Author: Patrick Keaveny

Australasia – Notturno

Melancholy and minimalism define “Notturno,” the latest from electronica metal band Australasia.  The album starts out with a slow, ethereal intro track, and sounds like something that could be the soundtrack for a long walk along a frozen lake at night: dreamlike and serene. This changes in the second track, ‘Eden,’ as the albums starts to take off, bringing a heavier sound while still maintaining that dreamlike feeling. It’s hard to pick out just one or two tracks off the album, as it is so immersive and each track flows so well into the next that it’s more like listening...

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Indian Handcrafts – Creeps

A unique mix of stoner metal and progressive metal, “Creeps” is Indian Handcrafts‘ third full-length album featuring a nice blend of mellow sounds with progressive technicality. I never would have thought the words “mellow” and “progressive” could be used together, since mellow music is more about a relaxed, atmospheric sound while progressive usually features intense, highly technical riffs. That was until I heard Creeps, which at times features Tool-like chaotic time signatures, and at other times sounds like something you’d hear on the festival circuit at Venice Beach in 2002. You can hear this right from the get-go, as the first...

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Opeth – Damnation and Deliverance

Sure to please old fans as well as open the door for newcomers, Opeth releases a reissue of its two finest albums to date, in complete 5.1 sound, together as they originally intended them to be. First off, I’m a bit biased with these, as Opeth‘s “Damnation” was one of the first albums that I ever heard when I was 14 years old and just starting to discover this whole “metal” scene.  “Deliverance” is a great album that was, at the time, the culmination of Opeth‘s trademark growling vocals mixed with heavy, complex, and dream-like metal riffs. “Damnation,” on the...

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Insanity – Visions of Apocalypse

Despite lacking a clear focus, the new album by Insanity offers a lot of hardcore and aggressive melodies to scratch your hard rock itch. The album starts out well enough, with growling vocals, fast drum beats and lots of intensity. The intensity never lets up throughout the album, and each track offers fast beats with heavy, aggressive vocals fueled by powerful riffs and some out-of-left-field drum fills. The final track, aptly titled ‘Visions of Apocalypse,’ is one of the most energetic, epic, and thrash-filled songs I’ve heard. Starting out with a 9/11 speech that is more than a little dated,...

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Symphony X – Underworld

If I had to pick one word to describe “Underworld”, the latest album from progressive-metal alums Symphony X, it would be: maximalist. Each track of the album, while maintaining a clear vision from primary songwriter Michael Romeo, all seem to evoke some kind of different influence or different sound. On some tracks, such as ‘To Hell and Back‘ and the solo-heavy ‘In My Darkest Hour,’ it’s a commitment to high octane, almost Dream Theater-esque technicality and complexity. This strays into the convoluted at times, but is still a testament to Romeo’s song writing master craft. Other tracks, such as...

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