Album Review: Wintersun – The Forest Seasons

By Jason Williams

Through all of the stellar metal releases and gems in our lifetime, we’re quite familiar with the albums typically seen as legendary. But in 2004, mastermind, founder, musician extraordinaire Jari Maenpaa created Wintersun, releasing the self-titled album to glorious acclaim, bringing forth a monumental mix of elite extreme symphonic folk metal to our ears, something that many weren’t not ready for, but grew into an extremely popular album shortly after. The next album ‘Time I’ came 8 years later. It carried much more of a layered, symphonic structure that seemed to throw many Wintersun fans off, although it was still met positively overall.  The new record ‘The Forest Seasons’ is now ready for release. Was it going to be much like the first album, or more along the lines of ‘Time I’? ‘The Forest Seasons’ takes us through various assortments of musical arrangements and emotions, the quality of Wintersun has not dissipated. Continue reading “Album Review: Wintersun – The Forest Seasons”

Album Review: Soul Remnants- Ourobouros

By Ryan Falla

Soul Remnants is a band that breaks down walls when it comes to death metal; they’ve already embraced the mainstream with their appearance on Rock Band 4 with the track ‘Dead Black (Heart of Ice)’. Now, the Boston born band looks to continue their bucking of trends with the release of their concept record ‘Ourobouros’, their third record to date. Focusing on the darkened imagery of a dystopian future, these grim imaginations are brought into reality through the unbelievably heavy force of ‘Ourobouros’. There’s a palpable grim frustration that hangs on the tracks, an almost uncanny musical replication of the story and concept unraveling as the album persists. Continue reading “Album Review: Soul Remnants- Ourobouros”

Album Review: Integrity – Howling, For the Nightmare Shall Consume

By Doug Walker

Integrity can easily be classified as a legacy band in hardcore circles. They are one of the forerunners of early crossover which blended hardcore and metal into a new, more ferocious sound in the late ’80s. Originally from Northern Ohio, they were a very heavy influence on midwest hardcore throughout the ’90s. Their new release, available now, comes out, with them nearly 30 years into their career. Continue reading “Album Review: Integrity – Howling, For the Nightmare Shall Consume”

Album Review: Blind Guardian – Live Beyond the Spheres

By Rosie Walker

Blind Guardian has proudly carried the banner of progressive power metal for over 30 years and can still hoist it high today. This German metal act cultivated their unique sound in the mid 1980s and you can still hear that originality in their recent work. On July 7th, the band released their first live recording in 14 years. They collected various songs from their European tour in 2015 to create the ultimate collection of live material. ‘Live Beyond the Spheres’ is a 3CD/4LP release that truly captures the magic of a Blind Guardian show. Continue reading “Album Review: Blind Guardian – Live Beyond the Spheres”

Album Review: Ereb Altor – Ulfven

By Ryan Falla

Blazing out of Sweden with their latest release, Ereb Altor continues to showcase their fantastic ability to mix and match elements from power, doom and black metal to create the record ‘Ulfven’. Self-described as pagan metal, Ereb Altor flexes their ability to tap into a variety of musical elements to create a seamless melting pot filled with intensive black metal and doom riffage delivered with a stroke of high-energy power. Continue reading “Album Review: Ereb Altor – Ulfven”

Album Review: Decrepit Birth – Axis Mundi

By Jaide Alicia

Seven years since their last release, Northern California technical death metal band Decrepit Birth takes their technicality to a whole new level upon the creation of their new album ‘Axis Mundi’, set to be released under Nuclear Blast Records on July 21st. This is the band’s first record to feature drummer Sam Paulicelli and bassist Sean Martinez alongside Bill Robinson (vocals) and Matt Sotelo (guitar). Decrepit Birth comes at you with a pretty deep concept for this album. Axis Mundi by definition is, to some extent, the center of the world – or it can also be referred to as the connector between Heaven and Earth. That concept alone, mixed with the blazing musicality that Decrepit Birth has to offer, creates one hell of a listening experience, and displays their evolution as a band and self-declared experimentation. Continue reading “Album Review: Decrepit Birth – Axis Mundi”