This was quite a run from no website a few months ago. To a blog that starts to pay off to some very, very limited fame. Still going strong, writing reviews left, right and center. Ready to invest what little time my already busy schedule leaves me.
The first review that started me off was Hydra from Within Temptation. This one is frankly not the best offering these guys ever produced. A friggin’ attempt to get into mainstream in my book. And that is a pity. Just consider that they produced stellar stuff before. Real pearls like Enter or the delicious The Silent Force. The one that still sends shivers down my spine for some of them tracks in there.
Black Sabbath then came along with their latest masterpiece 13. A bunch of grumpy old men strumming away, still going strong. No meek singing, but rocking away with Doom and Heavy Metal at its best. It is a pity that their long-time drummer kind of lost himself for the sake of a contract. This last record really reminded me of their very first album. Kindred in style, and by the name of Black Sabbath. And I love them for it. Ways to go Ozzy, Geezer and Tony! They still play the thing that stands before me.
And then, talk about female fronted super-power! Blasted to space with unknown thrust by Arven with their newest concoction Black is the Colour – named after an Irish folk ballad, no less. They really let the Holy Metal Cow out alright. After their first album Music of Light one would have expected something of similar spirit. But thanks to Loki, all (well almost all) went the metal way.
The gloomy fog of down yonder soon started to creep up on us, the Insomnium way. With Shadows of the Dying Sun, a stellar piece of Melodic Death Metal. This one by far surpasses past glories like One For Sorrow.
Then Arch Enemy graced us with their presence with their newest invention War Eternal. This one really took off like there is no tomorrow. What a friggin’ great sound! Some fucking Melodic Death Metal alright.
Eluveitie tried to convince me of the value of no clean singing. Not that they quite succeeded with Anna Murphy‘s clean vocal injections. Taking us back in their time machine to an era where the Romans ruled with Origins. Kind of akin to its predecessor Helvetios.
But then, a clear metal sound reached us from the Teutonic hills of the Finsterforst with their stellar new toxic brew Mach Dich Frei. Kind of folksy, but straight up without Lederhos’n.
But then we met the Sorcerer band with their kind of debut album In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross. A juicy surprise in this Intermittent Best of… that came in as most welcome. Their Heavy Metal laden Doom Metal sound just blew me off across the room into the next wall. Holy Shit! And at this time I was just getting over the terrible SAVN experience, whose full bodice almost killed me with kindness.
Good was however that a Harry Potter soundalike rescued us later, called Serious Black (no, I kid you not…). Their sound on As Daylight Breaks is a welcome breakfast burrito of the metal kind. Older guys who – oddly enough – cannot wait to get to grumpy old status. At least they let everyone know every five fucking seconds that they are kind of old. Guys, get a life, will ye!!
An introduction to Cinematic Metal (no fucking kidding…) and a lot of very enlightened sound was delivered by the saintly Illuminata. They are – by the way – named after a saint. Not the infamous illuminati. I really do fancy A World so Cold. Whereas the follow-on Where Stories Unfold already earns a score less brownie points. Let’s see what they come up with on their next. Albeit, my gut tells me that not much will be forthcoming.
The masters of arcane linguistic delights crept up on me with Kanseil offering their newest, best and only album Doin Earde. This is on helluva crunchy record. Down to earth, and straight from Italy, no less. I really enjoyed reviewing these guys. They have promise.
Epica finally redeemed themselves from their overdone turkey feast and somewhat wrecked album The Quantum Enigma. With – surprise – their very first production The Phantom Agony. I am intrigued by this band. They deliver good stuff usually, but demonstrate that urge to bombast that is frankly disturbing sometimes. Well, what can I say? They found their niche! And then they design real good’uns like Design Your Universe, which are really worth listening to for some length of time.
Then we went on a naturalist journey with Moonspell. Those try to convince us that Darwin will prevail with Extinct, their latest very gloomy pot of rotten ale. We are all gonna die or something, which we certainly are. But hey – we just don’t know when! Tough stuff, as usual, but good tough stuff.
In the meantime, Nightwish graced us with their presence with another epic by the name of Endless Forms Most Beautiful. Quite good, but not the best ever – never surpassing stellar stuff like Dark Passion Play.
And I was actually most impressed by a musical comics book called The Life and Times of Scrooge. A story told by Tuomas Holopainen right before the delivery of the latest Nightwish album. Not really up my metal alley, but remarkable nonetheless.
So, this was the first ever Intermittent Best of…, and I hope you enjoyed the story. All this and more transpired in a very few months, which feels to me like a very many years. I am thrilled by the progress and hope to write for very many more months about music I love. Check out some more stuff on the blog, by all means and do speak your mind in the comments section!