Issue 14 - September 5, 2001


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

Greetings, devoted readers! I intend to continue writing this column on a weekly basis whenever possible during my fall semester studies. I still have sufficient time remaining to find music for the column, and this week’s edition contains quite a few artists who I have never featured previously. Of course, it is the beginning of the year and my educational responsibilities will undoubtedly make things less predictable and cause some delays. The only changes that I expect is that the specials will probably become less frequent. And now, the songs…

Antithesis – Netherworld, Breeding The Beast: This band works in an area between traditional/thrash metal and progressive metal, with often impressive results. Both of these songs run over eight minutes, the former having some well-placed acoustics while the latter contains a few excellent slashing riffs.

Arcturus – Painting My Horror, Alone: Black metal supergroup featuring two of the best vocalists and most warped minds in the genre, Simen and Garm. These songs from La Masquerade Infernale have a sinister atmosphere to them, particularly in the aptly named former track. Definitely not for purist BM fans.

Enchant – East Of Eden, Enchanted: One of the most talented bands in progressive rock today, their debut A Blueprint Of The World, from which both of these songs hail, is their best musically to date. Paul Craddick’s drumming is particularly excellent. More metallic than subsequent albums. New album coming soon.

Evergrey – Dark Waters, Rulers Of The Mind: This underrated darker edged Swedish power/prog act’s new album In Search Of Truth is now available through mail order. This album should surpass their previous two releases on the strength of songs like the ferocious former song and the more atmospheric and musically bleak latter offering.

Lake Of Tears – The Four Strings Of Mourning, To Blossom Blue: A now defunct atmospheric metal act I have read many strong praises of, but have only discovered recently. I especially find the eight-minute latter track from Forever Autumn, available at to be a beautiful and rewarding composition. The former song from A Crimson Cosmos is also impressive.

Katatonia – No Devotion, Sulfur: A pair of excellent non-album tracks from the Swedish act I credit with my current exploration of the doom scene. The former song is available on both the Tonight’s Decision reissue and a Peaceville sampler. The latter song from the Teargas ep features great acoustics and well-executed transitions.

Avalon – Black Hole Wisdom, The Stranger: Innovative German progressive metal act who incorporates many exotic influences into their music, albeit to a lesser extent on these songs. The former has a great chorus and still retains an unconventional song structure, and the latter is similarly strong.

Edge Of Sanity – Blood Colored, Velvet Dreams: The death metal act in which multi-instrumentalist and busiest man in metal Dan Swano established his reputation. These songs are from 1995’s Purgatory Afterglow, the former being an energetic heavy track, while the longer latter track previews Dan’s strong progressive influences…

Sieges Even – Dimensions, Rise And Shine: Unfortunately, this pioneering German tech-metal act is more known for members Oliver and Alex Holzwarth’s work in other bands, including Blind Guardian. However, these songs are incredibly creative, especially the former track from A Sense Of Change, with its excellent acoustic sections. The latter track features great vocals from Greg Keller.

Anacrusis – Brotherhood, A Screaming Breath: One of several early 90s acts whose legacy has grown with time as they were among the first to incorporate progressive touches (or head completely into prog territory as on the former track) into heavier forms of metal. The latter track from Screams and Whispers is a perfect example of their innovative sound.

Bruce Dickinson – Return Of The King, Re-Entry: I noted one of the new tracks from the Bruce compilation last week, but neglected to include any of his many sought-after rarities. Here I’ll correct that with two of the best, the former being an excellent bonus track on import copies of Chemical Wedding and the latter being a powerful acoustic track from the Skunkworks sessions.

Maudlin Of The Well – Girl With A Watering Can, Riseth He The Numberless: Something completely different, and one of the most innovative acts I have heard in any genre of metal (and Bath and Leaving Your Body Map cover them all!) in recent memory. The former is a beautiful atmospheric composition with great male and female clean vox, while the latter track is more indicative of their extreme metal influences.

Epiclore – Fatherland, The Resignation Of False Arts: An obscure, possibly unsigned, progressive act I heard through Progged Radio. Both of these songs are very promising, especially the 10-minute latter composition with has great keyboard-laced instrumentation, vocal arrangements, and lives up to the band’s name.

Wolverine – Whispers In The Wind, More Than Grief: Another fairly unknown progressive act, this one distances itself by incorporating death vocals between more atmospheric passages. The former song contains some great slower sections, while the latter contains some very powerful moments. Definitely worth your attention.

Nightingale – Higher Than The Sky, Eye For An Eye: I have fast become a major admirer of Dan Swano’s highly diverse output, the entirely self-created album called The Breathing Shadow (his brother appears on other albums under the name) being a major reason, as they contain absorbing instrumentation and a highly emotional resonance.

Skyclad – Land Of The Rising Slum, The One Piece Puzzle: The future of this highly acclaimed British folk-metal unit is uncertain after the departure of master lyricist Martin Walkyier. Here are two excellent tracks from perhaps the best of their large output, 1994’s Prince Of The Poverty Line. The latter is an especially powerful piece with brutally honest lyrics.

Rocket Scientists – Aqua Vitae, Banquo’s Ghost: Progressive rock act led by keyboardist Erik Norlander, whose contributions have appeared on albums by Ayreon. Fans of the Universal Migrator albums should be especially impressed by these tracks, which carry a similar feel in places, like the metallic sections of the former and the latter track, which could have easily fit on The Dream Sequencer.

Magellan – Storms And Mutiny, Waterfront Weirdos: Progressive rock act led by Trent Gardner, best known for his work in the DT side project Explorers Club. Both of these songs run over ten minutes and contain some great instrumentation and arrangements. Fans of 70s progressive rock titans like Genesis should find this interesting.

So ends this chapter. I leave you with this bit of opinion.

In Flames touring with Slipknot: Yeah, I am obviously disappointed as a band I hold in high regard is now looking for acceptance within the nu-metal scene. And I can’t help but think the band is throwing their once solid reputation away in light of negative sentiments towards Clayman and their just released live album. But I do think that this can increase awareness of the band as well as melodic death in general.
"Epiclore – Fatherland, The Resignation Of False Arts: An obscure, possibly unsigned, progressive act I heard through Progged Radio. "

Here's some information about Epiclore:
They're an unsigned band from Finland. You can download their songs on their homepage Those who like long, epic songs, should download "Dream Once More" which is a nine-minute song. I think you can hear a lot of Rhapsody influences in some of their songs. :)