Skip to content

THE METAL BLOG ARCHIVE – Devin Townsend: Epicloud review

October 12, 2012

Devin Townsend is metal royalty, having produced an inordinate amount of great material in his twenty-plus years of making music. Bursting onto the scene as a singer for Steve Vai, Devin then formed Strapping Young Lad, one of the most important and influential extreme metal bands of all time. But it is in his solo material that Townsend is most interesting – from hellacious metal assaults to calming prog rock landscapes, via disturbing dark ambient and a rock opera about a fourth-dimensional alien overlord in search of the perfect cup of coffee. Over the course of his career Devin has explored many facets of his musical self, with each album tending to sound drastically different from the one before. Epicloud, Devin’s fifteenth solo record, is interesting in that it attempts to amalgamate some of these styles into one album, taking the different parts of the man and making him whole again.
Read more…

THE METAL BLOG ARCHIVE – Propagandhi: Failed States review

October 12, 2012

I bloody love Propagandhi. Metal is clearly my main schtick, but I also listen to a lot of punk and hardcore. If it has angry people playing guitars, I’ll probably like it. And nobody does angry people playing guitars quite like Propagandhi. The band have come a long way since they formed in the late 80’s, evolving from a standard hardcore-punk sound to a more technical, metal-influenced style on later releases.

Failed States is the followup to 2009’s Supporting Caste, one of my favourite records of the year. The album seemed like the culmination of the band’s growing change in style, full of melodic punky hooks and awesome metal riffs. With Failed States, the band continues to change things up, whilst also looking back and taking some influences from their roots.
Read more…

THE METAL BLOG ARCHIVE – The Faceless: Autotheism review

October 12, 2012

The Faceless are still a young band but, over the course of their first two albums, their name became fitting in ways they can’t have wanted. Technical death metal in the vein of Necrophagist, Fleshgod Apocalypse and Origin was the order of the day – blistering, mathematical, and, unfortunately, unoriginal. There was no denying the talent of the guys involved, but the music they were offering was nothing new. Don’t misunderstand –  it was good music, and well worth a listen for fans of the genre, but it felt like the band was merely imitating their favourites, rather than trying to find their own voice. Faceless indeed.

So, after a four year absence, more of the same for third album Autotheism? No, yet also in some ways yes, but all for the positive. Bear with me, I’ll explain. Guitarist, vocalist and founding member Michael Keene has clearly expanded his musical boundaries (and listened to a lot of Devin Townsend) since previous album Planetary Duality, and the band is all the better for it.

Read more…

THE METAL BLOG ARCHIVE – Fozzy: Sin and Bones review

October 12, 2012

As anyone who knows me will tell you, my three great loves in life are metal, video games and professional wrestling. As such, one would safely be able to assume that I must therefore love Fozzy, the metal band fronted by pro wrestler Chris Jericho.

The truth is slightly less black and white. I have always found Fozzy to be somewhat hit-and-miss, with most of their popularity coming from the fact that they are the band with the wrestler, rather than good musicianship. That said, Jericho has long been one of my all-time favourites in the squared circle, so I am always willing to give Fozzy a fair listen. Clear growth has been made from their days as a comedy cover band, and as time goes by, their ratio of good to bad songs weighs ever further into the good.

Which brings us nicely to their brand new album, “Sin and Bones”. Heralded by Jericho himself as the band’s best work yet, I can safely say that I agree with Y2J. “Sin and Bones” is, for the most part, a fun, unchallenging slice of retro-tinged heavy metal.

Read more…