Saor – Guardians

Despite tight production, expert song-writing and meticulous attention to detail, the general expression that “Guardians” resonates is a sense of freedom. The average song length is about 11 minutes, which is ample time to allow the music to breathe and progress naturally. However, the bane of songs with long durations is the crucial requirement to…

Septic Flesh – Communion

Communion really finds the band at it’s best when they mix things up. Some songs rage with speed and brute force while others slow down and possess an overall more melodic feel than the others. Fortunately none of the songs sound out of place or forced when they begin to experiment. At the base, the…

Ne Obliviscaris – Portal of I

The album is riddled with extended epics; there is one song out of seven shorter than nine minutes. In addition to electric-acoustic transitions and complex rhythms that call Opeth’s earlier work to mind, fresh touches like the violin and dedicated clean vocals permit dichotomies of simultaneous brutality and beauty that are difficult to balance, let…

Loch Vostok – Dystopium

‘Dystopium’ (their fourth full length album to date) presents a band, who alloy various styles of metal, both melodic and extreme. One thing that shines above the rest, is that how much Loch Vostok at times sound like Evergrey, but not in a “copycat” way. The band’s flirtings with prog metal made me think of…

Ayreon – 01011001

Fast forward to 2008. 01011001, meaning Y. An album called ‘Why’ and often including songs with Extinction in the title or description. It felt dark. Gloom, eeriness. What in fact makes this album better than the previous two is that even the non-metal parts, often due to their electronic performance, have a certain ‘Pink Floyd…

Amon Amarth – Twilight Of The Thunder God

“Twilight Of The Thunder God” is the next logical step in terms of production from “With Oden On Our Side”, because aside from Johan Hegg’s manic berserker grunts and morose war cries, this album’s mixing work is about as crystal clear as a pool of distilled, unsullied water. A good example can be heard throughout…