Recommend me some quality Metal


Car Bomb. I think the band name sucks, but I do dig their not-as-technical-as-Meshuggah-and-not-as-djenty-as-normal-djent sound. They come up with some (much simpler than a lot of technical bands) interesting soundscapes that I really dig.

I don’t think I’ve seen them listed here, but their album “Meta” is streaming on Amazon Prime Music for Prime members. It’s been getting a lot of play from me lately.

Here’s an example track:


Capping off a three shows in two weeks spree and I’m just gonna say that Baltimore’s Isenmor is AWESOME


Show 1: Wintersun, Ne Obliviscaris, and Sarah Longfield in Greensboro, NC

Sarah Longfield

An excellent prog metal guitarist who’s come a long way from recording goofy cover play-throughs in her tiny apartment on Youtube to acting as a key piece of a couple of different bands and touring all over the country this year. Her work is pretty excellent, and I was really excited to finally see her live!

Sarah Longfield Set Photos

Ne Obliviscaris

Absolutely gorgeous extreme progressive metal act with dual vocalists, one of whom also plays violin. Very intense and engaging stage presence from the band, who were absolutely excellent live. Urn is an absolutely gorgeous record, and they played damn near all of it!

Ne Obliviscaris Set Photos


Why, it’s Finnish Aether Realm! Nah, but in all seriousness, these guys are fucking pros on tour, and between debuting a new track for the US shows and putting a ton of work into practicing for an absolutely epic trek through their entire discography, they were also just a ton of FUN to see play live. Totally worth the long drive through the genuinely kinda scary storms, there and back, risking our very lives in the tail end of Hurricane Florence.

Wintersun Set Photos

More to come later: Rapheumet’s Well / Helion Prime / Striker / Unleash the Archers, followed immediately by Insenmore / Gloryhammer / Alestorm :-D


Those are fantastic photos, @ArmandoPenblade! Seriously.
If I were in this band, and I saw these, I would be contacting you to use them for publicity shots or CD booklet shots or something. I think you should send them a link to your post.


Show 2: Unleash the Archers, Striker, Helion Prime, and Rapheumet’s Well in Raleigh, NC

Rapheumet’s Well

An awesome local(ish) act putting out extremely theatrical scifi-tinged progressive blackened death metal, they’ve undergone a pretty massive lineup overhaul this year, dropping down to just Josh “Nassaru” Ward and Hunter Ross a few months back before bringing on a new guitarist, bassist, and two new vocalists. So they’re still finding themselves, but with a followup to 2017’s excellent Ender’s Door en route, they’re touring and coming together as a band, and it is fucking awesome watching them develop!

Set Photos

Helion Prime

Total cheeseball power metal, Helion Prime recently ditched their female vocalist from their first release for a very high tenor male vocalist. . . who subsequently couldn’t join them on their North American tour after serious visa issues, so they temp-hired yet another female vocalist to fill in. She did good work on the material, even though her natural comfort zone was obviously lower than the new dude they have nowadays. They were definitely fun live, but also still clearly raw. Excited to see where they’re at in 2-3 years.

Set Photos


It’s my second time seeing these hella cheesy classic metal dudes from Canada. If hair metal hadn’t been strangled to death by too-tight leather leggings, it might well have developed into Striker. Fast, fun, brash, and probably more than a little drunk, they put on a great, engaging, charismatic set very reliably. Not exactly gonna steal the show or anything, but a VERY solid tour partner. The Striker keys to success appear to be: Dual Lead Guitars into Whoa-Ohs into Drum Fills into Solo into Singalong Chorus on loop forever until GLORY ACHIEVED

Set Photos

Unleash the Archers

What can I say, man? Apex is one of the best releases of the entirety of last year. “Cleanse the Bloodlines” is the most potent goddamn power metal track I’ve heard in years. Three albums in, these guys have totally hit their groove, with enormous talent on display across the board, and with Brittney Slayes acting as superb frontwoman to the proceedings, they’re riveting live. This show sold out the local 220-capacity metal club on a Tuesday night in Raleigh, and frankly, deserved twice as many people as we had there. God this was so fucking good.

Set Photos


Show 3: Alestorm, Gloryhammer, and Isenmore in Baltimore, MD

Cue 7-hour road trip from Raleigh including a delightful jaunt through DC in the middle of rush hour, with a brief stop off at Shake Shack for burgeritude!

Oh fuck yes. Now, on to the music!


A local Baltimor folk metal act with an awesome mix of harsh and clean vocals, twin lead violin, and super catchy hooks, these guys felt like they’d been doing this for years up there. Big stage and a big night for them, no doubt, and they super fuckin’ showed up. Technically tight, solid song selection, good audience interaction. They’re worth keeping an eye on!!

