Shit You Shouldn’t Be Missing: The Heavy Metal Edition
I hate missing things. New episodes of TV shows, deadlines, dentist appointments, fragile things that are thrown to me, bowling pins, the toilet, the entire point, etc. Missing out on great music is lame, too. Have you whiffed on any quality heavy metal this year? Are you sure? Get in here and find out!
Brainstorm – Firesoul
Have you ever been told not to judge a book by its cover? Identify every person who has ever carelessly recited that phrase to you and punch them in the face because that is shit advice. These are the kind of people that get on Netflix and watch “Two-Headed Shark Attack” because YOU NEVER KNOW. What I’m trying to say is this: If you see an album cover that looks like this, run as fast as you can in the opposite direction. 99% of the time, you’ll have made the right decision. Unless it was Brainstorm – then you really blew it, man. Firesoul is 48 minutes of traditional metal packed with riffs as hooky as they are heavy and the always excellent vocal stylings of Mr. Andy Franck. Think Dickinson, but with manly Teutonic grit. He reaches theatricality without sounding like a ham, and the iron fist of his soaring choruses will claim your metal heart and mind.
Darkest Era – Severance
Here’s something for you pasty, photosensitive basement-residents who prefer something a little bit darker. Darkest Era clearly draws heavy influence from their fellow Irish countrymen in Primordial, but their game is less black and more traditional doom à la Solitude Aeturnus, often drifting into mystic, Candlemass-y realms. The Celtic influence heard throughout their full-length debut, The Last Caress of Light, appears again in a rather nuanced spirit rather than through incorporating all of those bells and whistles (literally). More important than all that, though, is that it rocks. If “The Scavenger” doesn’t have you banging your head, you can be cured for less than $400. Parts of the song sound like Atlantean Kodex, only with vocals I’m sure more people can appreciate.
Sinbreed – Shadows
Okay, this one is cheating because it’s power metal but what in the actual fuck did you expect from a dude named Masterlord SteelDragon? If you’re surprised, that’s your own fault. I’m going to sell you on Sinbreed right now. Ready? Marcus Siepen and Frederik Ehmke of Blind Guardian are on guitar and drums respectively. That should be enough of an incentive for any self-respecting metal nerd to check this out. Flowerless riff assaults and ballsy leads give way to impressively anthemic choruses without the usual European frill. It’s power metal, sure, but with SMOHLG-level muscle. Shadows offers a solution to your conundrum: How can I listen to power metal outside of my closet while still maintaining my reputation? Doesn’t sound like much of a reputation to me, but try this!
Did I strike out? What did I miss? Enlighten me below!