Issue 10 - August 13, 2001


Not blessed, or merciful
Apr 11, 2001
Sarf Lundin, Innit

Greetings, devoted readers! Well, a series of unexpected events has resulted in chaos for my scheduled plans. First, I looked over my notes and realized that I did not have enough artists to warrant the scope and quality that my readers are accustomed to in this column. Then I unexpected was asked to return to my internship after being told I had finished for a brief project, which combined with other events (although mainly positive) has resulted in me becoming too overwhelmed to deliver this column at the normal time. Lucky I had two specials in mind, which follow below. Next week I’ll deliver all the artists I had lined up, and whatever I can think of in the next few days, so look forward to a really large and diverse installment! And now for something completely different…

The Words Unspoken: My second instrumental spotlight. Because the first one is not archived on Ultimate Metal, I will rewrite most of it here.

Shadow Gallery – second half of Cliffhanger II: not one per se, but some of the most mind-blowing playing you’ll hear all year…

Andromeda – Chameleon Carneval: a superb showcase for this young band’s talents, one of the most impressive debut albums in a long time.

Ice Age – Musical Cages: In addition to this piece, Liberation also features several shorter and effective instrumentals between songs.

Derek Sherinian – Rhapsody In Black, La Pera Loca: His solo album features guests ranging from Zakk Wylde to well known session musicians like Simon Phillips and Steve Lukather.

Madsword – Living Hexadecimal: Amazing seven-minute instrumental from this Italian band’s superb debut (and only) full-length…

Ambeon – Fate: Awesome atmospheric instrumental piece from Arjen Lucassen’s latest release.

Gordian Knot – Singularity, Redemption’s Way: Sean Malone’s followup to the acclaimed instrumental album will reunite him with two Cynic members, and include prog luminaries Bill Bruford and Steve Hackett.

Adagio – Immigrant Song: Stephan Forte’s neoclassical reinvention of the Zeppelin classic.

In Flames –Man Made God: Excellent instrumental from the Jap version of Colony that showcases why this band have become the ambassadors of melodic death.

And Oceans – TBA In A Silver Box: The experimental black metal band reaches out on this electronically-tinged piece, which sounds like it could fit on a science fiction soundtrack.

Iced Earth – Transylvania: You probably paid extra for Horror Show partly because of this cover of the Maiden classic.

Attention Deficit – RSVP, Low Voter Turnout: Bass wizard Michael Manring teams up with Alex Skolnick and Tim Alexander on this innovative instrumental album.

Tiles – Ballad Of The Sacred Cows: This piece carries the spirit of Rush at their peak and is full of shifts and surprises.

Porcupine Tree – Voyage 34: Excellent extended-length experimental piece with a trippy atmosphere, several different versions have been released.

Nightwish – Moondance: Rousing instrumental piece from Oceanborn displaying some of Tuomas Holopainen’s eclectic influences.

Ozric Tentacles – Xingu, Waterfall City: Spaced out weirdness from the prolific Briitish cult instrumental prog experimentalists.

Marcel Coenen – Independence Day: Instrumental solo album from the former Lemur Voice guitarist.

Platypus – Partial To The Bean: 10-minute piece from the DT side project featuring John Myung and Derek Sherinian. Liquid Tension fans should enjoy this…

And now...

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DEMONSPELL’S SONGS NOT TO WATCH: This year’s bad listening suggestions

Children Of Bodom – Hate Me, Bodom After Midnight: In my opinion, this band represents the worst bastardization of the melodic death scene. Awful vocals, inappropriate keyboards, and terrible lyrics abound, along with a wholly offputting attitude. And Alexi Laiho is way overrated.

Cradle Of Filth – Her Ghost In The Fog: Perhaps the most despised band in metal, and with good reason. Dani is your archetypical talentless shock provocateur, relying on often disgusting advertising, sexist exploitation, and an entirely cheesy and calculated attempt at sounding evil. Oh yeah, their music sucks too.

Lacuna Coil – To Live Is To Hide: Many people seem to love this lethargic female fronted doom band, but their songs pass by with no response to these ears.

Primal Fear – Back From Hell: A tragic case of talent being wasted, as Ralf Scheepers deserves much more than the Halford clone role he plays on this band’s three albums worth of shameless Priest emulation.

Judas Priest – One On One, Machine Man: Priest themselves have fallen on hard times these days, as Demolition is even more immature, pandering, and self-parodic than Jugulator was. Give it up already, Ripper.

Sonata Arctica – Wolf & Raven, Weballergy: Their new album Silence came out last month. And they’re still the same lame, watery, and powerless Stratovarius clones they were on the incredibly overrated Ecliptica.

Warrior – We Are One: I actually included this once, but with a disclaimer saying that I personally didn’t like it. This is lowest common denominator metal, as is everything by the perpetually cheese-infected Rob Rock. Even a writing credit from Bruce Dickinson can’t save this.

Hammerfall – The Way Of The Warrior: I know, an easy target, but a point has to be made: the disturbing trend of limp-wristed true metal bands needs to die immediately. Behind all the posturing, this is nothing more than pop marketed to metalheads.

Savatage – Morphine Child: Yes, you read right. Aside from Edge Of Thorns, Hall Of The Mountain King, and a few select songs, I think this band is one of the most overrated and self-important artists in metal. Or should I say middle of the road metal aspiring for grand artistic significance.

Lamb Of God – Black Label: One of those super-heavy death metal acts that followers of the genre write pages of admiration over, but just sound noisy and uncomposed to these ears. Same applies to black metal elitist favorites like Immortal and Darkthrone.

Freedom Call – The Quest: Gamma Ray’s Dan Zimmerman is a decent drummer and has contributed to a few great songs on their last two albums, but his side project is weak warrior metal garbage.

Bal-Sagoth – A Tale From The Deep Woods: I actually like some of the songs I’ve heard from their last two, but I can see on this one from Battle magic why many find this band to be utterly laughable. Especially that keyboard sound…yuck.

April Ethereal – Advent: I’ve actually never heard anything from this band, but for having the audacity to steal both a band name and album title from Opeth songs wins lifetime membership in my personal hall of shame and a boycott.