Isenmor Set Photos


The real reason I came out to this show, it’s the last night of Gloryhammer’s first US tour! Ludicrous space fantasy lyrics, hilariously over the top costumes and stage show, and of course Alestorm’s Chris Bowes rockin the keyboard as Zargothrax the evil wizard. . . what’s not to love? Didn’t get a shot of the lead singer in his sick-ass shades cuz I was too busy recording video at that point, but man, what a fun, lively, and hilarious set. Main vox were obviously a lil raw after their busy touring schedule, but those dudes 100% left it all out on the stage. Great, great, great show.

Gloryhammer Set Photos


Ah, Alestorm, the most ludicrous of pirate metal. Beer, rum, quests and mead: These are the things that a pirate needs. Their title track sort of says it all, don’t it? I remember when I first heard these guys’ debut all those years ago, laughing my ass off at the ridiculousness of it. Still am to this very day. Though clearly more than a couple of 'em were nursing some pretty serious hangovers, and despite them being totally sold out of merch (except one conspicuous stage prop. . . ), they put on an absolute master class show. . . that I was completely thrashed around in for the majority of the set before finally retreating to the back. Don’t think I’ve got quite as many great photos, but we’ll see what I can dredge up :)

Alestorm Set Photos

edit: Thank you, by the way, @Giles_Habibula. A lot of my quality comes from taking a whole metric shitton of pictures and hand-selecting the ones that come out best, but at the end of the day, I’m only using a cellphone camera on Auto - Sports mode. One of my friends here in Raleigh is a semi-pro metal show photographer whose work is pretty gorgeous. But I do what I can with the tools I’ve got :)

The pictures and video are pretty important for me, too. Totally lacking a visual/auditory imagination, being able to look back on these shows via my camera work helps keep the memories strong :-D


All of that looks awesome, @ArmandoPenblade, especially Alestorm. Definitely want to check that craziness someday!


Re: Alestorm: Not often I see a key-tar anymore!
They must be making a comeback.


The new Unlucky Morpheus album, Change of Generation came out earlier in the summer but I only got round to getting this weekend. This mostly contains orginal songs rather than Touhou arrangements and all the better for it. Enjoying it so far.


I did not realize that Graham Bonnet had a new album out this year.


Amazing pics as always @ArmandoPenblade!

And I dig the samples from both Graham Bonnet and Unlucky Morpheus, neither of which I had heard of before.


September 2018 Albums of the Month

Feels like I’m even more behind than usual on the stuff I wanted to listen to this month (Really excited to hear the 9/28 releases from Un, Wolfheart, and Dynazty). And there’s more non-metal than usual, with some good prog, retro rock, and synthwave, but we don’t have threads for those. Here are the nuggets I’ve panned so far:

Madder Mortem - Marrow
The Midnight - Kids
Brainstorm - Midnight Ghost

The Skull - The Endless Road Turns Dark
Irreversible Mechanism - Immersion
Abysmal Torment - The Misanthrope
Dance with the Dead - Loved to Death
Voivod - The Wake

Church of the Cosmic Skull - Science Fiction
Parasite Inc. - Dead and Alive
The Crotals - Horde
Manimal - Purgatorio
Kingcrow - The Persistence
Satan - Cruel Magic
Conan - Existential Void Guardian
Zevious - Lowlands
Black Majesty - Children of the Abyss
Sumac - Love in Shadow


Some excellent black and death stuff this month, these are my picks:

Cultes Des Ghoules - Sinister

Monstrosity - The Passage of Existence

Abhorrence - Megalohydrothalassophobic


See Kingcrow is my favorite of that bunch, but I’ve also hung out with the lead singer Diego Carfola before. He also frequents the streaming radio station I listen to.

Had a few drinks with him after his headline set with Pain of Salvation.

Cool guy.


So two artists I have been remiss in never having brought up before. Both clearly are influenced by Devin Townsend, both do their own thing. The first David Maxim Micic

Mixes around with melody groove rock, djent guitars, avant garde. But if you are familiar with Sithu Aye or Devin Townsend’s more melodic work, you get the idea.

He other is Aaron Ecks

Sorry, no YouTube. But give this a listen if you can. The closest comp is Transcendance by Devin Townsend, but that is an incomplete comparison. However, it puts you in the ballpark.


So this is the intersection of me. Not really a song per se, as it’s announcing some of the people joining for the 20th anniversary Into the Electric Castle live show.

Ayreon is one of my favorite bands, top 5. That album in particular is a top 10 all time album for me.

Well I’m excited. But the Netherlands are so far away! cries


I’m a little drunk and don’t have much to contribute besides saying that Expendable Youth might be one of my favorite Slayer songs but I hope this guy comes back some day.


New Gorod came out just today, and it sounds great to mine ears. A couple standout tracks for me so far:


Sadly, by the time I get around to discovering an obscure band (with 3 CD’s out), the band has broken up. :(


Nice avatar, Giles_Habibula. By the strangest coincidence, I just watched original “The Invisible Man” last week.