State of the Art: North Carolina’s AMERICAN EMPIRE [EP Stream]

 

Fans of old-school Epica and Within Temptation are going to lose their minds over North Carolina’s best kept secret; American Empire. North Carolina has bred some top notch metal over the years but nothing that sounds quite like this. With the exception of Kamelot, most North American symphonic metal bands just seem to be missing something. But think again, American Empire is packing some seriously fantastic Euro-sounding metal down in Durham.  Continue reading

Gretchen Piening’s Top 10 Albums Of 2018!

2018 was just like every other year. It felt like it went by at the pace of molasses, and then all of a sudden it’s October. But seriously, this was my first year writing for Metal Nexus and it has been a blast. Reviewing sick albums, interviewing some fabulous people and having to immerse myself into music, helping me enjoy it more and more each day. Honestly, my top 10 list came together a lot easier than I anticipated. Having a handful of metalcore records this year built the 10, basically upon their release. I’m just such a sucker for that sound- hence my #1 pick. Often times I box myself in with what I listen to but keeping an ear open all year helped me to realize that there is beauty and fun in a diverse palette. The Spotify yearly wrap up did a hilarious job of reminding me of just that. So with all that said, here are my picks (begrudgingly without any of the country music I loved this year) for the top 10 rock and metal albums of 2018. Thank you for taking the time to read not just this, but any of my work this year published on Metal Nexus. It sincerely means the world. Metalcore 2019!

 

 

Continue reading

State of the Art: Rhode Island’s GOLDENHALL [Track Stream]

 

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is Rhode Island.*

Rhode Island may be one of the last places that comes to mind when pondering anthemic, symphonic metal. Goldenhall, however is about to change that entirely. Since their formation in 2014 by way of numerous local bands, they have lent credence to idea that Rhode Island has been a hidden hotbed for heavy music. Started by guitarists Ryan Spahr and Greg Rosche, formerly of Condolence; it did not take long before recruiting Nico Cannella (Acerose) and Matt Young from Chaos Before Creation, on bass and drums, respectively. Goldenhall is fronted by classically trained vocalist, Jason Shealy. All of the music is recorded and produced by this independent band. Continue reading

Review: EPICA – ‘Epica vs Attack on Titan’ [Track Stream]

Folks, we have something from the world of symphonic metal. The Dutch symphonic metal juggernauts Epica recently announced a worldwide release of their second EP titled ‘Epica vs Attack on Titan‘, which is a based off covers of the anime Attack on Titan. The EP was released in Japan on Dec 20 last year. And on July 20th this year it is going to see a worldwide release. This EP features heavy metal versions of the theme songs from the highly successful manga (Japanese comics) series Attack on Titan. The manga series Attack on Titan has been extremely successful since its first release in 2009, with three live action films, three anime films, close to a dozen video games and 70 million copies in print and counting. Plus many unofficial adaptations such as rule 34 enthusiasts creating animated adult content featuring many anime’s and manga’s, see cartoonporno site for examples. Continue reading

EPICA, LACUNA COIL, INSOMNIUM & ELANTRIS In Baltimore! [Photo Gallery]

Epica & Cristina Scabbia

The Ultimate Principle tour featuring Epica, Lacuna Coil, Insomnium and Elantris reached Baltimore last Wednesday. This was one of the last dates of the tour and hence I wanted to thoroughly mull over the performance before I put pen to paper. This is hands down the most melodic tour of the year in North America. Rarely do we see a tour with two powerhouse mezzo soprano vocalists in heavy metal. The excitement in the Facebook groups devoted to symphonic and gothic metal has been palpable for months. As I grow older I have slowly gravitated towards the symphonic aspect of heavy metal, and not attending a lineup of genre defining bands was never a question! Continue reading