Monthly Archives: September 2010

The Heaviest Matter of the Week Vol. 2

Each Tuesday night I’ll be posting an installment of The Heaviest Matter of the Week. What is it you ask? Well, it’s a weekly audio feature in which I will preview a few tracks, tell you a little about them, and provide you with an audio sample. Each week the tracks will have a common theme among them, be it genre, album, artist, release date, track name, etc.

The Heaviest Matter of the Week, Vol. 2: September 28, 2010

This week’s theme is a surprise (it’s a game!) and features the bands At The Gates, Baroness, and Bloodsimple.

I’d give information about the songs or where you could get them, but that would ruin the surprise and game!

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Rhapsody of Fire – The Frozen Tears of Angels [Review]

Rhapsody of Fire are a band who have not missed a beat since releasing their first album back in 1997, and The Frozen Tears of Angels is no different. Released April 30, 2010 via Nuclear Blast, it is the band’s eighth full-length album.

Rhapsody the Frozen Tears of Angels

Rhapsody of Fire have had an incredibly consistent and productive career over the last thirteen years, even still The Frozen Tears of Angels is certainly their best release in a decade. Technically the third installment of the The Dark Secret Saga (which started with Symphony of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Secret, which still doesn’t make sense to me). This time however, the album is fueled more by riffs than big orchestral parts, something a lot different than their two previous albums. It also once again features the legendary Christopher Lee doing narration, a welcome addition to any epic power metal album.

Where this album shines, however, is in the production and mastering. All of the guitar tones are incredible, and mesh really well with the orchestral parts. Though the orchestral parts are heavily compressed sometimes, it never becomes overwhelmingly so. I strongly prefer the production on this album to Triumph or Agony, as having the 70-piece chorus/orchestra play such a prominent role in the mix took away from the “metal” aspect of the album. Triumph or Agony was sometimes overly cluttered, but on The Frozen Tears of Angels everything has ample space to breathe in the mix (you can even clearly hear the bass lines in most songs).

And the riffs, dear God the riffs. They are wonderful. The guitar work on this album is the best that Rhapsody of Fire has ever featured on an album. They’ve made a transition from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra styled guitars from their early albums to more of a pure speed metal style similar to that of Blind Guardian. This is known almost immediately by the fierce beginning of the song “Sea of Fate” – as well as other instances on the album. There isn’t a single bad guitar part of the album, every riff and solo is good and they all fit really well in the grand scheme of things. Even in the song “Labyrinth of Madness” where it’s just guitar wankery for the entire four minutes, it’s still a wonderful closing note for the album.

Track picks: “Reign of Terror” and “Crystal Moonlight”

Overall score: 9 out of 10 wizard staffs

The Heaviest Matter of the Week Vol. 1

Each Tuesday night I’ll be posting an installment of The Heaviest Matter of the Week. What is it you ask? Well, it’s a weekly audio feature in which I will preview a few tracks, tell you a little about them, and provide you with an audio sample. Each week the tracks will have a common theme among them, be it genre, album, artist, release date, track name, etc.

The Heaviest Matter of the Week, Vol. 1: September 21, 2010

This week’s theme is sludge/post-metal and features the bands Isis, Voyager, and Kylesa.

You can find the METAL SWIM compilation for free download here. If you’re looking for the Monolith/Voyager split, here’s the iTunes Music Store link for it. If you’re feeling especially cool, you can find the vinyl on the Omega Order’s website under the Science of Silence’s section.