more bands in the genre. In my search I found many great bands, but one day I came across a fan made video for the song “Sankarihauta” (posted below). Let’s just say that it was love at first sight and within a matter of minutes I ran out and grabbed my first of many Moonsorrow albums, Voimasta…. The epicness of this record is only superseded by some of the bands later works.

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